ELYRIA — When he started cooking, it was out of necessity.
The single parent of two boys had to put food on the table, but Paul Moore never imagined his cooking would land him an award.
That’s what happened when Moore was awarded a blue ribbon from Just A Pinch Recipes, an online social community created for cooks by cooks.
Moore started using www.justapinch.com about a year ago, the 1996 Elyria High School graduate said.
“A lady at work was telling me about it,” Moore said. “She said I should submit my recipes.”
Moore, who works in the produce and grocery section at Apples, is always taking in goodies that he makes for his co-workers.
He received rave reviews from co-workers for the Snickers cake that he made, so he decided to put the recipe on the website.
And he’s received rave reviews there as well.
The recipe has been “pinched,” or used, by nearly 7,000 of the website’s members.
Janet Tharpe, Just A Pinch food editor, described Moore’s cake as “a full-flavored, festive dish that was both tasty and easy to prepare.”
Moore has a total of four recipes on the website right now, and many others — including 10 original cake recipes — that haven’t made it to the site yet, but he plans to change that.
“When my boys went away for a month, I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Moore said. “I made six cakes. Every cake that I’ve made has been my own. I just think it up and do it.”
His methods have been successful so far. It usually takes only one try for him to get a recipe just the way he wants it. He’s only been disappointed with one recipe so far, so he continues to perfect his pistachio cake.
But his Snickers, Almond Joy, Oreo and red velvet with raspberries and dark chocolate cakes, as well as his four-layer chocolate cake with strawberries are delicious, he said. His son, Keaton, who will turn 7 this month, has requested the Oreo cake for his birthday. Nolan, 8, isn’t a big sweets person, but he does like other things his dad makes — Moore’s chili and lasagna, for example.
“When I was young, I’d watch cooking shows and I’d try to be in the kitchen with my mom and grandma,” Moore said. “My mom, as moms usually do, would say, ‘Move, move, move’ or ‘You’re in the way.’ We were visiting my grandma in West Virginia one year and she said, ‘If that boy wants to learn how to cook, let him cook.’ So they both kind of taught me from there on out.”
Moore was excited when he learned he won the blue ribbon.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever won anything,” he said. “I called my mom and she said it was great.”
Since winning the blue ribbon, Moore has entered a couple of other contests on the site and plans to enter more contests and possibly the fair.
One day, he would love to have his own restaurant.
“Anything I can make that someone will try, I enjoy it,” Moore said. “It makes my day and it makes everything I put into it worth it. I like seeing people’s faces when they try something I make. Even if they say, ‘I’ve had better,’ that’s fine.”
Moore still watches all types of cooking shows. But today, his mom isn’t shooing him out of the kitchen.
“She has me bring stuff over that I make,” Moore said with a laugh.
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix
1 jar creamy peanut butter
8-ounce container Cool Whip
1 jar caramel syrup, to taste
1½ cups unsalted peanuts
1 bottle chocolate syrup
1½ cups Nestle Toll House peanut butter and chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1⅓ cups water
⅓ cup oil
1 can chocolate frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix as directed. Grease two round cake pans, add cake batter and bake for 29 minutes.
While batter is baking, combine peanut butter and Cool Whip and beat until smooth. Set aside. This will be used to ice your first layer.
When cakes are completely cooled, ice the first layer with peanut butter mixture. With the chocolate frosting, create a border around the cake. Add peanuts, peanut and chocolate chips, syrup and caramel. Repeat steps for the top layer.
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or email@example.com.