A recent conversation at Casa Belly Timber:
Kitty Kaga: (positively dripping with disdain) Oh. So you’re back.
Platelicker: (bursting, as usual) Oooh! Kitty!
Kitty Kaga: I would have wished you gone forever, but there’s work to be done here, and I cannot do it alone. I suppose my captors completed the judging for Paper Chef?
Platelicker: Must! Chase! Kitty!
Kitty Kaga: Ahem. They were in Seattle almost a whole week, you know. They could have posted, or at least completed their judging notes.
Platelicker: Seattle has many dogs. Wheeee!
Kitty Kaga: Right. So, about the judging…
Platelicker: And yummy food and big hills and…
Kitty Kaga: They weren’t able to finish, were they?
Platelicker: If I tell you, can I chase you?
Kitty Kaga: If you tell me, after I am done eating, I shall let you lick up the scraps of food that fall from my dish to the floor.
Platelicker: Wheee! Free food! Okay, okay, so they didn’t finish, and they couldn’t post and — you’ll probably hear about that later cuz it all has to do with stuff like bowling and dancing, and meeting other food bloggers, and strange, yummy food they wouldn’t let me eat — and, well, they tried to think it all through, but they just got pooped, and then there was this whole planning for the future thing, and visiting relatives, and knee injuries and…
Kitty Kaga: Planning for the future thing?
Platelicker: You’ll hear about that later too. It has to do with words and jobs and more strange, yummy food they wouldn’t let me eat, and — Hey! Do I get to lick up your food scraps now?
Kitty Kaga: Silly furball. You always lick up the scraps of food that fall from my dish to the floor.
Platelicker: Oh. Right. (a befuddled pause) Oh! Guess what! I’m going to take climbing lessons!
Kitty Kaga: Wonderful. Now, go away.
Platelicker: I’m starting with chair backs and working my way up to counter tops and trees.
Kitty Kaga: (after a heavy sigh) How nice. Say, isn’t that a leftover pig ear out in the garden?
Platelicker: Pig ear!! Wheee!
(exit dog, kitchen left.)
Kitty Kaga: Well then, it appears I must complete my chairmenical duties and announce the winners for this month’s Paper Chef Competition. Oh, shut up. I know chairmenical isn’t a real word. Do I look like I care?
So… on with it.
This was, as can be deduced by the lateness of this post, a most arduous process. I have reason to believe my captors quibbled and quarreled over their decisions for days on end. (When they weren’t off bowling or shopping or planning their futures that is. Silly creatures.)
I have, since their return, obtained their copious notes, reviewed them, and am now prepared to post the official announcement.
First of all, a collection of whimsical and delicious Honorable Mention categories to whet your appetite for the grand finale:
Festival of Enticing Ingredients:
Honorable Mention, Quinoa Division: Kimberly at Music and Cats. for her Quinoa in Blueberry-Yog(h)urt Vinaigrette with Cashews and Three “Babies.” A lovely first outing with a new grain, with emphasis on quinoa as the center of her dish.
Honorable Mention, Yog(h)urt Division: Lyn at Lex Culinaria for her Roasted Baby Beet, Labanya and Quinoa Salad. Another handsome, architectural dish with a scrumptious layer of labanya in the middle.
Honorable Mention, Cashew Division: Lady X at Experiment in Writing. for her Cashew Praline Frozen Yogurt Pie. Mmm… praline. Need we say more?
Honorable Mention, Baby Division: The Culinary Bookworm at Weekly Dish for her Quinoa King Cake with Orange-Yogurt Cashew Filling Okay, so you wouldn’t want to eat that particular baby, but…brilliant!
Special “Maternity Ward” Honorable Mention for Best Multiple Babies: Katherine at ToastPoint, for her Baby Curry and Quinoa Fritters with Cashew Cream. Too much fun — remind us to never ever challenge her to a game of Scrabble!
Honorable Mention, Overall Use of Ingredients: MagicTofu at Slurp and Burp for his full day of Paper Chef inspired meals. We especially liked the resourceful shift from breakfast crepes to lunch crepes. Nicely done!
Fiesta of Thematic Excellence:
Honorable Mention, Healthy Division: Cookiecrumb at I’m Mad and I Eat for her Quinoa Tabbouleh D’Brickashaw. Simple, elegant, and with all those fresh herbs, who needs multivitamins?
Honorable Mention, Simplicity Division: Cyndi at Cookin’ with Cyndi for her Sweet Potato Quinoa Corn Bread. A comfort food classic with a Paper Chef twist.
Honorable Mention, Renewal Division: The Culinary Bookworm at Weekly Dish for her Quinoa King Cake with Orange-Yogurt Cashew Filling Celebrating a great city’s rebirth.
Fête of Culinary Goodness:
Oooh, Pretty — Honorable Mention for Extreme Culinary Beauty: Rachael at Fresh Approach Cooking for her Broiled Perch with Quinoa-Cashew Crust and Pinapple-Kumquat Salsa. Simply exquisite.
Yum Yum! — Honorable Mention for Immediate Desire for Culinary Consumption: Sylvie at Soul Fusion Kitchen, for her Baby Back Ribs with Quinoa and Cashews with Two Yogurt Sauces. It’s Chopper. He can’t help himself. He’s like a rib magnet.
Zoinks, Whaa? — Honorable Mention for Extraordinary Innovation: Brendon at Something in Season. for his Spinach Sushi with Quinoa and Cashews . Ingenious, offbeat, and with only eight ingredients!
Splort! — Honorable Mention for Fall-on-Floor Culinary Humor: MagicTofu at Slurp and Burp for his multigrain cashew nut loaf… in swaddling clothes. Hug it? Eat it? Hug it? Eat it? Hug it? Eat it?
And…. The grand finale….
Paper Chef’s Best of Show: For outstanding use of ingredients, food we’d order again and again, and a fine dose of both healthy scrumptiousness and culinary whimsy:
MagicTofu at Slurp and Burp!
Chopper was impressed with the day-long extravaganza and multiple usage of required ingredients. Mrs. D was especially fond of the lunch crepes which sounded not only super-healthy but like something that could easily become a lunchtime favorite. Kudos to MagicTofu for a fine Paper Chef performance!
Well, there you have it. The results of my captors’ arduous quibbling.
Oh, wait! They appear to have attached an additional note to their abundantly annotated scoring page:
This was such a difficult decision; we’d be remiss in not mentioning three fellow entrants that make up our three-way-tie for Best of Show Runner Up: The Culinary Bookworm at Weekly Dish, Lyn and Lex Culinaria, and Kimberly at Music and Cats. All excellent and worthy choices as well. Also, a huge thanks to the entrants not mentioned above. Everyone did a fine job and it was quite tempting to award all twenty three participants with honorable mentions!
–Mrs D & Chopper Dave
(Meanwhile, Platelicker has returned to the room)
Platelicker: Mommy and Daddy are asleep! I want to play and they’re asleep!
Kitty Kaga: Oh. Back again?
Platelicker: Why are they asleep?
Kitty Kaga: I don’t suppose you know what the phrase “It’s been a long week” means, do you?
Platelicker: Play with me?
Kitty Kaga: Not a chance.
Platelicker: (pouting) They won’t be doing this Paper Chef thing again any time soon, will they?
Kitty Kaga: Not if they can help it. As much as I relish this donning of finery — and don’t you dare raid my wardrobe again! — I do possess great sympathy for their battle with this thorny task, and understand completely if they choose to run screaming from such competitions in the near future.
Platelicker: But, but… next month could be cream and salmon and tuna water and juicy mouse head month!
Kitty Kaga: Cream… Salmon… Juicy mouse head… Ahem. Well. My sympathies can be short-lived if the occasion warrants. You were saying?
Platelicker: Play with me?
Kitty Kaga: (with a flexing of claws) Don’t push your luck.