Category Archives: Giveaway

Easy Corn Esquites + A Giveaway

Easy Corn Esquites

It’s almost Labor Day, which means Summer’s almost over, which is pretty darn depressing.

Luckily, I got to try the Just Mayo line from Hampton Creek for one last taste of Summer and a lift in spirit.

For my whole life I didn’t think I liked mayo up until a couple of years ago when I actually tried it and–surprise, surprise–got hooked on the savory spread. I loved all of the Hampton Creek flavors, but the sriracha was by far my favorite even though I don’t like regular sriracha. It’s just the right amount of spice and cooling creaminess.

The garlic came in a close second when I made a killer potato salad for a camping trip with it that got eaten up almost immediately. Overall I love that these get a ton of flavor from a few simple ingredients. 

I had an amazing corn salad in the city with chipotle mayo, parmesan, and smoky spices. I knew I wanted to try it out myself because it highlighted the flavors of the ingredients with true simplicity. I’m sure you’ll eat more corn and mayo over Labor Day weekend but be sure to sneak this recipe in, too. 

Easy Corn Esquites

You can really prepare the corn for this anyway you want(you can even use frozen–just don’t admit to it). I roasted it since that’s easiest to do in a small NYC apartment but grilling would add a great smoky flavor.

Easy Corn Esquites

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 2 corn cobs, washed and cleaned 
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 Tablespoons parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy mayo
  • 2 lime wedges for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease the corn with the oil.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes until the corn turns golden.
  4. After the corn’s cooled slightly, separate it from the cob with a sharp knife.
  5. In a large bowl mix together the corn, salt, lime juice, and chili powder.
  6. Scoop evenly into two small bowls. Sprinkle the parmesan and a dollop of mayo on top. Serve with a lime wedge at room temperature or slightly warmer.

Hampton Creek Mayo


Want to try some of every flavor? Tell me what mayo-centric recipe you would make with it. Including what flavor/recipe you would use is optional but encouraged. I’ll pick a winner at random next Tuesday, the 2nd, right after Labor Day. Good luck! 

{Gluten-Free} Flour, Too + Giveaway

{Gluten-Free} Flour, Too   Giveaway

If you’re from the Boston area you’ve probably heard of Joanne Chang-Myer’s Flour. If not, you’re in for a treat.

Flour is a local bakery with 4 cafes in the Boston area. They have all sorts of desserts, pastries, sandwiches, entrees and salads. I went one with a friend who’s also gluten-free and we split one of the most delicious meringues I’ve ever had with huge chunks of dark chocolate inside. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back and get another.

{Gluten-Free} Flour, Too   Giveaway Book

Stonyfield offered to send some of their Clean Plate Club members a signed copy of Joanne’s second book, “Flour, Too”, and an extra copy to give away. Flipping through the cookbook I loved the photos, kitchen tips and tricks, and variety. For a cookbook with “flour” in the title, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free recipes from desserts to salads and entrees. It was hard to pick the first recipe to try but I settled on the Vegan Vanilla-Mixed Berry Muffins because the photo was so enticing and it seemed simple enough for a weekday afternoon.

{Gluten-Free} Flour, Too   Giveaway Flour

Gluten-free all purpose flour is a great tool for people new to the gluten-free baking scene. Most allow for a 1:1 substitution for all purpose flour in just about any recipe so you can still make all your favorite recipes. I’ve been using the Bob’s Red Mill brand for 3 years now.

I wanted to stick as closely to Joanne’s recipe as possible so I only swapped the regular flour out for gluten-free all purpose flour and soy milk out for fat-free milk(what I had on hand). The muffins came out flavorful and fantastic. Next time I make them, however, I’d probably swap out half of the oil in the recipe(almost 1 cup) for Stonyfield yogurt to lighten them up. 

{Gluten-Free} Flour, Too   Giveaway Raw


Stonyfield has a second copy of Joanne’s book “Flour, Too” to give to a lucky US reader along with some Stonyfield coupons to get cooking. There are several different ways to enter. Please leave a comment for each entry.

  1. Leave a comment with your favorite kitchen swap. Yogurt for oil? Gluten-free flour for regular? Something else?
  2. Like Stonyfield Farm on Facebook
  3. Like The Wannabe Chef on Facebook
  4. Like Flour Bakery + Cafe on Facebook
  5. Tweet “I want to win a copy of Flour, Too from @Stonyfield and @WannabeChefEvan

I’ll leave the contest open for a week and pick a winner on August 8th.


Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt + Giveaway

Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt

There are some foods that just taste better in the Summer: Trifles, anything with fresh berries, and—of course—ice cream. Stonyfield recently asked their Clean Plate Club bloggers to come up with recipes to kick off Summer. What’s a better way to kick off Summer with Greek yogurt than to make frozen yogurt?

This quickly became one of my favorite frozen yogurts I’ve had. It’s smooth, creamy, and refreshing. I’m sure the block of cream cheese took away some of the health benefits of frozen yogurt, but there’s still a good cup of protein-packed Greek yogurt in there to encourage you to have another scoop.

Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Stack

The ice cream maker I use is a 1 1/2-quart Cuisinart. I got it a few years ago and have used it every Summer, so I highly recommend adding one to your kitchen collection. Make sure to read the manual for whatever ice cream maker you have and follow their instructions for freezing it correctly.

Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt

Prep time: 15 minutes

Freeze time: 2 1/2 hours


  • 1 cup Stonyfield plain Greek yogurt*
  • 1 8oz block Neufchatel cream cheese*
  • 3/4 cup strawberry jam*
  • 1 1/2 cup 0% or 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

*These ingredients will be easiest to mix if they’re at room temperature.

Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Churning


  1. In a large bowl, beat together the yogurt, cream cheese, and jam until there are no clumps in the mix.
  2. Add in the milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat until fully mixed.
  3. Pour the base into an ice cream maker and freeze using the manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Let the frozen ice cream sit out for 5 minutes before scooping and serving to soften.

Strawberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Serving


Stonyfield wants to give away coupons equal to a free case of Stonyfield Greek and a Stonyfield cookbook to help kick off the Summer for a reader. There are 5 ways to enter the giveaway; I’ll keep it open through next Thursday, June 27th.

  1. Leave a comment with your favorite frozen yogurt flavor.
  2. Follow @Stonyfield on Twitter and comment saying that you did.
  3. Follow @WannabeChefEvan on Twitter and comment saying that you did.
  4. Like Stonyfield Organic on Facebook and comment saying that you did.
  5. Like The Wannabe Chef on Facebook and comment saying that you did.

Good luck!

24 Hours of Peanuts {Giveaway}

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A couple months ago I was lucky to be included in a project the National Peanut Board was making with various food bloggers. Just this month the 24/7 Energy Recipe Resource project has been printed and released and I got a few copies to flip through. The book is filled with peanut facts, ways to snack and recipes that incorporate peanut butter into every meal. Come to think of it I’m sure there have been days when I’ve had peanuts at every meal but never with such a range of flavors and unique ideas for using them.

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My recipe contribution was peanut butter granola. I love that and need to make it again sometime, but before that I wanted to try some of the other recipes in the book. One of the simplest and most appealing I could find was for a peanut butter banana quesadilla. The recipe calls for whole wheat tortillas but I swapped those out for corn tortillas to easily make it gluten-free.

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It was delicious. I never would have thought to put cinnamon with peanut butters and bananas but the flavors totally worked. I would probably add a drizzle of honey next time because the peanut butter I used had no sugars added to it. Otherwise this was a great snack and there are plenty of soup, sauce, and dessert recipes to try to fill the other 23 hours of the day.

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The National Peanut Board gave me plenty of prizes to share the love of peanuts around. I have a duplicate prize pack of one that I received featuring a recipe booklet, apron, cocktail shaker, notepad, peanut spreader and (of course) peanuts as well as 2 extra recipe booklets to give away, so I’ll randomly pick 3 winners from the comments.

To enter leave a comment with the name of your favorite peanut recipe.

For extra entries

I’ll pick 3 comments at random next Wednesday night, April 24th, and email the winners. Good luck!

Almond Butter Fudge + Giveaway

Almond Butter Fudge Yield

It’s no surprise that I’m a fan of almonds in all form on this blog, whether its almond butter, almond flour or just almonds. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around where the milk comes from though.

The Almond Board of California alerted me that tomorrow, February 16th, is National Almond Day and what better way to celebrate than with a recipe and a giveaway?

I came across this crazy delicious recipe for coconut fudge on the Whole Foods recipe blog and had to try it out with almonds. I knew if the finished result tasted anything like chocolate covered almonds it would be right up my alley.

Almond Butter Fudge Almond Butter

Salt and almonds are the perfect way to dress up a simple fudge recipe. You could add a little sugar into the melted chocolate but the simple flavor and crunch of the almonds shine through without anything added.

Almond Butter Fudge

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 20 servings):

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons natural almond butter
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup shaved almonds

Almond Butter Fudge


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, melt together the chocolate chips and butter until they are runny and smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the almond butter, water, vanilla extract and salt together until evenly mixed.
  3. Stir the wet mixture into the melted chocolate and mix until smooth.
  4. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch loaf pan or other small Tupperware.
  5. Pour the fudge into the load pan and lightly shake until it has set in an even layer.
  6. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the fudge and press them in gently.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until the fudge has set before cutting into 1-inch squares.

Almond Day Giveaway

Now for the exciting part. The Almond Board of California is giving away an almond prize pack to one random US reader. You’ll get the same package I received including almond butter, almonds, slivered almonds, almond flour, and flavored almonds. To enter, leave a comment for each entry below.

The giveaway is open until Wednesday, February 20th. Good luck!

Stonyfield Blends & Blendtec Giveaway

Stonyfield Blends

This is by far my favorite opportunity of 2013 so far.

As a recipe developer for the Clean Plate Club, I had the opportunity to try Stonyfield’s newest yogurt Blends as well as a Blendtec to play around in the kitchen with. Since I’ve got it I’ve been bookmarking smoothie, juices, and soup recipes left and right. The best part is that I have an identical pack to giveaway to a reader–more on that at the end of the post!

Stonyfield Peanut Butter Dip

The first thing I blended up was fruity peanut butter yogurt dip made with french vanilla Stonyfield Blends. After almost 2 years that recipe needed a facelift. With the vanilla yogurt, it tasted more like a peanut butter frosting than a dip and was deliciously smooth.

I’ve found I like the Blends better than the regular variety of Stonyfield yogurt. The texture seems a little creamier even though the flavors I received were non-fat, and I’ve never been a fan of having the fruit on the bottom of the yogurt anyway. And because it’s Stonyfield they’re all entirely organic. I would say the Blends are a win-win.

Blendtec Giveaway

My favorite thing about the Blendtec so far has been how easy it is to use. I’ve been working with a Black & Decker food processor for years now and the Blendtec is lighter, sturdier, has less pieces to it, can handle heavier loads, and is much easier to clean. It’s blown my old processor away in just about every aspect. It can be hard to clean under the blade after processing something sticky like peanut butter; that’s been my only trouble so far.

Dirty Blender


Here’s my favorite part: I get to giveaway an identical prize pack to one of you, which includes a Blendtec and package of the new Stonyfield Blends. There are 7 ways to win!

Mandatory entry: What would your favorite flavor of blended yogurt be? It can be one of the new ones or one you just made up!

Other entries:

I’ll leave this contest going for 2 weeks, ending on February 1st. Good luck!

Edit: This giveaway has closed and the winner has been contacted.

Homemade Chocolate Turtles {+ Giveaway}

Homemade Chocolate Turtles

Before Thanksgiving I was thinking of different recipes I could use the American Heritage Chocolate I received on. It’s hard to find old-fashioned recipes that are also gluten-free since I don’t think that was much of a concern in the 18th century. I remembered how much I like old fashioned candy shops and seeing the homemade candies behind a glass case and wanted to try making a favorite: turtles.

I can’t say I went all-out old-fashioned with this recipe because I cheated a little bit and bought wrapped caramels. Learning how to use a candy thermometer well is something I want to do; this didn’t seem like a good time to start practicing, though. Store-bought or not, the end result was delicious and that’s what really matters, right?

American Heritage Chocolate

Whenever you’re working with high-quality baking chocolate I would suggest melting it over the stove using the double boiler method. Boil water in a small pot and place a fitted bowl on top with the chocolate inside of it, moving the chocolate around to melt it evenly. Chop the chocolate into smaller portions to make it melt faster.

Homemade Chocolate Turtles

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 10 turtles)

*I used Trader Joe’s salted old fashioned caramels. Feel free to make your own from scratch if you’re experienced with a candy thermometer.

Homemade Chocolate Turtles Yield


  1. Lay the pecans out in clusters on a non-stick, greased surface.
  2. Spoon about a Tablespoon of the melted caramel on top of each pecan cluster.
  3. Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate until it is smooth and shiny.
  4. Spoon just enough chocolate on top of the the clusters to cover most of the caramel and pecans.
  5. Move the turtles into the refrigerator or freezer for 20 minutes to set the chocolate.
  6. Serve and store at room temperature.

Homemade Chocolate Turtles Serving

Now for the fun part. American Heritage Chocolate wants to give away some of their finely ground chocolate drink and chocolate sticks to 2 US readers. All you have to do is leave a comment for each entry below and I’ll pick the winners Tuesday, December 4th, at midnight.

Good luck!

Smartphone Camera Apps + an HTC One X Giveaway

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Back at the beginning of September I wrote a post about how I’m a part of AT&T’s “It’s what you do with what we do” campaign. AT&T gave me an HTC One X phone to test out(and one to giveaway in today’s post!) and see how I could make it fit my lifestyle as a food blogger. Immediately I set it up to use for social media and photo sharing. Over the last month I’ve had a lot of fun using the camera phone and 4G to tweet and post on Facebook more candid photos while I was cooking and setting up shots for blog posts. Thankfully I really haven’t ran into any bumps with the phone; you can read all about how I set it up in my first post.

The main thing I was interested in was using the 8 megapixel f2.0 camera to get great shots on the go and finding apps that would help enhance them. I found it really easy to take photos, work with them between apps, and upload them to the internet quickly. The big screen and big buttons makes it easier to see smaller details and work through the phone. And I found an Android app for just about anything I could need, from tweeting to reading my Kindle ebooks. I focused a lot on finding and trying photo apps that tied in with the great camera; I thought I’d share some of my favorites that I came across.

As a sidenote, I use Instagram a lot(@EvanThomas) but don’t talk about it here. It’s not one of my favorite apps for taking and editing photos, but it’s the only one with a social component. More often than not I’ll edit photos in one of the other apps and upload it to Instagram.


My favorite photo for editing photos was a new one I found in the app store called pixlr-o-matic. I’m hardly exaggerating when I say this app has just about any effect you could ask for. There are literally hundreds of filters, borders, and textures to choose from. If you’re getting bored of the standard old Instagram features, this is definitely the best one to switch to.

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I love the texture effects that add flares to the photos. As someone who’s worked with developing film, those are very hard to get naturally, so having the option to digitally manipulate them is awesome. Some of these filters and textures are so great that I’ve been using their online version to edit photos I take with my DSLR before sharing them online.


My favorite app is still Pudding Camera. I’ll usually take photos with this app and edit or share them in others afterwards. The interface is simply fun and easy to manage and it has just the right options so that there’s something for every occasion.


I’m really obsessed with the motion x4 setting which takes 4 different exposures. It’s useless for food photography but adds an interesting touch to pictures of large spaces. The fantasy setting is great if you want a focus center and soft blur around the edges to give a low aperture impression.


Not a photo app but an app I’ve really loved nonetheless—Out Of Milk is an app that keeps track of your shopping and other lists. There are a lot of apps like this but this one was my clear favorite. You can have different groups, such as items you always need to get every week. You can also cross an item off your list without deleting it, which I found helpful for the items I knew I’d need to add back on the list as soon as I got home. And there’s a part that keeps track of what you already have in your pantry.

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ATT is letting me giveaway one HTC One X phone($500 value) without service to a reader! To enter, comment below with how you use technology to help with your cooking adventures. Also leave a separate comment for any additional entries.

Additional entries:

  • Like The Wannabe Chef on Facebook
  • Like AT&T on Facebook
  • If you have twitter, tweet “I want to win an @ATT smartphone #ItsWhatYouDo”

I will randomly pick a winner out of the comments on Friday, October 5th. Good luck!

Guacamole Giveaway

Guacamole Giveaway

Concord Foods and Brooks Tropicals are having a promotion and they want you to be a part of it.

From now until the end of September you can enter the Simple Math Guacamole sweepstakes to win cash or guacamole prizes. They also gave me the chance to try out their simple math guacamole as well as some extra guacamole mixes to give away.

Guacamole Giveaway Plated

To make the guac, I just had to mash up a slimcado and add the guacamole mix—couldn’t have been simpler. I added a little lemon juice to brighten up the flavor even though the mix has lemon juice powder in it; I think it really helped make it taste fresh. If you added the lemon juice and some freshly chopped cilantro you could easily pass it off as homemade at any party.

The ingredients in the guacamole mix aren’t quite as clean as if you made the guacamole yourself, but for a prepared food mix they aren’t too shabby. I also loved the idea of not having to buy a bunch of different flavors and spices I know I’d only use for one recipe.

Guacamole Giveaway Collage

The Florida avocado has less fat and calories than a Hass avocado; because of this, the flavor is less rich and slightly bitter. I couldn’t see myself cutting a slice and putting it on top of salad to eat raw, but mixed with other ingredients in a recipe I couldn’t taste the difference between a slimcado and a hass avocado. The Florida avocadoes also don’t darken as they turn ripe so the ones you see in the photos are actually at their peak of ripeness.

To take the avocadoes beyond simple guacample, Brooks Tropicals made a number of idea boards filled with easy recipes anyone can make like passion fruit guacamole and slimcado roulades.

Guacamole Giveaway Mixes


Concord Foods and Brooks Tropicals have given me 10 guacamole mixes to give away to 10 different readers within the US.

To enter: Go to the Brooks Tropical slimcado recipes page and leave a comment below with an avocado recipe that catches your eye. There are tons!

Bonus entries: Like The Wannabe Chef on Facebook or be a follower @WannabeChefEvan on Twitter and leave a separate comment saying you are.

I’ll pick 10 winners from the comments at random next Friday, July 27th, and email them to get their addresses, so please leave an email when you comment. And don’t forget to enter the Simple Math Guacamole sweepstakes for more prizes.

Lollihop Review + Giveaway

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You probably haven’t heard of Lollihop; I know I hadn’t until recently when they contacted me. That’s because it’s a brand new company dedicated to introduce their customers to new healthy foods. In there own words,

Lollihop is a brand new subscription service where, every month, you’ll receive a box of the tastiest, most organic and nutritious snacks on the market (and some not even on the market yet)! 

Each treat is carefully selected by a team of nutritionists, so you can rest assured that you’re being sent only the best snacks. Also, we’ll tell you why the snacks are good for you, and share exclusive Lollihop content on how to live your life better, healthier, and happier.

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Subscriptions are $19-$23 a month depending on how long you subscribe for. As you can see, you get a good variety of snacks that would probably cost around that amount if you were out and bought a snack from a convenience store. Lollihop also does a good job at introducing snacks that you might not have otherwise heard of or have the opportunity to try.

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Each box is customized and varied month to month with different snacks for different areas of well-being. The note inside explaining their product choices made it feel very personalized.

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I loved that all of the snacks were carefully selected from natural brands, some familiar and others unfamiliar. I also loved that most of the selected items were free from food allergens like gluten; 7 of the 9 samples I could actually eat, way more than I expected. It’s unclear from their website if you can adjust your box to suit different diets but it sounds as though they plan to arrange that if they haven’t already. You can read more on their How We Select page.  

Would I subscribe to Lollihop for myself? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend it. Since I have to deal with a gluten allergy and am just otherwise a pretty picky eater, a program like this just doesn’t suit me as well as buying all my own food. For people who want to discover new brands, who are open to trying just about anything, who like surprises and convenient groceries dropped off right at their door—for them I would recommend Lollihop. If it’s not for you, a subscription would also make a great holiday gift for any adventurous foodie.



Lollihop is giving away a one-month subscription to one lucky reader. You’ll get a box like I received, but since the products change month to month it will be a completely different variety. There are three ways to enter; please leave a separate comment for each entry. I’ll pick a winner Tuesday night, October 4th, and notify them by Wednesday.

  • Visit the Lollihop website and tell me one company you see affiliated with them that you like.
  • Like Lollihop on Facebook
  • Tweet “I want to win a @Lollihop subscription”

Good luck!