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Monday 12th May 2008

Please Share Your Thoughts on HHDD
Donna Hay's Self-Frosting Cupcakes
with NutellaDonna Hay's Self-Frosting Cupcakes with Nutella

As the privileged host of the recent round of the "Hay Hay it's Donna Day" event I noticed a few issues and some confusion regarding the conditions of entry and now, as the new acting "overseer" to the event, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get your feedback on these issues to secure the success of future rounds.

Below are several questions, 12 in all... which I'd love to hear your feedback on. If you do not wish to leave a public comment with your thoughts, please feel welcome to email them to me privately.

First of all, however, I would like to share a little background and a brief description of how "Hay Hay it's Donna Day" began and Barbara's initial thoughts on how the event would unfold... and who exactly is this Donna Hay person anyway?!

  1. Firstly Donna Hay should be pretty well known to anyone who enjoys cooking. However, if you're not in the know, let me explain: she is one amazing Australian "home economist". She started out scoring her first job in the Australian Womens Weeky test kitchen after completing a home economist course. Donna went on to become the food editor at Marie Claire magazine and this was where her fresh take on food styling and simple but stunning recipes really took off. Her styling and fuss free recipes so adored, it wasn't long before she soon had her own magazine and had published several best selling cookbooks internationally. Some people have referred to her as Downunder's answer to Martha Stewart, however, Donna doesn't like to be thought of as a celebrity chef, but just one of the girls who always has time for food and fun in the kitchen.

  1. In October 2005 Barbara blogged about a Donna Hay recipe entitled "Self-Frosting cupcakes". However, this wasn't where the recipe first appeared in the food blogosphere - in fact it had caused quite a stir since first appearing on "Baking Sheet" which was Nic from Baking Bites first blog.
  3. The "Self-Frosting Cupcake" recipe proved so popular, seemingly every baking loving blogger wanted to join in the fun. The recipe involved swirling some peanut butter into the top of the batter of a cupcake before baking it. However our clever bloggers soon began exchanging the peanut butter for the beloved Nutella spread.
  5. Barbara invited bloggers to share their take on this idea, by alternating the spread if they so desired, but not the cupcake batter - this was to remain Donna Hay's original recipe. Barbara coined the event "Hay Hay it's Donna Day", a play on Donna Hay's surname, obviously, but also after a popular Australian variety show on T.V during the 80's called "Hey Hey it's Saturday".
  7. As a proud Australian and huge fan of Donna Hay, Barbara believed the event to be a great way to celebrate Donna's recipes and food styles... the first food blogging fan club if you like. Our generous Barbara then gave the blogger with the best looking "Self-Frosting Cupcakes" her own personal copy of the first ever issue of Donna Hay Magazine and the winner went on to host the 2nd edition.

When thinking about this post, I was stuck with what photos I could illustrate it with, then I remembered that HHDD was in fact the first ever food blogging event I took part in. I especially remember how, in those early days of my blog, Barbara welcomed me warmly into the community. My first entry, though, was in the second round of HHDD - I had missed her first. As I still had not made these delicious, fun self-frosting cupcakes (the recipe can be found here) and as they were the only HHDD event Barbara hosted, making some to illustrate this post seemed very fitting and a wonderful tribute to Barbara for initially creating such an amazing and well loved event. Thank you Barbara!

I asked Barbara and we agreed that HHDD had moved away from this original idea and the intent of following Donna's recipes and more into a theme based event, which made me wonder if this is how the majority of you see it and are you happy with it this way?

Is a theme based event how you see the future of HHDD?

As I see it, personally, we would only hit a snag if a future host was not to choose a Donna Hay recipe to begin and inspire the round with. If this was to happen it would no longer be a celebration of Donna Hay recipes and no longer Hay Hay it's Donna Day.

So now to 12 questions on how you see the future of HHDD...
Please note these questions are open to all who have in the past or hope to participate in future HHDDs.

  1. 1) Firstly, have you ever participated in a HHDD event?
  2. 2a) Have you ever been confused with the entry requirements?
  3. 2b If yes, please explain your confusion
  4. 3) Did you believe your entry had to be the Donna Hay original recipe?
  5. 4) Did you believe the event was based on theme only?
  6. 5) Do you like the way that HHDD is run on a theme with a Donna Hay recipe inspiring that theme, and would prefer the event to remain this way?
  7. 6) Would you prefer the HHDD event to celebrate Donna Hay and her recipes more, as with the more recently developed "Daring Bakers" or "Tuesdays with Dorie" groups and stick more closely to her original recipes rather than basing the event on theme?
  8. 7) Would you like to host HHDD?
  9. 8) Have you hosted HHDD before?
  10. 9) Do you like voting and having the blog entry with the most votes become the host of the next round?
  11. 10) Do you refrain from entering HHDD as you are not interested in hosting events and would feel obliged to do so if you were to win?
  12. 11) Would you prefer a waiting list for future hosts, as there is with other food blogging events?
  13. 12) Do you agree with the host providing a small prize for the winner?
Thanks again for your feedback and support
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