Tag Archives: giveaway

Food Lifestyle

What You Said: Your Favorite Chefs

What I like best about my first giveaway was that it gave me a chance to get to know my readers better. Some of you drop me a line once in a while, or leave a friendly comment; thank you — I love that! But I understand that many of you have lives to lead, people to feed and careers to advance — so I appreciate the time that you spent in answering the question in the giveaway. I’m not sure how many of you love numbers as much as I do but I’m a data dork and I’m not afraid to admit it. Here’s what you said:

The biggest category (22%) was Other Celebrity Chef — in this bucket are mentions of a myriad of talented chefs like molecular gastronomy pioneer Grant Achatz, master of Mexican cuisine Rick Bayless, Hawaiian specialist Alan Wong and the woman who needs no introduction, Julia Child. There were a large number of wonderful chefs mentioned here, but in the interest of making the graph legible, I lumped those with fewer than three votes in this category. The takeaway: our readership community has a refined and open-minded palate. Please feel free to invite me along on your next expensive culinary excursion. I would very much enjoy dining with you.

It seems that many of you are married to men who are handy in the kitchen. Given an open-ended choice, 17% of you chose to stay home and have your husbands do the cooking. Please reveal details on how you were able to procure such gastronomically gifted spouses.

Mothers and grandmothers followed closely, with Bobby Flay (7%) emerging as the leader of the celebrity chef pack. The other obvious conclusion from the data is that I am personally more popular (4%) than Rachael Ray (3%) and Masaharu Morimoto (3%), despite never even having been invited to participate in the studio audience of a cooking show.

I also enjoyed exploring the Male Celebrity category, where some of you indicated you would choose a T-shirt-optional Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Gosling or Zac Efron (over 18; I checked). One person chose Martin Luther King, Jr. and though I didn’t find any references online to his culinary prowess, the company would more than compensate for that.

Thanks for participating; can’t wait to learn more!



Baking Food

Dolphin Cake Pops (and a Cake Pop Trick)

What are the chances that a bird poops on me twice in 30 minutes? And what are the chances that that happens AND the Winklevii become VCs? 100% apparently. (Though, having lived through a couple of fundraises, I would say in general that the likelihood of getting funding is generally somewhere between the Winklevii becoming VCs and getting pooped on twice in 30 minutes.)

It’s enough to make you want to eat a cake pop.

The girls and I made some recently. And I discovered a new trick. See, the candy coating hardens fairly quickly into something that requires a hammer and chisel to remove. So this time, I put the candy coating in a little ziplock baggie, and then slid that into a mug, folding the mouth of the bag over the top of the mug. Did you know bags had mouths?

So what’s cool about this is that you after you’re done with the coating for the day, you can just pull the ziplock out of the mug, zip it up, and plunk it back in when you’re ready to work with it again. This time, I added in a teaspoon of shortening to help the coating go on a little smoother.

Maybe everyone else already knew this.

Anyway, we made dolphins. Bakerella has great detailed instructions on how to make pops on her site, but here are the basics. First you bake a cake. Let it cool. Then, crumble it into a large bowl.

You may have noticed above that I grew two more hands to do this more efficiently.

Next, squish the cake together with some frosting. Again, see Bakerella for expert advice, but if you use canned frosting, use no more than 3/4 of a can or the pops will be too slippery to stay on the sticks.

Now go to your local police station before you wash your hands and see what happens.

Next, shape them into balls…or in this case, dolphin-ish things. Stick them in the fridge to chill overnight.

When the dolphin-ish things are firm, take them out five or so at a time and dip. We decorated these with just candy coating and edible pen.

Maybe you can’t tell these are dolphins. Some of them have tumors. Our waters are very polluted nowadays.

Some look like T-Rex. I believe he was an ancestor.

Oh, whatever. Cake pops are for eating. So we ate them.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to enter the *nora fleming* giveaway! You get an autographed rectangular platter (you will faint from its cuteness) plus three adorable minis that will change your life and make you lose weight.