I was talking to someone recently and I asked them if they liked to cook.   After a lengthy pause they replied with I hate my answer to this but no, I don’t really cook.  Why would you hate that answer?, I asked.

They told me because cooking makes people happy.

And that really is what cooking is all about isn’t it. If you were going to simmer down the whole reason behind what’s so great about cooking, it comes down to that.  Happiness.  And it’s a never ending circle of happiness really; the cooker is happy, the person eating is happy, which again makes the cooker happy … on and on and on until someone serves liver and brussels sprouts.

When I was thinking about what I could give to you this Christmas season as a gift, a thank you for being devoted readers, I knew it had to have something to do with food, yet not something that could possibly harbour salmonella. Because nothing kills a “you make me happy” moment like realizing you have exactly 10 minutes to get home from wherever you are, before the stabbing army of Japanese Samurais in your stomach prod every single thing inside of you, out.


So I nixed my idea of giving you the chicken breast that’s been sitting on my counter for 3 days and decided to go in a new direction.  Bread.

The one thing most of us can agree leads to happiness is a warm, crusty loaf of bread, fresh out of the oven.  In a tragic turn of events it can also lead to hippiness.  But what the hell.

click map

Rough Linen Proving Cloth

The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Danish Dough Whisk

I’m giving one reader my 3 favourite things for baking bread. A Rough Linen bread proofing cloth (which is a collaboration between myself and Tricia Rose from Rough Linen), a Danish Dough Whisk and The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook.
You can enter by leaving any comment below. No hoops to jump through. Which is good, because, you know, … the whole hippiness thing.

The winner will be randomly selected so no need for sucking up, although sucking up is always appreciated. Winner announced Monday!


** this contest is now closed**

Have a great weekend.
Yours in carbohydrates,


  1. Christina Corwin says:

    Happiness REALLY IS a warm, crusty loaf of bread!!

    • Roberta says:

      I have been following your blog for about 3 years now – enjoy it immensely – you have been a wonderful source of inspiration for me – even though I will probably never raise chickens in my back yard! Is that sucking up? I have never actually left a comment before so this is a first for me. I currently use a cotton tea towel when I bake bread – the linen cloth would be wonderful!

  2. Lori Diaz-Lane says:

    Yas! Bread!!

  3. Joanne says:

    I’d love to explore the cookbook, trying out the cloth and the whisk.

  4. bill keiser says:

    I am the first to post?! Awesome. Never happened before. Oh, yeah, bread.

  5. I neeeeeeed to win this.

    Linen + whisk + homemade bread = see you never.

    I could do this every.single.day for the rest of my life, or at least until the snow melts. PS. we may be snowed in until 2026.

    Big love,
    Lynne xx

  6. Jen says:

    Yum! I’d love to win this giveaway! I’ll be hosting Logan of lovely dinners over the next few months and would love to learn how to make easy homemade bread.

  7. Auntiepatch says:

    Nothing better than a loaf of bread in your oven. The house smells WONDERFUL!

  8. Patt says:

    Love me some bread!

  9. bob debris says:

    dynamite comment

  10. Sue says:

    Breads of any kind just make my day. Nothing smells as good as bread in the oven! Favorite is really sour sourdough!

  11. Shirley says:

    The best memories are eating homemade bread fresh out of the oven slathered with butter!

  12. Stephanie Stankiewicz says:

    John! Nothing better than freshly baked bread!! ?

  13. Wendy says:

    I love to make bread but don’t do it often enough. Thanks for the opportunity and Merry Christmas!

  14. April lovejoy says:

    This is an excuse to heat the kitchen with the stove and pack on the carb induced winter fluff! It’s 2° right now, so I need both heat and personal insulation.

  15. Raymonde says:

    I would love that gorgeous proofing cloth (I love everything from Rough Linen), that cute Danish whisk and oh, that book!
    I don’t really mind about the hippiness problem, it’s so cold right now that every bit of fat is a blessing. 😉
    I’ll start exercising it away when and only when it gets warmer.
    And of course, you are my favorite blogger of all times!

  16. Karin says:

    I’ve checked this book out of the library about 5 times! What an awesome giveaway!!!

  17. Elinor says:

    “How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?”
    ― Julia Child

    I want to bake great bread!

  18. That Goofy Bugger says:

    Bourbon goes with bread.
    Even makes liver and sprouts taste better.
    Like they aren’t already the best combo ever.
    Actually bourbon makes everything better, even lidocaine burn.
    Yep. Had to go through Guinness, gin, Keiths, and a caesar, but it was definitely the bourbon.

  19. Ellen in Illinois says:

    ……..I can’t jump thru any hoops because of my hippiness…..I started making my own bread again. I’m going to suck up anyway……if I win the prize I’ll share my tomato bread recipe with you….it’s my own recipe and it’s too darn delicious!!

    • Marie Anne says:

      Tomato bread? That sounds awesome! Karen, does ducking up to Ellen in Illinois count?

      • Ellen in Illinois says:

        Marie Anne……I’ll tell you but don’t tell “her”!!! I took a very basic white bread recipe and replaced the water with tomatoes…..diced, processed, even salsa…whatever I had. Easy! Sometimes I add garlic. Delicious! Shhhhh……

  20. Catt in Kentucky says:

    Oh how I wish I didn’t have Celiac Disease. What lovely gifts. Good luck everyone!

  21. Kate says:

    This will make a terrific Christmas gift for me! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  22. Signe Buck says:

    Hello! I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  23. Kat Mannix says:

    Ha. I have a husband who bakes, I do not bake bread. So. I would love to SUPERVISE and watch as he makes me bread with all these lovelies! nomnomnom!

  24. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    My mouth is watering from looking at that crusty bread. I’ll be dreaming about it I think.

  25. Vicki Husted says:

    Sammy (my new starter, bubbling away on my counter) really needs this! He wants to grow up to be a batard. (Bet you thought I left the “S” out of that, didn’t you?)

  26. Teri says:

    My Daughter-in-love and my son came over for a few days. She was mightily impressed with my Rough Linen Pinny when it was hanging on the nail. When she saw me wearing it during meal prep she said “WOAH! That’s wonderful!”
    I have been lusting after that Rough Linen proofing cloth for quite some time. (whatever the time has been since your original ‘reveal’). Please pull my name out of your magical draw box, please please?

  27. Jennifer K says:

    Me too!!! Sound yummy good! I’m interested and going to read about that proving linen cloth and that Danish dough whisk.

  28. Vicki Husted says:

    Duh…I thought I was adding an image to my name. Guess I better round up that post again!

  29. Trisha says:

    Yay for fresh bread! I have some sourdough ready to go!

  30. Diana Trischitti says:

    Love this blog so much! Hope I win!

  31. Laurel says:

    Would love to win! Thanks for the opportunity!

  32. Vivian Foster says:

    As tempting as the 3 day old chicken breast sounds I believe I would prefer the other option! Love the blog and the laughs that show up when I read it! Thanks for all of it!

  33. Pat says:

    My husband would love this gift since he is the one who loves to make bread. And I appreciate it by eating it!

  34. Louise says:

    Ooh, ooh, ooh! I want, I want! Yummmm!

    And you absolutely are the dearest, smartest, funniest, most beautiful logger on the entire internet! 🙂

  35. Mary casey says:

    You have inspired me to do stuff. Thanks for all you DIY techniques!

  36. Jo says:

    Bow this would be fun to play with during the cold canadian winter!

  37. Melissa Muller says:

    Nom nom nom!

  38. Erika says:

    This is me shamelessly leaving a comment because your giveaway is so fabulous! ?

  39. Tracie says:

    Oh man, I would make bread and everyone would be happy! But especially me, because I love bread. Plus those other gifts that would help me make bread are pretty awesome too…

  40. Taralyn says:

    Oh yes, please. What a lovely idea. Even a good gift inspiration if I don’t win. Thanks for the great blog.

  41. Lisa says:

    I could really use some happy right about now.

  42. Ruby says:

    fresh bread must be the best smell in the world, drool-drool….

  43. Gayle M says:

    My mom wasn’t much of a cook. Wait. No, my mom didn’t cook much of anything because my dad was so picky. Monday, spaghetti, Tuesday pork, Wednesday hamburgers, Thursday, breaded steak, Friday tuna cuz dad hated fish, Saturday steak n fries, Sunday roast chichen n taters. Every week, all year long. Then dad lost his job, finally got back to work on second shift. It was THEN when we found out mom could cook.

    Coming home on a cold rainy afternoon after field hockey practice, to a warm home, yeast scented kitchen, and a huge pot of oxtail soup and fresh warm bread! Yum! Great memory of my childhood.

  44. Tracy Egan says:

    The best things in life are free…. So they say…

  45. Jean in BC says:

    yum! nothing better than fresh bread out the oven

  46. Connie says:

    Pick me, pick me , pick me !!! pls and thx

    signed Shameless

    (what’s not to get happy about with that combination pkg? it’s all fabulous!)

  47. Alyssa says:

    What a beautiful prize! I love things that are functional and pretty. 🙂

  48. Wanda Wilson says:

    Thank you Karen!

  49. Andrea Leipold says:

    Thank you for a great morning and great idea for the weekend. Since its winter here, it will be verynice to have the delicious smell of freshly made bread in the house.

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