Winner of Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert

November 24, 2010

Congratulations to drbabs, whose Ginger Apple Torte won this week's contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert -- earning her a $200 gift card from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from Viking and OXO, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!


drbabs Ginger Apple Torte

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Q&A with drbabs

Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking.
When I was growing up, my mother cooked regular meals, but it was my father who cooked the special ones. Fresh-caught catfish filets soaked in milk and dry mustard, dipped in cornmeal and fried to golden deliciousness; steak that he would inject with pureed garlic (and God knows what else) before grilling; beef and chicken marinating for hours in spicy liquid. He made cooking look fun and special and wonderful.

What's your least favorite food?
Definitely liver. It's a texture thing.

What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
The best thing I made this year (and maybe ever) was ENunn's Shrimp and Grits Style Risotto, which I was testing for food52. It was an enormous amount of work -- and I'm a person who likes to cook simply -- but it was so worth the extra effort. It was incredible.

Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.

Not so spectacular, but here's what comes to mind. I make a wonderful apple pie. It's a pie that I've made so many times that I can make it in my sleep, and it always gets raves. My husband loves it and brags about my pie to his friends. Last year we had a dinner party and he asked me to make the pie. When I cut into it, the apples had turned to mush and the pie ran all over the place. It still tasted good, but it was nothing to rave about. Here's what I learned: when you make apple pie, you need fresh apples if you want them to hold their shape.

What is your idea of comfort food?

Fried eggs on toast, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, a runny grilled cheese sandwich… food that is soft and warm and, well, comforting.

Apron or no apron?
I actually bought an apron this year after I ruined yet another brand new shirt. But I never remember to wear it. So no apron.

What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
Recently, the two that come to mind are the scene in It's Complicated in which Meryl Streep's character teaches Steve Martin's character to make croissants. And Julie and Julia -- everything that demonstrated Julia Child's joy in learning to cook. (Interesting that Meryl Streep is in both…)

If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
My family is spread out all over the place and we are rarely together at the same time. I would love to cook a meal for all of them (but they would have to stay out of the kitchen).

You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
Alone. Definitely alone. As in, get out of my way.

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 clean as I cook. Can't stand messiness in the kitchen.

  • Mardi Grasdrbabs & family
  • Drbabs with a King Cake at Mardi Gras (left) and with her parents and daughter Allie


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Midge
  • monkeymom
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • fiveandspice
  • aargersi
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Midge November 27, 2010
Congrats drbabs. Didn't get to make this for T-day but it's a definite for the holidays.
drbabs November 27, 2010
Thanks, Midge! I hope you enjoy it.
monkeymom November 25, 2010
way to go drbabs! Big congrats!
drbabs November 25, 2010
Thanks, monkeymom! Happy Thanksgiving!
Kitchen B. November 25, 2010
drbabs - Congratulations........................Have a blessed Thanksgiving
drbabs November 25, 2010
Thanks KB; you, too!
fiveandspice November 25, 2010
Congratulations on a well deserved win! This is such a wonderful cake!
drbabs November 25, 2010
Thanks--I'm so glad you like it. Happy Thanksgiving!
aargersi November 25, 2010
YAY Dr Babs you rock! Very well deserved - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
drbabs November 25, 2010
Thanks, aargersi--Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
nannydeb November 25, 2010
Congratulations again and Happy Thanksgiving!
drbabs November 25, 2010
Thanks, nannydeb! Happy Thanksgiving!
Jennifer A. November 25, 2010
Congratulations! I cannot wait to make this.
drbabs November 25, 2010
Thanks--I hope you and your family enjoy it!
lapadia November 25, 2010
Lovely, thanks for sharing your story and pictures, congrats again!
drbabs November 25, 2010
lreissod November 24, 2010
We are very proud and we will be happy for you to cook alone at the beach this summer. You make the list and we will buy the groceries. Love,hugs and kisses....MOM& DAD
drbabs November 25, 2010
Love you, too--see you soon!
lrgrush November 24, 2010
I'm so proud of you!!! You can cook for us when you come in for Christmas. I'll donate my kitchen and I WILL stay out! Happy Thanksgiving! Love you!
Top Chef is waiting!
drbabs November 25, 2010
Love you, seestor!
Kelsey B. November 24, 2010
Congrats drbabs! I stand with you on liver, too, can't quite do it...
drbabs November 24, 2010
Thanks, Kelsey! Happy Thanksgiving!
WinnieAb November 24, 2010
Yay! I may still make this tomorrow...if not, it will be soon...congrats!
drbabs November 24, 2010
Thanks Winnie! Happy Thanksgiving!
Kayb November 24, 2010
Congrats, drbabs -- Have a great NOLA Thanksgiving!
drbabs November 24, 2010
Thanks, Kayb--you, too!
mick-cook November 24, 2010
Woo hoo -- so proud of YOU!
drbabs November 24, 2010
Love you Seestor!
lastnightsdinner November 24, 2010
Congratulations! All you food52 folks are determined to make a baker out of me with these great-sounding recipes ;)
drbabs November 24, 2010
Thanks--have a happy Thanksgiving! Baking is fun!
mama H. November 24, 2010
i voted and you won. so what are you going to buy me?
drbabs November 24, 2010
flip flops
mrslarkin November 24, 2010
Yay, drbabs! Congratulations! I will make this when I am in a baking mood. ;-)
drbabs November 24, 2010
Thanks mrslarkin! You probably could use a break from baking!
dymnyno November 24, 2010
Congratultions! Happy thanksgiving too!!
drbabs November 24, 2010
To you, too! I'm glad you're OK after the earthquake!
ashleychasesdinner November 24, 2010
Congrats drbabs!! I am so happy for you! I love the picture of you with your parents and daughter. My daughter has dark hair and brown eyes as well. I just have to assume people know she is mine-LOL!
drbabs November 24, 2010
healthierkitchen November 24, 2010
well done drbabs! Have a lovely Thanksgiving.
drbabs November 24, 2010
Thanks--you, too!