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Winner: The Great Dinner Party Giveaway AND an extra surprise holiday discount from Pistoulet & Pfaltzgraff!

17 Dec

Hello everyone!!

I apologize for not getting this posted yesterday — Southern Illinois got smacked with an ice freeze Wednesday night and I kept the boys home yesterday. (Jamie’s birthday was Wednesday and he got new light-up sneakers, so he was SO indignant that he had to stay home from school Thursday and not show them off! Needless to say, it was *quite* a day for us holed up in our house after that!)

But you don’t want to read about THAT — you want to know who the winner was of The Great Dinner Party Giveaway, don’t you??

Well, I am proud to announce…

…the WINNER of the beautiful 16-piece stoneware Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet dinnerware set

…not to mention the BONUS Hostess Set including lidded sugar bowl, spouted creamer and adorable polka-dotted butter dish…


Donna Sigler! Come on down!!!

Donna has left so many supportive comments on the Spirit of Pistoulet and Pfaltzgraff Facebook pages since this contest began! I was so happy to read her name after the random drawing. I’m sure she’ll be celebrating the spirit of Jana’s wonderful books very soon! Meanwhile, here was a comment Donna wrote on Pfaltzgraff’s wall of why she’d love to win the dishes:

“I would like to to win the Pistoulet dishes by Pfaltzgraff because not only are they just beautiful, but I have no dishes since my divorce. I eat off of paper plates.”

Well, throw away those paper plates, Donna! Santa’s bringing you some fancy new ones! Merry Christmas, and congratulations from The Red Kitchen Project, The Spirit of Pistoulet, Pfaltzgraff, Lifetime Brands and!

I’d like to also say a big thank-you to everyone who entered and shared our links with others. As a wonderful surprise, you don’t have to walk away empty-handed, either! Read on!

Due to all of those happy wall posts from Red Kitchen readers cropping up all over the The Spirit of Pistoulet’s Facebook page, all friends of the Pistoulet page are eligible to receive an additional 10% off Pfaltzgraff’s holiday prices on all Pistoulet from now through December 24th! (Visit the The Spirit of Pistoulet FB page for the coupon code) PLUS, today is also NATIONAL FREE SHIPPING DAY with no minimum purchase  at!

So if you’ve had this beautiful dinnerware in your head ever since you entered, don’t despair — Pfaltzgraff still wants to help you have a Pistoulet Christmas!!

The continued enthusiasm of Red Kitchen guests is what makes it possible to have these fun giveaway events (which always keep me so excited!), and I appreciate all of you so very much. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you, and Merry Christmas. Here’s to a great 2011 for all of us!!



The Great Dinner Party Giveaway!

9 Dec

Hooray, hooray!

The great folks over at Lifetime Brands have decided to have another fun dinnerware giveaway just for you lovely readers here at RKP. In celebration of their newest website launch, The Great Dinner Party, one lucky Red Kitchen guest will be enjoying the holidays with a fancy new 16-piece dinner service and bonus hostess set from Pfaltzgraff. Whee!!!

What’s this, you say?

So what’s The Great Dinner Party all about, you ask? Basically, it’s like one giant online scrapbook of every fancy meal anybody has taken photos of and posted! And it’s growing every day with more and more table decor ideas. Sponsored by Mikasa, photos of any and all brands, patterns or themes are welcomed and admired at TGDP, just as it should be. BTW, here’s a link to my favorite page. (Of course.) 🙂 So click on over there and see what I mean! (Don’t worry; I’ll still be waiting here for you when you get done drooling at all of those beautiful photos. Promise.)

Start the New Year with new dinnerware!

The Prize:

If you’ve been holding out for some really beautiful china since our last Pfaltzgraff giveaway, now’s your chance to throw your hat into the ring again! Once again, our contest features the beautiful Pistoulet pattern designed by (my personal hero) artist/author Jana Kolpen.This time, our giveaway will come from the blue Pistoulet palette. (You can click here to browse the ever-expanding line of available products from Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet. )

I couldn’t choose when I picked out my kitchen china back in 2003, so I actually have both the salmon and blue sets in my kitchen (four settings of each), and I have to say how much I love the little green salad plates that come with the blue set. I use them for everything! (As evident by the many, many snapshots of them holding yummy recipe creations all over this website.)

In addition to four beautiful place settings, the winner will receive the matching Pistoulet covered sugar bowl, cream pitcher and covered butter dish. Just because we know you’ll be dying for them. 🙂

We’ve got the rest of your tabletop covered, too!

This would make for a fantastic starter set, or a great excuse to update those old dishes in the cabinet, or even serve as an inspiration to redecorate your kitchen!

And the best news is yet to come: you can enter this contest multiple times! Hooray! (You know I wouldn’t hold out on you like that.)

So How Do I Enter??? 

There are several ways to enter, and you can enter as many ways as you like:

1.) Head over to Facebook and “Like” both The Spirit of Pistoulet ( AND Pfaltzgraff ( and write on both walls that you are “Visiting from the Red Kitchen Project.” Stop back to this Red Kitchen post and comment to let me know you liked both pages to be entered!

2.) If you are already a fan of both pages, you can still enter by writing why you want to win Pistoulet on both walls, followed by “Visiting from RKP” and comment here to let me know you did so.

My son, Jamie, leaving cookies for Santa in December 2009 atop a Pistoulet green salad plate. (Insert your child's face here! Haha.) 🙂

3.) Share “The Great Dinner Party” and “The Red Kitchen Project” websites with your friends on your Facebook wall and come back here to comment that you did so!

4.) Bonus Entry: Upload a photo of your beautifully set table (Thanksgiving, dinner party, Christmas, etc.) at and stop back by the Red Kitchen Project to comment that you’ve done so. Important: When you upload your table photo, select “The Red Kitchen Project” in the “Sponsored By” drop-down menu in Step 1 of the table upload page.

*Remember, The Great Dinner Party is not only a great website for showing off your creative table spreads, it’s also a fantastic resource for getting new ideas for your next entertaining event, large or small!

Good luck! The winner will be selected by the Random Number Generator and remember, this contest closes at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Central Time on December 16th! Note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Disclosure Statement: I, Gracie Ritter, am not an employee of Pfaltzgraff or Lifetime Brands, Inc, nor is the Red Kitchen Project a brand affiliate. I occasionally receive items from Pfaltzgraff/Lifetime Brands for my review (at no cost) and as prize awards for RKP contests. The opinions reflected at the Red Kitchen Project are my own personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Pfaltzgraff/Lifetime Brands.


Misto Contest Winner!

30 Jul

Thanks to everyone who entered the Misto contest this week here at RKP. Sadly, though, there can be only one winner. As per usual, I used a random selection to find out where I’m sending this Misto Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Oil Bottle Sprayer (see video gadget demonstration of Misto by clicking here), and:

Photo courtesy of Lifetime Brands.

Congratulations go to…………(Chevy Chase drumroll here)…………

Natalie Fitch! Come on down! Here was Natalie’s post comment which won the drawing :

Natalie Fitch July 28, 2010 at 5:50 PM Edit #

I would love to try the Misto sprayer with steak/ chicken fajitas. I love them in restaurants and home but they are always so greasy. I would love to be able to get tender meat without all the oil and it would be great for the peppers and onions too. May even be able to make my absolute fave fajita quesadillas.

Thanks for entering, Natalie, and be sure to email me at with your address so I can stick this right in the mail to you! Hope you make some rockin’ healthy fajitas with the Misto–and feel free to send me photos of them to post, along with your recipe! 🙂

(Meanwhile, if anyone is interested in the Misto, you can order them easily online through Pfaltzgraff or Amazon. You can also become a fan of Lifetime Brands on Facebook by clicking here.)

Thanks again for the great comments, everyone–I have lots of great new cooking ideas now! Enjoy the weekend!

Happy Birthday to the Red Kitchen Project, Misto Product Review + Free Gourmet Sprayer Contest!

27 Jul

I looked at the calendar last week and thought, “How can it possibly have been a year already since I started this little project?”

Me: one year, a few grey hairs, and many new recipes later!

But come August 1st, I’ll be celebrating RKP’s first anniversary, and I’m here to tell you, I’m thankful for this website. And for all of you. 🙂 I constantly get to hear from interesting people all over the world, and it’s an inspiration to see the recipe archives grow, knowing all of these recipes are now battle plans in the eating-cheaply arsenal!

In keeping with this celebratory post, I’m announcing another kitchen giveaway! That’s right–from now through Friday (the 30th), you can enter to win your very own Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer.

And if I’m giving one away, I may as well review one myself! (Many thanks to Lisa at Lifetime Brands for providing The Red Kitchen with these cool freebie gadgets, by the way!) Here goes:

The Misto Gourmet Oil Bottle Sprayer from Lifetime Brands is a handy little doodad designed to lighten up your cooking and eating by reducing the amount of oil used in recipes and snacks into a fine spray mist, coating your food more evenly and thereby eliminating the need to “dip” or “pour” oil on items that don’t really need that much grease. And starting at $9.99, you can’t beat the price when you think about all of the empty spray cans of PAM you’ve probably thrown away. (See? Your waist will love you, and now the environment will, too!)

Photo courtesy of Lifetime Brands.

I’ve been trying to center more of my recipes these days around healthier options, so I decided to try it out on some lean steaks. For kicks and giggles, I also replaced buttered corn with grilled corn on the cob misted with olive oil–but I didn’t even get to photograph any of the vegetables before they were gobbled up! Honestly, I’m through smothering corn in butter, margarine, Parkay spread, or anything else thick and yellow! The olive oil, with a shake or two of salt, was just right–not too greasy, not too dry, not too bland–frankly, it was perfect.

Filling Misto with oil.

Easy to fill.

Getting back to the steaks, I purchased some ultra-lean but ultra-tough flank steaks on manager’s special at my local meat counter. Normally, I would soak/marinate the tough steaks during the day before firing up the grill at night. This time, I decided to see how a little bit of misting would speed up the process.

Two identical half-pound steaks.

One steak was scored with a knife and then brushed with about a Tablespoon (= 3 teaspoons) of olive oil to make sure I didn’t miss any nooks or crannies.

Score tough steaks with a serrated knife before marinating to tenderize the meat.

The other steak was scored identically, but oiled using only the Misto. (I might have used 1/2 teaspoon, tops, on the entire steak.) The sprayer, which you fill halfway with liquid and then “pump” about ten times before pressing the spray nozzle, really allowed me to get into the scored sections and marinate the center of the tough steak without the whole thing dripping with oil or making a mess.

Pump and spray.

I then sprinkled the two steaks equally with my usual beef flavorings–onion powder, salt, pepper and paprika–and set them both out there on the heated barbecue grill.

About 13-15 minutes later, I scooped them up, brought them in, sliced them up, and definitely knew which one I wanted to claim as mine!

The steak that had been brushed with oil was still dripping with grease. Two of the corners had also hardened into tough little points.

The steak that had been Misto-sprayed was juicy (but not greasy), evenly cooked (no hardened edges), and more easily sliced as a result. Just look and see for yourself:

Steak #1: Brushed with 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Steak #2: Misted with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil.

See how pasty the outside of the first steak looks? No matter how hard I attacked the scorings with a thick basting brush, I couldn’t seem to get the oil to penetrate the outside of the raw meat. When I sprayed the second steak, all I had to do was press the meat away from each incision using the knife, and then point the nozzle of the spray bottle downward into the score marks.

As if that weren’t enough proof, I of course followed with a taste-test of each steak. While both admittedly would have benefited from being marinated all day, the brushed-oil steak was much tougher and chewier than I’d expected versus the sprayed steak.

To be honest, it was actually my goal with this experiment just to find out if the sprayed steak would be AS tender as the brushed steak. I wanted to find out if my tastes would suffer by using less oil in preparation. Turns out, my tastes were suffering BEFORE I switched to the Misto. That 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in mist form was able to get into places a whole Tablespoon of oil could never be brushed into.

Who knew?

I look forward in the coming weeks to trying out other new ways of using the Misto to reduce my daily fat/grease/oil intake. But I’m going to need your help, which is where the contest comes in.

To enter to win your very own Misto Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Oil Bottle Sprayer, leave a comment on this post telling me what recipe you’d most like to reduce the fat in using a Misto. One entry per person, please. Contest ends at 12:00 pm (noon) CST on Friday, July 30th. Winner will be announced Friday afternoon.

In the meantime, visit the Misto page on Pfaltzgraff’s website or You Tube to watch a video demonstrating the Misto.

P.S.–You can also order an engraved, personalized Misto sprayer starting at only $14.99–treat all the cooks in your life to a cool gadget and healthier cooking!

Encore Pistoulet Dinnerware gift from Pfaltzgraff!

15 Jun

Photo courtesy of


Gracie here again, delighted to post an encore to the Pfaltzgraff contest-winner of service for eight in the beautiful Pistoulet pattern designed by Jana Kolpen and used daily here in the Red Kitchen!

Photo courtesy of

Congratulations (and also pats on the back) go to Kim G, who entered the Pfaltzgraff contest not for herself but rather on the behalf of another family, whose home burned down in a recent fire. The folks at Pfaltzgraff, and its parent company, Lifetime Brands, Inc., were so moved by Kim’s entry that they have decided to send an identical 40-piece, service-for-eight Pistoulet dining set to this North Carolina family!

It is in the face of staggering loss that the importance of life’s simplest blessings, such as sharing a meal with loved ones, becomes truly illuminated. I’m charmed to learn that the folks at Pfaltzgraff, as well as the guests of the Red Kitchen, feel the same way.

Those familiar with Jana Kolpen’s illustrated books will agree that this truly is the “Spirit of Pistoulet.” (Visit The Spirit of Pistoulet on Face Book!)

I love it.  I feel honored that the Red Kitchen can serve as a conduit for such compassion from caring, conscientous businesses like Pfaltzgraff.

Congrats again to Bev, our original PFZ contest winner, and now also to Kim G and her friends/neighbors as well! Enjoy your lovely new china, and dine in good health! Cheers!


P.S.–Bev B reports that she is thoroughly enjoying her new china set and is already poking around on to make a wish list of serving pieces to accompany her new dishes. Hooray for Pistoulet!

Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet Service Winner Announced!

9 Jun

First of all, I want to thank everyone who entered and all who subscribed to the Red Kitchen Project during the Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet giveaway this past week. And never fear, there will be future RKP contests and giveaways as in the past. What will they be? I don’t know yet. We’ll all be surprised together. 🙂

In the meantime, my computer’s random number generator has selected a winner for the PFZ contest, and congratulations go to…

Photo courtesey of

Bev B!

Bev’s comment: “My current set of dishes is 21 years old – obviously not a full set. I would love for my guests to have matching place settings. Thanks Gracie – love your website!”

Well, Bev, I think your guests will be eating in style now! Contact me soon to claim your free Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet 40-piece-service by Jana Kolpen! 🙂

Happy cooking,


Exclusive Giveaway: FREE Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet china service for EIGHT to one lucky RKP reader!

1 Jun

Service for 8 in this beautiful pattern can be yours! Enter now! (Photo courtesy of

Howdy, folks!!

Gracie here, happy to announce that one lucky Red Kitchen Project reader will soon be winning FREE Pfaltzgraff china, in the form of service for EIGHT (you heard me!) in the very beautiful Pistoulet pattern, designed by artist Jana Kolpen and used daily in the recipe photos here in my Red Kitchen.

In celebration of the wonderful friendship with Ms. Kolpen that this website has serendipitously blessed me with, Pfaltzgraff is honoring this star-struck kitchen hostess by letting me award one lucky RKP reader with an all-inclusive, 40-piece, GORGEOUS Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet dining service for eight.

In other words, if you didn’t already have a set of “good china” for entertaining on special occasions, you certainly will now! (Although I consider EVERY meal a special occasion, and eat off of my fancy Pistoulet every single day!)

Pfaltzgraff Pistoulet place setting

Picture this...EIGHT TIMES! In your very own dining room! Hooray! (Photo courtesy of

Or maybe you are a young person visiting this site to learn techniques for saving money on the kitchen budget before you move out on your own after college? Well, win this prize and you just stocked yourself a beautiful dining room of china straight in the door! 🙂

Maybe you are a newlywed who didn’t get any of the china you registered for? Batta bing! You’re all set!

Whatever the reason may be, I can’t believe many who read this will turn down entering when you read how easy and simple it is to win!

There are three different ways to enter, so you can increase your odds with each entry! Limit 7 entries per person, as broken down per method below. Here’s how to enter:

your RKP hostess


1.) Leave a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to win this china set.

Good for one entry. Additional response or followup comments do not result in additional entries, but are quite welcome anyway!

2.) Subscribe to this blog. Good for one entry. It’s free, it’s super easy (see widget on the righthand side of the page, or comment if you’re having trouble finding it), and there’s absolutely no risk. You will NEVER receive a single bit of junk mail or spam as a result of subscribing to the Red Kitchen Project; just a quick, happy little email each time a post/recipe is published on the RKP site, letting you know what that day’s post is about, so you know if you’re interested in checking it out. You can unsubscribe at any time just as easily as you signed up (or email me the request and I’ll remove you from the list if you prefer, no questions asked.) How handy is that? Just click on the subscription widget, enter your email address and confirm your subscription! (Current subscribers will automatically receive one entry per person for this method!)


Mademoiselle J.


3.) Get a friend to subscribe along with you! Limit 5 additional entries, and please be honest and don’t sign up for fake hotmail or gmail accounts to get additional entries. The entire point of this contest is friendship, goodwill and happiness, so please don’t ruin it! For every friend who subscribes to this blog at your recommendation, not only will you receive an additional entry for yourself, but that person will automatically be entered once as well (see #2 above) and thus eligible to earn additional entries as described here.

To receive “credit” for your subscribers (your additional contest entries), email me the names/emails of each subscriber referred by you OR have the subscriber email me himself/herself naming you as the referral. Send emails to: before the contest deadline for eligibility.

Contest ends Wednesday, June 9th at 12:00 pm (noon) US central time. Prize can be shipped to US residence only. Contest sponsored by Pfaltzgraff (a division of Lifetime Brands, Inc.) and brought to you by Jana Kolpen, author of The Secrets of Pistoulet.

Good luck!


We have a winner!

15 Mar

Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by the Red Kitchen over the weekend (I can see there have been many by my WordPress stats)–I wish more had remembered to leave a comment in the last post to enter the prize drawing! Be that as it may, I am very thankful for all the guests who visit this blog, whether they post comments or not!

Meanwhile, congratulations to Rheannon, who won today’s cookbook prize, Rotisserie Chickens to the Rescue! (How to use the already roasted chickens you purchase at the market to make more than 125 simple & delicious meals) by Carla Fitzgerald Williams!

(And remember–if you use the Red Kitchen Project method for slow-cooking whole chickens at a time while you’re at work or out having fun, you can not only save time making meals out of it later–you can also save a lot of money as well!)

November Contest Winner!

4 Nov

Congratulations go to Rheannon, whose name was drawn for this month’s giveaway, a copy of The Secrets of Pistoulet by Jana Kolpen!


An autographed copy of this cookbook for our lucky winner, Rheannon!

I also have a surprise to announce, as well–it just so happens that Ms. Kolpen herself has upped the prize since I first posted this contest on Monday. She has graciously offered to personally autograph this book for our winner! What a classy gal!

So congrats again go to lucky reader Rheannon! I’ll be sending this book off right away to the author for a personalized autograph, and then on to its winner!

And now, I will leave you all with Rheannon’s contest entry on the most magical food she’s ever eaten–and make sure you’re not drinking something when you read this, because it’s pretty hilarious, which just goes to prove that you never know where, when, or under what ridiculous conditions a bit of culinary magic might strike!

“The most magical food I’ve ever eaten was a Frosty Float on my wedding day. I was a little nervous and had already taken about 100 immodium tablets, if you know what I mean. My stomach was just a wreck. I went to Wendy’s with my best friend, and bridesmaid, Candace and my husband’s sister, also a bridesmaid. I got a frosty float and some lunch. I do not remember what I ate but that frosty float made all my tummy troubles disappear. The rest of the day was happy and immodium- free! The ice cream and soda combination was just the special combination I needed to get through the best day of my life. Thanks for the chance to share!”


No, Rheannon, thank you! 🙂 And special thanks to all of the RKP readers who entered this month’s contest! Keep checking back for more prizes in the future and great recipes in the meantime!

Contest Giveaway: “The Secrets of Pistoulet” Enchanted Cookbook!

2 Nov

Want to win this book? It's easy!

In honor of site traffic being up a whopping SEVENTY PERCENT (70%) during the month of October, I’ve decided to take my inspiration from author/designer Jana Kolpen’s recent benevolence to this site and pay it forward!

Starting now and ending Wednesday (Nov. 4) at 12:00 NOON (CST), you can enter to win your very own copy of the magical cookbook that started it all and inspired this very website!

If you’re a regular guest of the Red Kitchen, you’ve probably already seen at least one of my “Pistoulet posts.” But, if you haven’t, and are interested in learning more about this line of curious cookbooks and matching Pfatlzgraff china patterns, you can find more links at the end of this post.

And now for the official contest rules and information:

To enter for your chance to win a copy of The Secrets of Pistoulet, all you need to do is enter a comment on this post answering the question: “What is the most magical thing you’ve ever eaten?”

“Magical” may mean that you had a wonderful, unrelated moment WHILE eating the aforementioned food, or it may mean that something tasted so perfectly delicious it seemed like it must have CONTAINED a magical ingredient, or it MIGHT even mean that while you were eating this food, you felt as though you’d been instantly cured, comforted or otherwise mysteriously altered while consuming its powerful qualities.

This is a contest purely for having fun, for reminiscing, for thinking like a fairy tale, and for finding new inspirations along the quest for the perfect tabletop on a dime. So please, do share your story or memory!!

Have fun with this one, everybody, and be sure to post your comment to enter to win this delightful book! Winner will be announced Wednesday afternoon, so be sure to check back!

To view the Red Kitchen product feature of The Secrets of Pistoulet Pfaltzgraff line, click here.

To view the Red Kitchen feature on author/designer Jana Kolpen, click here.

To read more about Jana’s books, click here.

To view the Pistoulet Pfaltzgraff line, click here.

To visit the “vine-covered website” of Jana Kolpen, click here.



Let the landscape of Pistoulet inspire your cuisine...AND thoughts!