Five Years of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving to our fellow Americans! Today’s post will be brief. Our friends arrive this morning and soon the cooking and feasting will begin. But first, we want to celebrate you, our readers for whom we are truly grateful. And in keeping with the spirit of the holidays, we have THREE special giveaways to share with you.


Before we get to those goodies, we’re going to raise a glass to you! It’s a special glass too – a homemade Cherry Liqueur. We again used the fresh sour cherries picked this summer. These were combined (with pits left in) with sugar and vodka, then set in a cool and dark place from August through now.


We shook the jar every day for a few weeks. Then we left it to sit, only shaking it occasionally.


We cracked it open this week, strained the cherries and voila…a cherry liqueur.


The liqueur is very smooth. It’s not overly sweet, but rather is more of a cherry almond flavor. Perfect for sipping.


Or serving over ice cream with some cherry pie.


I’ve also heard it’s fantastic with pancakes or French toast. Too bad our FTC challenge is over!


Now for the giveaways….In January we celebrate five years of blogging. Here’s a look back to our first post. While this is a little early to commemorate the occasion, come anniversary time, we’ll be adventuring somewhere in Spain! Besides, Thanksgiving seems as good a time as any to thank our readers.


We began Eat, Play, Love as a way to introduce Mr. N and Miss A to different cultures around the world through the foods celebrated by those cultures. Mr. N was six and Miss A was two when we began (Mike and I of course haven’t aged a bit). What started as Our Family Food Adventures quickly blossomed into something that extended far beyond our family. We’ve not only explored new cultures through foods, travel and wine, we’ve also had the unexpected pleasure of getting to know people all around the world – many of whom we consider dear friends.



So thank you. Thank you all for following along with us through the years. And whether you’re a regular commenter or silent reader, someone that reads every post, or checks in every now and then, please know how very much we appreciate you all. Thank you for everything you have given us and for being a piece of what will shape our children as they move through life’s journey.

Miss A

Miss A – 5 years ago

In honor of the priceless memories you have given us, these gifts are for you – our subscribers – worldwide.

Mr. N and his lobster

Mr. N five years ago

But wait! What will you win? One winner will receive a copy of our dear friend Chicago John’s new cookbook. Chicago John writes over at From the Bartolini Kitchens. His cookbook (and blog) is one of our favorites. Hands down. It’s more than a book of recipes. The book is a window into family life, woven beautifully through Chicago John’s words and memories. He invites you into his family’s two-flat in Detroit, fills your heart with a sense of family and then fills your belly with amazing recipes. He paints a colorful and vivid picture with his words, and his dishes are always four-spoon winners here. In fact, many of his family’s recipes have fast become a part of ours. It’s now tradition to serve a Bartolini recipe for our Christmas Eve dinner! We know you’ll love this book.


The second giveaway is a copy of a new book, Wine Folly – The Essential Guide to Wine by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammock. I had the opportunity to meet Madeline at the Wine Bloggers Conference this past summer. While her wine knowledge is truly impressive, her ability to convey it to readers through visuals and infographics is what amazes me. This book will make the world of wine accessible to everyone. It’s simple, informative and absolutely pleasing to the eye with its bright colors, clean lines, graphs and illustrations. Whether you know nothing or a lot about wine, this book will surely be a handy resource.


And finally, our last giveaway is our very own “cookbook.” We made this photo book to celebrate our first year at Eat, Play, Love. It’s a collection of that year’s 4-spoon recipes as well as hand-selected favorites from each of us. Only two copies currently exist – the one we made for ourselves and the other given away for our first anniversary. One of these days we’ll get around to making another, but for our five-year (early) celebration, the memories of our first year in blogging seemed apropos. We hope you enjoy!


Again the giveaway is open through Sunday, December 6th. To enter simply leave a comment sharing your favorite Eat, Play, Love memory or recipe, or simply share something you’re thankful for this year. Mr. N and Miss A will draw the winners on Sunday, December 6th. Good luck!

And lest we forget, here’s the recipe for Homemade Cherry Liqueur.

Print this recipe: Homemade Cherry Liqueur

Thank you all and Happy Thanksgiving!!!


18 thoughts on “Five Years of Gratitude

  1. Allison Frederick says:

    Happy Holidays and Blogiversary! What a fun idea. My absolute favorite memory is your first blog comment (from Mr. N) way back at the beginning. Melts my heart. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    Oh, Kristy! I’d no idea that you were using my book as part of your give-away. That’s quite an honor and your description is really wonderful. Thank you so much.
    Congratulations on your 5th blogiversary, I just had mine, as well. Hard to believe it’s been 5 years, eh? The time just flew by.
    I, too, make cherry liqueur for Christmas, though I didn’t do it this year. I had other plans for those cherries. (Read muffins and pies.) Like you said, it’s great for sipping.
    No need to include me in the give-away. I’ve watched a budding star on the stage. I’m already a winner. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hotlyspiced says:

    What a lovely post. It’s amazing to see how much your children have grown since you first started your blog. I’m so pleased John has put out a cookbook. I’m sure he put an enormous amount of effort and skill into creating the book. I love his recipes and have cooked many of them and they’re all terrific. I love the look of your cherry liquor! The colour of it is so pretty. And what a labour of love – shaking that jar every day for weeks! I’m not sure if your competition is open to readers outside of the US but my favourite recipe of yours (currently) would have to be the lattice pie! Because that recipe inspired me to attempt my first ever lattice pie! xx


  4. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Congratulations on 5 years of creating my dear friend. You have brought so much warmth, love and inspiration to my days. I look forward to reading each and every one of your posts – even when time doesn’t allow for a detailed comment. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family. Never enough opportunities to count our many blessings, x.


  5. Erin Reeder says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully we can still read your blog while you are away on your adventure! My kids enjoyed your little hot dogs wrapped in wonton wrappers!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    Happy Blog-a-versary! Wow, five years is a good long time, but it seems like we’ve known you forever. JT and I really appreciate your friendship and love getting together in the Windy City albeit far too infrequently.
    Love the cherry liquor, it reminds me of the limoncello we made a couple of months back (sadly it’s all gone now) but you’ve inspired me to do it again, even though it doesn’t make sense economically.
    Can’t wait to see what you guys will be up to in Europe!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzanne A. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all, love you guys and love reading the blog! That cherry liqueur looks amazing, will have to try that out after we pick cherries next summer in Michigan! Not sure if I can wait that long to try it though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb Kroll says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    As a “silent” follower, I enjoy seeing all the different recipes that you share. Looking forward to seeing what the next year brings during your European travels!

    Liked by 1 person

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