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Winners Announced in Recipe Challenge

April 30, 2011 | Posted by admin

And the winning recipe in FruitFast’s Berry Cherry Challenge is….

Coconut-Cashew Chicken with Spicy Cilantro Cherry Sauce

Mary Shivers of Ada, Oklahoma is the grand prize winner of the Berry Cherry Challenge with her flavorful entrée that blends an array of spices with nuts and is finished with a vibrant cherry juice sauce that audibly brought “oohs and ahhs” from the panel of judges.

Berry Cherry Challenge judges (l to r) are Ann Post, Queen Maria LaCross, Janet Underwood and Kathy Stimac

Berry Cherry Challenge judges (l to r) are Ann Post, Queen Maria LaCross, Janet Underwood and Kathy Stimac

An elementary schoolteacher, Mary said winning the contest was so unexpected.  “I have been cooking a long time, having grown up on a farm in Oklahoma with six sisters and a brother.  Part of our chores were making the evening meals, so we had lots of experience,” said the 50-year old.

FruitFast products meld nicely into her winning entrée using Nature’s Hand Coconut Cashew Granola.  “I love mixing the fruity flavors in my poultry recipes and this is a variation on the sauce that works well.”

Mary will choose either a new KitchenAid mixer or $250 in cash for her winning recipe.

Second place winner:  Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding With Sparkling Sabayon Sauce.

This unusual dessert was submitted by Margee Berry of White Salmon, Washington.  Dark chocolate mixed with premium FruitFast Dried Cherries in each ramekin was an unexpected surprise.  When combined with the sparkling champagne and tart cherry juice concentrate, this dessert recipe bubbled right to the top of the dessert list for the judges.

“I am usually not a fan of bread pudding, but this recipe brought together interesting ingredients in a perfect way — it was absolutely delicious and was not difficult to make,” said panelist Kathy.

Third place honors go to the breakfast entée, CherBerry Pancakes from Jill Drury of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Beautiful in appearance, these delightfully pink cakes are light and fluffy, thanks to the egg whites, while the tart cherry juice gives them their spectacular color.  Add the sauce that pairs either CherryFlex liquid or the concentrate, and you literally have a winner!  And that’s exactly what the judges thought.

“Unbelievably pretty when plated and the maple-cherry juice sauce added just the right finishing touch.  I can’t wait to make these,” said Janet Underwood, company owner and recognized cook.

Special thanks goes to our talented panel of judges – Ann Post, National Cherry Queen Maria LaCross, Janet Underwood, and Kathy Stimac for their dedicated time, discerning palates and culinary expertise.

Many creative, original recipes with dried cherries and cherry juice were submitted for this inaugural contest from around the country and made the selection process difficult but rewarding for those of us involved.  The best of the best cherry recipes will be shared here on the FruitFast website in the weeks and months to come, beginning with the winning entrée the first week of May.

Our thanks to the cooks for participating in the Berry Cherry Challenge, the judges for their thoughtful selections and to our FruitFast customers who make it all possible.


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