Category Archives: Events

Judging at the 2015 LA County Fair: Gold Medal Flour Cookie Contest!

LA County Fair Judging

Last weekend, I had the honor of serving as a judge out at the Los Angeles County Fair. There are a huge number of cooking and baking contests held at the fair every year, from barbecue to brownies to cake decorating. Some of the contests offer up only bragging rights and brightly colored ribbons, while others offer additional prizes. The Gold Medal Flour Cookie contest ... Read More »

Baking Bites & Spam on San Diego Living

Baking Bites on San Diego Living

Last week, I served as the judge at the San Diego County Fair for the Great American Spam Championship. This cooking contest is a huge national event that is held at 26 different state and county fairs across the country every year. There are divisions for both youth chefs and adults – and the grand prize for coming out on top of all the other ... Read More »

The 13th Annual Waikiki SpamJam

Nicole and Spammy

If you have ever visited Hawaii, you know that Spam is hugely popular there and that it used in all types of dishes, from breakfast scrambles to musubi snacks to burgers. With that in mind, it should be no surprise to hear that the biggest Spam festival in the country is held in the state the consumes more Spam than any other. This year I ... Read More »

Vanilla Pretzel Butter Cookies

Vanilla Pretzel Butter Cookies

The holidays are a time of the year that is always filled with cookies for my family. Everyone bakes them and everyone brings them when we get together for gatherings. My grandmother always had one type of cookie that was storebought and, even with a wealth of homemade cookies to choose from, I often chose to eat a few of those before touching any of ... Read More »

47th Pillsbury Bake-Off Recap!

Nicole and the Doughboy at the 47th Annual Pillsbury Bake Off

The Pillsbury Bake-Off is the biggest amateur cooking and baking contest in the world, with a grand prize of a million dollars going to one creative home cook. There were tens of thousands of entries this year, for the 47th Bake-Off contest, and that number was slowly whittled down to 100 finalists after a rigorous process of test kitchen baking, tasting and evaluation based on the ... Read More »

Very Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Very Vanilla Chiffon Cake

Vanilla is probably my favorite flavor of cake and I’ll almost always pick up a slice of vanilla cake or a vanilla cupcake when given the choice between vanilla and chocolate. I do love chocolate, of course, but there is something about the delicate, floral flavor of vanilla that I find absolutely irresistible. When I was a child, I also had a strong preference for ... Read More »

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