Tuesday, 27 November 2012

We need your help. Please read Stephen's story

Hi everybody,

I'm making a very special request.  Please read this blog entry from my friend Stephen Childs, he needs your help and so do a lot of other people he wants to help with his winnings.  He is a great guy, with a big heart and a big opportunity.  Please spare us a few minutes.

Stephen's original email to me and others is as follows:


As you know I’m gearing up my efforts for the Recipe to Riches finale.  I would greatly appreciate if you could circulate the story below to your family, friends and networks far and wide in advance of the December 5-7th online voting, which determines the winner of the $250,000 prize.

It’s so exciting to share this adventure with you, and I hope I can count on your continued support to the end;
  His message to you his new friends I hope:

This message is from someone you know who thinks you should hear my story – you can directly help me in my 1 in 7 chance to win $250,000!  A portion of my winnings will go to support local food initiatives like Food Banks across Canada.

My name is Stephen Childs. I live in Victoria, BC, but grew up in Buckhorn, ON, at my family's small business, Scotsman Point Resort. My parents Andrea and Norm, taught my siblings and I that anything was possible; I never thought that I would find myself on national television.

I auditioned for a Food Network TV show called Recipe to Riches; a contest for home cooks. My creation, Chipotle Chili Bites, basically chili self-contained in its own cornmeal bowl got the nod from the judges and I became a finalist in the Savory Snacks Category.  I went on to win my category on October 24th, making my newly named – Chipotle Chili Slams  - a President’s Choice product available in stores across Canada and earning me $25,000.

I am now one of seven finalists competing for the grand prize of $250,000. The winner will be decided based on votes by Canadians – like you! Voting is open online at only from December 5-7th.

Food and cooking have been a central part of my life.  I'm excited to share the values of good healthy food and eating together with my wife Jen as we raise our 16 month old daughter Della.  My winnings so far have been a great help to our young family, for which I feel very blessed and I am also excited to be able to give back to my community in a meaningful way. 

I’m proud to tell you I have donated $3000 of my winnings to local food causes, including the Victoria food bank, which can purchase $3 of food for every $1 donated!  I believe access to quality food and nutrition is essential to building our communities.  Should I be fortunate to win the grand prize, I have made a commitment to financially support food based initiatives across Canada, such as Quest Food Exchange in Vancouver.

I'm appealing to you for your support and to vote online December 5-7th at www.recipetoriches.ca.  

Follow these links to the Food Network where you can find out more background and watch my episode. You can check me out on Facebook or follow me on twitter @Childsfood.  Please forward this on to others you think would be supportive.

Yours in good food,

Stephen Childs

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

You could be helping people who don't have a lot of support at time when it is getting really cold out there and they really need our help.  You would also be helping young families in need, and also a very wonderful young man and his young family.  Please vote for him online at Recipe to Riches.

Here is the original recipe used by Stephen to win  his first round.

Chipotle Chili Slams

Chipotle Chili Bites

Stephen Childs' yummy chili bites have big flavour and are vegetarian.
Courtesy of Food Network Canada
***This original recipe was tested and modified to make it suitable for use in a home kitchen.***
Preparation time: 30 minutes 
Cooking time: 120 minutes 
Yield: 12


Chipotle Chili Filling

2 tablespoons (25 ml) olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) bean medley, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) baked beans in tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) refried beans
2 cans (each 28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) frozen corn or drained canned corn
5 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (25 ml) pureed canned chipotles in adobo sauce


3 1/2 cups (875 ml) vegetable stock
2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (500 ml) cornmeal
1 Vegetable oil for frying


Chipotle Chili Filling

In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and red pepper for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft.
Stir in bean medley, chick peas, baked beans, refried beans, diced tomatoes and juices, corn, bay leaves and chipotle puree.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; partially cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove and discard bay leaves. 
Place 1-1/2 cups (375 ml) of the chili in a food processor; pulse on and off until roughly chopped. 
Set aside remaining chili for later use. Cool pureed chili to room temperature. 
Divide cooled, pureed chili among cups of a 12-cup silicone muffin pan. 
Place in freezer. Freeze for 2 hour or until frozen solid.


Lightly oil two 12-cup muffin tins. In medium saucepan, bring 4 cups (1 L) water, stock, salt, garlic and pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Gradually whisk in cornmeal.
Cook for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly, or until polenta is thickened and smooth.
Place scant ¼ cup (50 ml) polenta in each of oiled muffin cups.
Top with one frozen chili ball; press down until polenta squished up the sides about ¼ inch (5 mm) above top of muffin tin. 
Smooth polenta over chili balls to cover.
Freeze for 30 to 60 minutes or until chili bites are firm.
In heavy bottomed, large saucepan, heat 1-inch (2.5 cm) oil to 350°F (180°C). In batches, fry frozen chili bites for 12 to 16 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown. Drain on paper-towel lined tray. Serve warm with fresh coriander to garnish.

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