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Old 01-26-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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Hello!

Hi there! I'm so glad I found this site. I love to cook and have been entering some contests, but hope to get more serious about it. I did get published in one of the Taste of Home magazines (Healthy Cooking) -- I won 3rd place and $200.

I also just got an email that I am one of the 20 finalists in the "Many Faces of Contadina" recipe contest.

Who out there has won which contests? I'd love to hear about them!

I look forward to discussing contests and recipe ideas with all of you!!

Heather

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Old 01-26-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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Welcome Heather.
No contests in my dreams. No matter how good, I'd fold under the spotlight.
So 3 cheers to you!
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather22818 View Post
Hi there! I'm so glad I found this site. I love to cook and have been entering some contests, but hope to get more serious about it. I did get published in one of the Taste of Home magazines (Healthy Cooking) -- I won 3rd place and $200.

I also just got an email that I am one of the 20 finalists in the "Many Faces of Contadina" recipe contest.

Who out there has won which contests? I'd love to hear about them!

I look forward to discussing contests and recipe ideas with all of you!!

Heather
Welcome Heather, no contest winner, just enjoy cooking
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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Way to go Heather!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather22818 View Post
I did get published in one of the Taste of Home magazines (Healthy Cooking) -- I won 3rd place and $200.

I also just got an email that I am one of the 20 finalists in the "Many Faces of Contadina" recipe contest.

Who out there has won which contests? I'd love to hear about them!
Way to Go!!!

I just started entering contest this year - entered my first and lost my first but that record won't stop me. I have a list of possible contests and I love to cook!

Tell us about your contests and what you think got you to the winners circle.

Stacy
NY, NY
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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What type of food/dishes do you enter? We have some veteran members who enter to. Hope they see this so you all can share.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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contests

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Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
What type of food/dishes do you enter? We have some veteran members who enter to. Hope they see this so you all can share.
My first contest was a mixed drink contest. I didn't win, but it was fun to enter. It was a video contest and since I just got a digital video camera this was the first thing I tried with it. I found the software confusing, but hope to get a handle on it so I can add video how to's to my new blog.

I'm working on a recipe for the SI Advance, Iron Chef Citrus Challenge, URS Challange, and the Beef Cook-off. I have many other contests I've put into my folder, but I'm not sure how much time and energy I'll have. I have an illness and there are times I feel great and other times I just get by. That's why I don't work full time anymore. I have a very part time job, not at all in line with my college training, but it's fun. I'm P/T with Williams-Sonoma. I think I spend more than I make - I LOVE the employee discount!!

Stacy
NY,NY
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the responses! I'm really excited to connect with other people who enjoy cooking and entering contests.

Stacy -- it's hard to say why I won what I did. Sometimes I think something has a really good chance of winning, but doesn't, and then ones I'm not that excited about do win! I guess it just depends on what they are looking for and what other entries they get. I have a hard time coming up with recipes that are truly "original" -- it seems like everything's been done before. I would think the more original the better. Winning (or at least being a finalist) sure gets me wanting to enter more though!

Quicksilver -- I will enter just about anything if I can think of something to make! I don't always have lots of time either, with four little girls, but I try. I do try to just jot things down when I come up with something for dinner that we liked, and then see what contest it would be good for.

I'm interested in how other people come up with their recipes. Do you change up old recipes? How do you think of new things? Do you use recipe websites and/or previous winning entries for inspiration? Do you make a recipe over and over to get it perfect, or just do it once and send it in?

Finally, the Contadina contest that I'm a finalist in has a voting portion for determining the winners (it's a portion of your score). Is it appropriate to post it here in case anyone would like to vote for me?

Thanks!!!

Heather
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
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Contest Strategy

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Originally Posted by Heather22818 View Post
I have a hard time coming up with recipes that are truly "original" -- it seems like everything's been done before. Winning (or at least being a finalist) sure gets me wanting to enter more though!
Positive feedback is great motivation to continue working at things we find difficult. People always talk about people that are self motivated. I think that many of us can get over the difficult part of just getting started, but without ways to measure progress it's near impossible to keep up the will to finish a task.

It's really no different with cooking contests. I think that is a very under-discussed reason mom's enter cooking contests. Cooking comes with the territory - we have to do it to take care of our families and if those families are large - we do a lot of it. And, all too often, our families take our talents for granted. When you get third party feedback - anything from pot luck socials to the bigger arena of a cooking contest - it validates that not only are we "good" at what we do, but other people know it. We have proof that we've exceed the "requirements" of just cooking for the family; we've been "told" we excel at the task. Cooking contests are like extra credit assignments and when we're acknowledged for the effort, we swell up just like we did as kids when we came home and taped that "A+" project up on the refrigerator for both mom AND dad to notice.

Enjoy your time as a finalist!! You deserve it.

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Originally Posted by Heather22818 View Post
I'm interested in how other people come up with their recipes. Do you change up old recipes? How do you think of new things? Do you use recipe websites and/or previous winning entries for inspiration? Do you make a recipe over and over to get it perfect, or just do it once and send it in?
For me, I keep a file sorted by month the content ends. I look through the file often and re-read the print outs and my handwritten notes about the contest. I get inspiration from so many places, and by keeping a large number of contests in the folder and on my brain, I can often pair up a good idea with a particular contest. Then I have to do the work to get an idea to turn into a workable recipe.

I'm a real type A personality, so I do the recipe many times, under different conditions before I put it on my blog or send it in for a contest. But that is just me. I have a real fear of having others make the recipe as written and having them waste their time, effort and money on something that doesn't work out the way it should. If I put my name on it it means I'm giving someone my personal assurance that it's good.

My challenge is that I often think in terms of master recipes - the basic concepts that can be made in many different ways. The other challenge is that I don't work from recipes and haven't in many years. I have so many committed to memory and I cook based on what I have on hand or what looked good at the market. I'll make substitutions on the fly based on my knowledge of flavor profiles. Writing down a recipe as I work is a major PIA and they need to be written down in order to send them in - LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather22818 View Post
Finally, the Contadina contest that I'm a finalist in has a voting portion for determining the winners (it's a portion of your score). Is it appropriate to post it here in case anyone would like to vote for me?
[/quote]

Heather -

You are now part of a community - if you don't send us the link - shame on you!!! We are here to share and support one another.
Send us that link, so we can vote for you! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Stacy
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for the positive reinforcement Stacy! You make some good points. I'd love to read your blog sometime.

Although I do look through recipes for ideas, I rarely follow a recipe exactly. And I definitely agree with not enjoying writing the recipes! I know I've lost a few because I didn't get around to writing them down.

Here's the info on the voting:

Each person can vote once per day through March 1. Here's how to do it. Oops, guess I can't post a link. Can I say it's the "sisterhood of contadina" website? (With a dot com on the end). I hope that works. On the left will be a blue box that says "become a fan of this user." If you have never signed up with epicurious, you will need to register. Fill out the info, including choosing a name and password, and click on submit. Then one of the options should be "go back to the page I was on" and it should take you back to the Contadina page. THEN, in the middle, under "sisterhood benefits," you can click on "Vote on the Many Faces of Contadina Recipe Contest." There you will see the 20 finalist recipes. Mine is the "Sisterhood of the Spicy Tomato Pasta" -- it says Heather C. under it. Just click on the checkmark by mine and it will ask you for your email address again for verification. That's it! Then if you want to do it again (another day) just go back to the same page, log in, and vote. I know it's a little complicated the first time since you need to sign up, but then it's easier after that.

I would really appreciate any votes I can get! Thank you so much.

Heather
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:11 PM   #10
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posting links

Quote:
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Thanks for the positive reinforcement Stacy!

I would really appreciate any votes I can get! Thank you so much.
Heather,

I will attempt to figure out where to place my vote right after I post this note.

FYI: You will "earn" the ability to post links once you have posted enough. I think it's somewhere around 20 posts.

My blog is simple - my user name with the dot com - GuaranteedGF.com

I like to keep things simple - LOL

Stacy
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