Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Real Women of Philadelphia

Last month, Howard and I were pleasantly surprised with a special dinner invitation. Michelle from Rethink Canada, who had been our main contact for the Real Women of Philadelphia program, told us that we were invited to the reception and dinner where they would be announcing the winners.

So to recap, women across Canada were invited to submit recipes using Philadelphia cream cheese into four categories. They would be judged and sixteen finalists would then be flown to Toronto for a live cook-off in the Kraft kitchen! The four grand prize winners will be brand ambassadors for Philadelphia Cream Cheese, be contributors to the Real Women of Philadelphia cookbook, and win $20,000 each.

Last night was the big night. Howard and I did our best to dress up and headed straight to the Thompson Hotel after work. The event was held in the ballroom of the hotel, we checked in (phew we were on the guest list) and found out that we were at tables 5 and 10. Seeing our dismay, the lovely lady told us not to worry, gave us each two drink tickets, and told us she'll figure something out.

Thus, we got our photos snapped (no, that's not me in the above photo, it's one of the finalists with Anna Olson), grabbed drinks at the bar, and joined the reception. I have to say that I felt a bit under dressed, but I'm glad that we didn't look too casual! Hors d'œuvre being served, crab cakes, beef skewers, spring rolls wrapped in rice paper, and onion rings with tiny balls of crab. Surprisingly, no cream cheese detected in these. Oh and our table issue? Resolved ever so smoothly, the lady who checked us in, found us, and told us we were both at table 10 now. =)

Around 7:15pm they started ushering people into the dining room. Here's a look at the stage and podium before people were seated.

The lovely table setting. We were seated with a few people who won tickets to the event through the community, a few contestants, and other bloggers like us! It was nice meeting Andrea from Insatiable Food, Brenda from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, and Cindy from Hun... What's for Dinner?

As it turns out, not only were the four winners being announced, but so were the Philly Spirit Awards. Cindy from our table won the Rising Star Award, congratulations again!

Anna, our hostess for the night, shares her own experiences working with the Real Women of Philadelphia. Yes, a video montage from the submitted videos were included. *tear*

While Anna was talking about the program and announcing the Philly Spirit Awards, we were served a mixed herb salad with tangerine slices and a smoked duck prosciutto.

PS: This was the only dish that wasn't made by a contestant.

First up, the appetizer! Sweet and Savoury Tartlets. These were mini tarts filled with a whipped cream cheese mixture, pears and pancetta layered on top, finished with a sage leaf.

Congratulations to the appetizer winner, Angela Amati! I like that she and other fellow finalists decide to wear blue dresses.

The side dish was Cauliflower Crѐme Brûlée. I don't really like cauliflower, but this was kind of the perfect dish to give your kids (or me) vegetable without us really knowing it. However, it was really sweet, so it could have also been a dessert for me.

The entrée was Creamy Pistachio and Mango Chutney Pork Tenderloin. The pork was pan seared and stuffed with couscous, dried cranberries, pistachio, mango chutney, and cream cheese.

Congratulations to Elise Copps-Smith for her winning side dish!

Congratulations to entrée host Lyndsay Wells!

Finally, we saved room for dessert! A quick and easy Deep Fried Cheesecake. The cheesecake was wrapped in tortilla.

Here's another view (I'm serious about desserts).

Congratulations to Laurie Pearson, dessert winner!

On our way out, we were given cheesecake pops!

And gift bags! In them? Real Women of Philadelphia apron and rubber spatula, vouchers for Philadelphia cream cheese products, a Tilley water bottle, and the latest issue of What's Cooking?

Thank you the amazing team in the Thompson Hotel kitchen for recreating the dishes on such short notice and serving us a memorable meal. It isn't easy cooking for 180 guests with a few days notice of what you'll be cooking!

Thank you to Kraft Canada, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and Rethink Canada for putting on such a great event and for inviting us along. Angela, Elise, Lyndsay, and Laurie, congratulations again! We're pretty sure that you'll be great ambassadors!


  1. What great pictures! I was a contestant, but was unable to go to the finale last night. Cindy,my gal, Heather & I all won Philly Spirit Awards. How neat that you got to join in the night! Thanks for the great pics.

  2. Well doen ladies:))Well earned awards.And tahnk you for sharing:)

  3. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful post. I was so excited for Cindy and incredibly happy to meet Brenda!

  4. Jeanine and Lyndsay,

    Congratulations again!! And thank you for stopping by my blog, I just about shouted when I saw your comments!


  5. lol, too cute, Sylvia. Blogging, it makes it a small world :)