Leaving on a jet plane and other weekend adventures

Nordic Ware demo team: me, Edd, Mary Kate, & Linda

"This story begins with a meatball (as all good stories should)..." has become my "On a dark and stormy night..." But honestly, this story really does (almost) begin with a meatball.

This was my second year with the great and generous folks at Nordic Ware in Chicago for the International Home + Housewares Show. During the weekend I help out in the kitchen and do a few demos as clients stop by the booth to chat about both new and classic, beloved products. For the 2018 Show, I was asked to create a spicy meatball to be prepared in the stovetop Kettle Smoker, and a chocolate waffle for the Sweetheart Waffler. Of course, meatballs are waffles are pretty much two of my favorite things in the world, so creating the recipes was pure joy. I spent a weekend or two playing with ingredients and came out with recipes I am very pleased with.

What a thrill it was to cook side-by-side with Edd Kimber of Great British Baking Show fame. Edd won the first season (not yet aired in U.S. but a little bird told me you can stream it illegally if you look hard enough. Not that I'd encourage such behavior...) and since then has made baking his career and lifestyle. The guy is amazingly knowledgeable, and I learned a lot from him during our short time together. Over dinner on Saturday night we peppered him with questions about his audition, what Mary is like in real life, and his favorite/least favorite show entrees. It was a fascinating look into one of my all-time favorite cooking shows.

Americans who love GBBS gravitate toward the show because it is so unlike many televised American competitions. The competitors are generally kind to one another, witty, charming, humble, and my goodness they can bake! Edd is the epitome of the spirit of GBBS. Check out his blog at The Boy Who Bakes.

As for meatballs... get the recipe here. I like to call them Swedish-Thai meatballs because they have one foot firmly implanted in Swedishness and a few toes in the flavors of Thailand. Lovers of chocolate, get the waffle recipe here.


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