WFC 2018 Recap – Part 3

The Grand Throwdown WFC 2018

Pictured From Left: Event MC Sherri Williams, Vic Clevenger, Lisa Keys, Mark Banick

Impossible to fit eleven days of Food Sport into just two posts, so here’s WFC 2018 Recap – Part 3.

The “Grand” Throwdown: 

After a long week of competing at the World Food Championships and hosting the 2018 Yacht Club Progressive Dinner Party, my friend and sous chef Lisa Keys were faced with a totally different kind of challenge: competing against each other in the WFC Second Annual “Grand” Throwdown. 

About The Event:

As a part of the largest Food Sport competition in the world’s mission to showcase culinary talents of all backgrounds and ages, WFC has added a grandparents-only cooking challenge called The “Grand” Throwdown.

The new challenge was developed after experiencing the grand success and response from last year’s Granny Grilling challenge. Click here to view Delish.com’s video recap of the event. The 2017 Granny Grilling Champion Sherri Williams will serve as the host for this new cooking competition and prepare to pass down her coveted title to the next grandparent cook.

“The grannies enjoyed themselves in last year’s challenge so much that we decided to give the grandpas a chance to join in our the fun food and show off their chops alongside the ladies,” said Mike McCloud, President and CEO of WFC. “We are always looking for new ways to inspire all competitors from all generations and backgrounds to join Food Sport. We are really excited to see these talented grandparents battle it out in Grill-Arena.”

The grannies and grandpas will be tasked with creating a tasty dish with ingredients found in the WFC pantry with the hope that their culinary creations will please the panel of kid judges’ palate. The “Grand” Throwdown winners will take home the “Grand” trophy, grandparent bragging rights and a Golden Ticket for WFC 2019. Source: World Food Championships

Meet the Grandparents:

Mark Banick 

Age: 62

Home State: Salem, Oregon

Nickname:  The ones that can talk call me Bocca Mark

Number of Children: 2 children of my own and 4 girls from my wife Kim that I call my own, (blended family).

Number of Grandchildren: 4 grandchildren

Vic Clevenger

Age: 50

Home State: Kissimmee, FL

Nickname: The Cookin’ Comedian. But I’m Papaw to my grandson

Number of Children: 2 Daughters + 1 Son-in-law

Number of Grandchildren: 1 grandson

Rebecka EvansBacon World Champion Rebecka Evans

Age: 58    

Home state: Pearland, Texas

Number of Children: Gam Gam or Gamma

How Many children? 5

Number of Grandkids: 6

Lisa Keys

Age:  61

Home state: Kennett Square, PA

Grandma nickname: Kiki

Number of Children: 2 children (Caitlin & William)

Number of Grandchildren: 1 grandchild (Annabelle)

Source: World Food Championships

Crazy Fun Competition: 

This contest was a hoot! The “Grand” Throwdown is a black box challenge where the grand parents are given just 15 seconds each to pick 1 ingredient from a table of produce; taking four turns consecutively, based on oldest to youngest. Minutes after picking our produce the grandparents were all sardined into a car and whisked off to the WFC pantry to pick 10 items including but not limited to a variety of WFC Sponsors meats, butter, and sauces.

I filled my basket of 10 sponsor ingredients in just under 10 minutes time; 2 packages of Wampler Omega 3 Sausage, Springer Chicken (just encase I decided to go a different direction with my recipe), Hawaiian Rolls, Koops Mustard, Challenge Butter, and Challenge Cream Cheese.

Grandparents were given the option to use the grill, a portable burner, or both, to create our recipes. I planned to make a breakfast sandwich in a Gotham Steel pan on the burner and forego starting the grill. 

Best Laid Plans: 

I was thrilled to have a plan of action for my contest recipe, but that enthusiasm was squashed almost immediately when we returned to the WFC Grill arena. Hosts, Sherri Williams and Nancy Manlove, pulled the ole switch-er-roo and made us trade baskets with the grandpas! ACK! 

I got Mark Banick’s basket and I can tell you I wasn’t happy about it! He picked SALAD. Yup, ingredients to make salad to serve to a panel of kid judges. What was he thinking?

His basket had a sparse amount of ingredients, including Romain lettuce, tomatoes, BBQ Sauce, Springer chicken breast, rolls, season salt, and cream cheese. Thankfully, grandmas know how to roll when it comes to making recipes on the fly with whatever is in the fridge. I made a quick decision to grill the chicken and make a vinaigrette with the BBQ sauce and cream cheese, ultimately leading to my use of both the grill and the burner. Since I hadn’t planned to use the grill I didn’t bring fire starters etc. Thankfully, my sweet friend Lisa Keys was kind enough to share one of her’s with me and I was able to make a tiny fire big enough to cook the chicken. 

During our cook time, MC’s Sherri and Nancy gave us several chances to run and grab a few more items from the produce table. I picked grapes, asparagus, and mushrooms. I grilled the asparagus and smoked some croutons made from the rolls, tossed in some of the vinaigrette and season salt. I was amazed how delicious they turned out. 

BBQ Chicken Salad with Grilled Asparagus and Croutons

BBQ Chicken Salad with Grilled Asparagus and Croutons

Not a Chance of Winning:

I didn’t think I had a chance to win the challenge with Mark’s basket of salad ingredients, especially since our judges were kids and the other grandma, Lisa Keys, made a stunning recipe with grandpa Vic’s basket. My dish was not visually appealing in my opinion, but it must have tasted great because the kid judges loved it and chose my recipe as the winner of the grandma challenge. I was shocked to say the least but it was a pleasant surprise! 

If you can believe it, in the crazy twist of baskets, Mark won the grandpa challenge with my basket of goodies making pineapple chicken sliders. Way to go Mark.

Mark and I both won a Golden Ticket to compete at WFC 2019, paid $300.00 entry fee and a stunning hand-made platter by Sparta Ware. Thank you! 

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to Mike McCloud, MMA Creative, World Food Championships and WFC Staff, Walmart and all the other WFC sponsors.

I hope WFC invites Mark and I to share MC duties at the 2019 WFC “Grand” Throwdown, in our new host city and my home state, Dallas Texas. Hope to see you all there!  

Mark Banick and Rebecka Evans

Sherri Williams, Mark Banick, Rebecka Evans, Nancy Manlove

Mark Banick and Rebecka Evans




World Food Championships 2018 Recap


Lisa Keys & Rebecka Evans

Team At Home with Rebecka – Rebecka Evans & Lisa Keys

It’s taken me five weeks to process my experiences at the 2018 World Food Championships, and figure out how to wrap the entire adventure into just one blog post. I’m going to try to accomplish that goal – so hold on tight, it was a wild and crazy ride. 

Returning To Defend My Title:

Returning to WFC 2018 as the reigning Bacon World Champion came with a new kind of pressure that I’ve never felt in Food Sport before. I was ready to take on the challenge of defending my 2017 Bacon World Title with an eager, exhilarating attitude , but I was also filled with apprehension and a weird sense of dread.  Winning the same category two years in a row has only been achieved twice in WFC history; twice by Suzanne Clark in the Pasta Category (which has since been retired), and twice by Liz Kratz in the Chili Category. The pressure to repeat a win is real, and going for a three-peat escalates the entire event to a whole new level. 

Contest induced insomnia began the moment I opened my WFC test kitchen. Instead of counting sheep to sleep, I spent most nights visualizing possible recipe creations that I could test the following day. I made dozens of recipes over the course of three months, and finally landed on a few concepts that needed a lot of work to become Top Ten worthy dishes. The sleepless nights and the never-ending task of developing recipes displays a brutally honest truth: the process of determining what a ten thousand dollar bacon recipe is an arduous process and not for the faint of heart. 

My Team:

To stand any chance at another victory, I knew I had to have a seasoned food sport enthusiast on the At Home with Rebecka team. When I learned that my friend Lisa Keys had decided to take a year off from competing at World Food Championships, I jumped at the chance to ask her to be my sous chef, and thank God she agreed.  I soon learned that Lisa and I had mind reading capabilities during the months that preceded WFC 2018. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with. 

Who is Lisa Keys?

Sea World Orlando 2015

I met Lisa for the first time in 2015 at the First Annual – World Food Blogger Summit, held in Orlando, Florida. I was drawn to her sweet disposition and kind smile. We shared a seat on the bus to Sea World and talked like we’d known one another our entire lives. I learned that Lisa is an award winning food competitor, recipe creator, photographer, mother of two children (William and Caitlin), and wife to Bill Keys. She is also the owner and writer of Good Grief Cook. If you have not read her blog then I encourage you to take the time to get to know Lisa, and learn about her journey of loss, love, and her passion for cooking.

(You can access her works here: goodgriefcook.com Click HERE )

Lisa is also a Food Network CHOPPED CHAMPION (5/6/2014), a certified Food Champ, and a credentialed Steak Competition Association judge. Last but not least, Lisa is a grandmother, “Kiki,” to her beautiful granddaughter Annabelle. 

Lisa’s resume is pretty darned impressive and her heart is made of gold. I love her like a sister, and feel a kindred connection like that of Anne Shirley’s bosom friend and kindred spirit Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery). Lisa is my forever faithful friend. Thank you so much Lisa Keys for your brilliant mind, attention to detail, and award winning skills in the kitchen. I am honored by your willingness to take on the task of sous chef, and even more honored to call you my friend. 

Blake Evans

Blake my sous chef for  Fight To Feed –  Culinary Fight Club 2016

Rounding out Team At Home with Rebecka, my third team member and my sweet husband, Blake Evans. I call him my “Super Schlepper” and “Financier” since he is the man with the muscles and the money.

Blake schlepped all of our suitcases up and down the stairs several times, drove us to do all the contest grocery shopping, hung out with all my foodie pals, and listened to all the crazy WFC talk. My husband had no issue socializing, as he chatted up the VIP’s and connected with everyone we encountered.

Blake literally saved our bacon by running back to our condo twice during the Top Ten Round to get items we couldn’t find while competing. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have my sweet man by my side with his big booming laugh, love, and support. Thanks babe for being my faithful, loving husband, and supporting me in my food sport addiction.

The sous chef apron looks good on you by the way! xoxo

My goal for WFC 2018:

This year my goal was to win of course, but in the event that a repeat Bacon Category victory was not meant to be, my real hope was just to make Top Ten. Praise the Lord, after the preliminary round we made Top Ten finishing 4th in the category.  

Recipe Creation:

All WFC contestants are required to make a Structured Build recipe to “level the playing field” between professional chefs and home cooks.  This year, Bacon Category contestants were required to make bacon pizza, utilizing a required sponsor ingredient: Red Gold Tomatoes.  Competitors also presented a Signature Dish that showcases bacon as the star of the dish.

(To read the WFC Official Rules CLICK HERE)

After months of recipe creation and hundreds of changes, sleepless nights, a few tears, and the desire to throw my recipes across the room, I was extremely pleased with the final dishes. Lisa talked me off the ledge several times, and I returned the favor once or twice. I must reiterate, competitive Food Sport is an arduous process and not for the faint of heart. To fully grasp the enormity of recipe creation and contest preparation, a person must live the experience. 

Lobster Bacon Tomato Pizza

Structure Dish: BLT (Bacon, Lobster and Tomato Pizza) Food by Rebecka Evans Photo by Angela Castelli

My Bacon Lobster Pizza is the most delicious pizza I’ve ever made or eaten! The smokey flavor of  Kountry Boy’s thick cut bacon is the perfect compliment to my Bacon Blush Alfredo Sauce. The sauce is made with a combination of bacon, Red Gold Tomatoes with Green Chili’s, Red Gold Petite diced tomatoes, fresh garlic, and Fiesta Italian Seasoning. These ingredients are then blended with my signature Alfredo sauce to create a luscious Bacon Blush Alfredo that pairs perfectly with fresh lobster meat. The crust is from my sponsors, Center Court Pizza and Brew, located in my hometown of Pearland, Texas. The pizza was grilled on Bull Outdoor Products (​Steer Premium Cart Grill​), with fresh grated asiago and fontina cheese, garnished with a ring of fresh herbed bacon. Dressed to impress, the head and tail of the lobster greeted the judges, as well as eight beautifully cooked bacon legs. The pizza scored a 95.75. 

Lobster Bacon Tomato Pizza

BLT (Bacon Lobster Tomato Pizza)Lobster Bacon Tomato Pizza


BLT CUPCAKE

Signature Dish – BLT (Bacon, Lemon, and Tomato) Cupcakes – Round One

I was determined to bake a cupcake for World Food Championships 2018, testing at least eleven versions before landing on the final recipe. You see, I’ve been on a baking journey the past few months not only to push myself outside my comfort zone, but to prove to myself and the world that I could create an award winning bacon cupcake.

In all honestly, this cupcake was a true labor of love and a little hate too. The recipe underwent numerous changes, and was scrapped from my WFC roster not once, but twice before its final version. Although my husband and sous chef were not fans at first, I think I won them both over in the end. The judges must have liked it too because it finished 7th in the world with a score of 91.2853. 

I love everything about this cupcake. The cake is super moist with a hint of lemon zest and mashed Red Gold Tomatoes with green chili’s; with the final touches of sugared bacon dust being folded in right before baking. Red Gold Tomatoes with Green Chili’s also find their way into the bacon tomato jam that is spread over the cupcake after cooling. The sweet and spicy jam tastes like heaven, and is so good that I can hardly resist the temptation of eating it right from the spoon. I added Jelly Queens Red Pepper Sea Salt (Donna makes it just for me) for a slightly spicy finish, and topped it all off with delicious tomato infused butter cream frosting. It may sounds like a crazy concoction, but it is slap yo momma good!

BLT Cupcake-Official Description: 

BLT Cupcake aka Bacon, lemon and tomato cupcake starts with a vanilla crumb cake laced with a hint of lemon zest and sugared bacon dust. The cake is topped with a savory-sweet tomato, bacon jam and then frosted with a swirl of vanilla and tomato butter cream, dressed with a bacon swizzle stick dipped in white chocolate and sparkling sugar.

The Progression of an Award Winning Cupcake:

As you can see, I take recipe creation very seriously! Scroll over the photos to see descriptions. 

Choosing a Recipe for Top Ten: 

So how do you choose a recipe to take to the Top Ten Challenge? Any decision I make could be the difference between a 10K win and last place. These are the two big questions that made my brain hurt the night I found out I would compete in Bacon Top Ten.

  1. Do I make my third recipe and hope for the best?
  2. Should I make my Structure Build or Signature Dish?

At first, my plan was to go into Top Ten with my pizza, but I wanted to see my scores for both dishes before deciding. I also had a third recipe waiting in the wings just in case I wanted to call an audible and be creative. Making a decision was hard, especially when considering the scores of my recipes. As you can see in the scores below, I went into Top Ten in 4th Place.

Both of my recipes scored well, with the pizza scoring slightly higher than the cupcake. This is where you can lose your mind second guessing the decision. For better or worse, I decided to make the cupcake and the rest is history. I didn’t win first place with the cupcake, however I managed to place 7th in the world as one of only two home cooks that made Top Ten this year. Thank the Lord for my sweet friend and sous chef Lisa Keys, as she stood by my side while I went crazy over making the decision to compete with the cupcake.  I couldn’t have done it without her expert baking skills and world-class professionalism.

The stress of defending my Bacon World Title, and the decision to make my cupcake and not my pizza or third recipe really got to my psyche. Not to mention, everything that could go wrong in the Top Ten Round did. I burned every piece of bacon I cooked so had to re-make new batches, and with just 6 minutes to spare before the turn in window closed, we couldn’t find the red dye for the tomato butter cream frosting. This is when my husband Blake saved our bacon by running back to the condo to find the red dye. Thankfully, I purchased two bottles and one was in the condo. The other had fallen under a mixing bowl by our station where it stayed until clean up. 

Official Scores:

WFC SCORES 2018

 A side note: Top Ten Bacon competitors were required to use Natural Tableware USA plates for presentation and Bacon Sponsors Indiana Kitchen Bacon. I think we did a pretty good job of showcasing the cupcakes on the required plate ware. 

Bacon Lemon and Tomato Cupcake

BLT (Bacon, Lemon, and Tomato) Cupcake Top Ten Round

Sponsors:

Special thanks to my personal sponsors Kountry Boys Sausage for providing me with delicious Kountry Boy’s Bacon and Center Court Pizza and Brew for their delicious pizza dough. I’d also like to thank the World Food Championships Staff, MMA Creative, Mike McCloud, The Jelly Queens, Walmart, Red Gold Tomatoes, and Ankarsrum USA

Familiar Faces:

World Food Championships wouldn’t be the same without my foodie family, some familiar faces and new foodie friends alike. Sadly, I was so busy this year that I missed getting hugs and photos ops with everyone. Hugs, laughter and more Food Sport fun will have to be had at WFC 2019. I love you all and can’t wait until next year to see you. 

 

I couldn’t do it: 

I tried my best to pack all the 2018 World Food Championships events into one post but it’s just not possible since this post is already way too long! Stay tuned for more WFC Recap in the weeks to come. TBA

  • WFC 2018 Yacht Club Progressive Dinner
  • The Second Annual Grand Throwdown
  • Ava Marie Romero, my friend

See you all soon! RE




Mahón-Menorca Cheese Fondue Dip with Roasted Vegetables | Blogger Recipe Challenge


Menorca Cheese Fondue Recipe

Mahón-Menorca Cheese Fondue Dip with Roasted Veggies is all you need for a hearty dinner this Holiday Season. Share it with your special someone or enjoy it alone, either way, you’re sure to be filled with the delicious taste of Mahón-Menorca Spain.

I really like the idea of having a heavy appetizer for dinner to keep me satisfied yet not overly stuffed during the holidays, especially when it’s rich and sumptuous fondue made with Mahón-Menorca cheese.

Paired with a crisp bottle of white wine, you won’t miss the meat with this entrée offering as it’s served with a selection of deliciously roasted mixed vegetables and bread cubes.  Did I mention it only takes 35 minutes to prepare? 

My recipe uses Greek yogurt which gives the dish a recognizable tang, combined with the unmistakable milky taste and slightly buttery characteristic of Mahón-Menorca Semi-Curd cheese.There’s nothing more extravagant and unexpected as the flavor of cheese fondue, accentuated by the addition of sun-dried tomatoes. Every bite is a new sensation with roasted vegetables, seasoned in sea salt and red pepper flakes.

This recipe is my Second entry in the inaugural Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge   Entrée Category.

 

Menorca Cheese Fondue Recipe

Easy Cheese Fondue Dip with Roasted Vegetables

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cheese Fondue Dip | Blogger Recipe Challenge

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/3 cup cream cheese

1 ¼ cups Semi-Curd Menorca-Menorca cheese, grated

1/3 cup shape cheddar cheese, grated

¼ cup half and half cream

pinch salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon dry oregano

¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil

1 teaspoon diced chives

1 large crusty loaf of bread, cut into cubes

ROASTED VEGETABLES:

½ pound baby potatoes, washed and cut in half

1-pound of your favorite baby root vegetables, carrots, parsnips, purple carrots, etc.

1 pinch chili flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

For The Vegetables:

Wash potatoes and cut in half

  • Toss all the baby vegetables in a large bowl with cut potatoes, olive oil, pepper flakes and sea salt
  • Pour dressed vegetables into a large roasting pan and roast for 15-25 minutes or until vegetables or caramelized and folk tender. Stir vegetables several times during roasting to prevent burning.
  • While vegetables are roasting make fondue dip
  • For The Fondue Dip:

    • In a medium, heavy bottom sauce pan, combine 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup cream cheese, 1 ¼ cups Semi-Curd Menorca-Menorca cheese, grated, 1/3 cup shape cheddar cheese, grated, ¼ cup half and half cream, pinch salt, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon dry oregano, ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
    • Stirring constantly, cook until cheeses are well combined and melted
    • Cut crusty bread into cubes, se aside until ready to plate
    • Serve fondue dip in heated cast iron skillet and garnish with diced chives

    Serve and enjoy

    ABOUT THE CHALLENGE:

    SOURCE Mahon-Menorca Cheese

    Grand Prize – A Five Day Trip To The Beautiful Island Of Menorca, Spain

    MENORCA, Spain, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Board of Control of Mahón-Menorca Cheese is looking for spectacular bloggers to compete in their inaugural “Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The challenge date has been set, the pans will be banging and the creative juices will be flowing to see who becomes the Grand Prize Winner of the “Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge.”

    Take the challenge and share your creativity using Mahón-Menorca Cheeses that are produced in three delicious degrees of maturity; Semi-Hard pasteurized 3 months old, Hard pasteurized 5 months old and Semi-Hard raw cow milk 3 months old. Mahón-Menorca Cheese is a very versatile cheese that can be used as a topping, infused with an array of vegetables, rices or as a stuffing or filling that delivers a full range of flavors that can transform any dish.

    CATAGORIES:

    There are three categories for the challenge; appetizers, side dishes and entrées. Bloggers are encouraged to participate in all three categories. One winner will be selected from each category and be awarded $500.00. The winning recipes from each category will then compete to see who will becomes the grand prize winner of the “Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The Grand Prize Winner will win a five day trip to the beautiful Island of Menorca, Spain. The Grand Prize includes airfare for one, lodging (for two people) and rental car (for two people). The contest starts on October 1, 2018 and ends December 31, 2018. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

    Mahón-Menorca Cheese is looking for inspirational ideas to create “Simply Better Recipes” that occurs when creativity is fused with unexpected flavors and wholesome ingredients that deliver a full range of flavors that makes every seem extravagant.

    Cheese Fondue Recipe

    MORE ABOUT Mahón-Menorca CHEESE:

    Mahón-Menorca Cheese is produced on the island of Menorca, one of Spain’sBalearic Islands. A paradisiacal Biosphere Reserve Island (certified by the UNESCO) located in the Mediterranean Sea. Mahón-Menorca Cheese is a Protected Denomination of Origin (P.D.O.) based upon the geographic and distinct climate factors including its temperature, humidity, light, wind and salty pastures, and its ancient farming methods mastered by generations of the Menorca family farms. Made from menorcan cow’s milk (pasteurized or raw), exclusively matured on the island of Menorca. The Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge is being implemented by Thought For Food & Son. READ MORE>>>>

    Mahón-Menorca Cheese can be purchased nationwide at Whole Foods, and at other fine retailers such as Fairway Markets, Harris Teeter, Saveway, Kroger, Murray’s, Central Markets, Costco, Gourmet Garage, West Side Markets, Zabar’s, Central and Town & Country Markets in Seattle and at the best specialty stores all over the country.




    Potato Cheese Latkes with Cranberry Sour Cream | Recipe Challenge

    Cheese Latke Recipe
    Potato Cheese Latkes with Cranberry Sour Cream are the perfect Hanukkah appetizer for your holiday table this season.

    I love the traditional crisp texture of latkes, so when developing this recipe I knew they would pair beautifully with the unmistakable milky taste, and slight buttery characteristic of Mahón-Menorca Semi-Cured cheese. When paired with the creamy, sweet flavor of cranberry sour cream, my latke recipe is the perfect bite of sweet and savory. 

    This recipe is my first entry in the inaugural Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge  Appetizer Category. 

    Cheese Latke Recipe

    ABOUT THE CHALLENGE:

    SOURCE Mahon-Menorca Cheese

    Grand Prize – A Five Day Trip To The Beautiful Island Of Menorca, Spain

    MENORCA, Spain, Oct. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Board of Control of Mahón-Menorca Cheese is looking for spectacular bloggers to compete in their inaugural “Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The challenge date has been set, the pans will be banging and the creative juices will be flowing to see who becomes the Grand Prize Winner of the “Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge.”

    Take the challenge and share your creativity using Mahón-Menorca Cheeses that are produced in three delicious degrees of maturity; Semi-Hard pasteurized 3 months old, Hard pasteurized 5 months old and Semi-Hard raw cow milk 3 months old. Mahón-Menorca Cheese is a very versatile cheese that can be used as a topping, infused with an array of vegetables, rices or as a stuffing or filling that delivers a full range of flavors that can transform any dish.

    CATAGORIES:

    There are three categories for the challenge; appetizers, side dishes and entrées. Bloggers are encouraged to participate in all three categories. One winner will be selected from each category and be awarded $500.00. The winning recipes from each category will then compete to see who will becomes the grand prize winner of the “Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The Grand Prize Winner will win a five day trip to the beautiful Island of Menorca, Spain. The Grand Prize includes airfare for one, lodging (for two people) and rental car (for two people). The contest starts on October 1, 2018 and ends December 31, 2018. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

    Mahón-Menorca Cheese is looking for inspirational ideas to create “Simply Better Recipes” that occurs when creativity is fused with unexpected flavors and wholesome ingredients that deliver a full range of flavors that makes every seem extravagant.

    I sure hope the judges agree that this recipe is not only inspirational but easy to make, packed with wholesome ingredients and flavor that make this essential Hanukkah recipe even more extravagant made with Mahón-Menorca Cheese.

    Most importantly, I would love to win the Grand Prize trip to the beautiful Island of Menorca Spain.

    Happy Hanukkah! ENJOY

     

    Cheese Latke Recipe

    Potato Cheese Latkes with Cranberry Sour Cream

    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    Potato Cheese Latkes with Cranberry Sour Cream

    INGREDIENTS:

    ½ pound russet potatoes, shredded

    ½ cup Mehon-Menorca Semi-Hard Cheese, shredded and divided

    2 scallion’s white and green parts, fine chopped

    1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and fine chopped

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ¼ teaspoon white pepper

    1 large egg, lightly beaten

    2 tablespoon flour

    12 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying

    1 cup whole milk sour cream

    ½ cup fresh frozen cranberries

    1 teaspoon lime juice

    ½ cup sugar

    1 tablespoon fine chopped chives

    DIRECTIONS:

    • Peel potatoes and coarsely grate on large holes of grater. Using paper towels, squeeze out as much liquid as possible
    • In a bowl, combine potatoes, jalapeno, flour, scallion, 1 tablespoon Mehon-Menora Semi-hard cheese, salt and pepper
    • Add beaten egg and mix to combine
    • Heat oil in a large frying pan
    • While oil is heating, form latke haystacks and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Each haystack should be about 2 tablespoons of mixture.
    • Arrange latkes in hot oil pressing each down with a spatula to about 2 ½ inch diameter.
    • Cook 2-3 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Flip over and continue to cook 2-3 minutes longer or until latkes are crisp and browned
    • Remove cooked latkes to a paper towel lined pan to drain
    • Immediately add ½ teaspoon cheese to the top of each cooked latke
    • Once all latkes are cooked place under a broiler for 30 seconds to a minute to slightly melt cheese

    Cranberry Sour Cream:

    • Cook cranberries over medium heat with sugar and lime juice until soft. Mash with a fork and cool in refrigerator for 15 minutes. If you are using fresh cranberries, add a tablespoons of water
    • Mix cooled cranberry mixture with sour cream and keep cold until ready to plate

    Serve Latkes with cranberry sour cream and garnish with chopped chives

    ENJOY!

    Cheese Latke Recipe

    Cheese Latke Recipe

     

    More About Mehon-Menorca Cheese:

    Mahón-Menorca Cheese is produced on the island of Menorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands. A paradisiacal Biosphere Reserve Island (certified by the UNESCO) located in the Mediterranean Sea. Mahón-Menorca Cheese is a Protected Denomination of Origin (P.D.O.) based upon the geographic and distinct climate factors including its temperature, humidity, light, wind and salty pastures, and its ancient farming methods mastered by generations of the Menorca family farms. Made from menorcan cow’s milk (pasteurized or raw), exclusively matured on the island of Menorca. The Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge is being implemented by Thought For Food & Son. READ MORE>>>>

    Mahón-Menorca Cheese can be purchased nationwide at Whole Foods, and at other fine retailers such as Fairway Markets, Harris Teeter, Saveway, Kroger, Murray’s, Central Markets, Costco, Gourmet Garage, West Side Markets, Zabar’s, Central and Town & Country Markets in Seattle and at the best specialty stores all over the country.




    Grandparents Face Off at the World’s Largest Food Fight

    Grandparents Face Off at the World’s Largest Food Fight

    After all the Bacon World contesting dust has settled, I’m competing in one final battle on Sunday, November 11, 2018, the Grand Throw Down! If you’re in the area please stop by to watch all the live action and wish me luck! Listed below are the event details from World Food Championships:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

    Posted Oct 29, 2018

    ORANGE BEACH, Ala., The World Food Championships (WFC) just added a unique challenge into the mix for its main event in Orange Beach, Alabama. As a part of the largest Food Sport competition in the world’s mission to showcase culinary talents of all backgrounds and ages, WFC has added a grandparents-only cooking challenge called The “Grand” Throwdown.

    The new challenge was developed after experiencing the grand success and response from last year’s Granny Grilling challenge. Click here to view Delish.com’s video recap of the event. The 2017 Granny Grilling Champion Sherri Williams will serve as the host for this new cooking competition and prepare to pass down her coveted title to the next grandparent cook.

    “The grannies enjoyed themselves in last year’s challenge so much that we decided to give the grandpas a chance to join in our the fun food and show off their chops alongside the ladies,” said Mike McCloud, President and CEO of WFC. “We are always looking for new ways to inspire all competitors from all generations and backgrounds to join Food Sport. We are really excited to see these talented grandparents battle it out in Grill-Arena.”

    The grannies and grandpas will be tasked with creating a tasty dish with ingredients found in the WFC pantry with the hope that their culinary creations will please the panel of kid judges’ palate. The “Grand” Throwdown winners will take home the “Grand” trophy, grandparent bragging rights and a Golden Ticket for WFC 2019.

    Meet the Grandparents:

    Mark Banick

    Age: 62

    Home State: Salem, Oregon

    Nickname:  The ones that can talk call me Bocca Mark

    Number of Children: 2 children of my own and 4 girls from my wife Kim that I call my own, (blended family).

    Number of Grandchildren: 4 grandchildren

    Culinary Background: My grandfather is from Dalmatia (bottom part of old Yugoslavia. He was a merchant seaman and a baker on a 3-mast sail ship. So, I wanted to copy him and started learning to make bread at a young age.

    I was a single dad for about 15 years, so I did all the cooking in my home. When I married my wife Kim she took over some of the cooking but I still some along with the grilling.

    I have for the last 13 years along with two other guys and one gal cook home-style meals, 140-200, each Wednesday evening, along with about 15-20 other specialty events out our church ranging upwards to 400 people on holidays.

    I always get teased for buying my wife a Traeger for Christmas one year, but that is one of her most prized gifts.

    Fun Facts: Most little-known fact about me is that I was a radio operator on Air Force One for two presidents. (Ford, Carter).

    Vic Clevenger

    Age: 50

    Home State: Kissimmee, FL

    Nickname: The Cookin’ Comedian. But I’m Papaw to my grandson

    Number of Children: 2 Daughters + 1 Son-in-law

    Number of Grandchildren: 1 grandson

    Culinary Background: Just like being taught to how to feed myself, when it came to cooking I sought out those who do it the best and learn from them. So, I don’t consider myself a “self-taught cook”, I consider myself just a “student of cooking,” especially BBQ. I’ve won culinary awards from Florida to Washington as well as performing at many national culinary events. I also write regularly for National BBQ News, Tailgater Magazine, BBQ Times, Northern NY Entertainment, B&B Charcoal and have been published in Entrepreneurial Chef. I’m a huge supporter and promoter of Operation BBQ Relief.

    Fun Facts: I travel the country as a Professional speaker, Stand-up Comedian and competitive cook. I was cooking in a BBQ Competition when my grandson was being born back in September.

    Rebecka Evans

    Bacon World Champion Rebecka Evans

    Age: 58

    Home state: Pearland, Texas

    Number of Children: Gam Gam or Gamma

    How Many children? 5

    Number of Grandkids: 6

    Culinary Background: Rebecka Evans is an award-winning home cook and food blogger, and an avid food and nature photographer. Rebecka lives in Texas and is happily married to her sweet husband Blake. Blessed with five children, this proud “Papa and Gamma” also have five beautiful grand-girls, and one grandbaby boy.

    Rebecka began entering food competition at the age of twenty-five and began her food blogging journey over six years ago and is the proud Owner of At Home with Rebecka.com.

    Years of commitment to recipe creation and food competition has recently paid off with a few very big wins. Rebecka took home top honors at the World Food Championships held November 9-12, 2017 in Orange Beach, AL. She is the 2017 “Bacon World Champion” winning $10 thousand dollars in cash and prizes. Rebecka received 7th Place at the Final Table in April, 2018.

    Rebecka recently won two back to back competitions in September 2018; the Build a Better Burger Regional Contest sponsored by Sutter Home Wines and held in Washington, DC. She will go on to compete against the other Regional Finalists in May 2019 for a chance to win 25,000.00. The very next day, Rebecka won the Annual Mushroom Festival Cook-off held in Kennett Square, PA. Just a week later, Rebecka also won the South Regional Riunite Chili Cook-off with her Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili taking home $1000.00 cash prize.

    Rebecka won her first TV competition appearance on the Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas “Home Sweet Grandma” taking home cash prize of $10 thousand dollars!

    Rebecka is also the proud winner of the Gilroy Garlic Recipe Cook-Off, winning 1st Place at Gilroy Garlic Festival 2016 with her Garlic Goat Cheese and Bacon Soufflés. Total cash prize $5000.00 and the coveted Gilroy Garlic Crown!

    Fun Facts: Rebecka is a trained classical vocalist and loves singing opera. She has performed in many professional productions in her lifetime.

    Lisa Keys

    Age:  61

    Home state: Kennett Square, PA

    Grandma nickname: Kiki

    Number of Children: 2 children (Caitlin & William)

    Number of Grandchildren: 1 grandchild (Annabelle)

    Culinary Background: Growing up Italian I simply have the cooking gene. I am a self-taught home cook who has enjoyed entering cooking competitions for more than 30 years. I have won multiple awards over the years including WFC Top 10 in Sandwich and Recipe categories but am most proud of winning the Mother’s Day episode of the Food Network Show CHOPPED. Annabelle cooks with me now and this is the most fun ever.

    Fun Facts:  I am learning to play the ukulele. So far my granddaughter and I can sing together the song, “You Are My Sunshine.”

    This grand event will take place on Sunday, November 11 in Grill-Arena from 11:00am – 1:00pm.

    The 7th Annual WFC, presented by Walmart, will be held Nov. 7-11 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama. To learn more about the event, visit www.worldfoodchampionships.com/tickets. In the meantime, stay up to date on all WFC news and developments by following us on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), and Facebook and Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships). SOURCE: www.worldfoodchampionships.com




    Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili WINS South Regional Finals

     

    Riunite South Regional Winner Rebecka Evans

    Photo by Riunite Wines

    Riunite Bold and Beefy Chili

    Food and Photo By At Home with Rebecka

    My Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili WINS – South Regional Finals – Houston, Texas 2018

    Riunite Bold and Beefy Chili

    Rebecka Evans South Regional Finals – Riunite Chili Cook-off Winner with Houston Texans Kevin Walter

    About The Wine:

    Riunite, America’s #1 and best loved Italian wine for over 4 decades, is the leading source of classic wines from Central Italy’s Emilia Romagna Region, home of prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar. Riunite is most closely identified with the Lambrusco grape, a variety native to central Italy. Lambrusco is said to be one of the oldest grapes in history, one that was first vinified by the Etruscans, dating back to before the first century BC.  When you are drinking Riunite, you are drinking history.

    About The Contest:

    Create an original chili recipe best paired with Riunite Lambrusco, writing up the recipe in 500 words or less. All ingredients must be readily available and be precisely measured. A photo of your recipe is optional. Five finalists will be selected to participate in a cook-off in Cincinnati, OH, prior to the pro football game on November 11, 2018.
    This contest is one of 5 regional contests with the same theme. Each contest is judged separately and there is no national cook-off this year.

    5 Regional Finalist Prizes: 2 upper-level end zone tickets to the pro football game in Houston, TX on October 7, 2018 and a $100 pre-paid debit card for required chili ingredients. Finalist will be required to provide their own ground transportation to and from the event and will receive a $200 pre-paid debit card for fuel, toll and parking expenses. Finalist’s guest must be at least 21 years of age. (ARV $500).
    Regional Winner Prize: $1,000 check.

    Riunite Winner South Regional Finals

    Contestants From Left: John Anders, Dan Hill, Mary Janssen, Official Judge: Texans Kevin Walter, Claudia McCarty, and Rebecka Evans – Photo by Riunite

    Game On

    The folks at Riunite Wines really know how to throw a tailgate chili cook-off.

    The South Regional Finals were held in Houston, Texas  at NRG Stadium on  October 7, 2018.

    The five South Regional Finalists enjoyed a relaxed chili cook-off; complete with a delicious catered tailgate meal including lot’s of Riunite wine. Former Houston Texans Wide Receiver  Kevin Walter,  was one of the official judges for the event. He was such a charmer as he was eager to pose for photo ops and sign autographs right before the chili cook-off. After I won, he made a point to find me to say he loved my “expensive” chili. 

    The event was well thought out and beautifully executed by the entire Riunite staff. Their generosity of gifting each contestant $300.00 for food, gas, and expenses. Each contestant was also given the Coleman stoves you see on the table, along with a cool blue apron with a water chiller pocket and retractable bottle opener. Food sport folks can never have enough cool aprons! 

    The contestants brought their “A-Game” with deliciously diverse chili recipes. Listed below are the names of the contestants followed by their creative recipe titles:

    John Anders Deep in The Heat Chili

    Dan Hill Texas Snakebite Chili 

    Mary Janssen Hit Me Chili 

    Claudia McCarty Hot Tropical Trail Chili

    There was not a bean in sight as these Texans really get the long standing tradition of NO BEAN Texas Chili. Focused and determined to win, they gave me a run for my money. The judges said it was one of the tightest scoring chili cook-offs in Riunite history! I’m honored to be the Riunite South Regional 2018 winner. 

    One of the highlights of this contest was meeting my longtime facebook friend and fellow food competitor Claudia McCarty for the very first time. The love of food sport has enriched our friendship through this competition. I’m so proud to know her and call her my friend!

    This was also the very first time my youngest son Christopher was able to attend one of my cooking competitions. Chris was a such a great help as he hauled all of my cooking gear and worked as my social media specialist. He also helped me drag my butt off the floor after tripping in a giant hole right before the event. My scraped knee is still healing, but he was there to collect his momma, helping her overcome the adversity and win. Christopher is also the editor of my food blog. Thank goodness for that because I write like I talk! 

    There is no better way to end a day than to win the cook-off and to see the Houston Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys in overtime! Enjoy my chili! 

    Riunite Bold and Beefy Texas No Bean Chili

    • Servings: 10-12
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    2 medium onions, fine chopped

    1 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steak

    1 1/2 pounds Ribeye Steak

    1 1/2 pounds Flat Iron Steak

    1/4 cup oil, divided

    1/4 cup minced garlic, about 10 cloves

    1 8 ounces can tomatoes with chilies

    1 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes

    1 3 ounces can chopped green chilies

    2 teaspoon cumin powder

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon garlic powder

    1/2 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano

    2 teaspoons dry mustard

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    1/2 cup Riunite Lambrusco Wine

    1 12-ounce bottle of beer (I use Modelo Negro)

    5 tablespoon chili powder

    1 beef bouillon cube

    DIRECTIONS: 

    Fine chop onions, brown in 1 tablespoon oil. Remove onions from pan and keep in a large bowl.

    Chop 1 1/2 pounds New York Strip Steak, 1 1/2 pounds Ribeye Steak, 1 1/2 pounds Flat Iron Steak into 1 inch pieces. Cook meat in batches using about 1 teaspoon of oil for each new batch. Brown meat on all sides and remove to the large bowl with the onions. Continue cooking meat until all the meat is browned.

    Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan and sauté minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with Riunite Lambrusco wine. Return meat and sautéed onions back to the pot.

    Add chilies, cumin, oregano, dry mustard, salt, garlic powder, tomatoes, beer chili powder and bouillon cube. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours.

    Garnish with corn chips, sour cream, diced onion, shredded white or cheddar cheeses, and sliced jalapeños.

    Riunite Winner South Regional Finals

    These cute ladies loved my chili so much they asked to take a photo with me! So sweet – I have fans!

     




    Grilled Asian BBQ Bone-In Ham with Ham Fried Rice

    Frick's BBQ Ham

    Ready for an easy holiday meal?

    My first submission for the FRICK’S Blogger Recipe Challenge is your answer! 

    ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

    The “Frick’s Blogger Recipe Challenge” will only be open to the first 30 eligible bloggers who sign-up. There are three categories for the challenge; Appetizers, Center of the Plate and On the Grill. Bloggers are encouraged to participate in all three categories. One winner will be selected from each category and be awarded $500.00. The winning recipes from each category will then compete to see who becomes the $1,000.00 grand prize winner of the “Frick’s Blogger Recipe Challenge.”

    My first entry for the Blogger Recipe Challenge is Grilled Asian BBQ Bone-In Ham with Ham Fried Rice, qualifying for the On The Grill Category. Made with an Asian BBQ sauce and served with easy ten minute Ham Fried Rice, the recipe can be on your table in less than 45 minutes.

    In return for submitting a few contest recipes in the FRICK’S Blogger Recipe Challenge, Frick’s® Quality Meats sent me three of their smoked ham products: Bone-in Half Ham, Gourmet Sliced Ham, and Shingled (sliced) Ham. Frick’s Quality Meat products also include Sliced Applewood Quarter Ham and Turkey Drums.

    Grilled Asian BBQ Bone-In Ham with Ham Fried Rice

    • Servings: 8
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    1 Frick’s Butt Portion Bone-In Half Ham

    1 9.45 ounce jar hoisin sauce

    1/2 cup ketchup

    1/4 cup brown sugar

    1 tablespoon yellow mustard

    1 teaspoon soy sauce

    pinch chili flakes

    2 teaspoon ground pepper

    For the Ham Fried Rice:

    2 cups chopped ham (1 thick slice cut from ham before cooking)

    4 cups “day old” cooked rice (I use the precooked version found in the rice isle at the grocery for easy prep)

    2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    2 large eggs

    1/2 cup chopped scallions white and green parts

    1/2 cup sliced carrots

    1/2 cup frozen baby peas

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    1/3 cup soy sauce

    pinch red pepper flakes

    1/8 teaspoon ginger

    salt and pepper to taste

    DIRECTIONS:

    Pre heat grill to medium (350-400 degrees)

    Combine hoisin, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce and chili flakes in a medium sauce pan and heat till mixture begins to boil. Add the pepper and stir to combine, reduce heat, and keep warm.

    Place the unwrapped ham in an aluminum foil lined disposable foil roasting pan

    Ladle or brush  3/4 cups Asian BBQ sauce all over the ham and place ham cut side down. Tent the foil over the ham and cook for 40 minutes on the grill. Keep an eye of the grill temperature to maintain 350-400.

    For the Ham Fried Rice

    • Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the hot pan.
    • Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onions and carrots for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Remove vegetables from pan to a small bowl
    • Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to pan and cook chopped ham until hot (about 3 minutes) stirring to heat through
    • Remove cooked ham to the same bowl as onions and carrots
    • Add 1 teaspoon oil to the wok. Cook 2 large eggs until yolks are just hard. Remove from pan and chop
    • Add brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and 1/8 teaspoon ginger to the hot wok. Stir to combine, add pinch chili flakes and cook till bubbling
    • Return meat and vegetables to the pan. Add rice, and too to combine
    • Add peas and fried egg, stir to combine. Heat for 3 minutes and serve with chopped scallions, sliced grilled ham and more Asian BBQ Sauce 

     

    You can order FRICK”S Quality Meats online

    Website: https://frickmeats.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FricksQualityMeats/ 

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fricksqualitymeats/

     

    Frick's BBQ Ham

     

    Frick's BBQ Ham




    Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker-Contest and Giveaway-WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

    Passion for Baking cookbook

    Photo by Passion for Baking Lise Sternersen (Manuela Kjeilen – TV personality and owner of www.passionforbaking.com is the writer, baker, and photographer behind passionforbaking.com   

    Sixteen weeks ago I invited you to bake along in the contest series  “Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker?”  Thirteen diehard contestants indulged in the challenge and baked along with me to the very end.

    Before I announce the winner, I just wanted to give thanks to all of you who participated in the event.  I am filled with joy as I look back through all of the Woobox Gallery submissions, every recipe looked so beautiful. Thank goodness Woobox has a random drawing feature and I didn’t have to pick a winner.

    Today is momentous: with great pride in the culmination of all your hard work and dedication to the challenge; I’m ready to announce the grand prize winner of the Ankarsrum USA stand mixer and the winner of the Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela – The Baking Book. You took the challenge; now are you ready to meet the winners?

    WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

    Woobox has spoken! Listed below are the winners of the Ankarsrum Mixer and the Passion for Baking Cookbook. Congratulations to both of you on your success in this challenge!

     The Winner of the Ankarsurm Mixer: 

    Nancy Angelici 

    Congratulations Nancy! Thank you for baking alongside me and all of the other competitors. I know you’ll love your new Ankarsrum mixer.  I will forward your email to Ankarsrum and they will contact you for shipping information and your choice of mixer color.

     The Winner of Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela – The Baking Book:

    Donna Bardocz

    Congratulations Donna! Thank you for baking alongside myself and all of the other competitors throughout this challenge.  Please email me your address and contact information to rebeckasevans@gmail.com and I will send your cookbook. 

    Congratulations again ladies; I’m so happy for you both! 

    CHEERS to all the Master and Disaster bakers that joined me on this journey. Your willingness to bake all six recipes in the series brings me such great pride. I’m so honored and proud of your willingness to commit to the challenge for the past sixteen weeks. Your renditions of Manuela’s handpicked recipes are amazing. I’d like to thank the following people for taking the challenge with me: 

    • Acie Vincent 
    • Helen Fields 
    • Lynn Beamer 
    • Lisa Keys 
    • Nancy Angelici 
    • Kim Banick 
    • Isabel Minunni 
    • Chelsea Madrin 
    • Laurie Lufkin 
    • Vanessa Lane 
    • Donna Bardocz 
    • Ava Marie 
    • Lori McClain

    A Newfound ‘Passion For Baking’

    This baking journey has taken me from a nervous “disaster baker” to where I have a real “passion for baking.” I still consider myself a novice baker, yet I have gained confidence as the thought of making macarons or jelly rolls no longer petrify me. Not only has my fear subsided, I’ve also learned so many new baking terms and techniques. For example; I can now wield a piping bag like a professional, make the most delicious fluff frosting, create a beautiful layered cake, and I know now what it means for a macaron to have “feet.” Not to mention, I’ve enjoyed eating some of the most delicious baked treats all thanks to Manuela Kjeilen’s impeccable step by step instruction. 

    According to Manuela’s Passion for Baking cookbook, Manuela strives to “inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen.

    Manuela, let me be the first to say that your goal has been achieved in my kitchen. I’ve been inspired to bake your beautiful creations and I’ve had so much fun throughout this process. My family and neighbors are very thankful to have enjoyed your delicious desserts as well. 

    It’s been such a blessing to have learned from Manuela. Her recipes are so beautiful and delicious; not to mention her step-by-step instructions are so easy to follow. Anyone with the inclination to become a better baker can achieve great success by simply practicing what Manuela preaches. 

    Thank you Manuela for your friendship, support, and passion for baking. My life is better with you in it!  

    Are You Master Baker or Disaster Baker?

    After expanding your horizons and opening yourself up to new experiences in the kitchen, it’s time for you to decide whether you’re a master or disaster baker. Are you feeling like a Master Baker now that you’ve taken my baking challenge? Do you have a new passion for baking? Did Manuela inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen? Only you can answer these questions, I just hope you enjoyed the challenge as much as I did. 

    Please feel free to tell me about your experiences with the challenge and your qualification as a master or disaster bake in the comment section below. I would love to hear which recipe(s) you liked most and why and how this challenge has either positively or negatively impacted your baking skills. 

    Ankarsrum Mixer

    Photo by Ankansrum Original USA

    Further inspiration for the challenge: came from my desire to work with the most amazing mixer in the World, Ankarsrum USA Original. Thank you Ashley McCord, Product Manager at Ankarsrum USA, for sponsoring the giveaway. Thanks to you, this incredible mixer has been awarded to one very happy Woobox winner and for gifting me the “Black Pearl” model to use for the contest. The mixer looks amazing in my new Texas kitchen! 

    Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine (formerly known as Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, DLX), a favorite mixer of Swedish cooks since 1940, is now available for North American homeowners. Fashioned from sturdy chrome and steel, this 600 watt professional quality kitchen tool is a durable all-purpose mixer that produces superior baking results. A variety of optional attachments transforms the Ankarsrum Original into a complete kitchen center, eliminating the need for a separate food processor, meat grinder, or slicer. The Ankarsrum Original offers professional functionality and versatility in one convenient countertop tool.

    The craftsmanship of the Ankarsrum mixer is unparalleled due to it’s user friendly nature.  Also, the multi-functionality makes this mixer a “must have” kitchen utility for both novice and master bakers. I love everything about this mixer!

    (Check out the amazing selection online HERE)

    WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

    If you’re here for the first time and would like check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes, Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge, and Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns.

    (YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MANUELA AND THE CONTESTS OFFICIAL RULES HERE )

    http://

     

     




    Aussie Grassfed Beef and Lamb Patty Melt with Mushroom and Bacon Gravy

    American Fusion Patty Melt

    My Aussie Grassfed Beef and Lamb Patty Melt with Mushroom and Bacon Gravy was inspired by one of my favorite recipes EVER, Low Country Bacon Gravy. My parents taught this girl how to love her gravy and I’ve been cooking the recipe ever since. Brown, giblet, milk, mushroom, and onion gravies have all found a home in both my heart and hearth.

    The quintessential American food has graced many plates in my lifetime, so I had a hunch that the savory milk gravy would pair beautifully with my True Aussie Beef and Lamb and blended mushroom patty melt. My hunch paid off with a First Place Win at the 2018 Annual Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off held in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania on September 8, 2018.

    Lamb and Beef Patty Melt

    The Mushroom Festival 2018 WINNING RECIPE: Grassfed True Aussie Beef and Lamb Burger, blended with portabella and white button mushroom, topped off with Low Country Mushroom Bacon Gravy

    About The Cook-Off:

    The 2018 theme is: Mushrooms Blended with Grassfed Beef or Lamb

    Blended mushroom recipes require ground mushrooms to be mixed with a protein. As a trendy meat extender, the mushrooms create a unique, flavorful combination for burgers, meatballs, tacos, stuffing, or even a Bolognese sauce. The 2018 Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off will focus on blending mushrooms with grassfed beef or lamb. At the Cook-off all recipes will be made with the Australian grassfed beef or lamb of our partner True Aussie Beef and Lamb.

    About The Competitors & Awards:

    This year’s Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-off theme was Mushrooms Blended with Grassfed Beef and Lamb. The entries that came in were amazing and ranged the gamut from hummus and burgers to potstickers and chili. Cuisines ranged from Chinese, Mexican, Mediterranean, and American. Each recipe was tested and rated by a panel of local food enthusiasts and the following six finalists were chosen:

    1. Rebecka Evans (Me) of Pearland, TX– American Fusion Patty Melt with Low Country Mushroom-Bacon Gravy
    2. Jill Gilber of Philadelphia, PA– Exotic Spiced Beef & Silky Buttered Mushrooms over Hummus
    3. Devon Delaney of Westport, CT – Ginger Snapped Lamb and Mushroom Lettuce Cups with Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce & Buttered Pistachios
    4. Janine Washle, of Eastview, KY – Hunter’s Style Beef and Wild Mushrooms over Creamy Parmesan Grits
    5. Lynne Laino, of Downingtown, PA – Kennett Square Gyros with Tzatziki and Crispy Shiitakes
    6. Daniel Richeal of Kennett Square, PA – Mushroom Risotto with Savory Mushroom and Lamb Meatballs

    Each of the finalists will take home from the Cook-off at least a $100 Cash Prize, a $250 Gift Card and Party Pack from True Aussie Beef and Lamb and a Kitchen Aid 3.5-Cup One-Touch 2-Speed Chopper with Extra Bowl.

    The first place winner will receive $1500 cash prize and a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships to compete in the Burger Category ($1500 value). Second place receives a $300 cash prize and third place receives a $200 cash prize.  There will be a special $250 cash prize for Best Use of Butter with Mushrooms. 

    The Official Rules:

    • Charged with the task of blending mushrooms and the choice to use either True Aussie Beef or Lamb, I decided to blend my mushrooms with both proteins. The 80/20 mixture of ground beef and lamb was the perfect bite of deliciousness set against the caramelized onions, domestic Swiss cheese, and mushroom-bacon gravy. I added my favorite bread, marbled rye to make a marriage of flavors that create this blended American Fusion patty melt.
    • Contestants were also asked to use Challenge Butter in their recipes to be judged in a special ancillary contest for a chance to win $250 cash prize for Best Use of Butter with Mushrooms. Jill Gilber (one of my dearest friends and fellow food competitors) won the contest with her Exotic Spiced Beef & Silky Buttered Mushrooms over Hummus. 
    • Finally, the contestants were asked to submit a photo of their recipe for a chance to win and additional $250.00. The photos pictured on my blog were chosen by a panel of judges as the winner. Doubly blessed, I won the First Place Prize of $1500.00 and then another $250.00 for my recipe photos. The cash prize is such a treat but the experience is priceless! 

    Fun Facts About Cream Gravy:

    • People throughout this great nation have long made gravy with whatever is stuck to the bottom of the skillet, but Texas deserves a special citation for their love of cream gravy. It’s a simple, perfect meld of leftover fat, flour, milk or cream and—crucially—plenty of black pepper, stirred together over heat until it’s sufficiently thick. Spooned lavishly over a chicken-fried steak, it’s something akin to heaven in liquid form.
    • Texans can’t take all the credit for milk gravy, Low Country Bacon Gravy, and other milk based gravy are the cuisine of the Southern United States developed in the traditionally defined American South; influenced by African, English, Scottish, Irish, French, Spanish, and Native American cuisines. Tidewater, Appalachian, Creole, Lowcountry, and Floribbean are examples of types of Southern cuisine. In recent history, elements of Southern cuisine have spread north, having an effect on the development of other types of American cuisine. wikipedia.com 

    Beef and Lamb Patty Melt Recipe

    Aussie Grassfed Beef and Lamb Patty Melt with Mushroom and Bacon Gravy

    Aussie Grass Feed Beef and Lamb Patty Melt with Mushroom and Bacon Gravy

    • Servings: make 4 burgers
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Print

    INGREDIENTS:

    15 ounces’ True Aussie Ground beef

    3 ounces True Aussie Ground Lamb

    2 pounds Mixed Mushrooms (baby portabella, white button) divided

    1 1/2 cups Heavy cream

    22 slices Bacon, (about 24 ounces) 16 slices cooked whole, 6 cooked and chopped, all bacon fat reserved

    2 1/2 teaspoons flour

    2 sticks Challenge butter, 1 cup

    Marbled Jewish Rye Bread

    16 slices Swiss cheese

    1 large Sweet Onions

    1 bunch green onions, chopped

    1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

    water to thin gravy if necessary

    Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

    Long rosemary sprigs for garnish

    Mixed mushroom for garnish

    Instructions:

    • Chop and cook remaining 6 slices of bacon. Leave 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in pan, reserve the rest. Drain on a paper towel and set aside. Reserve remaining bacon fat.
    • Slice large sweet onions thinly, sauté in 1 tablespoon bacon drippings and 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter until caramelized. About 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside
    • Chop 1 bunch large green onions (both green and white parts) makes about 2 cups. Set aside

    Sliced Mushroom Blend:

    • Slice 2 ½-pounds mushrooms thinly. Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoon bacon drippings and 2 tablespoon Challenge Butter, 1 cup of green onions, 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary, and sliced mushrooms. Cook until crisp and caramelized, (About 5 minutes)
    • Season with a pinch salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
    • Once mushroom are slightly cooled chop mushrooms in the Kitchen Aid 3.5 Cup One-Touch 2 speed chopper. Set aside half the mixture for blended burgers and half for the for mushroom gravy.

    Blended Burger:

    • In a large bowl combine 15 ounces True Aussie Ground Beef, 3 ounces True Aussie Ground Lamb, 1 cup chopped green onion, 2 cups cooled, chopped mushroom blend.
    • Divide blended burger mixture equally into 4 balls. Place the balls on a parchment line baking sheet and shape into 4, 1/4-inch rectangle patties.
    • In a large sauté or grill pan, melt 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter and cook burgers for 3-4 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Reserve drippings

    Mushroom Gravy:

    • Add 1 tablespoon bacon drippings, 2 tablespoon Challenge Butter to a large sauce pan. Heat over medium high. Once bacon drippings and butter are melted add 2 ½ teaspoons flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.
    • Whisk in 1 cups heavy cream. Continue whisking until all the flour mix is incorporated and there are no lumps. Add remaining ½ cup cream and blend well.
    • Reduce heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter, remaining Mushroom Blend, reserved burger drippings, and chopped bacon. Stir to combine. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and fresh cracked pepper. Keep warm

    Making the Patty Melt:

    • Butter 8 slices Marbled Jewish Rye bread with Challenge butter. Using a large sauté or grill pan turn heat to medium and place 4 slices bread, butter side down in the pan
    • Add 2 slices Swiss cheese to each piece of bread, lay two slices bacon on top of 2 of 2 cheese breads and a cooked burger patty on top of 2 of the pieces of bread.
    • Top both burgers with caramelized onions, 2 more slices bacon for each burger, and top with 1-2 tablespoon mushroom gravy.
    • Cover the burger with second slice of bread and cook for 2-3 minutes. Carefully, flip patty melt over and continue cooking until cheese is melted, about 3 more minutes or until heated through.
    • Skewer burgers with rosemary sprigs and serve with additional mushroom-bacon gravy. ENJOY

    Special Thanks:

    Jennifer Daskevich, Owner @tikihutbrands.com Event MC, Culinary Brand Ambassador, True Aussie Beef and Lamb

    Jennifer Basciani, Mushroom Festival Amateur Cook-Off and Culinary Event Coordinator 

    John D’Amico J.D. Mushrooms, Inc Senior VP

    Challenge Butter

    Kitchen Aid Brands

    Sources: 

    The Mushroom Festival – The Mushroom Festival

    Fun Fact About Gravy- My Recipes .com

    Lowcountry – Wikipedia 

     

     




    Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #6

    Recipe #6 Manuela’s Classic Budapest Roll

    Classic Budapest Roll Manuela

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

    Final Recipe #6:

    Today I’m announcing the final recipe in the Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway bake-along series. When I started this baking journey twelve weeks ago I was a self-professed disaster baker, I never imagined I would end up at the finale with a true “passion” for baking!  I’ve found a new confidence as a baker after baking all six of Manuela’s delicious recipes. The fear and trepidation that once accompanied the thought of baking anything other than cookies or a pie seems to have gone for good. Passion for Baking, Manuela Kjeilen’s step-by-step directions has been the perfect instructor for this novice baker and as Manuela would say, “practice, practice, practice.”

    I hope that you’re all feeling the same sense of accomplishment after baking along in the challenge? Please take a moment to share a a quick note in the comment section below of how this baking journey has effected your skills, life and …

    What We’ve Been Up Too:

    If you’re here for the first time and would like check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes, Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge, and Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns.

    The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous five weeks and are written below: 

    Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s 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 entire duration of the contest. 

    *NOTE* Contest and Giveaway 

    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

    Classic Budapest Roll Manuela

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were 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 Rules 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 #6

    Finally, I would love for your followers to make a typical Norwegian cake, you see them in all the bakeries in Sweden; a classic Budapest roll.

    Manuela, Thank you for choosing this recipe last in the series,  I’ve always wanted to conquer making a rolled cake. Now I can add Classic Budapest Roll to my list of accomplishments as a baker. I hope you find this an acceptable rendition of your recipe.

    Now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Recipe #6 Manuela’s Classic Budapest Roll  above, say hello to my rendition.

    Classic Budapest Roll

    Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans – Recipe by Passion for Baking.com

    Some Thoughts on My Final Bake

    I went into this bake with far less trepidation as previous bakes. I was calm for the first time baking an unfamiliar recipe. It doesn’t hurt that Manuela gives such easy to follow instructions for her recipes. You can find her step by step instructions for this recipe HERE.

    Thinking about making a rolled cake was a little overwhelming but once I started rolling out the cake it was much easier that I imagined. The cake is so deliciously chewy and flavorful and is my favorite in the entire series. The recipe calls for ground hazelnuts or almond flour, I opted to use almond flour since I’m not a fan of hazelnuts. If you have nut allergies, you can substitute your favorite crushed cookies; Lorna Dunes (shortbread cookies) work very well. 

    What I Did Wrong:

    • The meringue crust is chewy and delicious but I over baked it per usual so my meringue is not the beautiful pale color like Manuela’s cake pictured above. I was really hoping to get that light and airy look that Manuela so expertly achieves however, I will have the opportunity to fix that as I will be making this cake again and again, it’s that good!
    • I got carried away with the dark chocolate drizzle so the top of my cake looks like a wild mess. I also added a lot more mandarine orange segments than the recipe calls for because I love them but they are trying to burst out from the sides of my roll. Despite the addition of the emerging orange segments the cake rolled up perfectly.
    • My biggest technical error was piping the meringue too close together and too close to the edges of the baking sheet. Unfortunately, the cake became one giant sheet instead of the beautifully pipped lines of Manuela’s cake.  I had to use a small knife to free the sticky edges from the baking sheet. To keep that from happening, I would suggest leaving about 2 inches free from meringue around the entire sheet to make a clean line. Take a look at Manuela’s YouTube video HERE to see what I’m suggesting. Not a disaster per se, I was able to accomplish the rolled effect without breaking the cake in half! I would call this a baking success. 

    Classic Budapest Roll

    Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen

    Classic Budapest Roll

    Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen

    Manuela’s Classic Budapest Roll Notes

    You will need the following items in order to successfully bake this recipe: 

    1. Stand Mixer with whisk attachment (If you don’t own a stand mixer you can use an electric hand mixer )
    2. One baking sheet lined with parchment and 1 extra sheet of parchment to roll the cake
    3.  1 large round nozzle baking tip
    4. 1 large pastry bag 
    5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

      Classic Budapest Roll

      • Servings: 10-12
      • Difficulty: medium
      • Print

      BUDAPEST ROLL:

      • 1 1/8 cup (250 g) egg whites (about 7 large eggs)
      • 2 cups (450 g) sugar
      • 2 1/8 cups (200g) ground hazelnuts or almonds
      • 3/4 cup or 1-4 ounce box (75g) Jell-O Pudding-Instant Vanilla, optional

      FILLING:

      • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
      • One can mandarin oranges (I used a total of 1 1 /2-15 ounce cans)
      • 2 tablespoon powdered sugar (I like mine sweet)

      TOPPING:

      •  2-3 oz. Dark chocolate, melted
      • 1 tablespoon Powdered sugar for dusting
      • 1-tablespoon Dark cocoa powder for dusting

       DIRECTIONS:

      • Preheat oven to 320F / 160 C°
      • In a large bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while beating the egg whites on low-speed.
      • In a medium bowl, blend the ground hazelnuts with the Jell-O Pudding-Instant Vanilla
      • With the use of a spatula, carefully fold in the hazelnuts / Jell-O Pudding-Instant Vanilla mixture with the egg whites.
      • Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and pipe stripes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, from one side of the baking tray to the other side, pipe each stripe close to each other.
      • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 min, or until set.
      • Let the meringue cool completely.
      • While meringue is cooling, drain the mandarin slices. Make sure they are dry before being putting it on the cake.
      • In a bowl, whip up the heavy cream until it thickens, if you love it sweetened add powdered sugar!
      • Flip the cake upside down onto a new sheet of parchment paper.
      • Carefully peel off the parchment paper spread the whipped cream over the bottom of the cake. Place the mandarin slices e on top of the cream.
      • Place the long side of the cake in front of you and start rolling it.
      • I find using the parchment paper and a silicon mat underneath helps the rolling ones you get started, hold on to the paper rather than the cake.
      • Once rolled up, make sure the edge of the roll is facing down.
      • Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top, when the chocolate is firm, dust the top with icing sugar and some dark cocoa powder

      Enjoy, Love Manuela

    Classic Budapest Roll

    Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    This is your last chance to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece in this challenge! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by, September 15, 2018 Midnight CST 

    Be sure to add a photo of your rendition to the WOOBOX entry form below. Thank you for baking along…Happy Baking!

    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 

    WINNER(s) ANNOUNCED: October 1-5 stay tuned…

    Be sure to Follow Ankarsrum Original USA and Manuela Kjeilen for her newest recipes at passionforbaking.com.

    THANK YOU for baking along! 




    Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #5

    Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns

    Norwegian Vanilla Buns

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

    I hope that everyone that’s baking along is feeling more like a “Master” Baker than a “Disaster” Baker; especially since we’re about to bake Recipe #5. Seeing all of your beautiful photo entries in the WOOBOX Gallery gives me a sense of pride as we bake together in the challenge – keep up the good work! Hard work always pays off, and just like one of the contestants said to me last week: “This is a marathon not a sprint but the effort is so worth the chance of winning that Ankarsrum Mixer!”

    Here’s a photo of the mixer just to give you a little motivation. Isn’t she a beauty?

    Ankarsrum Mixer

    Photo by Ankarsrum USA Original

    If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes and Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

    The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous three weeks and are written below: 

    Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s 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 entire 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

    RECIPE #5, Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns 

    Norwegian Vanilla Buns Recipe

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were 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 Rules 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 #5:

    I also would love for [the contestants] to make my sweet buns, a typical Norwegian sweet bun, topped with a custard, and coconut, these are sold in all the bakeries in Norway and are my favorite!

    I now understand Manuela’s love for Norwegian Vanilla Buns; as they have become my new favorite dessert. The bread is savory, sweet, delicious, and filled with her pastry cream recipe.

    Despite my new love affair with Vanilla Buns, this recipe is a labor of love. You will need a full day to make this recipe in order to allow the dough time to rise not just once, but 3 times. To give you a bit of insight into what I mean, I started baking this recipe at 8 AM and didn’t finish the recipe until 3:45 PM.

    My biggest fear going into this week’s bake resides within the fact that I’ve always struggled when baking with yeast. I can’t ever figure out the perfect temperature to allow the yeast to grow; nor have I ever really taken the time to investigate the proper method. This week was no exception, and I was so frustrated that I had to contact my friend Lynn Beamer to get help. This is how our text conversation went (the information within the conversation is very useful for the recipe):

    ME: Hi Lynn, sorry to bother you, I’m in desperate need of baking advice! What if my yeast doesn’t “Bubble” like the recipe says?”

    ME: I’m afraid! 😱

    LYNN: Was the temp too hot?

    ME: I have no idea! The instructions say use “lukewarm” milk

    LYNN: Put an instant read thermometer in the liquid. More than 115 degrees probably dead!

    ME: Ok, I’ll have to make it again! UGH! 

    LYNN: Always have the liquid at 110-115 when using yeast for bread

    ME: Thank you Lynn🧡

    The disaster was averted with the help of Lynn and her calm direction as my second batch worked perfectly. I’m not sure why it has taken me fifty plus years to learn the correct temperature for lukewarm…stubbornness I suppose. 

    Now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns above, say hello to my rendition.

    Vanilla Sweet Bun Recipe

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Some Thoughts on My Fifth Bake

    My sweet buns turned out beautifully; and I was so tempted to eat them after waiting all day that I ate 2 before they could even cool! I didn’t care though because they were delicious!  I had enough dough to make 10 more buns, so I decided to experiment with flavors and added a tablespoon of Nutella to a few buns and some raspberry jam to the rest (see photos below).

    Although the recipe takes several hours to make, I’m happy to add Manuela’s Vanilla Sweet Buns to my archive of baking recipes. The recipe is super versatile, and I plan to make them again and fill them with Swiss cheese, ham, and bacon (of course). YUM!

    Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns Notes

    You will need the following items in order to successfully bake this recipe: 

    1. Stand Mixer with dough attachment (If you don’t own a stand mixer you can use the old fashioned way, mix and kneed the dough by hand)
    2. Two baking sheets lined with parchment 
    3. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

    Manuela's Norwegian Vanilla Buns

    • Difficulty: medium
    • Print

    SWEET DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

    • 2 CUPS (480 ML) LUKEWARM MILK
    • 2 . TEASPOONS DRY ACTIVE YEAST
    • 1 CUP (225 G) SUGAR
    • 8  CUPS (900 G) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
    • 4 EGGS, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
    • 1/2. TEASPOONS SALT
    • ⅔ CUP (150 G) UNSALTED BUTTER, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, CUT INTO 10 TO PIECES

    FILLING:

    • VANILLA CREAM RECIPE
       
      • 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
      • 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
      • 1/2  CUP (85 G)  SUGAR
      • 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
      • ¼ TEASPOON SALT
      • 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
      • 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES

      DIRECTIONS FOR THE FILLING:

      • In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
      • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
      • Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
      • As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
      • Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
      • Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
      • Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
      • Remove the pan from the heat.
      • Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
      • Whisk in the butter.
      • With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
      • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
      • Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
      • When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
      • Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.

    GLAZE:

    • 1 CUP (110 G) CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR
    • 1-3 TABLESPOONS MILK
    • 1 TEASPOON LIGHT CORN SYRUP

    TOPPING:

    • 1  CUP (150 G) COCONUT (I used unsweet flakes)

    DIRECTIONS FOR THE SWEET DOUGH:

    •  Preheat oven to 350F (180 C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • In the bowl, of a standing mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment, pour in the warm milk(110-115 on a instant read thermometer), add the sugar and yeast and whisk until dissolved.
    • Rest for 5 minutes, the mixture should bubble up a little bit.
    • Add the eggs, salt, and flour, mix on low speed until all of the ingredients have come together.
    • Continue to mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
    • After 10 minutes, add the butter to the dough mix, piece by piece, and continue mixing on low speed.
    • The butter needs to mix completely into the dough, so stop the mixer occasionally and scrape the sides of the bowl to break up the dough.
    • Once the butter is completely incorporated into the dough, mix on medium speed for another 15 minutes, until the dough becomes sticky and soft and somewhat shiny.
    • Increase to medium-high speed for about 1 minute and you should hear a slap-slap-slap sound as the dough hits the sides of the bowl.
    • You should then be able to gather it all together and pick it up all at once in one piece when it’s ready.
    • Take the dough out of the bowl, cover your beautiful hands with flour and push each corner of the dough to the middle, all the way around.
    • Turn the round dough with the seam side down, into a greased bowl, covered with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
    • Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces (I got 34)
    • Shape each piece into a ball.
    • Lay the buns on prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2″ apart, as they will rise quite a bit.
    • With floured hands, press each of the balls down/flat.
    • Place a clean tea towel over each of the baking sheets, and let rise for about 30/ 45 minutes.
    • Remove the tea towel, and with floured hands, lightly press the dough down again with the palms of your hand,  and with your knuckles in the center of each bun make an indentation (see the video).
    • Place the tea towel over the buns again and let rise another 30 minutes,
    • Just before filling each bun with vanilla cream, you can with your knuckles once again make the indentation a bit larger.
    • Fill the centers with a generous amount of vanilla cream /pastry cream.
    • glaze with egg wash, optional
    • Bake until golden brown around edges, which typically takes about 15-20 minutes.

    DIRECTIONS FOR THE GLAZE:

    • As the buns are baking, combine the glaze ingredients.
    • Warm the glaze for 30 seconds in the microwave.
    • Drizzle glaze over baked buns and sprinkle with coconut.
    • In my opinion, the more coconut, the better it tastes!
    • Allow buns to cool several minutes before enjoying these Norwegian school buns!
    • Norwegian Vanilla Buns taste best eaten the same day.

    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 September 1, 2018 Midnight CST 

    If you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE), and be sure to add a photo of your rendition to the WOOBOX entry form below. Happy Baking!

    http://

    Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

    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 and Giveaway RECIPE #3

    Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway 

    This week we are baking RECIPE #3  Manuel’s Best Cupcakes with Vanilla Fluff Frosting.

    My Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

    If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake and Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake. 

    The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as Recipe #1 and Recipe #2, and are written below: 

    Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Masterpiece or Disaster” piece. 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 

    RECIPE #3

    MANUELA’S BEST VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH FLUFF FROSTING

    Manuel's Recipe Vanilla Cupcakes

    My Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com‘s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were 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 Rules 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 #3:

    The third recipe is my Vanilla cupcake, my recipe became a cake mix in all the Norwegian stores and is my all-time favorite cupcake.”

    Manuela’s accolades continue with the growth of her brand and business. To have your recipe made into a boxed cake mix and distributed to all Norwegian grocery stores is quite an accomplishment. Manuela has also baked for Royalty in Saudi Arabia and was a Guest Judge for MasterChef Slovenia. Congratulations my friend; you are truly an inspiration. 

    (You can read more about Manuela on her blogs Media Page HERE)

    Thankfully, this weeks recipe is in my wheelhouse of baking knowledge. I’ve made a lot of cupcake recipes over the years, so I was very eager to make Manuela’s. I’ve also made delicious Fluff Frosting for my Old Fashioned White Cake with White Mountain Frosting; so I feel more at ease with this week’s challenge. Next weeks challenge is going to be a different story, I’m already dreading it!! 

    So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes with Fluff Frosting above, say hello to my rendition.

    Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Everything about this cupcake makes me happy! Its pink, has sprinkles, and the Fluff Frosting is silky smooth and looks as light as a feather. Did I mention they were super easy for this disaster baker to make?

    The key to making this cupcake taste so delightful is creaming the butter and sugar for a full six  minutes. The Fluff Frosting is also a cinch to make with the use of a candy thermometer, and the slow setting on a stand mixer. If you don’t own a stand mixer, just use a hand held mixer and a very large bowl to make your Fluff Frosting. Pour the hot syrup into your egg whites on the slow speed aiming for the side of the bowl and not the beaters.

    My “disaster” style of baking has gotten me into trouble in the past, but most recently with Recipe #1 and Recipe #2 of this challenge. I overcooked both cakes, so I need to keep my eye on the timer when making Manuela’s cupcakes. 

    Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    These beauties are perfect for a ladies luncheon or “Pretty in Pink” girls Birthday Party and look amazing presented on my antique Fostoria Pink Depression Glass. I had so much fun photographing and eating them. 

    Some Thoughts on My Third Bake

    Despite my setbacks with the two previous recipes in the challenge, and my anxiety over making macaroons next week, I’m having a lot of fun! I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment with my positive progression as I continue to bake on a weekly basis.  My family and neighbors are also enjoying the challenge with all the homemade sweets to eat.

    I hope you’re all  having as much fun as I am baking for the challenge! Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments about your experiences in the comment section below. I’d love to know how things are going in your kitchen. Here are a few more photos of my cupcakes, just because they make me smile!

    Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

    Three Vanilla Cupcakes in a row – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

    Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    What I Love About This Challenge

    This week’s challenge was a breeze. It felt good to bake a familiar recipe and to add two more of Manuela’s recipes to my baking repertoire (Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and her Vanilla Fluff Frosting). The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe.

    Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcake Notes

    You will need the following items in order to “successfully” bake this recipe: 

    1. 36 paper cupcake liners
    2. 2 – 12 count cupcake tins
    3. 1 Medium disposable piping bag
    4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

    1M Wilton Piping Tip

    I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe; however if you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

     

    NOTE: My Recipe Card Plugin is acting up and I can’t edit or save right now.

    I left off PLUS 3 TABLESPOONS SUGAR in the FLUFF section of the recipe. I will fix ASAP. I’m sorry, for the inconvenience. 

    Manuela's Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Fluff Frosting
    Yields 24
    Photo is my version of Manuela's recipe for the Contest and Giveaway
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    CAKE
    1. 14 TABLESPOONS (200 G) UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMPERATURE
    2. 1 ⅓ CUPS (300 G) SUGAR
    3. 4 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
    4. 3 1/2 CUPS (400 G) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SIFTED
    5. 3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
    6. 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
    7. 2 CUPS (500 ML) HEAVY CREAM, ROOM TEMPERATURE
    8. 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE OR VANILLA EXTRACT OR SEEDS FROM 1/2 VANILLA BEAN.
    FLUFF
    1. 1 1/8 cup (225 G) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
    2. 1/3 cup (120 G) LIGHT CORN SYRUP OR GLUCOSE SYRUP
    3. 1/3 cup (90 ML) WATER
    4. 2/3 cup (150 G) EGG WHITES, ABOUT 4 LARGE EGGS
    5. 1 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OPTIONAL
    6. PINK FOOD COLORING (OPTIONAL)
    FOR THE CAKE
    1. Preheat the oven to 400. F (200. C). Line cupcake pans with 20-24 paper cup liners.
    2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, twice, and set aside.
    3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
    4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
    5. Add the eggs one at a time, to the creamed butter mixture, beat for 30 seconds each time.
    6. Add the flour mixture, heavy cream, and vanilla and then beat slowly until well incorporated, but not more than 1. minutes, or use a spatula to combine.
    7. Scoop the batter into prepared pans, using a standard size ice cream scoop.
    8. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the middle of the oven or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
    9. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for one minute.
    10. Then, immediately remove the baking cups from the baking pan and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
    11. The baked cupcakes can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
    FOR THE FLUFF
    1. Combine the sugar, light corn syrup and water in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer.
    2. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
    3. Once it has dissolved do not stir any longer and let it heat over a medium-low heat until the temperature reaches 240ºF (117ºC).
    4. Wipe the inside of a stainless steel standing mixer bowl and the whisk attachment with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
    5. Add egg whites to standing mixer bowl and mix on low speed; as soon as it begins to foam add the 3 tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
    6. Beat egg white to soft peaks
    7. When syrup reaches 240ºF (117ºC), slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, aiming for the side of the bowl, rather than the whisk.
    8. When all syrup has been added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whisk until the frosting becomes thick and glossy and holds a firm peak; bowl will feel slightly warm.
    9. Once frosting is ready, add the vanilla bean paste and a drop of food coloring (optional) and mix until just combined.
    Notes
    1. The cupcake batter will be very thick. If using a stand mixer use a spatula to reach the bottom of the bowl to lift any unincorporated butter left at the bottom of the bowl.
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
    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) byAugust 12018 Midnight CST.

    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



    Cranberry ELOTE (Mexican Street Corn)

    ELOTE Mexican Street Corn

    My Mexican Cranberry Fiesta is complete with my last entry in the Cape Cod Select Blogger Recipe Challenge. For the side dish category, I created a  Cranberry ELOTE (Mexican street corn).

    I was so inspired by the delicious cranberries sent to me by Cape Cod Select that I went all out and created an entire Mexican feast!

     First Entry in the Beverages Category (Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic): 

    Cranberry Margarita’s, 

    Cap Cod Cranberry Recipe

    These margaritas will whet your appetite as the perfect starter to my cranberry infused meal.

    My Second Entry in the Salsa Category: 

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa  

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    The salsa is packed with the fresh southwestern flavors, and the ideal dip for your chips. I also used the salsa as a topping for my Main Dish (not a category in this contest but a delicious entree for my Mexican Fiesta Meal).

    Cranberry Chipotle Flat Iron Steak Tacos


    Cranberry Chipotle Flat Iron Steak Tacos

    If you’ve never had fresh-frozen cranberries on your Mexican Street corn, then you’re missing something really special. The sweet-tart flavor of the cranberries create the perfect bite when blended with the traditional flavors of Cotija cheese, fresh jalapeños, cilantro, and freshly roasted sweet corn.

    ELOTE Mexican Street Corn

    Cranberry ELOTE (Mexican Street Corn)
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    25 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1/2 cup fresh frozen Cape Cod Select Cranberries, thawed, and rough chopped
    2. 2 cups cotija cheese
    3. 6 ears fresh corn
    4. 1 large jalapeño, seeded, ribs removed and chopped
    5. 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
    6. 3 tablespoons butter
    7. 3 tablespoons real mayonnaise
    Instructions
    1. Combine crumbled cotija cheese, chopped jalapeño, cilantro, and chopped cranberries in a bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to plate. When corn is cooked, pour the cranberry cheese mixture into a large shallow dish.
    2. Peel corn husks back leaving them attached to the cob like a handle. Some of the husks will fall off. This is ok as you'll use the husks to tie the handle together. Remove corn silks and rinse the corn with cold water. Using one of the fallen husks, tear several long strips lengthwise to create a tie for the corn. Gather the husks together and tie neatly with one of the long strips. Continue this process until all the corn handles are tied.
    3. Wrap the husks in foil leaving the corn exposed
    4. Roast the corn on a 450 degree grill for 20 minutes. Turn corn every 8 minutes to ensure even browning on each side.
    5. When corn is tender and the kernels are charred remove them from the grill and take off the foil.
    6. Butter each ear of corn. Smear 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise over each corn and roll in the cranberry cotija mixture. ENJOY
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

    I’m enjoying this challenge so much because I’ve been given the chance to work with Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries. Their product is grown to exceed some of the industries highest standards as they are Non-GMO verified and hold GLOBALG.A.P. Certification (http://globalgap.org/uk_en/for-consumers/).

    The Rhodes Family has been growing cranberries on their 800 acre cranberry farm for more than 75 years. It’s worth mentioning that they’re  a small, women-owned family business, dedicated to providing their customers with the highest quality product.

    Using Cape Cod’s Frozen Cranberries is like working with fresh cranberries in terms of taste and appearance. Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries are individually frozen and perfect once thawed at room temperature. They are also delicious.

    Don’t forget to follow Cape Cod Select on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as they provide regular updates on products, contests, recipes and more. You can also check nearby stores for this great product, or order their frozen cranberries online




    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    I was recently invited to compete in the Cape Code Select Summer Breeze Blogger Recipe Challenge. For this event I knew I had to create a dish that embodied the culture of a Mexican Fiesta by using the tart-sweetness of Cape Cod Premium Frozen Cranberries in my famous Queso Blanco Salsa. The frozen cranberries are the perfect complement to the salsa. The fresh flavors of sweet corn, red and yellow peppers, jalapeño, and cranberry combine perfectly for this challenge. Above all else, the sweet-tartness from the cranberry really hits the mark when paired with the creamy-saltiness from the Queso Blanco. 

    In addition to this recipe, I also created a Cranberry Margarita for the Cocktail challenge in the contest. My Cranberry Margaritas are refreshing and the best way to wash down this robust salsa. You can find the recipe HERE

    Cape Cod Select Cranberry Margarita

    Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

    I’m enjoying this challenge so much because I’ve been given the chance to work with Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries. Their product is grown to exceed some of the industries highest standards as they are Non-GMO verified and hold GLOBALG.A.P. Certification (http://globalgap.org/uk_en/for-consumers/).

    The Rhodes Family has been growing cranberries on their 800 acre cranberry farm for more than 75 years. It’s worth mentioning that they’re  a small, women-owned family business, dedicated to providing their customers with the highest quality product.

    Using Cape Cod’s frozen cranberries is like working with fresh cranberries in terms of taste and appearance. Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries are individually frozen and perfect once thawed at room temperature. They are also delicious.

    THE CONTEST: Using Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries create 
    Beverages: (Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic) My entry Cranberry Margarita’s
    Appetizers:
    Sides:
    Salads:
    Salsas: My entry Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

     

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa
    Serves 6
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup Cape Cod Frozen Cranberries
    2. 1 teaspoon sugar
    3. 2 tablespoons cranberry juice
    4. 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
    5. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    6. 1 cup frozen sweet corn
    7. 1 large red bell pepper, chopped fine
    8. 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
    9. 1 large fresh jalapeño, seeded and ribs removed, fine chopped
    10. 1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
    11. 1 1/3 cups Queso Blanco with Green Chiles
    12. Salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. Add cranberries, cranberry juice, lime juice and sugar to a small sauce pan.
    2. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
    3. Strain liquid from cranberries into a medium sized bowl
    4. Rough chop the cooled cranberries and add to the bowl
    5. Chop red and yellow peppers, jalapeño, onion and cilantro and add to the bowl
    6. Add sweet corn, and Queso Blanco to the bowl and toss mixture to combine
    7. Garnish with more cilantro and fresh lime wedges
    Notes
    1. Serve with corn chips and my delicious Cranberry Margarita's
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

     
    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    Do not forget to follow Cape Cod Select on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as they provide regular updates on products, contests, recipes and more. Also check nearby stores for this great product or you can order these frozen cranberries online




    Cranberry Margarita

    Cap Cod Cranberry Recipe

     

    Margaritas are my all time favorite cocktail, so when I was invited to compete in the Cape Code Select Blogger Challenge, I knew I had to make Cranberry Margaritas.

    I’m enjoying this challenge so much because I’ve been given the opportunity to work with Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries. Their product is grown to exceed some of the industries highest standards as they are Non-GMO verified and hold GLOBALG.A.P. Certification (http://globalgap.org/uk_en/for-consumers/).

    The Rhodes Family has been growing cranberries on their 800 acre cranberry farm for more than 75 years. It’s worth mentioning that they’re  a small, women-owned family business, dedicated to providing their customers with the highest quality product.

    Using Cape Cod’s frozen cranberries is like working with fresh cranberries in terms of taste and appearance. Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries are individually frozen and perfect once thawed at room temperature. They are also delicious.

    Cape Cod Select Cranberry Margarita

    My recipe is simple, and filled with sweet-tart flavors including lemon, lime & cranberry simple syrup, and of course tequila. This drinks pairs nicely with my second recipe in the challenge, Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa. You can find the recipe HERE.

    Cranberry Queso Blanco Salsa

    THE CONTEST
    Using Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries Create: 
    • Beverages (Alcoholic or Non-Alcoholic)
    • Appetizers
    • Sides, Salads & Salsas

    Cranberry Margaritas
    Serves 2
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    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    3 min
    Total Time
    8 min
    Prep Time
    5 min
    Cook Time
    3 min
    Total Time
    8 min
    Ingredients
    1. 4 ounces tequila
    2. 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
    3. 2 ounces fresh lime juice
    4. 2 ounces cranberry simple syrup
    Cranberry Simple Syrup
    1. 1 cup 100% cranberry juice
    2. 1 cup sugar
    3. 1 cup Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries
    Chili/Sugar Rim Mix
    1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2. 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
    Drunk Cranberry Skewers
    1. 1 cup Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries (reserved from simple syrup)
    2. 1/2 cup tequila
    For the Margarita
    1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, lemon juice, and cranberry simple syrup. Shake until well combined.
    2. Run a lime slice over the rim of 2 Margarita glasses and dip rims in Sugar/Chili Rim Mix
    3. Skewer drunken cranberries on long picks and roll in sugar mix to coat cranberries
    For the Cranberry Simple Syrup and Drunken Cranberries
    1. In a medium sauce pan combine 1 cup cranberry juice, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup Cape Cod Cranberries. Cook over medium heat until very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool
    2. Strain juice from cranberries using a fine sieve. Pour 1/2 cup tequila over cranberries and marinate for 15 minutes. The simple syrup and drunk cranberries can be made the day ahead to give cranberries more time to marinate in the tequila and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
    Notes
    1. Garnish with Drunken Cranberry Skewers
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

    Do not forget to follow Cape Cod Select on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as they provide regular updates on products, contests, recipes and more. Also check nearby stores for this great product, or you can order these frozen cranberries online

     

     




    Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #2

    Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway

    My bake along challenge began last week with Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. You can find Manuela’s recipe and my recreation HERE. You can also view all the contestant submissions in the Woobox Gallery link at the bottom of this post.

    The requirements for this week’s challenge are the same as Recipe #1; and are as follows: bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Masterpiece or Disaster” piece. 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 

    RECIPE #2

    BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) 

    Manuela's Cream Cake

    BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Manuela Kjeilen. All photos courtesy 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 each of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #2:

    The second recipe is a Bløtekake (Norwegian Cream Cake) typical of a cake you would see at bakeries in Norway! Contestants can just fill it with strawberries rather than all of the fruits that I used. This is how we do cakes in Norway and I love this cake.

    Manuela you’re so right! Norwegians really know how to make a delicious cake! This  beautiful cake is filled will all my favorite things: pastry cream, mascarpone whipped cream, chopped walnuts, dark chocolate, and a mixture of fresh fruits.  This fabulous recipe is perfect for any summertime gathering, but would look great at your red, white, and blue 4th of July party. I love that the American and Norwegian flags share the same colors! 

    Some Thoughts on My Second Bake 

    I feel more accomplished as a baker after the first challenge last week. I’ve had less anxiety about making a traditional sponge for the Norwegian Cream Cake;  yet I worry about my lack of  technique  in the decorating department.  I’ve never made a layered cake that didn’t look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa;  plus I suffer from a lack of understanding when it comes to executing the perfect slice.  

    The use of acetate or plastic cake collar is a new technique for me as well. If you don’t own acetate cake collars, you can substitute with heavy plastic wrap and use large spring form pans and outer clamping ring for the adjustable cake ring step. 

    This is going to be a fun bake, and I hope  you all will bake along.

    So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) (see photo above), say hello to my rendition:

    Cream Cake by Becka

    My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

    You’ll notice my piping on the sides of the cake are too close together, jagged, and don’t look finished where the cake top meets the piped sides. You’ll also see that the top of my cake resembles a mosaic or road map  rather than the 6 perfect triangle slices on Manuela’s cake.  My rendition of the cake is pretty, but not correct if we’re trying to replicate Manuel’s recipe. My decoration looks more like a mosaic than Manuela’s 6 perfectly piped triangles 

    Rebecka's Cream Cake2

    My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

    Rebecka's Cream Cake Slice 1

    Leaning Tower of  BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Rebecka Evans

    My slice is leaning to the side as it almost fell onto  the floor on its way from the cake to the plate.

    Manuel’s recipe offers the option to use 8 or 9 inch springform pan or two – 3X8 – inch round baking tins, or 10 -inch springform pan. Recipes for both options are listed.  I opted to use a 10  inch springform pan to bake my sponge. I over baked the cake (again), so I had to use more orange juice on the slices to moisten them. I also used an additional 4 cups of heavy cream to make my whipped icing. Finally, I used Manuel’s Vanilla Frosting made with mascarpone. You can use your own favorite recipe for whipped icing, or you can find Manuela’s recipe HERE

    I love the color and textures of this cake. The vanilla cream is the best I’ve ever made. I could eat an entire bowl of the luscious cream in one sitting. The decadent whipped cream tastes so fresh, and is the perfect cover for my mistakes despite my messy execution. My rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE isn’t a “masterpiece,” but it’s not bad for my second bake. 

    BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) NOTES

    1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, cooking spray, a metal and plastic cake collar, and acetate film. I found the metal adjustable collar and acetate cake collars at a local baking shop.  Acetate is sold per piece in large sheets. If you don’t care to spend money on a metal adjustable cake ring, you can use the clean, dry ring from a springform pan. (You can watch Manuela’s Video HERE to get a better idea of this technique)
    2. You will need medium disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1 M piping tip.
    3. When the recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate, I used my favorite dark chocolate bar which is 70% cocoa.
    4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
    5. The recipe calls for 2 cups whipped cream to fill the cake. I made an additional 4 cups of whipped cream to decorate my cake using Manuela’s Mascarpone Whipped Frosting. You can find the recipe HERE
    WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE

    I have pushed myself to work outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added two more delicious recipes to my baking repertoire: Norwegian Sponge Cake and Vanilla Pastry Cream. The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe. 

     

    BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE)
    Serves 8
    BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) Photo is Rebecka's rendition of Manuela's recipe
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    Cook Time
    20 min
    Cook Time
    20 min
    Ingredients
    1. 9- INCH SPRINGFORM
    2. 1 RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
    3. 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE (I used about 1 cup)
    4. 1 CUP RASPBERRY JAM
    5. 1 RECIPE VANILLA CREAM
    6. 2 CUPS WHIPPED CREAM
    7. FRESH FRUIT, STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, MANGO, BANANA
    8. 1 CUP CHOPPED DARK CHOCOLATE
    9. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS (optional)
    10. FOR DECORATING
    11. 4 CUPS ADDITIONAL WHIPPED CREAM
    12. MORE FRESH FRUIT( OPTIONAL)
    RECIPE FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
    1. 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
    2. 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
    3. ⅜ CUP (85 G) SUGAR
    4. 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
    5. ¼ TEASPOON SALT
    6. 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
    7. 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES
    RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
    1. 6 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
    2. 1 1/4 CUPS (240 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
    3. 1 TABLESPOON BUTTERMILK OR WATER
    4. 1 1/2 CUPS (180 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
    5. 1/2 CUPS (60 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
    6. 1 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
    7. NORWEGIAN SPONGE CAKE ( IF BAKED SEPARATE IN 3 X 8 -INCH BAKING ROUND BAKING TINS) OR IN A 10 INCH SPRINGFORM
    8. 8 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
    9. 1 2/3 CUPS (325 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
    10. 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTERMILK OR WATER
    11. 2 CUPS (240 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
    12. 2/3 CUPS (80 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
    13. 1-2 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
    Instructions
    1. Start by making the vanilla cream some hours before and put it in the fridge
    FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
    1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
    2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
    3. Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
    4. As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
    5. Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
    6. Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
    7. Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
    8. Remove the pan from the heat.
    9. Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
    10. Whisk in the butter.
    11. With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
    12. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
    13. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
    14. When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
    15. Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.
    FOR SPONGECAKE
    1. Make the sponge cake in a 24 cm or 25 cm ( 9-inch or 10-inch springform)
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottom of three 8– inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line with parchment paper; Or if you prefer you can use an 8-inch spring-form pan line bottom with parchment paper and spray.
    3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch or if you use potato starch, and set aside.
    4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on low-medium speed for 1 minute.
    5. Increase the speed to medium, and continue beating for 5 minutes.
    6. Add water or buttermilk and beat for another 1-5 minutes on medium-high speed.
    7. Add vanilla bean paste, and beat for one minute more.
    8. The batter should be very thick. When the whisk is lifted, the batter should ribbon from it back into the batter in the bowl.
    9. Pour the batter into a large wide bowl.
    10. Sift in half the flour mixture. Use a large silicone spatula to stir and fold until only a few streaks of flour are visible.
    11. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Make sure to maintain the batter’s volume while folding;
    12. it is important to not deflate the batter.
    13. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or pans using a spatula to distribute batter evenly.
    BAKING TIME AND ASSEMBLE
    1. 20 minutes → 3 x 8-inch pans, always check with a cake tester
    2. 30 minutes for → One springform 9-inch (24cm), always check with a cake tester
    3. Bake the first two cakes on the middle rack of oven until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs
    4. Let the cakes cool in the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes.
    5. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely.
    6. Use a sharp knife and scrape away any dark crust on the sides, optional
    7. If you baked this cake in one springform, Cut the cake into 3 even layers.
    8. Place the first cake layer on a silicon mat or parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet that fits into a fridge!
    9. Drizzle the first cake layer with some orange juice, or milk.
    10. Add raspberry jam, use one with a good quality ( homemade = best) with an offset spatula just spread it all over the first cake layer.
    11. Add the vanilla cream, and spread it all out on the first layer.
    12. Add whipped cream, with an offset spatula spread it all over the cake layer.
    13. Add chopped dark chocolate and walnuts.
    14. And add fruit of your choice, I used mango, banana, strawberries, raspberries.
    15. Add a little more cream on top, so the next cake layer stays in place.
    16. Place the second layer on top, If you have packed your cake with loads of yumminess, it might come out on the side.
    17. If that happens just take your offset spatula and lift the cake layer and push it in the cake.
    18. Repeat the same thing as the first cake layer.
    19. Put a cake collar ( that´s a plastic film for assembling cakes used inside the cake ring, and place a cake ring around the cake.
    20. Add the last layer, leave it in the fridge some hours to firm up.
    21. Decorate the cake with some more whipped cream and if you wish to decorate the top with some more fresh fruit!
    22. Hope you are going to love it, with love from Norway.
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
    Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece and post a photo of your completed dish to the Woobox link below by July 15, 2018 Midnight CST.

    http://

    For a list of 6 handpicked recipes and the Official Rules click HERE

    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



    IMPOSSIBLE Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice – Chef’s Roll Challenge

    Make it POSSIBLE with IMPOSSIBLE Burger  – Chef’s Roll Challenge

    Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice

    IMPOSSIBLE BURGER Shepard's Pie

    Chef’s Roll teamed up with Impossible Foods to give its members an opportunity to be [a part of] cutting-edge culinary progress. [One hundred] chefs were shipped Impossible Food’s groundbreaking plant-based meat in order to show off its limitless possibilities.”  

    I was lucky enough to be one of the one-hundred chefs chosen to try out the Impossible Burger. I made a delicious Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice, which unfortunately wasn’t chosen as a winner.

    Impossible Burger Shepard's Pie Recipe

    As a competitive food sport enthusiast, it’s easy to second guess everything when your dish isn’t a winner. I begin to wonder “did I style the recipe well enough,” or “did I showcase the sponsors product clearly?” I always ask myself, “what could I have done differently to have my recipe chosen as a finalist or winner of this challenge?”  This recipe was no different, and I honestly don’t think I showcased the product well enough this time. Regardless I’m happy that even though my recipe wasn’t picked,  I had the honor of testing this crazy-good product. It actually looks and tastes like “real” beef. 

    Making a Better Burger

    A core part of our mission is to make delicious meat sustainably — bypassing animals and making it directly from plants. We’ve spent more than six years studying animal meat at the molecular level to discover how it “works”–-how it handles and cooks, and especially how it produces the flavors and textures people love.

    Our first product, the Impossible Burger, uses 75% less water, generates 87% less greenhouse gases, requires 95% less land and 100% fewer cows. It delivers the same protein and iron as a burger made from a cow — but its protein comes entirely from plants, and it’s produced without the use of hormones or antibiotics, does not create a reservoir for dangerous pathogens, and contains no cholesterol or slaughterhouse contaminants. If everyone who eats beef burgers today chose Impossible Burgers instead, the positive impact on our planet and global health would be profound.

    But some people have asked us if the Impossible Burger is too similar to a burger from cows. They wonder whether people who regularly eat our burger might experience the same long-term health risks associated with a diet rich in red meat from mammals.

    We are confident the answer is no. And here’s why…Click HERE  for the rest of the article


    Impossible Burger

    I opened my package of Impossible Burger and gave it a thorough inspection. I was skeptical about its “meat like” appearance. The product smelled less like beef and more like plants; which is expected since its 100% plant-based product. I wondered how a carnivore like me could stomach cooking the stuff, and what I found surprised me. 

    At first touch I was skeptical of the texture of  Impossible Burger, but then I thought to myself: raw meat is really no different than this stuff.” It’s funny how our minds trick us when we are trying something new.

    Since this was my first time using the Impossible Heme Plant-Based Burger, I wanted to make an everyday meal to see how closely the product mimics real burger. I decided on one of my family’s favorites meals – Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice. It’s very rare for this carnivore to find a meat substitute that’s worth eating, but after tasting the product that changed. I was blown away by the consistency and flavor of the Impossible Burger; not to mention the beautiful caramelization during the browning process. My mind was blown by the authentic flavor of the Impossible Burger.

    Impossible Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice
    Serves 4
    Since this is my first time using the IMPOSSIBLE Heme plant based burger, I wanted to make an "everyday meal" to see how closely the product mimics " real" burger. I decided on one of my family’s favorites meals... Shepard’s Pie with Puff Pastry Lattice. It's very rare for this carnivore to find a meat substitute that's worth eating but today that reality changed. I was blown away by the consistency and flavor of the IMPOSSIBLY Burger not to mention, the beautiful caramelization during the browning process. My mind was blown by the authentic flavor of the IMPOSSIBLE Burger.
    Write a review
    Print
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    1 hr 10 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr
    Total Time
    1 hr 10 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry
    2. 2 pounds ground IMPOSSIBLE Burger
    3. 1 onion, medium chopped
    4. 1 carrot, medium chopped
    5. 1 red pepper, medium chopped
    6. 2 celery stalks, medium chopped
    7. 5 cloves garlic, minced
    8. 1 8-ounce package baby Bella mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
    9. 1/4 cup flour
    10. 2 tablespoons butter, divided
    11. 3 1/2 cup chicken stock, divided (substitute vegetable stock)
    12. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
    13. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
    14. 10 small potatoes, sliced
    15. 1 12-ounce bag frozen peas
    16. 1 egg, (egg wash, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons water)
    Instructions
    1. Heat oven 425
    2. In a large sauce pan brown 2 pounds IMPOSSIBLE Burger in 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat
    3. Remove meat from pan and set aside on a plate
    4. Add 2 tablespoon butter to pan and sauté, carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper and celery for 8 minutes or until vegetables are just softened. Season with pinch of sea salt and black pepper
    5. Make a roux. Heat butter in a small sauce pan add. Cook stirring for 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside
    6. Add 2 cups chicken stock, sliced potatoes, and herbs to the cooked vegetable mixture. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add roux and stir until mixture is thickened.
    7. Butter 2-9-inch baking dishes or a cast iron pan. Equally divide cooked IMPOSSIBLE Burger into the bottom of prepared baking dishes.
    8. Spoon equal amounts of the thickened vegetable mixture over the IMPOSSIBLE Burger. Divided peas equally and sprinkle over vegetable layer. Pour 1/2 cup chicken stock into each pie dish for added moisture.
    9. Cut puff pastry into 1/2 inch strips. Create a lattice over the pie by adding 5 strips of puff pastry about 1 inch apart on top of the pie filling, horizontally. Add 3-4 more strips vertically alternating pieces to create lattice by peeling back the 2nd and 4th strips first, then peel back 1st, 3rd, and 5th, strips and add another strip of pastry. Continue until lattice is complete.
    10. In a small bowl whisk 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water for egg wash. Brush puff pastry with egg wash and bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until pasty is golden brown.
    At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
    IMPOSSIBLE BURGER Shepard's Pie

     

    To see the contest winning recipes click HERE




    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.
     
     



    Final Table – World Food Championship 2017

    Final Table Top Ten Contestants

    Front Left: Anne Jones, Rebecka Evans, Acie Vincent, Liz Kraatz, Lim Banick Back Left: Lisa Gwatney, Michael Callaghan, Tommy Shive, Craig Baker, Fred Robles Photo by WFC MMA Creative

    Final Table – World Food Championship 2017 was an exhilarating and incredible experience. Held in Bentonville, Arkansas  presented by Walmart April 22, 2018, at the state of the art Brightwater cooking facility. The 10 World Food Champs (pictured above) were privileged to compete and share in one of the most prestigious cooking contest in the world. I’m still pinching myself for winning the Bacon category at World Food Championships in 2017 so you can imagine my excitement at being a contestant at the Final Table. 

    My BACON DUTCH CRUNCH PANCAKES with Peachy, Pecan, Spiced Syrup placed 7th in the World with a 93.3 Score! That’s a pretty respectable finish given the caliber of professional chef’s and seasoned home cooks representing their divisions at the Final Table. 

    Bacon Dutch Crunch Pancake by Rebecka Evans

    Photo by WFC MMA Creative

     Official Recipe Description:

    A traditional Dutch baby pancake batter is seasoned with homemade bacon dust and filled with warm fruit compote. A toasty Dutch crunch of Texas pecans, almonds, and hickory smoked bacon is sprinkled over the compote. Topped with a mascarpone, bacon infused whipped cream and a drizzle of homemade peachy, pecan-spiced syrup laced with a hint of amaretto and habanero, the Dutch Baby is then finished with more Dutch crunch and a lovely bacon spiral. Lightly dusted with powdered sugar, my BACON DUTCH CRUNCH PANCAKES with Peachy, Pecan, Spiced Syrup are the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

    Many of the VIP guests and World Food Championship official sponsors took the time to find me after our Final Table Turn-In to express how much they enjoyed eating my bacon pancake; some even said it was the best bite of the night! I was so honored by their compliments and kind wishes!

    One of the most enduring memories for me will be the camaraderie between contestants at the Final Table 2017. Everyone shared a cheerful demeanor throughout the competition and a common thread of belief in Jesus Christ, exemplified in group prayer before the first whistle blew and an overall feeling of joy and well being.  I will be forever blessed by this group of Food Sport enthusiast! 

    OUR JUDGES: 

    Our panel of celebrity judges was made up of Walmart Senior Vice President, Shawn Baldwin, two sport ex pro-athlete, Bo Jackson, celebrity chef, Katie Dixon, venture capitalist, Mart Massey and legendary pitmaster, Moe Cason.

    Best quotes from the Judges:

    • Bo Jackson said he had never eaten anything like my bacon pancake in his life but he, “LOVED IT!”
    • Katie Dixon said, “This recipe makes me so happy, I LOVE YOU!”
    • Walmart Senior Vice President, Shawn Baldwin said with a smile, “This is so delicious, it takes me back to my grandmothers kitchen.” 

    Win or lose, it doesn’t get any better than that! Katie Dixon Rebecka Evans Final Table

    I had the immense pleasure of meeting this darling and talented young chef at The Final Table VIP dinner. Katie Dixon is not only beautiful on the outside she is beautiful to her core! Katie, thank you for your sweet and generous spirit! Blake and I will be cheering you on as we watch all your career explode!

    Lisa Gwatney World Champion 2017

    Memphis Home Cook Lisa Gwatney won 100,000 prize purse with her steak dish, “The Last Supper,” which featured a Wagyu Ribeye Filet, grilled and seared, topped with truffle butter sautéed mushrooms, seared Foie gras, and an Amarone reduction. This is Lisa’s first time on the competition circuit…wow, what a great year she is having! Lisa is such a sweetheart. She gave one of the most gracious and moving acceptance speeches I’ve ever heard, not only that, she is an amazing home cook. Her husband is an award winning BBQ chef and was her sous for the event. Congratulations Lisa! 

    This is the first time in the six-year history of WFC that the Final Table event has been held separate from the main competition. The strategic decision to hold the final face-off between the category champs was an effort to elevate “Food Sport” and give the category champs a chance to prepare one-of-a-kind culinary creations.

    “I believe this has been most successful Final Table in the six-year year history of WFC,” said Mike McCloud, President, and CEO of the World Food Championships. “The talent and passion these ten champions demonstrated during the competition truly showcase what Food Sport is all about.” SOURCE: MMA CREATIVE World Food Championships 

    Final Table 2017 Rebecka Evans

    Rebecka Evans Bacon World Champion and Tamie Joeckle Photo by WFC MMA Creative

    I couldn’t have done this without the love and support of my amazing sponsors! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Saucy Mama and Kountry Boy’s Sausage/BaconKountry Boy Logo 2017

    KOUNTRY BOYS SAUSAGE Company was established in 1998 in Brenham, Texas. It all started with a delicious family recipe, rich with our German, Polish, and Czech Heritage. All of our products begin with lean-cuts of meat and the freshest herbs and spices. It is then stuffed into natural casings and hickory smoked to perfection. So it is ready to eat and full of bold, gourmet flavor. KOUNTRY BOYS SAUSAGE does not use any fillers, dyed casings, or additives, Just wholesome country goodness. What started out as a small family business has expanded and can be found in over 500 stores statewide and beyond. Since our specialty sausage products were proudly introduced in 1998, we have been edging our way to the top of many stores in which our sausage is sold. But, of course, there is no better judge for our fine tasting products than your very own taste buds.SaucyMama_Logo

    The Creative Mind And just who’s the mastermind of these gourmet creations? Well, it’s our very own “Saucy Mama”- Suzie Barhyte. Suzie spends hours in her kitchen playing with ingredients and coming up with new ideas, and surprisingly, she doesn’t work in some scientific lab or a sterile industrial kitchen when she cooks; she plays in a kitchen that’s just like yours. It’s a home kitchen, so you know you’re eating pro

    ducts that are just like something you could create. It takes a real stickler in the kitchen to make our products this consistently tasty. And that’s mom. She won’t rest until every family member declares her latest taste sensation the most delicious sauce, marinade, cocktail onion, olive, or mustard they’ve ever tasted. And even then she’ll try to make it better.

    I was so blessed to share this Final Table experience with two amazing friends and personal bacon sous chefs, Lynn Beamer and Tamie Joeckel.  Both Lynn and Tamie are award winning, Top Ten-World Food Champions from years past.  Thank you for your tireless support. I love you to the moon and back! 

    SCORESFinal Table 2017 Scores Special Thanks:

    Mike McCloud, MMA Creative and staff for dreaming big about Food Sport and living the tireless dream everyday. 

    Brightwater Culinary School Doctor Glenn R. Mack for giving us access to one of the most stunning, professional kitchen suites I’ve ever seen. It was a pleasure to meet you and a joy to cook in your kitchen!

    To my sweet husband Blake Evans who drove with me from Houston to Arkansas and schlepped all of my cooking gear in and out of the hotels then over to Brightwater and back again. Love you bunches! 

    Coming soon in my Food Sport Journey…

    I’m headed back to World Food Championships 2018 to compete to defend my title of Bacon World Champion. Stay tuned for all the delicious details.