The Contests

Week 51

June 16, 2010 • 15 Comments

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Congratulations to this week's winners!

Heena won this week's contest for Your Best Strawberries with Pistachio Meringue Stack with Rose Cream and Strawberries.

Heena Pistachio Meringue Stack with Rose Cream and Strawberries

Monkeymom (her monkeys pictured below) won this week's contest for Your Best Pork Sandwich with Caramelized Pork Bánh Mì.

Monkeymom's kids at the beach Caramelized Pork Bánh Mì

 

Q&A with Heena

  • Tiramisu Crepe Cake
  • Heena's Tiramisu Crepe Cake

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
The first memory I have of making something completely on my own was baking my first cake. I don't remember what kind it was or why I was making it. What I do remember is creaming the butter and sugar and having it turn into this pale mass, light as air, and then whipping the egg whites until they transformed from this plain translucent liquid into a shiny glossy cloud. I didn't know egg whites could look like that. I had discovered the alchemy of cooking, not only in the transformation that simple ingredients undergo to become something fabulous, but also in the inevitable change in people's mood when served with a well-cooked meal.

What's your least favorite food?
Okra (or ladyfinger as it is called in India, not to be confused with the biscuit, which I adore)

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
A tiramisu crepe cake (pictured above)

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
A cake that I over-baked so much that it was difficult to cut it even with a knife. This was when I had just started baking and followed recipe directions scrupulously, unaware that all ovens run at different temperatures. Although it wasn't as bad, it reminded me of the cartoons where they throw a cake down and it bounces. I cut the cake into tiny portions and disguised it in a sundae. The ice cream and fudge sauce softened the cake and no one knew.

What is your idea of comfort food?
Anything that reminds me of home, is cooked long and slow, or has copious amounts of cheese or chocolate in it.

Apron or no apron?
No apron.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Amy Adams and the lobsters in Julia and Julia, and the chocolate-making scenes in, well, Chocolat

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

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
It depends on my mood (and how soon the guests are arriving)

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
Do all the dishes once I've finished cooking (I'm wishing the answer was a or c)


Q&A with Monkeymom

  • Rabbit-proof garden Brioche
  • Monkeymom's rabbit-proof garden (left) and her contribution to her husband's quest for the perfect burger: Light Brioche Buns from Smitten Kitchen via the New York Times

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
My family used to take road trips during summer vacations all over California in a little VW rabbit, stopping at local restaurants along the way. I remember getting a cow-shaped cup at the old Milk Farm on the 80. I would only use that cup for a long time after because I was sure my milk tasted better from it. Another time we stopped at a diner in the Sierra foothills and I had a chicken salad sandwich for the first time. It had chunky chicken, apples, celery, and almonds. We loved it and made it at home that way for years. I can't wait for summertime to find new treasures with my kids!

What's your least favorite food?
Though I admire their beauty, I use to hate red radishes. They are spicy in an unpleasant way to me when eaten raw. But I was recently converted to a red radish lover by an article in the New York Times by Melissa Clark about roasted radishes. I can't get enough of them browned with a little butter and salt. Through the sandwich challenge, I also learned I love them pickled. So I am trying to be open minded about all foods I think I hate.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
Since the bread challenge, I've been making lots of different kinds of breads. I love AntoniaJames' Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread and MrsWheelbarrow's Challah. It feels like a big accomplishment every time a fresh loaf comes out of the oven.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
Kaykay made Amanda's beautiful almond cake (aka The Almond Cake That Will Save Your Soul) for a dinner party at my house. She needed to whip some cream to serve with it and asked where my sugar was. I remembered I had a glass canister of vanilla sugar in my cupboard and handed it to her. She served the cake and I heard someone making "Oh! Ack!" noises.  Turns out I had handed her a similar looking canister of baking soda by accident (I thought keeping it in an airtight container would keep it fresher). Whoops! Good thing kaykay is so good-natured and that we still had some heavy whipping cream left...that cake is amazing.

What is your idea of comfort food?
Hot pot with the family. Each person gets to cook little pieces of meat and veggies in a big pot of soup that simmers on a hot plate in the middle of the table. My husband makes a great dip for the just-cooked meat that has spicy chili sauce and egg yolks. The soup gets richer and more delicious as the meal progresses.

Apron or no apron?
Hopelessly, forever, no apron.

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

I recently saw Eat Drink Man Woman again. At the end of the movie, the daughter makes soup for her dad, a famous chef that has lost his sense of taste. He takes a sip of her soup and starts complaining about how she made it. She quickly becomes very defensive and they start to argue but then they both realize that he can actually taste HER soup. It really shows how family can simultaneously drive you nuts and touch your heart.

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
The Obama family and my family. At their house, using ingredients from their beautiful garden. Prepared with help from Chef Comerford and the pastry chef Bill Yosses. We'd have something grilled and just chill out.

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
b. I like to have someone keep me company in the kitchen.

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
C, absolutely. But it is (usually) worth it.

Comments (15)

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Amazing recipes. Can't wait to try them both. Congrats to Heena and monkeymom!

Sunshine_in_my_glass

almost 4 years ago Heena

Thank you all for your lovely comments and support. I just discovered Food52 a few weeks back and it's been such a fun ride. All the amazing people and recipes here truly inspire you to create something wonderful.

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almost 4 years ago lapadia

The Brioche Rolls and Tiramisu Crepe Cake look Marvelous…Bravo to you!!

Sunshine_in_my_glass

almost 4 years ago Heena

The Tiramisu Crepe Cake was partly inspired from Amanda's article in the New York Times - Building a Modern, Multistoried Dessert. I'm planning to add the recipe here soon. In the meanwhile, you can check it out here if you'd like.

Sunshine_in_my_glass

almost 4 years ago Heena

Posted the Tiramisu Crepe Cake recipe as promised.

Monkeys

almost 4 years ago monkeymom

Thank you food52 editors for posting the picture of my kids. It was a surprise and really I got very choked up when I saw it. And a big thanks to all you community members for being so inspiring and supportive!

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations to you both! And welcome to Heema--this was your first entry, right?

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oops! Heena...sorry!!

Sunshine_in_my_glass

almost 4 years ago Heena

Yep, it was : ) Thanks for the warm welcome.

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almost 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Huge congrats to both winners. And again I just loved reading the interviews. Monkeymom's Brioche rolls look absolutely perfect, and Heena's Tiramisu Crepe Cake looks nothing short of amazing!!

Sunshine_in_my_glass

almost 4 years ago Heena

Thanks! I've never been 'interviewed' before : )

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almost 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Big congrats on great recipes and of course such fun to read the Q&As ....

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almost 4 years ago Aliwaks

Woohoo! Fabulous stuff ladies!

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Great recipes, winners and finalists. Congrats!

Lnd_jen

almost 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Congratulations to the winners (and finalists, too) for your mouthwatering contributions!