Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Carolina Kitchen celebrates 4 years with 2 cookbook giveaways


It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing My Carolina Kitchen for four years.  They say time flies when you’re having fun and it’s certainly true about blogging. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in what I had to say, but before I knew it I was making friends all over the world with those of you who shared my love and passion for good food. You’ve made my world richer and my life fuller and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.


Blogging for me is about friendship and of course the food. I love reading your blogs and I’ve learned so much from you. Meakin and I are fortunate to have met many of you and hopefully many more in the coming year.

Low Country Shrimp & Grits, recipe here, has by far been my most popular post if I look at my stats from internet searches. As much as we like it, I don’t cook dishes like shrimp & grits very often anymore. For me it’s too heavy and rich except for special occasions.

I hope when you think of My Carolina Kitchen you think healthy, elegant, and delicious. I like to call it “food with a flair.”

Here are some of our favorite dishes. To see the recipe, let your mouse hover over the title.

Pan fried tilapia with tomato basil sauté - dinner in under 30 minutes



Secrets on how to make great crab cakes



Pickled shrimp – a popular make-ahead appetizer that men love



The easiest and most successful way to cook salmon – broil it



Arugula salad tossed in a truffle oil vinaigrette – a French salad that’s looks fancy, but super easy to make



Salad with cherries, goat cheese and pistachios – perfect for showcasing fresh cherries in season



Baked Chicken with Lemons & Olives – my prepare in advance, go-to dish for dinner parties



And don’t forget my love for French food and everything associated with Provence that includes winter dishes such as Beef Daube,



Short Ribs Provencale, Braised Lamb Shanks de-fatted and made healthier



French Orange Salad with Olives, and Chicken Marengo, one of my oldest recipes and still a comforting dinner favorite.  And of course I couldn’t leave out the scrumptious French seafood stew reminiscent of bouillabaisse that we ate in the old port city of Marseilles.  



But you also know how fond I am of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I’ve posted adaptations of many of her recipes, including Mexican chicken soup,



Prime rib sandwich with truffle butter, baked ham, and of course her very popular lemon roasted chicken.



One of our most popular dinner party desserts at our house is a specialty of Meakin’s  - an adaptation of Ina’s crème brûlée. Meakin has lightened it just the right amount, but managed to keep all of the creamy flavor.



That’s Ina’s baked shrimp in the lead picture at the beginning of the post from her Back to Basics cookbook, served with Meakin’s famous red cocktail sauce. Meakin makes his red sauce by whisking together 4 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons bottled chili sauce, juice from a ½ of lemon or lime, a heavy teaspoon bottled horseradish, 2 dashes or so of hot sauce and the same with Worcestershire in a bowl and voila, a fabulous cocktail sauce that is so much better than store-bought. Sometimes he’ll add a teaspoon of finely ground chilies in adobo sauce or a couple of pinches of smoked Spanish paprika. It’s an easy sauce to play with. Repeat after me, I will never, ever buy the bottled red cocktail sauce ever again as long as I live.



Ina’s roasted shrimp cocktail has pretty much taken the place of boiled shrimp at our house. It’s so easy you can do the recipe out of your head and the roasted shrimp have an incredible depth of flavor compared to simply boiling them. Toss peeled and deveined shrimp with some extra virgin olive oil, generously salt and pepper, and spread them in one layer on a sheet pan and roast for 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees F, taking care not to overcook. You might want to make a note in her Back to Basics cookbook a little trick we’ve learned – that is to turn the shrimp over midway through for best results so they’ll cook more evenly. To finish, sprinkle with a little finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to make it look pretty and that’s it – foolproof.

Look inside at Amazon


Speaking of foolproof, Foolproof is the name of Ina’s newest cookbook. I have all of Ina's cookbooks and each is fabulous in its own way. Back to Basics is my favorite so far.

As a way of saying thank you for your loyalty to following My Carolina Kitchen, I want to give a copy of Ina’s new cookbook to one of my followers.

Actually I’m giving away two cookbooks to followers– Ina’s Foolproof plus Savoring the Hamptons, a cookbook devoted to the food and wine of Long Island’s East End where Ina lives in the Hamptons with her husband Jeffrey. The first person drawn will receive Ina’s newest cookbook Foolproof and the second person will receive Savoring the Hamptons.

Look inside at Amazon


The cookbook give-away is open to all followers, including those who follow by email. To qualify just leave a comment saying you are a follower and a way to get in touch with you if your profile doesn’t have an email address with it. If you want extra chances to win, share it on Facebook or tweet it, but be sure to say so so I’ll know how many entries to include for you.

If you have a favorite recipe from Ina, please tell us. It will be fun to see what recipes of hers you enjoy the most.

Good luck to everyone and thank you again for four wonderful years. The give-away will end next Sunday night and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 19, 2012.

Here’s one of the most popular recipes I’ve done of Ina’s for internet searches– “what to serve house guests for breakfast” – Ina’s breakfast crunch.



This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Good luck to everyone and thank you again for following and reading My Carolina Kitchen. The cookbook give-aways will end next Sunday night and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 19, 2012.

66 comments:

  1. Happy Blog Anniversary and to many more!

    A lovely giveaway.

    Cheers

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  2. I think I have been there with you for most of your 4 years. I love Ina and this is a cookbook I do not have. This is a lovely giveaway. Hi to you both. Susan

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  3. Congrats on 4 years Sam! Your crab cakes look great and it's been way too long since I've had them! Thanks for the fun give-away, love Ina:@)

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  4. I started my blog about four years ago and found you right away. I thought you were a "veteran" blogger already!! It was a complete surprise that anyone would follow my blog and when my daughter-in-law pointed out that I had eleven "followers", I was shocked! Sam, every post you do seems filled with deliciousness and sunshine. Here's to four x four x four (at least) more years!

    I am a follower and will share your link on Facebook.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. Bon Anniversaire Sam:)

    I was expecting to see the Limoncello tart too:)
    Thanks for this compendium..The pickled shrimp..I had missed i think..:)

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  6. Happy Blog Anniversary Sam. It has been fun getting to know you over these 4 years. I'm 2 months behind you. It is a pleasure to get to know you and Meakin in person. Thanks for the giveaway. Two great books.

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  7. I just love Ina's style and the lighter recipes you usually post. I put in a friend request on FB and have always loved reading your blog. Here's to many more years. Take care.
    Donnie W.
    ki4ggs(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I shared it on FB and I'm a follower. Have been for a long time.
    Donnie W
    ki4ggs(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I tweeted about your post. Thanks.
    Donnie W
    ki4ggs(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. Happy Blogiversary! All of these recipes in this post look wonderful. I am glad to have found you several years ago and have enjoyed your blog ever since. I am a follower.

    This is a great give-away.

    FlowerLady

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  11. Happy Anniversary and congratulations, Sam! What a delicious celebration you've laid out today! I've enjoyed every bite and look forward to many more years!

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  12. Congrats... very impressive 4 years and my the recipes. Food always brings friends.
    Love you and your blog.

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  13. Happy blog anniversary Sam! I was really lucky the day Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen introduced me to your blog. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and Meakin. I am happy that we got to meet in person too!

    Of course I am a follower and this is a wonderful giveaway! It is too hard to pick one Ina recipe as a favorite, but I will say her chicken stock is a staple in my house.
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  14. Sam, I have made several of YOUR recipes you post of your blog. I too never buy cocktail sauce anymore, I have been making my own since 1974! I make it about twice a month, as that is how my husband likes to eat his fish. I prefer tarter sauce, which I also make. Keep up the good work, and happy Anniversary!

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  15. Hi Sam - and Happy Anniversary! As a relative newcomer to your blog I am delighted that you recapped some of the favorites. They'll keep me busy for quite a while. Your blog is always a delicious pleasure.

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  16. After the illness in the family and our long trip I am slowly catching up with my favorite blogs. I read all your posts that I had missed – such a variety of pictures and appetizing food! I also clicked and enlarged your photo taken in North Georgia on your wine tour – stunning! It is exciting to meet bloggers that we follow – I did not know you had met so many – lucky you.
    You offer us such an array of tasty recipes – I copied several. While in Nice, France, we ate in several small restaurants and I thought about you – I thought you’d be able to duplicate the dishes for sure. Congratulations on 4 years of delicious blogging!

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  17. Sam,

    Four years!! Congratulations! I hit the other-load of posts today! Everything looks so delicious I want to try it all.....right now! I think I must have followed you at least three of those years.

    Best to you and Meakin and a Happy Thanksgiving.

    xoxo

    Carol

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  18. Good Afternoon Sam, Happy 4th Anniversary. Your photos are so perfect, I almost feel I could reach into the computer screen, pick up the plate, and enjoy the food! My first experience of Ina Garten was when I lived in Cyprus. I used to watch Dubai television and they had a raft of American cooking programmes and one of them was Ina. I love her relaxed style of cooking, it's never hurried, the process of cooking is simply enjoyed. I do own Ina's Back to Basics Cookbook. I was lucky enough to receive the book from my daughter for Christmas. If I had to choose one dish, which is difficult, as I love Spanakopitas, Herb Marinated Loin of Pork, Tuscan Lemon Chicken....ooooh it's so hard, ok, decision made....it would have to be Coq au Vin. I am a follower, but I do appreciate living in England, this giveaway may not be open to bloggers living abroad. That is ok, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and also how much I love my Ina Garten, Back to Basics Cookery Book. Have a lovely day, Best Wishes Daphne

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  19. Happy blogiversary Sam & Meakin - I didn't realize you'd been at it this long. All of your favorite dishes look awesome and I plan to give Meakin's cocktail sauce a try this afternoon. I think "food with a flair" is an excellent description of what you post - although I'd have to add "delicious" as the first word. Your posts are always well written, but I believe this may be your best ever and reading it makes me glad I'm a follower - I'm looking forward to reading it for the next four years.

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  20. Happy 4 years! :)

    I'm a follower through GFC (Nicole-Lynn).

    A favorite recipe from Ina's is her hummus! It's really good, especially with pita chips. I just adore her and love her show.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Seasidesmitten@aol.com

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  21. Happy anniversary!!!! What a great giveaway, I've been trying to decide if I need the new Ina - and I'm sure I do! My favorite (really hard to chose) would be her tarragon chicken salad. Perfect!

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  22. I just want to say to you HAPPY BLOG-ANIVERSARY!!! I like to read about your recipes..and when it is possible I like to visit you xoxoxox, Flavia

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  23. What a wonderful post! I just finished lunch but scrolling through your greatest hits has me drooling. Happy Blog Anniversary!

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  24. Congratulations, Sam! I am so glad I have found your blog, and I am really enjoying the recipes and your approach to food. You can contact me on Facebook, as Roddey's better half!

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  25. I am a follower and want to congratulate you on 4 fun years of delicious food~

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  26. You have given us many wonderful recipes in your 4 years of blogging, Sam. Yours is one of the first blogs I started following and it has always been a favorite. I have already tried some of the recipes you are sharing and can't wait to try the rest. I'm looking forward to the next 4 years with you.

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  27. I follow you via email and enjoy your recipes. Please enter me in the cookook drawing.

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  28. Congratulations on 4 years, Sam. It's nice to see so many of your delicious dishes here in one post. They remain as drool-worthy as the first time I saw them. And, thank you for your continued support of my blog too.

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  29. First of all, let me congratulate you on four years of blogging, Sam! Everything you've shown from Ina's recipes look so delicious. I have to try the roasted shrimp cocktail with some of my new shrimp from Texas. I'm also a huge fan of creme brulee. One of my favorite Ina recipes is her potato and leek gratin.

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  30. I just Tweeted about your giveaway, Sam! https://twitter.com/savoringtime/status/268802716178980864

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  31. Congratulations on four years, quite an achievement. Looking at your favourite recipes I will come to dinner with you any time :-) Keep well Diane

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  32. Congratulations on 4 years and Thank You for passing on such great recipes. Liz
    lpetty29322@yahoo.com

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  33. Sam,

    The combination of the pictures and the recipes to make them are perfect. I love following the blog and wish you many more anniversaries!

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  34. Congratulations Sam; 4 years a great accomplishment. You are a terrific food blogger; your recipes and your photos never cease to amaze me. I also love Ina's style of cooking; so sorry we don't see her on the Food network anymore. My son always buys me books, now I know what to suggest; merci.
    Good to be back here,
    Rita

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  35. Congratulations, Sam! Your recipes remind me, so much, of Ina Garten. They're colorful, simple, elegant and they look so flavorful. Meakin does such a great job photographing your recipes, too. I bought Ina's new cookbook, and have indexed quite a few I want to make! Thanks for your friendship, over the years.
    Debby

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  36. Jill Hartley -- missjill0521@yahoo.comNovember 14, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Congrats on the amazing 4 years!!! What an accomplishment!! missjill0521@yahoo.com

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  37. Time sure does fly! I have all Ina's cookbooks too ... Except th new one! I think I'll wait!! LOL!!! Happy 4th Blogversary!

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  38. Would you believe I've never cooked an Ina recipe nor seen her books. I'd love to win the cookbook as I've heard her recipes are great.

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  40. I appreciate your stories and recipes so much. Congrats! on your 4 years. My favorite Ina recipe is roasted shrimp. So simple.
    vassey153@comcast.net

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  41. Wow, four years! Congratulations! Unfortunately, I only found you several months ago, but became a follower the very first time I navigated to your blog and have enjoyed every post since then! Good luck to everyone on such a lovely give-away! (Greedy me . . . I've got my fingers crossed that I will be one of the lucky ones! ;) Thanks for this opportunity and more importantly, thanks for such a lovely blog! willowsquietcorner (at) gmail (dot) com

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  42. I always enjoy your light yet flavourful and delicious recipes.
    Happy Blog Anniversary and wish you many more to come!
    I have never owned any Ina's cookbooks. What perfect giveaways!

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  43. RT, Shared in on Facebook and Google too!

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  44. Congratulations on four years of excellent posts. I have enjoyed going back to some of you earlier posts. I do find your recipes to be light, flavorful and presented so nicely.

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  45. Happy 4th Sam!!!!! Congratulations. I've bookmarked many of these recipes you are showcasing. And I'm now bookmarking Ina's roasted shrimp. This is new to me and a must try. I've made so many of her recipes, but the first that comes to mind is her Mustard Chicken Salad. I'd love to win either of these books, don't have either. I'm a follower by RSS feed.

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  46. Congratulations on your anniversary. 4 years is amazing! Good for you! Your photos and recipes are amazing! I'm a follower by email.

    savingdessert (at) aol (dot) com


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  47. Congrats! I am glad to find the crab cake tips, I was just thinking about trying that the other day, Happy to be your newest GFC follower.
    Erin
    http://homecookedgourmet.blogspot.com/

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  48. Thanks for sharing all these yummy recipes and congratulations on 4 years! I follow you by email and now by FB! I always love to come to your blog as I know there will be something yummy!

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  49. Love your blog, I am a follower. Thanks for the great giveaway. I love Ina's books and have been wanting this one.
    Thanks again!

    Mary L

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  50. I never thought of roasting shrimp and I am inspired to make my own cocktail sauce. Thank you for sharing. I get your email updates.

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  51. Happy 4th Anniversary, Sam. I remember that humble beginning. You have far surpassed that how-to information we were given. You are the best. Love your blog.

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  52. happy 4 year anniversary love you, Meakin and your blog - awesome recipes healthy and tasty

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  53. Happy Anniversary, Sam. Your decision to blog has been a real treat to all of us who follow My Carolina Kitchen. Everyone of your featured dishes look and sound delicious and demand to be tried. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  54. Hi Sam, Congratulations on 4 years of vibrant food featured on your beautiful blog! I like Ina's tip on roasting salmon, 500 degrees 18-20 minutes, comes out perfect every time!

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  55. Congratulations, Sam! Your mouthwatering photos look like a tutorial on food photography. I just posted Shrimp & Grits - don't laugh at your California friend!

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  56. Mouth watering...even this early in the morning :)

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  57. Sam,
    Congratulations on four years of sharing your wonderful post with us. I always look forward to coming to your blog and viewing your beautiful photo's and traveling along on your adventures, not to mention some of the best food in the Carolina's!

    I really appreciate your sharing your talents with Full Plate Thursday and all of our readers. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
    Miz Helen

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  58. Hi Sam,
    I have been a follower for a long time and also get your emails, forgot to tell you that in my previous comment. I would just love to have either of those beautiful cookbooks.
    Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!
    Miz Helen

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  59. Sam, so exciting that you've been doing this for 4 years!! It shows in your content and photos that you are an expert!!! And YOU CAN COOK! :) Thanks for sharing the memories at Foodtastic Friday. Sign me up for one of those lovely cookbooks too!

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  60. Congratulations, and I agree. Here's to many more.

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  61. Congratulations on four years of blogging!! I love so many of Ina's recipes, however, her roasted shrimp recipe is so easy and so good. I'd love to be entered into a chance to win. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  62. I'm coming up on 4 years too, mine in January. You are right, time flies!

    I'm a follower!!

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  63. I must say that I'm partial to your posts featuring the South of France and recipes from there. Friendship and talking about our favorite subject in the world - Food! - is the best part of blogging. Cheers to four years!

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  64. Congrats, Sam on four year blogging. It's such of beautiful site to visit, which I do several times a week. I have made so many of your wonderful recipes. I think your crab cake are probably my favorite. I too love Ina. I own all her book and have not yet purchased the new one, so it would be wonderful gift to be selected in your giveaway. I love Ina's French Onion Soup it's great especially this time of year.
    Best wishes for many more years of sharing your talents.
    Ann

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  65. Congrats on your 4 years of blogging!
    I live near Ina, she filmed one of her shows at my neighbor's house, he is on her show sometimes.
    Happy to see my friend Susan won her book.

    Have a wonderful holiday, Sam!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam