Get your favorite recipe ready because it's time once again for The Times Leader's annual cookbook and recipe contest. We're looking for your best, favorite recipes to compile for our Holiday Traditions cookbook and entertainment guide that will be published on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
The cookbook is divided into six categories: Appetizers; Soups, Salads & Breads; Main Dishes; Sweet Treats; On the Simple Side (speedy, simple recipes with six ingredients or less); and NEW! Smoothies & Holiday Beverages. With the new smoothie and juice craze, the new category was developed so you can share your favorite beverage recipes. Maybe you have a favorite drink you like to serve guests at holiday gatherings or a special cocoa recipe from grandma that warms you on cold nights? Maybe you have a post-workout smoothie that boosts your energy for the rest of the day? Recipes can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
"I'm really excited about our annual holiday magazine," said Heidi Clark, advertising director. "Our readers love the glossy publication, and they get really excited about the multitude of recipes! We are pleased to announce we have all of our generous sponsors back for this year. I want to thank Kroger, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Riesbeck's Food Markets, Kitchen Collection, Casa di Vino and Wheeling Coffee for being kind enough to donate prizes to winners again this year."
In addition to recipes, Holiday Traditions will also contain holiday specialty pages to give you entertainment ideas and tips to help you through the holiday season. "This magazine will definitely put everyone in the holiday spirit," Clark added. "We will be running ads in the paper urging readers to send us pictures of their Ugly Sweater Parties. We will also run ideas on dealing with holiday stress, how to make homemade cookie jars, cookie party exchanges and so much more. We will also feature stories such as homemade gifts, party hosting and outdoor holiday decorating. Please feel free to send pictures in early for our annual Holiday Sparkle feature which will debut in December!"
This year, The Times Leader has some exciting changes to the recipe contest. As in previous years, three semi-finalists will be selected from each of the six categories. However, there will be no cook-off this year. Instead, semi-finalists will drop off their prepared dish at The Times Leader in Martins Ferry on a designated day and time, and dishes will be tasted and judged by 10 volunteer Times Leader employees (we know, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!). A winning recipe will be named in each category, as well as second and third places. Those recipes will be featured dishes in the Holiday Traditions cookbook. All other submitted recipes will be included in the cookbook.
"I'm looking forward to the new format for the recipe contest," said Shaunna Dunder Hershberger, lifestyles editor. "It will be more convenient for our semi-finalists to participate, and more people will have the opportunity to taste the dishes. We're hoping this new format will bring out new cooks and recipes as well as please those who contribute to the cookbook each year."
The winner in each category will receive a $50 Riesbeck's gift card, a gift bag from the Kitchen Collection, a $15 gift certificate from Wheeling Coffee, and a $15 gift card for Perkins Restaurant & Bakery. Second place will receive a $35 Kroger gift card, and third place will receive a wine bag from Casa di Vino. There will also be a random drawing for a $35 Kroger gift card.
Recipe submission deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. That's not far away, so submit your recipes TODAY!
Due to space restrictions, readers may submit up to three recipes only.
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.
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 contest is being sponsored by Riesbeck's Food Markets, Kroger, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Wheeling Coffee, Casa di Vino and Kitchen Collection.