New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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$500 GiftCard GiveAway from Peapod Grocery Delivery

Friday, December 5th, 2014 by Stephanie O'Dea

How Slow Cooking Helps with The American Dream


I just returned from the BlogHer PRO annual conference. And by “return,” I mean that I returned to my coffee-splattered desk at the back of the house and I returned to pajama pants and fuzzy slippers.

But! For TWO WHOLE DAYS I wore “big girl clothes” and “big girl shoes” and made conversation with real actual adults and we didn’t talk about carpool or band practice or whether or not we remembered to move the gosh darn Elf on the Shelf.

It was wonderful.

While I was listening to the speakers, I started thinking about what I do online, and why I am so drawn to slow cooking.

and I sort of had an epiphany. In a teeny tiny miniscule way, I’m sort of helping other people achieve just a tiny slice of The American Dream.

Because I can help get dinner on the table in a quick, efficient, and non-stressful way. And at the end of the day all we really want is to sit around a dinner table with our family (or stand around a crockpot and shovel food in our mouths; whatever) and then turn off our brain and chill.

Am I over-glamorizing the slow cooker? Probably. But hey, this is who I am!

[this is a sponsored post by Peapod]

peapod logo

Choosing What to Out Source

Another big theme at the BlogHer PRO conference was deciding what your worth was, and what was worth your time. The gist was: if it’s not worth your time, outsource.

The tricky thing with outsourcing though, is that in many ways you need to have the funds to hire your outsourcee (is that a word? spell check is mad at me). I hate spending money. That’s why slow cooking is so appealing to me — it forces me to plan ahead, which in turn saves money at the grocery store because I only need to go once a week, and I can shop the circulars.

But in a way, by choosing to slow cook, I’ve sort of already outsourced dinner.

[I know. I’m a bit weird in that I bring everything back to slow cooking. stay with me…..]

There are a few things I won’t outsource. I like to answer my own emails, and I like watching my own kids. But you know what I could outsource?


That weekly grocery store trip.


And so I was THRILLED when I got an email from Peapod telling me about their slow cooker recipe board on Pinterest, and how they were hoping I’d entice all of you to upload your recipes.

Their goal is to create the World’s Largest and Best Slow Cooker Pinterest board —– and as a thank you, they will enter you to win a grand prize of a $500 Peapod delivery gift card.


peapod slow cooker contest

This is it. This is life. We have to get up every morning, and we have to go to work, and we have to make dinner, and we have to do the laundry.

But pushing the shopping cart down the aisle? Eh. Let somebody else do that. Your time is valuable — and SOMEBODY has to sit on the couch with a bag of chips and watch True Tori!

[ps, it’s not real, right? the whole show has GOT to be staged, right?]



Go to Peapod’s facebook page, and follow the directions to upload a photo and recipe link to a favored slow cooker recipe. If it’s from your own site, THAT IS AWESOME, but since this is going straight to Pinterest, it’s perfectly okay to pin something from anywhere on the web.

Next, follow the Peapod Slow Cooker Board.

Each week, Peapod will award FIVE $50 giftcards, and everybody who enters will be entered into a pool to win a grand prize giftcard of $500.


(did you know that when I talk in real life, I say “hashtag” outloud? —– I’m beginning to annoy myself.)


I hope you had a VERY happy Thanksgiving, and thank you so much for playing along!

Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker and Lid Pocket GiveAway!

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 by Stephanie O'Dea

ham beach set n forget

This contest is now OVER. Thank you to all who entered! Winners will be contacted through email. Stay tuned for more fun stuff! — steph



It’s November, which means it’s time to get ready for the upcoming winter Holidays, and it’s time to get serious about gift-giving!

I have a fantastic giveaway for you today. I’ve written before how much I love the Hamilton  Beach Set n’ Forget slow cooker. It has all of the features I look for in a slow cooker: it’s programmable, it cooks evenly, the cooking steam/moisture stays in the pot instead of dissipating into the air, and it looks nice on the kitchen countertop.

and? it’s a great price. Amazon regularly sells the Set n’ Forget for about $45.


But that’s not all for this prize package! I also have a Lid Pocket to add to today’s giveaway. The Lid Pocket is a fantastic invention by my friend Vicky Braun. The lid pocket fits on most 3 to 6-quart slow cookers (it doesn’t currently work with the Ninja) and is designed to keep your kitchen countertop clutter-free and drip-free when scooping food from the pot. This is FANTASTIC if you entertain with your slow cookers the way I do. It’s always a challenge to figure out where to keep the lids!

The lid pocket sells on Amazon for $10, or you can order directly from

lid pocket2


lid pocket


The lid pocket simply hooks on to the side of the pot and when you are ready to serve it snugly holds the lid in place. This is a wonderful gift for the slow-coookerer in your life that you think has EVERYTHING — chances are he/she NEEDS this new invention!!


I am happy to have partnered up with Hamilton Beach and Vicky from Lid Pocket to give away a prize package for you today of 1 Hamilton Beach Set n’ Forget, and 1 Lid Pocket to a lucky random winner.

To enter, simply leave a comment in the box below. I will randomly select a winner in 10 days — you have until

Thursday, November 13th (5pm pacific)

to win this contest, and I will allow multiple entries if you Tweet about this post or share on Facebook.


I entered to win the @HamiltonBeach and @LidPocket #GiveAway on @stephanieodea and you should, too! Tweet: I entered the @HamiltonBeach  @LidPocket #GiveAway via @StephanieODea. You should, too!



Good luck, and thank you again to Hamilton Beach and Lid Pocket!


365 Slow Cooker Suppers and Totally Together Planner giveaway!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Stephanie O'Dea

ttj and 365 book pic


This contest is now over. Thank you to all who entered!!  More fun stuff is on the way. thank you for playing along!! — steph

The winners of this giveaway were randomly selected, and emails sent to:
Your 5 winners on “365 Slow Cooker Suppers and Totally Together Planner giveaway!” are:
1) joanne marion
3) LeeAnn T
4) Davina Spafford Stuart
5) Dorothy Sparks





We haven’t had a giveaway in pretty much forever and I wanted to get this page up and running with a giveaway in time for Mother’s Day.

I love Mother’s Day.

because I get a nap.

I’ve got a copy of my newest cookbook, 365 Slow Cooker Suppers and a copy of my household organizing planner, Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life for a lucky winner.

okay, five.

I’ll pick five winners and each of the winners will get both copies of the books.

Don’t tell Adam. He seems to think I’m supposed to be making money instead of giving it away…..

whatever…. it’s (almost) Mother’s Day!


the nitty-gritty:

leave a comment with a legitimate email address so I can contact you if you win.

The winner will receive the books directly from Amazon, so you’ll need to have a valid US mailing address.

if you’d like to tweet about this, you should!

if you’d like to pin this, you should!

if you’d like to follow me on facebook and tell me I’m wonderful (kidding. but only sort of. 😉 ), you should!

I’ll randomly pick the winners at the end of the month (that’s April 30th, 5pm pacific).


I’ve missed you, and am glad to be giving stuff away again! More to come…… make sure to sign up to get the inside scoop on future giveaways.

xoxo steph

Review and Giveaway! Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by Lisa

MyPixImage (46)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013. This giveaway is now over.  The winner has been randomly chosen and notified by email.  Congratulations April Paik!  Enjoy!!!

Lisa Irvine writes at Lisa’s Blogety Blog. You can find her at @Lirvine98 on twitter. If you have an idea for a giveaway, please let her know!

Those of us who love our slow cookers already know how easy it is to get a healthy meal on the table with very little effort.

Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces make it even easier!  Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces are “Created by a Busy Mom for Busy Moms (& Dads)!”

From the Jesben’s website:

As a busy mom, I’m intent on providing wholesome, delicious meals to my family.  Over the years, I have become known for my slow cooked meals.  Friends love the recipes, but few have time to prepare them before embarking on their busy day.  So after much encouragement, I decided to launch Jesben®, The Slow Cooker Sauce Company™.  Jesben® is named for my kids, my inspiration for making the best tasting, most wholesome meals.  Jesben® makes only slow cooker sauces, nothing else, with the goal of elevating and simplifying the art of slow cooking™.  Just as I do for my family, we select the best all natural ingredients and ensure our sauces are simmered to perfection.  With Jesben®, just add meat and slow-cook for a great tasting meal.  Now you can go about your busy day knowing that a delicious, slow-cooked meal will be waiting for you and your family at dinner time.  Enjoy!  – Susie Schwartz, President Jesben, LLC

Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces are available in Original BBQ and Italian Tomato, Peppers & Herbs.   I decided to try the Original BBQ using a beef roast I had purchased.  I sprayed my slow cooker with non-stick spray, put in my meat and then poured the entire jar over the top.  It’s that easy!

MyPixImage (48)

It came out so tender and delicious!  I shredded the meat and served it on top of gluten-free bread.

MyPixImage (47)

Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces are All Natural with no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, no MSG and no gluten.  You should really check out their wonderful recipe page HERE.

You can purchase Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces at a store NEAR YOU or you can find the sauces on Amazon.

Would you like to try Jesben Slow Cooker Sauces for free?   I am happy to be able to be able to giveaway TWO JARS OF EACH FLAVOR to one lucky reader!!!

To enter this giveaway, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.

You may also garner additional entries by:

  1. Following Jesben Slow Cooker Sauce on Twitter.




This giveaway will run from today (Wednesday, June 26, 2013) until Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 4 pm Pacific Time.


The winner will be notified by email.


Thanks so much and good luck!



Ninja Cooking System Giveaway (and Happy Ninjember!)

Thursday, November 1st, 2012 by Stephanie O'Dea


This contest is now over, and the winner has been notified.  Thank you to all who entered. More Ninjas are on the way — but in the mean time, keep an eye on the storefront; we’re about to have a new offer available! :-) happy slow cooking! steph



I had the grand idea of posting daily recipes in October in honor of Crocktober the way I’ve done in the past, but failed miserably. So since we’re in a brand new month, I’ve decided we need to rename November to NINJEMBER. (insert HI- YAH noise and karate chop) (wait, is that insensitive to Ninjas?) (if, so, disregard.)

I’m probably still not going to post daily recipes because let’s face it —- just how many variations of beef stew can I possibly come up with? But! I’ve got a brand new Ninja Cooking System for you today. I’ll keep this contest running for a good two weeks, and will close it on Wednesday, November 14th at 8pm pacific.

The Ninja Cooking System rocks. You can read my entire review, here, and you can buy it here, with a whole lot of extras you can’t find in the store. If you haven’t been able to catch the whole infomercial, that’s okay, because they now have it uploaded on You Tube and you can see me in all my acting glory. :-)


I still really, really like this product, and I am sure you will, too.

here are some other Ninja Cooking System reviews that you might like to check out:

Wellsphere    Steamy Kitchen     Tiffany Haugen (and a recipe for cooking wild duck!)           The Cupcake Project (Stef tested out the mini cupcakes!)        Mom’s Own Words


Happy Ninjember! :-)

xoxo steph


to enter:

leave a name and valid email address and a comment. Winners will be randomly selected and notified via email. Here is my legalese disclaimer/disclosure. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!


Review and Giveaway! Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry Slow Cooker featuring HeatSaver™ Stoneware

Friday, October 26th, 2012 by Lisa

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 5pm PST.  This giveaway is now OVER.  Thank you to everyone who entered!  The lucky winner has been randomly chosen and notified via email.  Congratulations Fiona!!!

Lisa Irvine writes at Lisa’s Blogety Blog. You can find her at @Lirvine98 on twitter. If you have an idea for a giveaway, please let her know!

It’s finally Friday!!!  I have a GREAT review  for you all today!

The new Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry Slow Cooker featuring HeatSaver™ Technology!   Hooray!

I am a slow-cooker lover.  Yup.  I may have mentioned before that I use my slow-cooker at least twice a week, sometimes more.  As you all know from following Stephanie’s blog, you can save so much time and money by using your slow-cooker.   There is nothing like coming home to an already cooked, hot meal for dinner.  Having dinner already done, frees me up to shuttle my daughter to violin lessons, to help with homework, to watch the evening news and to catch up on my giveaway cookbook reading!  😉

The other great thing about having a good slow-cooker, is that when you have an event to go to and you need to bring a dish to share, you can do it so easily!   No worrying whether there will be an oven or stove-top to reheat your dish in.  All you need is a plug!

Now, with the Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry Slow Cooker featuring HeatSaver™ Technology, carrying food to parties is even easier!

From the folks at Crock-Pot®:

Pull the plug!  Kick portability up a notch this holiday season with the next generation Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry™ Slow Cooker. The days of looking for an available power outlet to keep food warm while entertaining are over. Specially designed stoneware maintains optimal serving temperature even without a power source, keeping food hotter 30 percent longer* than existing portable slow cookers. A travel temperature gauge provides visual feedback on the temperature of the food once it has been unplugged, while robust, integrated handles, a locking lid and cord wrap make transport easy.  This 6-qt slow cooker features programmable controls, including four pre-set time settings, and an auto-shift to warm feature with count-up timer. Removable oval stoneware and locking lid are dishwasher safe. 

*Compared to Crock-Pot 6 Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cookers


Pretty great, huh?


I tried out my Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry Slow Cooker featuring HeatSaver™ Technology yesterday.  I knew I was going to be away from home most of the day, so in the morning, I put all my ingredients in for my white chicken chili.  Plugged in the Crock-Pot® and set it to LOW – 8 Hours.   The nice thing about this slow-cooker, compared to my other ones, is that at the end of the 8 hours, it automatically switched to WARM.  Our chili was ready for us at dinnertime!


After I scooped out our dinner portions, I unplugged the crock-pot and let it sit on the counter for a good hour and a half after dinner.  The crock and the chili were still piping hot.  I’m definitely taking this along next time I bring something to a party!


Guess what else?


The Crock-Pot® brand is kicking off its first-ever nationwide search for the ULTIMATE CROCK-POT CROCK-STAR, and whoever shows the savviest slow cooker smarts will win a guest appearance on Cooking Channel


How to Enter: Crock-Pot® fans are encouraged to turn up their culinary creativity and upload their original recipe with a photo or video of themselves in action on now through October 31st.  Throughout the month of “Crocktober,” slow cooking fans can also win other prizes by visiting the Crock-Pot® Facebook page for fun weekly giveaways and contests.


Isn’t that exciting?


You can purchase your very own Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry Slow Cooker featuring HeatSaver™ Technology  or at


I am also very, very excited to be able to giveaway a FREE  Crock-Pot® Cook & Carry Slow Cooker featuring HeatSaver™ Technology  to one fabulous reader!

To enter this giveaway, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling me what you would make and take to a party with this wonderful slow-cooker!

You may garner additional entries by “Liking” Crock-Pot Slow Cooker on Facebook!  PLEASE LEAVE AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT IF YOU DO THIS SO THAT I MAY COUNT YOU!  :-)

This giveaway will run from today (Friday, October 26, 2012) until Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 5pm PST.  Halloween!!!

The winner will be notified via email!



Good luck to all of you!!!


Review and Giveaway! “Paleo Slow Cooking: Gluten Free Recipes Made Simple” by Chrissy Gower

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 by Lisa


 Tuesday, October 9, 2012 5pm PST.  This giveaway is now OVER.  Thank you for all of your comments!  The winner has been randomly chosen and notified via email.  Congratulations Carol C.!


Lisa Irvine writes at Lisa’s Blogety Blog. You can find her at @Lirvine98 on twitter. If you have an idea for a giveaway, please let her know!

One of the best things about my new “gig” at, is that I get to review fantastic, new cookbooks!  Have I mentioned that I’m a confirmed cookbook hoarder?

I have been wanting a copy of Paleo Slow Cooking”, by Chrissy Glower, ever since I heard about it!    Chrissy is  the writer of the wonderful blog,  Growing Up Paleo.   If there is anyone who knows about living the Paleo lifestyle, it’s Chrissy.  She and her family made the switch to eating Paleo in 2007 and they haven’t looked back.

Why did Chrissy decide to write a Paleo slow cooker book?  Because she found, like so many of us have, that cooking in a slow cooker makes it so much easier to plan nice, warm, home-cooked meals for a busy family!

I love that Chrissy shares family stories and pictures in her book.  Honestly, who wouldn’t have a smile on their face after opening up a cookbook to see this beautiful family smiling back at them?




I especially loved the story of how she came to be related to Robb Wolf ,  Author of “The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet”.   Turns out, Robb is her brother-in-law!

There are many, many great tips and tricks in “Paleo Slow Cooking”, along with quick, easy recipes that even I can follow!  The best thing about slow cooking, as we all know, is that you can throw your ingredients in the pot in the morning and go!

I was really happy to see several breakfast recipes.  I have to admit that I have a lot of trouble coming up with breakfasts that don’t involve some type of hot or cold cereal!  How many scrambled eggs can a girl eat before she gets bored?   As soon as my Italian sausage defrosts, I’m going to try “The Kitchen Sink”!


Doesn’t that look like the yummiest thing you’ve ever seen?

Other spectacular recipes include:

  • Chipotle Chicken Stew
  • Tortilla-less Chicken Soup
  • Pesto Chicken
  • Orange Maple Glazed Pork Chops
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash
  • Banana Bread (yes, made with almond flour, in the slow cooker!)
  • Chocolate Almond Butter Swirl Brownies (also made with almond flour in the slow cooker!)

If you love slow-cooking and are on or are considering trying the Paleo lifestyle, this is the cookbook you have been waiting for.

“Paleo Slow Cooking” is available right now


I am also very pleased to be able to giveaway a copy to one lucky reader!!!

To enter this giveaway, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, telling me if you are on a Paleo diet or  not and why you would like to try these Paleo recipes!

You may garner additional entries by:

  1. “Liking” Growing Up Paleo on Facebook.
  2. Following @GrowingUpPaleo on Twitter.



This giveaway will run from today (Tuesday, October 2, 2012) until Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5pm Pacific Time.  (I wanted to make sure to give you extra time over the upcoming holiday weekend to enter!)

The winner will be contacted via email!


Best of luck to each of you!


Review and Giveaway! “The EVERYTHING Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook” by Carrie S. Forbes

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 by Lisa




September 21st, 6pm pacific time. This contest is now OVER. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments!  The winner was randomly selected, and has been notified via email. Congratulations to Monica! 



Lisa Irvine writes at Lisa’s Blogety Blog. You can find her at @Lirvine98 on twitter. If you have an idea for a giveaway, please let her know!


I absolutely COULD NOT WAIT to review this cookbook!  The title has my two favorite cookbook words in it,  “Gluten-Free” and “Slow Cooker”!  Or is that four words?  Anyway, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy!  I was not disappointed!

The EVERYTHING Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook” is written by Carrie S. Forbes, who has been gluten-free since 2007.  She writes the very popular blog,!  I adore Carrie’s writing style and her no-nonsense approach to gluten-free living.

With autumn upon us and the holidays right around the corner, I am always looking for easy meals to feed my family and any company that happens to trickle in.  This cookbook delivers.  There are also many recipes that would be great to make to bring along to any “bring a dish to share” gatherings!

My favorite chapter in this cookbook is “Kid-Friendly Meals”.    I am certainly going to try these out on my family ASAP!


  • One-Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Pizza Pasta
  • Cheesy Potato Wedges
  • French Fry Casserole


Another great chapter is titled, “Five Ingredients or Fewer”.  Brilliant!  Some of the recipes you can find here are:


  • Super Easy Chili
  • Pinto Bean-Stuffed Peppers
  • Pesto Chicken


There is even a chapter on “Beverages”!  These would be perfect for holiday brunches.


  • Maple Pumpkin Spice Lattes (YUM!)
  • Salted Caramel Mocha Lattes
  • Slow Cooker Chai Tea


Doesn’t all of this sound delicious?  Wouldn’t you love a copy of this cookbook for your very own?  Of course you would!!!

To win a copy of “The EVERYTHING Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook“, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.

You may also garner additional chances to win by:

  1. Subscribing to
  2. Liking gingerlemongirl on Facebook.
  3. Following @gingerlemongirl on Twitter.


In order to get credit for the steps above, PLEASE LEAVE ME AN ADDITIONAL COMMENT FOR EACH STEP COMPLETED, so that I can count you!

This giveaway will run from today (Tuesday, September 18, 2012 ) until Friday, September 21, 2012 at 6pm Pacific Time.

The winner will be contacted via email.

Best of luck!!!

brand new Ninja Cooking System Giveaway!!

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 by Stephanie O'Dea

September 9, 9pm pacific time. This contest is now OVER. Thank you to the 4730 entries! Our grandprize winner was randomly selected, and has been notified via email. Congratulations to Barbara S.! Thank you for your wonderful comments, and stay tuned for more fun giveaways! –steph


Yay! You’re here to enter to win a brand new Ninja Cooking System of your very own! If you haven’t yet gone and read my review, please do so— this thing rocks. And if you don’t want to wait, you can order one of your very own by clicking here — with additional bonus goodies!

It’s not just a slow cooker. It’s an oven, a stovetop, and has a fully programmable, state-of-the-art slow cooker all built into one machine. You’ve got a full kitchen here, and all you need is an outlet.

And I have one for you to today. For free.

All you need to do to enter to win is to leave a comment and a valid email address so I can contact you when you win. I am not storing these email addresses or adding you to any mailing lists, nor would I ever share your personal contact information.

This contest will run from today (Wednesday, Sept 5, 2012) until Sunday, September 9th at 9pm pacific time.

And then? We’ll be back with DAILY giveaways starting on September 10th, just in time to help figure out your winter gift-giving plan.


Here I am, in action, with the Ninja — click on over to read how Megan, at the Gluten Free Vegan started out skeptical, but then got a bit blown away… :-)

Best of luck to all, and happy slow cooking! (NINJAing!)