Has It really been five years?

It’s hard to believe that this is my fifth year of blogging! It seems like only yesterday that I walked out into my garden with my Kodak point and shoot camera and took a picture of my basil plants and came in and wrote my first blog post.
Sometimes I cringe at my old food photos that I took with my flash on, (an absolute no no in food photography) but I will always keep them there because it was all a part of my blogging journey.
And what a journey it has been! They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I can honestly say that that statement is so true. I’m still having fun, I never get bored blogging and I’m not ready to give it up, in fact, I’m gearing up for new and exciting things to happen with Proud Italian Cook in the future.

I could not celebrate this blogiversary with out expressing how extremely grateful I am to all my readers  who faithfully stuck with me, your comments always a source of encouragement. A big thank you to those who take the time to write me personal emails, my subscribers who send me kind words so often. To those who “like “me on Facebook, thank you. To all those who have “pinned” my recipes and photos on Pinterest, a gigantic thank you, I can’t believe how my traffic has increased because of it!
 To my family and friends who put up with all my craziness, waiting patiently as I take photos at home and in restaurants, and thinks it’s weird if I don’t, and to my husband Tony, my number one fan who encourages me everyday and eats anything I put in front of him!

And lastly, to all my dear friends in this blogging community that we are all a part of, you know who you are, you’re friendship has been the best part of my food blogging journey, thanks to all of you!

As a small token of my appreciation, and because fall is right around the corner, and when the cooler weather arrives I like to make pasta,  I’m giving away this Imperia pasta machine with the ravioli form to one lucky winner.
 The gift will be shipped via Amazon, and will be paid out of my pocket.
All you have to do is leave a comment to be in the giveaway. Anonymous commentors with no valid email will not be included because I obviously have to notify the winner by email.
Contest will end Monday August 20th at midnight Central Standard time and winner will be announced the next day.

Good Luck and let the pasta making begin!


Proud Italian Cook is 4 Today! and a Giveaway

Today, August 15Th is the Italian holiday called Ferragosto and the day I started my blog, it’s very fitting since it’s a holiday that revolves around family, friends and food. It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years already? It seems like only yesterday that I wrote my first post! I still feel exactly the same way about basil today.

When I reflect back on these past 4 years all I can say is that I’m grateful, grateful that I started this little blog and that I’m part of such a supportive community of people who share a little bit of themselves everyday and who inspire the heck out of me!

If you were to ask me which posts are some of my favorites I would have to say the ones that involve my family and friends, like the time my son ran his first marathon, or the post about my daughter, daughter-in-law and niece walking in The Chicago 3-Day for breast cancer, our picnics at Ravinia, the birth of my granddaughter, making ravioli together and Timpano. Foodie trips with my friends like this and this have become popular, I get quite a few emails requesting I do more.

I must say though that the most emails I’ve ever gotten on a post so far was the one I did about neckbones, silly me I didn’t think anyone would even be interested in it other than my own family so I didn’t even post the recipe! but to this day I’m still getting heartfelt emails from readers thanking me for writing that post and bringing back memories they had that were tied to that humble meal, apparently there’s a lot of fellow neckbone eaters out there! According to my stats, this has been one of my most popular posts, along with this.

I could go on and on why I love blogging but really I just simply want to say thank you, thank you to all my loyal readers those who have stuck by me since the beginning, actual friends who I’ve come to know so well. Thank you to all those new to my blog, to my many subscribers, Facebook friends, and those who take the time to write me a personal email, I truly appreciate each and every one of your comments! A special thanks goes out to my husband Tony for always being my number one fan as well as my family and friends.

I don’t know whats in store for the next year, but I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and enjoying it every step of the way!

For a small token of my appreciation I’m giving away 4 gifts for 4 years, each will consist of an amazing bottle of Mandarano Balsamic Glaze, (you’re going to love how this enhances all your food!), plus The Silver Spoon Pasta cookbook by Phaidon, (because you know I love my pasta, and I love all the Phaidon cookbooks!) The winners will be picked by my 11 year old granddaughter and announced on Monday August 22nd in my next blog post. Just leave a comment and if you’d like I’d love to hear what your favorite Italian dish is. Thanks again everyone!