The Contests

Week 27

December 30, 2009 • 10 Comments

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Congratulations to this week's contest winners!

TasteFood won the contest for Your Best Baked Ham with Smoked Ham with Pomegranate Molasses, Black Pepper and Mustard Glaze.

Helenthenanny won the contest for Your Best Holiday Cookie with Figgy Pudding Butter Cookies.

We asked them some questions about cooking and eating...

TasteFood

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.

We traveled and dined out a lot as a family when I grew up.  My parents enjoyed eating everything from all kinds of cuisines long before they were trendy. This trained me at an early age to try everything and embrace different food traditions, which I continue to do as an adult and share with my own children.

What's your most treasured kitchen tool?

My mortar and pestle.

What are some holiday dish(es) you make every year?

Santa Lucia Bread on December 13th, a Bûche Noël on Christmas Eve, homemade Gravlax for Christmas day.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

Many years ago I lived in a high rise apartment building in Harvard Square. I was boiling eggs for a potato salad, and my brother called me on the telephone. I went in the bedroom to take the call, and forgot about the eggs. That is, until the fire alarm went off in the building. The water in my pot had evaporated and the smoke set off the fire alarm. All 10 floors had to be evacuated.

What was last best restaurant meal you ate?

Mediterranean/Moroccan Cuisine at Aziza in San Francisco.

Apron or no apron?

No apron.

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

The never-ending feast in Babette's Feast, especially since my husband is Danish.  I love the concept of communicating and showing gratitude through food, which is a universal language no matter where you are.

What is your favorite thing about your kitchen? Least favorite?

It's large open-plan design with a big island, so there is plenty of room for family and guests. Least favorite? South facing windows that bring in so much light and heat in the summer, I need sunglasses to work.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on my mood

Depends. Usually alone, but I enjoy cooking with my children, 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.

Clean as I cook.


Helenthenanny

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.

Watching the cooking show Two Fat Ladies with my sister (arielleclementine) is my earliest and fondest food experience. I remember an episode when those bawdy women hollowed out a loaf of bread and stuffed it with beef, potatoes, peas, onions, and gravy. It was magical and inspiring. Today I continue to be inspired by the simple and perfect food that my sister makes every day.

I worship my good knives.

What are some holiday dish(es) you make every year?

I make really wonderful cheese plates for every pre-holiday meal so everyone has a little something to nosh on. My last cheese plate consisted of a triple cream, brie style cheese called Delice de Bourgogne with dried pears, a triple milk cheese called Iberico served with Membrillo, Roquefort Papillon with dried figs, and one of Cypress Grove's aged goat cheeses called Midnight Moon, just to name a few! I could talk about cheese all day.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

Whenever I read from recipes, it is almost always a disaster because I am famous for reading measurements wrong. If you tell me to add 3/4 cup of butter, I will invariably add 3 3/4 cup, and then pout when I serve my oily blobs where cookies should be. And, no, the irony isn't lost on me.

What was last best restaurant meal you ate?

I recently ate at Parkside on 6th here in Austin Texas and it was really wonderful. I ate lots of things, but the fluke with lemon and marcona almonds and salmon with apple and mustard from their raw bar was especially delicious.

Apron or no apron?

I only wear aprons on special occasions, like when I'm having a dinner party.

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

There are so many! I love the way the food looks in the scary feast scene of Pan's Labyrinth, and when The Trunchbull orders Bruce Bogtrotter to eat the massive chocolate cake in Matilda.

What is your favorite thing about your kitchen? Least favorite?

I love that my kitchen is very large and has more than enough counter space, but I don't like that I live on the outskirts of Austin, in the country, with no one but the cows to keep me company while I cook.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on my mood

I prefer b. with others! I love to have company while I cook.

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. I clean as I cook! Usually...

 

 

 

 

Comments (10)

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Yes yes me too, thank you for all the comments! And Congratulations Tastefood!

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over 4 years ago TasteFood

Thanks Helenthenanny - congratulations to you too!

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over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

My older son absolutely adores Calmyrna figs, so I plan to make him a batch before he goes back to school late next week . . . . Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe. I knew the day you first posted it that it would be a winner!!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Oh I hope he likes them! I need to make them for the wee ones that I nanny for too! Arabella (3 yr old) loves figs. Please let me know and thank you : )
And I s'pose we could leave the brandy out of the icing? Or its fine because the alcohol cooks off anyway?

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over 4 years ago TasteFood

Thank you everyone for your comments! Happy New Year!

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over 4 years ago The Internet Cooking Princess

Love reading these bios - congrats ladies! Can't wait to see what you cook up in the new year!

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over 4 years ago mariaraynal

Congrats! Two more great recipes for the cookbook...

Winnie100

over 4 years ago WinnieAb

Yay! Congrats to two more awesome cooks!

Lnd_jen

over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Congrats to the winners!

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over 4 years ago Helenthenanny

Thank you so much y'all, I really appreciate it!