Cooking Challenges

I love cooking shows, love to watch them and  when I cook I try to take some of the tips I find and utilize them in my own cooking and menus.  Trying to expand my abilities though I decided to do a few challenges taking inspiration from the challenges I see on Great British Bakeoff  and Masterchef.  It took a bit of research but I have added my own twist on some of the challenges. I am starting at the beginning on both shows, season 1 and going episode by episode.  On Masterchef I skipped the auditions because I wanted to jump into the challenges. I have reached out to family and friends and encouraged them to participate.  We have done a few weeks already if you want to participate or catch up.

Week 1-(GBB)  Signature Cake

I did a Chocolate Orange Ganache Cake, while it tasted really good I don’t think my ganache would have passed the Mary Berry/Paul Hollywood tasted.


Week 2-(GBB) -Victorian Sponge

I did a Lemon Curd and my niece did a Berry Sponge.   For some reason my lemon curd needed maybe three more minutes but it was not as solid as I hoped. Tasted good though.  I made mine the night before an event and my niece did day of.  I found that this type of cake did not really save as well overnight.  Still tasty but not as spongy.


Week 3 (MC) Onions-the very first episode was about cutting skills and onion.  The challenge we did this week was a dish highlighting onions.   I did onion rings but for the life of me I have problems with doing full coats on  these suckers.  Haley (niece) did Crispy Onion Bhaji and my daughter Megan did Onion and Mushroom Pasties which I did get to try and were delicious.


Week 4 (MC) was Eggs-the  challenge was to do a dish in 30 minutes with Egg as centerpiece.  We did Eggs were the focus of whatever dish we made.  I did Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs with Crispy Bacon and Green Onions.  These were delicious.  Essentially you make your pimento cheese and then you take the yolks and process them in with a little bit of water to smooth the consistency out. Top with piece of bacon and green onions.


Upcoming weeks:

Wk 5-This week we are doing (GBB) Showstopper-Chocolate Celebration Cake.   I am making a Black Forest cake for my Game a throne athon event. Will post pics once done.  The goal of this one is to amp up the decorating skills.

Wk 6 Next week is (MC) is a mystery box challenge.  I am not sure I got all of the ingredients but I did my best so you  need to create something using one or more of the ingredients.


Flat Leaf Parsley


Tomato Vine

Chipata bread

Granny Smith apple








Wk 7 is a (GBB) Personality Biscuits- these are cookies, shortbread, biscuits.  I like this one because you could do sweet or savory.

Week 8 (MC) Elimination Test-Chinese Cuisine with focus on Mandarin Oranges

If you like to push yourself join us in these challenges, post you bakes or dishes.

Menu Mondays

We are making little changes to our site.  Menu Mondays is a new feature. Rachel and I both do weekly menu planning.  We wanted to share our upcoming meal plans and after we have tried the recipes post the best of the best.  Below are a combination of our daily plans and where we found them.


This week:


Honey Herb Pork Tenderloin from the Cookie Rookie

Peppery Acorn Squash from Better Homes and Garden


Orange Chicken from The Pioneer Woman


Chicken Malai Boti from Fauzia’s Kitchen Fun


Ground Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese from Dinner then Dessert


Cauliflower Toast by Ina Garten

Roasted Broccoli Salad by Half Baked Harvest


Lightened up salsa verde chicken enchiladas w/pineapple avocado Salsa by Half Baked Harvest

Chips/Tortilla Chips


Monday Musings…


We love to find new things or interesting takes on ideas,. Here is our five favorite things of the week…

Self draining soap holder, this is a brilliant idea.

I need to make this Upholstered Outdoor Dog Bed for my dog, Clay.

Longtime Friend Giraffe Graphic Tee, not my normal style but I think this is super cute.

Learn how to make your own Planter Boxes with beautiful tiles of your choosing.

Tired of buying ice that melts in your cooler, these reusable cooler shock packets are your solution.