The Contests

Week 33

February 10, 2010 • 8 Comments

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Congratulations to this week's winners!

KelseyTheNaptimeChef won this week's contest for Your Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Melissav won this week's contest for Your Best Way to Prepare Oysters with Grilled (or Broiled) Oysters with a Sriracha Lime Butter.


(KelseyTheNaptimeChef's Cooperstown, NY garden)

KelseyTheNaptimeChef

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

My parents have always had a big garden where they grow a lot of vegetables and herbs in the summer. From a very early age I would help them pick food from the garden for dinner, including carrots, tomatoes and rhubarb (my favorite!). The growing season is pretty short in Cooperstown NY, but they make the most of it in the backyard and rely on the local farms for almost everything else. Watching them garden, picking the food, Saturday mornings at the farmer's market - I am forever grateful for these experiences and how they taught me to appreciate food and cooking.

What's your least favorite food?

Smoked fish.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?

I have to say, my Pulled-Pork Tacos were pretty great, as was my Meyer Lemon Baked Rice Pudding.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

I've definitely had my share! Once I tried to make candied walnuts on a baking sheet and somehow got the ingredient measurements terribly wrong. Thus, I ended up wrapping walnuts into a overly sugary meringue batter and baking it until the entire pan was solid as a rock. When it had cooled down enough for me to touch I tried to crack open the meringue shell but it was a brick. I had to throw out the whole thing, pan and all!

What is your idea of comfort food?

Pasta, Buttery Croissants, Hot Chocolate (or Chocolate milkshakes in the summer!)

Apron or no apron?

I should wear an apron more often!

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

I love it when Grace Kelly and Cary Grant share a picnic of chicken and cold beers overlooking the Riviera in "To Catch a Thief." I also have to say the dining room in "Harry Potter" makes me swoon - all that delicious food appearing with the flick of a wand while the candles hover above!

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?

It's a three-way tie between Laurie Colwin, Alice Trillin and Julia Child.

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

C) I like to cook alone a lot because for me it is peaceful down time. I also enjoy cooking with friends, especially in the summer when we are doing a big meal outdoors and everyone is pitching in to shuck the corn, pour drinks and the like.

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 before, during and after. What can I say, it's the Virgo in me!


(Melissav, her mother and sister cook a Mother's Day feast)

Melissav

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

In college I was lucky enough to have roommates who loved food and cooking as much (or almost as much) as I did. We spent many nights and weekends collaborating on elaborate dinner parties and trying out new ideas and techniques. I always loved to cook but it was during this time that I learned to cook from my heart and not just from a recipe. 

What's your least favorite food?

Tripe. My husband is Colombian and every time we go to Colombia or a Colombian restaurant, he tries to coerce me into eating mondongo (a Colombian stew made with tripe) but I just can’t get it down. It may be more of a mind over matter thing, but I just can’t do it.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year? 

Does New Year's Eve count? We had a quiet night at home enjoying an awesome dinner on our balcony. We started with raw oysters on the half shell, then clams and chorizo in a saffron broth with carrots and fennel, followed by potato latkes made with a mix of sweet and yukon gold potatoes, half of which were topped with tenderloin in a horseradish cream and half of which were topped with seared scallops in a champagne caviar sauce. We were planning on making sundaes for dessert but we never made it that far. . . too much food and too many glasses of Champagne!

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

My sister and I were in elementary school and spent the night at my uncle's house. In the morning, we requested pancakes for breakfast. He gave us the box of pancake mix, a bowl, and a skillet and left the room (obviously, he didn't have children at the time). We had no idea what we were doing and within 30 minutes pancake batter was dripping from the walls and both of us. There have been other disasters along the years, but that is the first and most memorable. 

What is your idea of comfort food?

When I am sick, nothing beats a bowl of matzoh ball soup with a grilled cheese and a coke with no ice. That was always my mom's cure for anything that ailed us growing up. 

Apron or no apron?

Usually no apron but I really should never be without one. I never remember to put it on until it is too late. Not only do I completely lack grace but I’m also a major klutz so I almost always end up wearing what I am cooking (as does the floor, the counters, etc.). Luckily, I have a very patient husband.

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

That’s a tough one but the one that comes to mind first is the scene in "Pretty Woman" when Julia Roberts is having dinner at some fancy restaurant and her escargot shell goes flying across the room. I love that because I can totally imagine that happening to me.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?

My husband. There is no one I enjoy cooking and eating with more than him.  Cheesy but true . . .

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

C: Except for Thanksgiving and other holidays or family events. On those occasions, I always love being in the kitchen and cooking with my family. 

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.

I always start out with (a) and as things come to the end, it always gets a little crazy so it ends up at (c).  Luckily, my husband is very good at doing the dishes and all the other little tasks I hate like chopping herbs, grating cheese, peeling potatoes; however, I think he is starting to catch on that I am giving him all the grunt work.

Jump to Comments (8)

Comments (8)

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almost 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Love the stories/responses, love the photos! It's so good to see the amazing people behind all the amazing recipes. Love your recipes, too, by the way!! This (the winning cooks' responses) has become my favorite post, hands down, of the entire week. ;o)

Winnie100

almost 5 years ago WinnieAb

Congrats to all the lovely ladies- finalists and winners!

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almost 5 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Congratulations to all three of you -- all three recipes look great!

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almost 5 years ago Savorykitchen

Congratulations - making that cake this weekend methinks.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats winners and finalists! Well done!

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almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Congrats, winners! These are three great dishes for sure :)

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almost 5 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations to the winners for 3 super recipes. The makings for a perfect Valentines menu!

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almost 5 years ago mariaraynal

Congrats to the winners and finalists on more terrific recipes!