Vanilla Cupcakes + Calphalon Bakeware Giveaway!

by Kathy Strahs on March 25, 2010 · 98 comments

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Cooking On the Side is one year old today! What better way to celebrate than with the best vanilla cupcakes I’ve ever made and a bakeware giveaway?

I started this blog after becoming intrigued by all of the recipes I noticed on the side of the food packages in my pantry, fridge and freezer. After writing Panini Happy for a little over a year I felt a yearning to explore food blogging beyond sandwiches. “Revealing” these recipes has been an incredibly rewarding (and tasty!) ongoing project – thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments, for sharing the recipes and for coming along for the ride.

And now for the giveaway…

I love my Calphalon cookware and bakeware and have used it to prepare pretty much every dish on this blog. So in honor of my 1st anniverary on Cooking On the Side I want to send one lucky reader a Calphalon Classic 5-Piece Bakeware Set.* It includes the following:

  • 12-by-17-inch jelly roll pan
  • 6-cup muffin pan
  • 8-by-5-inch loaf pan
  • 2 round 8-inch cake pans

That ought to set you up pretty nicely for a whole lot of baking!

[THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED] TWO ways to enter the giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this postWhat was the best dish you cooked or baked in the past year? Feel free to leave a link to the recipe if you have one!
  2. Leave a comment on the “It’s GIVEAWAY Time!” post on the Cooking On the Side Facebook Fan page (there’s another question to answer over there).

You can enter once in each place, for a total of 2 entries. That’s it – no other crazy hoops to jump through. That said, if you feel like tweeting this giveaway I’ll love you forever. πŸ™‚

The giveaway closes on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:00 PM PDT. Each entry will be assigned a number and one winner, selected at random via, will be announced on Tuesday, March 30, 2010. Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is open to readers with U.S. and Canadian addresses only. [THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED]

* This is not a sponsored giveaway. It is funded 100% by yours truly.

Who wants cake? (Recipe follows)

See the Recipe Index for all the recipes on Cooking On the Side.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal Sawyer March 25, 2010 at 7:26 AM

Apple Dumplings from Pioneer Woman


adrienne March 25, 2010 at 7:29 AM

The best thing I’ve made all year is coffee ice cream from David Lebovitz’ book Perfect Scoop. Yum.


Sommer March 25, 2010 at 7:35 AM

I’ve been trying lots of mushroom recipes because I used to think I didn’t like mushrooms. I dream about this one:


Mom24@4evermom March 25, 2010 at 7:44 AM

Snow crab with melted butter…AWESOME!
.-= Mom24@4evermom´s last blog ..Prayers WW =-.


Theresa March 25, 2010 at 7:44 AM

thanks for the great recipes and pics! always an enjoyable read… πŸ™‚


Danielle March 25, 2010 at 7:44 AM

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake


julo March 25, 2010 at 7:45 AM

Congrats on 1 year! Time flies!

I really love this booze cake I made to cheer me up when I got laid off. Very boozy, very delicious!


Cassie March 25, 2010 at 7:52 AM

4-layer vanilla cake with lemon curd filling and Italian meringue frosting from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School book.


cori March 25, 2010 at 7:54 AM

I made pork shoulder braised in stout. It was absolutely delicious and hearty.


dani March 25, 2010 at 7:56 AM

the best thing i baked this year woudl have to be my gooey pecan cake!!! it was amazing πŸ™‚
.-= dani´s last blog ..Brownie Recipe Published! =-.


Jayne Allyn March 25, 2010 at 7:56 AM

Happy 1 Year!!!!
The best dish I have made in the past year was a Thanksgiving turkey for my boyfriend and my first Thanksgiving together πŸ™‚


Kelly March 25, 2010 at 7:59 AM

Best thing I’ve made all year would have to be a mushroom truffle risotto.


Amanda March 25, 2010 at 8:03 AM

i always have such a hard time assigning “the best” to anything but right at this moment i’m reeeeeaaaaally craving this quinoa and steak dish that was delicious!
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Sweet-Tart Sparkling Kiwi Limeade =-.


kathleen sneider March 25, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Best thing I made all year is chicken soup with cornmeal dumplings from Pioneer Woman.


Mim March 25, 2010 at 8:04 AM

I would have to say The Best Brownies Ever from your site. A new fav for sure. Occassionally I sprinkle them with course sea salt, YUM-E!


Kelli March 25, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Probably Pioneer Woman’s Beef Brisket…though there are few other things were just as good, so it’s a tough call!
.-= Kelli´s last blog ..Scribbles in the Margin: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg =-.


Victoria March 25, 2010 at 8:25 AM

The Raspberry Cheese Coffee Cake recipe came immediately to mind so I figured I should go with that πŸ™‚

It’s perfect …a chilled slice of raspberry and cream cheese coffee cake with some hot coffee or just by itsself for the warmer days of the year!

Photo and Recipe ->


The Duo Dishes March 25, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Congrats to you! Can’t believe it’s been a year already. Time flies. The best thing we’ve made this year…hmmm, maybe bacon jam. It went on everything!
.-= The Duo Dishes´s last blog ..Katie’s Test Kitchen =-.


Scorpio Woman March 25, 2010 at 8:31 AM

This apple pie is really good. A real masterpiece if you look at the photos before cooking. I had fun with this one :


Sarah March 25, 2010 at 8:41 AM

This great marble cheesecake


Carla March 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Your cupcakes look amazing. I am still on the hunt for a good vanilla cupcake recipe so I will have to give these a try. Thank you for having this giveaway. I would have to say the best thing I have made recently would be Rachael Ray’s Warm Provencal Salad.


Lindsay March 25, 2010 at 8:57 AM

My best cooking success of the last year was a curry chicken stew in the crock pot! (The recipe was from the Calgary Herald, it might be available on their website.)


Kim Lucas March 25, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Hi Kathy!My best success the past week was actually recipe from Steamy Recipes Jaden Hair it was scallops & Pasta. Sooo easy!

Congrats and wishing you many years ahead!


Doreen March 25, 2010 at 9:25 AM

I can’t believe that it’s already been a year since you started cooking on the side .. my oh my how time flies by. I’m having trouble narrowing it down to one thing … but I’m going to have to … smoked pork butt would have to be my top choice, followed closely by kielbasa casserole and chicken curry

Congrats on your one year anniversary of cooking on the side


Jennifer March 25, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Congrats! I just started following not too long ago, but have enjoyed the journey!

Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes! I was convinced I’d messed them up somehow but they came together perfectly! πŸ™‚


amber March 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM

brandy pecan baked brie…drooling just thinking about it!


Lauren March 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

The best dish that I BAKED this year was a vanilla cake with a chocolate-Bailey’s frosting, topped with homemade mini M&M cookies. It was a b-day cake for my brother-in-law. (The vanilla cake was a recipe from Magnolia Bakery… all from scratch!)


sara March 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Oooh, this is a tough question! I’d have to go with turkey pot pie based on Thomas Keller’s recipe in Ad Hoc. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it!
.-= sara´s last blog ..Lentils with Spinach, Potatoes, and Preserved Lemons =-.


Lis March 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM

The best thing I’ve made this year (or ever) are these cheese enchiladas from Homesick Texan… they’re the first one’s I’ve ever made that taste like home! I think I’ll make them this weekend!!


Kristen March 25, 2010 at 11:10 AM

YUM! I just found your blog and everything looks DELICIOUS! Looking forward to trying so of these recipes. My best new recipe, pan seared pork chops with sage/maple cream sauce. Found the recipe in a magazine. Sauce is very light, it was really good.


Joan O March 25, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes from Picky Palate. Family LOVED it!


Karen March 25, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Definitely the homemade pizza we make every Friday. We start with homemade sauce, using home canned tomato base, and then hubby makes the dough and I get it all prepped and man, I can hardly wait for tomorrow! Mmmmmm…

But, I was given a couple really tasty Irish Soda bread recipes last week and the kids LOVED that as well….something a little different.
.-= Karen´s last blog ..The Green Goober and Other Such Lessons From the Week =-.


Esi March 25, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Happy 1 year birthday!!! I can’t believe you’ve had two such successful blogs for so long. Kudos to you πŸ™‚ My favorite thing that I’ve cooked this year…hmm…I think it’s a tie between crack pie and sticky lemon rolls.
.-= Esi´s last blog ..Sticky Meyer Lemon Rolls =-.


Jennifer March 25, 2010 at 11:46 AM

What a wonderful giveaway! And happy blogoversary!!!!!

Hands down, The Buttermilk Biscuits from Ad Hoc were the BEST!
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..COOKBOOKMANIA!: Gary’s Sausage Gravy =-.


Anu March 25, 2010 at 12:11 PM

I made a wonderful cheddar jalapeno bread. I used this recipe:
and added pickled jalapenos.


Aimee March 25, 2010 at 12:16 PM

It’s so simple, but every time I bake buttermilk pie, it gets eaten in about 10 seconds πŸ™‚


Memoria March 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM

The best dessert I baked has to be the chocolate mousse cheesecake I made for my birthday. I will never forget it, and I cannot wait to make it again.

Thank you for the giveaway! Happy blogiversary!
.-= Memoria´s last blog ..Life-Changing Chocolate Cake =-.


Judith March 25, 2010 at 12:30 PM

That’s a hard one, but I’d say Smitten Kitchen’s mushrooms bourginon is way up there!


Annemarie March 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

A lemon meringue pie for my husband


Sher March 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM

its going to be a tie between my take on Rachael Ray’s quesadilla casserole ( or a random calzone I made one day ( Both were INCREDIBLE!


Iris Hicks March 25, 2010 at 1:43 PM

My blintz casserole that I make every year for Christmas morning brunch. I bake it in my old tried and true 9 x 13 glass pyrex dish.


Brooke March 25, 2010 at 2:08 PM

The warm cream cheese crouton, pommegranite seed mixed green salad has to be one of my favorite new dishes I’ve made this year. I think it was from Sunset magazine.


Robin March 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM

According to my husband, snickerdoodle bars! He and my in-laws polished off an entire 9×13 dish in one evening.


grace March 25, 2010 at 2:43 PM

hmm. that’s a toughie. i’d have to say that it’s the coconut-happy carrot cake i made last week but haven’t yet posted. the most surprising thing of all is that no cream cheese frosting was involved! πŸ™‚
.-= grace´s last blog ..get ova it =-.


Libby March 25, 2010 at 3:09 PM
Tracy March 25, 2010 at 3:29 PM

The best things I baked this year was the ricotta cheesecake! I’ve always used cream cheese to make it but oh mann ricotta cheesecake was delish!! Let’s do that again!


Brenda March 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Cranberry banana bread! made up recipe πŸ™‚


Amy March 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Hmmm…that’s a tough one! I made Southwestern Egg Rolls with a cilantro dipping sauce that were really good!


Vicki March 25, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Happy 1 year! Look forward to the 2nd!
.-= Vicki´s last blog ..A Random Collection of Food =-.


jen tri March 25, 2010 at 5:20 PM

i have made alot of great dishes this year, all in my CALPHALON COOKWARE that would love to make “friends” with a new set of calphalon bake ware!!!! (hint, hint)


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