Janet's Notebook
Food Traditions Inspire Two New Ways to Win... BIG!

Enter holiday family favorites & WIN!

How does that saying go: "There's nothing sweeter than the taste of victory"? Well, catch me with a plate full of ginger snaps and I will sure beg to differ! For me the sweetest thing of all is getting to taste your family's traditions. Through the generations, recipes are tweaked and perfected until there's just no better gift.

In fact, Geraldine Quisenberry of Clarksville, TN was so inspired by her friend Ann Harrison's love of macadamia nuts that she named a new holiday cookie after her!

"For a surprise at Christmas I made these cookies for [Ann], wrapped each one individually in Saran wrap and tied each and every one with Christmas ribbon. She was delighted with the gift," says Geraldine. "This is one of four cookies that I do this with at Christmas time, putting some of each kind on the platter or in a basket. It is as much fun for me to do as it is to give. I hope you enjoy them as much as Ann Harrison does."

Well, add me to your list of fans, Geraldine. These decadently sweet cookies are superb served alongside a steaming cup of dark coffee. (They are as good for breakfast as they are for dessert, too, but don't ask me how I know that... I'll never tell.)

Like Geraldine, Marilyn Deacon proudly shares the recipe for her family's holiday favorite, Heavenly Hash Fruit Salad.

"This recipe has been passed down through four generations in our family via my mother's side, with some slight changes made over the years..." explains Marilyn. "This salad is always on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house, and putting it together makes a wonderful family project that would allow children to help, too."

It's just this kind of commitment to good flavor and good fellowship that inspired our new contest celebrating Family Holiday Traditions! Do you have a favorite family recipe that just "makes" the holidays? Tell us about it! The submitter of the winning recipe will win a $1,000 dream shopping spree at the Viking Kitchen Store and a trip for two to Nashville, TN where they'll join me in preparing their dish at the next Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Showcase event!

Now, as if that weren't enough winning to fit on one plate, we're also serving up a chance to win a $5,000 home theater package! Sound interesting? We think so too! Join in the fun of our Sporty Snack Showdown where YOUR favorite game day eats will go head-to-head with others from around the country! Pop on that cheese head, start husking some corn or buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks... whatever get's you in the mood to win! Your favorite tailgate treat may just nab you a SuperBowl sized prize!

Want to know what it feels like to win big? Just ask Marie Guaragna, winner of the Just A Pinch Ultimate Salad Toss! Her Mandarin/Strawberry Spinach Salad recently took top honors in what turned out to be a very close competition! Putting her over the top was her salad's perfectly fresh flavors and the lightness of her exquisitely yet simple dressing. Who knew that just oil, raspberry vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar could taste so darn good?! Well, Marie apparently! And now we're firm believers as well. Congratulations, Marie - We'll be seeing you soon in Nashville!

Thanks to all of you who entered your salad recipes! We received a bushel of truly tremendous entries. It was no easy task narrowing down the top five finalists (but it sure was tasty!) Rounding out our salad finalists were these creative entries:

CRANBERRY SALAD - Jami McLamb of Pleasantville, IA


EASY TORTELLINI SALAD - Lillian Russo of Long Island, NY


I hope that these great recipes will inspire you all to continue cooking and sharing. With great food comes great friends.

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Chip Burrus - Oct 12, 2010
Well alright... I've got my eye on that home theater prize. I've got just the spot for it. Ha.
Faye Patterson - Oct 12, 2010
Congratulations, Marie!! I wish it was me! Will have to make your salad for the family this weekend. Sounds wonderful.