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officially a toddler now!

That’s right, the LPG blog is 1 year old today! This is post #347! If you haven’t been along for the ride since day one, here is a LINK to August 16, 2009.

The reason for the big countdown on each of the last week’s posts wasn’t just to say, “Hey, look at me and my huge accomplishment of sticking with this blogging thing for a whole year! Can you believe I posted just about every day, only “taking off” 15 days out of 365?”  Although, I do want to shout that from the top of Camelback Mountain. It has also been a build-up to the fabulous Give-Away to celebrate the 1 year anniversary or as it’s known in the world of bloggers, the 1st Blogiversary.

My friend, Gwen Walters, and her Pen & Fork blog 2-year anniversary contest inspired my give-away idea. She had people vote on their favorite photos. I can’t do that, simply because my photos aren’t all that! Thanks, Gwen, your site is amazing and I’m envious of your photography, especially the recent Italy entries!

The prize is a baker’s dozen of my cookbooks. If you watched the last Valley Dish, you might have seen the intro blurb they did in my kitchen. The one where I admitted that the hundreds of cookbooks are a bit of a fire hazard. Here’s THAT LINK. So to make my home a safer place, I have chosen 13 quality cookbooks to give up. Trust me, this was not an easy task, since I’m not giving away the “bad” ones. Those have already been handed over to family, friends, and even Goodwill on my quarterly purges.

To enter this Give-Away contest, all you need to do is comment on this post. I’m looking for a specific sort of comment though, and you have two choices.  If you just comment, “Linda, I think your hair in the Valley Dish link above looked a little sketchy,” well that is not the specific comment needed to qualify, as true as it may be. So to reiterate, your comment needs to be one of these two sorts…

  1. In your comment, tell me what recipe you have made and liked best from the more than 300 recipes posted on this blog. What? You have not made a single recipe listed here yet! Sad, but that’s OK, look at choice number two below.
  2. In your comment, tell me what is your favorite part of the blog. Personally, I think The Basic Kitchen is a pretty great resource and that the Tip Index is beyond amazing. But that’s just me, you make your own choice.

Now if you haven’t made a single recipe and you don’t have a favorite part of the blog, skip this contest. It’s just not for you and that’s OK.

Finally, I myself entered a contest to win a free iPad, because I really want one and don’t want to pay for it. Here is my take on that “Official Rules” page… too funny how legal it all gets. For a user-friendly “Official Rules”  – skip the legal rigamarole and scroll to the very bottom.

TO ENTER: Beginning 10:26 AM Mountain Standard Time August 16, 2010, through 11:59 PM Mountain Time August 22, 2010.

Limit one entry/comment per person. No mechanically reproduced entries/comments of any kind are permitted. Illegible and incomplete entries/comments are void. The sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected entries/comments or those not received. In the event of a dispute over who submitted an online entry/comment, the entry/comment will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail account identified on the online comment form. The authorized account holder is deemed to be the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, service provider, or online organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. For an entry/comment to be placed in the random drawing, it must be made on this post (August 16, 2010 post titled “officially a toddler now!’).

RANDOM DRAWING: The winner will be selected by a random drawing in the early morning hours of August 23, 2010, from all eligible entries received. Decisions of the Sponsor are final on all matters. The winner will be notified personally by email and will also be publicly named on the August 23, 2010, post on this site. Limit one prize per person/household address. The odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries/comments received.

PRIZES: (1) One Grand Prize – winner will receive 13 quality cookbooks from the Les Petites Groumettes Cooking School personal library. The winner is responsible for the care, use, and any problems that may arise with the prize. The sponsor is not responsible for any failed recipes in cookbooks or on the part of the Winner to properly recreate said recipes. Prizes consist of only those items specifically listed as part of the prize. No substitution or transfer or assignment of prizes by winners is permitted.

Or, in other words, and these are the nearly exact copy/pasted words from Gwen’s contest page, I just substituted in my dates. Funny stuff.

“Your entry/comment must be cast on THIS post. If you cast your entry/comment on another post, your name will NOT go into the hat. Not that I don’t appreciate any and all comments on any post, but to get into this random drawing, you have to cast your vote in the comments on THIS post. The contest ends Sunday, August 22, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. I’ll announce the winner on Monday morning, August 23, 2010. Only one vote per person. No alternate entry is valid. Whining, complaining, and blatant brown-nosing (although appreciated) will not improve your chances.”

Thank you for all your support over the last year and into the future as we move toward the 2 year Give-Away!


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1 Marissa { 08.16.10 at 10:50 AM }

The chili blanco was the biggest hit that I made for my house. All the girls still rave about it. However, my personal fave was one made for me on my birthday – lemon roll cake! Yum yum yum

2 Linda Hopkins { 08.16.10 at 12:06 PM }

I knew you would be the first to comment, Marissa – even knowing you weren’t eligible to win. xoxo

3 Jessica { 08.16.10 at 4:06 PM }

What an amazing giveaway! I just met my new neighbors, so I’m hoping we can all share and swap cookbooks.

My favorite recipe is for the blue cheese grapes. It’s simple, fast, and my friends love them!

4 Amber G { 08.16.10 at 5:21 PM }

I made the jack-o-lantern pumpkin seeds last October and they were a HUGE hit at the Halloween party that I threw! Even the kids loved ’em. And that began my long love affair with Penzeys Spices….

5 Dave Hopkins { 08.16.10 at 5:35 PM }

Since I am not eligible for the prize (nor would I want to be – the idea is to get the books out of the house!) I will just say congratulations on making it a whole year.

6 Vicki Dickerson { 08.16.10 at 6:06 PM }

One year old? Where have I been? I just discovered your blog a month ago, Linda, and I’ve probably already quoted you several times to my Dave (note–this is NOT blatant brown-nosing). Anyhow, since I’ve just discovered it, one of my favorite things is your Index of Recipes…I think I’ve caught up and read almost every one of them (and the link to that Cook’s Thesaurus). Made your Black and Blue Bars yesterday–YUM! The Arizona Fish Tacos are on my menu for this week–groceries bought, recipe printed. This really does sound like brown-nosing, but I do want to congratulate you on a fantastic blog and website. Now that I’ve found it, I really hope you continue it!

7 Bonnie F. { 08.16.10 at 6:28 PM }

The cappuccino brownies are beyond divine! Slightly more complicated than a boxed version, OK more than slightly, they are worth the time and effort. My friends were disappointed when I took the extras home and my colleague I gave them to would not share them with her sons. “Their palates would not appreciate them!”

Thank you for putting a smile on my face each day as I read you posts and enjoy your GREAT photos!!

8 Elizabeth Hom { 08.16.10 at 7:06 PM }

Dear Mrs. Hopkins,

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary for your blog! I really enjoy reading your blog and the classes this summer. Thanks! 🙂
I love all the recipes in the class, but my favorite was the Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Long name but DELICIOUS! Love em’!

9 Alexander Glueckler { 08.16.10 at 7:12 PM }

I’m with Dave; congrats on 1yr and may there be many more!

I regret to say that I have only tried a couple recipes (but would like to try more!). As for the blog/site? I actually have used the conversions & equivalents a few times (I’m a numbers guy…we have to know).

Now, I’m thinking Larry needs to post a blog on this momentous occasion, don’t you?

10 Heather Geyer { 08.16.10 at 7:15 PM }

Alex made me the chicken mango quesadillas with brie (SO good!). He didn’t even try to take credit (well at first…)!

11 brandy nelson { 08.17.10 at 12:13 AM }

My husband REALLY liked the capuccino brownies. They were great, and easy to make! My 10 year old was not willing to try them, though, since they have coffee in them. His loss!

12 EMMA L HORTON { 08.17.10 at 5:00 AM }


13 Lori Hart { 08.17.10 at 11:32 AM }

I like the chef’s garden. Just started reading this blog

14 Annie { 08.17.10 at 1:47 PM }

I made the Summer Strawberry Shortcakes it taste really good the second time I made it. The first time I did I accidentally added salt instead of sugar.

15 Emily M. { 08.17.10 at 4:11 PM }

I couldn’t comment yesterday when I first read the post because I had to think very hard for my favorite, favorite! Everything I have tried are yummy! I just can’t pick ONE fave…
Thanks Linda for all the delicious recipes!

16 Liz H { 08.17.10 at 5:59 PM }

I just discovered this wonderful website. The Tip Index is great. Love your explanations and pictures.

17 Flossie K. { 08.18.10 at 1:27 PM }

I’m a little sad to admit it, but my favorite recipe on your blog is the candied pecans. That just shows what a great cook I am!

18 Amy Kilpatrick { 08.19.10 at 12:23 PM }

The most useful posts for me were the ones about what to do with all my lemons! I juiced, froze, baked, peeled, preserved and even drunkified (yes, my own made up word!) so many yummy lemons this spring all thanks to you Linda! Thank you and congratulations on your first bday! : )

19 Jenn S. { 08.19.10 at 7:50 PM }

I like the Tip Index. I learn new things all the time, like the difference between broth and stock. 🙂

20 shrimp hoarding contest — Les Petites Gourmettes { 08.20.10 at 10:28 AM }

[…] ends at 11:59 PM Mountain Time on August 22, 2010. That is Sunday night, so get on the stick and ENTER HERE! I don’t want any of you to miss out. The winner will be named when I return to blogging on […]

21 jeanine { 08.20.10 at 11:02 AM }

my favorite recipes are the drinks. i really like the dirty banana!

22 Linda Hopkins { 08.20.10 at 11:24 AM }

Hi Jeanine, NeeNee was my sister’s nickname growing up too! Thanks for the comment. I agree, the dirty banana is amazing! – Try it with strawberries next time to make it a Hummingbird – that is my daughter’s favorite.

23 Jammie { 08.21.10 at 11:15 AM }

This is the first time I have been here. But after looking around some all I can say is yums. I am hungry now. The recipe I wanna try the most is your Grilled Chorizo Nachos recipe. My husband and daughter both love nachos and well that picture makes these nachos look so yummy. I am now a subscriber so hopefully I wont miss any of the yummy recipes you post.

24 Ed Nemmers { 08.21.10 at 2:49 PM }

I like eat make read!

25 Louis { 08.21.10 at 8:27 PM }

I have a sweet tooth and I definitely love your Banana-Nutella-Granola Cookies recipe

26 Darcy B { 08.21.10 at 10:23 PM }

My favorite recipe—has got to be your easiest recipe but I’m going with Brown Sugar Bacon —It’s not just for Christmas and Easter –When ever I’m blue or need a hug and have no extra arms around–I make brown sugar bacon. I also love the Mexican Chocolate Chunk Cookies—I have quite the sweet tooth!!

27 Donna Timmerman { 08.22.10 at 12:19 AM }

I like the tips index the best.

28 Melissa B. { 08.22.10 at 6:29 AM }

I like the Glossary of Cooking Terms in the Basic Kitchen.

29 sjc9991 { 08.22.10 at 7:37 AM }

I am a cookbook freak, also. Funny thing is – I don’t have any of the cookbooks pictured! I really loved the brown sugar bacon recipe, this also works well on rumaki and bacon wrapped scallops.

30 Jennifer D { 08.22.10 at 10:19 AM }

Love your blog Linda! I’m new to it but I am really enjoying it!

31 Angela Winesburg { 08.22.10 at 11:38 AM }

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the extra time to try out any of the recipes 🙁 – My favorite part of the blog is the Tip Index, great advice, thanks for the chance!

32 Ronnie Jaap { 08.22.10 at 3:28 PM }

OK — so glad I made it back from our anniversary weekend (at the Royal Palms) in time to enter the contest. It is too hard to pick a favorite recipe — I have made many and they are all fantastic. I have to say my favorite thing is the recipe index, as I can easily find my LHOP pick for the day/week/event. But, my favorite memory related to your blog (does this qualify?) also relates to using the index when Cathy texted me from Maine and needed desperately … read, immediately … the spinach deviled egg recipe for a cocktail party. She doesn’t have a computer in Maine, so I texted her the recipe. It took about 4 or 5 texts and she was texting me in between: “what about the spinach, etc.!) Oh Vey! Love ya Linda!

33 april yedinak { 08.22.10 at 3:48 PM }

I liked the mini chorizo chicken empanadas. I have to admit to some cheating though…I used premade dough for them. I know, bad.

34 Benita { 08.22.10 at 4:06 PM }

My favorite recipe that I have made from your site (and I had to look it up to get the name correct) is Four Chile and Pepper Chili. I had not used poblano peppers or anaheims chillies before so making this dish came with an education. Yes, it is spicy! And we love it. I now prepare it when we have groups of people coming over and when we just feel like chili and a great beer. It sure beats it’s predecessor, a McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix.

Thanks so much.

35 kathy pease { 08.22.10 at 5:02 PM }

i have not tried a recipe yet but i sure am going to the Milk Chocolate, Pecan, and Toffee Scones sound delicious and i will try those this week 🙂 the recipe section looks like my favorite section 🙂

36 barbara hunt { 08.22.10 at 5:34 PM }

Thanks for the great contest!

37 loni { 08.22.10 at 6:36 PM }

My favorite recipe from here has been edamame hummus with monotone crudités. I am a hummus freak and love to try new hummus flavors, which I truly did enjoy this one!

38 Michelle H. { 08.22.10 at 7:12 PM }

I love the complete recipe index. I have been wanting to make the corn beef and potato pizza.

39 Chrysa b { 08.22.10 at 7:50 PM }

Well, I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet because I just found your blog today! But, now that I look around my favorite part of your blog (not hard to choose!) is the recipes!

40 Chef Gwen { 08.22.10 at 8:51 PM }

OMG! 347 posts! You are a machine! Congrats on your 1 year anniversary, dear Linda. You are an amazing blogger, teacher and friend. I can’t believe you did 347 posts in 1 year! Wow. You deserve a little vacation… but be sure to double up on your posts before you go 😉 xxoo

41 Gianna { 08.22.10 at 10:34 PM }

Bocconcini Arancini by far! My mom and I have made a similar version for years and loved using the fresh mozzarella for a change 🙂

42 Veronica Garrett { 08.22.10 at 10:50 PM }

My favorite part of the blog is The Basic Kitchen. This is my first visit.

43 Linda Hopkins { 08.23.10 at 12:24 PM }

Again, thank you to each of you for your comment/entry and congrats to our winner, Vicki Dickerson!

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