Sweet (Freedom) Giveaway–and Blog News!

First, the blog newsWelcome to the new home of DDD! We’re almost there–I’m about 95% moved in and unpacked so far. . . we’ve still got to add a virtual top coat of paint, rearrange some html furniture and hang some digital pictures before the rest is up and running over the next week or so, but everything is on site and functional!.   Please don’t forget to update your Google Reader, other subscription info and blogrolls  (it’s also much easier to subscribe to this new site–there’s a “subscribe” button to the left, just under the blog’s title–so hope that helps.  And note that the page tabs are now across the top of the page and not on the right as in the old site!). I’ll be transferring over here for good by next week. 

The site was set up and arranged by Blain Smith of 13 Infinite.  It’s been a pleasure to work with him on this–Blain’s communication style is easy and relaxed, yet always professional.  He’s also been very accommodating and incredibly quick about responding to all my emails regarding the site (not to mention very patient with my sometimes endless questions and requests!).  If you’re looking to set up a new blog, I’d highly recommend him.

Next, the cookbook news: my cookbook finally has a cover! 

coverpic

(I’m guessing you might recognize some of those photos?  And I know, the red, white and blue looks very patriotic,no?) 😉

Finally, the Double Giveaway News!!

I am very excited for this giveaway because it’s the perfect melding of my new blog, my new cookbook, and a product I love!

In honor of the cookbook’s cover being finalized, I decided to throw another giveaway to celebrate–add a new blog home, and it’s really a reason to party! (Get those chandeliers and lampshades ready!)

So here’s the scoop:

WHAT YOU CAN WIN

PRIZE ONE:  ANYONE IN NORTH AMERICA CAN WIN (again, a HUGE apology to my overseas readers–shipping costs prohibit overseas delivery.  BUT I DO PROMISE THAT THE NEXT GIVEAWAY WILL ABSOLUTELY INCLUDE ANYONE ON THE PLANET!)

Win a quart-sized jug of Coombs Family Farms Pure Maple Syrup! 

coombssyrup2

[This is a photo of the glass bottle I received–the quart jug prize is four times this big!]

Yes, the prize is the same amazing maple syrup I wrote about in my previous post. And when the people at Coombs Family Farms heard how much I loved their syrup, and how much my readers wished they could taste some, they said, “Okay!  Let’s give some away!”  Who am I to argue?  I said, “YEEEE-AAH.” 

With a full quart (about a liter) of pure maple syrup, you can bake every maple-based recipe on this blog, and probably all the maple-based recipes in my new book, too!  And I can’t wait for one of you to sample this extraordinary product as well, and tell me what you think!

PRIZE  TWO: THOSE IN THE TORONTO AREA CAN WIN (to ensure freshness, it has to be within Toronto, or you must be willing to meet me within Toronto–I am really sorry it can’t be everywhere!  sniff!)

A custom-baked chocolate layer cake from the Sweet Freedom recipe–made to your specifications!

choccakeicingsf

After I posted about the cake I made for my friend Eternal Optimist’s birthday, I was touched by so many positive comments about the cake.  This is the same recipe I used for several years when I baked birthday cakes for kids with food sensitivities to wheat, eggs, dairy and refined sugar–and was a regular hit with the kids and adults alike (low-gluten, but not gluten free). The 9-inch layer cake serves 10-12 people comfortably.

sagebday1

Now, I’d love for a lucky reader to sample this chocolately, moist and light cake, too!  And you get to design the frosting/filling, plus whether you’d like a message on the cake as well.  (We’ll choose a mutually convenient delivery time so that you can even plan to serve the cake to family, friends, or party guests!)

bdaycakewhole2

Here’s what you can choose:

  • Chocolate layers with vanilla pastry cream filling and chocolate buttercream frosting
  • Chocolate layers with all chocolate–filling and frosting
  • Chocolate layers with sweet potato truffle filling and chocolate frosting
  • Chocolate layers with chocolate filling and sweet potato truffle frosting (the cake in the photo above)
  • Message of your choice in any color frosting (or no message–it’s up to you).

I’ll deliver the cake freshly baked and frosted so it’s ready to serve!

HOW TO ENTER:

Entering couldn’t be easier–simply click on over to my new blog home, take a look around, then let me know either:

1) what more you’d like to see on the blog (any other features you’d like me to add?  Something you’re missing from the old blog? –etc.) OR

2) what you like best about the new blog if you can’t think of anything you’d like to be different. 

FOR A CHANCE AT TWO EXTRA ENTRIES, simply mention the contest on your own blog, if you have one, and link to this very page on the new blog (ie, this page).

Don’t have a blog?  You can still earn two extra entries!  Simply browse through the Recipe Index on the new DDD  (or you can click on the “Recipes” tab, above, or just do a search on “maple syrup”) and choose a favorite recipe that uses maple syrup (some of the links haven’t been shifted to the new blog yet, so you might still be in the old blog when you click on a recipe title–I’m in the process of changing them all over).  Then comment again, letting me know which one you like best, and why–and you’ll be entered two more times.

Please be sure to include a valid email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  And if you’re eligible for the cake, please be sure to mention that in your comment, too!

That’s it! 

Please post your comments on the new site (this one) to be eligible to win–that way I can keep track of all the entries in one place.  🙂

HOW IT WILL WORK:

Once the contest closes, I’ll choose two winners from a bag of names.  The first Toronto-area name I withdraw will win the cake.  Then all the other names go back into the bag for the maple syrup draw, and the second name I choose wins that. 

DEADLINE AND ANNOUNCEMENT:

  1. Deadline for entries is midnight, March 31, 2009, Toronto time. 
  2. Winners will be announced first thing on April 2, 2009 (I wouldn’t dare post contest winners on April Fool’s Day!). 

I loved baking up a storm for the previous giveaway, and was thrilled with Lisa’s kind words about the Sweet Freedom goodies. 

I can’t wait to get baking on this cake for you this time round as well.  And even if you can’t win the cake, you’re still eligible to win the syrup–so you can then bake your own delectable treats!

HAPPY SPRING, EVERYONE!

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Comments

  1. Congrats on the new site. However, I think you need a “tag cloud” or somewhere where people can see all of your tags, and not just your post “categories.” The layout’s a little bland, spice it up! And it took me WAY too long to find the “Leave a comment” link, it should really be separate from all of those tags, and stand out more. 🙂

  2. Wow, Ricki, I really wish I lived in Toronto!! I might just have to move…

  3. I’m so glad we’re this much closer to the final product with Sweet Freedom! I like the new blog: easier for me to read, for one thing. I looked for the recipe index a bit but then my brain clicked on and I saw the Categories’ drop-down menu. Very nice!

  4. The new website looks beautiful! It is incredibly organized and very professional. I like all the tabs at the top. I did have trouble finding the “Leave a Comment” link, but it’s early in the morning and I was excited about cake. Thanks for having a giveaway! Oh, I am making space on my shelf for your cookbook!

  5. I like how the name is easier to remember!
    Great site overall.

  6. Well, Ricki, I copied your “give-aways” and now I just might have to copy your new blog!! I love it – easy to read & navigate, and, as always, your generosity is incredible. Like everyone else who reads your blog, I wish I lived in Toronto!!

  7. I would LOVE some of that maple syrup! I’ll definitely give you a shout out on my blog.

    I love the new layout. It seems really well organized and easy to navigate.

    For the first time in my life, I wish I lived in Toronto just so I could have some of your delicious cake!!!

  8. Wow…the new website is amazing. When I read there was still much to do, I was shocked at how much content you’ve already artfully arranged. I love love love the tabs at the top.

    And, because I practically dream of bathing in maple syrup, (and although there are tons of recipes in your desserts section with maple syrup or in which I would sub maple for agave that look scrumptious), I’d have to say it’s the sweet & spicy BBQ sauce baked with tempeh that has my stomach growling loudest. I must make this tonight!

  9. Congratulations on being another step closer to the cookbook publication—and also on having a brand new blogging space. You’ll really enjoy having three columns. Will you be able to add things to the template on your own or does everything go through the designer?

    I like the drop-down tabs at the top. I don’t know what the final plan is for displaying the blog list, but I always enjoy seeing those on the main page. I’ve found many new blogs to read that way. I think I might make the center column a bit narrower as it’s harder to follow text across a wide space.

    I’ll add a link to this page on my latest post. I’d love a liter of that maple syrup!

  10. Great news about your cookbook cover!! Very exciting. And congrats on the new blog as well.

  11. Ok, Ricki, I REALLY would like to have that bottle of maple syrup! You know I’ll be baking up your goodies on a regular basis once I get my hands on the book. So far, the only thing I’ve found difficult about the new site is that it took me several scans to find the link for posting comments. It’s small and at the end of the list of tags, so I skimmed right over it! Otherwise, it looks great! I’m looking forward to seeing it once it’s been fully “painted” and “decorated.” 😉

  12. Hi! I love the new layout, especially the shading in these boxes– i.e. where it says Name, Mail, Website and also the search box. Is that too nerdy? I’m going to comment again with the maple favorites.

  13. Great new layout. I love the list of top posts. And as others have already said, it was hard to find the button to post comments.

    The book cover looks great!

  14. Congratulations on getting moved in! I like your search feature being at the top. I am navigationally challenged and that makes it more obvious.

  15. Hi, Ricki!

    I love the clean design of the new blog! One thing I would suggest, though, would be organizing tags in a more intuitive way–maybe separate them into different categories referring to ingredients, diet, course, etc?

    Too bad I don’t live in Toronto–those cakes are beautiful!

  16. Favorite maple syrup recipes:

    1. https://www.rickiheller.com/2008/07/11/zucchini-and-pineapple-mini-loaves/
    How creative and delicious– I would’ve never thought to pair zucchini and pineapple! I bet some shredded coconut on top would be great…

    2. https://www.rickiheller.com/2008/03/14/maple-walnut-cookies/

    Of course, cookies are always great and maple and tahini are an intriguing combination.

  17. Welcome to your new blog home! It looks great, very crisp and clean.
    So excited about your book! But I think you knew that already, right? 😉

  18. ikkinlala says:

    Congratulations on your new blog! I like the clean layout and how I don’t have to scroll down to navigate, and at the moment I can’t think of anything I’d like to see changed.

    (I’m in Canada but not in Toronto.)

  19. ikkinlala says:

    My favourite recipe (right now) that uses maple syrup is the Decadent Chocolate Pâté, because I’m in the mood for something decadent and because I think it would go well with the fresh strawberries that I’m anxiously awaiting now that it’s spring.

  20. I love love love the layout of the blog. The drop down menus make it very easy to quickly find past post. I want more photos of the doggies. I am a dog lover myself with two crazy 4 legged kids. 🙂

    I wish I lived in Canada. The cakes look very yummy. I can’t wait for the book to come out.

  21. Hey love, congrats on getting a new blog. To be honest I liked your last one more, for the most part. I liked that the text was confined to the center; it made it neater, I liked the choice of font, I liked the fact the text was smaller, again for neatness/aesthetic sake. I also really don’t like the swiffer advertisement.

    Make sure you complete the list of blogs you read–nothing’s more fun than blog hopping.

    Despite ripping things to ribbons, just take it as constructive criticism. Still so proud you got your own server, and I’m sure with a few touchups it will be simply doll. I have a couple close friends who do layouts and graphics for websites, if you need a bit of help. They will both work for home cooked/baked food by the way. I can get them to send you some of their work, if you’re interested.

    That being said, as for the contest–you can pass me on the maple syrup, I feel that our neighbors down south who consume corn syrup and flavored syrup are in much more dire need of it (though maple cookies on the other hand I would gobble up. ;)) But sweet potato + chocolate cake sounds divine. In fact, just sweet potato everything would make my day. 🙂

    Best,

    Amanda

    PS I commented on my blog

  22. I love the layout, especially the link bar at the top of the page. It’s cool how you have sub-categories, like for the recipes. The new site looks awesome!

  23. The maple walnut cookies (https://www.rickiheller.com/2008/03/14/maple-walnut-cookies/) sound SO good! The combination of maple and walnuts sounds fantastic, and I love cookies!

  24. Love the new site.

  25. Seeing the book cover is great, isn’t it? My boyfriend is an author, so I (kind of) know the feeling! I can’t wait to see your book for real!
    Your new blog looks great. There’s one thing that I liked better on the old blog: the font. It was softer, or something – easier to read for me, and my mind thinks that it somehow fitted you better than the one used here.
    Too bad I’m not in Toronto! But as I’m Québécoise, I’d totally know what to do with that maple syrup! Now I’m off to check which one of your fabulous recipes using maple syrup I’d try first…

  26. I want some maple syrup!! I was thinking about your post and awesome you said it was as I stared longingly at the maple syrup display in my grocery store not more than half an hour ago.

  27. Well, choosing wasn’t easy! If I had to go with only one, I think I’d try the Raw Milky Way Bars. I can have another one? Then it would be the Sweet and Spicy Tempeh – I haven’t had tempeh in a while, and this recipe sounds great!
    Actually, I’ve found many other recipes I have to try. Thanks for making me go and have a look in your archives!

  28. Ohh I wish I lived in Toronto!!

  29. I love the new site. It’s very vibrant and easy to navigate. Thank you for continuing to share and inspire us with your blog and recipes. Looking forward to Sweet Freedom!!!

  30. Just found this blog, so it’s hard to compare to the old one, =) but I like how this one almost has a newspaper-y feel. I put a link on my blog as well! I loovvvvve maple syrup!!

  31. Courtney says:

    Congrats again, Ricki! I like the layout of the new blog with the tabs on top–very user friendly :o) One thing I am missing, though–the “comment” hyperlink at the bottom of the post is no longer there. It took me forever to figure out I had to click on the blog title in order to leave a comment (yes, I realize I am slow…)! Adding back the “comment” link at the bottom of the post would be helpful :o)

    Courtney

  32. The new site looks great. I’m a big fan of your recipes as I’m trying to cut out gluten, dairy, and sugar (oh, it’s too hard!). I’d love to see a resources section that provides hints at where to get a lot of your specialized ingredients. You must buy agave syrup in bulk!

  33. Courtney says:

    I of course love ALL of your recipes that use maple syrup, so it was hard to pick just one, but I think I would have to chose the Maple Walnut Cookies. Why? Because they are freaking amazing! I reduce the baking time a bit like you suggested to make them chewy, and they are SO good!

    Thank you Ricki for all of your wonderful posts and recipes!

    Courtney

  34. RICKI!!!!!!
    This is all so exciting!
    First : how awesome is it to have your cover! That pie on the front is just beautiful – and such an eye-catcher! I’m so excited for you and for those lucky peeps who are going to win maple syrup and cake made by you!!! WOOOOO! Off to change my reader right now!

  35. Oh my gosh – your new cookbook looks GREAT! what a creative title, too!
    i’d love to see what type of products you recommend to make your creations, but i LOOOVE your personal stories that you share with us :).

    thanks darling!

  36. Tamar Erlich says:

    The new design is very clear to navigate.
    I would love to win the maple syrup and I will use it to bake your maple walnut cookies that I’ve had my eye on and are on my list to make.

    I’m in California. Thank you for the giveaway,
    Tamar.

  37. Congratulations on the move Ricki 🙂

  38. Yaey your cookbook cover looks great! I love the big photo of that beautiful fruit tart.

    As for what to improve on your new site (can’t wait to see it once it’s all done!) – I think I’d move the Flickr badge to the left (below your button that says Food blog Awards 2008 Finalist). It’s kind of hidden below the ad on the right! Otherwise looks great. =)

    Sob – if only I lived in the Toronto area and had at least a chance to win that gorgeous cake!!

  39. I like the new site, but I like the layout of the old blog better. You need some more color or something to jazz it up.

    I wish I lived in Toronto because that cake sounds fabulous!

  40. I love the “top posts” on the left side of the screen. It makes it really easy to see what people have liked in the past. I also wish that I lived in the Toronto area so I could have a stab at that cake!

  41. Looking through your recipes that contain maple syrup – I would have to say my favorite is the Maple-Flax Cookies. These struck me right away so much so that I made them the next day. My BF LOVED them and doesn’t say that about a lot of vegan baked goods! They have a great texture and I love that they contain so much fiber.

  42. The new site is great; design is clean, bright, and really easy to read. One thing I would add: maybe a small sidebar with pictures that accompany your most popular recipes. What a generous giveaway – thanks for the offer! 😀

  43. I love the new site, Ricki! And what I love most, besides you, is the tabs at the top. Makes for such easy navigation. Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. Hi Ricki,

    I like that you retained the same orange and green (peas and carrots) color scheme from the WordPress artiface. I really like when bloggers carry over style onto their new sites. The comment section is cool–how large each entry is is visually striking.

    I am a design and font freak, so I do have some suggestions if you don’t mind. 🙂 If possible, I would recommend a little more space in between the Top Posts list at left. They are a little difficult to differentiate at the moment. I really love the use of small caps for the tab menu at top. You may want this to be a little larger so viewers can see it quicker.

    I am partial to Verdana 10 pt. for the home page because Tahoma 10 pt. seems a little small to me. But I know that font choices are really personal.

    As always, your photos and baked goodies are beautiful. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

  45. jennyfurlynn says:

    the new site looks good, but i think the old side is more aesthetically pleasing. the layout is cool though, especially having the bar at the top, it seems alot more user friendly. i definitely agree that something is missing though, as far as color goes…maybe make the menu & blog titles stick out more? and of course, there’s no such thing as too many food pictures… 😀

  46. Hooray for new homes!

    Well done – moving’s never easy, but it’s lookin’ good, gorgeous.

    XX

  47. Your cookbook cover is fabulous, Ricki! Oh my, the pie! It’s berrylicious! YAY!

    Congrats on your new home! The new blog is awesome! It’s easier to remember rickiheller.com than the other one with the wordpress extension. If there is anything I would change, it would be that the gray colored links on the left sidebar would be a different color. Maybe this would help separate that column from the main middle section?

    Oh, how I wish I could enter your giveaways! We’re going to be traveling for about three months before we come back home though. BOO!!! 🙂

    Your chocolate cake was so delicious it was ridiculous! I made cupcakes because I am a mini foods freak! 🙂

  48. Wow a turbo blog! I think I might get one too! Love the name of your book, sweet freedom. Boy does that ever have the layers to it!
    Good luck
    Dana Zia
    http://danazia.wordpress.com/

  49. i really enjoy how uniform everything is and how spread-out the layout is without having to scroll side-to-side, which is a pet peeve of mine, but i do miss the old font and color scheme which lent a bit more of a design element to the overall feel of the blog. 🙂

    btw, i linked to this contest on my blog here: http://homeboygirl.mis-managed.net/2009/03/20/aliiiiiiive-and-shredded/

  50. Your cookbook cover is fabulous, Ricki! Oh my, the pie! It’s berrylicious! YAY!

    Congrats on your new home! The new blog is awesome! It’s easier to remember rickiheller.com than the other one with the wordpress extension. If there is anything I would change, it would be that the gray colored links on the left sidebar would be a different color. Maybe this would help separate that column from the main middle section?

    Oh, how I wish I could enter your giveaways! We’re going to be traveling for about three months before we come back home though. BOO!!! 🙂

    Your chocolate cake was so delicious it was ridiculous! I made cupcakes because I am a mini foods freak! 🙂
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  51. I love the cover, the new site, and I’m dying for a piece of cake. woo!

  52. I like the new site. I like the side-bar arrangement. I agree the lay-out is a little bland. There’s a whole lot of white. Congrats on the move!

  53. I almost shouted “hooray!” when I saw you were giving away that maple syrup. Pick me, pick me! So great about your site changes and your cookbook!! On the new layout I really like the drop down menus for the archives and categories. It keeps the site less cluttered, but still with access to all the great info. I also like the tabs along the top. I did have a hard time finding where to click to add a comment though. It kind of blended in with the other tags.

    I plan to link to your contest in my Links to a Healthy Weekend later this afternoon. Congrats on all your exciting changes!

  54. PS. To cover any confusion, I do have a North America address and I’ll be there in a month so perfecting timing to get some of that syrup. Wish I could win the cakes too! They look amazing. 🙂

  55. Maple Syrup has been on my list for quite some time, but I’m trying to find the right place to buy it from…winning it would be even better, right?

    I like the categories on your blog so I can easily find what I’d like. However, it didn’t seem very clear on where to comment as it’s hidden with the keywords. Also, finding the date of this post was difficult too. I do LOVE how your post is still there when I’m in the comment field though – that’s super helpful!

  56. Congratulations on the new blog-home! I’ve been reading for a while now and I can’t wait to read more! And wow, maple syrup… A whole quart?? That is amazing!

  57. Also, my favorite recipe of yours that calls for maple syrup is your carob-date pancakes. They were amazing and unlike any pancake I’ve ever had before!
    I know your recipe for your apple-quinoa cake calls for agave nectar, but I always end up putting in some (or all) maple syrup instead! of the latest one we’ve made (with added dried cranberries :3)

  58. AutumnTao says:

    Congrats on the cookbook and new site. What I would love to see is a FAQ section. With regard to baking, I’d like to know what to expect when changing flours or using agave and maple syrup instead of other sugars and how to swap ingredients and still maintain the recipe.

  59. Sarah C. says:

    I like the new blog layout, but I might suggest a larger font. Somehow it is a bit harder to read than the old one. Maybe it’s just the font, not the size? Anyway, good luck in this new blog “home” and thanks for the contest. (I’m not in Toronto, but those cakes look great!).

  60. OMG I LOVE MAPLE SYRUP!!!!!!!

    I also love your new blog addy, although I want your title to be a bit larger at the top….make “Diet, Desert, and Dogs” more attention grabbing and standout-ish..that’s what I’ve got….Hope I win the maple syrup!

  61. while the maple syrup would be nice, i REALLY REALLY REALLY would love the cake!!! my suggestions would be to:
    -add some color (such as changing the backround color), everything just seems a little white
    -to make the center column a bit narrower so that there is more space between the center and the side bars.
    I kinda also like the old font better, although im not really sure if it’s the font or just the fact that its written in a narrower space and lighter color. I’m hoping you’ll still add the list of blogs on the side bar, it was nice having new blogs to check out every once in a while.
    please pick me!!!
    still love your site and the wonderful recipes, can’t wait till the book comes out 🙂

  62. Two things I enjoy about the new site.

    1) drop-down menus at the top, quick-glance easy to navigate
    2) word sizing.

    Ricki I thought maybe you could put the top blog posts read on the right hand side (under the ads), that way you can expand the reading pane for your actual blog itself.

    — ALSO on your recipe index, if you were to put the numerous topics at the top of the page with a quick jump to that section, it would be a quicker find, with easy access.

    BUT I love love the new way the website will look.
    (I’ve linked you on my blog :D, I’ll keep reading, and hopefully I get that delicious looking cake… or the mayple syrup… mmmmmmmmmm. YAY Toronto)

  63. Just found your blog and gotta say I love it! Having just come back from 4 years in Canada with as many liters of maple syrup with me as I could carry, I’ve fallen in love with the stuff and cooking with it really can’t be replaced by anything else! Anyways, my suggestions for you on how you already awesome blog could be improved:

    -definitely need to jazz up the blog, it visually looks a little bland right now (color, layout, etc.)

    -don’t know if you cook with them often but it would be great to have some/more recipes with vegan protein alternatives other than the beans/quinoa/nuts emphasis (which most vegans tend to do anyway)… having recipes with things like tofu, seitan, tempeh, etc. would be awesome since they are always hardest to find 🙂

    -and as a compliment/say something option: despite you not liking seaweed, thank you thank you thank you for posting that Arame Edamame recipe! I’ve just rediscovered arame (I’ve always been a huge fan of seaweed), and the next day, I randomly fell on your recipe! Now that’s fate 🙂

    Really glad I discovered your blog!

  64. Just one thing about your new blog? I think what I like best about your new blog is that it is a clearly a sign of your success as a blogger that you needed a new improved blog to handle the demands of the fantastic content you share 🙂

  65. This is an amazing setup, Ricki! I was wondering how you found time to accomplish this. You are so smart to have someone else do it!

    So exciting about the cookbook!

  66. ooh, can’t wait for the book!!! i’m not in the toronto area, but can always use some good maple syrup 🙂 I like the new home, but I think the header gets kinda lost… i’d like to see it pop like like everything you make!

  67. sadly, i cannot win the cake, but i will give you my opinion anyway in the hopes of fulfilling my maple syrup needs for the next billion years =).

    i like the layout of the new blog; it’s easy to navigate. my criticism is that it looks a bit sterile. your posts are so lively and exciting, and the utilitarian structure and colors don’t match your bubbly and fantastic personality! not that it should be barbie pink (though that’s always fun), but it needs some spice.

    =)

  68. YAY for the book cover!! It’s SO beautiful!!

    As is your new blog… I love everything about it, and but I think I love all the great, easy to navigate recipe indexes the most! 🙂

  69. I’ll tell you what I liked right away… a new recipe for beets! We just love beets, and this salad sounds awesome. I just read in the paper that the new garden President Barack Obama and his family will not include beets because “The president doesn’t like beets.” Think he’ll get a lot of mail?

    I saw the link to this contest on Andrea’s blog. (cookeasyvegan.blogspot.com) She often tells me to take a look when she sees something she especially likes.

  70. Hi Ricki! I’ve been looking forward to your book for some time–happy to see you now have a cover for it!

    One thing I like best about your new site is the search bar! This makes is especially easy for me to search for delicious recipes on your site.

    I really enjoyed the maple flax cookies you posted recently. I don’t think I’ve made anything else from your blog that included maple syrup, but I’m curious to try your tahini-miso sauce as I love all things tahini.

    Unfortunately I’m not eligible for the cake, but please put me in the drawing for the maple syrup! Thanks so much!

  71. I just discovered your blog, so I can’t really share what I like about the new version verses the old–but I can tell you what sets your blog apart from the many others I visit! Your category drop down menu makes it so easy for me to browse for topics I’m interested in. I love the links at the top of your current post that lets me advance the post prior or after the one I’m reading.

    One minor suggestion I have is to space out the titles in your Top Posts list. They all run together and it makes it hard to see what the major stories are because your eye just sees a bunch of text.

    I look forward to being a subscriber!

  72. Wow, Ricki, it looks great! Your own domain name… so sophisticated! I’m still over in .blogspot territory! Very impressive. My favorite thing about the new home, other than the domain name, are the tabs up at top, with the drop down menus and such… I especially like that the girls got their own tab. Woof!

    boohoo that I don’t qualify for cake, but I am a serious pure maple syrup addict, so that would be awesome!

  73. I like your new site but the main thing I wish was different is that every time I click on a link a new window pops up. I click on a lot of things because your site is full of interesting stuff, and then end up with too many windows open!

  74. Also, the Decadent Chocolate Pate sounds like a delicious way to use maple syrup. I love chocolate and anything that is like the inside of a truffle sounds heavenly.

  75. love the new site and your cookbook cover – seems it is all onwards and upwards

  76. I really like your new layout. Main content bordered by columns that contain your pictures, search menus, list of blog entries and the tabs up top. Very nice. Easy to access any and all info one might need. Congrats to you on the new site and the cookbook! I can hardly wait to see your cookbook.

  77. Kathleen says:

    Ooh, I love maple syrup, great giveaway!!
    I like the new site, especially the tabs at the top. However there is something about the new layout that is a bit bland, not sure what to suggest to spice it up, but I think you need something so your site really jumps out at you!
    Since all things maple syrup are just my thing, I really like the maple flax cookies however your pecan pie recipe comes in a close second for me.

  78. Yay, nice site! Moved over in my reader and everything!

    The only thing I’d suggest is a subtle hint of color behind your sidebars. Nothing too distracting, just a hint.

  79. Too cool Ricki! I love the new layout! I really can’t find anything that I don’t like. What I really like is the drop down menu for categories — very cool. Perhaps I didn’t notice it on your old blog, but the categories “About Me” “Girl” etc are a great addition as well. And those girls get cuter with each photo.

    ::crossing my fingers for some awesome maple syrup::

  80. I love the new blog! I just would like to see a little more color or maybe a a more interesting font, but overall I really like the layout of the site!

  81. The new layout looks good. I’d love to see more of the girls. In reference to your spring throughout the years, I feel your pain. Taxes and muddy dogs, spring just ain’t what it used to be.

  82. Wow! The cover of your cookbook is so inviting! BRAVO! I’ve never tasted organic maple syrup before but am now longing to. 2009 finds me trying and immediately benefiting from gluten free. I’m definately going to try the Maple-Flax Cookies. Woo Hoo!

    As for you Blog, all the white gives it a “clinical” feeling; sort of like white lab coats. Or maybe it’s just that it’s Spring and we’ve still got lots of snow here and I’d much prefer the explosion of color that I know lies under the blanket of white stuff. Anyway, my other preference would be a Bold font to make for easier reading of the Tabs on the top of the page.

  83. Hey Ricki!! If you’ll hike out to Oshawa I’d be elegible for the cake (or even Scarborough – that’s where I have classes) but it wouldn’t even be for me to eat… I’d be donating it to one of my professor’s charities for Autism. But enough about that. I love the new layout of the blog! I guess the only thing I could think of to add (and it’s a ton of work, so don’t be wigged out by it) would be NI for your recipes. I’m one of those visual people :-).

    By the way, that chocolate pate of yours is almost at the top of my to-do list! Just have to find some willing diners!

    Congrats on the new site!

  84. More recipes and pics are always great and appreciated. Thanks for hosting the contest!

  85. I definitely think a cartoon of The Girls at the top would be great. Alas, I am no cartoonist. Hopefully some else comes along though… I really like the organization of the new blog overall. Congrats!

  86. Hey again! I just mentioned and linked to your post from my blog: http://yummysmells.blogspot.com/2009/03/maybe-its-booze.html. Congrats again!

  87. Emily VH says:

    I’m really looking forward to the new book! The new site looks good: I think it needs more colour though – either the columns need to have some contrast between them or the text does (your old blog has a golden coloured title, dark grey subtitle and then the orange header…just keeping it a bit diverse to help the eye you know?

  88. Emily VH says:

    My fave maple syrup recipe has got to be the Mostly Raw Chocolate Truffles! You can’t go wrong and people always love them. plus they’re pretty easy to mix and match flavours too, like adding almond butter instead of cashew. etc. Yay maple syrup!

  89. I love your new site and can’t think of any ways to improve it. 🙂 Congratulations on the new cookbook. The cover looks fabulous!

    I think my favorite maple recipe would be the raw milky way bars. I used to love Milky Ways as a kid and these look delectible!

    Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recipes and for doing this contest. You are very sweet!

  90. Those cakes look delish! It makes me want to move to Toronto, just so I can win one!

    I skipped on over to your new site – the photos are gorgeous (I’m sure that’s standard), and I really like your drop-down box on the right for categories. I love a food blog that I can navigate!

  91. Rhonda-Lee says:

    Love the recipes and your fun easy going and open style. New to the world of blogs and had difficulty finding where to leave a comment and almost gave up. The tabs and side bar were good although the tabs weren’t too visible..color? Hmm, other than that I should be in Toronto at around the right time, LOL.

  92. I love the new site! I like the theme but was thinking that maybe a colorful header showcasing your awesome food photos might be a nice addition.

  93. Michelle says:

    Well, I just stumbled on your site today as a link from Laptop Lunches and I already have 20 recipes I want to try! I definitely like the look of the blog and find it easy to find things. The only thing I would add is I couldn’t find a link on the new site to the recipe list that I found on the “old” site. Maybe I just missed it but that was really helpful.

    I have to say that I’m dying to try the Milky Way bars. Hopefully I can win the maple syrup and make them for my whole office! Thanks for more foodie inspiration!

  94. I’m new to your food blog, but like what I see!

    I think a cool addition would be a banner across the top of your dogs running in the park…

    I’ll have to check out more of your blog and give you more directed comments later though. While you’re at it, I’m a month into writing a healthy living blog and I may have some healthy recipes included you may be interested in and I’d appreciate your help as well as your time permits on pointers for my blog.

    Thanks for promoting a healthy lifestyle with your blog 🙂

  95. I love the cover! And I love your new website. I think the recipe index pull down is my favorite. I agree, a header with some of your food photos would catch the eye 🙂

  96. JessiCar says:

    Great looking syrup, I love to drizzle a little on my oatmeal! I am not in Canada so sadly, none of that amazing looking cake for me 🙂

    After taking a look at the new blog, the ONLY thing I can think of that is possibly missing would be a FAQ section. Personally I adore those.

    And I don’t have a blog of my own, but for the two extra chances, my favorite recipe that includes maple syrup would have to be the Blended Hot Cereal. It looks amazing and what an interesting idea to blend the cereal!

  97. I haven’t been reading you blog for too long, so I can’t really comment on how the new blog is different from the old one. But I am loving the new blog. I like the tabs across the top to learn more about you, your diet, your dogs, your cookbook, etc. I love the comments from the dogs. I have a border collie/black lab mix as well.
    I posted about your giveaway on my blog!

  98. Welcome to your new home! I would love to see more flash-in-the-pan recipes, which I see you did today. 🙂 I feel a bit less comfy on the site, but I’m sure I’ll warm up to it!

  99. I’m relatively new to you’re blog so I can’t really miss anything from the old one. The only thing I would suggest, if you can, is to increase the kernel a bit since everything looks a bit crowded together (I think that what it’s called, the space between lines, like double spacing but not to that extreme).

    Other than that, not only do I live in Toronto (yay!), but my best friend/roomie’s birthday is in a couple of weeks. A perfect occasion for what looks like an amazing cake!

    And I’m about to link to this post as soon as I upload some pics and hit publish.

  100. Ooohh snazzy. Its different for sure, but not in a bad way. I just need to get used to it all over again. =P
    I like the ‘Top Posts’ and how they highlight when you scroll over them.(Call me lame, whatevs.)
    Also, I like the navigation for your site, ie; Home, About, Recipes, etc. Easy to use. And again, quite snazzy. Tee.

  101. Oh wow, that is awesome. I would love to see more recipes coming, love them!

  102. i actually like it the way it is easy to read and to the point thanks for the giveaway

  103. Kelly Ann T. says:

    I love the dogs. I’m a huge dog lover and I do all the events here that help raise money for rescues. My dog and I are looking forward to the dog easter egg hunts that will be coming up soon.

  104. Kelly Ann T. says:

    I would like to try the chocolate pecan pie recipe.

  105. Deborah R says:

    Navigation is easy, but page load is slow (with DSL). I like the clean layout and crisp photos.

  106. I’d like to see more dogger pics.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

  107. Jennifer says:

    Yay a giveaway!

    I really like:
    a) the color scheme (simple and not distracting, but pretty)
    b) the comment box (very nice gray tones)
    c) the condensed categories and archives

    Keep it up with the awesome recipes!

  108. I love giveaways! 🙂

    I’m new to your blog, but I love it. My hubby and I are trying to change our diets and eat more REAL foods. We’re cutting out refined sugars, so I love all of your recipes with maple syrup (and would love to win a quart of it!). I like the ingredients/substitutions page on your blog. Do you have any information on sugar substitutions? (How to interchange honey or maple syrup for sugar in recipes, etc?) I don’t see it and would find that info really helpful. Thanks!

  109. jennifer h says:

    I cannot wait until your cookbook comes out!

    For your blog, I think you should add some color and art to the pages. The white is a bit plain. I’m thinking something mouthwatering for the background is a must!

  110. Hi there! Here’s my 2 cents for the maple syrup giveaway. I do agree that the Site needs more color, but I think the most important thing on a blog is the header. It’s the first thing a reader sees and what might pull them in.

    Also, I have mentioned your new site on my blog, and hopefully I can get my butt in gear and try those tempting Maple cupcakes!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  111. I’d sure love some maple syrup to make those awesome maple cupcakes! 🙂 The new place looks really good…and I can’t wait to see the finished cookbook! Congrats on all that is going on. 🙂

  112. Hi Ricki! Many thanks for the encouragement! Your blog is definitely one of my go-to sources. Your new site does indeed seem a little black-and-white – perhaps you should add a couple of your pictures (of recipes, dogs, …) at the top that link to popular posts? Or have rotating pictures? I’m always one for some good food porn, as they say. 🙂 Oh and I’m excited about the little square images that show up with the comment – wonder what color I’ll get…

  113. reva skie says:

    I love your use of photographs. That crimson salad looks so good I want to lick the screen.

  114. 1. As a college student, I would love to see more budget-friendly recipes, as well as cooking for one.

    2. I’ve never cooked with maple syrup before, but these cupcakes are making me change my mind. I love vegan desserts!

  115. Hi Ricki, I would love to see you use more low starch flours/nut meals. I know how creative you are, and want to be able to take advantage of more of your recipes (since I have to keep carbs low).

    Beautiful new blog home! I’ll continue to poke through the archives to see what delicious goodness I’ve missed. Good luck with the book. It should be a hit judging from the innovative, tasty content here!

  116. I think one small thing that could be improved on the new page is to make the sides look more streamlined and cleaner. It’s sort of a lot to look at visually, but otherwise, the new site is great!

  117. Oh and for my second entry, I’d LOVE to try the chocolate pecan pie. I’m impressed that you were able to make it without corn syrup.

  118. I love your blog and will review it on my blog in the near future. I love cooking and baking with maple products. I love to try new brands—in fact I just got some product from Canada. I would love to win and try the syrup.

  119. Hi Ricki!

    Wow you have been super busy–I think the new site looks great!

    You are such a great photographer and your pictures are so beautiful so
    the only thing I would change is to add more pictures and perhaps
    if you have time to add more search categories… I think it’s always best to
    have as many options for people to search as possible.
    That being said, since I am in the middle of doing my own
    “website renovation”, I know how much work this all is and
    if you left it exactly as it is, it would be fine too!!

    Your cookbook cover looks great by the way and I can’t wait to get it and promote it
    on my site.

    I’m going to head over to twitter now and mention your maple syrup contest!

    Keep in touch,
    Winnie Abramson

  120. Let’s see on your new blog if you could make smellovision a reality, that would be great! Since I’m doubtful you have those capabilities, I’ll tell you what I like about your site. I love all the search capabilities! Great work and I can just taste that maple syrup atop some warm pancakes.

  121. Sandra K321 says:

    I love that you are having giveaways on the new blog. You can never have too much maple syrup.

  122. jvegegirl says:

    I love the flash in the pan recipes! More of those would be great!

  123. jvegegirl says:

    I love your sweet scramble with maple syrup, and I’ve made it many times!

  124. Yay! Your new blog is wonderful. I tried very hard to find something to improve on but couldn’t think of a thing. I’ve tried one of your recipes (salad dressing) and love it..can’t wait to get started on more!

  125. I do like your blog Ricki, especially the photos – they make me salivate! – I can’t think of anything that I’d change

  126. I love the photo on the cover of your book! Eye-catching and colourful. Well done!

  127. Pascale Breton says:

    Thank you for your amazing maple frosting recipe.
    My children are in love with it!
    The cake is awesome too!
    You are very generous to share your recipes with us.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Ricki, over at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs is giving away maple syrup and a cake in honor of her new blog home!  Go check it out and enter the contest! […]

  2. […] refuse the amazing chocolate cake or maple syrup Rikki’s giving away over at the new Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  Or for that matter, a chance to try a Dempster’s Fresh Square for free with a coupon from […]

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