2016

I wish everyone a Happy Holiday season and a wonderful 2016!!! Saying goodbye to this year will be a bittersweet moment, but I really believe it’s time to say “Good-Bye” to the old, and “HELLO” to the new. I’m so excited to see what the coming year has planned for me.

This year has been so full of memories, and so full of love and so full of support from so many of you that I couldn’t ever possibly thank you all enough.

I have so many people in my personal life, as well as in my professional life, that I look up to and admire and I’m so grateful for their unwavering support and dedication to me on my journey. I’m so thankful to have them all in my life. You know who you are and what you’ve done – thank you.

I’ve also got to meet so many wonderful people this year, and I feel so fortunate that you have allowed me into your lives. Thank you so much for your friendship.

Words can’t even come close to describe how thankful I am for those of you who are dedicated “Blaise the Baker” fans and “Chew This” readers. Your dedication, feedback and loyalty means everything to me. Thank you all!

Please make sure and continue to stay tuned to “Blaise the Baker” (here and on http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker) and “Chew This” (appearing in “The Courier-Times” the 1st and 3rd Sunday’s each month) because I have so many ideas for the future and I’m so excited to be sharing them with everyone!

I really think you’ll love what’s in the works…

With this New Year, let it bring good health, happiness and peace.

Blaise

Blaise the Baker ONE YEAR Anniversary GIVEAWAY

Blaise the Baker Blaise the Baker One Year Anniversary

THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING!!! Wow… What can I say!? It’s been ONE YEAR since I started my blog! Time FLIES let me tell you – whew! I have thought and thought about what to write in this post – this ONE YEAR Anniversary post…and honestly – the only thing I can really say is THANK YOU. Thank you so much for your love and support. Thank you for your dedication, for your emails, feedback, encouragement and thank you for your faith in me. A year ago I would have never dreamed about the opportunities that have presented themselves to me – or about all of the wonderful people I have met – or the friendships that I hold so close to my heart. I would have never dreamed about all that has happened – and I couldn’t be anymore thankful or appreciative.

I SO enjoy doing what I do – writing and creating recipes, sharing them, sharing pictures and discussions and hearing (and SEEING) your pictures and feedback. Nothing makes me happier than a satisfied person – writing to me – sharing with me – how much they love my CHEW THIS column, or how much they love my blog… That really means absolutely everything to me…

To show my appreciation, I’m offering a GIVEAWAY!!!

AND – the winner will be announced TODAY!!!

A “Williams-Sonoma” $20 gift card, and two cookbooks.

Blaise the Baker One Year Anniversary Giveaway

COOKBOOK ONE: “Glorious Grits”: The South’s favorite grain is gaining popularity throughout the country as today’s top chefs and home cooks reinvent this simple, satisfying grain into Glorious Grits.

Inspired by an Alabama family whose gristmill supplies organic grains to top chefs across the country, Glorious Grits will appeal to both beginning and expert cooks wanting to tease the palate as well as add healthy whole grains to their diets.

Enjoy a taste of the South with over 100 fresh, ­flavorful recipes for stone-ground grits, cornmeal, and polenta. From breakfast to lunch to dinnertime and dessert, Glorious Grits offers spectacular possibilities for putting whole-grain goodness on the table.

Susan McEwen McIntosh knows her grits! Born and raised in the South, Susan worked for several years with the food staff of Southern Living® magazine. She’s watched as her brother produced grits, cornmeal, and polenta from organic corn in his busy gristmill. After talking with notable chefs from coast to coast, Susan knows the secrets of transforming old-fashioned grits into new and sophisticated dishes. Now this registered dietitian and author of the first Cooking Light® Cookbook combines her knowledge of nutrition with a passion for cooking to present creative grits, cornmeal, and polenta recipes for Southern food enthusiasts across the country.

COOKBOOK TWO: “Mini Donuts”: Say hello to a brand-new way to brighten your morning—or any time of day! Jam-packed with gooey jellies, oozing with rich custards and creams, and covered with mouthwatering toppings, these mini donuts are bursting with big flavor. From recipes for the traditional donuts everyone craves like Chocolate Cake and Powered Sugar to fun, new twists like Chocolate-Bacon-Maple, the donuts in this cookbook will leave you begging for more than just a dozen. Best of all, almost all the recipes can be made in a mini donut maker appliance, a stovetop, or an oven, so all you’ll need to create these bite-sized snacks is a hankering for something sweet.

Inside this cookbook, you’ll find helpful step-by-step instructions and 100 yummy donut recipes, including:

Maple-glazed
White chocolate–red velvet
Pineapple upside-down cake
Butterscotch-banana
Chai tea
S’mores

With Mini Donuts, you’ll never again have to wait in line for your favorite bakery treat!

BOTH of these cookbooks are personal favorites of mine – and I’m so excited to be sharing them with one lucky winner! AND “Williams-Sonoma” – how AMAZING is that place!? 😉

SO – how do you enter to win!?

CLICK HERE…

GOOD LUCK!!!

And again – THANK YOU for everything…

ONWARD we go – the best is yet to come!

Blaise =) xo

UPDATE: (02/14/2015) The giveaway is now closed. THANK YOU to everyone that participated! A winner will be announced shortly! Watch your emails…

-Blaise

Blog Tour

Today’s edition of “Cookbook Corner” has been replaced with a special “Blog Tour” posting. Enjoy!

“I don’t believe you can ever really cook unless you love eating.”
― Nigella Lawson

(Favorite Quote)

My good friend Jenny Hartin included me in her “Blog Tour” last Sunday (see link here – http://madrantingsofamiddleclassmom.blogspot.com/2014/08/magical-mystical-blog-tour-and-down.html) and I am returning the favor, and keeping the blog ball rolling by posting my own “Blog Tour”! Here we GO…

First up… A little bit about myself…

I first started cooking (and baking) in the kitchens of my mom and grandma when I was only seven years old. I quickly became interested in the techniques and stories behind each recipe, and still remember trying to connect the recipes with family memories and family history. I always asked my mom and grandma who the recipe came from that they were using (if not their own) and would always try and find out “more” about each recipe and how and why whoever wrote it, wrote it the way that they did.

Why would someone use brown sugar instead of white sugar? Why would someone use cornstarch while others would use tapioca? Questions like this always floated around my mind – and still do. I am (I admit) a compulsive recipe researcher as well as a compulsive cookbook reader (I have thousands).

My love of food has followed me all my life. Through high school, when my Home Economics teacher asked me to make my “Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake” for not only the Teacher’s Holiday Luncheon, but requested a couple to serve at her own family Holiday. Even in college, I would make and deliver goodies to my professors that happened to be on campus the same days that I were.

Several years later, I discovered a passion for food writing and started writing privately about my experiences with food. Soon after, I started writing and developing recipes and taking pictures to go along with each finished dish. It was something that I not only loved, but something that quickly became a form of relaxation and happiness.

I would develop and test recipes with my mom, Darla, and my grandma, Barbra, and there were a lot of good family memories (and recipes) discovered throughout the process. I credit both of them for my extensive love of cooking, baking, eating and wanting to feed the people that I love.

I started publicly sharing some of my food recipes and writings on social media in June 2013 and the encouragement and support was overwhelming. Soon after, I thought about starting an actual food blog for people to read and become a place for me to really start to share my passion with other people.

“Blaise the Baker” officially opened on Valentine’s Day 2014 with only a handful of subscribers. Skip ahead just five months, and “Blaise the Baker” has thousands of subscribers and offers not only recipes, but cookbook reviews, food tips, and a “Ask Blaise the Baker” feature where people write in their food questions to get an answer directly from me within minutes! I have been overwhelmed and thankful for the support to say the very least. It means the World to me to know that my love and passion for food is being shared with those who have and share the same interests.

I am in the finishing stages of typing and formatting my cookbook and putting together book proposals to send to interested publishers and I can’t wait to see my family memories and recipes in print!

I still can’t believe the roller coaster ride that I’ve been on in the past two years. Moving forward, I hope to continue and expand my blog in many ways. I’m planning on interviewing professional chefs (and bakers), starting an “international food and flavor” feature, a “Pop Up Shop” bakery, as well as a YouTube channel where I share recipes and put together “how-to” segments for people to watch.

Ultimately I really hope to continue this journey doing what I love – food writing, recipe developing and sharing my love for food with the people who share the same passion.

Email me your food related questions here – blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My Featured Favorite Bloggers…

“Mad Rantings of Andrew’s Mom” is written and powered by my friend Jenny Hartin. I’ve gotten to know her through Facebook, and I’m so lucky to have her in my life. She’s really a “Superwoman”! Her blog is described as “the joys and struggles of autism with recipes, cooking and baking thrown in for good measure.” Check it out here…
http://madrantingsofamiddleclassmom.blogspot.com/

She’s also the Leader, Organizer and Developer of “The Cookbook Junkies” on Facebook – a place where cookbook lovers (as well as food and recipe lovers) get together and talk about cookbooks, recipes and form bonds over food. Check the group out here…
https://www.facebook.com/groups/220973497999519/

“An American Girl” is the creation of my dear friend Shelby Irwin! She has blogged on and off for several years now, and just recently gave her blog a “facelift” and it has never been better! She writes about food, fashion, tips and tricks of all kinds, and is currently writing about her experience moving to Montana! I highly recommend following this blog for great stories, beautiful pictures, recipes and advice! Check it out here…
http://shelbyirwin11.blogspot.com/

“Bakerella” is the genius creation of Angie Dudley. Ever heard of “Cake Pops”? Yep – she is the inventor (or at least I would like to think so). I’ve followed her blog from the very beginning and have been a fan since day one. Her blog has amazing photographs and recipes for all things sweet! Check it out here…
http://www.bakerella.com/

“Baking by Design” by Chris Falman was one of the very first “dessert” blogs that I found and started following. I have been a loyal follower since the first time I clicked on his blog, and have followed every since – even on Twitter and Instagram. We share so many things in common (love for Nigella Lawson and Ina Garten to just name one) and I really find him fascinating. He has followed his dreams and I admire that. Check him out here…
http://bakerbydesign.com/

Have a blog? Let’s continue the “Blog Tour” and use this post as your starting point!

Blaise