A few of us at H&H were chatting around the old water cooler about the new TV show Recipes to Riches (disturbingly addictive was the consensus), when we decided we should get the winning products (thus far) into the office and give them a spin. Here are a few of our thoughts — you may even consider them our anonymous unofficial votes.
President's Choice Luscious Lemon Pudding Cakes: Glo McNeill, $25,000 winner in the sweet pies category...
"I liked it! I think it would be good either warm or chilled, and I liked the custard-smooth consistency."
"I would prefer it cold and a bit more lemony, more refreshing. Being warm made it feel a bit too heavy, I would never be able to eat a whole serving."
"A good example of a rich, English style pudding. I would have liked it to have more zing, but I do like my lemon desserts to blow my head off. Most people around here had a negative reaction to eating lemon hot, which I found interesting."
President's Choice Rock n' Peach Bliss Cheesecake: Jacqui Keseluk, $25,000 winner in the cake category...
"I like the idea, although for myself I prefer a cheesecake that is more dense and wish the peaches were candied in brandy more."
"I have to say, not my favourite. I was expecting it to be softer and more like a typical cheesecake, instead it had a texture of bread. The pears and brandy were a nice touch."
President's Choice Chicken Grenades: John Grass, $25,000 winner in the appetizer category...
"Super spicy, packed with seasoning, really savoury and the skewers are cute and useful. Surprisingly low calorie count for a bacon wrapped flavour bomb. These should be popular while watching the big game with a few beers."
"I really like the skewer things!!! I would eat those at a party all the time."
"I would totally buy these. The portion of chicken was a nice chunk, and although I'm a spice-wimp, these have a nice slow burn that even I can handle! And when the heat gets to be too much I think I'd dip these in some raita."
President's Choice Savoury Bannock-Topped Pie: Melaney Gleeson-Lyall, $25,000 winner in the savoury pie category...
"Unbelievably delicious! I don't even miss the meat, and I love the hazelnuts. I also like the fact that you mix up the dough so it's sort of semi-homemade."
"With just the right amount of spice, this hearty vegetable pie will be a staple for cold winter nights."
"The ingredients came together nicely for a sweet dish, and they're very Canadian ingredients, which I feel is what I wanted from the show: A truly Canadian recipe with Canadian ingredients (bannock, root vegetables, hazelnuts.) The texture of the topping was a nice contrast with the filling. It's a good size, too.
So there you have it. Once all the category winners are chosen, Canadians can vote online at www.recipetoriches.ca for the best of the best, and the grand prize winner will take home $250,000 — and, of course, bragging rights.
1-4. Leslie Williams
Top image: Courtesy of Food Network Canada