You may have noticed on social media that I’m a big fan of the Great British Baking Show on PBS. My girls Cindy, Emily, Sarah and Megan love it, too. The first American season aired a while ago and is now available on Netflix, if you want to catch up. I believe it’s called the Great British Bake Off in the UK and has been on the air for several years. I read that the first season on PBS is actually season 4 of the UK version or something like that.
The show is a refreshing take on a baking competition because each person is chosen for their unique baking skills and everyone is friendly. These amateur bakers are culinary school students, engineers, teachers, retirees, etc. The hosts are encouraging and chip in when they can while the judges are direct and fair. They don’t leave each baker in a puddle of tears because of insults and raised voices. I just love it so much.
They are currently airing The Great Holiday Baking Show on ABC. Last night they aired episode 3, but you can get caught up on ABC or Hulu. I missed last night’s episode, but will watch tonight. Mary Berry, an English food writer, who is a judge on the UK version, signed on for this American holiday version and she’s incredible. She uses the word “scrummy” for scrumptious and didn’t know what a naked cake was.
She is joined by pastry chef Johnny Luzzini and the show is hosted by Nia Vardalos (from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and her husband, Ian Gomez. What a mix, you guys. I’ll watch it until the end, but it just doesn’t compare to the magic of the UK version. Johnny’s chunky silver rings and pinstripe shirts are very distracting to me. The UK version has seen cakes molded into charming cottages and castles while in the first episode of the American holiday version, a baker made a gingerbread hospital with crooked Andes mint windows (?!?!?) I can’t look away, though. What do you think of it?
This is exactly the kind of cozy meal to enjoy while watching The Great Holiday Baking Show or Netflix reruns of the original Great British Baking Show. You don’t want to watch on an empty stomach.
Marc recently told me he’s excited that I’m making “winter food” again. I guess he means those long-cooked and hearty meals that warm you up when it’s cold outside. I saw this recipe over on Bev Cooks and I knew Marc would love it. I changed a few things, but this easy recipe really won us over on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s really delicious and would be great for entertaining. The pork is flavorful with Italian spices while the pillows of gnocchi nestle in and soak up the liquid. YES.