4 Year Blogiversary Giveaway! {closed}


I’m celebrating my 4 year blogiversary today! It’s hard to believe this little ol’ blog has been around for 4 years.  In that time I’ve accumulated 2000 subscribers (uhh, what?!) and written 470 posts.  I’ve had so much fun with elly says opa, and I hope you have, too.  I’ve really expanded my horizons with regards to food/ingredient combinations, I’ve met so many amazing people (bloggers and otherwise), and I’ve accumulated way more kitchen tools and cookbooks than any normal human being should.

I’m planning to get a blog redesign soon (though I’ve admittedly been incredibly lazy when it comes to this), so look for that in the (hopefully) near future, too.

Anyway, let’s celebrate with a giveaway! I’m giving away some of my favorite things, Oprah-style.  Well, if Oprah weren’t loaded, that is. 🙂

Here’s the deal:  One reader will win one of the following 4 items/packages.  The winner will pick which of the four prizes s/he wants. In addition to the selected prize, I will be also be including a $20 gift card to one of my favorite stores, The Spice House (don’t worry, you can order online, and I’ll give you some of my favorite recommendations too 🙂

Here are your options:

1. The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz + fancy schmancy ice cream scoop

I love ice cream and I love David Lebovitz. ‘Nuff said.

The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet AccompanimentsZeroll Original 3-Ounce Aluminum Ice Cream Scoop

2. Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless + tortilla warmer

This is, by far, one of my favorite cookbooks (if you couldn’t tell by all the posts about it).  All the recipes are simple and delicious.

Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series "Mexico One Plate at a Time")Imusa Tortilla Warmer

3. 12″ Cast iron skillet + handle mitts

If  you read this blog at all, you know I’m in looooooove with my cast iron skillet.  I use it for everything from searing meats to making cornbread, to fritters, to hash browns.  It’s pretty much the greatest piece of cookware.

Lodge Mfg. L14SK3 Skillet With Assist Handle Lodge Striped Hot Handle Holders/Mitts, Set of 2

4. Immersion blender

I use my immersion blender for everything from soups to smoothies to pureeing baby food.

Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender

(Images are all from Amazon.)

To enter, just tell me which of the 4 things you’d like, and why (and feel free to tell me what you’d like to spend your Spice House bucks on, too, if you’d like).  The giveaway will end on Sunday, December 12th so enter before then.

4 Year Blogiversary Giveaway! {closed}

274 thoughts on “4 Year Blogiversary Giveaway! {closed}

  1. I am dying to have an immersion blender (it’s been on my wishlist for the last year)! We end up making lots of soups in the winter, and it would be so helpful (sure beats transferring hot soup to a blender, and spilling it all over the counter!).

    Happy anniversary!

  2. Congratulations! Wow! 4 years! That’s insane! I think I’ve been reading for at least 3 too. Crazy…

    If I won, I would choose number 2. I’ve had that book on my wishlist forever now and who doesn’t need a tortilla warmer?

  3. Wow! Congratulations! I’ve only been reading for about 6 months but I’ve gone through the archives and found loads of useful recipes.

    If I won, I’d also choose number 2. Number 1 is a close second choice. The recipes from both books look like things I’d make. I’ve got a couple pieces of great old iron cookware so I’m good there. And I could probably use a good immersion blender but . . . books are better!

  4. I’m all over the Mexican Everyday Nooo! Yummy! I always want to get it, but never manage to actually buy it. Of course I would buy spices to go with my new Mexican recipes.
    Congrats on your 4th anniversary, I really enjoy your recipes.

  5. Hurray for 4 years! I’m glad I started subscribing this year.

    I’d definitely pick the immersion blender. I’ve been wanting one of those for AGES.

  6. Congrats on 4 years! I would love to have a copy of the Perfect Scoop. I love making homemade ice cream and have heard wonderful things about this book!

  7. Happy Blogiversary! I would pick option 3! We don’t have a cast iron skillet for some odd reason and I’ve never heard of spice house but I’m sure that they have some great choices!

  8. Wow! Four years, I can’t believe that it’s been that long! I would love to win the cast iron. I’ve had my eye on a pan for a long time.

  9. Happy blogiversary! I can’t believe it’s been 4 years. I love your recipes and several of them are my favorites. I love the Rick Bayless cookbook & tortilla warmer prize.

  10. I’d definitely choose the cast iron skillet! I have a lot of cast iron cookware already and I lovelovelove it – is one of my true obsessions!

    Congratulations on your blogiversary … your chicken Parmesan burgers are my FAVORITE recipe ever!!

  11. I’d choose option #2 if I won also, as I LOVE Mexican food and need a way to make them at home without a lot of fuss.

  12. Happy Blogsday! I would like Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless + tortilla warmer because I do not know very well Mexican cooking and I think it is wrong!

  13. Congrats! I would pick the immersion blender. When I make soup I have to let it cool and then go into my plastic blender. Then heat it back up to eat. I know an immersion blender would speed all of this up. Thanks!!

  14. I would definitely use the mexican set! My fiance has an obsession with amazing mexican food and I know that Rick’s is the best!

  15. Happy Blogiversary! I would pick the immersion blender, I have been wanting one of those for a while, and would definitely help with the baby food!

  16. Happy Blogiversary!! While I would love an immersion blender I think my love for Rick Bayless is greater, so I’d choose option #2.
    I’d also probably get some Mexican seasons from the Spice House to use along with the new cookbook!!

  17. OMG, I would definitely want the Mexican Everyday, I’ve seen so many blog posts of recipes from this book and they all look amazing! The Spice House gc would be a perfect way to stock up on chipotle chile powder, and I can’t get enough of their hot smoked paprika (we even brined our Thanksgiving turkey this year in a smoked-paprika based brine)!

  18. You are making the decision very difficult Elly. I have wanted to have a David’s book The Perfect Scoop for some time. My ice cream maker is in need of inspiration.

  19. Happy Blogiversary! What a nice giveaway. I’m so glad my daughter told me about you. I’ve always wanted an immersion blender but I think if I won I’d pick the “Mexican Everyday” cookbook by Rick Bayless and the tortilla warmer because I absolutely love mexican food and would like to try some of his recipes. Thanks.

  20. Congratulations! I think writing a blog would be so fun. Its on my consideration list for 2011. Anyway, its a tough decision b/t option 3 and 4. I know I would use a cast iron skillet, but have wanted an imersion blender as well. However, seeing that I should incorporate more iron into my diet, I think I will have to choose 3# – the cast iron skillet. 🙂 As for spices….hmmmm…I would just have to browse around and see if they have something interesting that I don’t already have.

  21. OMG! I would love the cast iron skillet! I received one for a wedding gift. My Mother In Law ruined mine by washing it with soap and water. I am still bitter about it so, I haven’t replaced mine. As for the spice house gc, I would buy cinnamon. I love their cinnamon and am starting to get low! Happy Anniversary and hopefully many more to come 🙂

  22. Wow, that’s awesome! Congratulations on making it four years! 🙂 Your blog is one of mine and Eric’s favorites. We’ve loved every single recipe we’ve made from here.

    I would love to have the immersion blender. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sloshed soup out of a pot while trying to pour it in the blender. I looked at The Spice House’s website when you mentioned them before. I can’t get over how many awesome things they have. I have no idea what I’d do with it, but I think the Hickory Smoke Salt sounds really cool.

    Congratulations again, Elly!

  23. I placed a big order at the Spice House just last night….have been buying from that great place for years. I wish their shipping was not so high.

    I bought aleppo pepper, which I discovered a year ago and us use almost every day. There is nothing it does not enhance. Also bought pomegranate molasses, powdered mushroom, and a gift box of extra hot seasonings for my son-in-law.

    I could use a new immersion blender.

  24. I would love the cast iron skillet! I don’t have one and have wanted one for a long time. The spice house looks amazing as well! I don’t know how I would choose.

  25. Oh i would love, love, love the cast iron skillet! My mom had one I remember being on teh stove for years! Now that I have honed my cooking skills, these seems so practical and I am dying to add one to my collection.

    Hmmm…for the Spice Gift card, i choose saffron…why? Because it is pretty, a little unusual, tastes yummy, AND I can never bring myself to buy it at the store. It is $12 and baby formula is about that much!LOL 🙂

  26. I would love the immersion blender! My live-in boyfriend has an aversion to certain veggies but puree-ing them into soup makes the aversion go away – and it’s such a pain to pull out the big blender and do it in stages!

    Spice House is overwhelmingly awesome! I have been wanting some ground Chipotle pepper to add spice to some dishes. I would also love some Fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt!

    Congrats on 4 years! I’ve only been reading for about 6 months, but I love looking through your archives.

  27. I think I’d go with The Perfect Scoop! I tried a couple different ice cream recipes this summer, one that was great, a handful that weren’t. I remember someone telling me David’s recipes are the best.

    Happy blogiversary!

  28. I like the immersion blender you can use it for a lot of things ,i usualy rely on my mixer or just mix it by hand.Thank you for keeping your blog always exciting to read .

  29. I would pick the cast-iron skillet. I have my grandmother’s 6″ and 8″ c-i skillets, and after 50 years of seasoning, I can attest that they only get better with age! This big one would be a dream, and a family heirloom.

  30. Happy 4 years! I would choose the Mexican prize package because I love love love Mexican food, but so far I have only been able to figure out how to make enchiladas. I need to get better! And who wouldn’t love a tortilla warmer?

  31. Congratulations!

    I’d like the cast iron skillet because as I become a more experienced cook, I find a lot of recipes call for the use of cast iron. I think there are a lot of things I could cook better!

    I was unable to get on to the Spice House’s website 🙁 At any rate, I am a spice junkie, so I would not have any trouble finding something! I’d love to try some new chipotle seasonings!

  32. i would love to have the immersion blender for blending soup and whipping small amounts of cream without having to bring out the BIG mixer….

  33. I’d love an immersion blender! we keep thinking about buying one, but we haven’t really justified the purchase yet. It would be wonderful for soups.

    Happy Blogiversary!

  34. Hmm…that’s a tough one! I think I’d either go with the skillet or the immersion blender…both would be great to have! As for spices…I would actually be curious to see what some of your favorites are from there so you speak so highly of the place (I’m not at all familiar with it)!

  35. Congrats on 4 years! What an accomplishment, especially keeping up with the blog when you have a little one!

    I am having a real issue choosing between the Perfect Scoop and Mexican Everyday, because both have been on my “want” list for so long! But since it is a contest on your blog, and you were the first to introduce me to Mexican Everyday, I’ll go with that one!

    I just spent about a 1/2 hour at work looking at all those spices – that’s a dangerous site for me! The Bakers Extracts gift box looks the most appealing right now, but I could buy that place out!

  36. Congrats Elly! I would want the cast iron skillet package. I have a grill pan but would rather have the regular skillet, but it was a tough call between that and the Rick Bayless book.

  37. I would love the cast-iron skillet and handle mitts. I have never owned a cast iron skillet but would LOVE to experiment with one 🙂 I am sure it would become one of my new favorite tools! As for The Spice House i think i would get the Smoky Flavors Four-Jar Gift Box for my boyfriend 🙂 But would be totally open to suggestions!

  38. Congrats on 4 years! I would love the immersion blender. I’ve always wanted one for my soups and it looks like they work nicely with little clean-up!

  39. oh man, i would LOVE a cast iron skillet! something that’s definitely on my christmas list this year. congrats on 4 years 🙂

  40. For me it would be a toss up between the cast iron skillet and the immersion blender. I’ve just started cooking more with cast iron over the last year, but I think my immersion blender is on it’s last leg… As for the spices, they all look so wonderful. I would have to divert to your recommendations. 🙂

  41. Congratulations on a huge accomplishment! If I could choose out of the four items, it would definitely be the cast iron skillet.

  42. Happy Anniversary! Love your blog! I would choose the Rick Bayless book. Because of your blog, I have gotten that book from the library many times. I would love to own it!
    Spice House looks great! I have a large pantry of spices and would love to add to them. I would go for the curry blends or get a really nice pepper mill and some fancy peppercorns.

  43. Congratulations on four years of a well written, very enjoyable blog! Keep up the great work!

    If I won the giveaway, I would love the Everyday Mexican cookbook and tortilla warmer! I love mexican food, but trying to find authentic, healthy options here is nearly impossible.

  44. Congrats on keeping the blog going for four years! Lots of fun to read your recipes. I would choose Mexican everyday (+ tortilla warmer) as my gift. Mostly because I love mexican inspired foods and flavors–gives me a happy warm feeling eating it! (Also, I gave myself a cast iron skillet last year for xmas and an immersion blender the year before that… hah)

  45. Congrats on your anniversary and longevity. I would love the cast iron skillet. Its on my “I need one” list, because I have so many recipes which use a cast iron pan and I would love to try them. I would love the gift certificate for The Spice House as I need to refill a few of my spices such as lavender flowers, cardomon pods and herbs d’provence. Thnx for sharing all your recipes

  46. Hi Elly, I’d love David’s book, but as I don’t have an ice cream machine, I will take prize #2, Rick Bayless’s book and tortilla warmer. My son will be happy as he really loves Mexican food, but I don’t have a recipe book, so I mainly wing the recipes. Happy Blogiversary, and to many more!

  47. Congrats on 4 years! I’d love the ice cream package. My husband and I got an ice cream maker for our wedding last year and I’ve become obsessed with creating ice cream. This might help me get out of my (delicious but possibly overplayed) salted caramel rut!

  48. I’d love the cast-iron skillet and mitts – I’m all about practicality! Plus, trying to be better in terms of diet so that means ice cream and Mexican are a bit of a no-go. 😉

  49. I would love the Bobby Flay cook book. It’s time for me to liven up what I cook. I seems like I aleays make the same 10 dishes.

  50. Immersion Blender!!!
    My love for pureed soups is extraordinary.
    Living in a blender-less life it makes it a a poorly nourished love of mine.

  51. I would pick the Rick Bayless book because he is a chicago favorite!

    For the spice house… I would buy their brine. I did this year and it was AMAZING!

  52. The cast iron skillet and mitts. I love a good piece of cookware and cast iron skillets are at the top of my list! Happy Blogiversary!

  53. Ohhh, I would love to have an immersion blender. That’s on my Christmas list. I’d definitely buy some vanilla beans and cinnamon from Spice House, and maybe some curry too!

  54. I would pick the cast iron pan, for as much as I cook I have never owned one !!!!!!!
    The Spice House is a great store. My daughter lived in Chicago while attending school. Every time we went to visit her, we HAD to stop there 🙂
    If you have not experienced true fresh spices, you need to try this store. I just ordered 18 spices for my son as a Christmas gift. Several years ago I did the same for my daughter. For me, I would buy vanilla beans and candied ginger nibs. They are faaabulous in scones

  55. I would love Rick Bayless’s cookbook. I’ve seen so many recipes posted in the blog world that I think I need my own copy.

  56. #3, the cast iron skillet. I don’t own one and would really love it for all of the above mentioned purposes! So needed!

  57. Happy blogiversary, Elly! What fabulous items to pick from! I think I would like either of the cookbooks…..although, I did kill my immersion blender not long ago.

  58. Happy Blogiversary!!! Congrats on the big 4, and I can’t wait to see the new layout! I’d love the David’s book…it’s one that I always keep seeing in the bloggy world. Plus it would motivate me to buy that ice cream attachment for my KA mixer!!

  59. Mexican Everyday with Rick Bayless & the Tortilla Warmer.

    We love Mexican Food. We eat it at restaurants a lot, but I don’t make much of it at home and would like to change that.

    I will need all of the Mexican spices from The Spice House so I can get started making some of Rick’s amazing recipes.

  60. oh man i’ve wanted an immersion blender for entirely too long. salad dressing, soup, i hear you can even make whipped cream!

  61. I would love to win the Everyday Mexican and the Tortilla Warmer! I could eat Mexican for every meal. I just looked at the Spice House website. I think I would get the Maple Sugar, Pumpkin Pie Spice (I just ran out), and some Vanilla Paste.

    Happy Blogiversary!

  62. Oooo I want an immersion blender!! I have an awesome recipe for tomato basil soup, and without the blender, it just isn’t the right consistency. And I’m too lazy to transfer to a blender because then I have to clean the pot, the blender, and the counter :-/

    Congrats, Elly! Love your blog 🙂

  63. I’d pick Mexican Everyday. Even though I am 100% Greek, I always joke that I must be part Mexican too!! I love, love, love Mexican food!

  64. Congrats to you! I really enjoy your blog – lots of every day but fantastic recipes. Thank you for writing!

    Gosh – so hard to choose. I would have to say #2 though, with #4 my second choice (my immersion blender recently bit the dust).

  65. This is a tough choice from me, I’ve been wanting a cast iron skillet and an emersion blender. I do have a regular blender but my 12″ skillet is not cast iron and it is teflon and all scratched up. I guess logically I’d have to pick the skillet!

  66. congrats again on your 4yr anniversary, Elly! i’ve so enjoyed reading ESO for all this time! i’d pick Mexican Everyday and the tortialla warmer since i’ve been in love with this cookbook since you started posting recipes from it way back when. i’ve yet to purchase it myself though…

  67. I think I’d choose the cast iron skillet because I want one. I know you can get a cheap one but for some reason I just haven’t gotten one. I don’t know what spices I’d get. I have to do some research.

  68. I am a newlywed (Nov. 7, 2010) and received an ice cream maker as a wedding gift. The Perfect Scoop cookbook would be wonderful to learn new recipes and techniques. The ice cream scoop would be a great addition to our kitchen tools.
    Take care,

  69. Its a tie between the cast iron skillet and the emersion blender. I asked for both of these for my birthday–nothing :)! I did get a pizza cutter though. I would have to say that I would want an emersion blender though the most–its would be so useful.

  70. Congratulations! I would definitely pick the immersion blender because we’re always having to puree our soups in the food processor, which is a pain!

    As far as spices go, our pantry is getting bare so I would probably stock up on the essentials such as garlic and onion powder.

  71. I LOVE to cook but don’t own a cast iron skillet! I don’t think I can go one more minute in the kitchen without one. Congratulations on 4 years! I am a fairly new reader (as of 2010) but I love all your recipes and stories. I am approaching 30 as well and very inspired by your 30 X 30 list.

  72. I would pick #2 – I do not have that cookbook and can always use another. As for the spice house – I am sure I woudl spend far more than the gift card on all the stuff i “want”!

  73. Hi Elly, I love your blog … I have made several of your recipes and loved them all. Congratulations on 4 years. If I had to pick, I would choose the immersion blender. I think it would be a great tool in the kitchen and one I don’t have. Thank you!

  74. While I love David Lebovitz AND Rick Bayless, I’d have to go for the immersion blender. I’ve been wanting one for awhile now, and I could make my winter soups with a lot less mess if I had one! Great giveaway Elly, and congrats on four years of blogging!

  75. Congrats on the anniversary! I happened upon your site a few years ago when I was looking for “different” ways to prepare some of my family’s tried and true Greek recipes! I love to cook and have always done without fancy appliances … I once baked hundreds of koulourikia, kourobeithes, and melamakarona for Christmas trays by hand! But as I get older, I’m looking for convenience and an immersion blender is on that list 🙂 I didn’t realize how useful it would be when I was registering for wedding gifts years ago. I’d love to be able to blend soups without having to transfer them into a blender — our kitchen space is limited and finding enough counterspace close to the stovetop to accomodate the blender is tricky. With a new baby on the way (I’m 10 days overdue!!), I’m sure the simplicity of the blender for both soups and whipping up healthy beverages would be a Godsend!

  76. 12″ Cast iron skillet + handle mitts all the way! I would season it properly and sear everything perfectly! (i promise!) I’ve cooked quite a bit from your blog and this would bring my kitchen tool basics set to the next level! As for spices, crystallized ginger, some really nice cinnamon and truffled salt. 😀

  77. i would really love all of the options, but i think i’m going to have to go with the immersion blender. i find myself doing awkward and difficult pureeing all the time that an immersion blender would remedy!

  78. I’d definitely go for the Rick Bayless book. I started following your blog because I love his recipes so much (but I definitely would not stop coming here if I had my own copy of the book ahha).

  79. Happy blogiversary!!! I’d go with the immersion blender since I don’t have one and I’m always making soup clumsy by having to transfer it to a blender.

  80. Happy blog birthday! Time has definitely flown 🙂

    Just today I was thinking about how I wanted an immersion blender. It would make my life easier when making some of the baby’s food!

  81. I would love number 2 – I love mexican food!
    I have most of the other things already!
    Love the ice cream book-yum!

  82. Congratulations!! I love your recipes!!

    I would love the immersion blender because I’ve made a few too many messes making soup using the transfer to a blender method.


  83. Congratulations!!! Happy Blogiversary!
    I would love David Lebovitz’s book because I will be getting an icecream maker soon and it would be great if I could have some recipes to try 🙂

  84. Tough call. I would say the Rick Bayless book but I already put that on my Christmas list… so I would choose the immersion blender.

  85. Congrats! You were one of the first blogs I started reading a little over a year ago! I would love the cast iron skillet. I was just thinking about how much I would like and then I saw your post!!

  86. I’m not sure I’m eligible to enter this because I’m so far away, but I’d like to win the cast iron skillet because I left mine back in Ohio 🙁 So sad. Anyway, CONGRATS for 4 amazing years of blogging. You rock girl!

  87. I don’t care if it is winter! I love to make ice cream all year long- which is why thy perfect scoop should go to ME:)

  88. All of these things looks awsome, but I think I would like the immersion blender best because I already have a cast iron skillet, even though you cant have enought cast iron. But you can make lots of delicious things with the immersion blender so I’ll go with that!

  89. Gosh there’s a lot of comments already! I’m having a small crisis trying to decide between the fabulous Mexican items in #2 and the nifty immersion blender #4. We cook a lot of Mexican style things and are always looking for new ideas, but I think the blender would be so handy. Maybe if I win you can help me decide? 😀 I would definitely get some more fabulous Mexican spices from the spice house (whether or not I picked prize #2) and maybe a few holiday essentials like nutmeg, ginger, etc.

    Happy 4 years!! I appreciate all the great things on your blog.

  90. yay, for 4 years! I would love the cookbook Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless and the tortilla warmer.

    Already have 2 cast iron skillets and they are used pretty much everyday.

  91. Happy Blogiversary!! I would chose Mexican Everyday, because I could eat mexican food everyday and I’m always looking for new recipes!

  92. Happy Anniversary! I would love the immersion blender … mine is dying, and since I can’t live without one, it’s gotta be replaced!

  93. Congratulations, Elly! What a delicious four years it has been! If I’m lucky enough to be one of your winners, I’d pick Rick Bayless’ book and tortilla warmer, it was a tough choice, but that’s what I’d do. As for that Spice House gift card, I think I’d use it as an excuse to come to Chicago, go to Topolobambo, and then buy some of the spices I’d need to make Mr. Bayless’ best dishes. Know anyone in Chi-town I could crash with 😉

  94. Oh my, all four of these packages are amazing!!! If I had to pick I would choose #2 – I’ve tried two of Rick Bayless’ recipes and both have blown me away with how tasty they are! 🙂

  95. Happy Bloggy-versary!! I’d love the cast iron skillet! I can’t find one here in the UK! I knew I should have kept mine when I moved over!

  96. I would love to win the cast iron skillet and oven handles- I do not have a cast iron skillet and have been wanting one forever! I would spend the Spice House card on organic cinnamon and the organic salt- I have never seen organic salt. Hope I win!

  97. I’d have to go with the Rick Bayless cookbook. Living in Los Angeles, I’d like to be able to offer my guests some of interesting dishes from this book.

    Congrats on your 4 years here. Love your writing.

  98. ooohh the cast iron set would be my pick… my granny’s ended up somewhere else in the family…

    and 20 help get me some saffron… or maybe some sea salts… you know the pretty ones.

    thanks for all the recipes!

  99. Congrats!!!! I would love the Rick Bayless cookbook and the tortilla warmer! As for spices…it is so hard to choose, but I would enjoy shopping to figure it out!

  100. Happy 4 year blogiversary! I would love “The Perfect Scoop” plus the ice cream scoop. There is nothing like homemade ice cream! I would get some vanilla beans to make my first batch of ice cream!

  101. Congratulations on 4 years! I’d love to win Bayless’s cookbook and the tortilla warmer. My husband and I are huge fans of Tex-Mex cooking and everything I’ve seen from Bayless looks amazing!

  102. Congratulations! I love your blog!
    If I won, I would definitely choose the cast iron skillet! I have been cravvvvvving one over the past year, since cooking has become one of my biggest hobbies! 🙂

  103. Awesome, 4 years! I just realized I’ve had my blog for almost 6 years and it was crazy!

    I would go with the cast iron skillet, definitely. I use my mom’s every time I go home, but I would love one of my own.

  104. congrats on 4 years! this is a tough decision. i think i’d choose the Perfect Scoop or Mexican Everyday. ice cream and mexican food…two of my favorite things!m

  105. congratulations for the 4 year anniversary..:) i’d love the iron skillet!! so many things i’d like to do with that!

  106. Happy 4 years Elly! Your blog is super – I love reading all your posts and learning about Greek American life from your perspective. I hope one day we can get together and make platso! (hah, but not in some creep kind of way). I would select the cast iron skillet because it’s what every gal needs and I would have it for the rest of my life no doubt. I would like to make platso with it and apple pie!

  107. Congrats on four years! I’d pick the cast iron skillet. My current cookware isn’t that great and I think I’d cook more with better cookware.

  108. Ti doxa polloi emisisan, to tsampa kaneis!!!
    Elpizo na katalaves ti leo 🙂

    Happy Blog anniversary Elly and all your giveaways are wonderful. I don’t have an immersion blender, so I’d love to have one of those.

  109. Congratulations on your four years! I’d love to have the cast iron skillet. When I was young and culinary-challenged, I gave away my only cast iron skillet. And of course now that I know better, I want it back. That won’t happen, so it would be cool to win this one.

  110. Hi Elly and congratulations on your anniversary! I tried blogging but just didn’t have the self-discipline to keep it going.

    I would love the immersion blender because in a few months it will be time to start making baby food for my baby girl. It would also be so much handier to puree soups than transferring it in batches to my blender.

  111. Congrats on 4 years! I’d have to go with Mexican Everyday! As far as the gift card goes, I’d probably want to see what those recipes call for and what you recommend, but I have a feeling I’d end up adding some of my own cash and get a ton of delicious new ingredients!

  112. Congrats on 4 years! I’d love the Rick Bayless Cookbook and Tortilla Warmer. I cook Mexican (or Mexican inspired) at least twice a week, and I’d love some new idease! 🙂

  113. Happy Anniversary, Elly! I remember when you began your blog (back even on Vox!). You do great work, keep it up. I’d love to win the Bayless ensemble. I’ve always wanted a tortilla warmer 🙂 and I’ve made many Bayless recipes from your site.

  114. Wow this is hard because I could use all of them but I guess if I have to pick…I’ll pick the cast iron skillet. Congrats on four years!

  115. I was just looking at an immersion blender yesterday thinking that I really needed to get one. I have a few recipes that I can use it on. Congratulations on 4 years!

  116. I’m going to say the cast iron skillet. Today I was looking at a recipe that I couldn’t do because I didn’t have one. So that would top my list. =) Happy Blog-iversary!

  117. I would choose the cast iron skillet. I am newly obsessed with cooking and love reading your blog- so many great ideas! I feel like a cast iron skillet is a critical edition to my kitchen if I ever want to be taken seriously as a cook (by my roommate, of course).

    Congrats on 4 years, and thanks for all the great recipe ideas!

  118. THE PERFECT SCOOP!! I got that book from the library and renewed it 3 times until they refused to renew it anymore. Love it, love it love it. I would also buy amchoor powder and garam masala from spice house. Happy blog birthday!

  119. Congratulations! I think I would pick an immersion blender. My little one is about to start eating food – and I think that it would make it really easy! (Unless I get one for Christmas, then my choice would be the cast iron skillet.) : )

  120. I would love the Rick Bayless cookbook. I have been really trying to broaden my horizons with some more international cooking. This would help. I could buy some spices for these recipes.

  121. Wow! Congratulations! That’s a great milestone! If I won, I’d pick the Rick Bayless everyday mexican because you’ve doen so many great recipes from it and I’d love to try it out!

  122. Immersion blender! Purely for the convenience of soup prep. As fun as it is shlepping soup back and forth from the blender…
    And my fiance is Indian, so we cook a lot of Indian food and are always buying new spices!

  123. Well there’s only one of those packages that I don’t currently have and it’s The Perfect Scoop! We just recently bough an ice cream machine so it would pair perfectly!

  124. I would really love the immersion blender. I live in a tiny apartment with an equally tiny kitchen, and I don’t have room for a full blender. The immersion blender would be perfect!

  125. The Rick Bayless cookbook – have to start cooking some of his stuff since I apparently live in his neighborhood now!

  126. Happy Blogiversary!!!

    Man, all of those prizes are awesome…but I think I’d choose the immersion blender. I put it on my wedding registry but never received it! I think I could put it to great use in my kitchen, and I love that it doesn’t take up as much space as a regular blender (which I don’t have room for).

  127. Happy Blog birthday Elly! From the four items I like the Everyday Mexican with Rick Bayless and the tortilla warmer. I am a Mexican food freak. I would love to own just one cookbook dedicated solely to this cuisine.

  128. Great giveaway!! I love the cast iron skillet and handle mitts gift! I loved the cast iron skillet I had. My husband took with him on a hunting trip and it never returned!

  129. I’d love the immersion blender. I’ve been wanting one for so long but alas… I’m still immersion blenderless 🙁 This would work great for the soups and purees I make.

  130. I’d love to answer all of the above, but I think I would most want the cast iron skillet. I’ve wanted one for awhile.

  131. It’s a tough choice! But I’m definitely obsessed with Rick Bayless, so I’d have to go with his book and the tortilla warmer!

    Congrats on four years! What a nice giveaway.

  132. Frying pan, please. My dad makes the BEST fried eggs (over easy, yolk never breaks) and he attributes it to his perfectly seasoned cast iron frying pan. I need to at least try to replicate the goodness.

  133. Congratulations on 4 years!
    I would definitely choose the Rick Bayless book. I love to cook Mexican at home and would enjoy trying some fresh new recipes (to me!).

  134. Congrats on your blogiversary! Your blog is definitely one of my favorites. My choice would be the Rick Bayless book and tortilla warmer. I absolutely love Mexican food and would put both items to good use.

  135. I love the immersion blender. I have a four month old baby and I would love to use it to make homemade, natural, healthy baby food without preservatives. I would also use it to make delicious fresh fruit smoothies from the fruits in my garden.

  136. Congrats! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and love it! I’d totally pick the immersion blender because i’ve wanted one so badly, but would get in trouble from my boyfriend for buying another kitchen tool!

  137. 4 years? That’s fantastic! I always love your recipes and pictures.
    All the gifts sound really cool but I think I have to go with #3 – the cast iron pan. I really want one but since I have limited space I can’t bring myself to buy one… but if I won it… 😉

  138. Love your blog!

    I’d go with the immersion blender. I haaaaaaaate the stand blender I have. I’m dying to make some smoothies!

  139. Ohh I’d love the Perfect Scoop book and ice cream scoop because I just got an ice cream machine! With their powers combined I could actually make some ice cream!

  140. I would love the ice cream scoop and cookbook! I’m getting an ice cream maker for my birthday and with 6 little kids, ice cream is pretty much a necessity! I love your blog – your recipes are delicious and down to earth.

  141. I would LOVE the Mexican food cookbook. I am from Boston but recently moved to Mexico to be with my boyfriend. It is very important for women to cook here and his mother is CONSTANTLY telling me that my food is coming out wrong! I would love to master some Mexican meals and really show them I know what I´m doing!

  142. Congratulations! And what a wonderful giveaway too. If I won, I would definitely pick the Rick Bayless cookbook. I’ve only made a handful of his recipes, but I loved each one. Also, all the recipes you’ve posted from him look sooooo good.

  143. Elly!!
    What a great giveaway. If I could pick any of the prizes it would DEFINETELY be the immersion blender. There’s nothing better, in my opinion, than having something like that ot make soup with in the cold winter months. On that note, I would use the gift certificate from The Spice House to get the mulled spice wine blend. Sipping some spiced wine in front of the fire place with my Big Greek Family would be the ultimate night. Kala Xristougena!

  144. congratulations, elly–hopefully there will be four more years to come (my taste buds sure hope so)! you can’t go wrong with a cast iron skillet–& my kitchen has been sadly missing such an addition. also: my pantry could definitely use a lift in the baking spices department–lavender-vanilla & pure chocolate extract…oh my! thanks for all your wonderful recipes & this sweet giveaway!

  145. Great giveaway!! I would love to get my hands on that Mexican Everyday cookbook. I am also excited about the Spices Gift Card. I am new to cooking, and would love to get an idea of the spices you recommend. Happy Blogiversary!

  146. I would go for the cast iron skillet, because there are a lot of things I want to make that involve using cast iron, but I don’t have anything. The Rick Bayless book is a close second, though! 😀

    Congrats on the four year anniversary! I’ve had a lot of success with your recipes, and I actually used your tourlou tourlou recipe when I hosted a cooking lesson for one of my friends (via Skype, since we’re in different states)!

  147. Great Giveaway..and I love your site! I’d love the immersion blender because I don’t have them and I hear they’re the best for making soups!

  148. Congratulations on year 4! Many more to come, too!

    I’d love to win the 12″ Cast iron skillet because I don’t have one and know how versatile they can be. 🙂

  149. wow! what a great giveaway.

    i’d want the immersion blender. i had just casually mentioned that i wanted one for christmas, because my goal this winter is to make a lot of tasty soup. 🙂

  150. Congratulations on your 4th blogiversary! I’ve been enjoying your blog for about 4 months now, and check it very regularly! Love your recipes!

    I would love to win the second choice. I’ve been experimenting with cooking more authentic Mexican, so this book would be great! If I won the Spice House gift card, I would love to order ground chipotle peppers and some of the saltless seasonings.

  151. I would love the immersion blender! It’s been on my wish list for quite some time now and would open up a whole new world in the kitchen!

  152. I would love to add the immersion blender to my kitchen. The onset of cold weather has brought out a number of soup recipes that suggest using one. I’m sure my husband would steal it for shakes and things too.
    Congratulations on four years and thank you for the giveaway.
    P.S. I bought The Perfect Scoop a few months ago and I am in LOVE.

  153. That’s a tough choice! As much as I love ice cream, Mexican food, and handy gadgets, I’d pick a cast iron skillet. My husband and I are both students, so new pot and pans aren’t on our priority list. I’m trying to phase out an old, cheap set of non-stick pans with some good quality basics. I would probably choose a gram of saffron and a bottle of file powder from The Spice House. Saffron has such a lovely taste and file powder is really hard to come by in my area. Congrats on your blogiversary! I think I’ve probably managed to read every single recipe! lol

  154. woah 235 comments. I think I would most like the Rick Bayless book. I don’t know much about Mexican food and would be interested in trying out more recipes.

  155. I would choose number 2. I love Mexican food, and love trying new recipes. The tortilla warmer would also be a nice addition to the kitchen!

  156. Congrats on a delicious 4 years! I would go for the Mexican cookbook and tortilla warmer – I know I’ve already swiped some good recipes from it on your blog!

  157. Congrats! I would love to have the cast iron skillet– It has been on my wishlist for some time now. Some vanilla beans from the Spice House would be nice, too. 🙂

  158. I would be thrilled to win the Mexican cookbook set… love that food, but up in in Canada, hard to get… gotta learn how to make it myself.

  159. Congrats on your 4 years!!! I would definitely put #2 (cookbook and tortilla warmer) on my wishlist! Maybe a pinch of Saffron would be nice from the Spice House – that spice intrigues me, and makes me wonder why it’s so expensive! 🙂

  160. I think the immersion blender would get put to great use in my house. I’ve been wanting one to do baby food with.

    I just read this week how to make my own vanilla extract, so I’d love some amazing vanilla beans from the Spice house.

  161. Would love Rick’s cookbook. He showed such class and obvious love for food on Top Chef Masters. Would be a treat to try to replicate his recipes at home.

    Thanks and love your blog!

  162. Of course, all of these prizes are fabulous but I really like the The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz + fancy schmancy ice cream scoop. I’ve heard rave reviews on the Perfect Scoop and have always wanted to try his recipes. Looks delicious!

    And the Spice House, where do I even begin? The Turkey Brining blend looks delicious. Or the Pepper-Orange blend looks like something I’d love to try. The Spicy Sesame Seasoning Dip Mix looks good too. YUM!

  163. It’s so hard to pick just one! I would have to say the Rick Bayless cookbook; I love mexican food and could use a new cookbook. Thank you!

  164. Congrats on 4 years Elly!
    I would love the cast -iron skillet and mits! I have had one on my wish list for a very long time now and there are so many great recipes that I want to make in it!

  165. That immersion blender is too much fun to pass up. It would definitley be helpful in removing the “slimy tomato chunks” from pasta sauce that my husband refuses to eat. Cleaning the blender gets taxing. I can only imagine the many things there are to puree.

  166. I’ve been reading since you had your son. I had a daughter in July and took your advice about cooking food ahead and freezing it for later. It saved us!

    If I won, I would LOVE to have the immersion blender. The little one is getting ready for solids, so I’m testing recipes.

  167. I would love to have the immersion blender because I have been making tons of baby food for my 7 month old! I normally use the food processor, but it would be so nice to not have to transfer the food from pot, to processor, then to the ice cube trays! My favorite spices are all of the traditional baking spices, such as, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and maple. The Vulcan’s Fire Salt caught my attention. It would make a cool addition to some dark chocolate brownies or peanut brittle for that sweet, salty, spicy combination!

  168. I’d love the perfect scoop. I just got an ice cream maker for my birthday and I would love some more ideas of what to make in it!!

  169. I would choose the immersion blender to help whip up fresh baby food for my son. My son is just now starting to eat solids and it’s important to me that he have fresh food. My husband and I don’t eat pre-made food, so why should our son?

    *crossing my fingers*

  170. Happy Blogiversary! I would choose either the cast iron pan or the inversion blender (it would be so handy for soups)!

  171. Excellent!!!! I would love to have another immersion blender, I used my other for making soup…It works wonders for getting it to trace, but I miss it in the kitcken…

  172. I would love the Rick Bayless cookbook and tortilla warmer. I follow him everyday on twitter and his food looks simply amazing. I have tried a couple of his recipes and my husband and I have absolutely adored them, but I would just love to have an acutal cookbook. Its also my 30th bday on the 14th so it would make an incredible surprise for a foodie like me and maybe I could cook a special meal out of it:) I would definitely use the spice gift card to get some wonderful spices that I am sure Rick uses in the book that I do not have on hand:)

  173. Congrats on 4 years! I would very much like to start cooking Mexican at home. Rick Bayless is very cool, but he really impressed me on Top Chef Masters. And your posts have me motivated to try his recipes. Thanks for the giveaway!

  174. Congratulations on 4 great years!
    I would love the cast iron skillet. The woman in my family cook everything under the sun in cast iron! I need to start…

  175. Wow Elly look at all these comments!! That’s amazing! I have been doting on an immersion blender for quite some time and as for the Spice House bucks I don’t know what I’d settle on buying eventually because I love all spices!

  176. I’d love to get the immersion blender, I used to have one back in Brazil, but could not bring with me when we move to US…and congratulations on 4 years blogging…it sure deserve a big celebration 🙂

  177. I would love to have the cast iron skillet, I’ve wanted one forever and could never bring myself to dish out the big bucks for it! I would definitely put it to good use!

  178. Congrats on 4 years! Definitely the Rick Bayless set. Love me some Mexican food ALL THE TIME. From the Spice House …. hmmm…. maybe some vanilla beans so I could get my own vanilla extract going. Thanks for your generousity!

  179. Congrats on 4 years. I would love the Rick Bayless cookbook. I fell in love with him on Top Chef Masters and would love to try his food.

  180. Congrats on 4 years, YAY! Love the blog!

    I would love the Mexican gift pack. My husband and I have Mexican food at least twice a week, love it!

  181. Congrats on four years…I’ve been at this….four months? 😉 Anyhow…I make homemade tortillas pretty much every few days…corn or flour, take your pick…so you can guess which prize catches MY eye… Definitely the Mexican gift pack!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  182. I would love to win #1. I have not had a chance to make homemade ice cream and I have been hearing so many fabulous things about david’s book. thanks for the chance to win!

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