Eau de Charred Tomatoes (And A Giveaway)

I wasn’t planning on doing anything special for supper tonight – just serving my people some leftovers that we could all pretend were tasty and delicious – but at the last minute my husband suggested that we go out to dinner. It took me all of two seconds to say, “YES, PLEASE,” and within a couple of minutes we were in the car and on our way.

We ate supper at one of our favorite non-Chuy’s Mexican places (Chuy’s, of course, is the pinnacle), strolled through a nearby bookstore, and grabbed some frozen yogurt before we headed home. I’m going to be out of town this weekend, so as we pulled in the garage, I was thinking about how fun it had been to have an unexpected night on the town with my fellas before I leave for a couple of days. I was still in my little reverie as I got out of the car, but then I stopped, and I looked around, and I smelled it.

I didn’t know what “it” was, exactly. But I knew that it was a cross between Italian food, smoke, and a white-hot BBQ grill.

Then it dawned on me.

I must not have. Turned off. The leftovers. On the stove.

I mean, I thought I did. I announced that I was going to turn them off. But apparently there was a significant user error, because when we walked through the kitchen door, I realized that I might need to practice getting that control knob to the COMPLETELY OFF position.

Oh, y’all. The smoke. It was so very smoke-y. Granted, I’m so grateful that nothing actually, you know, caught on fire, and I think we’ve gotten most of the smoke out of the house, but oh, it is some charred-smelling awfulness in this place tonight.

And for the record, I am never cooking meatballs again.

Anyway. Let’s talk about something fun now. Like prizes!

Here’s the winner of the cornstick pan and two copies of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet.

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Yay, Jennifer! I just sent you an email.

I’m also starting to feel like a game show host. And I don’t mind it.

So I’ll make this next giveaway pretty quick because I need to start typing “how to get smell of burned Italian food out of my house” into the Google, but I think y’all will enjoy this next little Southern treat. Especially if you’re planning to take some road trips this summer because, well, hash brown casserole, anyone?

Yep. It’s a $50 gift card to Cracker Barrel, plus, you know, a copy of this book.

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And who knows? If I can’t get this smell out of my house, I may be at the Cracker Barrel first thing in the morning. Coffee and homemade biscuits can cure a world of hurts, you know.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed.

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  1. Annette says:

    Hooray for the giveaway!- can’t wait to read the book.

  2. Carrie says:

    Got to love Cracker Barrel! Excited about your book too!

  3. So thankful your house did not burn! What a good excuse to buy some new candles though!

  4. Love the Cracker Barrel and can’t wait to read your book!

  5. I accidentally put a pot holder on a burner that was on and a pot on a burner that was off and Oh. My. Word. The smoke and smell were wful and I worked many hours over three days to get my glass top stove clean again.

  6. Debbie Rutledge says:

    I would love to win both! I’ve already pre-ordered the book for myself, but I definitely know someone who needs a copy!

  7. Kelly D says:

    We are taking a couple of road trips this summer & my family always enjoys Cracker Barrel. The book looks great. Thank you!

  8. Kelly b says:

    Sorry to hear about the “burnt balls”!!! That must be so very bad! So excited to get my hands on your book!

  9. Aunt C says:

    Burnt food is the worst smell…but glad to know I’m not the only one that does things like that. So looking forward to reading your book and hey, who doesn’t love Cracker Barrel :)

  10. Jennifer Vincent says:

    Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?

  11. Lori Cundiff says:

    This giveaway just brings out the southern in me!! I’d drop by Cracker Barrel and get me some dumplins and sides, then I’d peruse the gift shop for something adorable and smocked, then I’d go right home and sink into your book!!

  12. pretty sure i need your book! and cracker barrel…

  13. amanda says:

    We have a family reunion, a trip to visit my brother, and a getaway this summer, so that gift card and your book would make for good traveling! I hope your house smells good again soon, and I’m so glad a true emergency was averted.

  14. Can’t wait to read the book!

  15. Um, YES for Cracker Barrel! DELISH! And YES, YES YES for your book! (I can’t wait til mine gets here!)

  16. Cracker Barrel is all about hash brown casserole and strolling through the General Store after breakfast OR lunch OR dinner! Counting down the days till your book releases! Glad to hear you didn’t burn the house down!

  17. Barb E says:

    Love to read, love Cracker Barrel!

  18. LeslieR. says:

    I’m gonna kick back with your book on my first day of summer. 6 more school days and this teacher will be on summer vacation! Yippee :)

  19. Pat Futch says:

    I’m in, Girl! If I win, it means a little road trip to get to the nearest CB. =) Look forward to reading your book most of all.

  20. Love CB!

  21. JoEllen Hickey says:

    I’m excited to read your book! We love the Cracker Barrel–fun shopping and good eats!

  22. Enjoyed the first chapter of your book and looking forward to reading all of it soon. My husband loves Cracker Barrel. Any meal, any time!

  23. Donna Dear says:

    I so love Cracker Barrel. It is one of our fav spot to stop on a trip. Gotta love pecan pancakes!

  24. Love Cracker Barrel-my dad and I ate there frequently the summer we had a traveling job. And, looking forward to your book!

  25. MA HARDY says:

    Love hashbrown casserole

  26. I’ve used coffee (and auto correct really wants that to be motor oil) grinds to get the smell out of the fridge. For whatever that’s worth. And I love Cracker Barrel!! What a fun give away!

  27. Emily E. says:

    Yummy!!!! Nothing better!!

  28. Rebecca says:

    How awful about the smoke, but YAY no fire! I would love to win the Cracker B gift card, my grandsons and I would just celebrate ourselves silly and maybe even have PANCAKES for dinner! : ) I ordered your book eons ago, waiting for it to load onto my Kindle and I also ordered my daughter a hard copy so if I win, I can give this copy away!
    Thanks for all the laughs and fun you provide!

  29. We love Cracker Barrel. So excited about the book!

  30. My family and I love us some Cracker Barrel!

  31. Not sure there’s

  32. Not sure there’s a more fun giveaway!!!

  33. nlynch says:

    Have a great weekend!
    Would love to win!

  34. Please enter me! So excited about your book!

  35. Starling Morris says:

    I would so love a copy of the book. Cracker Barrel would just be a plus-did you know that you can get dumplings as a side order?!

  36. Amy Williams says:

    I love Cracker Barrel and your blog. I had a fire in my house in the same kind of situation except it was during the first week of my first baby’s life. Boy, did it freak me out! We had to file an insurance claim and everything. My baby is now almost 15, so I obviously made it though that difficult time! :-)

  37. Oh no! Hope you get the smell out quickly.

    We love the biscuits and apple butter there. Yummy.

  38. Kristi W says:

    can’t wait to read your book!

  39. Karen Tee says:

    Love you new website look! And love me some Chicken and Dumplings too!! :)

  40. Lesley says:

    We have a long standing joke at our house – if we are more than 15 miles from home, my husband wants to eat Cracker Barrel. So, yes, anytime we travel, we must eat at CB. (And there is one within walking distance to our house.) oh, blackberry jelly on a warm biscuit is a little slice of heaven.

  41. Amy in PA says:

    So excited for your book!

  42. Love Cracker Barrel! And I’m on a reading kick. Have “Sparkly Green Earrings” on the iPad. But would love a hard copy of your first (b/c I’m sure there are more books begging for you to write them!).

  43. What a fun Friday morning surprise!

  44. Ashley says:

    I love hashbrown casserole and can’t wait to read your book!

  45. Judith says:

    Love Cracker Barrel!

  46. Sorry about your tomato issue. Would love to read your book, and take my fam out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel to boot. Thanks for the chance to win!

  47. Sarah Stephens says:

    If I had to eat at one restaurant every meal for the rest of my life, it would be Cracker Barrel. It’s got all you’d need.

  48. Yes please…dumplins and a good book.

  49. kuliejellogg says:

    Yes, please, and thank you, Ma’am. Have a great time in Atlanta. :)

  50. Rita Harrison says:

    Pick me, pick me!

  51. I love Cracker Barrel! And would also love a copy of your book – cant wait to read it!

  52. Whitney says:

    I JUST attempted a ‘copycat’ recipe for Cracker Barrel’s hashbrown casserole……I think ‘underachieving cousin’ is more appropriate than ‘copycat.’

  53. Cracker Barrel is one of my favorite restaurants! So, a gift card from there, plus your book would be wonderful!!

  54. Oh I hope you can get the smell out! I LOVE the hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel! :)

  55. Kimberly says:

    either way – I’ll be getting the book! perfect summer read…….

  56. Meagan says:

    LOVE the cracker barrel store – I am powerless to resist those candy sticks in every.single.flavor! Just a few more days until the book – so excited!

  57. Ellen P says:

    Cracker Barrel and a good book- count me in!

  58. Cracker Barrel and summer road trips just seem to go together! Hoping to read your book while at the beach in a few weeks :)

  59. Once upon a time I was trying to melt the paraffin to seal the jelly I had just made (all by myself thankyouverymuch) when someone came to my door. I may have gotten a little distracted by all the visiting and the wax CAUGHT ON FIRE! Flames and smoke and a giant black tattle tale mark on the ceiling…of the house we had just been offered a contract on 2 hours earlier. sigh. darn stove knobs.
    Cannot wait to read your book!

  60. Mollyanne says:

    Breakfast food and a new book?! This is my love language. Especially if driving 10 minutes up the road to my local Cracker Barrel counts as a “road trip.”

  61. We love cracker barrel! My 4 year old sighed the other day and said, “I need pancakes. I need Cracker Barrel.”
    Oh, and I’m just sure that I will love your book as much as my daughter loves pancakes at Cracker Barrel…

  62. We are attempting our first week long road trip from Georgia to Wisconsin and back (with about 14 stops along the way) in a few weeks. With my three in the back seat I’m definitley going to need a good read and some Cracker Barrel!

  63. “All your readers know your ‘smokin’ hot’ funny……now your house just matches!”

  64. Ashley says:

    Yay for not burning down the house!!!

  65. Burned meatballs — yikes. Glad it was just smoke! Looking forward to the book!!!

  66. Amy B. says:

    So excited to read your book!

  67. I want to win – so I won’t be tempted to warm up those leftovers and forget to turn the stove off!
    You crack me up – I am considering moving back to Birmingham so that we can be besties.

  68. Michele T says:

    Cracker Barrel. Be still my heart.

  69. Love Cracker Barrel and can’t wait to read your book!

  70. Oh, thank you! Then I can get my fried okra fix and have a good book to read!!

  71. Kristy Laird says:

    Oh… My love for Cracker Barrel!
    I want your book more though!!! ;)

  72. Oh, no! Burned Italian probably means burned sauce and burned sauce is just one of those smells you feel like you’re never going to get rid of. And I can’t imagine cleaning the pan! Cracker Barrel does have some mighty tasty options, including their vanilla ice cream (I know most people don’t think “ice cream” when they hear “Cracker Barrel” but it’s vanilla bean and just oddly good for a restaurant chain). I would take my Mom next time they’re here to visit. She has loved Cracker Barrel since we first ate there together when I was headed off to college in Florida. Sadly they don’t have them as far north in Maine as she lives, but we have plenty here in Kentucky!

  73. I love Cracker Barrel food and their rocking chairs! Thank you!

  74. Nancy R. says:

    Can’t wait to read your book. Thanks for the giveaways this week. So glad your cooking disaster wasn’t any worse.

  75. One day after washing a mound of dishes I carelessly set a huge piece of Tupperware on my stove to dry off. At some point I must have decided to cook something and I turned on that very burner on the stove. DUH. Well I went into our powder room, decided my hair looked bad and well vanity overcame hunger and I started to redo my ‘do. After futzing around I noticed that in the reflection of my kitchen in the mirror it seemed really bright. By this time the piece of Tupperware had melted all over one of the burners and I had to use the dreaded fire extinguisher to put it out. Needless to say I had to wait a few months before I could afford a new cooktop.

  76. Cracker Barrel – my love language. :)

  77. Megan B says:

    Determined to win this book! And it would be nice to treat my in-laws to Cracker Barrel to book. :)

  78. Cracker Barrel Breakfast? Yes Please! And a copy of your book? That’d be a great way to start the weekend!

  79. I haven’t burned anything that bad, but I have broken pyrex as a young bride who didn’t know pyrex was not stovetop safe. :( Thanks for another chance to win your book! Will your book be available on kindle as well???

  80. Jill Talbert says:

    I love Cracker Barrel!

  81. Rebecca says:

    Cracker Barrel is one of my favs! And I so want this book!!!

  82. Rebecca says:

    Yum! And would love the book!

  83. I LOVE the cracker barrel, and my husband doesn’t – which is strange because I’m the Yankee in this marriage. So when he actually does take me to the Cracker Barrel, I know he is saying I love you!

  84. I could eat every meal at Cracker Barrel and that is not an exaggeration.

  85. Wanetta says:

    Cracker Barrel! Yummy!

  86. Love me some Cracker Barrel breakfast! And, can’t wait to read your book!

  87. Lynn B says:

    Cracker Barrel is our restaurant of choice when on a road trip–love the southern cooking.

  88. Meredith says:

    I’m so looking forward to reading your book! The first chapter was so fun.

  89. Ready to read your book!

  90. Carolyn F says:

    So sorry — we have a child that forgets to put water in his microwave mac-n-cheese so I can commiserate on the smell! Hubby LOVES Cracker Barrel!

  91. Rachel B. says:

    I cannot wait to read your book! Eating at Cracker Barrel would just be the icing on the cake!

  92. Ginny M. says:

    Cracker Barrel + book = a pretty good Saturday!

  93. Yummy Cracker Barrel hashbrown casserole,dumplings,macaroni and cheese,yes that is a vegetable plate!! And,you’re book!!!

  94. Your not you’re ,sorry!!

  95. Love Cracker Barrel and can’t wait to read the book! Thanks for the giveaway – this is a fun week!

  96. Oh, I would love to win this!

  97. I’m so glad you didn’t have I fire! Don’t beat yourself up. It could happen to anyone. Have you tried the pancakes at Cracker Barrel? They are wonderful. Can’t wait to read your book!

  98. Christy says:

    No vacation is complete until you’ve eaten at Cracker Barrel at least once:). Big shout out to the Cullman Cracker Barrel! We’ve eaten at several across the U.S. and it’s still the best!

  99. Oh, man. I love me some Cracker Barrel. It will forever remind me of going to visit my grandparents in Charlotte because we stopped at the CB in Columbia every. single. time. It did not matter what time of day it was. We stopped and got some chicken and dumplings. Yum. Plus, CB is awesome if you need a fun little gift for someone. Hmmm. I might be a bit too passionate about the CB.

    Also, I’d love to win your book and I’m sad I’m missing Beth Moore, Melanie and you in Atlanta this weekend.

  100. OH MY STARS!! That stink is going to stick around awhile :(

    And there is no finer dinning than the hash brown casserole at Cracker Barrel-is it a road trip without them at least once??