Grateful Giveaway

A couple of days ago my very generous sister gave me the perfect ‘thank you’ gift:

Who wouldn’t want a gift card to their favorite grocery store?!  Immediately I started thinking about ingredients I’d like to try that I normally wouldn’t spend money on.  I really appreciated the thought behind this gift.  She knows me well. 🙂

I plan to do a special blog post about what I use this on sometime next week, but in the meantime I want to share the love.

(Bear with me —  this is all connected!)

I recently visited the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry and was reminded of individuals and families right in my own community who deal with food insecurity, meaning that they don’t know where they will find their next meal.  Last year this food pantry served over 15,000 families.

I realize that it is a luxury to grocery shop for fun ingredients and dream up creative dinners, and I don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture and helping to be a part of the solution.  At the end of the day, cooking a new quinoa recipe is meaningless compared to fighting hunger right in my own neighborhood.

As  I learned more about the services that are offered through OPRF Food Pantry, including nutrition education programs, and the thought and effort that goes into making the experience as dignified as possible, I was proud to live in a community with such an amazing organization.  I also left the food pantry knowing that I want to get involved and contribute to their good work.

So, here comes the way that these two things come together…

I’d like to THANK YOU for reading this blog!  Over the last few months I have found a hobby that energizes me, inspires me to see the positive in every day and each bite, allows me to cook, photograph and write, and is something that I truly look forward to all day (even though I limit myself to working on it at night!).  In an effort to stick with my vision for this blog being more than just a food blog, I’m hoping to thank you & give to the community through this giveaway:

If you’re reading this, LEAVE A COMMENT below!  I’d love to hear what type of post you want to see more of and any other thoughts/suggestions about this blog.

    • By commenting, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift card to the grocery store of your choice!
    • For every comment, I’m donating $1 to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. (I learned that they are able to purchase $10 worth of food for every $1 donated, so by leaving a comment you’re helping to contribute $10 worth of food to a family in need.  And you’re not paying a penny!)

This giveaway ends Monday, 8/20, at 8:00pm.


36 thoughts on “Grateful Giveaway

  1. Hi! I’d like to see more posts of fast, easy recipes that you can keep on hand for the whole week (ie- whole foods detox salads, etc!)!

  2. Hi Jess! I’ve enjoyed all of your recipes, and would love to see some make ahead (e.g. freezer or slow cooker) meals for fall. Love seeing the updates on you and some of my favorite friends and kiddos in the Chicago area, too! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Jess, I am a fanatic about making fruit and veggie smoothies from ingredients included in our co-op box each week. However, I rarely add things like chia seeds or other beneficial accompanyments. I’d love your thoughts on great ways to add some kick to the smoothie fix!

    Btw, you can just include Julie and my entries as one “household” entry so we don’t stack the deck 🙂

  4. I love the fruit and veggie challenge and seeing the “default” choices you make when you are looking for a quick snack! And I love the fun collaboration between you and Voeden Kitchen!

  5. You and your blog are so inspiring! I have an 11 month old son, and while I certainly didn’t grow up eating this healthfully, I want to make sure he does. I love seeing “recipes” you make up that are just based on things you already have on hand.

  6. Hi Jess!

    I loved the fruit and veggie challenge, and the posts about different organizations in the Chicago area. I also love the consistency and variety of your posts. Always a fun and inspiring read at the end of the day. Your blog reminds me to be thankful everyday, and look for the good.

    Thanks for being inspiring!

  7. Jess–I’ve loved reading your blog! Thanks for the time you have put into writing thoughtful posts. 🙂 I’d love more suggestions on “packable” foods so that I can take tasty, healthful lunches to school. I really liked your granola breakfast in a jar. That works really well for me and is easy to adapt.

  8. Jess!! I love your website and all your awesome insight!! With the fall approaching, I’m looking forward to making soup! I’d love to see healthy soup ideas. Keep up the awesome work! 🙂

  9. Jess, what a great idea; You are such an inspiration!
    I love all of your posts and it makes me want to eat dinner at your house every night!
    I would love to see more quick breakfast ideas or especially healthy kid friendly snacks, especially something that is easy to take on the go..maybe you can test them out on your darling nephews 🙂

  10. Jess,
    I’m awed by your generosity and kindness toward your fellow man. You are truly other centered. You inspire me to match your donation dollar for dollar.


  11. I’m obsessed with you, and your blog! I feel so fortunate to be the blog’s official taste tester. For all the followers out there, you can be assured that it all tastes as good as it looks!

  12. Hey, Jess! I secretly read your blog pretty much daily. Love the pics and the recipes/stories that accompany them. Everyone knows that I love a good deal so any posts about bargains and/or low cost/high value foods are thoroughly appreciated! Keep up the good work!

  13. We love reading your blog and seeing your creations! It all looks delicious!
    Any posts with kid friendly meals and snacks for picky eaters would be great. Also, healthy kid lunches would be great as we have to start packing lunches this year 🙂

  14. Hi Jess!!
    So, I came across your blog earlier this summer and have enjoyed reading about what you are up to in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing your creativity and passions in such a fun way! I am hoping to have time to experiment in the kitchen more this fall, and you are giving me some inspiration and also practical tips for not always having to follow a recipe exactly (I liked the post w/ your substitutions based on what you had on hand). What about a post with the “basics” that you always keep in your pantry?
    Sidenote: We recently moved back to Michigan, and I would love to reconnect with you sometime now that we are closer! My sister lives in Chicago, and I’ll be visiting a couple time this fall, so maybe we can work something out! (:

    • Katie! So good to hear from you. Thanks for the comment, and please let me know when you’re in Chicago! I’d love to meet up and hear how life is going for you and your cute family!

  15. Jess,

    You are so inspiring! Not only do you inspire me to be more innovative in the kitchen, you also beautifully point your readers to bigger themes like serving others and giving back to your community.

    I love when you show how you modify recipes to make them work based on what you have around. I am a recipe follower to the t, and your blog is the only I’ve found that really encourages the reader to switch things up and be creative and resourceful in the kitchen.

    Great pictures, themes and writing!

  16. Love the pics, inspiring recipes and a learning about you (and Craig) thru your adventures in addition to awareness of program and organizations that help people.

  17. Pingback: Native Date | Daily Ingredients

  18. Can you suggest some healthy portable snack/treat/energy combinations for office biking, travel,etc.? Trying to get some more nutrition in my snacks but have boring stuff and need to step it up. We are learning new things everyday from your blog. Thank you!

  19. Pingback: Snacks for Travelin’ | Daily Ingredients

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