Monday, November 28, 2011

A Visit to Pinnsvin Crossing


I’ve never met a hedgehog. I’ve always wanted to. Despite their prickles, from what I hear the little creatures are charming critters. They’re called pinnsvin in Norwegian and they roam the lush garden in the evening at the home of my friends’ Megan and Sverre Smalø in Trondheim, Norway. So when I visited Megan and Sverre in August, my expectations were high. Any trip to Norway, my favorite place on the planet, gets me excited. A chance to spend almost a week in Trondheim with good friends put me over the moon! I’d visited the old Viking city once before, but then only for a morning.

A little background: I’ve been visiting Norway since forever. Blame it on a college boyfriend who sang seductive Norwegian folk songs, and later, PR clients representing the Norway Sardine Industry who introduced me to aquavit. Those small, lightly smoked fish are tasty and good for you! The beverage... well, you’ll have to taste it for yourself. I returned to Norway once at Christmastime and was smitten for life. In a culture adapted to seasons and geography—a requirement when winter lasts six months in some places and only six percent of the land can be farmed—a snow-covered landscape, candles on every window sill, festive family gatherings, and the peace of Christmas are magical.

So here I was in Trondheim on the west coast of Norway with Megan and Sverre at the end of summer looking out at a glorious blue-green fjord, and exploring a Viking ting (meeting) site, 11th-century stone churches and prehistoric stone etchings, a musical instruments museum, and a waffle house on the beach. All around were prosperous farms with huge barns and golden fields of rye and barley stretching down to the sea. Add Nidaros Cathedral, the coronation site for Norway’s kings and a destination for pilgrims, and finding Seattle’s companion Leif Erikson statue along the harbor for a good measure of history. Of course, tasting Sverre’s home-made farikal and warm, heart-shaped waffles topped with slivers of gjeitost, the creamy brown goat/cow’s milk cheese was bliss!

   

 

But why pinnsvin? It’s Megan’s clever name for her antiques business: Pinnsvin Crossing Brukt og Antik. She and Sverre bought an old (1753) farm just outside Trondheim and to furnish it, went to many country auctions to find vintage housewares and furniture. One thing led to another and Megan started collecting small treasures, setting up a shop in the farm’s mustard yellow stabbur, or storage house. She has an eye for the unusual, and Sverre can mend or polish almost anything. I confess my suitcase wasn’t large enough to bring home all the treasures I saw, but I’m going back soon!

   

Even though we sat very quietly in the garden one evening, alas, no hedgehogs scampered across the lawn. There’s another reason to return to the world’s best place.

-Judith D,  Senior Communications Manager

   

   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Allrecipes’ Mobile Apps on Fire—Surpassing 10 Million Downloads


 

Have you downloaded Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner, Dinner Spinner Pro, or Your Kitchen Inspiration apps? If you answered yes, you are among the more than 10 million home cooks who enjoy the fun, simplicity and convenience of connecting with the world’s largest food community anywhere and anytime meal time inspiration strikes! That’s right, thanks to our amazing community, Allrecipes surpassed the 10 million download mark. Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner and Allrecipes.com Your Kitchen Inspiration continue to be the world’s most downloaded recipe apps for mobile phones and tablets. Did you know the Dinner Spinner generates over 90,000 spins per day?

Check out what Scott Scazafavo, VP of Product had to say: “Allrecipes is thrilled that our mobile apps have reached 10 million downloads and honored that home cooks around the world are using the apps so frequently to help solve the ‘what’s for dinner’ challenge and plan important family meals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Allrecipes is committed to making fun, innovative, user friendly apps that help home cooks on the go quickly access recipes, shopping lists, nutrition information and more. We could not be happier to have such a vibrant community to share these apps with.”

Haven’t had a chance to check out one of the apps? Click here to find out how you can browse more than 40,000 recipes on Allrecipes.com, bookmark your favorite recipes, and share recipes on Facebook and Twitter using the Dinner Spinner and Dinner Spinner Pro apps available for iPhone, iPads, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows Mobile. Click here to find out how you can browse recipes by course, ingredient, method or prep time to find recipes on the Your Kitchen Inspiration app.


Give Thanks! Allrecipes’ eCookbook Has 100 Best Thanksgiving Recipes



Want terrific Thanksgiving recipes to browse at your fingertips? Curious to find out which Thanksgiving recipes Allrecipes’ home cooks have chosen as The Best over the years? Now there’s an entire collection of top-rated and reviewed Thanksgiving recipes exclusively for eReaders and tablets like the iPad and Kindle. It’s Allrecipes’ new eCookbook: Thanksgiving – 100 Best Recipes from Allrecipes.com. Prepared by millions of busy cooks with families, jobs, community activities, and friends—just like you—these recipes have been rated, reviewed, tweaked, and discussed—and served on millions of Thanksgiving dinner tables. They work. They’re delicious. Also included are dozens of practical tips and tricks—you’ll never have lump gravy again!—to help you plan and make Thanksgiving stress-free. Even better, this eCookbook is just $3.99 for a limited time! (Regular price: $7.99) Don’t miss it! Click here to purchase and download a copy for your iPad, Kindle, Nook and/or iPhone.

To make you hungry even before next Thursday, here’s a sampling of the fabulous Thanksgiving recipes in this Allrecipes eCookbook. Grab the eBook to have them all and get cooking!

Butternut Squash Bisque 

By: PHONELADY55
"Great use for all that early fall vegetable! Nice start for a fall day dinner or lunch."



Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing 
By: Stacy M. Polcyn
"This Thanksgiving stuffing is fantastic! It is very flavorful and fresh-tasting. This recipe will stuff a 10-pound turkey (which serves six) plus extra. I replaced the usual pork sausage with much healthier turkey sausage. Other dried fruits may also be used in place of cranberries."

Deep-Fried Turkey 
By: Tim and Meredith
"This is an awesome Cajun recipe. Deep-frying makes the turkey crispy on the outside and super juicy on the inside (even the white meat). It also leaves the heat outside! You can deep-fry the turkey in either peanut or vegetable oil, your choice. We use a 26 quart aluminum pot with a drain basket."

Baked Mashed Potatoes 
By: Nancy F.
"Mashed potatoes that are lighter and fluffier. Cream cheese gives them a richer flavor. Can be made ahead of time!"




Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie  By: ANITAL
"Kentucky bourbon gives a kick to this southern classic."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Consumers to Retailers: Holiday Advertising Is Getting Out of Hand!


Consumers to Retailers: Holiday Advertising Is Getting Out of Hand! 

INSIGHT 1: 82% of home cooks think Christmas is marketed too early, and as a result, Thanksgiving isn’t respected.

When asked whether Christmas is marketed too early, only 3.5% of home cooks disagree, while 14% are neutral. When asked if early Christmas advertising distracted them from Thanksgiving’s importance, the majority of home cooks (56%) replied, “Very much.” 47% also said early holiday advertising kept them from being thankful for what they have, while 37% said it distracted from their enjoyment of Thanksgiving.

How strongly do you agree with this statement: Christmas is marketed too early and the Thanksgiving holiday is getting too little attention.
(82% represents both Agree and Strongly Agree)


How much does Christmas advertising prior to Thanksgiving detract from the following?


INSIGHT 2: 77% of consumers say holiday marketing is out of control when they see holiday décor (trees, wreaths, etc.) set up right after Halloween—or even in July and August.

74% also say hearing Christmas music in October signals extreme holiday marketing, and nearly half see Black Friday deals announced earlier and earlier before Thanksgiving as another signal of over-the-top marketing.

How do you know holiday marketing is getting out of control? (Check all that apply.)


INSIGHT 3: 44% say the best time for holiday specials to begin is the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), or the Monday following Thanksgiving (Cyber Monday).

However, almost one-third of consumers say anytime is good, and “You can’t start shopping too early” and one-fifth say “anytime in November.” This shows that consumers still love good deals, but don’t need all the marketing hype that comes with the push to start Christmas shopping weeks before Thanksgiving.

INSIGHT 4: Three-quarters of home cooks say their favorite thing about Thanksgiving is spending time with friends and family.

More than half (55%) also say they love eating delicious food, and “giving thanks for what we have” (52%).


About Allrecipes.com
Allrecipes, the world’s largest food site, receives 700 million annual visits from home cooks who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog on the web and mobile devices. For 14 years, the Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. Allrecipes’ global, multiplatform brand provides insights into the kitchens and cooking passions of home cooks everywhere with 17 websites, 9 mobile apps, and 13 eBooks serving cooks in 23 countries and 11 languages. Allrecipes is part of Lifestyle Communities @ RDA, a division of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. For additional information regarding Allrecipes, please visit allrecipes.com.

Please Contact: 
Stephanie Robinett 
Director, Communications 
206-708-9271 
stephanier@allrecipes.com

The 2011 Holiday Insights Survey was hosted on Allrecipes.com from September 25 – 31, 2011, with participation from 1,350 U.S.-based home cooks. No incentives were used to reward or incent participation. 
The Allrecipes Measuring Cup report is derived by analyzing the site behaviors and search data from more than 700 million annual visits to Allrecipes.com, along with survey data from Allrecipes’ online surveys.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Allrecipes TV helps families tackle “what’s for dinner?” on the best screen in the house

All of us with a passion for cooking love it when everyone wants to know how we made it. Sharing our formula for a successful dish is one of the most gratifying experiences for any aspiring home cook. Even that secret recipe which eventually gets leaked, like my personally long held secret Coast-to-Coast Famous Wings recipe.

Nearing our 15th birthday, Allrecipes was started as a way to help people share their favorite recipes, and gather a community of home cooks passionate about practical, kitchen tested, everyday meals that lead to success at the dinner table.

Allrecipes TV showcases the passionate contributions of our members - you can see all of what our entire community of home cooks have been making and sharing, with tens of thousands of recipes, photos, reviews and everything you need to find the next winning meal for your family.

Allrecipes TV brings you “best of” collections - some of the favorite selections from our most popular categories of recipes. You are sure to find a winner among collections from Appetizers to Slow Cooker.

We also have a complete browse-by-category starting with Cuisine, Dish Type, Main Ingredient, Cooking Method, and Occasions.

Of course, every recipe comes packed with a photo gallery, member reviews and tips, and nutrition information. You can also share your favorite recipes via email, Facebook, Twitter or other avenues for social plug-ins you have installed on your Google TV.


Last, but not least, the most commonly requested “how to” videos for cooking techniques, entire recipes, as well as our growing library of web shows, including “What’s Cooking”. We’ll be adding more videos on a regular basis.

We hope you enjoy the app and find lots of great dishes to try, enjoy and share. We’re planning to continue to add new features and make the app even better, so please tell us what you’d like to see.

The Allrecipes app can be found here in Android Market.

Scott Scazafavo, VP Product Management, Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Respect the Bird! Take Back Thanksgiving!

Allrecipes is an amazing community of passionate, engaged home cooks; in fact, it’s the world’s largest online food community. From time to time, this community stirs things up and inspires new ideas—just like it has now with the Respect the Bird campaign, a grass roots effort started in November 2010 by one frustrated Allrecipes.com Supporting Member, Doug Matthews. Doug wrote a blog post then reminding people Thanksgiving deserves to be more than an afterthought among our national holidays. Taking a cue from Doug’s blog post, Allrecipes aims to spread the idea and boost Respect the Bird! into national awareness.

Respect the Bird supporters have a mission. They are determined to ruffle feathers as much as possible and restore Thanksgiving to its rightful place as a meaningful, respected American holiday, not one that’s merely a one-day delicious afterthought between Halloween and Christmas. Tapping into its original roots—thankfulness, a celebration of friendships, family, and gifts from the earth—Respect the Bird supporters want to create a Thanksgiving experience extending beyond meal planning. It is, after all, one of the treasured holidays that’s not about spending. As the #1 destination for Thanksgiving planning and preparation, Allrecipes.com is a natural channel for promoting this idea—starting with the “Respect the Bird Pledge”—a simple way to stand up and be counted among the thousands of people who share the mission.

The Respect the Bird blog will be a resource where anyone can make a Respect the Bird pledge, find ideas and activities to participate in the campaign, and share and discuss ideas. Use it often to post comments, feedback, questions, and your thoughts about the Respect the Bird campaign. It’s a community effort, as much as the first Thanksgiving was a community celebration. Let your voice be heard here and on the Respect the Bird Facebook page! Send a Tweet with #Respectthebird and you might win the Twitter Sweeps! Visit the Respect the Bird Facebook page, and check out all the fun ways to join the campaign on the Respect the Bird How-To Guide activity list!