Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Five Year Blogaversary and a Giveaway to Celebrate!

Tile Painting done by the talented Renee at Kudos Kitchen by Renee

I say it with every year that goes by, but can’t believe today has been five years since I started my blog.  My baby, Sam, who was just turning one right after I started blogging is almost six!  My oldest, Scott, is now edging up on 15 and in high school.  Parker, age 11, and Taylor, age 9, certainly keep me hopping as much as ever.  Top all that with still loving my wonderful husband as much as ever and things couldn’t be better for me.  I’m just so very thankful everyday for my family and for all my blessings.

kevin family Smith Family Reunion, July 2012 with Kevin’s parents

(Whose idea was it to put my 14 year old right next to me to show that he is definitely taller than me now?) ;)

I’ve mentioned before that I started my blog like you hear of many others as a way to start keeping better track of things going on with my family and as a way for family and friends near and far to keep up with us, but not long after that, it started becoming a way for me to also keep track of another one of the things I love—baking and sharing yummy treats and recipes as I make them or try things for the first time.  This has become one of the things that really has made me who I am and I love being able to share that in writing.  I love knowing people all over the world read about the things I share here.  I really enjoy baking and sharing with those around me (so I don’t eat it all!). ;)

Along with that, I have made some wonderful friends with other bloggers and have cherished actually being able to meet some of them.  I know I won’t be able to mention them all but I do want to talk about a few of them who have really touched my life and become lifelong friends.  In no particular order--

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Anna at Cookie Madness has probably one of the first blogs I discovered.  I don’t even remember how I came upon her blog.  She has had her blog just about as long as any that are out there, since I believe about 2006.  Anna and I share a love for, of course, cookies and brownies and all kinds of treats.  We have spent a lot of time through emailing and blogging over the years in cahoots over certain recipes, in trial and error and in finding out things that work great and that are delicious.  Can’t forget our Amazing Hard Boiled Egg Cookies that Anna and I worked on perfecting with Rita from Clumbsy Cookie.  Those were the good old days.  Rita doesn’t blog much anymore, but that doesn’t stop her from being a friend I haven’t met from Portugal (at least we still keep in touch on Facebook).  I got to meet and hang out with Anna at the BlogHer Conference in 2009 in San Francisco.   Can’t say enough about Anna and her wonderful, vast knowledge about baked goods and I think she’s just all around a great person!  She just had a cookbook come out this year and I love it.  You will, too, and if you don’t have it yet, you need it.  The Daily Cookie, 365 Tempting Treats for the Sweetest Year of Your Life is available now.  I had fun testing some of the recipes in the book before she got it published and thank her for mentioning me a few times in the book.  Fun! 

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I got the pleasure of meeting Amanda from Amanda's Cookin' last summer when she came to Utah for a conference in Park City.  Had a fun, enjoyable time meeting her and some other bloggers for dinner one night and then got to have Amanda spend a night at our house so I could give her a ride to the airport the next morning.   It was wonderful to meet Amanda!  I feel like we are sistas-from-another-mista. ;) I’ve been in love with her blog for at least four years.  We got to know each other through Tuesdays With Dorie.  That girl can cook some delicious looking food and I’ve made a number of her recipes, from stir-fry to ice cream and cookies to my latest post for tuxedo cake in which I used a cake recipe she’d posted.  Check out her blog!

Lisa and I 11-25-11

In November of 2011 I was able to meet a wonderful, young gal, Lisa, who blogs at Sweet As Sugar Cookies.  I’m not sure how Lisa and I found each others’ blogs, but it was goodies-love at first sight.  She makes some delicious treats.  I know, because I’ve made many of her recipes.  In June of last year, I was assigned her blog with The Secret Recipe Club.  It was so fun picking out what to make from her blog and I was NOT disappointed by the chocolate chip mint and raspberry cookie cups I made.  For a time, Lisa went cookie cup crazy and made all kinds.  The ones I tried were delicious.  They make for a perfect party treat and since they are made in a mini muffin tin they are small—which means diet food, right?  Hello?  It would be so fun to be able to get together with Lisa and bake to our hearts content sometime.  She works for a law firm in L.A. and is super busy, but I love hearing and seeing everything she manages to bake during the weekend.

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In September of 2010 I was delighted to go to lunch in Salt Lake with Suzanne from Thru the Bugs on my Windshield and meet her for the first time.  What a fun and wonderful lady.  Suzanne hasn’t been blogging as long and I actually didn’t even know her well at all before she announced on a food forum that she’d be in SLC and who would like to meet her for lunch one day.  I love meeting fellow bloggers and jumped at the chance.  Suzanne is the kind of person anyone would like to hang out with.  She is funny and full of great conversation.  I got to blog for The Secret Recipe Club from Suzanne’s blog in August of 2011.  I have also made a number of Suzanne’s recipe, from a delicious pear salad to stuffed poblanos—though I was ultimately enticed by the apricot empanadas she posted and they did not disappoint! 

The world of food blogging is so fun and I find it amazing that you get to know all kinds of people from literally all over the world.  Some I might not ever get to meet, but one that I would love to meet sometime as another kindred sista-from-another-mista is Shelby from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch.  Shelby lives in upstate New York, but we’ve known of each other since we started blogging with Tuesdays With Dorie.  Over the last year or two we’ve become good friends through food forums and The Secret Recipe Club.  We are “regulars” on each others’ Facebook pages, we text from time to time, and Shelby (and Suzanne) even surprised me for my last birthday and mailed me some goodies they’d each made!  So sweet!

I seriously could go on and on about bloggers that I have been blessed to meet whether in person or just through the world wide web, but I want to make sure and offer my giveaway before you all run away from my long post! ;)  Just know there are many who I haven’t mentioned who have been a great influence to me.  Now I know what it’s like when celebrities try to give acceptance speeches and forget to say some things or leave out someone important.

What am I giving away?  A couple of my favorite things!  Many people know of my love for chocolate chip cookies and as well, many people have gotten to eat them.  I want to share some more with you—so first up I’m giving away a dozen of my chocolate chip cookies.  You have two options—the regular ol’ delicious, dark chocolate chip cookies that I made with my “famously” adapted NYT/Jacques Torres recipe--

Chocolate Chip Cookies 2-16-13

OR---my creation of Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies in which I take the same chocolate chip cookie dough and add freeze dried raspberries to it.  These are SO good!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cookies 2-16-13

The winner can choose a dozen, mix-and-match or the regular cookies and these or just a dozen of one or the other.  But that is not all--

You’ll also get something else I love.  Another fellow food blogger who I’ve been acquainted with for years is Nick at Peanut Butter Boy.  He loves peanut butter.  Over the years, he has tried I think every kind available on the planet.  I have enjoyed participating in some of his Peanut Butter Exhibition contests and even been lucky enough to taste some of his trial versions of his very own creations—leading up to his newly created and manufactured, now-available Peanut Butter Boy Peanut Butter!  How exciting is this?  Nick now has his own line of peanut butter.  I can’t wait to try it.  SO, because I will be ordering some soon, I want to send the winner of my giveaway some, too.  He has Super Smooth and Crunch Power available. 

Crunch Power Product Image   Super Smooth Product Image

The winner of my giveaway will receive one dozen cookies and a jar of each of the peanut butters from Peanut Butter Boy.  I’m so jealous.  Oh wait, I’ll be getting some, too.  ;)  So, entries for the giveaway will be accepted until Thursday, February 21 at noon MST and a winner will be selected randomly and notified by email (so make sure I have a way to email you).  Yay!  On your mark, get set, GO! To enter, just leave me a comment!

Thank you all so much for reading and baking a drooling along with me over these last five years.  I’ve had so much fun and plan to continue sharing what I love over the world wide web!

***Update---A winner was selected at random---the winner of the peanut butter and a dozen of my chocolate chip cookies (let me know which kind or how many of each you’d like).  The winner is Elissa!

Elissa said...

I don't believe it has been 5 years, wow. I love following you on your blog, helps me feel like you are still close by.

February 17, 2013 4:59 PM

Congratulations, Elissa!  Please send me an email with your shipping address to kevnkoi at hotmail dot com

51 comments:

Renee Goerger said...

Congratulations on your 5 year blogiversary Katrina! I remember painting your tile like it was yesterday and am thrilled to know you still display it in your kitchen. You supported me when I first started painting from piping (cookies) and I can't tell you how much that means to me. Even though we've not met in person (as you've been fortunate to meet so many other bloggers I admire as well), I do feel like I know you and am happy that we've become friends. Your blogging and recipes are always ones I look forward to reading and you've been an inspiration for me with my blog. I seriously don't know how you fit everything you do into your days but I'm glad that you do :)
As far as Peanut Butter Boy, he knows the true way to me heart. There is not much I love more than peanut butter!!!
Congratulations again Katrina! Best wishes for many, many more years of successful blogging to you! XO
Renee

Mindy said...

Way to go Katrina! I can't even keep a regular journal for more than a week. I love your updates and all of your fun recipes! Still wish you were here!

Anonymous said...

I found Katrina's blog when i found my best friend growing up her cousin blog "the lives and loves of grumpy's Honeybunch" and threw her blog found Katrina's, it was amazing to find my best friends cousin let alone find a blog of Katrina's and to find out she lives in the same town as I do now, god works in mysterious ways to bring people together so if I don't win I hope I can stop by for a cookie they look amasing, congratulations! Good luck on many more years of blogging! And take a nap you make me tired with all the things you have on your plate every day, but that's the life of a mom!

throuthehaze said...

Congratulations on 5 years of blogging!!!

Denise said...

Happy Blogaversary !! I have made your cookies YUM. Keep the great recipes coming.

Denise

Lisa said...

What an awesome five years you've had. I remember reading your blog in between my classes at law school several years ago, loved it then, and you know I love you now. Thanks for the shout out! Here's to many years more.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. I started reading your blog when you lived in Lawrence (I live in OP,KS). I knew I'd like your blog when you mentioned taking cooking classes from Paige - one of my favorite chefs!! Continued success.

vivisue said...

Congratulations! 5 YEARS!!! And what a wonderful, successful 5 years you've had. I'm honored to be mentioned as one of the bloggers you have met. We DID have a great time. I have enjoyed our friendship more than you know. You mean a lot to me. I'm looking forward to another five years of reading about The Boys, what kind of new cookies you create, and listening to your Sam-isms. Oh, and we can't forget little Chip! Love you, girl!

Twila said...

Congratulations on five years! I used to blog as well, and had gradually turned it into a cooking blog. I enjoyed it, but due to to much going on in my life I gave it up.
I don't remember how I found your blog, but I think yours is one I've been reading for about the longest. Some come and go for me.
Anyway, enter me. Sounds wonderful.

Elissa said...

I don't believe it has been 5 years, wow. I love following you on your blog, helps me feel like you are still close by.

Amanda said...

I am honored to be included here Katrina! Love you like a sister :) It was so fun meeting you, I only wish we were neighbors. I have a feeling we'd be together all the time!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Lota of love to you Katrina! Reading your post made me miss blogging very much! Those were good days, hey?!

April Tuell said...

First off, congrats on 5 years! You've done a great job, and shared some delicious recipes. I have only gotten to know your blog in the last 10 months or so, but it's one of the few I have on my regular reading list.

You are so lucky to have met the bloggers you have. I'm hoping I can do the same as I start attending some blog conferences and traveling. Suzanne has the right idea of extending an invite to lunch when she's going to be in a particular area. I'll have to remember that one.

Keep on blogging! :)

Katrina said...

Thanks everyone!
Got ya, Sheila. (PM me your address sometime, maybe I'll do a cookie drive by.) ;)
Anonymous from KS--who are you? If you are selected as the winner, I need to know who you are and how to contact you. ;)

Veronica Miller said...

Katrina, I've been taking a break from all things blog related but got back into it a bit today since I had to write up my SRC post. So glad I didn't miss this one! Happy blogiversary! How exciting to make it to 5 years! You certainly have met a lot of bloggers, you are quite the social blogging butterfly. :) Your cookies with the raspberries sound fantabulous and I can only hope I get the chance to try them! And wow to the peanut butter as well, great giveaway!

Iva said...

Happy blogaversary!! I love you awesome recipes!! You have a beautiful family! I have to ask, has someone ever told you that you lok a lot like Pam from "The office"? Because you do!! :D

keshakeke said...

HaPpY Blogiversary!!! You have AMAZING recipes! Thank you for the giveaway! I love peanut butter and would love to try this one!

Emily said...

I LOVE food giveaways. And I love peanut butter even more. :) emilywells10@gmail.com

Shelby Law Ruttan said...

You make me feel so special you, you, you celebrity you ;) I love you Katrina, your a wonderful person and I enjoy being your sista from anotha mista - especially since I don't have a blood sister! Thank you for the shout out to me and congrats on your 5 year blog anniversary! (P.S. One day ALL your boys will probably tower over you :) I know both of mine do!)

Shelby Law Ruttan said...

Oh and P.S.S. Grumpy calls you "that chick" who lives in Utah. ;)

Cindy said...

I would LOVE to win this! Thank you so much for offering such a yummy and generous giveaway. Also, congratulations on your blogiversary... five years is a huge accomplishment!

Cindy Aiton
clogzilla(at)yahoo(dot)com

Shari said...

Love your blog - haven't quite been reading for 5 years but close! Please keep it up!

jcwega27 said...

Congrats on your blogiversary!
jessicawedwards@gmail.com

Nancy @ gottagetbaked said...

Congratulations on reaching this amazing milestone, Katrina! I love that painting - it's gorgeous! And it's so cool you've been able to meet so many bloggers in person. In my short time blogging, I've connected with so many incredible people online and would love to meet all of them someday. I love your blog, I've been following you and Anna for many years now. Here's to many more!

Barbara Bakes said...

Congratulations on 5 delicious years! So glad that we finally got to meet this year.

Jan said...

Congratulations...keep up the good work.

Betty said...

Congratulations on 5 years blogging. May you be blessed with @ least 5 more years! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and recipes. Dark chocolate chip cookies sound soooooo good.

Mom said...

Congratulations on 5 years! I just discovered your blog one year ago and check it all the time. I love your recipes!!

Baking Ribbons said...

Happy 5 year blogaversary!! I found your blog through Cookie Madness about 3 years ago. I've been reading ever since. Still don't know for sure how you do it all. Maybe it's the chocolate and sugar drugs you make!! Looking forward to at least 5 more years of your blog!
-Gloria

Baking Ribbons said...

Oh, I forgot. I LOVE peanut butter AND chocolate chip cookies!!!

Cindy deRosier said...

Congratulations on 5 years! I'm a relatively new follower - maybe a year - and I absolutely love your blog. Thanks for so much wonderful inspiration. Adding freeze dried raspberries to your chocolate chip cookies is sheer genius. That sounds SO good! If I don't win yours, I'll definitely be making my own.

Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more said...

wow 5 years, it really is crazy how fun it is to share, I love reading your stuff:)

cathy_pawliczek said...

Congratulations on five great years. I enjoy your blog regularly. I think it's wonderful to see all the friendships you have developed through your blogging!

Emily said...

Congratulations on your fifth blogiversary! I can't believe you've been blogging that long. I can't believe your son is going to be fifteen! Ahh!

You've met so many blogging buddies. I'm envious. I would have liked to have met you in Chicago in the fall, but I'm moving to St. Louis in a month. :( Maybe I can take the train in that weekend?

Anyway, the peanut butter looks yummy! I'd love to try some.

Liz Berg said...

Happy, happy anniversary to your blog! I hope that we, too, can meet one day!!! Wishing you many more years of delicious blogging. xo

Natalie said...

congrats on 5 yrs! love all the sweet treats over here :)

Chaya said...

Congratulations on your five years, five successful years filled with delicious recipes. I have enjoyed your blog and have made a number of your recipes, each one a success. Keep going, girl.

Kirstin said...

What a fun contest. Loved your post about your blogging anniversary. I have had the honor of meeting two of the bloggers I follow. I don't get to any conferences because they are usually too far away to afford to go...someday. And I LOVE Grumpy's Honey Bunches recipe for Italian Sprinkle cookies...I was so excited when I found them...it brought me back to my grandmas Italian cookies!

rachel said...

Happy Anniversary -- five years is a long time!

3RMama said...

Happy Anniversary! So glad I found you! Can't wait to try the graham crackers!

Cindy said...

Wow, 5 years! I'm just coming up on 4 years, time flies when you are eating yummy cookies--right!
I love your blog post, yes you meet awesome people when you blog.
If I win I would love the cookies but I would love to go to lunch even more. We could pull it off.

Becky said...

I've enjoyed the last 5 years of baking with you. Granola, cookies, and more cookies. :). Thank you for the support over these past few years. Keep up the great blog!

Caryl Mosher said...

Hello Katrina and congratulations! This is my 2nd week being part of your blog and I love it! Found you through a recipe pin on Pinterest and thank you for sharing your goods!! It'll be a pleasure following you and hoping to have a chance to sample some of your wares! All the best to you and your beautiful family! Caryl

palmtreedreems said...

Happy 5 year Blog-a-versary! You are my go to site for all things sweet. I've tried out so many of your recipes! NYT Chocolate Chip cookies and the PB Banana Cinnamon Rolls are two of my favs! Thank you!!!

Bob said...

I want the cookies and peanut butter! Pick me, pick me!! And Happy Anniversary!!!

Chrissy said...

Congrats! I love your blog and keeping updated on your cute family! Someday we'll get together....

Molli said...

Molli entered as Bob, so now Bob is entering as Molli. And Bob says we should get cookies whether we win or not, since you are a master pastry chef.:)

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Happy 5 years!!!!!!

vanillasugarblog said...

no need to enter me
just wanted to say happy anniversary--i think i'm that old too?
and god bless you for having 4 boys. wow!!

Liz said...

I missed the giveaway but I couldn't let this post go by without commenting. Happy 5 year anniversary! I think I've been reading from almost the beginning--at the very least, I remember Sam being a tiny little thing with wild curly hair! I've so enjoyed your blog and reading about your baking and your boys, and although I don't often get the chance to comment, I always catch the posts in my reader. Here's to 5, 10, or 15 more years!

Peanut Butter Boy said...

Congrats to Katrina and Elissa!