Did you tune in last week the first episode of "The American Baking Competition" on CBS? With most shows airing repeats for the summer, my husband and I found ourselves flipping through the channels, and stumbled across the show. I had been hearing so much buzz about the show, but with the girls and I being sick, the premier on May 29th slipped my mind. Thankfully, we were able to catch the shows, as it was great.
Even though my husband is not a cook, he loves to get in the kitchen and bake -- especially with the girls nowadays. So, he was excited to watch the show for inspiration for fun recipes to try on the weekends. I, on the other hand, can watch food related shows all day long without getting bored. I find it fascinating how creative people get when it comes to cooking and baking. Like I have shared in the past, I have hundreds of cookbooks in my ever growing collection, and read each like they were a novel, cover to cover. And, with the launch of Pinterest -- oh my! -- I have so many recipes I have pinned to my page that I want to try -- if only I could find the time! :-)
While most of my baking takes place on the weekend, now I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to baking and television viewing -- The American Baking Competition! I found myself on the edge of my seat hoping for the contestants pies to get done, not collapse and hoped each would wow the judges. Yes, I know it is a competition between 10 amateur bakers, but I wish they could all win, as they are all so talented. :-)
And, when I was not concentrating and rooting on each of the amateur bakers, I was listening to the three judges share their thoughts on each of the pies served to them. Joining Jeff Foxworthy (@foxoutdoors) who is the host of the bake off, are accomplished chef Marcela Valladolid @chefmarcela) and Paul Hollywood (@Hollywoodbaker), who act as the judges.
Each week, THE AMERICAN BAKING COMPETITION will feature these passionate home bakers competing in three unique challenges – “Signature Bake,” “Technical Bake” and “Showstopper Bake.” The contestant who out-bakes the rest is that week’s “Star Baker,” while the one whose creations fail to impress is eliminated. The final challenge will be between the three remaining contestants, one of whom will go on to be crowned the best amateur baker in America
So, besides bragging rights, what is up for grabs for the winner of The American Baking Competition? The grand prize winner will walk away with $250,000 and a publishing contract Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books, to publish their own cookbook -- not bad, huh, for an amateur baker? :-)
As I patiently wait for the second episode to air tomorrow, I had the opportunity to have one of my favorite chef's, Marcela Valladolid, answer one of my questions, during a teleconference held earlier today. I had asked Chef Marcela, "What would be a fun and easy Mexican recipe you could do with your children in the kitchen that’s great for picky eaters?" And, her response was:
Chef Marcela Valladolid
"I have a really easy dessert that I do on Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. You take a really good quality flour tortilla, the kind that are made with lard, the real deal. It can be part cooked or fully cooked just make sure it’s made with lard. Then you take cookie cutters, and you shape them anyway you like, and then fry them up at 350 degree oil until they’re golden and crisp. Then you take them out and they kind of look like a tortilla chip, drain the fat over paper towels to absorb a little bit, but while they’re still warm, coat them in cinnamon sugar. You can dye the cinnamon sugar a different color to fit the holiday. Before I try them I cut little holes into them so I can make them ornaments. They’re called BUNLUELOS. They’re basically for any season but it’s great for the kids because they can do all he cookie cutter stuff and poke the holes in, and once you fry them they can hang them either on the tree or on the window sill if it’s Halloween and turn them into decorations."
I will definitely be trying this recipe over the weekend with the girls. Savannah loves playing with the cookie cutters we have, and will have a blast making fun shapes out of the tortillas, followed by sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar. Mmm, I am getting hungry just thinking about this easy to prepare with the kids dessert.
The American Baking Competition airs each Wednesday at 8-9PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Tomorrow the amateur bakers will be making cookies! So, make sure you set your DVR to record this series, which I expect to become a hit like it has in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Denmark, all adapting their own versions of this amateur baking series.