When my daughter was teeny and it came to TV she had a lovely little affair happening with Treehouse. It was all she could do to wait until 4pm to see her beloved Wiggles. Then, somewhere between 6 years old and The Wiggles cleaning house for a new cast, Scarlett began losing interest in our beloved Treehouse. Instead she wanted to snuggle in alongside me to partake in my Food Network addiction. And, of course, the show that completely won her over (and, frankly, caused a serious obsession) was the channel’s wildly popular Chopped.

For a kid, Chopped is like the best game show ever, really. A big basket full of surprises. A ticking clock. Mess. Havoc. And then it ends in dessert. Not only did I have to PVR the episodes she’d miss while at school, we also started staging our own Chopped scenarios at home. Scarlett loved picking the basket ingredients my husband and I had to use while we, for the sake of entertainment, breathlessly ran around the kitchen–flour flying through the air. She also loved competing against us. When Chopped Canada finally debuted, it was the biggest night of her life. She loved seeing chefs that came from restaurants in her own city and took great pleasure in watching her peeps, like chef Roger Mooking. (She met him this past summer so now, in her mind, obviously, they’re best friends.)

When KitchenAid, who is a proud sponsor of the wildly popular program, wrote to say we should be on the lookout for an unexpected basket of Chopped ingredients I knew Scarlett was going to be excited. If there’s one thing my petit chef adores it’s a culinary adventure, so this challenge from our friends at KitchenAid to celebrate Chopped Canada Season 2 was a welcome task. (Please don’t let the basket show up with bone marrow and sea urchin.)

Our basket arrived with some pretty amazing loot including KitchenAid products like measuring cups, spoons and a cutting board. In addition there was Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup, Drake General Store Maple Shortbread, a Drake General Store Joe Drip Coffee Set as well as a set of juice glasses. It also had a Stonewall Kitchen Blueberry Breakfast Set including a Pancake and Waffle Mix, Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup and an apron. Scarlett and I just laughed when we saw the pancake mix. We’re pancake junkies so this basket was going down.


In the end, we didn’t make pancakes. I would have loved to fire up my KitchenAid 4-Element Electric Cooktop since pairing it with my cast iron skillet makes the most gorgeous pancakes, but Scarlett discouraged it. “We need to repurpose the ingredients,” she reminded me. So we did the next best thing and made dessert. I wasn’t against trying to dream up a dessert using pancake mix because I’m making a lot more desserts lately in my KitchenAid True Convection Oven. With 16 professional cooking functions, it circulates preheated air around the oven for faster and more even cooking results than conventional cooking. In other words, I no longer stand over the oven in fear of my baking going into the dry and not-so-delicious zone. It’s why I didn’t worry about this competition-worthy cobbler once we threw it in the oven. Well, actually, it was much less hectic than an episode of Chopped Canada 2015 since Scarlett and I giggled our way through creating this recipe. She had the idea of the ginger cookie and brown sugar topping while I made the tough decision to put the ginger syrup in with the berries rather than the pancake mix. However, we both agreed this flavorful cobbler needed a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of the blueberry syrup to really shine. After a warm helping, our judge, my husband, entered the final verdict on our mystery basket dish: “Tell Dean to give you the cheque. There’s no way I’d chop you guys after this cobbler.”



Serves 6

Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes


2 pink lady apples, peeled and sliced
the zest of ½ a lemon
the juice of ½ a lemon
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ginger syrup
2 cups pancake mix
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ginger shortbread cookie
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Maple syrup for serving


Butter an 8-inch square-baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the zest and lemon juice. Fold in the blueberries and then sprinkle with the sugar. Stir to coat. Pour in to the prepared baking dish.

In another large bowl, combine the pancake mix, milk, butter, eggs and cinnamon. Pour the batter over the fruit mixture

Bake until the crust is gold brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a mixture of crushed shortbread cookie and brown sugar.

Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup.



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