What Makes Allrecipes So Special. - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 280744

Penny Lane

What Makes AllRecipes So Special. 
Jul. 30, 2012 4:30 pm 
Updated: Aug. 23, 2012 3:27 pm

From the moment I clicked on the link that brought me to AllRecipes.com  I knew I had discovered something special.  It felt comfortable, like sitting in the kitchen laughing and sharing recipes while drinking coffee with a good friend.  

Let's just say, it was love at first click.

Throughout my tenure as a brand ambassador I have been impressed by the caring and generosity of AllRecipes.  Then came the invitation to attend their 15th anniversary celebration!  Talk about a gift of a life time!  

It was a party, a celebration and a behind the scenes look at what makes AllRecipes tick.  

From the moment I walked in the door Thursday afternoon I knew something was different about this company - people were happy!  They practically skip to work with a grin on their faces.  They were truly happy to welcome us - not dreading the invasion of visitors while we toured the offices. Then came the Happy Hour party!  Unlike the typical office parties I have attended, everyone REALLY was having a good time - not just pretending, killing time with fake smiles - waiting to be cut loose to run home. I felt like I had just arrived at a reunion of long lost friends.  

Marianne and Doug Matthews

Indeed there were hugs and squeals of laughter all around the building.  People greeting each other with such enthusiasm it brought tears to my eyes more than once.  The AR employees knew us!  They read our blogs, they surf the Buzz - they use the site and they love it as much as we do!  

Karen Binkhorst, a personal chef and caterer, did a fantastic job in the AR Kitchen.  The food was fresh, delicious and so well presented that you almost hated to disturb the glorious trays of artfully arranged goodies. 

Friday morning arrived bright and early - after having only  4 1/2 hours sleep for the third day in a row, you would have thought I would been dragging my buns out of bed - but NO I was up at the crack of dawn, excited about a full day at AllRecipes.  

We arrived at AR about 8 AM and they already had breakfast ready and waiting for us!  After eating and gabbing some more (we were never short of conversation) we were treated to an introduction to AllRecipes by William.  William has the best job in the whole world!  His entire job is devoted to making AR the happiest place on earth.  Imagine a company that is so totally committed to their employees complete happiness and well being that they have employed a person, full time, to make that happen!  The AllRecipes culture is more than just having fun, which they do by the way, it is really about acceptance, inclusiveness, caring and allowing each employee and member the right to be an individual.  They accept people for who they are.

AR's core values are not just a "Mission Statement"  they are totally dedicated to preserving their  culture.  Those same values shine through their product - the AllRecipes website.  No wonder so many people love this site - AR loves and cares for it's employees & it's millions of users. They care about our opinions and they care what people think. 

It's no wonder I fell in love at first click!  

That said, I arrived with your list of questions and suggestions.  I had typed up a synopsis from my blog "Seattle Bound" and to be honest I wasn't sure what the reaction would be.  Not only were those suggestions warmly received by the AllRecipes staff, they were welcomed.  

Now keep in mind that nothing happens over night and not everything on the 'wish list' is possible to accomplish but they were really excited to have your input!  

There are certainly changes on the horizon that comes with growth.  This is a good thing!  I did express my concern that since AllRecipes has been acquired by Meredith it might loose it's "Home Cook - Community" focus.  I was assured by everyone from the President on down that AR is committed to  maintaining it's commitment to 'home cooks and the AllRecipes community'.  

Heck, they must be doing something right - AllRecipes continues to be the #1 Food Site in the World!  

I will do another blog about the AllRecipeeps I met and all the other fun stuff & adventures.  I just really wanted to share with you my impression of AllRecipes itself.  

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. 

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Penny Lane. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Baking Nana aka PennyThis blog was written in support of AllRecipes.com 


Jul. 30, 2012 4:42 pm
Great blog, Penny. What you wrote is what I heard and sensed too! It was a pleasure to meet you. Wish I could have spent more time getting to know you.
Jul. 30, 2012 4:47 pm
BN: AllRecipes is awesome! If you need a second opinion, just ask my poor, neglected, dust-gathering cookbooks! And it's a great place to meet amazing new friends!
Jul. 30, 2012 4:47 pm
Penny, fabulous blog! It truly does capture the essence of the AR brand and spirit. You really get a sense of core values, family and frienships at their corporate office. Karen did a wonderful job with the food and she is an absolute pleasure to speak with (not to mention, has a great sense of humor :-). Can't wait until our next visit to their office, keeping fingers crossed they do more of these in the coming year.
Jul. 30, 2012 4:48 pm
Great post, Penny. I loved meeting you in person! I, too, wish we had more time! We must try to get this group together again!!
Jul. 30, 2012 4:51 pm
Paula - time was too short! Gosh, so many great peeps and not enough time! I am glad I was in the lobby of the hotel to welcome you! Thanks for the hug!
Jul. 30, 2012 4:52 pm
bikerfamily!!!!! You look so good in blue! I will do another blog about the peeps including YOU! What a blessing this trip was!
Jul. 30, 2012 4:55 pm
DelMarGirl - Karen was a hoot! I loved meeting her. She really put on an amazing spread and still found time to talk to us and share the laughter. I hope that I will have the chance to visit Seattle again and share in the AR 'joy'. :) Gosh time went so fast!
Jul. 30, 2012 4:56 pm
mmyers168 - It was pure pleasure meeting you! You are everything that I imagined you would be, plus some! Darn - we really needed more hours in the day! There is still so much more to share!
Jul. 30, 2012 5:02 pm
Penny, you must have kissed the Blarney Stone at some point in your life! You surely have a gift with words and are able to 'paint' a picture that perfectly describes the allrecipes.com "aura". I was delighted to meet you and look forward to the next blog...hurry up now! :)
Jul. 30, 2012 5:03 pm
BTW, that's a gorgeous photo of Seattle...did you take it? Spectacular!
Jul. 30, 2012 5:08 pm
Thank you Wyattdogster - I have never thought of myself as a writer - I just sit down and try to share my joy with others. With this one, there is so much to share that I just had to break it up! That pic was taken on the dock after the Ferry ride Thursday night. Such good memories!
Jul. 30, 2012 5:11 pm
So beautifully written!!! You totally captured all the highlights of this amazing trip! Great job Penny...I loved reading this!
Jul. 30, 2012 5:16 pm
Thank you Lillian. It was good to meet you and I wish we had more time to get to know each other. I can't believe how fast it went!
Jul. 30, 2012 5:18 pm
Great job--it was so nice meeting you in person!
Jul. 30, 2012 5:21 pm
jrbaker! Gosh I wish we could have spent more time together but what we had was a gift I will never forget! What a wonderful opportunity! :)
Jul. 30, 2012 5:35 pm
It was an absolute pleasure to meet you Penny. I just wish I had been able to stay longer. Reading your blog makes me feel like I did. Thanks.
Jul. 30, 2012 5:39 pm
Doug - the pleasure was all mine! Thanks for making the effort to schedule a visit to AR to meet us. Can I have your autograph, please! :)
Deb C 
Jul. 30, 2012 5:57 pm
What a joy to meet you and the other wonderful peeps face to face. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said about Allrecipes. What a fabulous company filled with fabulous people. I loved every minute of our visit.
Jul. 30, 2012 6:01 pm
Deb C - I wish AR had a video team to record the greetings at the hotel lobby. :) It was so much fun! To quote you "Wicked Awesome!" These memories will stay with me - forever! Thank You!
Jul. 30, 2012 6:09 pm
It was great to meet you in person :) I love allrecipes even more, after meeting the people that work there and seeing how much they love it, than I did before! I didn't think that was possible :) Great blog!
Jul. 30, 2012 6:16 pm
Rae - I totally agree! This week showed me WHY I love Allrecipes! I love all the Peeps too - what a gift this was!
Jul. 30, 2012 6:25 pm
Great blog Baking Nana! Such wonderful memories to cherish! It was so fun meeting everyone, and was so cool to get the inside scoop at AR!
Jul. 30, 2012 6:35 pm
*~lissa~* I am so glad that I got to spend some time with you. Memories to cherish for sure! How lucky we are to have all found AllRecipes and met each other. :)
Jul. 30, 2012 6:45 pm
Perfect! XOXO
Jul. 30, 2012 6:46 pm
Baking Nana, you've said everything so beautifully! What fun to have so many Peeps in one place, and WHAT a place! Being in Seattle made me tired of living in Texas! I certainly hope there will be other chances for everyone to get together. It was really hard to get around to everyone and say more than hello!
Jul. 30, 2012 7:14 pm
OMG! It sounds like it was the ultimate roundup :) Please! More!
Jul. 30, 2012 7:17 pm
Wow, what an adventure and blog! Thank you for asking and delivering our suggestions and letting us know they were warmly welcomed. I know you and all the other ambassadors had a great time and will tuck away the memories of this trip forever in your banks. This is a great site, these are great people...and like you, I knew it the first time I found it. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and photos.
Jul. 30, 2012 7:56 pm
Baking Nana-Thanks for sharing all of our questions and suggestions in Seattle. Just the mere fact AR was interested in hearing suggestions from all the AR Peeps is amazing to me. What an experience it must have been to see first hand the AR culture. How many companies do that? I love the hands- on attitude and the great vibes you described in your blog. Those vibes keep me coming back to the AR site.
Jul. 30, 2012 7:59 pm
Wasn't this just the best? Hubby and I had such a great time! AR really outdid themselves. Seattle is a marvelous place....except for driving in. Thanks, Ba'Nana, for your wonderful insights. As usual.
Jul. 30, 2012 8:27 pm
Hey Penny! It was fantastic meeting you! ((hugs)) I posted a photo of us under my pictures on here!
Jul. 30, 2012 8:35 pm
Cindy Lepp! It was such a joy to finally meet you! (((hugs))) I can't wait until the next time - and there will be a next time!
Jul. 30, 2012 8:37 pm
Bibi - I am so glad that we were able to spend some quality time together - that was a gift! There were so many people and so little time to spend with each and everyone. Isn't Washington beautiful!
Jul. 30, 2012 8:39 pm
Hi Cat! There is so much more to share - I just had to break it up or I could have written a book! I still might - so much to absorb and share.
Jul. 30, 2012 8:42 pm
Sherri - I always felt this site was special - I just didn't know how special! Our suggestions were really welcome and well received. The AR staff is really very special! Ar is special!
Jul. 30, 2012 8:44 pm
Lela - your thoughts are what makes AR special. They really do care! They are growing in leaps and bounds but remain grounded to their core values. How awesome is that? :)
Jul. 30, 2012 8:47 pm
Marianne - if I lived in Seattle my legs would be in much better shape. I would walk every where - driving in the city would not be for me. These are memories that will last a life time. :)
Jul. 30, 2012 8:49 pm
MySweetCreations - I snagged that pic. Thank you! Special memories - special friends. It was wonderful meeting you and little Creations. Thanks for your warm welcome!
Jul. 30, 2012 9:14 pm
NOW I AM crying inside! I missed one HE!! of a party and am soo green I can't see straight! Shoot! Wonderful blog as always Penny! So very happy for Everyone who got to visit our family up North:) What a fantastic trip that I missed:( sorry, still sore I couldn't go. I will stop now and just say THANKS BN for letting us live your trip through your words!
Jul. 30, 2012 9:21 pm
Patty Cakes - You would have been in tears the entire time! I know you! I will post another blog with more pics and the stories of our adventures! I feel so blessed to have been a part of this monumental event!
Jul. 30, 2012 9:23 pm
great blog as always ;-) glad we had time to visit =) miss ya now Na'Na' TY I loved seeing everyone from before and meeting everyone that I hadn't before. Still overwhelmed...it was a great great trip.
Jul. 30, 2012 9:38 pm
Indeed, it was a great trip and over before I could blink an eye. Love having had time to visit with you Mis7up. I miss all of you, but these are memories I will cherish for ever. Thanks =)
Jul. 30, 2012 10:34 pm
Wonderful blog Baking Nana ~ but more importantly. I loved getting to meet wonderful you!
Jul. 31, 2012 5:45 am
Thank you apple.strudel. It was so good to meet you. I can't believe it is over.
Jul. 31, 2012 6:21 am
Great to meet you in "real life"; thanks for sharing your memories!
Jul. 31, 2012 6:35 am
lovetohost, what a treat it was to meet you - my only regret was not spending more time with each and every peep! These are memories to cherish for a life time.
Jul. 31, 2012 7:15 am
Very nice B'Nana! It's all about the peeps! My favorite thing about AR. Happy Birthday AR!!
Jul. 31, 2012 7:41 am
Hi there LadySparkle! Yep, it's the Peeps that AR so very special! You, my dear would love Seattle! ((((Hugs))) to you!
Jul. 31, 2012 7:55 am
Wow, what an uplifting, wonderful blog! So nice to hear what I already suspected about the AR staff/headquarters. Glad you all got to experience this and thanks so much for sharing it with us! This blog epitomizes why I continue to come back to this site!!
Jul. 31, 2012 9:28 am
Mi Being Mi - thanks for stopping in! I have always had a sense that AR was 'special' I just didn't know to what extent they go to maintain that positive, uplifting corporate culture. No wonder AR continues to be a good corner of our world. :)
Jul. 31, 2012 9:29 am
Great blog! What an amazing experience you got to attend!
Jul. 31, 2012 9:38 am
Thanks for stopping in CookandBakeGirl. Isn't AllRecipes amazing! I feel so blessed to have been included in this amazing adventure. :)
Jul. 31, 2012 10:26 am
Beautifully written,and lovely pictures.I have been on this site only 2 months,and very glad iam.Everyone is so helpful,it's just great.
Jul. 31, 2012 10:35 am
Welcome to AllRecipes, manella! Isn't this just the neatest community! People of all ages and different walks of life, bonded by this wonderful website. I am glad you found us!
Jul. 31, 2012 11:35 am
That's a front-cover magazine pic, Baking Nana! Looks like you really had the red carpet rolled out for you, and that everyone had a great time. Thanks for gathering our comments and speaking for us! I visit the AR site every day and enjoy it very much.
Jul. 31, 2012 11:45 am
We had a blast! XOXO ...and beautiful pics! I felt the same...AR Staff was so welcoming! They really put out the red carpet treatment for us all! I can't thank you enough Allrecipes!
Jul. 31, 2012 1:09 pm
Great blog Penny and so beautifully written! I miss you to pieces!
Jul. 31, 2012 2:15 pm
Penny, you have managed to put into words my feelings about the entire experience. It seemed like the day I was flying to Seattle would never come and then suddenly the entire weekend was over! I am missing Seattle and all the AR peeps terribly (even now, I'm typing through tears) and I certainly hope we can do it again!
Jul. 31, 2012 2:40 pm
wisweetp - thank you for the compliment on the photo - I managed to get that one really good night time pic - the others were blurry without a tri-pod. Amazingly, AR really likes our input! Like I said, not everything is "do-able" but they are working on it! I can't wait to see how AR grows and changes.
Jul. 31, 2012 2:46 pm
Cindy! Thanks for stopping in! We did have a blast, didn't we? What a special time this was. I can't believe it is over! Such precious memories!
Jul. 31, 2012 3:13 pm
Jillian!!!! What a great time I had with you! Your hubby is a keeper, for sure! It was so good to meet you. We will meet again, promise! BTW - how is the heck did you get up to get on your flight? I figured out that I got 20 1/2 hours sleep over the course of 5 days. It was worth every moment! :)
Jul. 31, 2012 3:16 pm
Keri, like you I can't believe this great event has come and gone. Look at the blessings that AllRecipes has brought us! I love all the positive energy! Brings tears to my eyes to remember it all.
Jul. 31, 2012 5:40 pm
Great blog! I enjoyed reading every word. All of y'all who went have had a different take on it (all happy experiences that I've read so far, though!) I enjoyed reading them all through your own perspective. Looks like y'all had a blast :)
Jul. 31, 2012 8:23 pm
Another great blog BN! We hit the town running, didn't we? So thankful to AR for this opportunity to meet.
Jul. 31, 2012 9:02 pm
Thanks Faith N - We do all have our own take on this trip and that is a good thing. I have loads of tales of the fabulous Peeps and adventures we had - I will blog about them too - first I had to try and 'bottle' the persona of AllRecipes. Thanks for stopping in.
Jul. 31, 2012 9:15 pm
Magnolia Blossom! What a great time we had! Time flew by, despite trying to deny the need for sleep. Thanks for being the adventurer that you are! Love you!
Aug. 1, 2012 9:52 am
I'm thrilled you got to go to Seattle and meet all the AR peeps that make this site so incredibly special. Like Cat said in another post, "It was the ULTIMATE round-up!"
Aug. 1, 2012 11:05 am
Candice! It was such a great adventure - my only regret was not making it down to see you. It was, indeed, the ultimate round-up!
Aug. 2, 2012 8:01 am
I always look forward to your blogs and as usual I'm never disappointed.
Aug. 2, 2012 1:01 pm
Thanks Penny! So glad you had a great time and were able to experience the AR family! We appreciate all your feedback and contributions!
Aug. 2, 2012 4:12 pm
Thanks bd.weld. AllRecipes headquarters is an amazing place, no wonder people love their website! Look at all the wonderful people that gather here. :) Including you, my friend.
Aug. 2, 2012 4:20 pm
Thank you so much for stopping in cookin! I can't express how grateful I am to have been afforded this opportunity & to have been so warmly welcomed. This was an amazing gift. :)
Aug. 3, 2012 4:37 pm
Nice job Penny! I'm making the rounds and having so much fun seeing all the photos and hearing what everyone did while they were there. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to meet face to face!
Aug. 4, 2012 10:53 am
Thanks for stopping in Valerie. It was wonderful to finally meet you. All the photos are great, aren't they? Wonderful memories were made that week. :)
Aug. 6, 2012 7:51 pm
Well, nifty noodles! Nicely reported, and sounds like you did a good job as ambassador for the home cooks who had made suggestions, and likely even for those who, like me...weren't paying close attention to the changes afoot. ;o)
Aug. 13, 2012 5:00 pm
Thanks Hezzy. It was a wonderful week. I am honored to be a brand ambassador for AllRecipes.
Aug. 14, 2012 9:12 am
Hi, BN! Glad you had a good time. I am jealous! :) Thanks again for relaying our suggestions to the top-dogs. Nice to know that the company's employees are as warm as the home cooks.
Aug. 23, 2012 3:27 pm
Sorry to be late replying to this Jacolyn - the people who make up AR Corporate are awesome - one of the reasons this site is as great as it is. It starts at the top!
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Baking Nana

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Walking, Fishing, Photography, Music, Charity Work

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive!
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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