100,000 site hits ~ FREE Random Drawings*

Thank you so much for your support of

Once Upon a Plate!

It has been a pleasure to meet up with so many cooking enthusiasts both here on the blog and through emails. Thank you for your friendship, for taking the time to comment, and for sending your good wishes via email.

As my way of thanking you, and in recognition of approaching the first 100,000 blog hits I'm having a random drawing of three brand new kitchen/cooking related items.

Everyone is welcome to enter; whether you post regularly, stop by to read along, or it's your first time here! Please feel free to enter for a chance to win the drawings.

One (1) of the following three items will be awarded to each of the three winners (1 prize per winner):

Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics:

Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients (Hardcover)
by Ina Garten (Author)

Product Description from amazon.com:

"Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is the essential Ina Garten cookbook, focusing on the techniques behind her elegant food and easy entertaining style, and offering nearly a hundred brand-new recipes that will become trusted favorites.

Ina Garten’s bestselling cookbooks have consistently provided accessible, subtly sophisticated recipes ranging from French classics made easy to delicious, simple home cooking. In Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina truly breaks down her ideas on flavor, examining the ingredients and techniques that are the foundation of her easy, refined style.

Here Ina covers the essentials, from ten ways to boost the flavors of your ingredients to ten things not to serve at a party, as well as professional tips that make successful baking, cooking, and entertaining a breeze. The recipes—crowd-pleasers like Lobster Corn Chowder, Tuscan Lemon Chicken, and Easy Sticky Buns—demonstrate Ina’s talent for transforming fresh, easy-to-find ingredients into elegant meals you can make without stress.For longtime fans, Ina delivers new insights into her simple techniques; for newcomers she provides a thorough master class on the basics of Barefoot Contessa cooking plus a Q&A section with answers to the questions people ask her all the time.

With full-color photographs and invaluable cooking tips, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics is an essential addition to the cherished library of Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. About the Author Ina Garten is one of the country’s most beloved culinary icons and the author of five previous cookbooks. She can be seen on Food Network, where her shows, Barefoot Contessa and Back to Basics, are among the network’s most watched. Ina also writes a column on entertaining for House Beautiful magazine.
Visit Ina at BarefootContessa.com."

William Bounds 8-inch Metal Pepper Mill

Product Description from amazon.com:

"This sleek Heavy Metal pepper mill from the William Bounds Professional line is as beautiful as it is functional.

This 8" tall mill with the patented three step milling mechanism that William Bounds is famous for allows you to easily twist for fine, medium or coarse settings. The sleek stainless steel is easy to clean and will provide years of beautiful use.

William Bounds' patented milling mechanism crushes rather than grinds peppercorns. This provides the freshest flavor of pepper and a consistent grind, and since there is no grinding of metal against metal, the mechanism will never jam, freeze or wear out.

William Bounds has been making the world's finest pepper and spice mills since 1964.

Product Features
8" Professional Stainless Steel Pepper Mill
From William Bounds
Crushing - not grinding - mechanism will never jam
Limited lifetime manufacturer warranty
~ Made in the USA "

NorPro Mini-Cheesecake/Tartlet Pan:
Product Description from amazon.com:

"Great for quiches, tartlets, muffins, coffee cakes, hors d'oeuvres and more.

Just fill these 12 petite baking cups with batter or crust for quiches, cheesecakes, tartlets, coffee cakes, muffins, hors d'oeuvres and more. Nonstick pan's bottoms remove for easy release of baked cakes. You can garnish each mini cake with fruit, icing, marmalade, fresh herbs and whatever else you choose.

The 2" dia. cups are 1 3/4" deep. 14"L x 8 1/2" W.

Dishwasher-safe. Product Features• Durable nonstick metal pan features 12 mini cups with removable bottoms• Stainless-steel handles are riveted for a secure, comfortable grip• Oven-safe • Dishwasher-safe• Includes mini cheesecake recipe "

Enter to win "Once Upon a Plate's 100,000th Hit" Drawing
  • To enter for a chance to win one of the three items, please leave a comment under this post, simply describe your favorite dessert.
  • Entry deadline will be November 28, 2008 at 9:00 PM Pacific time.
  • The three winners will be announced on December 1, 2008.
Drawing rules:
1. One entry per household, please.
2. No anonymous submissions/entries.
3. NOTE: If you do not have a blog, please leave a screen name and your email address in your comment, using the following format:
"your email" AT "your mail server" DOT com
4. Winners must provide an actual street address for shipment, no PO boxes.
5. Drawing open only to US residents of the 48 contiguous states, per shipping constraints. (Sorry!)


Privacy Matters: Only the winner's (screen) names, not actual identities will be shared here. Actual names and addresses will not be shared with anyone, except for shipment purposes from amazon.com

Unfortunately the drawing is open only to U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous United States as items can only be shipped to the 48 contiguous United States.
One name will be drawn randomly for ONE of the three prizes. Sorry no choice of item you may win.
Good Luck to all who enter.
And thank you again for following along with me!



  1. My favorite dessert is a dark truffle tarte. It has a crust made using cocoa powder, ground walnuts, and butter and is filled with a rich dark chocolate ganache and garnished with chocolate curls and fresh raspberries. HEAVEN!

  2. Congratulations on your 100,000 hits...that's great!

    My very favorite dessert is créme brulee. I recently had pumpkin créme brulee and thought I had died and gone to heaven - it was THAT good.

  3. Oh my, I'm so glad I stopped by... what a generous give-away! Congratulations on your 100,000 hits, your blog is truly wonderful, and very convenient when I can't figure out what to cook for dinner ;)

    My favorite dessert have to be our "Flan", (pronounced flahn), a statement at the house in the roses with a delicate, vanilla flavored custard and a creamy and smooth texture with dark caramel... it taste so good I guarantee your guests and family will love it... by the way, I will be talking about our favorites desserts on this friday.... ;)

    Please add me to your list of names participating on your give-away... and Thanks for doing this...



  4. yippee you are almost 100,000 happy little readers under you belt. favorite dessert, umm lets make it easy, see's milk chocolates~

    i see you grabbed the same tune from cielo, i did too the first time i heard and have been gardening it with my ipod for weeks. love the little lilt it gives me, and its greek, so extra day dreaming!

    super gifts you selected, thanks for being so generous to your adoring fans! congrats on all your success, now if only we could get you a tv show...

  5. Congrats on so many visits! What a great give away! This cookbook is on my wish list!

    My favorite dessert is hazelnut gelato!!! I found that gelato in Austria is even better than in Italy!!!

  6. Actually my favorite dessert is a simple apple spice cake. I got the original recipe from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book, and modified it so that it is a lot more moist.

  7. Hard to pick just one...but I would have to say Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova...light and delicious!

    Congrats on your 100,000 hits...your blog is such a pleasure to see!

    L xoxox

  8. Congrats on hitting 100,000!

    My favorite dessert is a nice big piece of New York cheesecake. YUM!!!

  9. Oh mari, you are so generous! Well... my favorite dessert stems back from when I was a child and my grandmothe rwas still iving. We'd go with Grandpa Jack to Scott's Seafood in palo Alto. My cousin Lizz and I would , without fail, order the "Raspberry Jack" dessert. Partly becuase of Grandpa Jack, but also becuase it was a HUGE tall goldfish bowl like wine glass, served with snowballsized scoops of vanilla ice cream, and topped with raspberry sauce and Grand Marnier. Lushious! I think this dessert also spawned my obession with all things Grand Marnier.

  10. Mary, congratulations! I know you have touched many foodie hearts with your beautiful photos, recipes and thoughts. It is a true pleasure knowing you, and I bet you can guess my favorite dessert.

    That wonderful lemon berry cake :-)

  11. My favorite would have to be angle food cake with whip cream and strawberries! What a fun giveaway! Congrats on your hits! I found your site not too long ago and have loved it ever since.

  12. Congratulations, Mary...I just loved your blog from day one. As a child I loved blackberry cobbler and still do..Hope you have another 100,000 and beyond..

  13. Congratulations!! What a wonderful giveaway. My favorite dessert is OH My whatever I'm eating at the time? If I had to pick just one I'd have to say Lemon Meringue pie. My grandmother used to make one when I visited her and it always reminds me of her.

  14. Congrats on your first 100,000 and here is to many more!

    My favorite dessert is a rich, decadent chocolate bread pudding from the tomato palace restaurant in Columbia, MD.

  15. Congrats on your 100,000 hits! What a great giveaway :)

    My favorite dessert has always been and will always be my Nanny's Mayonnaise cake with fluffy white frosting.

  16. Congrats on your 100,000 hits!
    I would have to say my favorite all time dessert has to be my Mothers devils food cake with whipped cream icing. It was my birthday request as far back as I can remember!My Dad and I were February birthdays and we both were chocoholics so we shared the sinful indulgence!

  17. Mari - why didn't you ever correct us when we were all calling your Mary? You are too polite :-)

    Congratulations - I can't believe how fast your counter grows and to be approaching 100,000 hits so fast is just amazing! It just shows how much everyone appreciates your talents!

    I would say my favorite dessert usually would be something chocolate but at this time of year it is definitely carrot cake with thick cream cheese frosting.

  18. My favorite dessert at the moment is a crepe stuffed with bananas and gooey white or dark chocolate chips and drizzled with raspberry sauce.

  19. Congrats! My favorite dessert is creme brulee with fresh berries. Mmmmm.

  20. What a fun giveaway! And I love your site - I just discovered it a few weeks ago.

    My favorite dessert would have to be cassata cake!


  21. That's a load of hits! No wonder, too, fantastic blog, and you know I am not buttering you up, Mari, LOL! Not me :)

    My absolute favorite dessert is Lemon Custard Cakes from Everyday food magazine. Really lemony, really light and very addicting. but if I was out to dinner I would never ever turn down a creme brulee!

  22. My favorite dessert is called Orange Angel Dessert. It's got cubed angel food cake, then orange jello/whipped cream/orange sherbet poured over it, with mandarin oranges. Tasty times!

  23. Congratulations on 10,000 hits!!

    My favorite dessert is a good ole fashion banana split!

  24. Congratulations, Maryel...now we will confuse everyone! :)
    My favorite would have to be moist devil's food cake with creamy choc icing..a second would be a delicous apple pie...

  25. Mary, congratulations on 100K hits!

    My favorite dessert is chocolate/orange pots de créme, so yummy.

  26. Wow, congrats on 100,000 hits! And what a way to celebrate it!

    My favorite dessert is my grandma's coffee cake. It's just a basic crumb cake, but instead of using flour in the crumb layer, she used graham cracker crumbs. I could honestly eat an entire pan of it in one sitting!

  27. My favorite dessert, which is also my favorite breakfast, and actually, my favorite lunch and dinner - is a homemade pumpkin pie, warm, with homemade whipped cream, extra vanilla.

    LOVE your blog.

  28. Love the prizes.
    I hate to pick a favorite dessert because I love most of them!
    But I guess Key Lime Pie has always been a favorite!

  29. Congratulations on your 100,000 hits! I love your blog and can see why so many other people have stopped by for a visit.

    My favoite dessert is homemade apple pie.

  30. I've been enjoying your blog... congrats on your milestone! All three items are such beautiful and generous givewaways! My fav dessert is simply Rocky Road ice cream!

  31. Congrats! You have a great blog!
    Best wishes for the next 100,000 hits! Wow, that is a lot of traffic!

  32. My favorite dessert tends to be whatever sweet you happen to be showing on your blog for the day. ;-)

    Seriously it's a bit more mundane than that. My favorite is the same thing I've loved from my youth, made-from-scratch German Chocolate Cake. My mother makes it for me every birthday.

  33. Congrats on 100,00o hits! Your blog is amazing!

    I love double layer pumpkin pie with a bottom cream cheese layer and pumpkin pie on top!

  34. What a wonderful blog you have...the onion soup drew me in today!

    My favorite dessert is lemon charlotte...it doesn't sound particularly appealing on this cold winter day, but it's my fave.

    Congrats on all of those hits...you share some great recipes!

  35. Congratulations on 100,000 hits!

    It is hard to choose a favorite dessert-so many are so good. I have a very hard time walking away from a Texas sheet cake, though, and keep coming back for one more little, bitty piece. So maybe that's my fave.

    Thanks for the chance to win such lovely gifts. I've only recently discovered your blog but I really enjoy it.

  36. my favorite dessert would have to be the best chocolate cake ever with a cup of coffee.
    Congats on all the hits!! How exciting.

  37. This is super difficult. Probably a mixture of hot and cold, because I love that contrast. Warm brownie with vanilla ice cream? Waffles with vanilla ice cream drizzled with warm chocolate? Toast with Nutella? I could keep going, but I'll stop.

  38. What a grat giveaway, Mari! You have been such an inspiration to so many people and my computer is filled with recipes from you :) Congratulations on hitting that huge number of hits.

    My favorite dessert would have to be Individual Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles with whipped cream - yum!

  39. Just found your blog - gonna have to add it to my ever-growing list of recipe blogs! Found you through foodgawker.

    My favorite dessert would have to be the plain and simple, yet sooo delicious and so adaptable chocolate chip cookie. I am always trying to put new spins on it - always finding new recipes to beat the last "softest chewiest recipe ever". I never get tired of cookies!

  40. Ice cream, just rich and creamy ice cream

  41. Hello! I'd say my favorite dessert would be either cheesecake or anything with chocolate and peanut butter in it :)

  42. My favorite dessert (that I can make myself) are coconut chocolate chip blondies warm out of the oven with some vanilla ice cream on top.

  43. Congratulations!
    I subscribe and enjoy your blog tremendously :)

    My current favorite dessert is rice pudding, which I've been making in a crockpot. Yum. And the whole house smells warm and sweet when I get home from work!

    quinn (q.piper@yahoo.com)

  44. Congrats! My favorite dessert is a sweet bread pudding with chocolate/fruit and a brown sugar struesel.

    zekks at yahoo dot com

  45. Mary, it's no surprise you have had so many hits... just the most wonderful blog you've created! Very generous way to celebrate too! Oh, favorite dessert...I have so many! For now I'll go with the one I had today... Nutella crepes.

  46. Congrats Mary - 100,000 hits is just amazing! MY fav dessert has to be my Mom's, from scratch angel food cake with the old time seven minute frosting!

  47. Wow! I've gained 5 pounds just reading all the awesome recipes! I have to say that Peach Cobbler is the bomb for me. The caveat is that I prefer to cook it in an iron dutch oven over open coals with my secret ing. of primo scotch whiskey. Yum, there goes another 5 pounds. Thanks for the inspiration.

  48. First off, I just wanna say..congrats! I just found your site last night at around 2 am and can see why so many people love your blog!

    But back to the original question. I would have to say...an Oreo/M&M McFlurry Combo. Oh, did I forget to mention that I have the palate equivalent to that of an eleven year old?

    Sarah - Bulabooshy@gmail.com

  49. 100,000 hits, Mari!!! Oh my goodness!! That is wonderful but I'm not surprised at all. I'm sure every single person was as delighted with your blog as I am.

    My hands-down, positively most favorite dessert in all the world is homemade lemon meringue pie! The crust is light & flakey, not thick at the top, the lemon is tart & full of flavor & the meringue has to be browned just perfectly.....not too much & not too little. Sheer Heaven!
    My mother would make it every year on my birthday & now that she's passed on, my husband helps me do it. Makes my mouth water just to think about it. :)
    Thanks for the chance to win one of these great choices in your giveaway but thank you MORE for all the inspiration you provide.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

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