Woman Crush Wednesday! Yipee! And yes if you couldn’t tell today is and forever shall be my favorite day of the week. It’s because of the famous foodie infatuation that happens when we honor our favorite women chefs. However since I am on my way to see my favorite peeps (aka family) than I guess we shall forgo the usual craic in the kitchen accompanied by bad singing and bad dancing (but always good recipes) if that is okay… just this once.
I thought it might be a good idea to take a little walk back in time over these last two months and see just how much love we have been throwing around the kitchen. We have met seven beautiful and talented chefs, whom we have learned about and have learned from, on this journey. Just to make it a bit easier (as I know my blog has yet to flesh itself out organizationally speaking) I will include links to all my previous posts in the recap of each of the recipients.
Our first three women hailed from my soul home the Emerald Isle! We started off with the super sweet (minus the refined sugar) Susan Jane White. And what an inaugural #WCW! We sure had fun making her delicious and nutritious treats. Here is the link if you want to take a gander at the gorgeousness (hers and the megawatt breakfast bars)! Just be forewarned, you WILL fall in love with her dimples! And you wouldn’t meet a nicer person! She’s a keeper! So is her latest book The Virtuous Tart which is on the short list at this year’s Irish Book Awards.
Next we stepped into the shoes of Rachel Allen, one of my beloved former Ballymaloe Cookery School teachers. She elegantly guided us through the most stunning Broccoli Soup, and one look at her flawless face and you too will be stunned! Wowza! Here is the link and I guarantee you, besides drooling over her photos, you will want to give the soup a go! Especially with all these cold storms blowing in these days! Yet she braved stormy seas for her new book, Coast, also recently announced as a nominee at the Irish Book Awards.
Our third honoree was none other than the lovely Trish Deseine. A legend in the culinary world, Trish’s return to her homeland after many years living in Paris has come with more than open arms. The good news she was back on Irish soil was fortified by the “Land of a Thousand Welcomes” with a nomination for her book Home. Here is the link to our epistle on her ethereal self, which also includes her most amazing apple cake recipe that we made on the day.
YDP flew over the Irish Sea to the UK for the next #WCW star. Or shall I say, stars! Yes we honored the Hemsley Sisters and discovered the secret to their smarts, stamina and striking looks! They do indulge in great food, but with a conscience. So we followed their lead and made some of their nom nom Black Bean Brownies! Check out this link if you want to be amazed at their ascent into the posh pages of Brit magazines and give their recipe a whirl. You won’t regret it! One thing I will never regret is meeting the sisters at the Feastival this past summer. Doubly delicious!
The next Brit who got some lovin’ was the most adorable and approachable Sabrina Ghayour. Quite honestly I can’t say enough good things about her as she continually bowls me over with her kindness…and her kick-A food! This girl can cook! I was lucky enough to attend one of her cooking demonstrations. Trust me all her recipes are da bomb! Open her book Persiana with your eyes closed and choose anything. You will love it. But I like to think just cuz it’s cold outside doesn’t mean we can’t have a salad! So for our lovefest with Sabrina we made a sexy fig and green bean number that would knock your winter wooly socks off! Here is the link if you are in the mood.
Our last English Rose was the positively upbeat powerhouse that is Lorraine Pascale. Her series of books, all with “made easy” in the title, is quite a feat. Especially since life hasn’t been easy for her. But you would never know it. Her smile would light the world if ever there were a global power outage. And her food is freaking fantastic. We crushed all over her delectable banana and rum loaf. Here is the link because you will want to make this and get to know her as well! Get ready for some great inspo!
Finally we headed stateside for our first American chef. But here is the twist, Laura Vitale was actually born in Italy and moved to the U.S. at twelve years of age. So she is a dual citizen like I am! It is great to get to know someone else who is extremely patriotic about both halves. She is a real go-getter and racks up recipes like nobody’s business! We made her cauliflower cheese gratin, which is a real winner just like she is. Check out the link for yourself and enjoy this comfort food recipe in the comfort of your own home.
While I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person three of our honorees (which actually is four because of the Hemsley’s) I want to introduce you to someone who deserves a #WCW honor all to herself. I briefly mentioned something about her in the #WCW post featuring Lorraine Pascale. Dr. Stacy Smith, a most incredible human being and dear friend of mine, is making her own mark in the world. However, not in the culinary sphere but in communication. She is the foremost authority on media analysis studies. She began her career doing groundbreaking work on violence on television and its affects on children. Next she focused her research on over sexualization in children’s programing (yeah, Disney, you had your day under Stacy’s microscope). The last several years have seen the most eye opening data coming out of Dr. Smith’s Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California. And the most specific area she is working on at the moment has to do with gender equality in Hollywood. She and her team painstakingly comb through the top 100 films each year and track the number of roles for women. Not only the roles we see on screen but also the writers, directors and other “below the line” folks on the credits. Her reports are quoted by any number of news outlets everyday. When she speaks, the world takes notice! By brining to light the struggles of women trying to climb the ladder of success in Hollywood (and let’s face it who doesn’t like a bit of news from tinsel town) this call to action could help bridge the gender employment and compensation disparity.
I pointed out to her that it isn’t just the film industry that deals with this issue. The culinary world has been dominated by men for as long as anyone can remember. Which is ironic considering that cooking in the home was traditionally the woman’s domain. The women who have climbed up the soup ladles (my term for the proverbial ladder in a professional kitchen) know all too well the challenges. However, in this fab article by L.A. chef Suzanne Goin, sometimes you gotta just get stuck in and deal with it! Have a read here for yourself.
By the way, for the record, though I am feminine, I am not a feminist. I am a humanist (if that is what you call it). I believe in equality not just for gender, but for race and religion too. However, because at present it isn’t so, some people are doing their part to bring attention to the situation. Stacy is not out walking a picket line. But she is in the lab objectively analyzing the facts, about which no one can argue. Likewise, I am not out on a picket line. But I try to bring a little sparkle to our special gourmet girls. Nothing against the men in the foodie world. They are ‘totes amazo’ and they do get loads of attention from all over the place. And I love them too. But the only man you will see me crush on is my hubby! And because he crushes on me too, he asked if I would share something with you.
I wasn’t sure I would actually post a proper link to these videos even though I might have causally mentioned it. Hubby rarely asks for anything, and he specifically asked me to do this. Not just because he filmed and edited them did he want me to share them, but because he is my #1 fan! Even though he spends hours upon hours (in his spare time) filming and editing these, he still laughs at my quirky bits. I guess it is a good sign when your Hubby still likes your dorky dance moves. So without further ado, below are the direct links to two cooking demos from yours truly, Yankee Doodle Paddy. But I’m giving you fair warning…be prepared for bad singing, bad dancing, but some darn good recipes! For those of you who follow me on snapchat (username: blissbakery) this is nothing new. You have to deal with these wacky food installments on a regular basis! Especially on Woman Crush Wednesday. Too bad the snapchat video stories disappear within 24 hours. It’s a total “Love-apolooza”! LOL! And with a few more demos in the can (aka already filmed ready to be edited) you will be seeing more very soon! Enjoy!
Crushed up love,
P.S. By the way, since three of our amazing ladies are up for awards for their books, here is a link if you would be so kind as to place a vote. The deadline is this Friday the 20th of November. The awards will be announced at a gala event on the 25th. Thanks in advance for your support of the Irish contingent of our Woman Crush Wednesday recipients. Best of luck to them too!