Saturday, December 17, 2011

Glo McNeil wins the Recipes to Riches contest!

The winner of the R to R contest was announced on the finale of the show this past Wednesday. Winner? Glo McNeil and her Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes. Although the recipe was very was also very tasty. Who doesn't love lemons? Check out the finale episode here.

Who do you think should've won? I didn't vote for Glo myself, but I had a feeling she would...just based on the number of supporters on Facebook and her story and her personality, probably helped her win this contest. Regardless, great job Glo!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Recipes to Riches: time to vote for your favourite category!

Now the time has come. If you have been following Food Network Canada's Recipes to Riches, here's your chance to have a say in your favourite category! Originally 7 categories, it is now down to 6 as Sonya and her gluten-free cookies were exempt from the grand prize. The category/person with the most votes wins $250,000. Now that's a lot of cash to boot! I know who I'm voting for...Go here to vote! You have until Friday, December 9th, 11:59EST before the polls close.

Recipes to Riches: Week Seven

This is it! This is the very last episode before Canada gets to vote on who gets the grand prize of $250,000! Who will it be? Will it be this gentleman and his "slow and low pulled pork"?

Two packages or pork (200g each) were included in this week's R to R.
The final R to R episode was in the category on main entrees. This is the big one! The entree is the star of a meal! The three contestants this week were Eva and her lobster mac 'n' cheese, Robert and his pulled-pork meat and Scott with his braised lamb shanks and orzo pasta.

This was another disappointing episode for me (in terms of who won). Robert and his "slow and low" pulled pork won against Eva and Scott, which I think had better entree items. Although Scott got eliminated during the batch-up contest because he didn't have a clear recipe written down (he eyeballed everything), Eva had a good stab as the winner. Although I'm sure the judges have it down right; not many people would pay a hefty price tag for a premium product in a super market. But I know I would--it'll always be cheaper than eating out!

I cooked the pork for dinner last night so that we could get a taste of this before we voted for the final winner (the polls open on December 7th, 12:01am EST). I already knew that I wouldn't vote for this person, probably because I have had pulled pork many times...and although it takes a while to make (slow roasted for 12 hours), I wanted to vote for something different. Nevertheless, the pork was very tender, and perfectly seasoned with the right amount of tang.

Wanna watch the final episode of R to R? Go here!

Recipes to Riches: Week Six

Isn't that cute? The colourful container contains 500mL of the yummy stuff!
 The second last episode has arrived...and I can't believe it's almost over! This week's episode is all about ice cream. Mmm. The three contestants this week are Mark with his teapolitan (green and earl grey tea) layered ice cream cake, Rosy with her creamy kulfi ice cream and Audrey with her s'mores ice cream treat.

Interesting challenge this was because the one girl I thought would get eliminated during the batch-up contest, didn't. Instead, Mark, the guy I wanted to win, got turfed. And poor guy, you have to watch this episode to see this! During the batch-up contest, he pours his boiling hot ice cream mixture into the ice cream machine...only to find out that it was a little too full. The boiling hot mixture poured right back on to him. I felt so bad for him! And he didn't win. 

Now left with Rosy and her creamy kulfi and Audrey with her s'mores ice cream treat. Winner? Rosy and her decadent East Indian dessert, creamy kulfi. I believe some of you have had this at Indian restaurants. The texture is almost sponge like, with a very rich and dense cream sauce flavoured with pistachios and cardamom. Rosy put a new spin to this by making it an ice cream (she had to do this on the batch-contest because it wasn't freezing fast enough). Turns out, it was for the better!
So yummy!
I'm glad that Rosy won this one (aside from Mark); her ice cream is unique because it's a spin on a traditional East Indian dessert. It has a very refreshing aftertaste because of the cardamom, which I love. Audrey had a yummy product but nothing we haven't tried yet. Also, she had quite the bossy personality...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recipes to Riches: Week Five

Week five of R to R! This week's episode was an interesting one: sweet and savoury snacks. The three contestants on this show were Sonya and her gluten-free "smart cookie", Donna and her breakfast cookie and Natasha with her s'mores treats.

After all their hard work, it was only down to the two contestants: Sonya and Donna with their distinct cookies. Sonya branded her cookie as the "smart" cookie; however Tony Chapman, one of the panel judges who is the market expert on the show, recommended changing the name if he wins (they didn't really). Donna's cookie on the other hand sounded REALLY interesting. She is originally from Calgary but moved to Vancouver to obtain her PhD. After missing her those 'Stampeder' breakfasts in Calgary before the famed annual Stampede every summer, she would make these cookies in lieu of that. 
Sonya's gluten free smart cookie: puffed corn, crisp brown rice, quinoa, coconut and chocolate chips
Thinking that Donna would win, she did not. Instead, the judges went for Sonya's gluten free "smart cookie". After watching the show, a message popped up indicating the following: "Due to unforeseen circumstances after the taping of the show, we were informed that Sonya has an immediate family member working for the show; therefore she will not qualify for the grand prize." Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? You mean you guys didn't do some pre-screening before you chose the winners? No waivers to sign to indicate that very issue? I think the runner-up totally should have deserved the chance to nab the spotlight. She has something good going on. 

As for Sonya's cookies, you hardly know that they are gluten free. I wouldn't be able to tell. Although they are tasty and they cater to a good population who have gluten intolerance (or don't), I found the cookies to be a tad to sweet. What'd you think?

Go here to see for yourself!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Recipes to Riches: Week Four

Yes! We are getting there.

Now this week's R to R episode is Savoury Pies. Mmmm. Doesn't that sound perfect for a dreary winter's day? This time they had an interesting array of choices from the contestants-a good mix of different cultures. The three contestants were Wayne and his salt fish (cod) and ackee pie, Melaney and her Bannock Hazelnut pie and Tikka with her vegan pot pie. 

Winner? Melaney and her interesting bannock hazelnut pie. Now...when I first saw that she won, I had thought what an interesting and unique sounding dish! Well, I made a tiny mistake. First of all, the bannock portion of this recipe had to be prepared by you. A packet of the bannock mix had to be mixed with three tablespoons of water; and kneaded into a small ball. Wrap it around plastic wrap and let sit for a few minutes. After you let it sit, you must roll it out like a thin piece of pie crust. After you bake the pie separately for 30 minutes, you must top the pie with the dough and let it bake for another 30 minutes. The pie is a vegetarian dish so thinking quick, I knew it wouldn't be enough protein for my boyfriend and I. I quickly sauteed up some pork with soy sauce for seasoning (BIG mistake) and topped it on the pie while it baked for another 30 minutes.

Sweet potato bannock on top, with a savoury hazelnut pie filling with my pork (oops!)
Let's just say that pork and soy sauce does NOT go well with the pie. Very odd tasting. However, I tasted the filling beforehand it actually doesn't have that much flavouring. Though it sounded very unique (hazelnuts with the stew and sweet potato bannock), I didn't care too much for the dish. I feel like the salt fish and ackee pie could of been the winner of this one. But who am I to judge?

Go here to watch the episode and see for yourself!

Recipes to Riches: Week Three

Aren't the charicatures great?!
 I am slowly catching up! Don't you worry. 

Week three of R to R was competing for the category of appetizers. The three contestants were Diana with her stuffed olives, John with his grilled chicken grenades (skewers) and Sarah with her savoury mini tourtieres (mini meat pies). 

I'm still a bit leery on the winner; John and his grilled chicken grenades won on this episode. While his grenades were tasty--which consisted of bacon wrapped with chicken with cheese and jalapeno peppers topped with apple jelly--I just found that this was something already on the market and one could make without great difficulty. The rest of the contestants had yummy appetizers too; but they couldn't match up on flavour when they did the batch-up contest. 
Chicken Grenades!
All in all, my boyfriend and I enjoyed it. However, make sure you bake it on tin foil because the jelly burns on the regular baking metal surface...and it ain't fun getting it off!

To watch the episode, go here!

Recipes to Riches: Week Two

Aren't I terrible? I haven't even been keeping on this...and I've been meaning too! :-S
Nevertheless, I had the fortunate opportunity to try mostly all the Recipes to Riches products, minus the most recent one. Happy reading!

For week two's R to R, the three contestants were Jacqui and her Rock 'n' Peach Bliss cake, Crystal and her Orange Chocolate Silk Cake and Melissa with her Banana Chocolate Cake. The winner? Jacqui and her Rock 'n' Peach Bliss cake. And how delicious it is! It's a multi-layered cake with caramelized brandied peaches, cheesecake, vanilla cake and a graham cracker crust. 

I've never had cheesecake and cake combined together and I thought it was a great concept. Delicious. Me and my whole family enjoyed it very much, too!

To check out the episode, go here to watch!