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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recipe Contests = Life Coach?

I did it. After nearly 14 years of not letting a single drop of red meat pass my lips, I not only caved into omnivorism, I entered a beefy-burger recipe competition. I've really strayed from my lacto-ovo roots. I think it may have been a slight play of destiny. Because, had I never began my romance with beef after such a long divorce, I never would have fathomed a beef-burger recipe possibly worthy of $50,000.00. Oh, yes, I failed to mention the huge grand prize. That's right, $50 THOUSAND dollars. (Fifty thousand reasons to start loving beef again.)
I spent weeks perfecting my recipe, testing and retesting. Tasting and retasting. Sweating strange-beefy sweat. I learned things about ground beef in the process. I learned that mixing too much "stuff" into the beef makes it as busy as a floral print shirt, and over-handling the meat really does make it tough. (I didn't believe it either, but it's true!)
I learned that ground tenderloin butt, (that's filet mignon for all you non-beef officianados) makes a delicious gourmet burger. I also learned that eating beef burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner is dangerous for your digestion. And forget the skinny jeans, I mean, go amnesiatic about those - they aren't happening. Most of all, I learned that my friends love my cooking.

And then they started appearing everywhere. No, not the friends, the contests. Everywhere. Money for recipes, BIG MONEY for recipes. And I was caught, like a kid picking her nose at church, I knew I was in deep. Build a Better Burger is just the ice burg. Well, maybe more like an ice shelf. Better Homes and Gardens is hosting their annual Prize Tested Recipes contest, the Washington Post just wrapped up their annual Best Tomato recipe and trust me, there's more.

So my life has taken a turn for the kitchen. If I loved cooking before, I dream cooking now. Recipes fill my mind like sardonic come-backs fall from Stewie Griffin's lips. And finally, without realizing it, I found passion again. Passion for doing something better than anyone else. Passion for waking up, for trying hard, for doing my best. And that was definitely an unexpected treat.

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