Several days ago, my daughter asked me to call into a local radio station. Two free passes were being given away to one caller for an acoustic performance by the band Bastille in the radio's recording studio. My daughter, Claire, saw Bastille last summer when she was studying in Paris; a free, outdoor concert in a Parisian park. When back home, she played their music for me, and I also became a fan. I wasn't the least bit surprised when, after calling seven times, I was told I had won two passes for this upcoming Friday. (And, yes, I'm taking Claire.) Lately it seems, I have been blessed with good fortune.
Over a year ago, I entered a Food & Wine Magazine contest for kitchens. I entered the "small kitchen" category, taking photos of my kitchen and posting them on Food & Wine's kitchen contest Pinterest site. I won, and that eventually led to Food & Wine editor, Christine Quinlan, doing an article on my kitchen and blog for the November 2013 issue... Then, last spring my husband pestered me to enter our small, formal vegetable garden in a Minneapolis Star Tribune garden contest. I sent photos, just to tell my husband I did it, never expecting the email saying our garden was a winner and would be one of six featured in the newspaper. That "Beautiful Garden" article appeared last October... And no, that wasn't all. Last spring I left a comment on one of my favorite blogs -- Tongue in Cheek -- after which the blog's author, Corey Amaro, wrote to tell me that I had won a week at her home in Provence. Since I was busy with other travels last year, I will be visiting Corey this upcoming June; a dream trip, as I see it. Needless to say, I have lucked-out lately!
Since I've been on a roll, I'm giving you a recipe for chocolate yeast rolls (again, I'm sorry... I just couldn't resist). I've been making Chocolate Bread with Vanilla Butter, a recipe by Marian Burros and published in a March 1987 issue of the New York Times, for 25 years now. • This time, I kneaded in some dark Morello cherries from Germany (purchased at Trader Joe's) and divided the dough into 16 pieces that I formed into balls. The addition of cherries makes for a very wet dough that necessitates kneading in additional flour. Either way, with or without the cherries, be certain to spread the rolls (or loaf bread) with vanilla butter and some really good cherry preserves. A nice little treat for Valentine's Day or any day!
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