Giveaways, Updates, Fun Stuff!

I went to Avery Island, Louisiana. More on that shortly!

Well it just feels as if I haven’t blogged a darn thing lately! Please excuse my tardiness. There have been many things to do, places to go, and photos to snap that have all kept me away. But with things like Twitter and Facebook I suppose I’m never really away, am I? At any rate, this is one of those posts that lump a bunch of stuff together and I guarantee by the end of it you’ll be sick of me.

But please pay attention. Please. There are some nifty things happening in this here post and you might be able to win stuff. Keep reading.

So long, farewell…

Folks, can I just tell you how wonderful it’s been being a Spice Islands Flavor Explorer? My stint is almost up (rumor has it that a pretty fantastic guy is taking over the reins) but I just wanted to take a moment to say how I’ve had so much fun in the kitchen with Spice Islands over the past 3 months. It’s been a pleasure dreaming up recipes using their high quality spices but perhaps my favorite moments have been using their all natural Vanilla Extract. While many other brands add corn syrup, Spice Islands vanilla beans from Madagascar are carefully processed, resulting in an extract that doesn’t need anything but vanilla. Seriously though, try it and taste it for yourself.

But just as important as the flavor are the people at Spice Islands. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it’s been an honor to meet such dedicated people behind the brand. Sometimes I wish everyone could get to know them!

As a quick farewell, I’ll be giving away five Spice Islands samplers, filled with a few of my favorite spices in a beautiful lil Trunk. Check out all this spicy goodness:

Spice Islands pure vanilla extract
Spice Islands ground cardamom
Spice Islands Chinese five spice
Spice Islands smoked paprika
Spice Islands Telicherry black peppercorn
Spice Islands sea salt

From the Martha Stewart show. How cute is that?


I really want you to get in your kitchen and try these spices (if you haven’t already!) so leave a comment below to win. I’ll randomly select 5 folks from the comments section and while you’re always free to leave comments please note that a) I’ll be picking a winner on Friday, March 11th and b) you must live in the United States. There you have it!


I’m on Food(ography) with Mo Rocca, March 20th on the Cooking Channel at 9pm EST.

You might remember a post I wrote about taping a segment for an upcoming show. I can now tell you the show was Cooking Channel’s own Food(ography) and it will air Sunday, March 20th at 9pm EST. Some of you may now that I’m a regular contributor to Cooking Channel’s Devour The Blog but this segment was all about blogging, photographing and styling food. I’ve been told it’s a good segment but I have no idea how fat my head and giant cheeks will look on camera or how I’ll sound like Minnie Mouse when I speak. I’m a bit scared to see it.


Speaking at SXSW

Will you be in Austin next week for South By Southwest? I hope so. I’ll be speaking on a panel this Monday, March 14th titled “The Moguls Of Food Porn”. I’ll be joining a few others discussing food and photos and it promises to be thrilling. The darling Addie Broyles has written a great round-up of food things happening during SXSW and if you want to read more about my panel please check it out here. I hope by the time you click this my photo will have been added. I’ve been a very very very bad panelist and only uploaded my photo recently, shame on me.


Appetites for the Ipad

I wanted to update this section about the app that I worked on called Appetites because I wanted to share with you all that it was named App of the Week by Apple! How’s that? I happen to think it’s pretty damn phenomenal.

Let me tell you a little bit more about Appetites. Some of my favorite food bloggers, myself included, are in this app, Gaby (What’s Gaby Cooking), Nick & Blake (The Paupered Chef), Stephanie Hau (Like My Spoon), Adrianna and Caroline (A Cozy Kitchen) and Gabi (BrokeAss Gourmet). We all shared some of our favorite recipes with you!

What’s great about this app is that I believe that Appetites is about learning to cook and taking away the intimidation from getting in the kitchen. What also got me excited about the project was that I would get to teach some of my most loved dishes in a brand new format. And trust me, you can make them too.

In January, Appetites was the only app to win a Best of Show award at Macworld.

Appetites is filmed from the chef’s perspective so you can cook right along with us in the kitchen! Each recipe is broken down step-by-step which makes it easy to follow.

Here’s my video:

And here are some of my recipes you’ll find in Appetites:

Spicy Black Bean Chipotle Dip –

Tortilla Soup –

Vegetable Crumble –

Fromage Fort –

Agua Fresca –

Cemita –

Appetites is now available on iPad and coming soon for the iPhone. I hope you’ll check it out – and on the App Store at

Enjoy it!


  1. Renee says

    Congratulations on the Cooking Channel! I am so setting it on the DVR! Don’t want to miss that! I am sure you will be amazing (and won’t sound like Minnie at all). I love the spices and that cool trunk. I’d have to hide it from the kids. It’d be gone in a second! Cardamom is like pure gold. That’s a nice addition! (My fingers are crossed!)

  2. Jessica says

    It sounds like you’re having a blast! Maybe if I win it’ll give me an excuse to go buy a pound of unflavored pop rocks as well (I mean, why not?).

  3. Terry C says

    Matt, Love reading about all your adventures! I’d love to win the spices, as I need some cooking adventures of my own. Thanks for the chance!

  4. Tamie Z says

    just found your blog. :) Have enjoyed reading about yourself and would Love to try the spices. I could use some spice in my life. I love the trunk.
    thank you for the chance to win it.

  5. says

    I would love to win that spice trunk! I bet you’ll be glad to get back to your own kitchen one of these days…for awhile at least :)

  6. says

    i LOVE your work – and how you’re able to achieve these fantastic opportunities. i think it’s because of your energy and enthusiasm, and hard work, of course. congrats on the new ventures!


  7. cindi says

    Spice trunk, spice trunk, spice trunk….pick me, pick me, pick me! And if you were to deliver it, I would cook you and your partner dinner!
    Congratulations on all your adventures…you never know what is just just around the corner.

  8. says

    Matt, I’ll be at SXSW! Hopefully I’ll get to see your panel.

    Make sure you stop by the Automattic (parent company of & more, where I work) booth during the Trade Show – I’ll probably be nearby, and there will be TONS of WordPress swag we’re giving away :)

  9. Allyson says

    How fun is that little carrying case ! Would love to add these spices to my kitchen.

  10. Lorcàn says

    I grew up with Spice Island spices! I actually just relocated to a new city and am even building my spice collection back up from the ground.

    Love reading, as always.

  11. Nan W. says

    You HAVE been busy! I love reading your blog and thanks for the chance at that great spice package!

  12. Julia says

    Looks like a great giveaway! I love to put paprika into the crispy breadcrumb top of casseroles, it gives it a warm, homey taste that makes me feel happy inside.

  13. says

    i’m not such a big fan of Mo Rocca, but i’m a fan of yours… so i will definitely tune in! love the behind the scenes pic with the props! i want your life!!!! haha

  14. Amy S. says

    I’m a bit of a spice junkie, so I’d love to have some new ones to play around with. Your posts never fail to make me smile!

  15. says

    Spices would come in very handy. Thanks for your wonderful blog.. always enjoy your travels and pictures! Gorgeous.

  16. says

    You lucky, lucky man! What a dream come true being able to experiment with all those spices must’ve been!

  17. sciencegeek says

    Have I mentioned how devastatingly handsome you’ve been looking lately? Terribly devastating, terribly.

    Also, I have never actually used good vanilla beans or extract and am almost convinced that I don’t really like vanilla.

    And I have this ice cream maker that is just crying out for me to make cardamom ice cream.

  18. laviza shariff (eclectic gourmet) says

    I am enjoying your blog, and I love the collection of spices in your giveaway!

  19. Magdalene says

    Spice Islands, Treasure Island, Oahu… these things go together, no?

    Also, cardamom is by and large fantastic, and can do magical things to duck meat

  20. Carrie Kuespert says

    Fun! Thanks for the chance to win, Spice Island makes such a high quality product and the carying case…Adorable!

  21. says

    Hey Matt,

    Congrats on all this stuff! The Cooking Channel thing is awesome!

    Can’t wait to hang in Austin and be on a panel with you. Should be a good time.

  22. Kristin B says

    What an adventure! I have never tried cardamom. I look forward to trying out some good recipes with it. :)

  23. Avonelle says

    I loved your Spice Islands links! You have such great blogs, I’m getting cooking ideas every time you write! Thanks!

  24. says

    Huge long-time fan of everything you do! Looking forward to the Foodography segment and will definitely check out the Ipad app as well.

  25. mimiroo says

    what a tantalizing collection of spices! thank you for your inspiration, imagination, and generosity. your epicurian adventures bring me delight and spice up my cooking at home.