…Because everyone loves an underdog

25 May

Saying that this post is overdue is an understatement even I don’t feel comfortable with making. If you’ve been following along with the blog for the past few months you’ll remember that I had entered a cooking competition again this year – the Girl Scouts of Western Washington’s Cookie Recipe Contest – a competition for food bloggers.

Samoas Coconut Cream Filled Croissant Doughnut by Siiri Sampson

This was the third year I entered, and I was hell bent on winning this year. After placing 3rd overall in my first year, and then not even making the Top 5 my second year, I had officially adopted the Underdog title of this competition. For those of you that know me in real life, the food world, or just through the blog, you know I love a challenge. You want me to achieve something? Just tell me I can’t do it. Sure fire recipe for success (sorry, food puns abound….have we met?).

To refresh your memory, here’s the post of my submission for the contest: http://ahalfcup.com/2014/02/12/samoa-coconut-cream-filled-croissant-donut/

Go ahead and read it (it’s over the top, I’m aware), I’ll wait……

Okay good. Now that you remember what I submitted, and saw the spoiler alert, I won! WOOT.

Croissant Doughnuts with toasted coconut and triple glaze

Toasted Coconut…..doughnuts….what else could you want?

I know it’s cheesy to the max, but I truly find that my successes are, in fact, sitting atop a tightly grouped cluster of many previous failures. All those lessons, compounded and steeped in calculated risk and humility. While losing is sad and disappointing, I have the following things to say about why I LIKE losing:

  1. I know I will lose exponentially more times than winning, so anticipating failure helps me focus on what lesson I’ll learn for later that will one day contribute to my success
  2. If I don’t lose, the wins don’t feel as good or deserved
  3. Aim higher people – the struggle brings way more creativity
  4. When you fail, you learn about what you don’t like (Shaping what you do like) and what your thresholds are, ultimately pushing your competitive edge further
  5. You store away the memory of what went wrong and can tap into that, should that obstacle arise later on, making you more agile

All of this is to say, I had been plotting my upset for sometime. My incredible work team had helped me think through the factors that create an iron clad winner (and, no, I’m not sharing that equation. SERIOUSLY?! You’d be SHOCKED how many people have asked me….). I embarked on the creation of the Samoas Coconut Cream Filled Croissant Doughnut.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014 Siiri Sampson. All rights reserved.

But the most interesting part of this years competition was what happened after I won. I went on a little Seattle media tour, sharing my creation with various media outlets, and helping to promote the Girl Scouts cookie sales. What a wonderful way to be able to help boost sales for such a great organization!

Many people have asked me to share the video and radio segments, and so, without further ado, allow me to dump all the media on you. For real, you guys, get comfy, grab a snack and enjoy. Here comes ALLLLLLL the pictures and videos as I take you through the week:

The day before the winner was announced, all the Top 5 finalists were invited to appear on the live 4pm broadcast of KOMO 4 News with Mary Nam. So we met up (for the first time), and shared our treats with the news team and each other. The other women finalists were so nice, their treats were insanely good and we really enjoyed meeting each other.

Making sure I'm camera ready - I *rarely* take pictures like this, but needed feedback from a couple friends before leaving the house. Now I'm glad I have a picture to freeze this day in time!

Making sure I’m camera ready – I *rarely* take pictures like this, but needed feedback from a couple friends before leaving the house. Now I’m glad I have a picture to freeze this day in time!

All the finalists lining up for our segment on the news room floor while the broadcast is live.

All the finalists lining up for our segment on the news room floor while the broadcast is live.

You never know what your set up will be, so it's important to bring materials with you to stage your food, and be able to improvise!

You never know what your set up will be, so it’s important to bring materials with you to stage your food, and be able to improvise!

Mary was very kind and let us take a few pictures with her, since I know everyone was a little nervous and we wanted to remember how much fun we'd had!

Mary was very kind and let us take a few pictures with her, since I know everyone was a little nervous and we wanted to remember how much fun we’d had!

While we were filming the live segment, we had a special guest (Steve Poole) sneak up and snag one of my treats. Luckily he loved it!

While we were filming the live segment, we had a special guest (Steve Poole) sneak up and snag one of my treats. Luckily he loved it!

And here is the live segment video: (sorry, my blog is being a PAIN and won’t let me paste/embed the video. Right click the link below and “Open in a new tab”)

http://www.komonews.com/home/video/Girl-Scout-Cookie-Recipe-Contest-247943671.html?tab=video&c=y

After that segment was over, the radio show down the hall had us come on for an impromptu interview as well:

Myself and Stephanie (the amazing creator of the competition who works tirelessly for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington) in the booth for the radio show.

Myself and Stephanie (the amazing creator of the competition who works tirelessly for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington) in the booth for the radio show.

Looking back into the news room from inside the booth during the show.

Looking back into the news room from inside the booth during the show.

And here’s the clip from our radio segment: (well, darn, I need to convert it to a video and upload to YouTube, so that’ll happen later and I’ll update the post. Sorry!)

The few days after winning were a whirlwind! I was surprised and elated to finally win – especially after having tasted the other creations, meeting the finalists and seeing some of their blogs. It felt great to compete against fellow bloggers I knew were giving me a run for my money!

My next stop was a cooking segment on New Day Northwest, the local morning show on King 5 here in Seattle, with Margaret Larson:

I had a good amount of time to set up, which I needed to get all my stations set!

I had a good amount of time to set up, which I needed to get all my stations set!

Looking at all my "notes to self" to ensure I don't miss a step I plan on showing.

Looking at all my “notes to self” to ensure I don’t miss a step I plan on showing.

Siiri prepping her station on New Day Northwest

Stephanie and I behind the scenes, making sure we have all the talking points down to promote the cookie sales.

Stephanie and I behind the scenes, making sure we have all the talking points down to promote the cookie sales.

Before the segment, talking through details with Stephanie and our producer.

Before the segment, talking through details with Stephanie and our producer.

During the taping of a show, they do lead ins and teasers for the segment. This is from backstage, where you can watch on the monitor as the teaser is taped, and see what it looks like on TV.

During the taping of a show, they do lead ins and teasers for the segment. This is from backstage, where you can watch on the monitor as the teaser is taped, and see what it looks like on TV.

Prepping for the walk through.

Prepping for the walk through.

Siiri Sampson getting mic'd up for her segment on New Day Northwest

Producers working with food blogger Siiri Sampson, to prep her cooking segment

Working with a great team of producers and camera men prior to the taping to ensure our shot list was ready and all the product was well merchandised.

Here's what the studio looks like when you're actually there, in the audience.

Here’s what the studio looks like when you’re actually there, in the audience.

And here’s the segment if you saw it online or at home on TV: (sorry, my blog is being a PAIN and won’t let me paste/embed the video. Right click the link below and “Open in a new tab”)

http://www.king5.com/new-day-northwest/Girl-Scout-Cookie-Recipe-Contest-Winner-248208121.html

The following day, I headed over to KCPQ Q13, our Seattle Fox station, for a live segment where I had two super cute girl scouts with me on a live segment. Kaci, Bill, Adam and the rest of the crew were wonderful and made short work of my samples!

 

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

When I arrived, these super sweet girl scouts were awaiting their chance to cook along side me on the show.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

My “hard at work” face, of course no idea my picture is being taken. Classic Sampson move! Since we’re on a closed set and I’m in the same sound stage as the live news broadcast, everything for set up has to be done completely silent.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Most of the set up had to be done during commercial breaks and when stories went to prerecorded segment sections since I had to unpack, move things around and generally, that involves lots of kitchen noise!

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Setting up the abbreviated station format to ensure we made it through the whole dish in our allotted time.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

There you can see some of the rest of the sound stage.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Here, you can literally see the news going on, in real time, right behind me. It was a neat opportunity to see what things look like on the back end.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Ah ha! I got caught! :) Almost done setting up, but you know me….everything has to be JUST SO!

 

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

And here’s the other half of the sound stage.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Trying to be SUPER quiet – which we all know is a massive stretch (no pun intended here) for me.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Chatting up the anchors during a commercial break. None of the food was heated, but there was actually SO much sugar and coconut in the recipe that, under the set lights, it heated things up to a point where you could smell the Croissant Doughnuts across the room.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Taping the live teaser.

 

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Getting the girl scouts set up and taking pictures for their memory books.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Walking the girls through their tasks and having them help me prep a station.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Showing the girl scouts how to fill the treats, so they knew just what to do when it was their turn.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

Waiting our turn….

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

And then, the segment went live and we chatted with the wonderful Kaci Aitchison.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

The whole crew devouring the samples after our segment was over.

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

A couple quick pictures!

Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest Siiri Sampson, Seattle Food Blogger and Winner of the 2014 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Cookie Recipe Contest

And here’s the segment: (sorry, my blog is being a PAIN and won’t let me paste/embed the video. Right click the link below and “Open in a new tab”)

http://q13fox.com/2014/03/04/girl-scout-cookie-recipies/#axzz2v1fnJbwA

 

Then, I finally made it over to visit with some food friends of mine on the radio show Seattle Kitchen:

Sampson_Seattle Kitchen Segment for Girl Scouts of WW_030614

Thierry Rautureau, Me, Tom Douglas, and Katie O on the Go!

WP_005931

The show goes on! Tina and Katie O hard at work!

The show goes on! Tina and Katie O hard at work!

#Groupie of Thierry, Tom and I after our segment was over.

#Groupie of Thierry, Tom and I after our segment was over.

 

And here’s that segment: http://kiroradio.com/listen/9968785/

You should sign up for their podcast (http://www.kiroradio.com/SeattleKitchen) , it’s hilarious and educational – a winning combination!

And in case you’re wondering, yes, this was part of my winnings. I was also given enough Girl Scout Cookies to last a lifetime, some cash money, and bragging rights. Also, I can literally enter again next year…..we’ll see if I’ve got any steam left in me for a repeat.

One last note before I sign off tonight:

I so appreciate all the support and encouragement from family, friends and colleagues I continue to receive. Going through this process, while seemingly no big deal, is pretty hard. Putting yourself out there with the potential of being beat again – it’s not easy. And throughout it all, I’ve had a great crew of people. There’s one person in particular who has been my number one cheerleader and dedicated so much energy and time to helping me, listening to me, brainstorming and then celebrating (which included a ton of work to get all these segments done). My oldest and dearest friend, Adam, has been by my side through it all. He is family to me, and I know he always has my back. At the drop of a hat, he cleared his schedule to be with me at every single TV segment, picking me up early, driving me around, prepping food behind the scenes, letting me be a total controlling freak about the direction each item faced, etc. And he did it all with a smile – and then took every single picture you see above. He is just INCREDIBLE. Adam, thank you from the bottom of my heart – you are simply the best and I literally could not have done any of that successfully without you!

 

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2 Responses to “…Because everyone loves an underdog”

  1. Liz F. May 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    So fun to relive all this! Congratulations again!

  2. Kelly Zimmerman May 27, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Congrats to you! That’s awesome. Looks delish!

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