Welcome to At Home with Rebecka. This has been my blog home since 2010. I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, and an award-winning competitive cook.
I'm living my best life; a culinary journey of comfort and style in Denver, Colorado with my sweet husband Blake. I'm so happy you're here.
We are blessed with five grown children, seven beautiful grand-girls, and one grand-baby boy.
The joy of recipe creation, food sport, and learning the art of food photography and styling has been a labor of love.
I won my first TV competition appearance on the Food Network's Clash of the Grandmas "Home Sweet Grandma" taking home a cash prize of $10 thousand dollars and I haven't stopped winning since!
Some of my most honored achievements in food sport are listed below.
2015 4th Place Bacon World Championships - $1400
2016 Food Network Winner-Clash of the Grandmas - $10,000
2016 Gilroy Garlic Cook-off Winner - $5000
2017 Bacon World Champion - $10,000
2018 Mushroom Festival Winner - $2000
2018 Sutter Home Wine First Place, Build a Better Burger Winner $2000
2018 Riunite Chili Cook-off South Regional Winner- $1000
2018 and 2019 Mushroom Festival Winner - $3750.00
2019 Cedar Bay Grilling First Place - $500
2020 Grand Prize Cape Cod Select - $1500
2021 First Place in the Veggie Category of Kevin's Natural Foods - $500 2021 First Place in the Holiday Appetizers Category - Twin Dragon Blogger Wrapper Challenge - $1000
For a complete list of wins check out the Awards and Publications Page HERE...
Before babies, grandbabies, and my food sport journey, my first love was opera. Read all about my opera journey at the link below. Also, please find links to my social media pages and subscribe to receive all my newest recipe posts.
Music, Food, and Family. It’s what makes my heart sing!
Now that you have won the 1st place at the Gilroy Garlic Festival 2016, can you please tell me where to find your Garlic Goat Cheese and Bacon Soufflé recipe? Thanks!
Thanks for contacting At Home with Rebecka.
The link below will take you to the blog post with my winning recipe. It's a longer post with recap of the event and the recipe near the end of the post.
I'd be happy to know how you like the recipe. Feel free to contact me with your thoughts!
Hi Miss Rebecka! I'm not much more than a wannabe baker but being a Lubbockite myself I have some insight that you may be able to get some mileage out of. As a teeneager I worked at the cafeteria in Monterey Center on 34th in the 70s, and had the hots for a girl who worked there in the evenings and at the Pie Kitchen on 50th in the mornings. You can guess where I made myself a nuisance....
Anyhow, one of her jobs was separating eggs. Lots of eggs. The whites were far more valuable than the yolks, and certain recipes were needed to balance the need for egg whites, especially for making merangue. I know that Butter Chess pie was a yolk-sink, so you are on the right track.
Some other things that may help. The recipes for the same pies varied depending on whether they would be served fresh cooked or frozen and ready to cook/thaw. Nearly every cafeteria used only frozen pies, created at another facility, delivered twice a week. We occasionally got fresh pies from the Pie Kitchen on a trial basis, I believe we may have been the only one, and that due to some relationships between the employees/management. I couldn't say. A few cafeterias may have made some of their own pies but generally not. Probably a matter space and facility, as the baking areas were usually small and had plenty to do already with breads and cakes. If it could be frozen and shipped and stored, so much the better to keep costs and complexity down.
Fresh made pies, up until the mid 70s at least, were cooked in thin aluminum pie pans. I have a couple still and you can find them on ebay even; they are stamped 'FPK'. I'm sure that would make a difference in the cooking compared to a thick glass dish. Frozen pies (the ones that you would almost certainly eat at the cafeteria) were cooked in a very thin foil pan. Icebox pies were only thawed of course.
I also know that corn starch was used in a lot of the custardy recipes at the pie kitchen, I have no idea about this one. I do know that there was disagreement among some of the cooks over the use of buttermilk powder in the frozen pies, as opposed to fresh buttermilk at the kitchen, and I know butter chess was one of them. I remember other rants (not regarding any specific recipe), like the difference in molasses used (if it wasn't blackstrap it was supposed to be a bad shameful thing). I recall other vague things over the brand or type or whatever of brown sugar or vanilla, shortning vs lard, corn syrup is not a honey substitute no matter what those godless heathens say, etc. Some very colorful rants painted the pie kitchen depending on who was or wasn't there. But even at the pie kitchen, recipes changed sometimes.
One other thing, a lot of recipes in the cafeteria changed in the mid-70s (and probably regularly through the years) regarding the fats and oils used. Shortening had to replace lard, certain vegetable oils were retired and replaced with new ones, and I seem to remember polyunsaturated fat was suddenly controversial. My insight stops there; at the cafeteria I was a dishwasher, pot scrubber, and the stocker twice a week when the truck arrived, and I helped out cleaning and stocking at the pie kitchen. Along with flirting. I think she got the better of the deal.
Hi Bob, thank you for taking the time to give me such great insight to cafeteria pie making. Your personal account made the read even more enjoyable!
You have a lot of good suggestions for making a better Butter Chess Pie. I used to own aluminum tins unfortunately, they've been misplaced over the years and several moves. I'll have to be on the look out to acquire more for my next Chess Pie making session. I've used buttermilk powder in other recipes but never Chess Pie; will have to give that a go as well.
I'm about to do a Google search for the Pie Kitchen, in hopes of finding a recipe for their Chess Pie!
If you ever happen across the Furr's recipe for Chess Pie...PLEASE pass it along! Cheers!
You are in luck, I located a single surviving tin from the pie kitchen, best guess is circa 1972. It is actually stamped in a different way than modern pans, making the sides a little thicker than the bottom. If you are seriously attempting to recreate a Furr's recipe it might be a good idea to use it as a reference for selecting the tin you actually end up using (this one is well used and probably would have been retired if it had been a plain tin). You have my email, send me some kind of mailing address and I will be happy to put it in the mail. You have to promise to make another stab at this recipe though.
Hi Bob, I'm so sorry for the late reply! I've been creating recipes and jetting around for the World Food Championships in FL the past few weeks. You're a dear, to be willing to share your 1972 Furr's pie tin with me!!! As much as I'd like to see how the tin compares to the newer versions, I can't let you part with your heirloom. It's a part of your story and needs to be held in the deepest regard by the it's true owner! Thank you so much for thinking of me in this way! Here's a challenge for you...I would love to see a chess pie recipe from your kitchen, if you're willing to share that with me? I'd even post the recipe and photos to my site if you're up for recreating?? You can email me at [email protected] when, and if you decide to accept the challenge. I plan to take another stab at the recipe this Christmas. Cheers to you and yours!!