Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest & Giveaway – RECIPE #1

Welcome to my latest contest and giveaway. Are you a Master or a Disaster Baker? Let’s find out!

Self-proclaimed “Disaster Baker” Rebecka Evans hosts this bake along contest and giveaway. TV personality www.passionforbaking.com Manuela Kjeilen will handpick 6 recipes for the competition; the grand prize winner will walk away with a Ankarsrum USA stand mixer. Another lucky contestant will win a “Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela “The Baking Book”. Are you ready to take the challenge?

CONTEST STARTS TODAY 6/24/2018:

Today marks the beginning of our contest as we start with our first recipe in the series; Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake.

RECIPE #1

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocha Meringues Ice Cream Cake by Manuela Kjeilen  All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rule HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #1:

The first recipe is a mocha meringues ice cream cake with a gooey almond crust, I want them [that’s you] to taste how we make our cakes in Norway, Almonds crust we use a lot. I think they will love this one! 

I think she is right! This ice cream cake has everything: mocha ice cream, coffee flavored meringues, and gooey almond crust; it’s absolutely delicious. 

The challenge begins today with my attempt to recreate Manuela’s baked masterpiece: Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. I’ll post a photo of my rendition for the world to see. The contestants that choose to take the challenge will bake along with me and post a photo of their attempt to recreate Manuela’s beautiful recipes. 

The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE: In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

I am an award winning home-cook and a DISASTER baker. 

The fact is I want to create beautifully baked masterpieces and learn from the best. However as I get closer to recreating Manuela’s recipes for the series, I begin to experience some serious anxiety. The anxious feelings led to a few sleepless nights as I wondered  how I was going to feel about posting failed recipes. This has been brutal; and it even led me to call in a close friend Lisa Keys, owner of the Good Grief Cook  to seek council for my anxiety as I was melting down over my failed Mocca Meringues for this recipe.

Despite all of Lisa’s advice, my bad luck prevailed and the recipe didn’t turn out. I was well aware the fault was my own because I didn’t follow Manuela’s instruction to “add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time,” so the meringue mixture lost its fluff.

Part of why baking is so difficult for me is due to the slow and tedious process of adhering to the recipe’s exact measurements. It’s a real struggle to stay attentive as your work you way through a recipe; especially when you have to add 2 cups of hot sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Here’s how my mind works as I begin my first bake:

The hot sugar comes out of the oven and I start to make the meringues. Checking and re-checking the directions I then pour the egg whites into my stunning Black Pearl Ankarsrum Mixer, and watch as they begin to transform. I stare mesmerized my mind wanders off: “I’m so blessed that Ankarsrum sponsored my contest with a mixer for the winner and so nice for them to send me one as well.”  A few more minutes pass and then I add more sugar. I admire how beautiful the egg whites look as they dance between the beaters when a question comes to mind: “Did I heat the sugar too long and is it cooling off too fast?”  I ponder for a moment, and I quickly reassure myself that everything is okay as I tell myself: “No. You followed the directions and they look fine.” I add more sugar and I hear thunder crack and I begin to worry about the weather, and another question comes to mind,  “Will the rain effect the barometric pressure and ruin my meringues?” Mind you, I’ve only added 1/2 a cup of hot sugar at this point and my blood pressure is rising. Then my mind screams at me, “Oh no, should I stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl or will that mess up my meringue?” My answers,”Yes, I’ll stop the mixer and scrape the sides. Dear Lord, that was a bad idea! The meringue looks weird, I should have left it alone.”

More sugar is added and I hear my favorite song on the radio,”Tennessee whisky, Tennessee whisky,” George Jones has such a beautiful voice, I love that song. I start singing along. George is done singing and I’m still standing there adding sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, I want to be done. After what seems like 30 minutes (in reality probably only 12) I think, “How in the world can it hurt to add more than 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time?” I knew the minute I threw in the rest of  the sugar my meringue had broken, what a disaster. 

Unfortunately since I didn’t follow the directions, the Mocca Meringues were wet and difficult to pipe, rendering them almost impossible to cook properly; they were undercooked and gooey on the inside regardless of my effort to cook them 20 minutes longer than the recipe calls for.

Even though the product didn’t turn out as hoped, I still tried to present my “disaster” beautifully in my photo. My attempt to disguise the ugliness of my creation failed, as it turned out to be more like trying to put lipstick on a pig than food styling!

On the bright side, the Mocca Meringues get crushed up and added to the ice cream cake and were so good that my husband even mentioned how much he liked the “chewy things” in the ice cream!

You see, we never know how it’s going to turn out unless we try! I promise from now on that I will follow the recipe and do as Manuela instructs because without her guidance it’s seemingly impossible for me to execute the recipe with perfection. 

failed mocca meringues

I know this makes absolutely no sense to “Master Bakers,”but for someone like me, baking recipes way outside my comfort zone makes me feel like crying. Therefore, being transparent about my failed recipes is difficult to say the least. As if my disaster attempt at the recipe wasn’t enough, I managed to finish my first day of baking by dropping my favorite glass mixing bowl onto the tile floor; shattering it into pieces! 

As Manuela says, “Practice, practice, practice! The more you bake the more you learn,” and intend to challenge myself  because I aspire to succeed in the same way Manuela excelled until she became the Master Baker she is today! 

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Mocca Meringue Ice Cream Cake above, say hello to my rendition:

mocca meringue cake becks

Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans Recipe by Passion for Baking.comMocca Slice

Working to present the cake as best I could despite my set backs, the cake looks scrumptious. I even utilized my ugly mocca meringues to style the photo.

The almond crust was super easy to make once I got the hang of whipping egg whites and following the directions! I over baked the crust a bit and had some trouble keeping the cake frozen enough to get a good photo before the Texas heat began to creep in; and for a first attempt I think I did a pretty good job.  

My family loved the flavors of the cake, but especially loved the coffee ice-cream. It’s so rich and super easy to make. Plus, there is no need for an ice-cream machine! This cake is so delicious despite my failed Mocca Meringues. I plan to make the Meringues again to work on my technique.

What I Love About This Challenge:

I have pushed myself to operate outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added three delicious new recipes to my baking repertoire; almond cake, no churn mocca ice cream, and mocca meringues. I also feel more accomplished as a baker after my first bake, I hope you will too! 

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake Notes:
  1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, and cooking spray
  2. Invest in some vanilla bean paste for all of Manuela’s recipes. I use Cambie Confections Pure Vanilla Bean Paste 
  3. Don’t freak out over making the Mocca Meringues like I did.
  4. Follow the recipe! When Manuela says,  “Add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time” listen!
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  6. Don’t over bake the almond cake. Make sure you watch your timer closely to make sure you get the perfect golden brown
  7. If you or your family suffer from nut allergies you can substitute crushed cookies when the recipe calls for ground almonds

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe, however if you need step by step instruction after reading Manuela’s recipe then please check out her helpful how to videos.

(Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by July 1, 2018 Midnight CST.

Manuela's Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake
Serves 6
Photo is my version of Manuela's recipe for the Contest and Giveaway
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Almond Base
  1. 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 2 cups (220 gram) powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, optional
  4. 2 cups (250 gram) ground almonds (Nut Allergy: substitute your favorite crushed cookie)
Mocha Ice Cream
  1. 2 1/2 cups ( 500 ml ) heavy cream, cold
  2. 5 oz(150 ml) sweetened condensed milk, cold ( see note below ↓)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  4. 2-3 tablespoon strong espresso coffee, cold (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
  5. 12-15 Mocca meringues, crushed into small pieces (or crushed cookies)
MOCCA MERINGUES
  1. Makes ( 40 pieces)
  2. 2 cups (400-gram) superfine sugar or sugar
  3. 3/4 Cups (200-gram) egg whites
  4. seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod, optional
  5. 2 tbsp. espresso powder (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
  6. lemon juice for cleaning the bowl and whisk
  7. You will need...
  8. piping bag
  9. wilton 1M nozzle
Before you start
  1. Wipe a stainless-steel bowl and the whisk attachment, of a standing mixer, with a paper towel moistened with lemon juice.
  2. This step is done to eliminate any trace of grease, which would hinder the egg whites from stiffening.
Mocca Meringues
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C° / 392 F°
  2. Line two large baking trays with a silicone mat, or use parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Prepare the standing mixer, by wiping the standing mixer bowl and whisk with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
  4. Line a medium baking tray with baking parchment, pour in the sugar and warm it in the oven for 7 minutes. ( use a timer)
  5. A soon as the sugar is in the oven, right away pour the egg whites into a mixer and whisk them slowly for some minutes, allowing small stabilizing bubbles to form, then increase the speed to medium so the meringues become stiff peaks.
  6. When you have 30 seconds left of the sugar being in the oven, turn your mixer up to high speed.
  7. Take the sugar out of the oven, and turn the oven down to 225 F° (100 C°)
  8. With your mixer on full speed, very slowly add one teaspoon of the hot sugar into the beaten egg whites, take your time when you do this, and don’t be tempted to add more than one teaspoon at a time. (She means it...don't lose your mind and start adding more sugar)
  9. Make sure the mixture comes back up to stiff peaks after each teaspoon of sugar
  10. Once you have added all the sugar, add the seeds of the vanilla bean pod, and continue to whisk on full speed until you have a smooth, stiff and glossy mixture and all of the sugar is incorporated.
  11. Add the espresso powder and continue to mix for one minutt more.
  12. You will need a disposable piping bag and a wilton 1M nozzle, place the nozzle in the bag and cut the tip-off.
  13. Spoon your meringues mixture into a large piping bag.
  14. If you are using parchment paper to pipe the meringues on, you will need to add some meringues mixture underneath the parchment paper below so it sticks to the baking tray.
  15. Pipe out your meringue swirls, ( watch the video https://youtu.be/ovia5m9JhEE)
  16. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the meringue bases come off the parchment paper clean.
  17. These mocca meringues keeps well for 2 weeks, in a container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
Directions for the Almond Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line a 9-inch (24 cm) round springform pan with parchment paper, grease the sides and set aside.
  2. Combine one cup of the confectioners’ sugar with the ground almonds in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the egg whites into the bowl and beat on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form about 1 minute.
  4. Increase the speed to high then add the remaining powdered or confectioners’ sugar, one spoonful at a time.
  5. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy and thick.
  6. Add the vanilla and combine with a spatula.
  7. With a silicone spatula, fold in the ground almonds and powdered /confectioners’ sugar mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
  9. Use your spatula to spread evenly and to eliminate any air bubbles.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Do not over bake this cake! )Manuela bakes her cake base 25 minutes because she loves her almond cake gooey on the inside. I over baked mine but it still tasted great!)
  12. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, proceed to make the Mocha ice cream.
Directions for the Mocha Ice Cream
  1. Pour cold heavy cream into a bowl, whisk until fluffy, and cold sweet condensed milk and with a spatula combine.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and with a spatula combine. (you can skip this step if you don’t have vanilla)
  3. Add the cold strong espresso coffee, followed by the crushed mocca meringues and blend together with a spatula.
  4. Have a taste if you feel you want more coffee flavor, add a spoonful cold espresso coffee, and with a spatula combine.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cooled almond crust, tap the pan on the counter a few times to make the ice-cream layer is even.
  6. Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight, covered well.
  7. This ice cream cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  8. 20 minutes before serving, take the ice cream cake out of the fridge.
  9. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Sweet condensed milk usually comes in tins 14oz / 400g by weight, which equals 1 1/4 cups (10 oz / 300 ml by volume)
  2. Have a great day you all. Love Manuela xo
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

http://
CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST
 
 
 
 



Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest & Giveaway Announcement

 
Welcome to my latest contest and giveaway: “Are you a Master or a Disaster Baker?” Let’s find out!

 

Self-proclaimed “Disaster Baker” Rebecka Evans hosts this bake along contest and giveaway. TV personality www.passionforbaking.com Manuela Kjeilen will be handpicking 6 recipes for the competition. One lucky first place winner will walk away with a Ankarsrum USA stand mixer and second place will receive The Baking Book, written by Passion for Baking’s Manuela Kjeilen.  Are you ready to take the challenge?

Manuela Kjeilen

All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien,

A Photo of Manuela Kjeilen – Norwegian born award-winning blogger, “Master Home Baker,” and my inspiration for this challenge.

Manuela is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She is the writer, baker, and photographer behind passionforbaking.com   [Manuela’s goal is] “to inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen.” 

I met Manuela for the first time in November 2015 at the First Annual World Food Championships Blogger Summit  in Orlando, Florida; where she was one of the Summits keynote speakers. Manuela shared her story and expressed her passion for baking. During the time we spent at the Summit, I assisted Manuela impromptu at one of her cooking demos and we quickly became friends. It’s amazing how cooking can bring people together.

I learned that Manuela’s life story was filled with disappointments and adversity; and I was inspired by her ability to heal and show grace. Months before Manuela began her baking blog, her husband suffered a severe stroke. Manuela’s family lost everything, including the business her husband worked painstakingly to build. Manuel turned her passion for baking into a business to provide for her family by posting photos of her beautifully baked desserts to Facebook; eventually leading to her decision to start a blog in March of 2010. It says a lot about Manuela’s character, especially as a women that did not graduate high school and suffers from dyslexia, to overcome adversity and use her strength and constant faith to build a successful business for the purpose of providing for her family.

Passion for Baking

Manuela Passion for Baking

All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien,

Although she started her business in the midst of caring for her husband and family,  she found comfort in baking. Manuela enlisted help as she started her blog, as a friend corrected her spelling and helped her with posts. Manuela also asked her growing fan-base for feedback and input. Manuela even visited neighbors, proposing that if they brought eggs and flour she could bake something for them to feature on her blog. When Manuela speaks of her road to success, she explains how she managed the struggle of providing for her family: “Taking one day at a time, I kept going forward and one year later I received an award for Norway’s most BELOVED BLOGGER”.  Since that time Manuela was offered a book deal and her first cookbook, Love, Manuela, is the namesake for this contest. Manuela has also published eight books, and her TV show, Manuela’s Sweet Temptations, is a huge success in Norway.

Source: “The Baking Book”  Love Manuela 

I am blessed to have met Manuela 4 years ago, and I’m proud to call her my friend. I hope to do her recipes justice as I take on the difficult challenge of baking like Manuela.

Things You Should Know About Me:

I am an award winning home-cook and a self proclaimed DISASTER baker!

As a savory cook, I enjoy adding a pinch of one thing and a pinch of something else, which doesn’t work so well in baking because you’re supposed to measure every ingredient perfectly. I’m inpatient! I hate waiting for a cake to bake all the while I’m opening and closing the oven just to get a peek at my creation. Therefore due to a lack of self control, I almost always end up eating what I’ve baked without allowing it to cool long enough to get the darn thing frosted. I also struggle with the patience and artistry required to decorate a beautiful cake. I have been known to make a delicious pie, and I have a few go-to deserts I make on a regular basis, but those are easy to make because I have mastered those recipes. However as Manuela says, “Practice, practice, practice!” The more you bake the more you learn.” So that’s my plan! I intend to challenge myself and aspire to succeed in the same way Manuela thrived and excelled until she became the wonderful woman I know today.

I hope you will join me and challenge yourself  too!

Who Can Enter?

This Contest and Giveaway series is not just for challenged bakers like me, everyone is invited to bake along and for the chance to win the most amazing mixer… EVER!

Grand Prize:

Ankarsrum Original USA Mixer, Total Value $700.00 (See Photo Below)

Ankarsrum Mixer

Photo by Ankansrum Original USA

The winner may choose whatever color they like as the basic package includes a 7L stainless steel bowl, 3.5L double whisk bowl assembly (bowl, whisks, head gear, and shaft), dough hook roller, scraper, spatula, dust cover/accessory bowl, cookie beaters, instructional DVD, and an owners manual. Not to mention, the mixer comes with a 7 year warranty on the motor base, and a 1 year warranty on attachments.

Second Place:

Winnings amount to a total value of $55.00 –  Love, Manuela: The Baking Book. If you can’t wait for the giveaway, then head over to Passion for Baking Gift Shop and buy yourself a copy – you’re gonna love it!

Passion for Baking cookbook

All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien,

Each recipe has been hand picked by TV personality and award-winning food blogger Manuela Kjeilen. Each week prior to the submission deadline (1st and 15th of each month), I will post the next recipe in the contest series with a corresponding photo of Manuela’s stunning creation; giving you a week to bake and photograph your “Master or Disaster” piece. I will also post a photo of my re-creation of the same dish with some personal notes of my baking experience. Hold on tight, because this could get ugly!

The Challenge: 
 
Bake 6 recipes, one recipe every other week, chosen personally by Manuela. This series is my effort to encourage non-bakers, myself included, to step outside their comfort zone and learn a new skill set in the kitchen. Even an award-winning home cook like me needs to practice to be a better baker.
 
You are required to bake each recipe and post a photo of your completed dish to the WOOBOX link to be considered for the Grand Prize – Ankarsrum Mixer.
 
Anyone that links 3 or more recipe photos will be eligible for a random drawing to win Second Place – The Love Manuela Baking Cookbook.

 

List of Recipes Handpicked by Manuela:

Manuela reached out to me to share some of her favorite recipes to be used for this challenge:

 “Hi Rebecka, hope all Is well? I have picked recipes that I really love, I love all my recipe but these are some of my favorites.” – Love Manuela Kjeilen

The “favorite” recipes given to me by Manuela are listed below:

  1. Mocha Meringues Ice Cream Cake
  2. Norwegian Bløtekake
  3. Vanilla Cupcake
  4. Macarons
  5. Norwegian Sweet Bun
  6. Classic Budapest Roll

Thank you Manuela for this amazing list of handpicked recipes! I love the diversity of the recipes you have chosen to represent your passion for baking and Norway.

Side Note – I’ve only baked one item on the list: cupcakes! I’m both thrilled and nervous as I look at the challenge ahead.  I’m excited to get in the kitchen and bake, however I am anxious about replicating these amazing recipes!

Rules:

  • All participants are required to bake ALL 6 recipes in the series to be considered for the Grand Prize Ankarsrum Mixer by posting a photo of their completed recipe on http://athomewithrebecka WOOBOX link by the deadline. No deviation from the assigned recipes is permitted.
  • A photo of your completed recipe is due the 1st and 15th of each month by midnight CST
  • The first recipe in the series will be announced a week prior to the deadline beginning June 24th on http://athomewithrebecka.com website and all At Home with Rebecka corresponding social media sites. The same format will be followed with each consecutive recipe in the series, announced the week before it is due. (See submission dates timeline below)
  • The Grand Prize winner (only those that enter all 6 recipes) will be chosen at random in a drawing generated by Woobox Sweepstakes
    • Why a random drawing? This contest is designed for everyone! “Master Baker” and “Disaster Baker” alike are challenged to bake like Manuela and post a photo of their attempt at her masterful creations. It’s This challenge is all about committing to the challenge and trying your best no matter how it turns out.
  • The Second Place Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. 
  • In order to be considered for the Second Place prize, contestants are required to submit at least 3 recipe photos during the contest period. Any 3 photos submitted during the contest will qualify but no deviation from the assigned recipes is permitted.
  • Winners will be announced between October 1-5, 2018
  • Grand prize valued at $700.00 US Dollars
  • Second place prize valued at $55.00 US Dollars
  • Open to US Residents only
  • Share the contest on your social networks
  • Participants are encouraged to LIKE and FOLLOW

Facebook: athomewithrebecka 
Instagram: athomewithrebecka
Website: At Home with Rebecka
Facebook:  Ankarsrum Original USA
Website: Ashley McCord-Ankarsrum Original USA
Instagram: Ankarsrum
Facebook: Passion For Baking
Instagram: Passion for Baking
Website: Passion for Baking

*CONTEST STARTS ON JUNE 24, 2018 (NEXT WEEK). I will be posting RECIPE #1 with detailed instructions and photos.  YOUR PHOTO FOR THE FIRST RECIPE IN THE SERIES IS DUE BY MIDNIGHT CST ON  JULY 1, 2018.  

I’d like to give a special thanks to Ankarsrum Original USA and Ashley McCord for sponsoring the contest; I’m blessed by their partnership and sponsorship! I am also grateful for Manuela’s willingness as she has allowed me to share her recipes.

Now it’s your turn to post your “Master or Disaster” piece. 

CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First recipe in the series (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth recipe in the series (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series (Recipe #6)
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST
 
 
 
Legal: 
 
This contest is only open to residents of the United States and Canada who are at least 18 years old. Recipes must be your originals, though they may be previously published by you elsewhere. You are responsible for any claims of plagiarism or other claims of inappropriate credit, which will invalidate your entry. The copyright for your entry shall remain your property, but your submission to the contest constitutes your irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent to use, reproduce, publish, transmit, distribute, adapt, or display your entry and name for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes, in any and all media. This is a random drawing, eligibility for Grand Prize contestants required to enter all 6 recipes in the WOOBOX photo challenge. Second place is also Random, eligibility post 3 photos in the contest series. All federal, state and/or local income and other taxes, if any, are the winner’s sole responsibility. No prize or any portion thereof is transferable or redeemable for cash. This contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
 
 



Autistic Chef Ava Marie Teaches East Bay Kids

Autistic Chef Ava Marie Teaches East Bay Kids how to make her Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf recipe

chef-ava-1

 

Chef Ava Marie, the Autistic Chef  and Owner of Autism Cooks food blog, recently spent the day with me sharing her passion for cooking with a group of East Bay High School students. The students are enrolled in a transitional program for kids with special needs. I had the awesome honor of being her sous chef for the class of 25 students while she taught them how to cook her scrumptious Holiday Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf recipe. 

I met Ava Marie Romero at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. She was a member of the audience during my cooking demo “Making Heirloom Jams with Garden Petals.” After my demo, she told me that she too was a cooking instructor and worked for the South San Francisco School District nutrition services and also taught cooking classes at the South San Francisco Library and Burlingame Recreation Center. She is also a food competitor entering online contests and the winner of countless State Fair prizes and ribbons for her baked and canned goods. I love how food draws us together and feel blessed that we have been friends ever since. 

Rebecka Evans and Ava Marie Romero

I was blown away by Ava’s poise and professionalism as she shared her personal journey as a young adult with autism, fueled with a passion for a career in cooking. As a person born with autism, Ava has meet adversity head on in her life, but she has never let it deter her from her goals. To know that Ava put her mind to her dream and made it a reality is pure joy! 

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf, made by Chef Ave Marie

The Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf made by Ave Marie was a big hit with the students and staff. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did! PLEASE stop by and follow the Autistic Chef Ava Marie on Facebook. You can find more of her delicious recipes on Autism Cooks

Chef Ava Marie is my friend and my inspiration! 

Chef Ava Marie

 

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf
Yields 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 3/4 cups applesauce
  4. 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
  5. 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  7. 1 1/2 baking soda
  8. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix sugar, applesauce, and canned pumpkin (the wet) with wooden spoon until well combined
  2. In another bowl mix flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt and mix to combine
  3. Gradually stir flour mixture into the wet pumpkin mixture in small batches until well incorporated.
  4. Fold in the dried cranberries
  5. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Chef Ava Marie

Chef Ava Marie

Chef Ava Marie




Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers are delicious, crispy French palmier cookies. They’re a cinch to make! This is the perfect cookie recipe for Fall!

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Simple Sesame Palmiers

Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The challenge date has been set; the pans will be banging to see who becomes the winner of their first annual “Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” Where there are (almost) no rules, only originality and the pursuit of great taste!

 The top entry will be awarded $1,000.00; second place $500.00; and third place $250.00 and of course, bragging rights to friends and family.

Bonelli Fine Foods gifted 75 eligible bloggers free products for the competition. I took the challenge to create an original recipe with great taste using a choice of three Simply Sesame spreads: Vanilla Bites, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom, and Pure Roasted Sesame Original flavor.

Simple Sesame vanilla-with-almond-bits Simple Sesame pure-roasted-sesame Simple Sesame Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom

I choose the pistachio and cardamom flavor, knowing it would be prefect for making French Palmiers. I just knew the subtly flavor of cardamom blended with holiday flavor of pumpkin purée and cinnamon sugar would make a delightfully crispy treat.

The result is perfectly crisp pumpkin pistachio palmiers, with a hint of delicious holiday pumpkin flavor.

A cinch to make! Frozen puff pastry takes all the hard work out of making this delicious cookie recipe. Not to mention, the flavor varieties of the Simply Sesame spreads offer a vast versatility in recipe creation. 

Simply Sesame states that all spreads are GMO free and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (and without additives, sugars, or colors), and will leave you with long-lasting high energy.

You can find Simply Sesame products directly from Bonelli Fine Foods on Amazon.com and local specialty stores in your area.

Follow Simply Sesame on  Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

 

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers
Yields 30
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 puff pastry sheet(s)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  6. 1 10 ounce Container Simply Sesame Pistachio with a hint of Cardamom
  7. 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  8. ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  9. 2 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Thaw the puff pastry sheet according to the package instructions
  3. Roll pastry out on a floured surface to smooth and even out the edges
  4. Mix the sugar and spices spice together in a small bowl
  5. In another small mixing bowl combine, 1 simply sesame spread, pumpkin puree and
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar mixture
  7. Spread ½ the wet mixture in a thin layer over each puff pastry
  8. Sprinkle the flavored sugar evenly over each pastry. Reserve about 2 tablespoons for sprinkling over palmiers
  9. Roll one side of the pastry dough to the halfway mark, and repeat with the other side.
  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the cookies about 1/2 an inch thick, then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Sprinkle with any additional flavored sugar
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until slightly puffy, and remove from the oven.
  13. Carefully flip all the cookies over, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and sesame seeds and return to the oven for 6-10 minutes, or until the center is cooked through and the edges are golden.
  14. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Easy French Pumpkin Pistachio Palmier Cookies

 

If you enjoy pumpkin dessert recipes, check these out, too!

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds




World Food Championships 2015- PART 2: It’s all about the BACON

World Food Championships 2015- PART 2: It’s all about the BACON, AND my brunch recipe for a Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon.Dutch Apple Baby  with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon RecipeIt was all about the bacon when Janet Tharpe, host for the Just A Pinch® online community, and her Kitchen Crew picked my Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon recipe, as a Blue Ribbon winner and my Golden Ticket to represent their company at the 2015 World Food Championships, Bacon Category. Blessed to be a part of the competition, I was honored to represent them.

Creating bacon recipes for the competition was a three month process. Luckily, I already had a winning recipe for the Signature Dish Round; all I had to do was prefect the execution. 

SIGNATURE DISH:

“The Signature Dish is the competitor’s choice, although it needs to fit the general “theme” of the competition category to be able to receive maximum points in execution. The Signature Dish is intended to allow the cook to put their best culinary foot forward. Show the judges what you do best. It’s your Signature Dish. ” Source: WFC 2015 Competitor Handbook

 

Dutch Apple baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon
Serves 6
Dutch Apple Baby meets its best companion with blackberry hoisin bacon, creating the perfect sweet and savory combination. The delicate pancake is married gently to the bacon with just a hint of hoisin and a touch of blackberry to balance out the of flavors…simply delicious.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb thick slice Wright Brand Applewood Smoked, divided
  2. 1 1/4 cups blackberry jam, divided
  3. 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, divided
  4. 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  5. 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
  6. 1/2 cup organic apple cider, divided
  7. 2 1/2 cups diced apples, skins on
  8. 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon nutmeg, divided
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  12. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
  13. 3/4 c flour
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 c milk
  16. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  17. 5 large eggs
  18. 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
  19. 1/4 cup powder sugar for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. You will need parchment paper to line baking sheet
For the Hoisin Marinade
  1. In a small bowl combine, 2 tablespoon mustard, 1 cup blackberry
  2. jam, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoon brown sugar, stir to
  3. combine
Blackberry Maple and Hoisin Syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon hoisin, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1/4 cup blackberry jam, 1 cup fresh blackberries.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thickened
  3. Strain through fine sieve. Keep warm until ready to plate.
  4. Transfer to little syrup mugs during plating
Method for The Hoisin Bacon
  1. In a small bowl combine,
  2. 2 tablespoons mustard, 3/4 cup blackberry jam, 1/4 cup hoisin and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Mix well
  3. Place 18 slices bacon on parchment lined paper, brush about 1 tablespoon of mixture over each slice and turn and repeat.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over all bacon
  5. Cook 400 degrees F. for 2o min.
  6. Cool bacon, reserve out 5 slices for garnish.
  7. Chop remaining bacon into small pieces, reserve 1/2 cup for garnish
Method For the Apple Filling
  1. Cut apples into small dice
  2. In a medium sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  4. Add diced apples and 1 tablespoon apple cider to pan
  5. Stir in sugar mixture
  6. Cook apples until tender but not soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare cast iron skillet
  1. Cut butter into chunks and place in cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet at 400 degree F. oven for 3-4 minutes, while making pancake batter.
  2. Method for The Batter
  3. Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl
  4. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps
  5. When batter is smooth, beat in vanilla and eggs, one by one, Beat pancake batter, 1-2 minutes with whisk. Let batter rest for 5 minutes
  6. While batter is resting, prepare cast iron skillets.
  7. Place skillets in 400 degree F. oven on parchment lined tray. Heat for 5 minutes
  8. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter
  9. Remove skillets from oven and pour butter evenly into each skillet.
  10. Add even amounts of crumbled bacon to skillet bottom
  11. Pour batter over bacon, leaving 1/4 inch headspace
  12. Add cooked apples to middle of skillets
  13. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Remove small skillets, bake larger for 5-7 minutes longer
  14. Garnish with strip of bacon and fresh blackberries, powdered sugar and mint leaves.
  15. The pancake will puff dramatically while baking but begin to fall within a few minutes after baking.
Garnish
  1. powder sugar
  2. blackberry hoisin syrup
  3. fresh blackberries
  4. strips of hoisin bacon
Notes
  1. Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Recipe
  2. Winner Top Ten World Food Championships 2015 Category: Bacon
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon

I felt so blessed to be chosen to compete in the 2015 World Food Championships, and then doubly blessed as a fellow competitor Kim Banick, an award winning home cook, owner of The Prize of Cooking, and seasoned World Food Champion, offered to be my sous chef for the opening round. I was moved to tears when I read her message, what an answer to prayer! God knew I needed help competing in such a prestigious event for the very first time. Kim shared her wisdom as a competitive cook as well as, her sweet spirit and gracious attitude. She also, brought with her a team of sous, Mark Banick and Kasey Brown. We cooked together, we prayed together, and we took TOP TEN in the Bacon Category!

Opening Round WFC 2105

The Banick Team spent the following day winning People’s Choice for their Tex-Mex Chili Sundae Split-2015 WFC Chili competition entry. I’m forever grateful for their generosity, hearts for Christ, and shared talent in my kitchen! 

Kim Banick The Prize of CookingThe opportunity to stay with my eldest son, his wife and family while in Orlando, was the icing on the cake. Their support and love gave me strength to carry on each day not to mention, the special morning hugs and kisses from my grand girls.

Grand girls WFC

By the third day of competition I didn’t know which side was up, even calling my friend Lisa Keys by the wrong name for an entire day! As a fellow competitor, and food blogger, Lisa understood my memory lapse and graciously forgave me!  The 10 day experience was overwhelming, exciting, exhausting, and one of the best experiences in my life.

Lisa Keys

With the help of family and friends, I moved on to compete in the Top Ten and took home 4th in the World in the Bacon Category!

Some of the perks for winning a place at #WFC2015…sponsorship from Hammer Stahl Cutlery, with a awesome set of chefs knives, backpack and carrying case. More about them in my final blog post and filleting American Red Snapper with their stellar filet knife.

Below is a Holiday video with Chef Kevin Gillespie featuring Wright Brand Bacon and several WFC Bacon competitors and….ME!




FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve…the perfect cranberry side dish, just in time for your holiday feast.
Fireball Cranberry Lemon Conserve

I’ve been in the kitchen the past few days doing my best to put up four bushels of home grown Meyer lemons; I can’t believe there are still more lemons on the tree.

Guess what the neighbors will be getting from Santa this year?

In addition to my regular Holiday recipes, I decided to create something new for my holiday feast, featuring my homegrown Meyer lemons. A twist on my traditional cranberry sauce recipe, I added 3 cups of thinly sliced Meyer lemon skins to a 16 ounce bag of fresh cranberries then spiked the mix with some warm, cinnamon goodness, Fireball Whiskey! The combination of flavors, taste like Christmas on a spoon! It’s the best cranberry conserve/sauce I’ve ever made and it will go perfectly with my Christmas Garlic Prime Rib Roast

Fireball Whiskey Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve…You’ll need to try this one… it’s a winner!

 

Fireball Whiskey Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve
Yields 6
Scrumptious version of cranberry sauce with cinnamon heat
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 16 ounce bag fresh cranberries, about 3 cups
  2. 3 cups thinly sliced Meyer lemon peel
  3. 4 cups sugar
  4. 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
  5. 1/4 cup bottle lemon juice
  6. 2 cups water
  7. 2 whole cinnamon sticks, broken into thirds
  8. 5 whole cloves
  9. 1 1" sprig fresh rosemary
  10. 1 cup Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
  11. 2 packages liquid pectin
Instructions
  1. Wash lemons in cool water
  2. Juice lemons, measure and reserve
  3. Thinly slice reserves lemon peel
  4. Strain lemon juice to remove pips
  5. Combine lemon juice, sliced lemon peels, cranberries, sugar, water, cinnamon stick and whole clove
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Add Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and fresh rosemary
  8. Bring to a boil, stirring to combine
  9. Add pectin and bring back to a boil, cook 2 minutes
  10. Check gel by adding a small amount of mixture to a cooled plate. If mixture holds its shape fill sterilized jars and process jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. If the mixture is still not setting, boil additional 2 minutes.
Notes
  1. If NOT canning the recipe save in airtight jar/container and refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or use immediately.
  2. Conserve is soft set
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

Meyer Lemons

So many Meyer lemons this year and still some on the tree!!

Looking for more lemon recipes for the holiday? Here’s the short list I’ve baked and canned this week: Meyer Lemon Habanero Jelly, Lemon Marmalade, Lemon Cake Bars, and Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Glaze, just to name a few. I’ve also put up two giant jars of preserved lemons…recipes to follow, and plan to make a few more lemony desserts.

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

The secret ingredient…Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey I love this stuff!!

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve...the perfect cranberry side dish, just in time for your holiday feast.