How To Enter A Contest

Never entered a cooking/recipe contest before?
Maybe you have entered one before but you didn’t feel like you nailed it.
It is always helpful to have a few tips before submitting your entry.

1) Keeping With The Trends
Ask yourself, what is everyone talking about on social medias? What are they tweeting about on Twitter? How about the never ending Instagram pictures? What is the popular food item that is being pinned on Pinterest? What new dinner item is on your favorite restaurant menu? Magazines and food blogs will also offer a lot of information about what is hot in the food world. Another great resource is grocery stores. What new food products, fresh produce and spices are showing up on the grocery shelves.

2) Creativity Matters
Most contest rules will include details about your entry needing to be your creation. Don’t let this intimidate you. Consider taking your current and past family favorites or family holiday traditional foods and give them a twist.

3) Don’t Over Think It
The goal is to have your entry win. One of the steps that can keep this from happening is to over think your idea and not even get it entered. Yes, I have done that. I use to think that my recipe had to be so unique and over the top that it stopped me in my tracks. Keeping it simple is always best. Consider if the ingredients are easily accessible and affordable as well as having the kitchen utensils that will be needed unless the rules all for it.

4) Speaking Of Rules, Follow Them
This is your most important tip. Most contests will have official rules and instructions for entering. One missed step and your entry most likely will be disqualified. Many contests today request photos to be included. Watch the deadlines. Give yourself enough time to perfect your entry and then enter it on time.

5) Taste It Once, Taste it Twice, Then Taste It Again
Creativity can be endless but one thing that must come out of it is a great tasting entry. Check for a balance of the senses like salty, sweet, sour and crunch. Test your new creations on your family. They can be your best (sometimes most harsh) critics.

6) Looks Can Be Everything
The end result needs to have great eye appeal. They say we eat with our eyes first. Is your finished product picture worthy?

7) Name That Tune…No, But Name That Recipe
The name game is not my favorite part. I admit that I struggle with this. I want to include all the main ingredients in the title but that does not always work or look creative. But I am learning to think outside the recipe box. 🙂 Some tips to remember when coming up with a name may be as simple as the season, holidays or party themes.

8) Lastly, Have Fun
I love to cook. It is my passion and what I want to be doing. I enjoy the challenge of entering contests too but cooking for others and sharing my food with them is a prize in its self.

So now you are ready to enter a contest. Here are a few links to find the most current contests.

Did you know that thousands and I mean thousands of dollars are being given away monthly for great recipes and the top winner in cooking contests? On top of that a Million Dollars is given away yearly as well. If winning money is not your thing than go for the gift prize. I feel that if I win a gift/basket prize that I have no immediate need for than it will make a great gift to give for birthdays, weddings or Christmas.

Here is a list of some of my favorite websites to visit for contest information ranging from free sites to one that requires a small fee to be a member.

1) Stop by Contest Cook and click on a category that best describes what you are looking for. They keep a very up to date complete list!!

2) Taste of Home is a wonderful magazine filled with home cook recipes. Through out the year they have many different contests featuring key food items. Their cash prizes have ranged from $1000.00 to $500.00 with honorable mentions. I have placed in the honorable mention and received a free cookbook and my recipe in the magazine. It really is fun!!

3) Next is Better Recipes, they have on-going recipe contests all year with cash prizes up to $1000.00.

4) One of my favorite websites is Cooking Contest Central. This website is all about recipe/cooking contest. You do need to be a member for a small fee. ($25.00 for one year)
If you love to cook and feel that your recipe is a winner…enter it, now!!! Best wishes and let the winning recipe taste great.

5) Don’t leave out Cookmore.com This website is a Kenmore site which is all about recipes, cookbooks and food contests. This is a great website to follow for qualifying recipe contests to the World Food Championships cook-off.

6) Stay up to date with the world largest cook-off contest, World Food Championships. This website provides information about WFC qualifying recipe/cooking contests and their results. The cook-off is held annually, featuring up to 500 qualifying chefs and homecooks working their way to share $300,000.00.

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