A Throw Down Show Down

If alien foodies from another planet were to land here on Earth and watch the Food Network for a whole week, what would they make of this channel’s obsession with competitive cooking shows?

From Cupcake Wars to Donut Showdown and Top Chef to the seasonal baking challenges (Halloween Wars and  Holiday Baking Championship) it would seem that cooking and baking are all about being the best and “taking the competition down“.

The spirit of these baking competitions seems to have rubbed off on my recent baking adventures too. My kitchen has become a whirlwind of splattered batter and flying flour as I run around frantically trying to create edible and appetizing dishes with a minimum amount of time, ingredients but a whole lot of innovation.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, food is more than just sustenance. It is social, cultural and healing amongst many other adjectives that characterize the human experience. A lot can also be learned through the culinary creation process so I’ve been inspired to create a new series entitled Lessons Learned Through Pastry.

In baking as in life there are lessons to be learned with every success and failure. Who knew that fat, sugar and flour could instill such enlightenment? In this series I bring you life lessons learned through the art and science of baking-when things go right and also when things go wrong. First up, A Lesson Learned Through Cake.

The Christmas season brings with it the dreaded fruit cake. This obese blend of flour, spices and candied fruit drenched in alcohol is the gift that keeps on giving and re-gifting. At times a little tipple, when consumed responsibly, has been known to help people cope in awkward social situations. In baking and in life, alcohol makes fruitcakes of all kinds just a little more palatable. Enjoy (in moderation) the health benefits of reservatrol in your mulled holiday wine this season as you navigate various social gatherings.

And just for fun…
In the spirit of a challenge, I encourage you to create a healthy, holiday party snack using…
clementines.
Let me know what you come up with…

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