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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

RECIPE CONTEST ...... Enjoy, Love and Thankful to be Apart of Them

Most of you know I love recipe contests. Looking back on my life, which is going back many, many years, when I was a little girl, my sweet grandma was my inspiration as a lady, cook and person I admired and wanted to be like. She was very wise and talented in many areas of her life.  She loved to cook and was very creative in putting together numerous recipes using a shoestring budget. She was known far and wide for her many talented culinary creation recipes. It was her lifelong dream to become a finalists in the Grand Pillsbury Bake Off. Every year growing up, I remember her coming to visit, reaching over to hug me, and saying with huge excitement in her voice as she would show me the latest copy of Grand Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook in her hand, "Someday Sweetie your Grandma is going to be a finalist and your going to see my recipe in this cookbook". Sadly my sweet grandma passed away in 1982 only a few months after the birth of my second son. She never got to fulfill her lifelong dream. Years later, I got to thinking about that and with the encouragement of my youngest child, my daughter, I wanted to fulfill her dream and be a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake Off contest.

In 1999 I entered my first recipe contest. The contest was in my little town yearly peach festival. I didn't have a clue how to write a recipe, but I have always loved creating and putting together recipes. I got very nervous about taking the first steps and started to have doubts about my abilities. But I remember some very wise words my grandma would always say to me, she said ' sweetie, when you cook always cook putting all the love you have in your heart and that love you create and cook will always see in the smiles of your loved ones when they enjoy every bite they have". I got out my handed down cookbooks and taught myself the formats of how recipes were written. Then got some ideas to create a peach recipe. My daughter joined in and she created a peach recipe too. We had so much fun cooking together, and to our surprise we both won the town peach festival contest and had our recipes and pictures in the local town paper. That was the stepping stone to the beginning for me and recipe contest.

Even still after that wonderful moment had passed, I had let a couple years pass before I tried to enter recipe contest and the very special recipe contest, the one my grandma called the "Golden Oscars of Recipe Contest" the Grand Pillsbury Bake Off. A lot of that was due to raising a family, working and we had one computer in our family. That was my husbands work computer, and I didn't have a clue how to use or type on a computer. My husband patiently taught me the basic steps and little by little I got better, but still to this day I am a learning and work at progress with computers.

In 2007 I entered my first widely known contest. I was so surprised I won the on line voting contest with the BettyCrocker.com "Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Mix Contest" for my Apple Steusel Cheesecake Cookie Bars:(Pictured Above.)
Also in 2007  my recipe of Streusel Sweet Potato Pie was chosen in Piggly Wiggly Country Contest



In 2008 I entered the "Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Mix Contest' again and was fortunate to chosen as one of the prize winning cookies with my recipe of Almond Streusel Cherry Cheesecake Bars
During these years I keep trying to enter the Grand Pillsbury Bake-Off Contests, but unfortunately my entered recipes didn't seem to have enough sparkle or sunshine to them. There were times, I thought maybe that dream wasn't meant to be, but then I could swear I felt my grandma up above, saying to me, come on sweetie you can do this, keep trying. So I would reach within myself, and say to myself, come on Brenda you have just got to fulfill your grandma's dream.

In 2009 I entered the very first "Martha White Muffin Mix Challenge" and Won the Grand Prize with my
recipe Strawberry Streusel Cheesecake
http://www.marthawhite.com/recipes

Strawberry Streusel Cheesecake from Martha White®

In 2010 I entered the "Mix It Up With Betty Cookie Mix Contest" and thankfully was chosen as one of the prize winning cookies for my recipe of Pecan Praline Caramel Cheesecake Bars pictured above
also in 2010 I entered the Gold Medal Flour and was chosen as a runner up for my recipe
Berry English Muffin Bread

Berry English Muffin Bread
In 2011 I was fortunate to be picked in the Lodge/Martha White Cornbread Bake Off for my recipe

Cajun Chicken Gumbo with Creole Cornmeal Dumplings
Also that year I was 2nd runner up for Crisco Mediterranean Contest for my recipe called
Creamy Tuscan Torta with Sun-Dried Tomato.
Creamy Tuscan Torta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
The year 2012 was a Very Big Year for me..After many years of trying I got the call..I thought I was going to go in shock, collapse and at the same time hoot, scream for joy. 45th.Pillsbury Bake Off called...Yuup...
The Dream of Dreams come true...Breakfast Category my recipe Caramelized Peach Upside Down Coffeecake
Before and during going to this wonderful golden globes of recipe contest I had a locket with my sweet grandma picture on one side and on the other side a picture of my sweet dad both had passed away many years ago...I wore that locket around my neck at the Bake Off looked up in the heavens and said to the good Lord above...Lord if its okay ..could you please let my grandma know her dream has finally come true and please let my dad know too ...and Lord Please know I Thank You for this Lord and I Love You and Please let my grandma and dad know how much I love them.




Also in the later part of 2011 and early 2012 I won second place prize in the Nestle Holiday Cookie Challenge with my recipe Fudge Cherry Cordial Cookie Bites..I won cash prize 2,500;;;


2012 I also won grand prize $1,500 in the Recipe Riot Miracle Whip Challenge for my recipe Creamy Cheese Tomato Sweet Pies:
 and runner up in the Chiquita Banana contest and also a Apple festival runner up contest too. Plus on a cooking website I enjoy and love to be apart of called JustAPinch.com I have been very blessed and honored to of won 3 blue ribbons from them.
In 2013 I was over joyed to be pick a second time for the dessert category of the 46th Pillsbury Bake Off
for my recipe Chocolate Cherry Souffle Cupcakes and a Huge Honor when Pillsbury picked my recipe to


grace the 46th Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook..I was so surprised and so very grateful .
I was also thankful to win third place prize in 2013 in the Sun Maid Chocolate Covered Raisin Contest for my Individual Rum-Raisin pecan pies with sweet chai tea caramel sauce.

During these years I was so very thankful and felt very blessed to of did so well in recipe contests. Thankful for all my grandma had taught me, cause she was a much better cook and baker than I was or will every hope to be. Thankful, also cause I had come to see and was fortunate to meet so many wonderful very creative talented cooks/bakers throughout our wonderful country and or nation. One of the best parts of being apart of recipe has been meeting so many sweet talented creative special cooks/bakers friends. Those friendships I cherish.
***Hi Everyone!!
Wanted to add an Update ...2014 year was a Very Blessed Year...So very Thankful to the Good Lord above for Blessings to my Family, Friends and me...My hubby had successful knee replacement surgery was a very long recovery but my sweet hubby is feeling so much better now.
I also was so Thankful to receive notice that I was selected and was a Finalist in the
47th Pillsbury Bake-Off in Nashville, TN at the Omni Hotel in Nov. 2,3,4 of 2014 with my recipe
in the dessert category called Macaroon Peanut Butter Chocolate Tartlets.
I had so much fun baking with very sweet dear friends and being apart of my Sweet Grandma's dream come true for my 3rd and Final Time. I still feel many the need to pinch myself and realize this really happen. Its truly a Dream Come True. At the Awards show Hosted by Carla Hall of the ABC's The Chew...she was so very Sweet Caring Fun Lady and Talented Chef...So Shocked when at the second announcement they called my name and I heard I received and won the honorable
Jif Award and a cash prize of 5,000.00....I was so shocked I could hardly move and shaking so badly from head to toe I couldn't walk up the stage. I was and am so Grateful to of received this honor and to of been apart of the Pillsbury Bake-Off 3 times in a row ...knowing so many wonderful awesome creative talented cooks/bakers that are so culinary gifted ...I still even today thinking about these treasured moments and memories has truly got to be cause of the Good Lord above..he deserves all the praises...so very Thankful for his blessings...here below I have posted some information and pictures of this very special time....
http://www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/bake-off-contest/bake-off-47/special-prize-winners
http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/macaroon-peanut-butter-chocolate-tartlets/0d8a5d91-c3d8-4293-8eb1-fab96a4fe0ed

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