Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Giveaways Galore

The season of goodwill on the lead up to Christmas, produced a plethora of giveaways and competitions. Desperate to get my hands on the new Green & Black's cookbook and even more desperate to get on the Green & Black's tasting panel, I entered a fair number of them. Sadly, Green & Black's didn't understand this and I was disappointed.

I did have some consolation though and very nice consolation prizes they were too.

Golden Ticket - I was really excited to receive this amazing chocolate mould, which came all the way from Australia - from Celia of Fig & Lime Cordial. Celia makes all sorts of interesting and delicious looking chocolates as well as baking many tempting chocolate cakes - as you can imagine I'm a frequent visitor.  Receiving this has really made me want to crack the art of tempering and I've resolved I will do it by one means or another this year! Despite my lack of tempered chocolate, I have managed to use the mould once so far when I made raw chocolate recently.

River Cottage Diary - only two of us went in for this one and Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen, finding it difficult to let one of us down very kindly gave us both a copy. I was really pleased with this as it not only has three seasonal recipes to make each month, but also includes details of various Landshare projects.

I decided to use it as this year's luck journal. Before going to bed, to help keep my spirits up, especially on work days, I try and write 4-6 things down that have gone well during the day. I'd let this practice lapse for rather longer than I'd realised - since May last year, so it's definitely time to resurrect it. On the worst of days, it really helps to look back and remind oneself of all the good things that have happened.

I also decided I should set myself a mini challenge and try to make at least one of the monthly recipes during said month. In reality I only have a choice of two recipes as one of the three is usually a meat or fish one, but it's another good way of expanding my repertoire. In January, I made Kale rarebit and jolly delicious it was too. That one will now be making regular appearances on our table during the kale season. For the following months, I'm planning on making:

February - herb dumplings
March - nettle risotto
April - rhubarb and meringue parfait
May - cousinette
June - strawberry scones
July - pea & lettuce tart OR runner bean pickle OR Genoese sponge with raspberries OR all three ;-)
August - tortilla
September- beetroot & walnut hummus OR lemony courgettes on toast OR blackberry, apple and almond cobber OR all three ;-)
October - warm roast squash and mushroom salad OR cornbread
November - quince & apple sauce
December - dauphinoise potatoes

Slow Food Cooker - this is a 6 litre Morphy Richards model from Helen of Fuss Free Flavours. This was a bit of a double edged sword, because although we thought it would be really useful (which it is), we don't have a great deal of space in the kitchen and it is quite large. The base stores away inside the pot, but the lid is more awkward to stash. Luckily, with a bit of reshuffling, I've managed to fit it in to one of my cupboards. We used it to make a squash curry with one of our gigantic squashes. The curry tasted extra good for being slow cooked and as there was so much of it, we didn't have to cook all that week when we got home from work - wonderful.

I confess to having undergone an evolution in my thinking about giveaways, awards and the like. I started off blogging as a real purist. My aim was to get a great collection of chocolate recipes and try making new things. But as I've got to interact with other bloggers more and more, I'm loosening up all the time and now think these are a fun way of passing a bit of pleasure around.  I really like getting gifts and receiving parcels in the post, so why should I expect others to be any different?

What do you think about Giveaways and awards?

15 comments:

  1. lovely post... my feeling towards giveaways was the same as you... I was worried about coming across as a bit needy but actually the sharing thing is what this is all about surely?... i'm keeping mine to a minimum to hopefully keep it special though

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  2. You lucky girl, is my view of giveaways, this is quite a bounty of goodies. I really like your idea of the luck journal, I might pinch it.

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  3. I'm in two minds about give-aways. I don't mind personal give-aways from other bloggers, but I don't want to get involved with being sent all sorts of irrelevant products from commercial concerns, in the expectation that I will give positive review - most of the things I've been offered so far couldn't be used directly in the sort of cooking I do for my blog. Never say never though - if someone were to offer me really good chocolate I might be tempted! LOL!

    I don't really like the 'pass it on' blog awards system, either, so I've resolved to stay clear of them.

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  4. Wow - you were defo a lucky girl!!! I don't tend to go in for give aways and prizes (although I have managed to just win a chocolate book thanks to Chocolate Here) mainly becasue a million other people always go in as well and I think they may need the item more than me.
    Blog awards are tricky. After I posted my first ever one last year I've been very lucky to receive several more but I haven't added them to my blog. Some of them are duplicates which is all well and good but are they maybe 'a nice idea' that just do the rounds? I don't want to sound ungrateful!! Its always very nice to be given an award!

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  5. Take the giveaways. Those of us in London are spoilt rotten with events and stuff, so you may as well enjoy the review samples. As long as you declare when something was a freebie, and if you have been paid to include links. People not declaring freebies is just boring. I wrote a disclosure policy, and as long as I am hapy that my integrity is intact I am happy.

    The lid on the slow cooker is a pain, they though very carefully about the design to get the base to store in the pot, but not the lid.

    Glad that you are enjoying it!

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  6. Looks like a good collection of goodies there! I'll be interested to see how your strawberry scones go. Mine were a flop last year, but I could be convinced to revisit.
    I see the giveaways and awards as sharing some love around...and who doesn't like getting packages in the mail :-)
    (landshare Australia has just started up too!)

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  7. I was in two minds about give away's and freebies. But I'm coming around to it. I have a disclosure on my blog, so I know if anyone gets in touch with me they should know where I stand.I always disclose if something is free and I would never do a Positive posting if I didn't like something. I'd get in touch with the people first to let them know why.
    In fact, I'm about to get a freebie in a few days, simply because I added a comment on a blog post last December.

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  8. I think giveaways are good fun. I don't do advertising on my blog or sponsorship, but I will review something I am interested in myself and want to try. If I am not interested personally, I politely decline. I have a Cookbook Giveaway on my blog at the moment. I thought on reading about it that the cookbook was too on the meaty side for me, but I thought some of my readers might appreciate it. So I turned down a copy, but asked for one for a prize. So I think my integrity is intact.

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  9. Great read. I like giveaways now and again since it's a fun way of making new discoveries. That chocolate mould, for example, is just incredible. See? It worked. I want it NOW. My kids would adore it since they are right into Roald Dhal and Willy Wonka!

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  10. I have to say that I love giveaways .... not that I have ever won anything!!!

    I sometimes find it frustrating that (being from Ireland) I am not eligable to enter so many of them :-{

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  11. Thank you all for your comments. It's interesting to hear your views. I just want to assure everybody that I do give honest and impartial reviews of any sample products that I'm given.

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  12. Sorry I missed your giveaway post earlier. I think your ideas for the River Cottage Diary sound great and I'm glad that you are no longer a purist! For me the joy of blogging is the people that I have met and developed various levels of friendship with. As you have seen from my recent Valentine Cupcake win, I love a good giveaway ;)

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  13. So glad you liked the mould, Choc! :)

    I don't do blog awards, but I love giveaways (as you know). Mine are always little things I buy or make to share, and being able to give things to people who are kind enough to support my blog makes me very, very happy. I just wish I had enough money to send something to everyone to thank them for reading! :)

    My own personal rules are to not take freebies from anyone in exchange for a blog write-up. I have no problem with bloggers doing it, especially as all the ones I follow always disclose when they've had something given to them. My problem though is that if I get something for free, I'd feel obliged to write something nice.

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  14. Hi Choclette, long time no comment!
    I've been thinking about posting about the River Cottage Diary since Christmas but then life took a turn and well, you know the rest. Anyway I have it to and was thinking about hosting a cook-along where me + anyothers make one of the 3 recipes and I'd collate the results. I thought it would be a nice opportunity for people who like cooking but don't blog themselves. I know I've missed 2 months now but I was thinking spring is coming so March could be the time to start. Would you like to cook-along-with me?
    I keep a 'things to be grateful for' journal too which lapses from time to time (I like to think that's because thankful thinking is more a part of day to day life than because I'm finding less to be grateful for!). It's been especially helpful over the last little while.
    take care, love Nic x

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  15. Nic - sounds like a lovely idea and one that might help me stick to my own personal challenge - haven't actually managed Feb's yet!

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