100th Post Celebration: A Giveaway!

**This giveaway is now closed and no longer accepting entries.  The winner will be selected and announced on Monday morning, February 15.**

We interrupt our normal Tasty Tuesday programming for…our first giveaway!  That’s right, in celebration of the 100th post here on Domestic Adventure, I’m here to say thank you to my loyal readers and friends by giving you the chance to win something fabulous.

In usual Tasty Tuesday fashion, I’m bringing you something straight from my kitchen, with the help of Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars, a remarkable local business.

So, if you’re like I was a few months ago then you are saying, “really, Erin, oil and vinegar?  Fabulous?”  I know, but have I ever led you astray?  Trust me on this one.

After hearing rave reviews about this new store in Bar Harbor, Maine, my Crisco, ranch dressing and butter-loving husband wandered in to see what all of the fuss was about.  Much to his surprise, Nancy from Fiore soon had him tasting flavorful oils (like Tuscan herb) and vinegars (like 18-year-aged balsamic) and he was a convert. He left with a bottle of each, packaged up as a surprise for yours truly.

When I opened the gift and heard the story, the thought of Chris enjoying and appreciating the fine flavors had me laughing in disbelief.  But he was serious.  He was already planning meals that involved marinating in the balsamic and flavoring with the oil.  All of this won me over, all over again!

I quickly made use of the oil in my vegetable stir fry and pizza dough, and I drenched my salads and fresh vegetables with my vinegar. It wasn’t long before I wanted to learn more, so I stopped in to Fiore and checked it all out for myself.

The in-store experience is amazing, complete with warm colors reminiscent of an Italian kitchen and a relaxed wine-tasting vibe.  Tasting is highly encouraged, and I took it upon myself to try drops from all 24 flavors.    Education is a key part of the shopping experience at Fiore, so I soaked it all in.  Here’s what I learned:

Grocery store oil no more
Exposure to oxygen detracts from the quality and taste of the olive oil, so the minute the oil is bottled it starts losing its charm.  (It makes you wonder how long the olive oil sits on grocery store shelves!) To maintain the integrity of their oils, the folks at Fiore store the product in large air-tight stainless steel canisters (called a fusti) and bottle the product at the time of purchase.  That’s right; all of those bottles lined up are empty until you ask for one to be filled!

Furthermore, Fiore’s supply comes from a family with a 70-year history of harvesting oils from all over the world, so the degree of separation from tree to bottle is practically nil.

Fused vs. Infused?
A lot of store-bought flavored oils are described as infused, which means flavor has been added after the fact.  Fiore’s oils are fused with flavor, which means that garlic, lemon or blood oranges have been pressed with the olives, forever fusing the flavors together.

Older is better (when it comes to vinegar, that is)
Did you know that vinegar has to be aged for at least 12 years in order to be called balsamic?  I didn’t.  So, what does it mean when you buy a bottle of “young” balsamic at the store?  I’m not sure, but I’d rather not find out any more.  I’m never turning back from my 18-year-aged balsamic vinegar.

Not just for cooking
I’ve only ever considered using olive oil and vinegar for cooking, but I learned otherwise at Fiore!  Shop employees raved about cocktails made with peach balsamic vinegar (which tastes more like syrup!), pancakes made with lemon olive oil (my stomach is growling) and brownies made with blood orange olive oil (sign me up!).

Nancy (center) and her husband Pat (not pictured) are the genius business owners behind Fiore, who couldn't do it all without the help of Tasha (left), Rachel (right) and Sally (not pictured).

As a beginner cook, these fresh unfiltered oils and balsamic vinegars have added a whole new dimension to my repertoire, and given me a whole new appreciation of fine flavors.  When I told everyone at Fiore that I wanted to share my experience with all of you, they kindly agreed to send one lucky winner a “beginner set” just like mine!

What you’ll win: One lucky reader will be the recipient of bottle of Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of 18-Year-Aged Balsamic Vinegar.

Who’s eligible: Anyone…even you, Mom!  And yes, Janis in Scotland could win because the Fiore folks are nice enough to ship anywhere.

How to Play: Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re enjoying about Domestic Adventure and what you’d like to see more of in the next 100 posts.

For a second, third or fourth chance to win, do one of the following (remember to leave a second, third or fourth comment after each action!):

  • Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and leave another comment with your Twitter handle
  • Become a fan on Facebook and leave another comment saying you did so.  If you’re already a fan, go ahead and leave a comment saying that you are.
  • Become an email subscriber of Domestic Adventure and leave yet another comment saying you did so.  Again, if you’re already getting updates in your inbox, just comment and tell me that!

Entries for the giveaway will be accepted through 8 p.m. EST on Friday, February 12. A winner will be selected randomly (using random.org) and the winner will be announced on Monday morning, February 15.

P.S. Be sure to check out Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars online and on Facebook!  While Fiore’s focus is the amazing selection of oils and vinegars, they also carry a selection of specialty foods like Vidalia Onion Mustard, Pesto and Balsamic Jams from Italy, Brittles from Napa Valley and gift ideas like cruets and dipping bowls.  New to Fiore this week is their White Truffle Oil…sounds delicious!


  1. Hey — congrats on reaching 100. That’s awesome :) As far as what I’d like to see on DA — more of the same. Loved your bench tutorial. So — more stuff like that!

    And I just tweeted your giveaway to my folks . . . this is such a great post, too! And I’d love to win anything that comes from Maine! Hahah. @neverhomemaker


  2. Nicole says:

    Erin Congrats on your 100th post. Your info on oils and vinegars got me all excited and I keeping my fingers crossed that I win. I love your food posts and also the glimpses you give into living in Maine.

  3. Erin says:

    I love your blog because I am also ‘Erin’ and am going through my own domestic adventure!! I loved the yeast 101, I would love to see more like this.

  4. Steve says:

    Just joined your blog and have already become a Facebook fan! Found your posting on Fiore really interesting. Like Chris I discovered Fiore about three weeks ago and have started to use olive oil and balsamic for lots of things. My daughter, Sally, also works there and has become quite knowledgeable about olive oils and vinegars. She is my unofficial consultant.

  5. Janis from Scotland says:

    I was just thinking to myself that I would totally be out of the running for this one but whoa was I surprised and elated!!! Joined your blog purely by accident at the beginning as was on another blog and thought your name sounded fun and interesting. It has proved to be so. I love how you show us how to cook certain things and give precise instruction but, do you know, the best thing I like is that I feel I know you which I suppose is a little crazee. Keep blogging the way you do and include more family photos and maybe some home ones as well.

    Good luck to all out there………..and me, if I’m honest.

  6. Janis from Scotland says:

    Okay Erin………..just left a comment on Facebook……….where would we all be without Facebook, Twitter et al which has opened up a world of friends to me.

  7. Janis from Scotland says:

    Go 100 – Go 100 – subscriber of emails as well….does this make me sound like a kiss-ass??? Can I say that??

    • Erin says:

      Thanks, Larissa! That means a lot coming from another talented blogger! Also, because you are a Facebook fan, and because it’s your birthday, you are entered for a second chance to win!

      – e

  8. Gen says:

    I enjoy the attention paid to the work/life balance. We can’t all be SAHM’s and it is nice to hear how other folks balance their domestic passions with out of home requirements.

  9. Kelly Loftus says:

    Hi Erin! I like the blog because I feel as if I am in the same room with my good and talented friend Erin! I have deserted the world of Vermont Agriculture briefly to check out your musings.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Kelly!

      Thank you for visiting! Because you are also a fan on Facebook, you are qualified for a second chance to win!

      – e

  10. Congrats Erin! I love reading your blog, you’re ideas are always inspiring. And I just learned so much about oil & vinegar in your post than I ever thought possible. Definitely makes me look at my store bought stuff in a different way. :)

  11. Lisa Horsch Clark says:

    What a great contest idea. Bob had the same reaction to good olive oil when we were in Italy last March.

    I always love your DIY projects. Here is helpful hint for you…

    I am sanding and repainting a dresser for the baby and Bob freaked because he wasn’t sure if it had lead paint or not. You can buy a test kit at the hardware store to test paint and other surfaces to check for lead. Of course, it shouldn’t replace an official inspection but at least the dresser passed the first test!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for passing the word on Facebook! Since you’re a fan, you’re entered for a second chance to win!


  12. Hi Erin, Just stopped by to say thanks for visiting my blog and found this fantastic giveaway! We are big oil and vinegar eaters in my house (even my 5-year-old!). I look forward to looking back over your blog and catching up :) I especially like the ideas for your bathroom remodel.

  13. Maggie Evans says:

    My friend Lisa told me to visit, and dang, she was right as usual. Love the blog. In Italy, they mark olive oils with a “birthdate” so you can tell how long they’ve been sitting. I wish we had a Fiore around here!

    Thanks for the tips! Sign me up to win- if they’ll ship to Scotland, certainly, they’ll ship to Virginia! (sorry Janis, I’ve got my eye on the prize!)

  14. Jessica says:

    I adore your blog, Erin, and want the world to know about it! Hope my tweets (@JMoCrow) and facebook posts help spread the word…you deserve it!

    I adore all of your awesome DIY projects on a budget and your delicious recipes. For our NYE party, I made the cranberry-brie bites and EVERYONE (even Wheeler who usually hates brie) thought they were absolutely scrumptious. I’d also love to hear more about how you find the time to do all these incredible projects and balance it all with work, marriage, etc, etc. Work-Life Balance is a huge thing that I talk with coaching clients about, so I’m fascinated by how much you do, girl!

  15. Gina says:

    Hey Erin!

    I LOVE your blog because it helps us keep up to date with you and follow your new projects! :)

    I personally like your home remodeling projects because you make everyone feel like they can do it. Chris, on the other hand, values your food- cooking and baking- projects. I think he would like me to follow those more and actually try them! haha…we shall see! Give it time…give it time!

    I love reading! And Fiore sound awesome…next time we are in Maine…we will have to visit! Chris enjoyed me reading this blog outloud to him! :)


  16. Kara says:

    Hey Erin –
    Although I haven’t looked through your blog as much as I would like have you gotten into much about organic foods? With two young children I really spend a lot of time looking for foods that are organic and that don’t have a lot of high fructose corn syrup in them. I would like our family to eat more “real” food. I had to laugh because my husband tends to buy ranch dressing in bulk and puts cheese on everything!

  17. Kara says:

    Whoo Hoo…I signed up for your emails Erin! I am hoping that since I don’t always get to specific web sites that I will still get you info via my email!

  18. Suzan says:

    I love this blog for several reasons. First of all, I think your recipe selection is fantastic. I think I have made all of your blog recipes. Including now, an apple pie. You inspire me on many levels. You make me think I can tackle almost anything new. I love your can do attitude. I actually think I may conquer some skills I did not think possible because of your example. I hope we celebrate 200, 300, 400 and more blogs with you. ~S

  19. Kim says:

    What I love most about your blog is that I know you have a demanding job, a marriage, and still find time to be creative with your passions. You’re also humble about what you do!

    More on healthy but tasty cooking would be great – as some of us grow older, we have to leave many of our favorite foods behind or at least enjoy them only in very, very moderate amounts!

    Keep up the awesome work!

  20. Joy says:

    Hi Erin Kay! Congrats on your 100th post. I love reading your blog because it inspires me to be more domestic. My family loves it because of all the new recipes we’ve tried. I also love that it helps me feel like I know what is going on in your life even though I haven’t seen you for awhile. I’m pretty sure I’m a fan on facebook and I just signed up for emails. Miss you!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Joy! I miss you too! Thank you for entering the giveaway and I loooove hearing all about the projects you try!

      (And people, do not let Joy fool you, she is an amazing mother of two little girls. I have no idea how she keeps up with them!)

      You are a Facebook fan, so here is a second entry for you!

      – e

  21. Carol says:

    Hi, I JUST discovered you. My husband and I adore cooking, and it’s snowing here today, so that’s our plan! Thanks for the nice giveaway, I’d love to see pasta recipes, the more the better, we eat pasta all the time.

  22. Valerie C. says:

    I LOVE your recipes! I’ve stopped by here often….my favorites are:
    Carrot Cake
    Cranberry Orange Bread
    Cherry Cream Cheese Pie
    Thank You.
    Just keep doing more of the same :)

  23. Nancy says:

    We couldn’t be happier that we met Chris and showed him the way – and that he dropped Crisco/Ranch/butter like a hot potato! This is an amazing blog you did featuring Fiore – we are so glad to be a part of your 100th blog and beyond! Can’t wait to send Fiore treats to the lucky winner!

  24. Darcy B says:

    I love your recipes–I’m a huge dessert person–so I’m always looking for a new sweet to try–only half the time I find recipes with ingredients that can only be procured at Dean & Deluca’s for the small sum of your first 2 house payments–or even worse they include a step–that seems to exist on paper only but is not actually feasible –well at least not on this planet!
    What I would like more of—well more delicious sweets recipes of course!!

  25. Alexandrea M says:

    I really love your pictures as you make things. I am a pretty experienced cook I think, but if there are pictures of the finished product I’m 10x more likely to try a recipe, if there’s pictures of it BEING made that even goes up! I love to know what things are supposed to look like as I go along, especially for baking.
    Thank you for the giveaway, I have some awesome lemon infused olive oil, but it doesn’t work in pizza dough (eww) but I would love to try the tuscan herb oil in my dough!

  26. Katherine says:

    Hi Erin:
    Love reading your blog and all the recipes. Sounds like you are a very busy girl! Miss you and Chris and Frankie too!

  27. Kathy says:

    Congratulations on your 100th! Your posting on the Fiore Balsamic Vinegar was wonderful – what a lovely shop they have.
    Take care and many more postings!

  28. Monica says:

    Erin – congrats on your 100th post! I always enjoy all of your posts but especially love the recipes! Keep it coming girl…I am your fan on facebook and a life fan too 😉
    Love – Monica

  29. I love your blog because it has a variety of things I love…..DIY, recipes and crafts. And I admire you so much for posting often. I don’t know how you do it but I love reading your posts almost everyday. Congrats on 100 posts!

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