Janet's Notebook
Blue Ribbon Mom Wins "Rise 'n' Shine" Recipe Contest

Leah Stacey and Her Daughter

And the winner is... Leah Stacey of Montgomery, AL! Leah and her savory Bacon and Green Onion Breakfast Tart have come out on top of the Just A Pinch Rise 'n' Shine Breakfast Challenge. The Crew and I faced quite a challenge of our own in narrowing down all of the amazing recipes. Our contests just keep getting bigger, and we couldn't be happier. So many recipes, so many delicious options!

Leah is no stranger to Just A Pinch contests; she received an Honorable Mention in the Family Holiday Traditions contest for her wonderful Mama's Buttermilk Pie recipe. She continues to wow us with her creative twists on solid dishes. This delicious Bacon and Green Onion Breakfast Tart is no exception.

"I found this recipe a long time ago and changed it up a bit," explains Leah. "It is very good and full of great flavor. I love the smokiness of the bacon and the tanginess of the cheese. It sounds fancy but it is really easy to make!"

In fact, Leah makes her tasty tart recipe even more accessible by offering up an optional alternative to using mascarpone cheese. If you're unable to find the cheese at your grocery store, just combine four ounces of cream cheese, one tablespoon of sour cream and two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. You will have a delicious (and easy) substitution that still delivers on flavor.

The contest judging was a joy... but boy, was it tough! Each recipe finalist was sampled by the Crew and judged for presentation, ease of preparation, originality and flavor. As always, the judging was done blindly, without knowledge of who submitted which recipe. In the end, the winner was unanimous as were these deserving Honorable Mentions:

Lemon-Cream Brunch Croissants with Maple-Blueberry Syrup
"This can be made ahead for a delicious birthday brunch or for Mother's day. It's easy to make but a nicely complex flavor and texture combination." - Jess Grearson, Falmouth, ME

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole
"This is a family favorite. It's really for breakfast but it's good enough for a dessert!" - Roberta Broussard, Pflugerville, TX

24 Hour Wine and Cheese Omelet
"It's so easy to put together and ready to pop in the oven the morning." - Susan Simons, Roy, WA

Surprise Monkey Bread
"This is very yummy and gooey! Great for breakfast or snack." - Lisa Allen, Alabama

Giant Danish
"My husband loves the apple pie filling version and my favorite is strawberry. The beauty of this recipe is that any pie filling can be used and it always tastes great!" - Teresa Jacobson, Jacksonville, FL

Congratulations to all of these terrific cooks! We sure are looking forward to the upcoming "Rise 'n' Shine" Blue Ribbon Showcase where Leah will get to prepare her winning dish alongside me and the Crew in front of a live studio audience! It's sure to be an extravaganza of breakfast goodies. As part of her Grand Prize, Leah will also receive a trip for two to Nashville, limo service, a night on the town and a $1,000 dream shopping spree at the Viking Kitchen Store... the ultimate cook's playground.

Want a chance at winning? Be sure to enter your favorite recipes in the Just A Pinch "Grill & WIN!" contest. We're accepting entries now and have the grill all fired-up and ready to go. Show us what you've got cookin' and you could be the next winner!

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Doreen Fish - May 7, 2011
Congratulations Leah!! So happy for you!!
Leah Stacey - May 7, 2011
Thank you all for your kind words! Y'all are too sweet!
Holly Deshane - May 7, 2011
congratulations Miss Leah
Roberta Broussard - May 7, 2011
Congrats on winning! It looks delicious!
nadine mesch - May 4, 2011
Enjoy every moment :)
Joanne Bellezza-Loughlin - May 4, 2011
Leah...This win is so well deserved. Your recipe sounds delish as do all of your recipes. You are something!!!! Keep it up.
sandra cole - May 4, 2011
congrads on being the winner!I know your very happy and you should be!I'm so excited for you
Michaela Rosenthal - May 4, 2011
That breakfast dish of Leah's (WINNER) soubds delicious. I am planning on making it this week-end!
Leah Stacey - May 4, 2011
Thanks ladies!
Debbie I know... Finally the bride! ;)
Elaine my whole family lives in Tuscaloosa. But they live on the northside of town. So they are all fine. However I have several friends that lost everything in the storm. My hubby has been helping clear all the debris. It makes me very sad. I will be heading to Tuscaloosa very soon to try and lend a hand there.
Elaine Leithiser - May 3, 2011
I live in Wetupmka, AL. Anyone you know lose a house or a loved one? There is a site to buy Tee Shirts Toomers for Tuscaloosa on Facebook There are site that if you like money is donated for relief efforts also. An easy way to help!
susan simons - May 3, 2011
Congrats Leah
Debbie W - May 3, 2011
Leah..finally the Bride =)))) LOL
Bonnie ^O^ - May 3, 2011
Congrats, Leah!
Leah Stacey - May 3, 2011
Thanks y'all! I am so excited!
Aurora McBee - May 3, 2011
Congratulations Leah! Outstanding! Also congratulations to the honorable mentions!