Friday, July 16, 2010

Wild Berry Basil Panna Cotta

Have I ever told you how much I love this blog? Or how much fun I have dreaming up ways to make your mouth water, scheming to make your life more delicious? Food-G has been a wonderful laboratory, and sharing and connecting with you here has been the greatest reward. I love it, I do. 

I also work hard at it, tweeting and facebooking, and juggling camera, skillet, and keyboard to bring these treats to you. This little blog has been the fertilizer for my fledgling food writing career, and occasionally it has caught the eye of the right person(s). That's how I piece together work that pays, and that's how I grow my audience. Work like this blog dovetails with and supports other projects, like my former food column in the Juneau Empire.   

Once in a while, the stars align, and an opportunity comes along that has the potential to make a difference in a person's life and work.  

Food-G fans and followers, I have a favor to ask. . . 

I recently came across this super cool site called Food 52. It's written by New York Times' food writers, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Their mission: to collect, test, and highlight the most excellent recipes written by home cooks. Every week they ask their online community to submit recipes using a specific ingredient. Last week the chosen ingredient was BASIL. They test the recipes, and pick 2 finalists, which the public then votes on. Of the two finalists, the winner gets published in their upcoming Food 52 cookbook, published by Harper Studio.

My recipe for Wild Berry Basil Panna Cotta was born in Juneau, Alaska, after a day of sea kayaking and berry picking on some of the little islands surrounding Juneau. I originally published it in my "Local Flavor" column in the Juneau Empire, along with a recipe for Wild Berry Muscat Granita. I  thought the panna cotta might be unusual enough to pique their interest at Food 52. So I submitted it and went tra la la on my merry way, forgetting all about it.

Yesterday, on the drive home from Burning Beast, I started receiving a string of emails saying stuff like, "Nice recipe! Congrats."

Huh? . . . Oh yeah, the Food 52 thing!

My recipe was chosen as a finalist in their Basil Contest. On their site, I got to see a slide show of Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs making my panna cotta. Cool! Then, they put up a studio-quality video of them making my recipe, telling my berry picking story, unmolding my dessert, and finally, the best part- tasting the finished product. I'm all puffed up and doing my happy dance all over the house. I may need to take it to the next level and get out the ol' tap shoes...but first I'll wait to see if I win.

The public has about a week to vote for my recipe or the other one, until midnight (ET) on July 21. The competition is a simple and lovely recipe for Basil Poached Peaches, so winning will be tough.

Food-G fans and followers, will you please vote for me?

Not just because you enjoy my blog, but because this panna cotta is the most beautiful, creamy, silky, cool and refreshing summer dessert you can imagine. I'm so flattered and happy, I'm melting like gelato, but this dessert will not. You can make it ahead of time and eat it right out of the cup-- no unmolding required. And any kind of berries will do. Use what you got.

Voting requires that people sign in to Food 52, but it's a quick process and you never have to revisit the site again, although you'll probably want to. Food 52 is a great resource for inspired and TESTED recipes, and I never leave that site without printing off a couple of must-try's. It's pretty much my new favorite thing.

Thanks for reading Food-G, and to those of you who went the extra mile to cast a vote for little old me, thanks for giving back. I'll leave it at that-- it's getting hard to type with my fingers crossed.


Lentil Breakdown said...

Congrats!! Are you gonna post the recipe?

Abraham Chacko said...


Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks said...

I'm thrilled for you. I actually started following food52 several weeks back and saw the Wild Berry Basil Panna Cotta promoted. I just registered and voted for you. Congrats again!!!

I watched the video and saw the final panna cotta - gorgeous.

Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro said...

Congratulations! Loggin' in and voting for you now. ;-) [K]

Anonymous said...

Done & dusted. (I voted, happily.)
The pannacotta looks DELICIOUS.
Another triumph!

Pat (in Belgium)

Food-G said...

Thank you all! Your support is so very appreciated.

LB- Thanks so much! To see the recipe you can click on the link to it. It's posted on Food 52, and you can also click on the link to the original recipe in The Juneau Empire.

Andrea- Thank you so much for voting and tweeting! The videos on food52 are pretty great, no?

Kim, thank you so much for voting. I hope this recipe comes in handy when your berry bushes are full and heavy with fruit (I'm assuming you have berry bushes in your garden).

Aunt Pat, many thanks, once again, for following Food-G, and for voting. Love seeing you on here : )

Food-G said...

Thanks for the votes and cheers all. Unfortunately my panna cotta was not the victor of the 2 finalists. Peaches poached in basil-- a lovely and easy recipe-- took the cake. It was a great experience none the less, and I will be receiving a goodie bag of OXO stuff, courtesy of Food 52. Many thanks for the support!

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