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Contests & Promotions

Win Free ProSticks Grilled Chicken Breast on a Stick

Mediterranean, Sweet Sriracha or Chipotle: Which ProSticks™ Chicken Skewer flavor would you pick?

Thank you to Expresco for providing five (5) coupons for the online random drawing.

I love discovering new products, so I’m excited to share information about ProSticks by Expresco. They’re grilled chicken breast on a stick, and come in three flavors: Sweet Sriracha, Mediterranean, and Chipotle. Each ProSticks product has/is:

  • 23 grams of protein per serving
  • Fully cooked and ready to eat
  • Real grill marks
  • No preservatives

You’ve probably noticed there has been an explosion of high-protein on the go snack products. Some of those products include nuts or cheese. But ProSticks is all about the chicken breast skewer. So not only is it a convenient protein-packed snack, it’s also a convenient meal component for quick protein-rich lunch or dinner.

For example, any of these ProSticks grilled chicken breast flavors would be great chopped up with a quick-cooking brown rice for a high-protein meal option.  Or diced with some tomato, lettuce and cheese wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla wrap. The convenient meal options are only limited by what’s in your pantry.

Enter below to win a coupon for one (1) free ProSticks Grilled Chicken Skewers product (up to $3.99 value). Online random drawing ends September 23, and winners will be notified with redemption instructions. Good luck!

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Contests & Promotions/ Twitter Party

RSVP for #MyMarianos Twitter Party, June 9

canta mato salad #FuelTheLove #ad

Collective Bias #TwitterParty disclosure #cbias #shop

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know I do, and I’m excited to host a party about outdoor entertaining and summer events! On Monday, June 9, at 8:00 pm CT, please join me for the #MyMarianos Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing how Mariano’s can help with summer fun, AND of course, giving you a chance to win prizes!

For me, summer means more picnics, relaxing outdoors with friends and family, and exploring all the festivals and special events that Chicago has to offer. That means less time that I want to spend in the kitchen and finding new menu ideas that take advantage of all the fresh produce that’s in season. Mariano’s offers a great variety of summer meal options, from gourmet-on-the-go freshly prepared foods to easy recipes that don’t keep you in the kitchen longer than needed.

During this Twitter Party, we’ll share ideas for making your next picnic stress free, and talk about the iconic Chicago summer events you’re most excited about, like Taste of Chicago and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Join me and RSVP for #MyMarianos Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

#MyMarianos Twitter Party

DATE: Monday, June 9

TIME: 8:00 – 9:00 pm CT/ 9:00 – 10:00 pm ET

PRIZES: 5- $100 Mariano’sGift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 – $50 Mariano’s Gift Card

HOSTS: @SweepTight, @BakedChicago, @GrandbabyCake, @peanutsgang2004, @3girlsmomma19, @xokammie

SPECIAL GUEST: @MarianosMarket

RULES: #MyMarianos Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP & PARTY GRID: #MyMarianos Twitter Party Page

How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!

TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!

Contests & Promotions

Enter the “My Mom Makes” Sweepstakes

My Mom Makes sweepstakes

In honor of Mom, Baked Chicago is kicking off its 1st Annual “My Mom Makes” Sweepstakes. Share your Mom’s best dish in the comments section below. You can even add a picture of your Mom and her signature dish (optional), as well as tell us why this dish is so darn good!

The top 3 entries with the most votes from the public will be placed in a random drawing for a special prize package from Hamilton Beach and YouCopia. Invite your family and friends to vote for your Mom’s dish below. One vote per entry per registered user.

So go ahead and brag about your Mom. You know she’s been bragging about you for years, so now it’s your turn to tell the world by describing her best recipe or signature dish.
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Contests & Promotions/ Kitchen Confessions

Weathering the Sinus Pain & Congestion Worries of Spring


The first day of spring means warmer weather is on its way. For me, it also means getting ready for a season of sinus congestion and sinus migraines.

The whole “March comes in-like-a-lion, out-like-a-lamb description” is because the weather patterns this time of year are a constant collision of high/low pressure cells, warm/cold air masses. These rapid changes in barometric pressure will often trigger for me an intense sinus migraine. And I absolutely hate it when I get a sinus migraine because I can’t plan for them; I can only manage them when they happen.  That means minimizing the pain and congestion as much as possible, and then muddling through my day.

It’s not only springtime when I get sinus migraines. They also hit me in the late fall when the weather starts to get colder. Last fall, I got hit with one of the worst cases of sinus congestion and pain that I’ve ever experienced, which then turned into a sinus migraine. It caused me to cancel going to a concert with Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. For me, this wasn’t just any concert. I spent big $$$ for a VIP ticket and special seating.

You see I’m a HUGE FAN and a member of the Maroon 5 Fan Club; I’ve seen them in concert multiple times. I’ve even traveled to Amsterdam to hear them in concert with Sara Bareilles (another musical fave). Earlier last year, I had to cancel a road trip to see Maroon 5 play at the Gulfport Music Festival in Mississippi. There was no way I could drive under such constant sinus pain and congestion, let alone enjoy the show.

That trip cancellation was a disappointment, but this latest concert cancellation was even more depressing. You see the opening act was Kelly Clarkson. I have loved Kelly Clarkson since she won the original American Idol competition. I have every record she’s made, but I’ve never seen her live in concert. I was so psyched when she teamed up with Maroon 5 for a national tour, and I didn’t hesitate to spend some serious cash to be in the VIP section and to have the chance to meet the band after the show.

As a longtime sinus sufferer, I’m aware that I could get sidelined at any time if the sinus pain and congestion get too bad. But that doesn’t make it any less disappointing when I have to cancel big plans for a special event. I’ve learned that the best I can do is manage to it when it happens. SUDAFED® gets that, so they’ve launched the SUDAFED REPLAY™ Sweepstakes to help sinus sufferers, like me, relive their most regrettable, missed out moments.



SUDAFED® understands that sometimes you just don’t feel great because of sinus pain and congestion – and all you really want is a “redo.” They’ve launched the SUDAFED REPLAY™ Sweepstakes, through April 6, 2014. Sinus sufferers can enter daily to win a SUDAFED REPLAY™ to help them relive their most regrettable, missed out moments.  By simply describing the activity they missed or suffered through due to sinus pain and congestion on the SUDAFED REPLAY™ app on the SUDAFED® Facebook page, sinus sufferers will be entered to win a $250 gift card for such experiences as a Flight Replay, Sporting Event Replay, or Movie Replay.

Learn how to enter the SUDAFED REPLAY™ Sweepstakes, or about the experiences you can win, by watching this video from SUDAFED®:




Beverages/ Breakfast/ Contests & Promotions

Remembering my favorite destinations with Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy

Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy

Coffee-mate NEW Extra Sweet & CreamyI’ve never been much of a morning person, so a smooth, rich cup of coffee (or three!) helps me to get ready for a day of caring for 4 mischievous pugs, a household full of chores and client meetings. My morning ritual starts with a coffee while reading the newspaper, followed by another cup over email and a final cup to enjoy while thinking about the day before me. It’s my calm before heading into that day’s storm.

I’ve been drinking coffee since I first moved to Chicago after college. Never black; always with heavy creamer and sweetener. Coffee-mate has several flavors with a range of sweetness — from Original, to Italian Sweet Cream, to its newest offering — Extra Sweet & Creamy. I think I’ve tried virtually every flavor of Coffee-mate over the years, and the new Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy is by far the creamiest of their flavors. And it’s sweet enough on its own…no need to add any other sweetener.

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a coffee snob; if I can’t have a good cup of coffee I’d rather have none. After years of taste testing, I’ve learned that I like best a medium roast coffee with a bold flavor – and that’s because I like a lot of creamer in my coffee. Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy gives even a very bold cup of coffee an incredibly creamy texture.

Where can Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy take you?

Coffee isn’t just for the morning. It’s part of special moments, destinations and adventures anytime of the day or night. For me, enjoying a cup of coffee celebrates those little moments that I want to savor, like catching up with an old friend I haven’t seen in way too long or my first trip to Europe. While a great cup of coffee with Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy has the ability to transform me into a polite human being in the morning, it also has the ability to transport me to some of my favorite destination memories any time of the day or night. 

Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy #ad

A sweet and creamy cup of coffee can remind me of my first trips to Paris, Amsterdam and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. In Paris, I watched the people walk by a sidewalk cafe while sipping on a cafe au lait. And though it rained during my entire trip to Amsterdam, my fun wasn’t dampened because my cup was always filled with great coffee.  And for those days when I want to escape back to my memories of the Island of Capri, I’ll close my eyes and enjoy a cup of coffee with Coffee-mate Italian Sweet Cream.

I’ve always found coffee and the culture around coffee to be fascinating and inspiring. As a baker, I like to use coffee as an ingredient in my recipes. Nothing pairs with a hot cup of coffee like something warm from the oven. You’d be surprised what you can whip up in your microwave oven. After trying Coffee-mate’s newest flavors, I was inspired to create a Mug Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe featuring Coffee-mate Extra Creamy & Sweet creamer. It cooks in under 90 seconds and is a sweet, creamy treat to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee – any time of the day!

Mug Coffee Cake

Mug Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy

To commemorate the newest Coffee-mate flavors, Baked Chicago is giving away 5 full-value product coupons ($20 value) to one reader. Share your favorite coffee-related destination memory below for a chance to win. You can also follow Baked Chicago on Twitter for more creative recipes, and follow Coffee-mate on Twitter for more delicious fun and giveaway opportunities.

Mug Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Mug Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Coffee-mate Extra Sweet & Creamy


1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon honey
2 drops vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more, if desired, for garnish
2 teaspoons raspberry preserves (substitute your favorite jam or preserves)


Coat a microwavable mug (recommend 12- to 16-ounce size) with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Mix butter and brown sugar in a measuring cup, until creamy.

Add egg, honey, vanilla and Coffee-mate. Beat until well blended.

Add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat until smooth.

Pour half of the batter into the mug. Drop preserves into the center and cover with the remaining batter.

Microwave on HIGH for about 1 minute, 15 seconds (total of 75 seconds) or until done. Do not over cook or cake will become rubbery.

Let cool for a few minutes, as the preserves will be quite hot. Sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired. When ready, enjoy with a big spoon!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Contests & Promotions

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Eli’s Cheesecake

St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.  ~Adrienne Cook

As spring (hopefully) approaches, so does St. Patrick’s Day. And Chicago takes St. Paddy’s Day celebrations very seriously. From dyeing the Chicago River green to the parades, it’s always a festive time to be in the Windy City. 

But St. Patrick’s Day isn’t only about what you’re drinking. It’s also about the food. And to help you get ready for a Chicago-style St. Patrick’s Day, Baked Chicago is giving away an Eli’s Cheesecake to one lucky reader.

Eli's Cheesecake - key lime pie

Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

Eli’s Key Lime Pie Cheesecake combines slow-cultured cream cheese, sour cream and pairs them with Florida key limes. The cheesecake is baked in a traditional graham cracker crust and topped with key lime curd and whipped cream. This Key Lime Pie Cheesecake, along with Irish Mint Cheesecake and Irish Cream Cheesecake, make up Eli’s Cheesecake’s St. Patrick’s Day flavor selections.

Irish Mint Cheesecake

Irish Mint Cheesecake

Irish Cream Cheesecake

Irish Cream Cheesecake







Eli’s Cheesecake has been a Chicago tradition since 1980, when it debuted at the Taste of Chicago (America’s largest food festival). Eli’s is still a family-owned business and now also one of the country’s largest specialty cheesecake bakeries.

It’s been said that there are only two kinds of people in the world, The Irish and those who wish they were. I say there are two kinds of dessert eaters in the world, those who love cheesecake and those who haven’t had Eli’s Cheesecake yet!

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Disclosure: I was given a free sample of Eli’s Key Lime Pie Cheesecake to review. Eli’s Cheesecake is also providing the prize in this contest. I get no additional benefits for talking about this product or company. All opinions about this product are 100% my own.

Contests & Promotions/ Desserts

Escape the cold with Fogo de Chão’s Papaya Cream & Expedition Brazil contest

For the last several weeks, we’ve been hearing from the hard-working weather teams and meteorologists around the country just how cold it has been, including:

  • It’s the 3rd coldest winter ever
  • Over 80% of the Great Lakes is covered in ice, the most ever
  • In Chicago, we’ve had 285% more snow than the average and we may break the all-time record for most snow in a single season EVER

With over half of the country in a historic, prolonged blast of sub-zero cold, you don’t need another statistic or a “most ever” dramatic statement to know it’s damn cold out there.

One way to fight back the cold is to think warm and tropical. One of the warmest, tropical locations I’ve yet to visit is Brazil so when I learned about this contest launched by Fogo de Chão I thought I would share it in case Brazil was on your list of warm destinations to visit.

The contest, called “Expedition Brazil,” invites adventure-seekers (Fogo de Chão call these individuals “culture-vores”) a chance to get an insider’s look into the beautiful country of Brazil. One winner and their guest will win one of four (4) 7-day travel expeditions. Entries, accepted through February 16, 2014, will be judged on creativity in describing why they are perfect to win an exciting journey to Brazil. You’ll find complete details and the entry form at

Expedition Brazil was launched in conjunction with “The Gaucho Way,” a short 3-minute film that tells the Fogo story through the eyes of one of their gauchos. The majority of the video was shot on location in Southern Brazil and represents the many gauchos that have traveled to the U.S. with Fogo to share their culture here in America.

If you win the contest and go to Brazil – or if you just pretend you’re in Brazil to escape the polar vortex – you’ll need something sweet to celebrate. I asked the folks at Fogo de Chão if they would share a recipe from one of their signature dishes and they kindly provided the recipe for their most popular dessert, Papaya Cream. Enjoy!

Fogo de Chão Signature Papaya Cream

Rating: 51

Yield: 2 servings


1 papaya
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 ounce Crème de Cassis liqueur
mint leaves


Peel and remove seeds from papaya. Cut papaya into pieces.

Put papaya pieces and ice cream in food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until the fruit has blended completely.

Pour mixture into a nice goblet or brandy snifter. Garnish with Crème de Cassis and a mint leaf.

Contests & Promotions

Get your favorite brownies fresh-baked, home-delivered in National “Have a Brownie” Day contest

Happy National “Have a Brownie” Day!

Readers of Baked Chicago know I have a slight obsession with brownies. Baked Chicago was named in homage to a city known for innovation. One of those innovations is the brownie!

The brownie was created at the Palmer House Hotel (now the Palmer House Hilton) during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (the official shortened name for the World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition, aka The Chicago World’s Fair). Bertha Palmer, wife of hotelier Potter Palmer, asked the hotel’s chef to make a ‘ladies dessert’ that could be easily carried in a boxed lunch at the World’s Fair. The first brownies featured an apricot glaze with walnuts. The Palmer House Hilton still makes brownies according to the original recipe.

I’ve been baking uniquely decadent brownies since high school. In November of 2012, filled with years of “brownie wisdom” and support from readers, I published my first cookbook: Baked Chicago’s Simply Decadent Brownies Cookbook. With over 50,000 copies in circulation, it’s been consistently Amazon’s top-rated chocolate dessert making cookbook since December, 2012, and 100% of all proceeds have gone to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and PAWS Chicago.

Many readers have asked when the next cookbook might arrive and have suggested some great ideas for new decadent brownie recipes. So to honor National “Have a Brownie” Day 2014, I’m running a very special, limited-time contest. Enter by:

  • Voting for your favorite brownie recipe from among the most popular in Simply Decadent Brownies Cookbook
  • Submitting an idea for a new brownie recipe (in the comments section below) to be featured in the next brownies cookbook, Simply Decadent Brownies, Too
  • Subscribing to Baked Chicago email alerts

I’ll randomly select one winner to get a Baked Chicago Simply Decadent Brownies gift package that will include an autographed copy of  Baked Chicago’s Simply Decadent Brownies Cookbook and a home-baked batch of brownies (baked by me based on your vote for your favorite recipe) delivered to your door. 

What brownies will you be having?


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Contests & Promotions

Enter Baked Chicago’s National Chocolate Lovers Month Giveaway

Baked Chicago Celebrates National Chocolate Lovers Month

And You Name The Prize!

Love is in the air! It’s almost Valentine’s Day when you show-and-tell the one you love how much they mean to you. But when it comes to chocolate, just one day won’t do justice to the depth and breadth of our passion for chocolate. That’s why Baked Chicago is celebrating National Chocolate Lovers Month all month long.  Enter our contest for the chance to win some decadent chocolate prizes.

Most people have a strong preference. Many lean toward milk chocolate, but the ranks of the dark chocolate lovers are growing. And don’t forget those that adore white chocolate. Some argue that white chocolate is not chocolate at all. This is a judgment-free chocolate zone, embracing all flavors and forms of chocolate. Chocolate just makes the world a better place, right?

You’ll find over 500 recipes on the Baked Chicago blog; many featuring chocolate including: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and semisweet chocolate.  Sometimes all in the same recipe and with no apologies!

Enter Baked Chicago’s National Chocolate Lovers Month Giveaway and share the chocolate love!

MARCH 1 UPDATE: Winners have been selected and are being notified via email. Once confirmations have been received, we’ll publish the winners’ names. If you did not win a prize in this giveaway, don’t fret. Watch for Baked Chicago’s next giveaway (coming this week), which will feature a brand new flavor of Eli’s Cheesecake!

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Contests & Promotions

Happy National Brownie Day!

12-8-2013 8-49-47 AMTo celebrate, Baked Chicago is giving away digital copies of the Simply Decadent Brownies Cookbook – Amazon’s top-rated chocolate desserts cookbook for 13 months and going!

Simply sign up for email alerts (sign up box is in the right channel) and you’ll get a digital coupon to download a copy from the Baked Chicago Online Store.

Contests & Promotions

Bake Like You Mean It™ Anniversary Sweepstakes

Bake Like You Mean It Anniversary Sweepstakes

Celebrating the start of Baked Chicago’s 7th year!

Enter for a chance to win some of Baked Chicago’s favorite kitchen tools of 2013, including Keurig®, Cuisinart® and Rachael Ray®

Here in the Baked Chicago kitchen, I’m raising a glass to toast the start of the Baked Chicago blog’s seventh year. I could not have dreamed back in October, 2007, that some 500+ original recipes later that the blog would have come so far and had so much fun while doing it. Together, we enjoyed some tasty bites and I did quite a few dishes along the way.

With the holiday season upon us, I’m ready to pull out all the stops with the first annual Bake Like You Mean It™ Anniversary Sweepstakes. It’s easy to earn multiple entries to win some of my favorite and most essential kitchen tools from 2013, including Keurig®, Cuisinart® and Rachael Ray®:

  1. Follow Baked Chicago on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
  2. Comment on this post below by sharing which kitchen appliance, tool or gadget is at the top of your 2013 holiday wish list

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