Janet's Notebook
Tennessee Mom Wins Grand Prize with Holiday Recipe

Contest Winner Missy Wimpelberg

Franklin, TN home cook and Holiday Family Traditions Contest Winner Missy Wimpelberg knows a thing or two about cooking for a crowd. Some of her earliest holiday memories are of the entire family - all 40 so of them - gathering together to prepare the annual feast. And with five children of her own, that tradition proudly continues.

"It is such a wonderful time to sit around the table and eat all the wonderful food that was prepared and just spend time being a family," explains Missy. "After losing several family members over the last few years, I treasure each one of these meals."

That reverence for tradition comes through in Missy's cooking. Her family recipe for PUMPKIN CRISP took recently first place in the latest Just A Pinch Recipe Club recipe contest which honored the holiday traditions within families.

"This is one of those desserts that every one always asks for," explains Missy, while citing her grandmother as an inspiration.

And we can surely see why this recipe is so very much in demand. It's fluffy layer of pumpkin filling is wonderfully off-set by a layer of buttery yellow cake and a crispy "crust" of crunchy pecans. The seasoning is subtle enough to appeal to most any palette, but you still get that snugly holiday feeling with every bite.

Missy's warm fuzzy-inducing dessert has won her a weekend of royal treatment in Nashville, TN, a $1,000 shopping spree at the unbelievable Viking Kitchen Store and the opportunity to prepare her winning recipe with me at the next Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Showcase event! Stay tuned for more info!

Now, don't you think for a minute that judging this contest was easy. No, ma'am! In fact, we had an overwhelming number of delicious entries, each one coupled with a heartwarming story. Rounding out the field of worthy finalists were two completely charming recipes:

MAMA'S BUTTERMILK PIE - Leah Stacey of Jonesborough, TN
"This is my all time favorite pie," says Leah! "It has that sweet and salty taste to it. I always make two so that way I can bring left overs home if there is any left. Last year for Thanksgiving I brought the pies over to my friends house and accidentally left half a pie there. I called her the next day to see if I could come by and pick it up and she said that I was too late, her sister loved the pie so much that she brought the pie home with her!"

VALENCIA DELIGHTS - Jill Drury of Milwaukee, WI
"Making holiday cookies became a favorite tradition of ours," says Jill of growing up with her grandmother. "Afterall, it was the only way she could stop me from eating half the dough! Everyone in my family had their favorite. From sugar to ginger to good old-fashioned chocolate chip, every cookie was promised and delivered on time for the holiday season. No one had to worry that their favorite wouldn't be waiting for them on the famous cookie platter. Unfortunately, for the longest time I had a problem finding my favorite. I liked them all but I never loved or craved a single one. Until one day when my Grandma started having me mix my favorite flavors: chocolate and orange. We came up with a unique cookie that I can now call my favorite every holiday season. I thank my Grandma for her patience with me in the kitchen. Without her, I'd still be eating dough! And… everyone else’s favorite cookie."

Whether creating new family traditions or honoring those handed-down through the generations, time in the kitchen with your family is always well-spent.

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Janiece Burgess - Jan 16, 2011
Congrats! Your recipe looks wonderful and I can not wait to try it.
R C - Jan 16, 2011
Congratulations! You deserve this win! Your recipe is delicious!
Vivian Queen-Chase - Jan 15, 2011
Congrats, Great recipe and very nice family story. Vivian
Brenda Havard - Jan 14, 2011
Congrats. Missy enjoy the treatment...and WTG to the 2 runner ups
3 more recipes for my collection,Thanks ladies.
Debbie W - Jan 13, 2011
Congrats to Missy!!! Have fun with that shopping spree...i know i would!!!!lol
Christy Lowrance - Jan 13, 2011
Congratulations Missy!! Cant' wait for more of your recipes girl!
FREDA GABLE - Jan 12, 2011
Oops, I meant comment for " Missy," but was reading Stacey's Comment @ the same time and wrote Stacey. . . Dah, Excuse me. . .
FREDA GABLE - Jan 12, 2011
Congrats, Stacy, Great Job. . . Oh and the Spot right in the Kitchen with the Staff of JAP . . WOW, How awesome is that!!!
Leah Stacey - Jan 11, 2011
I was close but no cigar! Congrats on winning Missy! I can't wait to try your yummy dessert!
Eddie Jordan - Jan 11, 2011
Well how does it feel to be in the spotlight? I know that you really deserve the prize. The first chance I get I'm going to make this recipe. ( In christian Love )