The Times Leader is happy to announce the kickoff of the annual Holiday Traditions cookbook and recipe contest. All cooks, aspiring cooks, or on-the-go-throw-something-together-quick cooks should start digging through their cookbooks for a favorite recipe they want to share. Everyone has a favorite, go-to meal, even those who have little time to cook, so why not share that with us?
The cookbook is divided into six different categories: appetizers, featuring dips, finger foods, and anything you'd serve to start a party; soup, salads and breads, including all those wonderful pre-meal palate pleasers; main dishes, featuring the main attraction of the meal; sweet treats, including cookies, cakes and pies; on the simple side, featuring speedy and simple recipes with six ingredients or less; and finally a new category this year, holiday "to-gos," featuring covered dish ideas that are easily portable to all your holiday parties.
The Times Leader will once again team up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upper Ohio Valley for judging and selection of winning recipes.
Three semi-finalists will be selected from each of the six categories. The cooks of these recipes will then present their dishes during the Big Brothers Big Sisters annual Festival of Trees, which will be held this year at the Artisan Center at River City Brewery in Wheeling on Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 1-3 p.m. The event is open to the public and everyone is invited to come out and cheer for their favorite cook.
The judges (who are still to be determined) will taste the top three dishes in each category during the cookoff. A winner and a runner-up will be chosen from each of the six categories. Those recipes will be featured dishes in the Holiday Traditions cookbook. All other submitted recipes will be included in the cookbook. Any overflow will be published in The Times Leader at a later date.
The winner with the top recipe in each category will receive a $50 gift card from Riesbecks, and the runner up will receive a $35 gift card from Kroger. There will also be a random drawing for a $35 Kroger gift card. Other prizes include a gift certificate from Wheeling Coffee and a gift basket from Casa di Vino.
"The Festival of Trees committee is very pleased that the Times Leader Holiday Traditions cookbook finals will once again be held during the Festival," said Judi Tarowsky, chair, Festival of Trees. "Because the Festival of Trees officially welcomes the holiday season to the Upper Ohio Valley, it's so right that holiday foods play a major role in our celebration. We thank the Times Leader, your sponsors, and of course, your talented cooks, for helping our Festival of Trees help Big Brothers Big Sisters make a difference in the lives of area children."
It's easy to submit your recipe. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, a special email account set up just for this contest. Submissions can also be made through our Virtual Newsroom at timesleaderonline.com by selecting the recipe button under society. And of course, you can also bring us your recipe in person or mail to Holiday Traditions Recipe Contest, c/o The Times Leader, 200 South 4th Street, Martins Ferry, Ohio, 43935. No recipes will be accepted over the phone.
The submission deadline is Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. To be fair to all contestants, no late entries will be accepted.
When submitting your entries, include your name and a phone number where you can be reached during the day. We also require your name, address and the category you would like us to judge your recipe.
Recipes must include concise information regarding amounts, ingredients, temperatures, cooking times, preparation methods, etc., WITHOUT abbreviations. Recipes that do not include the required information will not be included in Holiday Traditions.
This year's cookoff is being sponsored by Riesbecks, Kroger, Wheeling Coffee and Casa de Vino.