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Sweet (Freedom) Giveaway–and Blog News!

First, the blog newsWelcome to the new home of DDD! We’re almost there–I’m about 95% moved in and unpacked so far. . . we’ve still got to add a virtual top coat of paint, rearrange some html furniture and hang some digital pictures before the rest is up and running over the next week or so, but everything is on site and functional!.   Please don’t forget to update your Google Reader, other subscription info and blogrolls  (it’s also much easier to subscribe to this new site–there’s a “subscribe” button to the left, just under the blog’s title–so hope that helps.  And note that the page tabs are now across the top of the page and not on the right as in the old site!). I’ll be transferring over here for good by next week. 

The site was set up and arranged by Blain Smith of 13 Infinite.  It’s been a pleasure to work with him on this–Blain’s communication style is easy and relaxed, yet always professional.  He’s also been very accommodating and incredibly quick about responding to all my emails regarding the site (not to mention very patient with my sometimes endless questions and requests!).  If you’re looking to set up a new blog, I’d highly recommend him.

Next, the cookbook news: my cookbook finally has a cover! 


(I’m guessing you might recognize some of those photos?  And I know, the red, white and blue looks very patriotic,no?) 😉

Finally, the Double Giveaway News!!

I am very excited for this giveaway because it’s the perfect melding of my new blog, my new cookbook, and a product I love!

In honor of the cookbook’s cover being finalized, I decided to throw another giveaway to celebrate–add a new blog home, and it’s really a reason to party! (Get those chandeliers and lampshades ready!)

So here’s the scoop:


PRIZE ONE:  ANYONE IN NORTH AMERICA CAN WIN (again, a HUGE apology to my overseas readers–shipping costs prohibit overseas delivery.  BUT I DO PROMISE THAT THE NEXT GIVEAWAY WILL ABSOLUTELY INCLUDE ANYONE ON THE PLANET!)

Win a quart-sized jug of Coombs Family Farms Pure Maple Syrup! 


[This is a photo of the glass bottle I received–the quart jug prize is four times this big!]

Yes, the prize is the same amazing maple syrup I wrote about in my previous post. And when the people at Coombs Family Farms heard how much I loved their syrup, and how much my readers wished they could taste some, they said, “Okay!  Let’s give some away!”  Who am I to argue?  I said, “YEEEE-AAH.” 

With a full quart (about a liter) of pure maple syrup, you can bake every maple-based recipe on this blog, and probably all the maple-based recipes in my new book, too!  And I can’t wait for one of you to sample this extraordinary product as well, and tell me what you think!

PRIZE  TWO: THOSE IN THE TORONTO AREA CAN WIN (to ensure freshness, it has to be within Toronto, or you must be willing to meet me within Toronto–I am really sorry it can’t be everywhere!  sniff!)

A custom-baked chocolate layer cake from the Sweet Freedom recipe–made to your specifications!


After I posted about the cake I made for my friend Eternal Optimist’s birthday, I was touched by so many positive comments about the cake.  This is the same recipe I used for several years when I baked birthday cakes for kids with food sensitivities to wheat, eggs, dairy and refined sugar–and was a regular hit with the kids and adults alike (low-gluten, but not gluten free). The 9-inch layer cake serves 10-12 people comfortably.


Now, I’d love for a lucky reader to sample this chocolately, moist and light cake, too!  And you get to design the frosting/filling, plus whether you’d like a message on the cake as well.  (We’ll choose a mutually convenient delivery time so that you can even plan to serve the cake to family, friends, or party guests!)


Here’s what you can choose:

  • Chocolate layers with vanilla pastry cream filling and chocolate buttercream frosting
  • Chocolate layers with all chocolate–filling and frosting
  • Chocolate layers with sweet potato truffle filling and chocolate frosting
  • Chocolate layers with chocolate filling and sweet potato truffle frosting (the cake in the photo above)
  • Message of your choice in any color frosting (or no message–it’s up to you).

I’ll deliver the cake freshly baked and frosted so it’s ready to serve!


Entering couldn’t be easier–simply click on over to my new blog home, take a look around, then let me know either:

1) what more you’d like to see on the blog (any other features you’d like me to add?  Something you’re missing from the old blog? –etc.) OR

2) what you like best about the new blog if you can’t think of anything you’d like to be different. 

FOR A CHANCE AT TWO EXTRA ENTRIES, simply mention the contest on your own blog, if you have one, and link to this very page on the new blog (ie, this page).

Don’t have a blog?  You can still earn two extra entries!  Simply browse through the Recipe Index on the new DDD  (or you can click on the “Recipes” tab, above, or just do a search on “maple syrup”) and choose a favorite recipe that uses maple syrup (some of the links haven’t been shifted to the new blog yet, so you might still be in the old blog when you click on a recipe title–I’m in the process of changing them all over).  Then comment again, letting me know which one you like best, and why–and you’ll be entered two more times.

Please be sure to include a valid email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  And if you’re eligible for the cake, please be sure to mention that in your comment, too!

That’s it! 

Please post your comments on the new site (this one) to be eligible to win–that way I can keep track of all the entries in one place.  🙂


Once the contest closes, I’ll choose two winners from a bag of names.  The first Toronto-area name I withdraw will win the cake.  Then all the other names go back into the bag for the maple syrup draw, and the second name I choose wins that. 


  1. Deadline for entries is midnight, March 31, 2009, Toronto time. 
  2. Winners will be announced first thing on April 2, 2009 (I wouldn’t dare post contest winners on April Fool’s Day!). 

I loved baking up a storm for the previous giveaway, and was thrilled with Lisa’s kind words about the Sweet Freedom goodies. 

I can’t wait to get baking on this cake for you this time round as well.  And even if you can’t win the cake, you’re still eligible to win the syrup–so you can then bake your own delectable treats!



129 comments to Sweet (Freedom) Giveaway–and Blog News!

  • […] refuse the amazing chocolate cake or maple syrup Rikki’s giving away over at the new Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  Or for that matter, a chance to try a Dempster’s Fresh Square for free with a coupon from […]

  • Ooohh snazzy. Its different for sure, but not in a bad way. I just need to get used to it all over again. =P
    I like the ‘Top Posts’ and how they highlight when you scroll over them.(Call me lame, whatevs.)
    Also, I like the navigation for your site, ie; Home, About, Recipes, etc. Easy to use. And again, quite snazzy. Tee.


  • Oh wow, that is awesome. I would love to see more recipes coming, love them!


  • mindy

    i actually like it the way it is easy to read and to the point thanks for the giveaway


  • Kelly Ann T.

    I love the dogs. I’m a huge dog lover and I do all the events here that help raise money for rescues. My dog and I are looking forward to the dog easter egg hunts that will be coming up soon.


  • Kelly Ann T.

    I would like to try the chocolate pecan pie recipe.


  • Deborah R

    Navigation is easy, but page load is slow (with DSL). I like the clean layout and crisp photos.


  • Kim V

    I’d like to see more dogger pics.

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  • Jennifer

    Yay a giveaway!

    I really like:
    a) the color scheme (simple and not distracting, but pretty)
    b) the comment box (very nice gray tones)
    c) the condensed categories and archives

    Keep it up with the awesome recipes!


  • Diana

    I love giveaways! 🙂

    I’m new to your blog, but I love it. My hubby and I are trying to change our diets and eat more REAL foods. We’re cutting out refined sugars, so I love all of your recipes with maple syrup (and would love to win a quart of it!). I like the ingredients/substitutions page on your blog. Do you have any information on sugar substitutions? (How to interchange honey or maple syrup for sugar in recipes, etc?) I don’t see it and would find that info really helpful. Thanks!


  • jennifer h

    I cannot wait until your cookbook comes out!

    For your blog, I think you should add some color and art to the pages. The white is a bit plain. I’m thinking something mouthwatering for the background is a must!


  • Hi there! Here’s my 2 cents for the maple syrup giveaway. I do agree that the Site needs more color, but I think the most important thing on a blog is the header. It’s the first thing a reader sees and what might pull them in.

    Also, I have mentioned your new site on my blog, and hopefully I can get my butt in gear and try those tempting Maple cupcakes!

    Thanks for the opportunity!


  • I’d sure love some maple syrup to make those awesome maple cupcakes! 🙂 The new place looks really good…and I can’t wait to see the finished cookbook! Congrats on all that is going on. 🙂


  • Hi Ricki! Many thanks for the encouragement! Your blog is definitely one of my go-to sources. Your new site does indeed seem a little black-and-white – perhaps you should add a couple of your pictures (of recipes, dogs, …) at the top that link to popular posts? Or have rotating pictures? I’m always one for some good food porn, as they say. 🙂 Oh and I’m excited about the little square images that show up with the comment – wonder what color I’ll get…


  • reva skie

    I love your use of photographs. That crimson salad looks so good I want to lick the screen.


  • Victoria

    1. As a college student, I would love to see more budget-friendly recipes, as well as cooking for one.

    2. I’ve never cooked with maple syrup before, but these cupcakes are making me change my mind. I love vegan desserts!


  • Hi Ricki, I would love to see you use more low starch flours/nut meals. I know how creative you are, and want to be able to take advantage of more of your recipes (since I have to keep carbs low).

    Beautiful new blog home! I’ll continue to poke through the archives to see what delicious goodness I’ve missed. Good luck with the book. It should be a hit judging from the innovative, tasty content here!


  • Cookie

    I think one small thing that could be improved on the new page is to make the sides look more streamlined and cleaner. It’s sort of a lot to look at visually, but otherwise, the new site is great!


  • Cookie

    Oh and for my second entry, I’d LOVE to try the chocolate pecan pie. I’m impressed that you were able to make it without corn syrup.


  • I love your blog and will review it on my blog in the near future. I love cooking and baking with maple products. I love to try new brands—in fact I just got some product from Canada. I would love to win and try the syrup.


  • Hi Ricki!

    Wow you have been super busy–I think the new site looks great!

    You are such a great photographer and your pictures are so beautiful so
    the only thing I would change is to add more pictures and perhaps
    if you have time to add more search categories… I think it’s always best to
    have as many options for people to search as possible.
    That being said, since I am in the middle of doing my own
    “website renovation”, I know how much work this all is and
    if you left it exactly as it is, it would be fine too!!

    Your cookbook cover looks great by the way and I can’t wait to get it and promote it
    on my site.

    I’m going to head over to twitter now and mention your maple syrup contest!

    Keep in touch,
    Winnie Abramson


  • Let’s see on your new blog if you could make smellovision a reality, that would be great! Since I’m doubtful you have those capabilities, I’ll tell you what I like about your site. I love all the search capabilities! Great work and I can just taste that maple syrup atop some warm pancakes.


  • Sandra K321

    I love that you are having giveaways on the new blog. You can never have too much maple syrup.


  • jvegegirl

    I love the flash in the pan recipes! More of those would be great!


  • jvegegirl

    I love your sweet scramble with maple syrup, and I’ve made it many times!


  • Yay! Your new blog is wonderful. I tried very hard to find something to improve on but couldn’t think of a thing. I’ve tried one of your recipes (salad dressing) and love it..can’t wait to get started on more!


  • maie

    I do like your blog Ricki, especially the photos – they make me salivate! – I can’t think of anything that I’d change


  • Eva

    I love the photo on the cover of your book! Eye-catching and colourful. Well done!


  • Pascale Breton

    Thank you for your amazing maple frosting recipe.
    My children are in love with it!
    The cake is awesome too!
    You are very generous to share your recipes with us.


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