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Friday, April 26, 2013

My 2 Year Blogging Anniversary & Giveaway!

I know I just started the Week in Review last week, but tomorrow marks my 2 year blogging anniversary here at Carrie's Experimental Kitchen so I had to do a little something different this week, but first I'll give you a quick snapshot of what went on here before we start the celebration: 

  • Last Friday started with me getting a call from the EMS that my 94 year old grandmother was being rushed to the hospital.  She had a cold and was having difficulty breathing and was dizzy. She stayed at the hospital for several days, but is now back home feeling much better. 
  • Hubby came home, was exhausted and we wound up spending 4 hours in the ER Saturday afternoon for an allergic reaction to an insect bite (or so they think). Both of his arms were so swollen he looked like Popeye! 
  • Rachael left for CA for a week on a school trip...I guess this is the start of empty nest syndrome. Though she's only been gone for 4 days I miss her smiling face each day. 
  • Went out to dinner with a few friends to celebrate another friend's 40th birthday. We all chipped in to get her a gift certificate to make her own wine at a local shop. She LOVED it and is already contemplating what to name her own varietal! 
  • I saw Fleetwood Mac, one of my all time favorite bands and had a blast! Here is a video of them doing Tusk 
  • Mom arrived yesterday from FL for a week so I'm having about 25 family members here tonight to stop by for a get together. We don't get to see each other often and I love hanging out with my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; they're so much fun. AND my youngest cousin in Michigan, Jennifer Anderson is graduating tonight and receiving her Doctorate in Reading Education...CONGRATULATIONS JENNY We're all so proud of you! <3 

I can't believe I've been doing this blog for 2 years already, time certainly does fly by when you're having fun! It was a busy year filled with a lot of fun and exciting things both here on the blog, as well as on the home front. THANK YOU for tuning into CEK each day (all 183 countries of you!). Your daily comments and support are truly appreciated more than you'll ever know. I look forward to inviting you into my kitchen for another year of my daily kitchen experiments! 

I mentioned earlier this week that I have created over 650 new recipes since I first started this blog, so I thought I'd share the All-Time Top 10 Most Viewed Recipes in order of least to most viewed: 

Top 10 All-Time Most Viewed Recipes

#10. Originally posted January 2012, these Corn and Cheddar Mashed Potato Fritters were a huge hit.  And it's no wonder, no matter how much you make, there always seems to be leftover mashed potatoes and corn! 

#9.  Here is another recipe I posted back in January 2012 for Basil, Leek & Asiago Risotto. Absolutely creamy and delicious, but as you can see my photography skills weren't that stellar on this one. 

#8. Now this recipe for Chicken in a Lemon Butter Sauce was recently created this past February and it's gained quick popularity. I originally made this for my Aunt Renee to try after she told me the restaurant where she used to order it from in MI no longer was making it. Her and my Uncle Rich LOVE this dish! In fact, she told me she makes it several times a month and is her new favorite go-to recipe!  :) In fact, I'm making this tonight for the rest of my family to try as well. 

#7. In April 2012, I created this Black Bean and Corn Salad and it was FANTASTIC! The month before, I also got that pitcher in the background to hold some Red Apple it!

#6. September 2012 I started using my new kitchen in full-force and created this Chicken Balsamico. Still one of our favorites and I have made it twice already (which says a lot since I generally don't make repeat dinners!) 

#5. This oldie from December 2011 for Homemade Kahlua was very popular, especially around the holidays. What's nice about this recipe is that it can be made in less than an hour and it makes a great hostess gift too! 

#4. These Balsamic Roasted Zucchini & Mushrooms were first posted back in May 2012 and I'm not surprised they are a reader favorite. Using fresh garden vegetables and only 5 ingredients, they are remarkable. 

#3. These Twice Baked Lime Sweet Potatoes were one of my favorites as well when I created them after a trip to FL in March 2012. There really isn't much to them, but the lime mixed with the potatoes really adds a refreshing flavor. 

#2. Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes with Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce was originally created at the end of last summer, using fresh garden tomato crops. The green tomatoes come from tomatoes that haven't fully ripened yet into that vibrant red color and were picked from the vine. I'm not sure if you can purchase them this way; however, if you check with your local farmers market, they may be able to provide you with them if there is a specific request. 

And the #1 Most Viewed Recipe was...

Copycat "Panera" Chicken and Wild Rice Soup which was created back in November 2011. I don't think this is a shocker. Those that follow CEK regularly know I do share this recipe frequently throughout the year as this is the ONLY recipe that I've made numerous times. It's Gab's favorite and our go-to soup on those cold, wintery nights. 

Were there any surprises? Did you have a favorite recipe that wasn't listed? 
Well now's your chance to let everyone know! 

And now for the Giveaway...
To celebrate my 2 year anniversary and thank you for reading, I will be giving away copies of my cookbook to 10 lucky readers! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter entry form below. Please leave a mandatory comment stating which recipe you can't wait to try or list one that you have tried and loved most on my blog. That's it! You can also view a sample of what's inside under the Cookbook Tab at the top of this page. In order to be fair to the many loyal readers within and outside of the U.S., I will be giving away the following as: 
  • Five signed copies of my soft cover cookbook, Carrie's Experimental Kitchen to U.S residents
  • Five eBook copies of my cookbook Carrie's Experimental Kitchen to non U.S residents 

*Contest valid 4/26/13-5/2/13. Winners randomly selected by and will be notified on 5/3/13 and will have 48 hours to respond with their contact information or another winner will be selected. Contest is open to all residents; however, prize awarded is based on your city of origin. 


  1. Congrats on your 2-year anniversary, Carrie! Much continued success to you!

    1. I should read directions before commenting, LOL!
      I can't wait to try your Homemade Kahlua recipe -- my aunt loves Kahlua, so this would be a perfect gift for her!

  2. I am fairly new to your blog but I love your recipes. I can not wait to try the mashed potato and corn fritters! These are right up my alley!

  3. I want to try Hazelnut Chocolate Raspberry Zucchini Bread - US

  4. I would love to win one of these books :-) Thanks!!

  5. Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes caught my eye! - USA

  6. Those Twice Baked Lime Sweet Potatoes are calling to me!!! Can't wait to try. (USA)

  7. Happy 2 year anniversary! I can't wait to try the Homemade Kahlua. -- USA

  8. We have had the Balsamic Zucchini and Mushrooms many, many times; adding other veggies and/or whatever we have on hand. We love the combination of flavors!

  9. I'm not sure why google lists me as unknown above! It's me, Barb Pawlik from FB Girlfriends Weight Loss Support Group. You know I love and share many of your recipes!

  10. I can't wait to try those Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes! I never thought to fry up the cherry tomatoes while green. USA

  11. congratulations and I can't wait to try Grilled Honey-and-Mint-Glazed Shrimp is sounds delicious.

  12. I tried the chicken & wild rice copycat recipe awhile back & it's now in my recipe rotation! Hope you're feeling better soon.

  13. Can't wait to try the Chicken in Lemon Butter sauce!

  14. Since I am happily enjoying the iPad version of your cookbook already, I'd just like to say


  15. I love the idea of some Mediterranean things to add to my cooking, this for the giveaway!

  16. I love the idea of some Mediterranean things to add to my cooking, this for the giveaway!

  17. I can't wait to try: Copycat "Panera" Chicken and Wild Rice Soup! Yummay! :D

  18. Chicken Balsamico is a big hit with my family!!

  19. I can't wait to try the homemade Kahlua.

  20. I love your chicken and wild rice soup, yum!-US

  21. I would love to try the new cauliflower recipe you posted.

  22. I'd actually really love to try the Chicken in a Lemon Butter Sauce it looks amazing, just what I'd like.

    & happy blog anniversary!


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