Pat Harmon, a veteran at winning recipe contests, is a finalist in two – one national; one regional.
Pat Harmon keeps rolling in dough.
The Economy woman, a veteran at winning recipe contests, is a finalist in two – one national; one regional.
Judging Oct. 27 will determine four category and grand-prize winners in GateHouse Media’s Home Town Cook’n – Thanksgiving Recipe Contest. Entrants were asked to submit original creations in best soups, cakes/cobblers, vegetable dishes and non-turkey entrees.
Harmon submitted her recipe for Blackberry Apple Cobbler with Cinnamon Chip Ice Cream Scone Topping in the cakes/cobblers category.
She created the recipe with biscuit-type dough topping several years ago and filed it away in her computer, never entering it in a contest until now.
Instead of adding milk to bind dry ingredients, she melted vanilla ice cream and came up with a clever play on words for the recipe’s title – “ice cream scone.”
Lisa Glowinski, director of GateHouse Media’s More Content Now, said 1,128 entries from across the country were received with approximately 340 in the cakes/cobblers category.
“I was excited,” Harmon said, when notified that she’s a finalist.
Three finalists in each category were chosen by GateHouse Media food editors based on relevance to contest theme, recipe organization and ease of preparation. Columbus State Community College Culinary School in Columbus, Ohio, will prepare the recipes and choose one best overall and four category winners, based on taste, visual appeal and creativity.
As a contest entrant, Harmon will receive a free, one-month premium membership to Cook’n, recipe software that allows one to manage favorite recipes, plus a free digital cookbook from the Cook’n Library.
Category winners will receive a $500 American Express Gift Card.
Grand prize is a four-day, three-night package for two to the winner’s choice of Napa Valley, New Orleans or New York City. The trip includes airfare, hotel, culinary experience and $200 Visa card.
If she wins the grand prize, Harmon said she thinks she’ll choose Napa Valley.
“I’m a wine lover,” she said.
The same day GateHouse Media notified Harmon that she’s a finalist, she received an email from Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh that she’s one of 20 finalists in its wedding services team’s Cookie Table Recipe Contest.
Harmon, who entered her recipe for Raspberry-Filled, Orange-Glazed Creamsicle Torte Cookies, will find out Saturday if she’s a winner. As a finalist, she receives $500 in free slot play, a $250 Rivers Casino restaurant gift card and she and a guest will attend a celebratory brunch Saturday at the casino where prize packages will be awarded.
Judges also will select 12 cookies to be featured in a 2018 Rivers Casino Cookie Table calendar; remaining finalists receive honorable mentions in the calendar.
“At my age a calendar girl,” Harmon joked.
She estimates she’s been entering recipe and cooking contests for at least 25 years.
“The first thing I won was a bread machine, though I was trying for a trip to Paris, France,” she said. Her late husband, ever-practical, consoled her saying “that’ll last longer than a trip,” she said. “He was so right. It still works.”
And it led her to another contest that required using a bread machine. She won a trip to Kansas.
Harmon calculates she’s won trips, merchandise, cookbooks and cash totaling more than $50,000.
She won $10,000 in 2001 in a National Beef Cook-Off for her Tex-Mex Smoky Beef Chili Hash; $5,000 in a Reddi-wip dessert contest; and a trip to Italy in a contest hosted by KDKA-AM Radio.
She’s been a grand-prize finalist three times in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.
The plate she’s using to present her cookies in the Rivers Casino contest is a plate from Portugal, a prize she won in a contest sponsored by Chocolatier Magazine years ago.
“It’s a lucrative hobby,” Harmon said.
Tuesday, she was in the kitchen whipping up another contest entry, this one for Food Network’s “Chopped at Home Challenge,” presented by Del Monte. Entrants are given four ingredients that must be included, but the dish may also include as many additional ingredients as they like.
This challenge requires Del Monte Golden Sweet Whole-Kernel Corn, fresh basil, lemon and feta cheese. Harmon plans on adding chicken and seasonings to make a “Greek fusion” dish.
“I love to do it,” she said of cooking.