Just a Pinch & Death By Oreos

Recently I was invited to attend the Blue Ribbon Showcase for Just a Pinch Recipe Club at the Viking Culinary Center. Before I received this invitation, I actually wasn’t familiar with Just a Pinch, so I was a little surprised to find that this huge online recipe-swapping club is based practically in my backyard- downtown Franklin! How did I miss this? Well, it may be because it hasn’t been around that long, but believe me, it is growing by leaps and bounds. Hometown cooks all across America are enthusiastically creating a community, sharing their recipes, and building groups with others that share common interests.

Those things alone make it worth dropping by and checking out the site, but here is an even bigger incentive…contests!  For the Blue Ribbon Showcase that I attended, the big winner was flown (with a friend) to Nashville, given a $1,000 shopping spree at the Viking store and had the opportunity to prepare her winning recipe in front of a live audience of other Just a Pinch members! Pretty cool, huh?

Well, if you think that’s something you might want to win, you have a chance to do so right now, because they’re currently hosting a “Family Holiday Traditions” competition, and the winner will be awarded a $1,000 cook’s shopping spree as well as a trip for two to Nashville! Hurry though, because that contest ends December 15th.

Now for those of us that live in Nashville, winning a trip here might not be much of an incentive, but lucky for us, there’s another contest and the prize is a $5,000 home theater system! The Sporty Snacks Showdown doesn’t end until January 14, 2011, so we still have plenty of time to perfect our appetizers before entering the competition. Game on!

Want to see some of the dishes that have been awarded blue ribbons on Just a Pinch in the past? Well, I got to feast on a few of them: Mandarin Orange Strawberry Spinach Salad, Cumin Grilled Pork Chops, GougeresFrench Potato Soup, and the show stopper- Death By Oreo Cupcakes! I made these cupcakes for my family at Thanksgiving, and just about every person that ate them (young and old) said they might just be the best cupcake they’d ever had. Really you guys, they are ridiculous. A whole oreo on the bottom of the cupcake, oreos chopped up in the cake mix, crushed oreos in the cream cheese icing and then a little mini oreo perched on top. Yes, I think they have been appropriately dubbed. While they might not cause you to meet your demise, you will think you’ve died and gone to heaven!