The Contests

WEEK 19

November 4, 2009 • 2 Comments

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Congratulations to this week's winners!

BigGirlPhoebz won the contest for Your Best "Ham and Cheese" with Prosciutto and Fontina Panini with Arugula Pesto.

KelseyTheNaptimeChef won the contest for Your Best Chocolate Cookie with Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies.

We asked them both to answer a few questions about cooking and eating.

 

BigGirlPhoebz

Is there a dish that you are known for among friends and family?

Sweet and Savory Moroccan Stew. I hosted a large party one night and apparently the next day all of the guys went home and asked their girlfriends to make Phoebe’s Moroccan Stew.

What's a food you really don't like?

Oranges. I know, it’s weird.

What is your favorite fall dish?

Semi-Sweet Potato Mash with Spiced Caramelized Onions. It’s been on our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember..

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

I used to get really nervous when my guests would arrive early and I’d have to finish off my dish right in front of them. When I moved into my first post-college apartment, I invited a few (new) friends over for dinner. I was planning on roasting some large chicken breasts and baking a rosemary potato galette. Basically, everything except the salad needed time in the oven. I noticed a half hour before my friends were to arrive that my pilot light was out. Luckily, I did have an early guest this time, and I proceeded to punish him for his punctuality by forcing him to stick his arm into my oven with a lit match. It didn’t work. And I was forced to make the whole meal stove top with the three of them gathered around watching me. Not a disaster in the end, but mortifying enough that every time I think about it, I start sweating.

What was the menu for the last dinner party you hosted?

It was a cocktail party actually…Corn Cakes with Lump Crab & Creme Fraiche; Eggplant Caponata Crostini with Pomegranate-Balsamic Drizzle; Butternut Squash and White Bean Bruschetta with Crispy Bacon & Sage; Asian Salmon Sliders with Pickled Shallots (my favorite!!) and Chili Mayonaisse.

Apron or no apron?

A very very frilly girly one that I never wear. Somehow I always get the dirtiest while eating…I should really put it on when I sit down to the table.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

Bridget Jones’ blue soup. I’ve never had a disaster like this one, but I found it heart-wrenchingly human and adorable.

What do you listen to (if anything) while you're in the kitchen?

Nina Simone when I feel like zoning out. Nerdy Show Tunes when I want to sing while I work.

You prefer to cook: a. during the day b. at night c. whenever

Late night. When I worked long hours at the office, I would usually make my dinner party meals the night before. By the time I got all the shopping done, it would be 9pm and I’d still have a few hours in front of me. I found it to be an incredibly relaxing way to wind down my day. And when I finally got to bed around midnight, after whatever pot had its ample time in the oven, my sheets would always smell slightly of chili, or stew.

When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook. b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking. c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

A and C. It’s always clean when the guests arrive. But if I have too much wine at dinner, the party’s aftermath remains in the sink until morning.


KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Is there a dish that you are known for among friends and family? 

My Roasted Eggplant and Prosciutto Lasagna is always a big hit, as is my Banana Bread.  

What's a food you really don't like?

Caviar. I know it is supposed to be a treasured delicacy, but I just don't like it.

What is your favorite fall dish?

Anything with pumpkin, savory or sweet. My latest favorite has been pumpkin risotto with pancetta.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

A few years ago when I was visiting my parents I put the kettle on to boil and left the room... Thankfully my brother walked through the kitchen a few minutes later before a true fire erupted. He ripped the entire kettle, with burner, off the stove and threw it into a snow pile in the backyard. Needless to say, my mother was not pleased. I have used an electric kettle for my tea ever since!

What was the menu for the last dinner party you hosted?

Our guests were vegetarians so I did a Green Salad with fall greens, baked pasta with roasted fall vegetables, and butterscotch pumpkin pie with vanilla whipped cream. The menu worked well because their toddler came over and all the kids liked the food, too. Also, we served Hardin wine, it's been a favorite of ours for the past few months.

Apron or no apron?

I am slowly getting better about wearing an apron. There is nothing like staining my favorite sweater to get me in the habit!

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?

The entire movie Chocolat. I love when Juliette Binoche's character spins the wheel and makes unique chocolates for her friends, when she makes the entire chocolate-themed dinner party, and when the priest wakes up in the chocolate window. I mean, it's a whole movie featuring chocolate and Johnny Depp - what's not to like?!

What do you listen to (if anything) while you're in the kitchen?

These days, any music NOT by Raffi or Susie Tallman. I prefer Coldplay or Keane if I have the time to set up the ipod.

You prefer to cook: a. during the day b. at night c. whenever

A: During my daughter's afternoon naptime of course! Or, after she goes to bed. We do like to do little baking projects together during the day, too.

When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook. b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking. c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.

A: Clean as I cook. I have an NYC galley kitchen, I like to keep it spotless.)

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Comments (2)

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over 5 years ago mariaraynal

Kelsey's cookies are out-of-this-world good. I had to restrain myself from grabbing the plate, finding a quiet corner and gobbling them up.

Phoebe's panini is so on my to-make list. I love the concept of pickled shallots and the combination of flavors.

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over 5 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

I am so glad you like the cookies! I agree, Phoebe's panini looks awesome!