Posts Tagged ‘free’


Enter to win two tickets to The Big Chill!

It’s the coolest event in the hot Texas summer: the Big Chill! Join the Austin Food Blogger Alliance for a night to remember.

Dress up and cool down with chilly bites from some of Austin’s top restaurants in the beautiful Bullock Texas State History Museum. Chefs from top Austin restaurants—including The Carillon, No Va, St. Philip, Dolce Neve, Celtic Seafare, Nada Moo, Soup Peddler, Pleasant Storage Room, Swift’s Attic, Thai Fresh, Trace at the W, and Noble Sandwich Co.—will be creating special menu items for the event, with drink stations sponsored by Good Pop and Chameleon Coffee.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Meals on Wheels and More, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Meals on Wheels and More has served the Austin area for 42 years, nourishing and enriching the lives of people in need through meal delivery and other programs that promote independent living.

Event information:

Thursday, June 26 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Bullock Texas State History Museum
800 N. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701

Total prize value: $130
Must be over 21 to attend the event.

Enter below to win now through June 15th, and don’t forget to follow along on Twitter and Instagram: #AFBABigChill



a Rafflecopter giveaway



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You’re thinking What the heck does Roller Derby have to do with food? Right?  Me.  That’s what!


I’ve joined the Round Rock Roller Derby League called the Rockin’ City Rollergirls and aspire to be hell on eight wheels.  You know, when I’m not playing with the kids, donating blood, or baking cookies in my undies.  But seriously, derby is a motivation to get my tired aging ass back in reasonable shape.   I want to be able to walk up stairs without huffing and puffing by the fourth stair.  I used to swim every day in college, my muscles have been left to waste away to mush.

Mom, don’t worry, I have safety gear and a mouth guard.  Hmm, that also reminds me… You know why derby is awesome?  There’s no one to tell me “no, you can’t”, like those volleyball teams did all those years ago.  If you want to skate, you skate.  If you quit, that’s you’re own fault!

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for: winning two tickets to the Homecoming Brawl!  This is happening in Round Rock at Austin Sports Arena on Sept 22 at 11:30am.  Kids under 12 are free at the door!  Bonus, right?!?  All you have to do is leave a comment below, and if you’re into derby, tell me your favorite team and/or skater.  Be sure to use your real email address when leaving a comment so I can find you if you win!

Winner takes 2 free tickets, contest closes Sept 15th!



Related: Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan’s Paleo Cookbook!

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While mailing berries would be difficult, instead I have coupons for you to win.  I have three $5 coupons for three lucky readers!  To enter, you must live in the continental USA (otherwise you could not use your prize!).  Contest closes June 5, 2013 at 11:59pm.

What to make with those berries?  Here’s an idea for you!

Raspberry Quinoa Bars

 vegan raspberry bars

1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 cup shredded coconut (toasted)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups quinoa flakes
3 Tbsp cane sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 c coconut oil

3 cup Driscoll’s raspberries
1-2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Toast the shredded coconut as the oven warms up, just until lightly golden, about 5-10 minutes. Wash the berries and pat dry with paper towel. Mash the raspberries and set them in a fine mesh strainer to let any excess liquid drip out, don’t force the juices just let gravity work.  Line a square (preferably metal) 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, this will make it super easy to get the bars out later.

Combine the dry ingredients of the crumb mixture with a whisk. Add about 1/2 cup of the coconut oil and work it into the flours and spices. Using your hands, rub and mash the mixture until it resembles a coarse damp sand. Add a tablespoon of the coconut oil at a time until you like the texture of the crumb.

Pat about 2/3rds of the crumb into the pan. You want it to stick together but hold yourself back from compressing the bottom layer too much.

Take the raspberries to a bowl, keep the juices collected in a clean jar in your fridge until you can make something with it. Don’t waste anything! Stir in the other filling ingredients. Spread the berry filling evenly over the bottom crust in the pan.

(option: add a bit more cinnamon to the remaining crumb mixture and some honey) Lightly sprinkle the remaining crumb on top of the filling. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes (it will depend on the type of pan and your oven).

Let it cool completely before removing it from the pan, you can put the whole pan in the fridge to cool the pan before picking up the parchment ends to remove the bars. Cut into squares or bars and keep refrigerated up to 3 days (if they last that long!). Best served the day you make them.

Chef’s Notes: With the quantities of quinoa and coconut listed in this version, it seemed like there wasn’t enough of the crumb to go around. Next time, I will use 2 cups of quinoa flakes and 2/3 cup shredded coconut. The toasted bits of coconut give hints of a nutty flavor and crunch that is missing due to the absent oats.


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Giveaway: Jade Monk Tea

jade monk tea giveaway 2013

I met the folks of Jade Monk Tea at TECHmunch this year.  They offered samples for a giveaway and I was excited to share this with you, lovely readers!

I tried the Lime Blossom cold tea.  It’s as light as a feathery lime petal as the name suggests.  Matcha is whole-leaf tea which allows you to enjoy the full potential of your beverage.  From Jade Monk’s website:

Regulating inflammation, in particular, has become a hot topic. Jade Monk® helps control the activation of proteins associated with the body’s inflammatory response-COX-2 and inflammatory cytokines-which appears to help thwart arteriosclerosis and other diseases.

Pretty nifty!

I have a variety pack to give away to one lucky reader.  How do you win your box of matchawesomeness?


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copyright 2013 heather santos

So excited to share with my dear readers about the community cookbook that the local food bloggers put together!  Right about now the press machines are getting primed to crank out hundreds of copies of our beautiful collaboration.

Addie Broyles is the mastermind behind this project.  There is something about a real book, a tangible chronicle that will become a foodie time capsule, which is lacking from the on-line food love affair we all share.  Addie had a vision and asked the other Austin food bloggers (dare I say writers?) to join her in this huge undertaking.  I loved the idea and jumped in, a bit over zealously too, Addie had to remind me she was only asking for two recipes in the first round.  I was madly entering anything I’d ever scribbled down in my kitchen notebook hoping one shred of it would end up in the book.

I still don’t know for sure what made the cut, but at least one recipe did.  Wouldn’t you like to find out what it was?  Don’t you want to see what a bunch of volunteers can pull together on short notice?  Well, I’ll give you that chance.  I’m giving away one copy of the book to one lucky reader.  The best part is that I’m willing to mail this cookbook anywhere! Hurry, contest closes April 30th!


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I’ll come right out and say that Gevalia wanted to send me coffee to test and write about their products.  Sure!  Who doesn’t like free stuff?  I’m normally a tea drinker at work and rarely prepare coffee at home.  I usually leave coffee to the baristas, it tastes better when someone else makes it.  However, this Gevalia Stockholm Roast Kaffe was so smooth, almost sweet, that I’ve renewed my hopes of finding a coffee palatable for home brewing.  I might be way off the path here, but this is my opinion after all.

I know there are local coffee vendors, hint hint, but Gevalia was the first to find me in the blogosphere.  Kudos for being first!

I’m always elated when a parcel arrives.  I also love to share the giddiness, therefore I will give one of my readers the joy of a box of coffee to enjoy while reading my blog.  Join the throngs of contestants by leaving a comment below with your favorite time of day to sip a cup o’ jo.

This coffee was also good iced.  Since Texas is too darn hot 98% of the time, this is the mode of choice for the barista prepared caffeine beverages I like.  Make a frosty with it and you are my new BFF!  Again, very little sugar was required.

Don’t know what else you can do with coffee?  Ever baked with it?  I got the idea from the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten), you know, that episode where she made chocolate cupcakes with a ganache and put coffee in the second batch (or maybe the first… I don’t recall the order of the batches).  Her friend took the “A” batch and the “B” batch to a pack of drooling women confined to a conference room without natural light (this can bring out the PMS in any woman forced to conference chocolateless).  Anyways, guess which cupcakes tasted better?  The ones with the coffee, of course.  I must say, it does highlight the flavour of chocolate, especially dark chocolate.  If you have a chocolate cake recipe you like that calls for water or milk, try using a strong brew of coffee as the liquid (keep some portion of the milk if called for, the acidity might be a key factor).  Try Paula Deen’s Texas Sheet cake using this swap!

If only they could send that Swedish guy (who is really an actor from Cali, but hey) with the coffee….


* Contest Rules *

Open to US and Canadian residents

Please include your email address in the comment submission form or I can’t find you if you win!  To clarify: you don’t have to put your email in the comment field, include it in the form field *above* the comment and *below* your name.  Sorry for any confusion 🙂

Leave a comment once per day until contest closes on Oct 19, 2012.

Bonus entry if you Tweet this post, leave 1 extra comment for a Tweet.

Winner: 35th comment!

Thanks everyone who entered!

Update: The winner doesn’t want the coffee.  I’m drawing again:

Congratulations #9!   I’m sure you really want the coffee, not links, comments, and such like the last person….

OK, people… use real email addresses when entering contests.  Second person either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care.  Let’s try this one more time I will pick #28 my favorite number because random.org  isn’t working right now.  So the winner (hopefully) is Jennifer!  I will be contacting you shortly!


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The jungle that is my garden, has gone from mildly unruly to devouring every inch inside the green house.  After a solid week of rain followed by hot clear days, there is quite a difference.

Green House busting at the seams

The melons won’t stay inside either.  That vine on the outside found itself too cramped with the others (sorry guys, I over seeded!)  Being the worry wort that I am, plus last summer’s drought and subsequent total crop failure, I planted three seeds per hill and refused to thin them out.  Same story for the lot at the south end of the yard.

South Patch doing pretty good exposed to the elements

As I poked around in the morning, I found another melon nearly full size.  That brings the total to ten actual melons!  There are more babies in the green house and south patch is starting to convert blooms to fruit.  South patch was planted about three weeks after the green house seeds (I was worried the first batch wouldn’t produce anything).

I will be overrun with orange cantaloupes by the end of summer.  Agua fresca anyone?  Suppose they will be handy when summer just.won’t.end. we will be rolling in melons.  In the meantime, I’ll be babysitting the younglings and checking the bigger melons regularly.

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Foodies of Austin,

I have a ticket to giveaway to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance fundraiser on July 25th!  One lucky winner will spend an evening tasting cupcakes while enjoying a couple of drinks, courtesy of Cardamom Finnish Cottage Bakery.  While you’re there, you can bid on gifts at the silent auction.  You will find a box of cookies from yours truly among other goodies!

This is the Alliance’s BIG fundraiser and I want one of my readers to be there.

Details:  Wednesday, July 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Tejas Room of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, on the campus of UT Austin.

Fundraiser: Proceeds will go to Bake A Wish Foundation, who provides birthday cakes to those in need of a smile on their special day.  Please check out their website!


Giveaway Rules:

  • You must be 21+ years of age to enter
  • Winner will be chosen from comments to this post using Random.org
  • Winner needs to respond within 24 hours of contest close to receive ticket
  • Enter up to one time per day until contest closes

*    *    *   Contest Ends July 19, 2012   *   *   *

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The answer is…. almost.

New websites and companies love to market to people like me.  I will take almost anything offered for free these days, then again in the state of the economy, wouldn’t you?

I received an email from Papa John’s Pizza telling me I have won a free pizza.  Almost free actually.  Tax, delivery and optional tip were not included.  Given that I had enough points as a repeat customer for a second free pizza, this wasn’t that bad of a deal.  4 bucks for dinner and probably lunch tomorrow too?  Heck yeah!  Mind you, we avoid the greasy pepperoni and opt for grilled chicken instead.  This won’t get around the fat in the cheese and whatever they put into the crust to make it so darn tasty, but it’s (almost) free!

Another nearly free item I picked up was a Krups coffee/spice grinder as a gift for my mother-in-law.  I was going to get this for her last year and missed the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals that I was hoping to catch.  It completely slipped under and around the radar (this can happen when there is a rampant toddler in the house).  Well, this little present for grandma is now on its way to her house thanks to OpenSky, and it was FREE!  OpenSky gives you credit just for signing up and it was enough to actually buy an item on Martha Stewart’s page outright, plus a few dollars to pay for half the shipping.  So again, for 4 bucks I found something I wanted.

Click here to visit OpenSky and shop for your gifts!

I’m hip to this idea too.  I’ve just opened a home business baking Finnish breads and cookies and to help my customer list grow I’m offering a buy 1 get 1 deal until the end of 2011.  So for all you local readers in Austin and Round Rock, check out my bakery page!

 I was not asked to review or comment on the above mentioned companies or products.  These are my opinions! 

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If you are a local Austin reader, this is the contest for you!

Be the 100th fan on Facebook

& win a free loaf of Finnish Pulla Bread!

* Must live in the Round Rock / Austin area to win this giveaway*

Go to http://www.facebook.com/CardamomFinnishCottageBakery and click Like

Good Luck!

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