We had a record number of entries in this year’s Recipe Contest! Pamela and her team had their work cut out for them as they made both sweet and savory delights using Pamela’s Products in recipes sent in from all over the country. What makes a winning recipe? Here’s what Pamela had to say:
When my panel and I decide on winners, it’s done on a very emotional level. We scream. It happens every year. There are always clear cut winners based on the sounds coming from our mouths. We never know when it will happen but you can hear the moans into the next room. We try a dish, and when it’s one of THOSE, we keep going back for more. We can never forget the flavor and continue to then rate every other dish against “that one.”
Thank you to everyone for participating in our contest and congratulations to the winners, profiled here with the links to their recipes.
GRAND PRIZE – PAMELA V., Astoria, New York (Cider-Battered Shrimp Corn Dogs with Lime-Avocado Mayo; Espresso Chocolate Chunk Tiramisu; Fried Chicken Tenders and Caramel Pecan Waffles; Grilled Flatbreads with Goat Cheese, Apples, Pecans, and Honey; Honey Chipotle Hush Puppies)
- Recipe inspiration:“I really wanted to make something deep fried since that is a method that typically excludes gluten free folk. I also like the idea of substituting cider in a beer battering for extra zip. Otherwise, battered shrimp with a tangy dip is just one of my favorites!
- Are you gluten-free? “I am not personally gluten free, though two former boyfriends and several current friends are. I enjoy the challenge of developing recipes that have particular parameters, especially if it means people get to enjoy the kinds of things they normally can’t.”
- Hobbies: “Cooking, writing, karaoke, scrabble, trivia.”
RUNNER-UP – BARBARA E., Rhinelander, Wisconsin (Spiced Pear Cake with Almond-Ginger Streusel ‘n Honey Laced Cream; Soft Gingersnap Cookies with Browned Butter Drizzle or Marshmallow Cream Filling)
- Recipe inspiration:“I love being creative, especially when it comes to desserts. Spice cake is one of my favorite cakes especially with fresh fruit and I tend to use almond extract over vanilla in all my baking.”
- Are you gluten-free? “No, I am not but learned about gluten-free from a good friend who eats healthy and gluten-free-she was my inspiration. “
- Hobbies: “Entering cooking and baking contests and baking with my grandchildren. I enjoy wild berry picking and hiking. My husband and I hunt game birds and white tail deer together. We also love to fish in small wilderness lakes-we have many in our area. I also assist my master instructor in teaching mixed martial arts on a voluntary basis when needed. I train weekly in mixed martial arts and I am a 3rd degree black belt. Three of my grandchildren are also in martial arts.”
RUNNER-UP – GLORIA B., Naperville, Illinois (Cheesy Sausage Tomato Bake with Ranch-Verde Drizzle)
- Recipe inspiration: “I have a friend who has issues with gluten and I often have her over for lunch. I wanted to make something that my friend could eat, so I came up with the bake. It’s great for brunch, lunch and dinner.”
- Are you gluten-free? “No, I’m not.”
- Hobbies: “Playing bridge, book club, travel, gardening, walking, keeping up with my five children and three grandchildren.”
- Recipe inspiration: “The recipe contest inspired me to start cooking with Pamela’s products, something I was not familiar with before.”
- Are you gluten-free? “I am very lucky that I do not have celiac disease, but I grew up eating lots of rice and enjoying desserts made of rice flour. I am happy that I got introduced to Pamela’s baking products as I like the rice flour flavor.”
- Hobbies: “Until recently I worked full time and did not have much time for various hobbies, but I have been entering cooking contests for many years. I love to cook a variety of food and am always eager to try out new ethnic restaurants and foods that are exotic to me.”
HONORABLE MENTION – ANACENA Z., Arcata, California (Light Almond Puff Pastry)
- Recipe inspiration: “My roommates were in the mood for some movie snacks on a cold night so they all directed their conversation at me and I took my hint and set about making them something. I knew I wanted to enter this contest so I made a quick run to the grocery store (I am not gluten-free usually, so did not have all the Pamela’s products on hand) to stock up on ingredients, and set about my work. This is the recipe that I came up with and they were pleased with it.
- Hobbies: On my off time from being a student and marine lab assistant, I bake, run, and make art!
HONORABLE MENTION – SANDI B., Edwardsville, Illinois (No Nuts (or gluten or dairy!) Doughnuts)
- Recipe inspiration: “I really want my kids to have the same experiences as other kids despite their food sensitivities. So, whenever possible, I work on recipe development (usually for holidays and special occasions). The commercially-made gluten free donuts also contain dairy, so I had to start at step one. I don’t want anything to be “out of reach” for them just because their bodies can’t digest something.”
- Are you gluten-free? “I’m not, but all five of my kids are. Before my son was two, a friend suggested some of his symptoms could be linked to gluten. We did an elimination diet and quickly realized that gluten was a major culprit. Because he was just a toddler, I banished gluten from the entire house. I didn’t want him to accidentally eat something without us realizing or have a well-meaning sister give him a bite. The girls would get bread products out of the house and we began to see that they, too, were intolerant. We’ve been gluten free now for about five years.
- Hobbies: “I’m currently a visual communications major at the Savannah College of Art & Design. I’m also a homeschooling mom of kids ages 6 to 15. During the school breaks, I try to use my time to play mad scientist in the kitchen and see what kinds of things I can create. Luckily the family never minds eating the prototypes. :)”
HONORABLE MENTION – DEVON D., Westport, Connecticut (Pumpkin Pancakes and Sticky Maple Peppered Chicken)
- Recipe inspiration: “I wanted to make a gluten free recipe that celebrated the tastes of fall in New England. I make savory pancakes for dinner periodically and paired with a maple sauced chicken I thought it was a perfect showcase for how Pamela’s makes the most delicious pancakes!”
- Are you gluten-free? “I am not gluten free but my daughter’s best friend is so I wanted to learn how to make her some enjoyable meals. I was so thrilled to find Pamela’s mixes at my grocery store! They are wonderful!”
- Hobbies: “My hobbies include cooking (of course), needlepoint, sewing and tennis.”