Cooking contest boosts top prize

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

SIDNEY — It’s time again for area cooks to cull their recipes and think about winning prizes — and the grand prize in this year’s Sidney Daily News Harvest-Holiday Cookbook cooking contest is $300!

Thanks to prize sponsor, Clancy’s, the 2016 grand prize is 50 percent larger than last year’s and the largest it has been in the last five years.

“We decided to raise the prize level to $300 to entice more people to become interested and raise the level of competition,” said Clancy’s Manager Gary Strasser. “Over the last couple of years, it has become a real challenge for the judges to pick a winner, due to the hard work and dedication of the semi-finalists.”

The popular cook-off to determine the winners in the 32nd annual Harvest-Holiday Cookbook contest will be Oct. 15.

Home cooks and bakers may submit recipes in six categories for inclusion in the cookbook, which will be distributed in the Nov. 19 edition of the Sidney Daily News and available for purchase after that date.

Four finalists in each category will be asked to prepare their dishes for expert judges to sample at the Crossroads in Hardin during the cook-off. Category winners will be awarded $50 cash prizes that day. A best-of-the-best winner, to be selected from among the category winners, will take home that additional grand prize of $300.

Cooks may enter up to three recipes in each of the six categories. All recipes must be typed. They must include the names of the dishes, the categories they’re submitted in, complete lists of ingredients and instructions, and the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of the submitters.

Emailed recipes are preferred and can be sent to Recipes in hard copy can be mailed or delivered to the Sidney Daily News, 1451 N. Vandemark Road, Sidney, OH 45365. Recipes will be accepted until 5 p.m. Sept. 16.

The categories are as follows:

• Main dishes — entrees that anchor a meal.

• Desserts — for the sweet tooth in all of us.

• Party Pleasers — appetizers and snacks that perk up a get-together.

• Soups, Stews and Chili — the hearty dishes that keep us going all winter long and the light ones that refresh us in the hot summer months.

• On the Side — side dishes: vegetables, pasta, salads.

• Mom and Pop’s Best — heirloom recipes for dishes you remember from your childhood, accompanied by a statement or paragraph about the mom, dad or grandparent who always made the dish and why it means something to you. Include a photo of you and your special cook if you want to. We’ll publish them in the cookbook. Semi-finalists and category winners will be selected based on the recipes, alone, not on the quality of writing or the poignancy or humor of the statements. But Sidney Daily News readers will enjoy those statements, which will enrich the experience of all the cooks who make the recipes in their own kitchens.

For information, call 538-4824.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.