Awards : 2012 Mrs. Holiday Contest $50,000.00 

Bays English Muffin Recipe Contest "Jumpin' Jack N' Pepper Pizzas" 

Family Circle Magazine was looking for creative recipes using bread for one of its monthly contests. I decided to put a new twist on an old favorite - french toast - and incorporate some healthy elements to make it the perfect breakfast for kids and grown ups alike! 

 

My "Berry Banana Split French Toast" took top honors in my breakfast category. I used leftover hot dog buns which were grilled like french toast, and then filled with bananas, frozen yogurt and fresh fruits. Drizzled with maple syrup. 

 

This was a $1000 prize. 

To win the coveted grand prize in the infamous Bays English Muffin Annual Recipe Contest was huge for me! Here is a family owned company based out of Chicago that held a cook off each year in Chicago that was open to home cooks across the country. The prizes were incredible and creative to say the least! Trips of a lifetime to places like Africa, Italy, Tropical ports of call ~ all first class. 

 

The year I entered was a pizza theme - top one of their delicious english muffins with the most creative toppings. My entry was "Jumpin' Jack N' Pepper Pizzas" which featured a black bean spread base topped with roasted everything and finished with cheese, sour cream and a sprinke of chopped jalapeno. 

 

The prize for my year was a 12-day first class cruise around Greece and Italy with two nights in Venice on the side. Wow!!! 

 

There were seven finalists and we were all flown to Chicago to the downtown Four Seasons hotel where we prepared our recipes for the judges. I took the grand prize! It was worth over $18,000. 

Proud to be the on-air spokesperson for Corazonas Healthy Squares. QVC Customer Choice Winner  2013 and 2014 for Best Healthy Snack. 

 

My winning recipe, "The Left-handed Gunslinger's Grilled Gazpacho with Gunpowder Croutons" incorporated Newman's Own Medium Salsa with grilled veggies and homemade croutons baked with a dash of real butter and cayenne pepper.

 

My $15,000 prize was donated to the Ursuline Convent and to the Sunshine Foundation which provides dream trips to Disneyworld for children with life threatening ailments. 

This contest required you to use both a Hunt's tomato product AND a Mueller's pasta. My recipe, "Five Alarm Chili Mac" was a spicy, beer and a dash of cinnamon laced chili that featured elbow macaroni as a twist and was topped off with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream and scallions. 

 

I won both the regional competition in New Orleans and went on to face the other two regional winners in NYC. I took that prize ~ a tomato red Chrysler LeBaron Convertible - fully loaded and complete with a car seat as I was about ready to give birth to my first son, Ryan! 

Once upon a time, back in the early 80's, when Chef Boyardee pizza in a box was a college staple, they held a Pizza Recipe Contest nationwide based on the NFL football teams. Submit a creative recipe and represent your favorite team. As an Ohio girl, a senior in college at Bowling Green State University, I created a "Pizza Quilt" that was rectangular in shape and featured 8 squares with individual toppings. It was cute. And I got picked to be the Cleveland Browns contestant! 

 

Off to Los Angeles for a week of competing and side trips to Disneyland and Hollywood. We had our own stations and we had to bake off to compete. I made it all the way to the finals and was one of the top winners! Over $15,000 in cash and prizes, including trip for myself and a guest. 

You can't always be the big winner! 

 

I have lots of honorable mentions to my name, as well, including this one from the Quaker Oats Company for my cookie recipe "Hot Fudge Banana Split" cookies.