The Contests

WEEK 7

August 14, 2009 • 0 Comments

Congratulations to this week's winners!

KelseyTheNaptimeChef won the contest for Your Best Zucchini or Summer Squash Recipe with Zucchini-Lemon Cookies

ChefGwen won the contest for Your Best Cold Soup with Chilled Cantaloupe Soup

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

 

KelseyTheNaptimeChef

KelseyTheNaptimeChef

What is the dish that you are best known for among friends and family?

It is a toss up between my Roasted Eggplant & Prosciutto Lasagna and my super-moist Zucchini-Applesauce Bread.

Describe a memory that has influenced the way you cook or think about food.

In my family everyone, including my father, is a great cook. Some of my earliest memories are about our holiday meals with my grandparents. Every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas I would watch in awe as at least 6 adults tried to cram into my parent's kitchen to help out and put their own touches on each dish. It was a circus! From them I learned that food is love, a family table doesn't have to be fancy or overly done to be a happy place to eat and enjoy one another. When I think about food now I don't stress about exotic dishes and expensive ingredients, I just like the people I feed to be happy.

What is your idea of comfort food?

I am a carb-o-holic! So, pasta, fresh baguettes, chocolate chip cookies and croissants. I am an Atkins nightmare. 

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

My parent's still recount my blender disaster in hilarious, and often embarrassing, detail. After getting my braces tightened in 7th grade my mouth was sore so I decided to make a smoothie since I couldn't chew. I had watched my Mom do it dozens of times so I thought I knew what I was doing. I piled in strawberries, yogurt, a raw egg (for protein) and some blueberries until the blender was filled to the brim. Then I hit "blend." Without the top on. Needless to say the mess was extraordinary. My father had to unscrew the light bulbs in the kitchen's recessed lighting because the red glop had literally hit the ceiling! I will never, ever live that down. 

If you were able to plant something in the White House garden, what would it be?

Fairytale eggplant. I adore eggplant and love this variety. It is delicious in many dishes and so sweet and pretty to look at.

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

I am a fan of Pandora. I type in "U2" or "Coldplay" and let the tunes pick themselves while I get absorbed in the kitchen.

 

Apron or no apron?

No apron. But I need to get better about using one. I spend a small fortune on stain sticks. 

If you had to choose the cuisine of one country (other than the U.S.) to cook and eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Italy. And, not just because of the pasta. I love the overall style and taste of Italian cuisine.

 

What taste do you crave most often? a) Sweet, b) Salty, c) Sour, d)Bitter, e) Umami

Sweet and Salty, often together like in a chocolate covered pretzel. 

When it comes to tidying up, you prefer to: 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 am a classic Virgo and like to keep things tidy.  


ChefGwen

ChefGwen

What is the dish that you are best known for among friends and family?

Probably the chicken-fried steak I made when I was 14. I cut up the steak in the Styrofoam package it came in, breaded it, fried it, and watched with horror as my brother began pulling pieces of plastic out of his mouth as he chewed my first-ever attempt at cooking. Didn't cook for another 20 years. 

Describe a memory that has influenced the way you cook or think about food.

I didn't start cooking until my early 30's (see question #1). The revelation that cooking could be fun and rewarding came during my first trip to my husband's grandmother's house after we first married. All the women were gathered in the kitchen, laughing, sharing, cooking -- and they welcomed me, a novice who couldn't boil water, into their fold with loving arms -- and a glass of wine. It made me want to learn how to cook.  

 What is your idea of comfort food?

Anything that is covered in gravy or cheese, or better yet, both.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

Should I go with the exploding gingerbread cake or the blender fiasco that resulted in scalding tomato soup all over me and the counter, walls, floor? (Probably still have specks of red hidden here and there.)  

If you were able to plant something in the White House garden, what would it be?

I'd plant a cornucopia of herbs because any kind of food can be elevated with a hit of tarragon or basil or thyme.

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

The Coffee House Channel on Sirius satellite radio. It's a soothing mix of acoustic singer/songwriters that goes with any dish. 

 

Apron or no apron?

You mean my shirttail doesn't count? No apron, although I should wear a full-on bib. I'm a messy cook. 

If you had to choose the cuisine of one country (other than the U.S.) to cook and eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Mexican food. I love the vibrant flavors of the four c's I most associate with Mexican cuisine: chiles, corn, citrus, cilantro. 

 

What taste do you crave most often? a) Sweet, b) Salty, c) Sour, d)Bitter, e) Umami

Crave sweets. 

When it comes to tidying up, you prefer to: 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

Even though I clean as a go, somehow I always end up with a pretty big pile at the end of the meal. Fortunately, my irresistible husband generally tackles them for me.

 

 

 

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