Monday, November 10, 2014

Of Celebrations and Competitions

I celebrated my birthday last Friday, and was able to celebrate over the weekend with this wonderful pineapple upside-down cake baked by my daughter Yasmin and her daughters Leya and Elise ...

I'm not all that much of a cake-and-sweets guy, but I love pineapple upside-down cake, and this one really turned out beautifully.

On Saturday, the girls wanted to play - of all things - Chopped!. This was based on the Food Network show they watch on which chefs compete against each other to create menus which use a basket of specific (often wildly outrageous) ingredients, plus whatever else they can find in the studio kitchen. We gave each girl a basket which included an apple, a lemon, two slices of bread, and a few slices of cheese and turned them loose in our kitchen to create an appetizer course.

Team Mama and Elise (age 4) created a nifty salad with toasted croutons, fried cheese, carrots, dried berries, and apples in a lemony sauce, while Team Oma and Leya (age 7) turned out an apple and carrot soup with lemon, sautéed carrots, and a slice of cheesy toast sprinkled with ground oatmeal.

I think it's great that the girls are taking an interest in cooking this early in life. I didn't really start seriously learning to cook until I found myself single and unable to afford to eat out all the time. My father was a superb and innovative cook, but I never bothered to learn from him until much later in life. Leya and Elise (especially Elise) both love to help in the kitchen, and even though they can't operate without close supervision, they both do a very respectable job for their ages ... Leya's scrambled eggs are especially good, as is her yogurt-based fruit dip.

Oh ... as for the Chopped! contest ... the judge (Opa, demonstrating truly Solomonic wisdom) decreed a tie between the competing appetizers. Elise's salad was quite good (even though she'd poached most of the croutons out of it by the time the judging started), and Leya's cold soup was very tasty and refreshing.

I have grandchildren who are cooks, dancers, musicians, athletes, gymnasts, and dinosaur experts. Am I a lucky guy or what?

Have a good day. Eat well.

More thoughts tomorrow.



Grand Crapaud said...

That cake looks so good! Nice granddaughters.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Lucky Bilbo! Yasmin, Lyia, and Elise baked a lovely cake! Chopped sounds like fun!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Boy all that food looks great!
The grandchildren are beautiful!!

Chopped is a fun show and I think it's great that it makes kids turn into cooks. Maybe the next generation will stop all the junk food and eat real food. :-)

Mike said...

Pineapple upside down cake is gooey good.

Linda Kay said...

Oh, my, Grandpa, your pride is showing through, and how much fun is that with the cooking contest! They are such cuties!