Well, I was eliminated after Round 8 and my adventures with Project Food Blog are over. I actually took the news very well and may have even let out an audible sigh of relief. I am extremely proud of how far I made it in the competition and it was a very good experience. However, it was also stressful. Baking and blogging when I have judges and voters reading is totally different—every recipe, photo, and word was agonized over. So, part of me was very happy to be done and, in a way, get my life back.

A few days later, disappointment has managed to creep in. I am super excited that I made it to the top 24 out of 600 blogs, that is a huge accomplishment and a big self esteem boost. But I can’t help but feel bad that my blog wasn’t quite good enough to make it to the top 12. And I’m even more disheartened by the fact that I was eliminated after the baking round, of all rounds.

Then I remind myself that Round 8 was full of 24 fantastic bloggers. All entries were excellent, and unfortunately we can’t all advance. My fellow eliminees all submitted excellent posts and I’m taking comfort in that fact. Project Food Blog was a lot of fun and a huge learning experience. I also made a lot of great new friends and discovered blogs that I now read regularly.

Will I compete again next year if they hold another competition? Probably. But for now I’m content to sit back and watch the rest of the competition as a spectator, and content to also get back to regular life and regular blogging. Hopefully you’ll see more posts here again too.

Whipping Meringue

Painted piping bag

I may not have had to worry about Project Food Blog this weekend, but I did have a big catering event on Saturday that had me in the kitchen almost round the clock (did you know I do catering?). I woke up Sunday with the plan to relax and recoup, and felt the urge to bake something simple, something just for me.

With all that’s been going on I haven’t really had the chance to feel the Holiday spirit and I was starting to feel like a scrooge. So I searched my long to-do list for something easy and seasonal. I saw the huge tub of leftover egg whites in the fridge, re-stumbled across this recipe, and formed a plan.

These have got to be the easiest treat you can make this Holiday season. They require just 4 ingredients and are a cinch to whip up. Plus, they’re fat free! They’re light, full of peppermint sweetness, and very pop-able. And their cute little presentation make them ideal for gifts and parties.

These Peppermint Meringues aren’t anything spectacular and they won’t win me any awards, but they helped get me back on track. They reminded me of what it is that I’m doing here with this blog— baking stuff, discovering great recipes, and telling you about it.

A few last things: Voting is now open for Project Food Blog Challenge 9. All the entries are excellent, so be sure to check them out. Also be sure to check out these blogs, the other 11 fantastic bloggers who were eliminated along with me.

The Cuisinerd
Eat, Live, Run
Eat Live Travel Write
The Front Burner
Good Food, Good Wine, and a Bad Girl
I am a Feeder
Korean American Mommy
La Grand Fromage
Spicy Green Mango 
You Fed a Baby Chili?
Z Tasty Life


And finally, here’s a look back at all of my Project Food Blog challenge entries. Looking at this list, I am very proud of my journey, and happy with how long the journey lasted.

Challenge 1: Ready, Set, Blog!
Challenge 2: Turkish Delight
Challenge 3: How to Host a Dinner Party + a Recipe
Challenge 4: How to Make Italian Meringue Buttercream
Challenge 5: Mini Cheese Course Pizzas
Challenge 6: Anniversary Picnic + a Recipe
Challenge 7: Annalise Makes Chocolate Cake
Challenge 8: Cinnamon Eclairs with Pumpkin Cream

Okay, now go bake some meringues!

Peppermint Meringues
From Joy the Baker
Makes 75 meringues

3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
red gel-paste food coloring

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Put the egg whites and sugar in the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a pot of simmering water and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Return the bowl to the stand mixer and beat on high until the meringue reaches stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add the peppermint extract.

Meanwhile, use a small paint brush to paint the inside of a pastry bag fit with a small star tip with 3 stripes of the red food coloring. When the meringue is ready, fill the pastry bag and pipe into quarter sized stars on the prepared sheet pan (Note, the first little bit of meringue to come out of the pastry bag will not have the red stripes because it was inside the tip and not the bag. Pipe it out into a bowl until you see the stripes, then begin piping the stars).

Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes until meringue is crisp but not browned. Let cool on the sheets on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

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28 Responses to Peppermint Meringues

  1. Sippity Sup says:

    Well done. You are such a terrific blogger and more importantly a terrific person. I may have never known that if weren't for the contest and all the talent and heart you showed through every round. So pass the peppermint and remember how sweet life is! GREG

  2. Mindy says:

    Congratulations on your success with the blogging challenge! I wish you could have won (your entries rocked!), but that was a huge accomplishment. I want to try my hand at these. Do they taste good with other flavors besides peppermint?

  3. Amelia PS says:

    Annalise:
    Like you, I am sadder today than Friday. But life goes on beyond pfb and I am taking away all the "goodies": new friends, like you!!!
    Your blog is sweet, I am looking forward to your future posts :)
    These meringues are so cool (never seen two-tone meringues!)
    Amelia

  4. Leila Hamilton says:

    It's been a pleasure and an inspiration to read each of your post in #pfb2010, you are a fantastic food blogger and a very talented food photographer. Just remember that with all competition sometimes better contestants are chopped to make later decisions easier (it happens with everything from TopChef to Dancing with the Stars-but I digress). You did deserve to move forward, you are that good!
    Keep up the awesome work, I am happy that Project Food Blog opened my world to blogs like yours, you have a forever follower.

  5. Fashion Meets Food says:

    These look absolutely wonderful. I attempted these last year and they looked like a mess. I wish I had your talent.

    xo I am your newest follower.

  6. Isabelle says:

    I think there's a lot to be said for making the Top 24… it's an achievement in and of itself. Sure, it kinda sucks to be in the bottom 12 and not move ahead, but that's a pretty impressive-looking dozen, don't you think? (Especially that Isabelle girl.. she's awesome) ;)
    Love these meringues – the red stripes are just adorable! I've got a truckload of egg whites in the freezer right now (it's one of the hazards of ice-cream-making), so I'm totally adding these to my cookie-making plans for the holiday.

  7. Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) says:

    Congratulations on making it this far, Annalise! I was rooting and voting for you all the way, but I can imagine that you must feel a little relieved to not be in competition anymore! Keep baking beautiful treats and inspiring your readers, including me. You are an amazing talent in the kitchen, in and outside of any contest!

  8. blackbookkitchendiaries says:

    i really love how gorgeous your photos are… and this meringue looks amazing.

  9. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite says:

    Annalise, this statement:

    "I can't help but feel bad that my blog wasn't quite good enough to make it to the top 12."

    pretty much sums up how I am (still) feeling about PFB. Yes it's a great achievement to get as far as we did but I can't stop wondering what I could have done differently to make it to the final 12.

    In any case I am focussing on the positive which is the friendships and great new reads I have found, such as you and your blog. Glad to have "met" you and your blog is firmly ensconced in my reader now.

    Hugs, you rocked all the challenges xox

  10. Elina (Healthy and Sane) says:

    I went through the same mourning/happiness process when I was eliminated. Every challenge totally creaped up and while I think there was some personal growth, it was also crazy stressful. You got SO far – congratulations. It's an amazing accomplishment… and now you have a few more moments to bake just for yourself. These little treats look delicious :)

  11. Annalise says:

    Thank you everyone for the nice comments!

    Mindy, yes meringues are very adaptable flavor-wise. You can substitute any extract for the peppermint. You can probably even use other methods of flavoring, but without trying them myself I can't give you specific suggestions.

  12. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    Wow this is brilliant! They really look like peppermint candies and I can just imagine how good these would be. I know this probably isn't much consolation, but PFB (like any contest were voting is involved) is more a popularity contest than a reflection of the quality of your blog. I managed to make it to round 9, but since only 3 people are moving on, I'm thinking my chances aren't very good.

  13. Hot Polka Dot's Mom says:

    Peppermint perfection. Little pop and melt in your mouth treats. Sweet and spunky just like you. I have adored reading your posts throughout the Project Food Blog challenge and applaud you for your achievements. As a new fan and follower, I look forward to more amazing recipes and posts.

    Judy

  14. Lana says:

    I have discovered your beautiful blog through PFB and have been enjoying reading it ever since.
    It has to be disappointing, but as Mark said, these contests are a lot like high school:)
    You are a talented person, and a lot of people will continue to follow you, even without the PFB.

  15. burntapple says:

    Congratulations on your food blogging adventure! And those peppermint meringues look delicious!

  16. nico. says:

    these are adorable! I don't usually do a lot of holiday themed baking, but I might just make these for a christmas party!

  17. Jackie says:

    Oh my goodness, those little meringues look AWESOME! I love the stripes – I'm not at all careful enough to do anything like that, but I love them.

    You did awesome in the competition, lovely. You should be proud of yourself! I'm proud of you =)

    Jax x

  18. Ravenous Rowie says:

    Those are so cute! I've done something similar to this at the bakery I work at! People love this!

  19. Taylor says:

    You should be proud you made it so far…that is an amazing accomplishment!! These meringues are gorgeous…so perfect for the holidays!

  20. Anna says:

    This is such a lovely blog! I love your photos – colourful, simple & stylish. They make me want to run into the kitchen and start baking immediately.

  21. The Urban Baker says:

    congrats on being in the top 24. these are adorable!

  22. Galexi Cupcakes says:

    I voted for you everytime and I congratulate you for all your winning entries and for making it as far as you did. You put yourself in a vulnerable position and came out knowing you have the gumption to get as far as you did. Keep the recipes coming. I thoroughly enjoy them.

  23. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says:

    That is so neat! I've always wondered how they got those stripes in these kinds of baked goods or icing too! Do you think you could do this trick for buttercream for a cupcake?

  24. Annalise says:

    Laura, absolutely! It would be lovely!

  25. LimeCake says:

    These are so beautiful! Totally festive and perfect for Christmas!

  26. tasteofbeirut says:

    These peppermint meringues are terrific, elegant, playful and yummy! Sorry you had to go through this disappointing experience but think of all the great achievers in this world who overcame hurdles and let-downs. Cheers!

  27. jenny says:

    Annalise! You are so talented. I think it's such an accomplishment that you made it so far in the competition. I think you rocked it. And these look delish. I'd probably find a way to mess them up. Sigh.

  28. Azuah says:

    I didn't have red gel, so I used green. Close enough! Thanks for the recipe, they are DELICIOUS. :)

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