Happy 1 Year Anniversary…

[Contest now closed. We have a winner! Thanks to all who participated!]


Holy Crap. Cow.

Pen & Fork (the journey begins with a fork…) blog is ONE YEAR OLD!

(And they said it’d never last.)

Actually, no one said that. I made it up.

In honor of being ONE YEAR OLD, I’m handing out completely unfounded awards for some of the posts I’ve written during the past year. Oh, there’s something in this for you, too. I’m not completely narcissistic.

Drum roll, please….

First Annual

Pen & Fork Blog Post Awards


♥ Most popular

50 Quintessential American Dishes

This post even spurred others to create their own list and could have been the inspiration for the festival-gone-horribly-wrong.

♦ Least popular

Sink or Swim

Pretty much anything I wrote the first couple of months would qualify based on traffic counts but Sink or Swim was really fun to write.

♦ Best Recipe

Aunt Sally’s Pork Marinade

As tempted as I am to point you to one of my own creations, like the real guacamole, or a recipe from one of my three cookbooks, like the world’s most expensive granola, I awarded the best recipe to Aunt Sally’s Pork marinade because it really deserves to be in your repetoire.

♦ Best Essay

Top Ten Kitchen Tools

I’m not surprised I picked a list of kitchen tools as my favorite essay. Are you?

♦ Best Photo

Fresh Cherry Salsa

Reading other people’s blogs about photography (Smitten Kitchen and Pioneer Woman) and a photo editing class at our community college class have helped hone my photography skills. But most of the credit goes to Arizona’s gift of sunlight.

Well, folks, that about wraps up our awards ceremony. Thank you for coming. It’s been fun bringing you completely ad free, random thoughts, recipes and kitchen tips throughout this past year.

Goodnight everyone… oh, one more thing…

The real award….

One lucky commenter will get an autographed copy of my first cookbook, The Great Ranch Cookbook.

It features 30 western guest ranches from Texas to Alaska and is jam-packed with great recipes, like my very favorite Molasses Marinated Beef Tenderloin that is our traditional Christmas Day dinner and a pretty darn tasty Molten Mexican Chocolate Ecstasy that needs no other explanation.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what your favorite Pen & Fork post is and why. Simple!

Fine print:
Here’s how this will work. Only 1 entry per valid email address. I’ll print out every qualified comment I get between now and next Saturday night, fold it up and put it in a hat. The official deadline is 11:59 p.m. Saturday, June 20, 2009. By qualified I mean you aren’t a spammer, you commented with both the name of the post and why it was your favorite, and you have a valid email address. Sometime next Sunday, June 21, between celebrating Father’s Day, bathing the dogs and doing laundry, my assistant will select a printed comment out of the hat and that’s who gets a copy of the book. I’ll email you to get your mailing address. You agree to let me post your user name (but not your email address, I would NEVER do that) in a future blog announcing the winner. As always, employees of Pen & Fork (me) will not be eligible, nor will any family members. (I’d like to say that serial killers, dog-haters, and genuinely evil people are not eligible but I don’t think I can technically exclude them. I doubt those people read my blog anyway, so I’m probably worrying about something for nothing). Odds of winning are completely dependent upon the number of qualified entries and odds of me holding another contest like this one are completely dependent upon how this one goes.

11 replies
    • Lisa Holmes
      Lisa Holmes says:

      I forgot to mention the Great Ranch Cookbook…I was telling Jeff that all of your cookbooks look wonderful and I spread the word to all my friends and family who cook.

  1. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    Happy Anniversary! Can’t believe that it has been a year……………you made this hard by having to pick one, I have too many that I enjoyed. So, here is one………”Sweet Spot”……I love desserts and two forks do make it that much sweeter……….you are a lover of words and are truly able to draw the reader into the moment…………Thank you! Here’s to many more anniversaries and Best Wishes!

  2. Kathy Gullette
    Kathy Gullette says:

    I have to say my favorite would be Sweet Spot? really how does one get a job like that. And for me it isn’t just sweet and sugary but the ultimate would be chocolate. Simply becasue there are times in your life but nothing else helps out but chocolate. And with the new health benefit about dark chocolate who can’t find a reason to eat the stuff, the sun is out, it is cloudy, the dog ate my favorite pair of shoes, the dog didn’t eat my favorite pair of shoes…..you get the picture. Any way congratulations on the year anniversary and may you have many many more.

  3. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    Happy Anniversary! As a fairly new reader, I’d tag the salmon frittata as my favorite, because it’s the first one that brought (and kept) me here. The gorgeous cherries? Just dragged me in deeper.

    Congratulations, and keep up the delicious work for a long, long time.

  4. Christi
    Christi says:

    Gwen ~ I JUST found your blog this week, so my favorite is the first one I read … on cherries. The photo is just beautiful and I just love cherries, although interestingly, developed a taste for them as an adult. Thanks for sharing the recipes, I can’t wait to make them.
    I am a cookbook collector and would just LOVE to add your cookbook to my collection. And, yes, I actually use them to cook as well.
    So, happy anniversary! I look forward to catching up on what I missed reading and look forward to more great posts. Love following you on twitter.


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