Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kanur-Cahn-Knot - First Ever Wacek Bake-Off!

Last weekend, my relatives all had a family reunion in Minnesota at my Uncle's house. Since mom, Molly, and I were just getting back from Indonesia, we weren't able to make it. Stacy and Katie couldn't go because of work. So, naturally, we decided to have our own little "Wacek Women's Wonderful Weekend." It really didn't consist of much... sorting through "stuff" to get ready for a yard sale, playing LOTS of games, dinner at Katie's house, etc. To spruce it up a little, I came up with the idea of a bake-off. Now, generally, with most families, this would just be a fun little healthy competition. Most of you who are reading this probably know that the Waceks are not "most families," though, and we are known for taking things to a whole new level. So, while at dinner at Katie's, we sat and talked (debated/argued/used physical force) to come up with the rules for the bake-off.

The first rule was coming up with the "secret ingredient". Obviously it would be too difficult to judge all the different foods if there were no limits. We threw around some ideas... peanut butter, coconut, walnuts, chocolate chips... but after deciding those were too plain or Steph and Katie didn't like them, we came up with Oreos and all agreed. Rule #1: Must contain Oreos.
Then, to make it difficult, we decided on Rule #2: The recipe you find/use cannot originally contain Oreos. That must be a special addition on your part. We didn't want anyone just googling "the best oreo recipes".
Other rules:
3) Must be completed by 5 pm.
4) It can or cannot be baked (this one took a LOT of discussion, hence the name of the bake-off!). 
5) You must wear a hat while baking (I have no idea WHAT this has to do with anything, but it made it on the rule list!).

After we had all of the rules, we spent some time discussing what the dishes would be judged on... aka, created a rubric (I told you, we NEVER do anything small-scale or normal!).

Once the rubric was created and the rules were in place, it was time for the games to begin. Early the next morning, we all headed over to the grocery store, got the necessary ingredients (mom being SUPER secretive all the while), and went home to start baking! Mom, continuing to be overly-secretive insisted that no one was allowed to enter the kitchen while she was 'baking', would not tell anyone her ingredients, and accused us of cheating if we asked her ANY questions (even ones that were totally unrelated... "Mom, where's my blue shirt?" "CHEATER!"). Let's just say, I think we know where we get our competitive-bones from.

Five o'clock finally arrived and the big reveal and feasting began!

Unfortunately, Stacy's procrastination and lack of cupcake holders resulted in her creation not baking long enough and they crumbled onto the plate. Name: Cupcooks (Cupcakes with cookie batter inside, topped with homemade oreo frosting.) 5th place.

Molly didn't realize that it was a dessert bake-off and tried to go all healthy on us. Name: Fro-Yoreo (Strawberry frozen yogurt with oreo mixed in!) Really yummy, but not sweet enough to compete with the others. 4th place.
Steph's lacked substance. It was supposed to be more of a cheesecake, but instead was too fluffy and unsatisfying. Name: Layers of Original Remarkable Enjoyable Outstanding Delight. 3rd Place.

Katie's was too run-of-the-mill. Oatmeal bars with oreos mixed in. She heard they were better the second day, and it was true! Name: Whole Lotta Love Handles... and how true it was! 2nd Place.

Mom worked in a restaurant for 30 years... can't beat that. She actually should have probably lost more points for originality because Stacy was the first to say she was going to make a trifle/truffle, but when mom saw this bowl unused, she knew Stacy had decided on something different and snagged the idea! Name: "Trifle, Truffle, Trufle. Doesn't really matter because the real name is Winner!" How right she was! First place!
Since the whole thing was such a hit, we decided to go bigger and badder next time. We've already set into motion a 12-person entree bake-off for Christmas time with the other Wacek family. More rules, better rubric, and I'm sure wayyyyy more intense! I can't wait!


  1. I like how you mentioned mom's competitiveness. I asked her if she needed help taking the trash out and she accused me of cheating.

  2. VERY funny, guys. Let's just say...I can't wait for December. The DEFENDING CHAMP will be ready to win again!!!

  3. People probably realized the Wacek's never do anything small scale when you mentioned a rubric. Who else does that?!!?! But we wouldn't be the Wacek's if we didn't go overboard!

  4. Love this blog post! I'm just sad that I can't comment, "That was a fun day."
    Needless to say I'm so excited for the Christmas Competition!

  5. Woah! Will the winning recipe be added to the Adaptations menu?

  6. Sally and I want an explanation of title?!

  7. Things you failed to mention:
    -Mom's idea for secret ingredient was zucchini. She may win the cooking competition but she doesn't win the good idea competition.

    -Those cupcooks were a crazy delicious recipe, I just got too caught up in Settlers and didn't give them enough time to cook!

  8. Explanation of title: At first everyone was like "It's a bake off, it has to be baked." But then there was argument from me because I wanted to make a trifle, and from mom because she didn't want to heat up the house with the oven... so I said how about if it doesn't have to be baked? You can or can not cook it. And therein lies the name.

  9. You've obviously never had zucchini crisp or zucchini bars or zucchini bread!