Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Countdown to 30: Giveaway 2 - updated

Here are a few early birthday pictures. :)

June 1 - my day of birth.

My 1st Birthday!

My 2nd Birthday!

All right everyone - today's giveaway is none other than a Dessert Cookbook. :) Now don't act all surprised, you knew it was coming. And I'll let you on a secret...there's a different one later in the week.

As you probably know, I LOVE cookbooks! I read them for fun, try new recipes, gaze at the mouthwatering pictures, and collect them like they're going out of style. This book represents my first kitchen passion - baking. And while I've tended to be more of a cook in the last couple of years, I still have a soft spot for baking and seize every opportunity to make delectable desserts for company, family gatherings, holidays, etc. (I promise I didn't know the word delectable was on the cover! :))

You are all eligible to enter! Just leave a comment with your favorite thing to bake or your worst baking disaster or your must-have kitchen equipment...whatever you like (again, a simple 'pick me' will not work).

Just for a reminder, here are the rules:
1) 1 entry per person per giveaway.
2) You can enter all drawings for the week - just leave a comment with the specified guidelines on each giveaway post.
3) Make sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner (winners will be chosen randomly unless otherwise noted).

I will draw winners for all giveaways next Wednesday, June 3. Thanks for joining in my birthday celebration!


Elizabeth said...

Happy 30th Birthday! I wish James and I were there to celebrate with you. Tell Andrew and the boys "hi" for us. My favorite thing to bake would be white chocolate/cranberry bliss bars. These are so good I only make them for Christmas. I could eat the whole pan.

Heather L. said...

Hmmmm... hard to decide what my favorite thing to bake is. More along the lines of what is my favorite thing to eat that I bake: pie, berry pie, blackberry pie, scones, and bread.

Mama10EE said...

Here's a great kitchen disaster for you....About 11 years ago my husband (then boyfriend of a mere 2months) and his friends were planning a golf day. Excited to show off my domestic skills (HAHA) I offered to make them pancakes before they headed out. I must preface with the following facts:

1) The only thing I had ever seen pancakes cooked on before was an electric griddle.

2) My dad always used Pam to keep the pancakes from sticking.

3) I had never before cooked on a gas stove.

SO...I started mixing together the ingredients. I asked Patrick where I could find a griddle. He looked at me quizically and said "What? Mom cooks hers in a skillet...and that's all I have."

Panic starts to set in.

OK, no problem, I think to myself. Got the skillet out. Asked for Pam. Patrick didn't even know what that was! He had butter, if that would work. Hoping but not knowing if it would work or not, I plopped some in the pan. Step three was even more difficult...Patrick's gas stove lighter was broken. I actually had to PICK UP the top of the stove, manually turn the gas on, light a match, turn on the burner, and touch the match to the burner without killing myself or blowing up the entire trailer! Really, at this point I should have stopped.

But I didn't.

OK, stove on, butter in pan, pan hot. I start putting batter in the pan. As I am sure you know, gas heated burners cook a LOT faster than electric ones. I, however, did NOT know that. So the pancakes start getting a little crisp (or burnt, whatever you want to call it). I am using a plastic spatula to turn the cakes. One by one I slid them off the pan and onto a plate. Whew! Breakfast is ready.

I served the guys. As Patrick cut into his pancake, batter came OOZING out. They weren't done in the middle! That's OK, he says, they are still good (What a great guy he is!). As I am attempting to clean up the mess and hide from total humiliation, I realize that the end of the spatula is missing.


So for breakfast these three brave souls ate raw pancakes with pieces of burnt spatula in them, over my repeated insistence that we go to a restaurant and I would BUY them all pancakes.

It took me a LONG time before I would cook pancakes again!

stephanie said...

I don't bake much more than muffins and cookies (my chocolate chip cookies are highly esteemed by Jeremy's co-workers).
Last fall I decided to bake a pumpkin custard. I searched for a recipe online and baked it up for supper. As we took our first spoonful I realized that the recipe hadn't called for any sugar. Custard without sugar? It wasn't tasty. I tried mixing in some sugar, but it didn't really help. I haven't tried to make custard again.

Jessy said...

Hmm... I don't really bake much yet...probably will more once I'm out on my own... but according to Greg my peanut butter cookies are really good haha...I also like these smores squares I make...

BRiehl said...

Not so much a baking disaster, just a story my husband reminds me of every time I make pie: our first Thanksgiving together I insisted on making pie crust from scratch...which isn't THAT hard, but for me it's a learned skill. After rolling out and furiously picking at the crumbly, sticky pieces of dough numerous times, my husband waltzed into the kitchen to see if I needed help (I should mention here that it was well past midnight the night before Thanksgiving and we had been married for 4 months - all of which I had spent trying to domesticate myself). I glared at him, wadded up the dough and heaved it his direction on the floor and stomped into our room. When I emerged later (sheepishly) I pulled out my emergency store-bought crust from the freezer and we were fine...until we arrived at my parents' house the next day and I dropped the chocolate cream pie upside down on the floor. Only my dad saw and my face must have expressed a lot because he quickly scooped it up, fixed the top with whipped cream and set it on the counter. It was delicious!

Smith Family Blog said...

I'm actually just one giant kitchen disaster waiting to happen, but I'll narrow it down to one. :) In early college, I was going to a party at a guy's house and volunteered to bake a chocolate chip cookie dessert. I thought I could win him over through his stomach, right?

The dessert smelled DELICIOUS while it was baking, but it never seemed "done." I kept checking it, but it still didn't look right. Smelled delicious, but didn't look right.

So I started going through the ingredients. And that's when I realized that instead of grabbing he baking soda, I had grabbed the cannister of coffee creamer instead. Oops! Did I mention it still smelled delicious? :)

Jenny said...

When I was a mere squirt of 16, working at the Prairie, I made of batch of biscuits at the McClure post using the nice hard brown flour (which yields hard biscuits anyhow). Unfortunately I forgot to put in the butter, which led to a nice set of brown rocks when they came out of the pan.
This would have not been so bad had the crush of my life (at the moment), my co-worker Jim G., not "borrowed" one of the biscuits and led his chums in a rousing game of rounders, using my biscuit as a ball.
The biscuit did not suffer from the experience. 10 years later, as an adult returning to the Prairie, Jim W. (so noted that you would know he was NOT my crush Jim) reminded me of it constantly for two or three years...

Jenna said...

Wow! Did you have any idea so many people read your blog? Amazing what a give-away will do!

I too LOVE baking. In fact, I much prefer baking to cooking. Most of the time in our house I leave the cooking to Reid... but I always bake. I love to make pies (and finish up the dough with snails!). I really love to make cream scones. They are so tasty with honey. And I love the pumpkin bread recipe in the Fanny Farmer cook book (do you have that? You really should... it's fabulous). I make the pumpkin bread every couple of weeks in the fall and winter.

Holly Trawick said...

My favorite thing to bake is cookies! During the month of December I bake lots of cookies and let the kids help me decorate and then deliver them to friends/family!

I've had plenty of disasters with cookies! Like the morning I was making Ginger Bread cookies to take to my recipe club cookie exchange... something went terribly wrong with my cookies and I ended up having to run by my mom's house to get some of her homemade fudge to take to the cookie exchange. Lucky for me, my mom's fudge is sooooo good none of the girls complained! LOL!

Raendra said...

My favorite thing to bake is cupcakes. I also like baking oatmeal peanut butter bars and brownies. Basically I like to bake anything I get to eat and enjoy!

Heather said...

If I had more time to cook - I think I would have more favorites. . . :-( But when I do have time - I love to make a full blown dinner.

Happy Birthday week sunshine!

Ashley A Judd said...

My worst baking disaster involved attempting to make fudge with Hannah Ray for a Youth Group event. Somehow the fudge never quite became fudge, it just stayed this weird soupy texture. I know we put it in the refrigerator, and then probably the freezer, trying to force it to solidify. Never happened.

Steph said...

I'm better at cooking then baking, so many things I bake end up in a disaster. I stress out over the exactness of baking and usually mess myself up! My favorite thing to bake is probably classic chocolate chip cookies. They always remind me of good times with my grandmother.

Barbara D said...

A new favorite of mine is berries on a cloud. Got it from Patty in KS. It is a strawberry/cherry mix on meringue. If I win, I'll give you the recipe. If I lose, I'll still give you the recipe!

Hannah Ray said...

Random story. So this morning in the copy room a teacher asked me if I knew an Alaina and an Ashley, a rather random question. Then she asked if I had ever had any cooking disasters with fudge and I figured out that Ashley (Rusk) Judd was the person being referenced. Turns out she came across this blog and was reading the comments and saw all about the fudge cooking disaster. I had to admit that yes indeed that was me and that I do know this Ashley and at least know of Alaina. It's a small world and these blogs seem to make it smaller. Thankfully I did eventually figure out how to make fudge, a good recipe is the key and a holiday favorite!

Amy K said...

How fun to see early birthday pics!

SentimentsbyDenise said...

My daughter rivals me on baking around here. She makes the best cookies, scones, muffins, and pie crusts!
I like to bake bread - it's becoming my new favorite. Along with that I'm expanding on that by making homemade bagels, hamburger buns, and pizza crusts. Lots of fun and so much healthier - because I know what the ingredients are (at least I can pronounce them all!).

Jen said...

I pretty much like baking any kind of cookie :) YAY for your birthday!

Lana Joy said...

By far, my favorite thing to bake is Kahlua cake. I've not yet met a person who dislikes it and I like to keep the ingredients a secret, believing it's better when you don't know exactly what makes it so scrumtrulescent.

Melissa said...

I also really enjoy baking. There's something therapeutic about it. I didn't make my first pie crust until I was an adult at the Prairie, probably 5 years ago. They were some really horrible "casket crusts" fit really only to carry the insides to the table. Thankfully, I've since learned how, and I believe, I've even experimented on you a time or two...chicken pie at then Inn, maybe. Sounds good...maybe for lunch today!

Josh said...

I like to make dump cake. I would go for something more complicated, but I have no other dessert recipes :(

Tammy Froelich said...

My must have: MY Artisan Stand Mixer. I can't live w/out that thing along with the attachments.

Also, my bread machine. There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread and the taste with butter and different jams.

Happy Birthday Alaina.

Tammy Froelich