Island Time and Giveaway

Well we meant to get this post up earlier in the week, but let’s face it, we’re living on island time right now.

So while we enjoy our last few days in the sun, we thought we’d have a little fun (giveaway is coming…read on). Last month we celebrated our one-year milestone for Eat, Play, Love, and in these past few weeks we’ve had a lot of fun planning this post and looking back over our year of blogging. When we first started this little adventure we had two goals in mind. First and foremost, we wanted to open the kids up to the world’s many cultures. We want them to have open minds, hearts and an understanding that there’s a big world outside of our little suburb – which brings us to the food. 

Food plays such an integral role in life around the world. Obviously it sustains us and gives us energy, but it’s more than that. It so often plays a main role in various traditions, cultures, families and celebrations. It brings people together, it nourishes, it spreads love; which is why we thought cooking recipes from around the world and from different states across America was a great way to bring a little culture into our lives. And that brings us to our second goal:

Broadening our family’s recipe repertoire and expanding our palates. We wanted to move away from the traditional “meat and potatoes” meals and experience new flavors and sensations, and with 18 countries and 21 states under our belts from this past year, I’d say we’re well on our way. We’ve enjoyed the worldly flavors of Mexico, Holland, Brazil, Greece, China, New Zealand, Russia, Egypt, Libya, Bermuda, Japan, Ontario, Ecuador, Wales, the Philippines, Portugal, Uzbekistan and Nicaragua. So a few weeks ago, the four of us sat down to review our recipes, revisit memories and see what countries brought us the most success. Taking an average of our spoon ratings for each country here’s what we enjoyed the most:

Ontario took the cake with these fabulous recipes:
Lemon Tarts

Peach and Ricotta Pancakes

Sea Scallops and Ice Syrup

Blueberry Ice Bars

and Grilled Pears with Iced Mascarpone.

And coming in close behind were New Zealand and Egypt with these tasty recipes:

New Zealand’s Sausage Rolls and Curried Kumara with Cashews

Egypt’s Seafood Pasta

and Baklawa.

As for our favorite state, well we had one clear winner with 4 spoons all around for two recipes!

Colorado’s Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Steaks

and Balsamic Glazed Fingerling Potatoes.

But New Mexico wasn’t close behind with our Southwest Spare Ribs.

Needless to say, it’s been a tasty year in our kitchen! But our blogging adventure has also brought much more into our life, much of which has been unexpected. We’ve gotten to spend a lot of family time together, special moments with the kids and even a few fun and romantic dates. Most surprisingly of all, however, is all the friendships that we have made this last year. We’d like to thank all of our readers, commenters, subscribers and visitors. You’ve brought so much into our life this past year – all of which has made this experience and our lives all the richer. Thank you.

And to thank you, here’s our one-year anniversary giveaway. Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate. All you have to do is leave a comment below and you’ll be entered into our random drawing which will be held on Valentine’s Day next week! One lucky winner will receive a set of our favorite plates (with an appropriate world travel theme!):

And that’s not all…that same lucky winner will also receive a photo book of our favorite recipes and moments from this past year. We’ve made one to have as our little keepsake this year and thought it would be fun to share the love. It’s filled with 4-spoon delights and hand-picked favorites from Miss A and Mr. N.

Thanks again to everyone! It’s been an amazing year and enriching adventure. Thanks for sharing it with us and we hope you’ll come along for another year of worldly recipe adventures and state night delights. Cheers! Mike, Kristy, Mr. N and Miss A

63 thoughts on “Island Time and Giveaway

  1. Erin and Molly Reeder says:

    I hope you enjoyed your trip! Molly misses Mr. N! I have enjoyed hearing about all your recipes and have even tried a few! I hope you have another great blogging year!


  2. A_Boleyn says:

    I have been ‘without computer’ for 3 days plus and just now catching up on the backlog of posts I’ve missed. For a minute I thought I was suffering from a case of deja vu then I realized you were doing a retrospective of recipes you’d already posted. What a relief! 🙂 Congratulations on the anniversary. I haven’t been subscribed since the beginning but I’ve enjoyed my time on board.

    By the way, did you ever blog about the sushi classes you took? I’m curious (ok, I’m nosy) about what you learned although the rolls that you posted on your Japan segment were amazing. 🙂

    I’d love to enter your giveaway and get a hard copy of your best recipes, and those cute dishes.


    • Kristy says:

      You know I never did blog about the class that I took. It was a good one. The biggest thing that came out of it for me was the tezu to keep the rice from sticking to your hands as you make the rolls. We actually made rolls with friends this past New Year’s Eve and had a blast with it. And it definitely made a difference having extra hands – it went much more quickly! 🙂


      • A_Boleyn says:

        If you ever get inspired to revisit Japan and your sushi post, I for one would be very interested in seeing it. 🙂 I just posted my 2nd set of “All You Can Eat” sushi pictures to my LJ from my favourite restaurant and was reminded of your post.

        I’ve been admiring your baklava as well. I ate the tray version I made of them before I bought my camera but have a version made in the shape of rolls in my freezer that I should thaw and photograph to add to my original post. 🙂


  3. Trey says:

    Thanks for sharing my family has enjoyed eating many of the recipes featured on your blog. When I have trouble thinking of something new for dinner I check here for inspiration.


  4. smartfoodandfit says:

    Congrats to one year of blogging! Your site is amazing and with all the followers too, I’m sure they can attest to that! I love that photo of the ocean, hoping my family and I could go on a vacation in the near future!
    The plates are so artistic, they are too artsy to eat off! Looking forward to more of your mouth watering fun family filled recipes! 🙂


  5. Grammie Mom says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Congratulations to all on a successful first year. I would love to hear what Mr. N and Miss A think about a whole year of blogging about food adventures–uncensored, of course!


    • Kristy says:

      I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell you. 🙂 They had fun going back through the recipes and getting excited about which ones they liked – and of course which ones were “nasty.” 🙂


  6. Caroline says:

    All of these dishes are seriously making me drool. Everything looks so amazing!! Hope you’re having a great time in Hawaii. From the looks of that beautiful picture, it definitely seems as though you are. 😉


  7. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Oh, that is just such a beautiful picture of the ocean Kristy… making us all horribly jealous! (actually, if you can believe it, it was sunny and 3 degrees in Ottawa yesterday; gorgeous!).

    Happy 1st Year Anniversary to Eat, Play, Love ~ my whole family loves your blog Kristy – my boys get a real kick out of your youngsters and especially Miss A’s ‘reactions’ to life/food, etc. they always come over to the computer to view the photos…. you’ve done some amazing work over the past year and I sure hope you’re pleased with yourselves because you’ve built something beautiful together.

    Thanks for the roundup too – there’s a few I missed and must visit! Enjoy your remaining days in the sunshine :).


  8. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    I definitely need to enter this giveaway! Those plates are so fun and your book would be treasured here. Thank you so much for the great times here on your blog and the equally yummy food. Congrats and have a wonderful rest of your trip!


  9. Purely.. Kay says:

    Oh I LOVE the idea of the book :). It’s definitely a wonderful honor for anyone to receive that in my opinion. And look at that art.. LOVE IT :). I have enjoyed following your family’s adventure in the world of cuisine. You’ve definitely given me great ideas for dishes and have opened my mind to different possibilities. Happy One Year Anniversary Kristy, Mike, Mr. N, & Miss A.


  10. Eva Taylor says:

    The photo of the beach is simply gorgeous Kristy. And I’m so pleased that the Ontario recipes had such a prominent position on this post! Go Canada, GO!
    The plates are beautiful and the recipe book is just wonderful. I’ve been toying with the idea of publishing one myself, great idea for the give away. Please, please let it be me!!!!!


  11. Linda says:

    I for one am very grateful you started this adventure! I love traveling along with you and watching your children participate in all the cooking and baking!! I’ve learned so many different recipes from you and this roundup reminded me of many I still need to try!! How fun that you made a photo book of your recipes! Hope you’re enjoying a wonderful vacation!


  12. Fiona says:

    Your world trips have inspired my own version with my family – so I thank you and look forward to another year of traveling for us both!


  13. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve not been with you for the entire year but it has been quite an enjoyable ride, nonetheless. It’s been a real pleasure traveling the World with you all. I’m glad you listed your “best of” recipes because most were before my time here and now I get a chance to check them out. Enjoy the rest of your vacation and have a safe trip home.


  14. profiterolesandponytails says:

    I’m overwhelmed by your highlights from the past year Kristy — you’ve done such a great job with the photos that I want to make everyone of these recipes! However, you got my attention with the lemon tarts from Ontario. You know, I got married in Niagara-on-the-lake and Balzacs coffee shop is one of my favorite destinations there. My husband and I usually go back every year and stay at the Charles Inn — and often have dinner at the inn. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed your visit there. I’m desperately wishing that I could transport myself into your beach photo! Realy great post!!!


    • Kristy says:

      Oh how fun! Miss A and I about died when we tasted the lemon tarts at Balzacs. They were soooooooo good! And what a great location to be married! It’s such a romantic little town. 🙂


  15. kathy tolnai says:

    I love reading your blog. I just laugh when i think back to high school and how much you hated when your mother made you start cooking.


  16. suzanne says:

    So jealous of your island time Kristy! Hope you, Mike and the kids are enjoying and soaking it all in, and hope you drank that mai tai (or 10) for me as well 😉 I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, it’s an awesome concept that I would love to try for my picky kids. Alyssa loves it too, I think just bc she thinks Mr. N is famous or something since she sees his smiling face on her computer screen as well as in RL 😉 Enjoy your trip, and thanks as always for sharing your adventures!


  17. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Hello Kristy,
    I hope you are enjoying your vacation.
    I loved reading your post, it is amazing how much one can learn about culture through food , recipes and spices.
    Thank you for that round up, there are a couple of recipes that I missed and can’t wait to check out.
    Thank you for being one of the most inspiring blogs I have come across. Coming here is always a joy


  18. Charles says:

    Hi Kristy – hope you’re having a wonderful trip. I’m not at all jealous, with the minus temperatures we have here every day and snow all over 😥

    That 4-spoon Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Steak just looked amazing… you must have done that one before I encountered your blog… either that or I missed it entirely because I don’t recall it. I’ll have to go check it out after this. I remember well the sausage rolls – they’re common in England too… I remember feeling suddenly rather home-sick when I read that post… (more like I just wanted a big sausage roll!) 😀

    Lovely to read you round up – and it’s been a pleasure getting to know you all so far 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      LOL. I know…it was not fun to come home to the cold, but at least it’s almost spring now. At least that’s what I’m going with! 🙂 Oh the buffalo steak was amazing – Miss A even cleaned her plate on that one. Thanks for coming along with us on this ride Charles! We’re happy to have gotten to know you as well!


  19. Babs says:

    I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Thank you for bringing us with you on this fun adventure! We’ve enjoyed reading about and seeing you guys in action. Congratulations to the four of you on your blogging success! Love you!


  20. Erin Renee says:

    I’ll enter your giveaway if you enter mine….! 😉
    Have really enjoyed your culinary sojourns. And even more…I enjoy passing your blog along to my friends and family who have rad kids.


  21. Courtney says:

    Oh, wow – as a latecomer to your blog, I see I’ve missed some amazing dishes! I absolutely love the goals of your blog and have enjoyed ‘meeting’ your family. Best wishes on year two – and I really hope you are soaking in your last days of vacation.


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