Spicing things up with Top Chef Seattle and a giveaway…

So just a couple of days ago Bravo on behalf of Top Chef Seattle contacted me and asked me if I wanted to become a Top Chef A-Lister for Top Chef Seattle. And the first thing I get to do as a Top Chef A-Lister is giveaway a subscription to Food and Wine Magazine to one lucky reader. I subscribe to Food and Wine (via my iPad) and it’s a great magazine with great recipes! To learn how to win and more about Top Chef Seattle keep reading.

I will admit that I used to watch the show all the time and now with the kids I hardly have time for TV at all. I didn’t even know it had started up (which I wanted to watch this season as it was in Seattle!). Luckily it was all On Demand through my cable company and I was able to get caught up. If you aren’t watching you should be. Then we can gossip about it better. :P

It’s by far my favorite season so far…because it is sooo cool to see the Seattle chefs, Seattle restaurants, and local artisans get featured. In episode 5 the chefs were challenged to use highlight some of the more rare ingredients found in Pike’s Place market. They bombed hard core on this one and no one was named a winner that’s how much they bombed on it. One of those things was Coconut Curry Chocolate (from Theo Chocolate)…which I have used and made ice cream out of before. It was so long ago that I thought I would post the recipe again. It goes great with cherry cobbler believe it or not. Apparently I should have sent them my recipe ahead of time and they could have won some money. :D

In tonight’s episode it was all about my girl Kristen who is my favorite contestant of the season so far so I was happy to see her kicking butts and taking names. Not only did she make a cake in the quick fire round (which everyone runs from pastry) she did it using just Reynolds Wrap to make a cake pan (part of the challenge). Then they headed to Remlinger Farms to the Berry Festival. I have frozen berries in my freezer from them right now. They do nice berries. The one thing I wanted to know is if any of them had ever worked with Tayberries? Tayberries for those who don’t know is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. I love them. They are only out for a few weeks and when they are I run and get what I can. They go great in muffins with dark chocolate fyi.

There was much smack talk between John and Stefan and John was full of nothing but excuses and crappy soup. Sometimes when you don’t play nice it backfires big time. :P They joked that Josie was on high tonight and I have to say she kind of seemed like she was. I know that we all have to have a little drama on these kinds of shows but I really like that for the most part the drama llama hasn’t come out and played too much. But from the looks of the preview of next week that may be changing.
So how do you get the chance to win the subscription? First you have to be a US resident (sorry to my non-US peeps). Second share your favorite Holiday recipe(s) or Top Chef challenge/moment so far in the competition in the comments section. You have until December 25th 2012 (yep Christmas) at 9pm PST to enter. You can only enter once. Winner will be announced December 26th 2012. Good luck…it’s a great magazine to have.

*Yes, I am being compensated to write this but as always the bad grammar and opinions are all my own.

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  1. Alas, I have not had time to watch….. but my favorite holiday recipe are my toffee shortbreads with dark chocolate chunks (or you can dip them halfway in chocolate)- they’re a wonderful change from the overly sweet that is the holidays!

  2. It is not Christmas at our house without these molasses cookies: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6504941. That essay was shared by a seminary classmate on NPR, which is pretty cool. Happy holidays, Peabody. Stay sane with all those kids.

  3. My favorite holiday recipe is gingerbread. Not gingerbread men, but real gingerbread.
    Something like this: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fresh-Gingerbread-with-Lemon-Icing-105095

  4. My favorite holiday recipe of all time is my mom’s kiffle recipe (little Hungarian cream cheese cookies filled with nuts or jam). We have a new favorite we made this year… it’s a cranberry shortbread and I think it was the first batch to completely disappear. I want to try the recipe with dried cherries too.

  5. I love that Theo chocolate too, yum! My favorite part of the season so far is probably Kristin winning with mushrooms and onions…awesome! :)

  6. We are one of the few families in the world that still doesn’t have cable so I haven’t watched. But I did look though a Food and Wine mag at the salon this week and really liked it. Must be some karma there somewhere.

    My favorite holiday recipe is my peanut brittle that must be make with peanuts from NC although I now live in the desert West. Lots of online ordering.

  7. How exciting!!! I’ll have to catch up OnDemand I’ve been watching here and there – so many good places in Seattle!

  8. I love Top Chef and have really been enjoying the Seattle one. I really want to know how people get to be the guests at these things. That would be amazing. Anyway, my favorite holiday recipe is carrot souffle.

  9. I think my favorite holiday recipe is still gingerbread cookies: sadly, I didn’t make them this year, though, ’cause I was baking for someone who’s allergic to ginger. :(


  10. I don’t usually watch the regular top chef, but I sometimes catch re-runs on TV. It’s a pretty interesting show. I do however watch all the Top Chef: Just Desserts episodes! But then again, I love anything dessert and pastry :P

    By the way, way to go on being a Top Chef A-Lister! This must mean you been one of the “best blogs” ;)

  11. My favorite moment so far? Last night, watching Josie completely spazz out during her presentation and service. And Tom’s critique – Josie -this was not a demonstration challenge. My husband asked what kind of drugs she was taking! :)

  12. I really like brooke so enjoyed seeing her pull the “double win” last week. It’s fun to see people win twice in an episode so you know that they really are best when there’s less pressure on them! And yes, Josie definitely scared me a bit last night!

  13. My mom used to make these sugar cookies from her Betty Crocker cookbook that I love, but can’t find the recipe for. I made these last night, and have decided they are the best cookies ever so might have to put them into the Christmas cookie rotation from now on. They are from “The Happy Baker: A Girl’s Guide to Emotional Baking.” I didn’t use the coconut because I’m not really a fan.

    Erin’s Go-To Cookie

    1/2 cup sugar
    ½ cup brown sugar, packed
    ½ cup butter, softened
    ½ cup smooth peanut butter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 egg
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup quick-cooking oats
    1 tsp baking soda
    ½ tsp salt
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    ½ cup coconut

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter, vanilla and egg; mix well. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Flatten with fingers. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

  14. My favorite holiday recipe is for the cranberry bread my family has been making for over 20 years. It just isn’t Christmas without it!

  15. It would not be Christmas without my grandmother’s wafer cookies. They’re basically pie dough with buttercream in the middle. They are awesome.

  16. Oh my goodness, I’m loving Kristen too. I have a girl crush on her. She is so beautiful! And she kicks butt in the kitchen.

    My favorite holiday recipe is super easy and a classic in my book – puppy chow. I’ve been making it since I was a little kid and it’s been a staple at all of my family’s Christmas get togethers. :)

  17. I absolutely adore this soup from the Smitten Kitchen during the holiday season:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/10/sweet-potato-and-sausage-soup/. It is seriously delicious, filling, and addictive.

  18. My favorite cookies are m&m cookies. They’re basically chocolate chip cookies with red and green m&m’s instead of chips, but my Gram made them every year for the holidays when I was a kid!

  19. I love Kristen too! What a bad ass. And Stefan, who I hated in previous seasons has won a place in my heart. My favorite holiday recipe is latkes!

  20. I love to make pumpkin bread. My recipe is similar to this one.


  21. @amy I feel the same way about Stefan too

  22. I liked Tom v. Emeril Thanksgiving on Top Chef, but I REALLY loved when they went to the Chihulley gardens, I really really love him. And my favorite Christmas recipe would be ginger/spice cookies and french macaroons.

  23. My favorite Top Chef moment so far was last nights quick fire challenge where everything was wrapped in foil. Definitely made it interesting and fun to watch what they came up with.

  24. I thought the episode with the challenge to remake the legendary Seattle restaurant’s signature dishes was a good one.

  25. I have so many favorite holiday recipes–old and new! the two I’m looking forward to the most this year are a bread pudding recipe from Emeril and a chocolate Bundt cake from Joy the Baker.

  26. @jenny- that was Canlis- great restaurant!

  27. while i used to enjoy watching top chef i currently do not have a tv so have no favorites top chef challenge moment. nor do i have a kitchen that is very useable due to it’s very small size – plus a dog sprawled in the middle of the floor – so no favorite recipe. but i would love to win the magazine so i could dream a little ….

  28. For a minute I got all excited and thought that you meant you were going to be ON Top Chef: Seattle…as a judge or something. :P

    My favorite moment had to be when CJ was insulting the coconut curry chocolate dish in front of the judges and got told, “Yeah? Well, yours was worse.” That guy just rubbed me the wrong way and he got what he was asking for.

  29. My favorite Top Chef moment was from the episode that aired on 12/19: Josie was way behind on her dish at the berry festival, so she compensated by being overly cheery; the judges whispered, ” Is she high?” She just dug herself into a deeper hole.

  30. my favorite Christmas recipe so far are walnut shaped Almond Cookies from King Arthur Flour http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/almond-cookies-with-praline-chocolate-filling-recipe they need special walnut shaped molds but they were the best single use things I ever bought.

  31. This is one of my favorite reality shows — never miss it. I enjoyed the Canlis episode. That was one of my parents’ favorite restaurants when we lived in the area (way back when), so I was pleased to see it was still up and running.

    My favorite holiday recipe is Blueberry-Lingonberry soup (a cold soup) that I serve for Christmas breakfast.

  32. I also adore Kristen, and would love to see her join Stephanie in the Top Chef girl’s club. The story of her birth in last week’s episode was interesting – I hope she makes it back to Korea with her well-deserved 10K. But my favorite moment was the look on John Tesar’s face when he realized that Rick Moonen was going to be tasting his chowder.

  33. Funny, I am catching up on Top Chef right now. I am only on the third episode right now but I am really enjoying them compete in making the Thanksgiving meal. So fun!

    Oh, P.S. my husband is Luke Abare (hockey ref) and he told me to check out your blog. I like it :).

  34. My fave holiday recipe this season has been saltine toffee crunch. OMG, YUM. It’s heaven and I’m enjoying way too much of it. Last season it was snowball cookies, which I have not made yet but should …

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