A Few of My Favorite Things
Thank you for supporting Dinner: A Love Story. As a token of my appreciation, I’d like to offer you the chance to win one of these gifts. They aren’t just items — each one was chosen for this promotion because it fits right in with our philosophy of parenting and cooking. To be eligible to win, follow two simple steps.
1) Take a look at this list of prizes and take note of your top two favorites.
2) Go to this survey to answer one simple question about the book. (You are of course always free to leave comments on this page, but please know that this does not officially enter you in the contest.)
We’ll pick our top 15 favorite responses and announce the winners the week of
July 9 JULY 16! See bottom of this page for all the legalese. —Jenny
Travel Wizard Buddha Board, from Lavish and Lime (retail value $25)
Ideal for the long road trip, the playroom, the bedroom, just about anywhere, these painting boards offer screen-free play that is as pure and simple as it gets. Kids (and, let’s be honest their parents, too) can paint their pictures using only a brush dipped in water but the creations disappear a few minutes later, once the canvas dries, so you have to really be in the moment as you create. As its name indicates, there’s something very Zen about the whole process. Great for kids ages 3 and up.
Week of Free Dinners from Annie’s Homegrown (retail value, $35)
During Abby’s hyper-picky eating phase, I literally do not know what I would’ve done without Annie’s Mac ‘n Cheese, which was the only thing I could put in front of her that I knew she’d eat without protest. (Even today, when I’m feeling not-so-grumpy in the morning — rare — I make a batch for her thermos for a hot school lunch). But Annie’s Organic offers way more than this — and they’d like to prove it to a lucky DALS reader by offering not only the pasta, but a week’s supply of pizza coupons, dressings and other assorted goodies that will help grease the wheels of family dinner.
Organic Cotton Blankets from In2Green (retail value $150)
I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve owned and purchased as gifts for people throughout the years. They are made from recycled cotton and every time I check in with their site, they are offering are new and exciting designs. They were nice enough to offer a milk and spice blanket from their Eco-Links collection (pictured at right). As soon as I finish this mammoth post, I am going to one-click it myself. It’s gorgeous!
A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Complete Set, from Harper Collins (retail value $165)
How much do I love these books about three down-and-out orphans named Violet, Sunny, and Klaus? And how sad am I that both of my kids have read all thirteen volumes and might not have that kind of reaction to a series for a long time? As Abby once wrote about Lemony Snicket, “The way he tells the story, once you read the first word you are praying it won’t ever end. This is not like a Rainbow Fairy book. This has meaning. It’s like if you take a puzzle and you think there’s only way one way to put it together. But Lemony Snicket finds a way to put the pieces together in a way you’d get a whole different picture.” Plus, the hardcover volumes, when stacked next to each other like this, look beautiful in a bookshelf.
Crazy Cool Reusable Lunchbox, from PlanetBox (retail value $40)
When I wrote about these lunchboxes for DALS (and offered one as a gift) a few months ago, it was our most popular giveaway to date. You know how fraught with peril the lunch packing situation is in our house, and I have to say, these do manage to take a little of the drudgery — or at least the thinkwork out — of the whole operation. Plus, they are reusable, so you don’t get feel like you are tripling the size of the local landfill every time you send the kids off to school with a pile of zip-top baggies.
Insider’s Tour of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (New York Visitors/Residents Only)
If our family goes too long without visiting Stone Barns we go through withdrawal. Located in bucolic Pocantico Hills (a 45-minute train ride from Grand Central Station, NYC) and home to Blue Hill, one of the most influential farm-to-table restaurants in the world, the place is a food lover’s (and just general children’s) paradise — especially in the summer when the farm animals are out and the cafe is serving some of the freshest, most flavorful farm fare that money can buy. Stone Barns is contributing a gift certificate for four people to participate in our Insider’s Tour, an in-depth, staff-led farm tour that is offered year-round on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Gift Certificate to Trader Joe’s (retail value $25)
Longtime readers do not need to hear any explanation of why this is on my favorites list. In addition to being the source of our Main Weekly Shop (where we pick up any combination of these or these), Trader Joe’s will always be special because the whole family shops together on Sundays and regards our specific duties (Abby unloads, Phoebe & Andy pack, I supervise) with the utmost reverence. Dare I call it our church?
A Weekly Supply of Peak Season Summer Produce, from My Farm Share (New York Visitors/Residents Only)
Just think, a huge box of fresh eggs, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, eggplant, greens, apricots, plums, plump juicy peaches, blackberries, delivered right to your door. Farm Share is a CSA that works with local family farms to bring freshly harvested organic crops to your dinner table. They are currently serving Manhattan, all of Greenwich and Stamford, CT, Ardsley, Armonk, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Tuckahoe, West Harrison, White Plains, Yonkers, Mt. Kisco, Bedford and Chappaqua. This offer is good for one weekly supply any week between now and September 1.
Cooking Class from Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) (appoximate value $100-$150, New York Visitors/Residents Only)
Would you like to brush up on your egg poaching skills? Or learn the proper way to use a paring knife? Or even learn how to edit a recipe or write about food? (Call me before you sign up for that one.) When I was just finding my way in the kitchen, Andy gave me a cooking class for a birthday present and to this day, the things I learned in that class have stayed with me. (As you might even know by now, there’s even a section in the book devoted to the techniques I learned there.) The Institute for Culinary Education in Manhattan is offering a gift certificate for one class — and they literally offer everything so the hardest part will be deciding which one — so check out their online catalog and kickstart a hobby that will pay back in delicious dividends for years to come.
Cast Iron Chefs Skillet, from Lodge (10-inch, retail value $15)
This pan does not ever leave my stovetop. (And that’s not because it’s just too damn heavy to put away.) It’s naturally nonstick and I use it for just about everything — omelets, frittatas, pan-fried chicken thighs, scalloped potatoes, pancakes, French toast. It’s the very definition of family. PS: Here’s a riddle for you: What do parenting and a cast iron pan have in common? (Click for the answer.)
ExerSaucer Jump & Learn from Evenflo, Safari model (retail value $90)
It has been a looong time since I’ve seen one of these, but when Evenflo approached me about a giveaway, I instantly knew the answer was yes. Anyone who doesn’t understand the connection between having a go-to gizmo for containing a toddler and making dinner….either doesn’t have kids or has never made dinner.
15-piece Gift Set from Lake Champlain Chocolate (retail value $30)
We were lucky enough to use our neighbor’s ski house in Vermont last year during February break — and I say lucky because that meant we would be in the land of Lake Champlain chocolates. Those same neighbors once brought us home a box of these all-natural artisanal chocolates for us as a gift and I had been thinking about them ever since. You know when someone does something really nice for you — like they drive your kid to baseball every other Thursday all spring because you are always stuck at work? — and you think “Maybe I should get them something to show how much I appreciate their help?” Well, the $30 gift box of these truffles and creams and caramels is your answer. I will be buying about 800 boxes of them for the 800 people who help me on a daily basis.
OK, so you know which gifts you’d like to try to win? Click here to enter!
Giveaway Rules: Void where prohibited. Adults only, in the USA, please. No purchase necessary. All prizes will be awarded. We’ll contact the winner by email, but you have to respond within two days or we’ll go to the next winner. You may only enter once. Thank you!