Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PW's Favorite Things - Giveaway

i am taking a page from oprah and talking about my favorite things. that's right, it's my FAAAAAAVORTIIIIIIE THIIIIIIIIINGS POST! (yelled in the way only oprah can:)

**i did not get any of these things for free and was not compensated in any way for this post. these things are just truly things i love**

harry and david royal riviera pears
nothing quite says christmas is almost here to me like harry and david pears. my poppop used to send these to me every year and it truly felt like christmas was around the corner when they arrived at my doorstep. this year i couldn't bear not having them so i ordered them for myself. not only do these juicy delights make me think of him, but they truly taste like christmas. cue the spiked eggnog, irish cream, and o holy night.

pajama pants
preferably flannel please! the very first thing i do almost every day after i hang my car keys on the hook by the door is high tail it up to the bedroom and put on some pj's and slip my feet into my fuzzy slippers. i also may or may not have a big fluffy, soft robe i adore too. you can read all about that here.

no, wegmans isn't paying me to say this. i promise! it's just that, well, i spend A LOT of time at wegmans hunt valley. i am there almost every single morning to shop for either myself or the client i am cooking for that day. why do i love wegmans so much? they have almost every item imaginable. before wegmans came to town i sometimes has to go to 2 or 3 stores to find everything i needed for recipes. now, it's all under one heavenly roof. everyone there is friendly, it's clean and bright, the produce is off the hook (with a great selection of organic produce too), everything is fresh, and they have everything under the sun. they have a great "food to go" section, salad bar, asian food bar, coffee bar, and i love their sushi. it's freshly hand rolled every morning in the store - actually right in front of you! plus, they treat their regular customers really well. lots of coupons, smiles, and i just got a goodie box from them for the holidays full of pasta, sauce, chocolate cake, and a $50 wegmans gift card.

dish towels
ok, this one may be weird but i love a drawer full of clean dish towels. i seem to go through a lot of them because i try to be a conservationist and severely limit my paper towel usage. i used to have a red theme going with my dish towels but now my drawer includes plain white, some green and brown, and some white and blue ones. whatever color, i want a drawer full!

V8 pomegranate green tea
E is a big fan of V8 v-fusion. a full serving of fruit and a full serving of veggies in one glass? yes please! he also loves green tea. so, naturally, when i saw V8 green tea i grabbed it for him to try. little did i know i would love it too. i drink a glass of this in the am with my trader joe's very green supplements.

digital meat thermometer
i cannot tell you how many times i would have burned something in the oven without this fantastic device. when cooking for clients, i tend to have many things going at once. all i have to do is stick this thermometer into the meat, set the temperature, and an alarm goes off when the meat has reached the correct temperature. set it, forget it, and i'm done. seriously, i don't think i could cook without this thing.

i love cheese. period. i love all kinds: string cheese, sharp cheddar, manchego, gruyere, king arthur's roaring 50's bleu cheese, dang, i could go on and on. there is nothing like curling up on my parents couch in my pj's with an orange martini, a good fire going, and a feast of cheese and crackers. (i'd like to point out other favorite things in the previous sentence i won't go into detail about, pj's (see above), a warm fire on a cold night, and orange martinis (ice cold vodka, triple sec or cointreau, and a cherry). cue the angelic music - ahhhahhhhahhhh . . .

mini kitchen utensils
i got a mini whisk as a wedding present and to tell you the truth, i never really thought i would use it. now, it's one of my "must haves". i even have one in my personal chef to-go tool bag. i use it all the time to make a quick salad dressing or a stir-fry sauce. it is literally always dirty so i finally got another one for back-up. i loved it so much i got mini rubber spatulas too. again, i use them all the time!

vanilla bean paste
there is nothing like vanilla baked goods. the absolute best is when you can actually see the little black specks of vanilla bean in said baked good. if you do bake a lot, you may have noticed vanilla beans are expensive. i mean, crazy expensive. i was able to find them on amazon for cheaper but still, yikes! enter vanilla bean paste. it's like super-thick vanilla extract full of vanilla bean flecks. according to the bottle, 1 tbs equals 1 vanilla bean. a 4oz bottle will run you about $11 but it's cheaper (not to mention easier) than actual vanilla beans.

dark chocolate
is an explanation even needed for this? if you have been reading my blog for practically any amount of time, you know i love chocolate. what's not to love about chocolate. i'll take it any which way. on top of bacon, nestled in thumbprint cookies, swirled with mint white chocolate, but my favorite it straight up dark with a sprinkle of sea salt.

my family
this time of year makes me particularly thankful for my family. even though this is the first time in my 30 years i will not see the jessop aunts and uncles and cousin G, i am still super thankful for them in my life. i will also be missing my brother and sister-in-law and 2 nieces in new mexico. however, thanks to skype, i'll hopefully be able to see their adorable faces this christmas. thankfully, my parents live close and i'll get to spend christmas eve with them and will be hoping their upcoming move doesn't take them too far away.
finally, i am thankful for wonderful "in-laws". i use this term loosely because my husbands family truly feels like my family. i am blessed with an amazingly loving mother-in-law, 2 wonderful sets of sister-in-law/brother-in-laws and a fantastically fun niece and nephew. i'm looking forward to a cozy christmas day with the wasti's! (i am also sending hugs to 2 aunt's who can't make the trip. merry christmas aunt janet and aunt lois:)

my list of favorite things could go on and on. but i will end it there. however, in the spirit of christmas (and in true oprah-fashion) i am giving away some of my favorite things!

*cue the hysterical crying, jumping up and down, and screaming*

ok, i realize this isn't exactly an oprah giveaway. no ipads, 3d televisions, sparkly uggs, cruise ships, or cars. but, hey, you could win a box full of my favorite things.

the goody box includes:
- mini whisk
- 2 mini spatulas
- vanilla bean paste
- digital meat thermometer
- 2 harry and david royal riviera pears
- 1 dish towel
- lindt dark chocolate with sea salt

simply leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you are thankful for this holiday season and you'll be entered to win. it's my way of saying merry christmas and thanks for reading!

just one entry per person. make sure you leave your name and email address in your comment! 

the winner will be chosen tuesday, december 28th.

good luck and merry christmas!


  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    I am so thankful for my family and my church and my friends and i am grateful that we have shelter and food to eat and that we are safe and warm.Thank you for the chance to win these awesome prizes.
    Carolyn Barnett

  2. I am so very thankful for my family (including in laws and non human members!), the health and wellbeing of each member of my family, and all of the wonderful memories we create (especially in the kitchen!) each holiday season.

    Hope you have a wondeful holiday and I look forward to reading your blog in the coming year!

  3. Merry Christmas!
    I have so much to be thankful for and this is definately a time for reflection and letting those in my life know how much they are appreciated.
    Love your blog!

  4. merry everything! i'm thankful that i live in a time when distant friends and family can still feel close through the magic of skype and airplanes!
    mara: mara.apostol@gmail.com

  5. It might sound cliche but I am thankful for my husband and family. I have had a rather stressful year and because of them and the strength they have shown me I am getting through it.

    msgb245 at gmail dot com

  6. I am thankful for my family:)

    jmatek AT wi DOT rr DOT com

  7. Aw, I feel guilty having this comment considered an entry because I'm new to your blog. BUT I really enjoyed your post! It's funny you talked about the mini whisk... I got one years ago and didn't really use it and then BAM! one day I did and I was hooked on it. I'm thankful for so incredibly much but one little thing is the Cherry Pepsi my husband brings home to me each and every single day after work. :) And yes, I am thankful for the husband too!
    hiwendyhi at yahoo dot com

  8. A blessed Christmas to you, E and ALL your family!

    I'm thankful for grandaughters! Our first grandbaby is due to be born any day now. We are so excited! Leonora Mae, I can't wait to cuddle you...


  9. I am thankful for a warm home and enough to eat when so many do not have even that.
    Thanks for sharing!
    bridgestranslation at yahoo dot com

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I am thankful for the love of a good man, the blessing of healthy children and a merciful God who came to earth wrapped in tiny human flesh to deliver us from certain death and offer life everlasting. Christmas love and blessings.


  12. I'm thankful for my husband, my family and husbands family and grateful for my large extended family (including double second cousins)! I'm getting ready to travel to MD tomorrow and excited to see everyone!

    Merry Christmas!

  13. I am thankful for my family, and this wonderful blogging community that I was fortunate to become a part of this year!

  14. Enter me! I'd love the vanilla bean paste :)

  15. happy holidays! i enjoyed reading about your favorite things. it made me want to get a digital meat thermometer asap! :D

    this holiday season i'm thankful for me and my family's health and that we can spend time together. also thankful that i was allowed to work at home in this blizzard!


  16. I'm thankful for more than one thing: my health, my family, a home, food, clothing, and that I have a job.

    Thank you for this giveaway.

    2liv2laf2luv at gmail dot com

  17. I am so thankful for my husband and two children+

    Christie c
    dctm at bellsouth dot net

  18. I am very thankful for my family and friend. I am also thankful that everyone is healthy this year. Thank you for a wonderful giveaway.


  19. I am thankful that my parents got to spend this Christmas with all three of their children plus two son-in-laws! The whole family was finally together under the same roof. Good times.

    Mary C. Hillman

  20. I'm thankful for my awesome wife!

  21. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post


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