Currently viewing the tag: "giveaway"

My children are curious ones, often on tip-toe or climbing up onto kitchen stools, trying to figure out what I’m always doing in the kitchen. Sometimes they jump in and help: throwing on their little aprons and grabbing spatulas and whisks, and other times they are content with just peeking into bowls and moving on. I find their interest in that space constantly ebbs and flows, and the days I’m in a hurry and don’t need help are the days they seem to want to offer it, and the occasions I’m dying to bake with them and teach them new things, well, those are the days they’d rather be doing anything else. Every once in awhile we land on the same page. My daughter is more eager than my son; he wants to sneak cookie dough, she wants to shape and bake cookies. I’ve watched her come a long way in the kitchen, and enjoy the moments when we make something together.

I’ve discovered that while she’s come a long way, I, however, still  have some needed areas of growth. Basically, I can be a control freak. I find myself hovering and managing. I want to pre-measure the ingredients, and find the right bowl. I don’t fully trust her to dip and sweep or mix things fully. She is well aware of my tight grip while sweetly encouraging me to step back and let her try. She is sure of her abilities, and isn’t worried when she’s lacking. This is the hardest part of parenting for me: watching your child get to a place you’ve been training them for, and then having to let go, trusting they can do whatever it is you’ve been preparing them to do. I’ve spent so much time nurturing and caring and equipping, that when my child is finally ready, I want to keep tagging along to micromanage any mishaps, not fully confident in her abilities.

I’m slowly making progress.

We did have a lot of fun together, making this cake. My kids could have gobbled up the crème fraîche layers plain (I could have as well), but the berries and white chocolate buttercream take this to the next level.

Le Creuset kindly sent us this 5 piece utensil set (with crock) from their Craft Series to use on our cake experiements (or #cakexperiments, as I like to call them on Instagram), and so far I’m impressed. The spatulas are ‘made for scraping the bowl clean’, and they do an incredible job. Their smooth surface is great for scraping batter from the surface in just two strokes, and the ergonomic handle keeps hand secure when scraping or spreading. And yes, this spatula can also spread, which is a dream come true. And guess what! One lucky reader can win this utensil set! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below (along with an email). This contest is open to US residents only. Winner will be announced June 20th, 2017. (For an extra entry,  follow Le Creuset on Instagram.)

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Hello! I have another exciting giveaway for you. Three more pieces of kitchen equipment that I absolutely love: Emile Henry mixing bowls, Mauviel Copper Sugar Saucepan, and a Lékué springform mold. The mixing bowls are pretty much a necessity in any kitchen, and this set is lovely, with three different sized nesting bowls. I use them all the time – for mixing, of course, but also for holding fruit and filling with chips at parties, among other things. The sugar saucepan is beautiful (I included it on my gift guide as well), and I find it to be a fantastic tool for making Italian buttercream. And the springform mold has been a game changer for me. I will admit I was skeptical about silicone molds when I was first introduced to them, but I have fallen in love with them after never having to worry about messy cheesecake sides. The mold peels away from the cheesecake every time, leaving perfect sides. Extra bonus: the cheesecake bakes on a white ceramic plate that is perfect for serving on as well, and I never have to have the stress of sliding a cheesecake on to a serving plate ever again.

1 winner will receive 1 Emile Henry Mixing Bowl Set + 1 Mauviel Copper Sugar Saucepan + 1 Lékué Springform Mold + a copy of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer. Participants who complete*** this form*** will be entered for a chance to win. Contest is open through 12/13 to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  The winner will be randomly selected through and notified via e-mail no later than 12/16. The winner’s name and address will be shared with Emile Henry, Mauviel, and Lékué for the sole purpose of mailing out the prize. Thank you! (Also: don’t forget to enter my Minted giveaway as well!)


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Today is the day! The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is now available! I’m so excited to share it with you. To celebrate, I have a new recipe and these #bakeamericacakeagain tattoos that I am giving away. The lovely FauxMartha and my husband helped me come up with this hashtag to celebrate both my book and the **Election** (remember to vote today, fellow Americans!) Details for the giveaway is below.



#BakeAmericaCakeAgain Tattoo Giveaway

Ways To Enter For A Chance To Win
1. Comment on this post below.
2. On my Instagram post tag a friend and use #bakeamericacakeagain in your comment.
3. You can also use both method #1 and #2 to increase your chances of winning. I will select 8 winners from the site and 5 winners on Instagram to receive the tattoos.
***No purchase necessary. Open to the U.S. and Canada only.***
(This chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream pictured is a recipe from the new book; I made it for segment on WCCO-TV. You can watch the episode here.)

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I have two exciting things to share with you: this giveaway, for a Vanilla Bean Baking Book apron and tea towel, and a recipe for my favorite brownies found in my cookbook. Yah!

I had some lovely help with these photos; my daughter above, and Ms. Molly Yeh, Melissa Coleman, and Zoe Francois. I got to hang out with them this weekend at Pinch of Yum’s amazing studio to celebrate Molly’s new book, and they were kind enough to let me take a picture of them in my pretty pink apron.
molly apron


To Enter: Pre-order THE VANILLA BEAN BAKING BOOK and enter for a chance to win an apron and tea towel designed to go with the book! 12 winners will receive these lovely and practical (I had to make sure that the aprons have pockets!) kitchen items. Everyone who has pre-ordered my cookbook previously or places an order through Wednesday November 6th is eligible to participate. (Sorry, US and Canada only!) Simply go to this google form here and fill it out.

Extra Entries: Share my photo about the giveaway on Instagram to receive an extra entry! Make sure to use the hashtags #vanillabeanbakingbook and #vanillabeangiveaway to help me track all entries. Thanks!

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chai tea latte | the vanilla bean blog
This week I took part in a ‘mini-cleanse’, which was much needed after weeks and weeks of baking and recipe testing. Recently the editors of Martha Stewart Living put out Clean Slate, a cookbook and guide focused on clean eating. The book describes clean eating this way: “Start with fresh produce, whole grains, and lean proteins; prepare them simply, and take the time to share and enjoy them.” It also involves “focusing on every aspect of our meals – turning away from our screens and devices and avoiding other distractions, so we can savor the process of cooking and eating.” I like this mindset, and while I do cook a majority of our meals from scratch, they tend to be focused on dairy and carbs, especially in these cold winter months.

The book has a great variety of recipes; everything you’d need to get through the day. It also has a 3-day plan for a ‘mini-detox’ and a 21-day action plan. I started with three days, although I must admit I cheated a bit. The book has a serious detox that involves the same meals for each day, but I knew without some variety I would quit early. So I made smoothies each morning for breakfast (blueberry-green tea from the book, and this strawberry-basil one), soup for lunch (a pot of this Buckwheat Noodle Miso Soup with Bok Choy was perfect all three days), and Ginger-Scallion Chicken in parchment was a favorite for dinner. Afternoon snacks were also a must! Chai lattes with almond milk were perfect alongside chocolate bark, and garlic-herb yogurt cheese was the best way to enjoy a little dairy. Overall I thought the recipes were great, and I also felt great eating so well.
clean slate cookbook

Bok choy and shiitake mushrooms in miso-lime broth | the vanilla bean blog

Ginger-scallion chicken in parchment | the vanilla bean blog

garlic-herb yogurt cheese | the vanilla bean blog

chocolate bark with cacao nibs + fleur de sel | the vanilla bean blog
The kind folks at Martha Stewart Living are giving away a copy of Clean Slate, as well as a bottle of the Martha Stewart Essentials Women’s Mutli-Vitamin and the Hair, Skin & Nails vitamins! To enter the giveaway: leave a comment with your name and email address below.

The Martha Stewart Everyday Entertaining Collection is available exclusively at Macy’s.

Although I was provided with a copy of Clean Slate, all opinions are my own.

giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
I remember the first time I heard about two people meeting up after finding each other on the internet. A girl from my highschool had met ‘the one’ in a chat room, and her and the stranger were going to go ahead and get married. It was 1999, and I was totally freaked out. There were so many ways the story could end, but it seemed obvious he was a pyscho path and she would probably wind up in a Misery -type situation. At least, that’s what my sister and I concluded. But, years passed and they were still together, and unharmed. Soon, meeting people online started becoming a more common occurrence; friends started using online dating services, people were falling in love, and no one was getting murdered. I stopped assuming the worst.

Now, of course, it’s 2013, and discovering friends (or lovers) online is normal; everybody’s doing it. I would have been terribly surprised, way back then, to find out future Sarah had discovered all these lovely, beautiful people in over food blogger land. There are the kind readers who leave comments and cheer me on, who send me wishes of health when I am sick. There are the fellow bloggers I’ve met and sipped coffee with, who have eaten in my home, sent me encouraging emails and sweet little packages, and treasured books and notes. I’ve found some beauty in places where I was certain nothing good could grow.

So here’s a little thank you. It’s not much; I wish I could sent you all a little package filled with some of my favorite things. But one reader has a chance to find this in their mailbox one day soon: some items that make time in my home a little more lovely. There are my favorite baking staples: cacao nibs, vanilla beans, fleur de sel, and decorative chocolate sprinkles. Beeswax candles and natural parchment paper are always in good use. Good coffee to sip and chocolate to nibble on are a must, as well as a good book to read. Toaster tongs and tiny measuring spoons aren’t a necessity, but they make daily tasks much more enjoyable.
giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
Most everything I purchased myself, but I was given two lovely items to include. The toaster tongs are made by Buckaloo View. I met Liesl (who helps her dad with the shop) years ago through our blogs, and was so happy when she sent me a pair (also, check out her blog and shop, they’re lovely).

Theo provided the cocoa nibs, and I appreciate their fair trade and organic products, and their commitment to sustainability. You can read more about their mission and story here. Also, they sell lots of tasty chocolate.

The other items are just favorites from my local co-op; Dogwood Coffee is delicious, and Salty Dog Bars are my weakness. And the book is a fun read; some classic food writing.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment with your email! You can leave me your favorite Holiday album, but you don’t have to. Good luck, and thanks so much. I’m thankful for you. (Giveaway is open to everyone!) Winner is Amanda from Cookies & Corgis!

(And, also for you! A Holiday Mix! And one more from last year!)

I was recently contacted by Maggie from Eat Boutique to do a giveaway, and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Eat Boutique is an online shop that crafts seasonal, regional, and tasting boxes… by discovering the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. Maggie sent me a box of my own, and we eagerly opened it, enamored at all the lovely treats inside.
Everything was amazing. And now, one of my lucky readers will be able to win a box of sweets, too! All you have to do is leave a comment below with your name and email. I will pick a winner at the end of the week [the winner is Amanda from Homegrown Joy!]. And, in the meantime, check out Eat Boutique’s boxes! They would make a lovely Holiday gift. [Contest only open to US residents.]

[Also! Check out Thanksgiving Pumpkin Brioche Swirl Buns over at Artisan Bread in 5!}

A few weeks ago I was sent a review copy of America’s Test Kitchen‘s latest cookbook, D.I.Y. Cookbook. I was terribly excited about this because I’m a huge fan of the Test Kitchen, and over the last few years I’ve slowly been making more ‘staples’ from scratch: bread, granola, sauces, vanilla extract, etc. This cookbook is right up my alley with over 100 such recipes for me to experiment with. There are chapters on stocking the pantry, canning, pickling, making cheese and yogurt, curing meats, brews and spirits, and snacks and sweets. It’s a wonderful little book.
We started with some fun things, candied ginger, marshmallows, granola bars, and ketchup. They were all A+. I’ve never cared for marshmallows OR ketchup, and after making them at home I fell in love with them. Everything was so much better. Next up on our list is going to be peanut butter, goat cheese, maple cream, and root beer.
And, aren’t you lucky! The Test Kitchen is giving away one copy of D.I.Y Cookbook to my readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below and I will pick the winner Sunday evening. Good luck! The winner is Caley from caley en casa!


Last night I went to the Minnesota Food Bloggers event at Kitchen in the Market, and had a wonderful time meeting some lovely food bloggers and watching the amazing Zoe Francois teach us how to correctly throw pizza dough. We, of course, got to make and eat a pizza, and were sent home at the end of the night with lovely gift bags.
Which brings me to the giveaway! One little present in our giftbag was a copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, and since I already own a copy of this book, I thought it would be nice to share the wealth. So! All you have to do is leave a comment here, and I will pick the winner Friday evening! The giveaway is open to anyone! Mary from Nimmow Baking is the giveaway winner!

{There are a few small marks in the book, but it is almost as good as new. Also, you don’t have to leave any kind of special comment, but if you’d like to leave me a summer reading recommendation, I’d love it.}