Happy Friday!

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to pop in and share a few non-food-related thoughts on this lovely day. (Wait, who am I kidding? Everything in my mind relates back to food!)

First I want to thank you all for your awesome support during my Passover Prep Series. It was really fun to put those recipes together for you, and whether you are Jewish or not, I hope you found something you liked and maybe even learned something new.

If you are observing Passover, how’s it going for you? What’s the best Passover food you’ve enjoyed so far? Have you been tempted to break it?

And for those celebrating Easter this year – I’ll fully admit that I’ve seen some fabulous sounding Easter recipes all over the blogs that are making me wish Easter didn’t fall during Passover and that some fabulous cooking friends would invite me to partake. But since that’s not the case, I will live vicariously through you – what are you making for Easter this weekend?

The weather in Massachusetts is going to be fabulous for the next three days and I can’t even decide what I want to do! I think we’ll kick it off by grilling these spiced chicken & grape kabobs tonight and maybe get to work on assembling our first-ever raised bed square foot garden tomorrow. Ben picked up all the materials a few weeks ago! Now we need to build, and I need to figure out what we are planting and when. And I’d be totally silly not to go on a nice run tomorrow, in a tank top of course to get some much needed color! The only thing I can imagine missing this weekend is a trip to a farmers’ market. We’re still months away from that here in MA, and I am waiting anxiously.

Finally, I want to share a giveaway from Jill over at Quarterlifewellness. Jill is so sweet to put together this awesome package including some breakfast sweets indulgent sweets, and summer-mood-inducing cocktail blends. Go check it out and enter to win!

Speaking of giveaways, I feel a bit behind – I’ve never done one and I keep thinking I should! For those of you who have done giveaways on your blog, do you typically purchase the prizes or have they been donated as samples by the manufacturers? If the latter, do you seek them out, or do they find you? Have you found that offering giveaways has affected your blog traffic significantly?

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17 Responses to “Happy Friday!”

  1. 1

    katiehealthforthewholeself — April 2, 2010 @ 1:40 pm Reply

    Hey, Cara! I've only done one giveaway so far (and I have another one in the works), but I contacted the companies, linked them to my blog, gave them my "stats," and asked if they would be willing to send me some products to give away. Both the companies I contacted so far were more than willing! I didn't have to buy the products, but for the upcoming one I will need to pay to have them shipped to the winner. I hope that helps!

  2. 2

    iEatDC — April 2, 2010 @ 2:14 pm Reply

    So far my favorite Passover food = my friend's chocolate cookies: http://inkpadchocolate.blogspot.com/2008/04/chocolate-passover-drop-cookies.htmlThe only time I want to break Passover is when I haven't brought enough food to work and I need a snack. But I do look forward to our traditional end-of-Passover feast at a local pizza place. Beer & pizza for all!

  3. 3

    preventionrd — April 2, 2010 @ 2:14 pm Reply

    Hey Cara! As you know, we're going to Vegas this weekend, so we won't be eating anything traditional…that I know of :)As for giveaways, my first giveaway or 2 I purchased. After that, companies sought me out or vice versa and the giveaway items were free of cost (except the shipping…which can really add up). While some companies ship to the giveaway winners, most don't.As for traffic, it increases during the giveaway and goes right back to usual. I haven't found any "retention" from giveaways. They're fun, but I don't do them near as much as I used to.

  4. 4

    inkpadchocolate — April 2, 2010 @ 2:45 pm Reply

    ::waves to ieatDC::First-time poster here, but I wanted to thank you for the spiced quinoa cake recipe you posted. Hubz is Jewish, I'm not, and I hate feeling like I have to cook with matzah all week! I'm sort of new to quinoa and wasn't quite on the bandwagon, but your recipe with delicious cinnamon, cumin, raisins, etc. helped me see its versatility.Don't ask about my Passover-friendly Easter. It will most likely feature a typical (fallen…) flourless chocolate cake. And no gravy for the potatoes. Sadness!

  5. 5

    TJ — April 2, 2010 @ 2:52 pm Reply

    All of the food over here always looks great! :)Giveaways- some stuff I was contacted to give, and then I had my Thank you for my 1 yr. blog anniversary and I purchased those items on my own and YES, I had a TON more traffic and new followers. :)

  6. 6

    Elina — April 2, 2010 @ 2:55 pm Reply

    Yay, you're making the chicken kebabs. They are awesome (and thanks for the link love :) ).I will actually be making your raspberry squares tonight. My dad follows passover so I'll be making them for him (and myself, hehe).Re: giveaways. I've done a bunch. Most of them are sponsored by companies (I did one or 2 were I bought the stuff while traveling and wanted to share them with my readers so that was all me). I usually get contacted by companies to do reviews and then I ask for a giveaway for my blog (sometimes they just offer them). I know I get a lot more comments on those posts. Sometimes more than others, based on how exciting the product is (especially to me because then I really try to spread the word about it). They probably increased traffic to my blog but I don't really know how much.

  7. 7

    Elina — April 2, 2010 @ 2:56 pm Reply

    Oh, I forgot… Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!!!! This weather is making me so happy.

  8. 8

    quarterlifewellness — April 2, 2010 @ 3:10 pm Reply

    Thanks for the shoutout!! You are too sweet. Also me and my boyfriend are loving the passover series. We aren't Jewish but we loving learning about different types of food!

  9. 9

    quarterlifewellness — April 2, 2010 @ 3:10 pm Reply

    Thanks for the shoutout!! You are too sweet. Also me and my boyfriend are loving the passover series. We aren't Jewish but we loving learning about different types of food!

  10. 10

    Taste of Beirut — April 2, 2010 @ 3:16 pm Reply

    If I forgot to mention it my best wishes on Passover for you and the family; I am planning a lamb for Easter! Also I have done giveways and I haven't seen that they increase my traffic.

  11. 11

    ChubbyNewlywed — April 2, 2010 @ 3:25 pm Reply

    Happy Friday! I've loved your Passover Prep series because although I'm not Jewish, almost all my high school friends are and I LOVED being the Goy who got to come to Passover and chow down on brisket and charoset and flourless chocolate cake. Also, just wanted to let you know that I tried your yogurt-feta-dill sauce last night and it was delicious. I put it on top of grilled chicken breasts.

  12. 12

    Bridget — April 2, 2010 @ 4:00 pm Reply

    I thought your Passover series was great. Passover kind of reminds me of Lent: It's only a handful of days and it isn't that drastic of a dietary change, and yet people get all hung up on it. For Passover, it sounds like it's matzo and potatoes. For Lent, it's fish sticks and mac and cheese. People seem ignorant of all of the other great options out there!My husband and I built a raised garden last week! I love it. Good luck with yours!

  13. 13

    Jen — April 2, 2010 @ 10:20 pm Reply

    I've done a few giveaways (I'm actually posting one on Monday). Usually, I provide the item being given away, but I've had a few cookbooks and other items that have been offered for me to giveaway. I figure that everyone likes a chance to win something free, so why not! I have always been contacted and asked to do the giveaways that are like that.

  14. 14

    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — April 3, 2010 @ 3:55 am Reply

    kugel looks amazing on the last post.easter and great eats? i havent seen any! i must read too many agnostic and/or raw vegan blogs LOLthe comment u left me re your faith and what it means to you..truly lovely and i so agree that stories like that makes one want to raise a child the way your parents raised you. scott's parents raised him that way and he identifies as a "social" jew, but not really observant at all. give aways. get that stuff from vendors! they contact me now but in the beginning, i contacted them.

  15. 15

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — April 3, 2010 @ 4:52 pm Reply

    Enjoy your bright, sunny days in MA! Great questions about the giveaways. It has worked both ways for me either I contact the brand or they contact me. I do not but the products, but am not entirely opposed to that. Sometimes I get stuck shipping items, other times the companies take care of all that :)

  16. 16

    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — April 5, 2011 @ 1:15 am Reply

    kugel looks amazing on the last post.easter and great eats? i havent seen any! i must read too many agnostic and/or raw vegan blogs LOLthe comment u left me re your faith and what it means to you..truly lovely and i so agree that stories like that makes one want to raise a child the way your parents raised you. scott's parents raised him that way and he identifies as a "social" jew, but not really observant at all. give aways. get that stuff from vendors! they contact me now but in the beginning, i contacted them.

  17. 17

    iEatDC — April 5, 2011 @ 1:15 am Reply

    So far my favorite Passover food = my friend's chocolate cookies: http://inkpadchocolate.blogspot.com/2008/04/chocolate-passover-drop-cookies.htmlThe only time I want to break Passover is when I haven't brought enough food to work and I need a snack. But I do look forward to our traditional end-of-Passover feast at a local pizza place. Beer & pizza for all!

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