It's certainly looking like September. In the back yard, autumn blooming clematis spills a tide of fragrant white blossoms over the picket fence The very first maple leaves are falling, one here, one there, onto the grass, a bright reminder of what's to come.
Inside, it's time to get aprons out and leaf through your favorite recipes because it's time for The Crescent-News 2013 Recipe Challenge. In order to keep current with food and cooking trends, we are very excited about some changes and additions to the annual contest. Be sure to look for entry blanks and more detailed rules and information in Sunday's edition. Encourage a friend to enter, too. The deadline to submit recipes is Monday, Sept. 30. Finalists will be chosen Monday, Oct. 7. Recipe Challenge is Tuesday, Oct. 15. All submitted recipes will be published online with as many as space allows printed in the special recipe publication on Nov. 5. As always, cash prizes will be awarded. Questions? Call Darlene Prince at 419 784-5441 ext. 220 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The newest aspect to the Recipe Challenge is the addition of a separate competition for a specific type of food. For example, it could be a chili cook-off or a slow cooker event. This year we announce the Cupcake Competition! We know there are a lot of bakers out there who really rock when it comes to creating awesome cupcakes. All cupcake entries must be made from scratch -- no boxed mixes or canned icing. A special guest judge will choose three semi-finalists based on flavor, texture, originality and presentation. The first round of cupcake tasting will take place when the main Recipe Challenge judges make their semi-finalist selections based on submitted recipes. Then, on the evening of the Recipe Challenge, Oct. 15, the first and second-prize Cupcake Contest winners will be announced along with the other finalists.
Although I don't have anything to do with judging recipes, I certainly enjoyed sampling many of the delicious dishes at last year's challenge. It's a lot of fun to see the creative ways semi-finalists display their dishes for tasting and presentation. The number of winners is limited, but there are so many wonderful offerings, the judges have a difficult task narrowing down the selections. This recipe, submitted by semi-finalist Sally Kehnast, of Defiance, for the 2012 Challenge was excellent.
Italian Wedding Soup with Sage Parmesan Sausage Balls
1 lb. pork sausage
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
salt and pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked orzo pasta
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsps. butter
1/3 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 10-oz. package frozen spinach
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper
Cook and drain orzo and set aside.
Combine pork sausage, sage, egg, parmesan and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients together and roll into 1" balls. Fry in an oiled pan and set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan. Add white wine, garlic, parsley, onion, carrot, celery, red pepper, and spinach. Cover and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken broth, pasta and sausage balls, cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.