Posts tagged ‘Ultimate Recipe Showdown’

Thoughts on Ultimate Recipe Showdown: Cakes

  • I didn’t watch URS last weekend, because the Golden Globes were on and I needed a break from food television (!).  I don’t feel guilty about it.  I wasn’t going to watch it this week either, because I’m not really a cake fan, but I did anyway because I had nothing better to do.  Then it turned out that Saturday Night Live was doing a “Presidential Bash ’08,” so we flipped between the two shows…until the person with the remote stopped flipping.  So I saw most of URS.  I’m sick of politics (though a little excited for the inauguration itself) but never of SNL, though I would have flipped channels a bit more.
  • Signature Round:  As much as I like fruit, I’m not real interested in a sweet potato or grapefruit cake.  Maybe I’m too traditional.  The Triple Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting that Deborah Biggs was making sounded good to me, as did Jamie Nondorf’s Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting.  I was happy the judging went the way it did.  Even I’d eat Deborah’s winning cake.
  • Speed Round: Once again, Deborah’s recipe sounded best to me (chocolate banana peanut butter cupcakes).  I was happy that Jamie did well again, too.  Sometimes people over-do frosting, so I thought it was cool that hers didn’t have any at all.  Completely avoided that problem.
  • I wasn’t as excited about this episode as Comfort Foods, but I’ll probably take a couple of the recipes off the website and save in case I ever need them.
  • I would like to be at the point, someday, where I can create my own original recipes.  Currently, it seems so mind-boggling, even beyond baked goods.  There’s safety in pretested recipes.  I feel like anything I’d make would either turn out poorly or not be original.  Oh well, hopefully someday.

January 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm 1 comment

Rick Massa is also the man

There are lots of complaints I could make about Rick Massa’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown winning recipe, Cheese Lovers 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese.  Buying all the ingredients, especially 5 kinds of cheese, cost me about $30, which is more than I generally like to spend on a single meal.  And then I had tons of cheese left over-but I bought the only size packages the store had!  I still don’t know how to grate fontina cheese, even though the recipe says to.  It’s way too soft.  Sometimes I had so many things going on in the kitchen at one time, I was sure something was going to go wrong.  There is pretty much no nutritional value to it–its cheese, cream, milk and bacon.

But it won for a reason.

It’s fabulous.


The recipe was easy to follow and made complete sense to me (a rarity).  Even though I sometimes felt like I was doing too many things at once (watching pasta, stirring sauce, adding ingredients to sauce, etc) everything happened just the way it was supposed to.  The sauce thickened beautifully–that never happens to me!  It cooked perfectly-crusty on top and super creamy in the middle…but not runny.  And it is delicious and filling.   Just about everyone who reviewed the recipe on Food Network loved it.  My Kraft “blue box” Macaroni and Cheese-eating family even loved it.  I can’t even get them to eat Annie’s mac and cheese!  I ate it with my family for dinner and then I had more again later in the evening.

I would make it again in an instant, and I suspect that some of my complaints about the recipe are due to inexperience, not actual issues with the recipe.  It should be noted that this recipe makes closer to 8 servings than the 6 it claims.  Which is fine with me-I can hardly wait to enjoy it for dinner tomorrow.

January 11, 2009 at 9:05 pm 1 comment

Ultimate Recipe Showdown: Comfort Food

Tonight was the first episode of this season of Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown.  The theme was Comfort Food.

I felt strongly about the contestants from the get go.  Rick Massa’s  Cheese Lovers 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese sounded great, despite the judges’ concern that the blue cheese might be overpowering.  I thought blue cheese sounded yummy.  At any rate, he won round one and my sister wants the recipe.   His grilled cheese and tomato soup won the episode for him.  He deserved it.

On the other end of contestant spectrum was twenty-three year old Emily Hobbs.  Though I’m excited by the concept of a young contestant trying to save money for culinary school, I was quickly perplexed by where Food Network found her.  She seemed pretty unsure of herself (although she cooked decently) but it was her statements that really impressed me.  She was nervous because judge Michael Psilakis “is really hot” and she’s apparently scared of Guy Fieri’s hair (side note: there is no T in Fieri…why does he call himself Guy Fieti?  Makes me crazy) .  At any rate, she didn’t win.

Next week’s contest: Burgers.

I’m really excited about some other shows that are starting soon:
January  13    10pm     Chopped
January 15     10pm    Ace of Cakes
January 19    8:30pm  Will Work For Food (with Adam Gertler, who was my pick to win last season’s Food Network Star)

I’ll be tuning in and you can check here for my thoughts.

January 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm 6 comments

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