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Monday, November 21, 2005 

I think I watch the Food Network too much...

I just love seeing all the "Food Contests and Festivals" that they highlight and travel to. Who knew that there were so many! Who knew that someone put many of these winning recipes in a book!
Edwina Gadsby did it with her Smothered with Love Chicken. Christopher Stallard did it too but with a Spiced Pork Tenderloin. And Breanna Lynn did it while baking a Bucket of Dirt & Worms. In fact, millions of Americans do it religiously every year nationwide: participate in local and national recipe contests and food festivals. From Jericho, NY to Louisville, KY to Yountville, CA, from Salem, OR to Poteet, TX to Celebration, FL, they compete for prizes as small as a blue ribbon and as large as $100,000.

RED, WHITE & BLUE RIBBON 2004 is the first national collection of winners from more than 200 of these contests nationwide. A virtual culinary tour of America, it offers a combination of simple to sophisticated prize-winning dishes that are cause for celebration. -
Lisa Ekus Public Relations
What's also pretty cool is there is a resource list in back highlighting some of the festivals and when they are held. Some of the fun sounding "adventures in contests"....

Almond Inspiration Recipe Contest (Modesto, CA)
Basil Harvest Festival - Best O'Pesto (Paso Robles, CA)
National Cornbread Festival (South Pittsburg, TN) (wow...that really IS south of PA!)
and the one highlighted on CBS' Very Foodie Oriented edition of Sunday Morning yesterday -
the Yambilee Contest (The National Sweet Potatoe Frolic) (Opelousas, LA) - and just intime for Thanksgiving, take a look at all the yummy yam things you can make! (Yams are good for more than just holding up marshmallows, ya know!)
the recipe that caught my eye, though....
Tart & Gooey Cranberry Pecan Pie Bars
(Mary Donovan-Haber of Eau Claire, WI won first prize in the "fresh cranberry" category at the Warrens Cranberry Festival. (Cran Fest!)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, divided
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
2 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13" baking pan. In a bowl, combine flour, white sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1 1/2 sticks of butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Press mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and remaining 1 stick of butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
Put eggs in a bowl. Gradually stir about 1/2 cup of brown sugar mixture into eggs, then add egg mixture to remaining brown sugar mixture in saucepan. Stir in cranberries, pecans and vanilla. Pour cranberry mixture over baked crust. Bake for 30-32 minutes, until cranberry mixture is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars and serve.
(The Food Network has some more recipes from Cran Fest)

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