Tag Archives: PBS Food

That’s a (Rough Puff Pastry) Wrap! The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

The labor of the fall harvest — which in Wisconsin Public Television terms means the successful production of Quilt Expo 2018 in early September, the launch of brand new seasons (!) of Wisconsin Life and Around the Farm Table, and the premiere of our new documentary Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars (loaded with digital extras) — means we regrettably left our buns in the oven way too long! We’re now circling back to our beloved Wisconsin bakers to celebrate their time, labor, creativity and achievements baking along all summer with Season 5 of the Great British Baking Show! Their patience and understanding call for a thousand thanks and pithiviers. . . say wah? Speaking of. . .

We rewind the egg timer to the Sept. 9 WPT broadcast of The Final across the Atlantic when Brendan, John and James entered Paul and Mary’s tent one last time to compete for the winning crown. All three gentlemen brought singular talents: Brendan a remarkable consistency in baking beauty and precision; John an unbending passion to learn new techniques and one day attend Le Cordon Bleu; and James an edge pushing him to innovate and take last-minute risks.

Our wonderful Wisconsin bakers were asked to deliver their final Wisconsin Twist — with an oomph —  adding to their bakes at least three local ingredients and turning the Wisconsin-ness up to 11!

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Wisconsin Week challenges: 1) a Savory Pithivier, 2) at least a dozen Fondant Fancies, or 3) a Chiffon Cake based on their favorite things about Wisconsin!

Don’t forget to read to the end to find out who our Wisconsin Week six featured bakers are. In addition, read about and give a Great Wisconsin Baking hand to our 33 stouthearted Star Bakers who baked along with us all ten weeks. You inspire us, friends, and we thank you from the bottoms of our ovens to the toppers of our cakes!

C’mon baby, let’s do the (Wisconsin) twist one last time!

All Season 5 contestants pose in front of the tent

Continue reading That’s a (Rough Puff Pastry) Wrap! The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Week 9 Patisserie Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Ça va, mes amis? Here we are in the semifinal week, and as much as Mel, Sue and your humble recapper might like to lighten the mood with French that is, how you say, pas mal, the mood is tense. So let’s get right to it, non?

Our four remaining bakers delved into the precision of French-style patisserie this week. Brendan, Danny, James and John faced their last elimination week before the final with just as much finesse as they have displayed all season.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Patisserie challenges.

So let’s follow the neither-French-nor-British Chairman Kaga, and allez cuisine!

All Season 5 contestants pose in front of the tent

Continue reading Week 9 Patisserie Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Snap, Crack(le). . . Bake! 
English Digestive Crackers by Jean from Madison

The poet Carl Sandburg’s Good Morning, America begins with 38 definitions of poetry. His memorable line, “poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits,”  is as scrumptious to speak as the 62 snappy crackers, stout tea cakes, and sturdy gingerbread structures submitted to our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge: Biscuits Week (and by “week” we mean 20 days — thanks for your patience and support of the WPT August pledge drive, bakers)!

Biscuits — or crackers and cookies to Americans — took center stage in Paul and Mary’s tent, along with our five remaining British bakers this week. Cathryn, Brendan, James, Danny and John faced the quarterfinals with three demanding challenges testing their skills of precision, dough handling and even their architectural acumen.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Biscuit challenges. Let’s get cracking with our review! 

Continue reading Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Week 7 Sweet Dough Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Oh my,  Wisconsin Bakers! We sure do love your sweet, Sweet Buns!

The Tent tackled “sweet dough” during Week 7, which is baker-speak for beloved items like doughnuts, coffee cake and cinnamon rolls, as well as the loaded and elaborate breads that adorn our holiday spreads. But instead of using Grandma’s Christmas fruit loaf as a door stopper — sorry, Gran — this week, “celebration loaves” are the showstopper!

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Sweet Dough challenges. Overcoming yeast, fryers and fruitcake, Sconnie bakers faced off with 24 Sweet Buns (see how Oxford Dictionaries settles the “bun” vs. “roll” vs. “cake” debate), 10 Jam Doughnuts and a partridge in a pear Celebration Bread. 

Continue reading Week 7 Sweet Dough Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

A New Kind of TV Dinner

There’s a lot to enjoy about October: fall is officially here, new episodes of Wisconsin Life are airing every Thursday, and a brand-new season of Around the Farm Table kicks off this Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Cooler temperatures always inspire me to cook a hearty meal and spend an evening with some of my favorite shows, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. Why not explore some fall recipes inspired by some of WPT’s original series? Continue reading A New Kind of TV Dinner

Wisconsin Girl Treated To “State Dinner” at the White House

Eating healthy paid off in a big way for Wisconsin’s Raya Al Hajjar. The eight-year-old submitted a recipe to the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ “State Dinner” that was so good, it earned her a dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama last month.

The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge promotes cooking and healthy eating by asking kids ages 8-12 to prepare original recipes that are healthy, affordable and tasty. The recipes are judged, and winners from all 50 states are invited to a “State Dinner” at the White House.

Raya presented a Wisconsin cranberry chickpea salad that features parsley and lemon to give it a little twist. She was inspired by her family’s Palestinian background and the fact that her mom and grandma cook with chickpeas a lot.

Recipe: Wisconsin Cranberry Chickpea Salad

Now that she has the First Lady’s attention, how else does Raya plan to promote healthy eating? For one, she’d like to bring more attention to food choices in schools. “The milk, for instance, has so much sugar in it — it makes the kids have too much energy and it makes it hard to concentrate.”

“I can attest to that,” says Raya’s guardian, Marcia Mihdawi. “I’m a teacher, and after lunch you can really tell which students have had proper nutrition.”

Raya says the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge had a significant impact on her, and she offers this advice to any kids thinking about entering the contest next year, “…You have to be interested in healthy eating, you have to do it all the time and you have to want to help other people.”

See all of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winners and get a free downloadable e-cookbook of the winning recipes.

Add Asparagus to the Grill

Asparagus is in season in Wisconsin. After you’ve enjoyed it boiled, broiled, steamed, roasted and raw, consider tossing those green stalks onto the grill.

Grilling asparagus is only slightly more complex than grilling a hotdog or bratwurst. Add a little oil, salt and pepper, and your asparagus will be just as flavorful. If you want to get more elaborate, blanche your asparagus and wrap with prosciutto before grilling. Or add some fancy cheese with this PBS Food recipe for grilled asparagus with Raclette.

From breakfast to dinner, there’s a number of ways to enjoy asparagus. Visit PBS Food for recipes and inspiration, and try something new while the markets are still stocked with local fresh asparagus.

Plant and harvest your own asparagus. Learn how with The Wisconsin Gardener.

Grilled Asparagus with Raclette. Get the recipe at PBS Food.

 

Healthy Eating has its Rewards

The place setting for the Kids' State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 18, 2014.
This seat at the Kids’ State Dinner in the White House could be all yours!

A little creativity could earn you and your kids a seat at a state dinner in the White House.

The 4th annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” is seeking out original recipes that are healthy, creative, affordable, delicious and original. One recipe from each of the 50 states will be chosen, and the prize is an opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House.

So dig into the family cookbook for a favorite recipe or help your kids create a new recipe from scratch. Need some inspiration? Check out all the 2014 winning recipes, including Amazing African Sweet Potato Stew from Wisconsin chef Sarah.

Find more details and submit your recipe at pbs.org/lunchtimechallenge. Entries must be received by April 30…so get cooking!

Food Worth Traveling For

Wisconsin Foodie is back for a fifth season on Wisconsin Public Television, and I’m excited because that means it’s time to start planning new culinary adventures.

As the title indicates, “Foodie” is a show about food, but the program also fits nicely into the travel genre. Each episode, host Kyle Cherek visits restaurants, bars, creameries, farms — you name it — that are among the most talked about in their communities. All are certainly worth a visit, whether that means driving across town or across the state.

Wisconsin Foodie logo
Watch online and Thursday nights at 7:30

I’ve been to a handful of venues based on Foodie’s recommendation and was delighted when I saw that I’ve already been to one exceptional pizzeria featured on the new season. Last summer, I stopped at Salvatore’s Tomato Pies in Sun Prairie to break up a long drive to the Twin Cities from Lake Geneva. My dining experience was great and it’s been enhanced now that Wisconsin Foodie has revealed the chef and the story behind a pizza you can’t get anywhere else in Wisconsin.

Check out Salvatore’s and more culinary delights on Wisconsin Foodie Thursdays at 7:30, following another great travel show Around the Corner With John McGivern. Both are available to watch online, anytime. Oh, and if you visit Salvatore’s don’t be afraid to keep it simple…the crust, sauce and whole-milk mozz are perfect as is. Happy (culinary) travels.

Want more? Watch the first three episodes of Wisconsin Foodie’s new season, plus all past episodes online now.

What's Cooking Tonight?

Chef Vivian Howard whips up veggie burgers made from butter beans in tonight's episode of "A Chef's Life," which airs at 7 on WPT.
Chef Vivian Howard whips up veggie burgers made from butter beans in tonight’s episode of “A Chef’s Life,” which airs at 7 on WPT.

Whether I like it or not, it seems that cooler weather is here to stay. This year, I’ve decided to make the most of fall and winter. No more sulking on the couch and dreaming of California.

One cool-weather activity that helps reduce my inner gloom is cooking. It’s an indoor activity, it warms up the house and it adds some lovely (hopefully) smells to the air. Luckily, Wisconsin Public Television offers a plethora of cooking shows, including back-to-back episodes of A Chef’s Life and Martha Stewart’s Cooking School on Thursday nights.

Tune in tonight at 7 for brand-new episodes of both shows, beginning with A Chef’s Life “R-E-S-P-E-C-T the Butterbean” (now I’m singing Aretha Franklin in my head). Tonight’s episode follows the show’s star, chef Vivian Howard, as she crafts a delicious veggie burger using butter beans (also known as lima beans) in an effort to make a burger that stands out from the rest.

As someone who cooks vegetarian meals frequently, I’m looking forward to some new veggie burger ideas. You can watch this new episode tonight on WPT, or watch it online.

Then at 7:30, a new Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, “Steakhouse” will take your taste buds on a completely different, more meat-centric adventure, as Martha prepares baked stuffed clams and teaches a technique for searing a porterhouse steak.

View Martha’s steak-searing tricks below, and tune in for the full episode tonight.

Is it dinnertime yet?