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Time to test your favorite family recipes

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 28 2012 2:43 p.m. MDT

Greek spanakopita hot dogs turn the American classic into a gyro-like treat complete with a pita and yogurt sauce.Greek spanakopita hot dogs turn the American classic into a gyro-like treat complete with a pita and yogurt sauce.

Associated Press

Got a great recipe for funeral potatoes?

Enter a batch in the Utah State Fair's new cook-off contest. You might win $150 and bragging rights. (And who knows, perhaps lots of invitations to cater funerals?) The contest is sponsored by Utah's Own, and participants are required to use at least one Utah's Own ingredient (qualifying products are found at www.utahsown.gov). The potatoes will be judged on taste, appearance, originality and creativity of the recipe, as well as the best use of Utah's Own products.

The lineup of State Fair cooking contests has gotten smaller in the past few years, as some national companies such as Hidden Valley Ranch and SPAM have dropped their sponsorships. But there are still some good opportunities to test your culinary creativity.

Deadline for most of the online entries is Aug. 31, so don't delay. After that, you must wait and enter on the day of the contest.

If you enter online, a complimentary gate pass will be mailed to you beforehand. If you enter the day of the competition, a pass may be picked up at the Fair's administration office, 155 N. 1000 West. You will receive one entry pass per cook-off entry.

To enter, go to the Utah State Fair website, www.utahstatefair.com and then on "Exhibitors." The list will include Indoor Cook-Offs and Outdoor Cook-Offs and select the one your would like. Then click on link under "online registration."

It really pays to read all the rules and to follow them. As a past judge, I've seen delectable entries disqualified simply for not following the rules. For instance, the rules state that the pie must be baked in a disposable pan. The entries that were baked in a glass pie plate or a regular pie tin, were disqualified. Also, some people don't bring their recipe, and the rules state that two copies of the recipe should accompany your entry.

Also, think smart when it comes to food safety so that you don't give the judges food poisoning. (I judge some of these contests, so I have a vested interest here.) Transport your food in a well-chilled cooler so bacteria won't grow on your way to the fair.

Here is a list of the contest possibilities.

Indoor Cook-Offs:

The Governor's Pie Contest: Thursday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m. First place wins $150.

Fleischmann's Sandwich Bread Contest: Friday, Sept. 7 p.m. First place wins $150 and a shot at a $1,000 regional prize.

King Arthur Flour Great Cake Contest: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m. First place wins a $200 KAF gift card and a shot at a regional prize of a $500 shopping spree at www.kingarthurflour.com.

C&H Sugar Cookie Contest: Thursday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. First place wins $75.

Utah's Own Ultimate Recipe Roundup: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. First place wins $150. Participants are required to make an original dish that uses at least three Utah's Own ingredients (found at www.utahsown.gov).

Utah's Own Funeral Potato Contest: Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m. First place wins $150.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship: Friday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m. First place wins $150 and a Ghirardelli gift basket.

Utah Cattlewomen's Beef — Anywhere, Anytime Contest: Saturday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m. First place wins $300.

Outdoor Cook-offs:

Utah Beef Council Barbecue Cook-Off: Saturday, Sept. 7-8. Grand champion of the professional division wins $1,000 and a berth at the American Royal in Kansas City. Backyarder division winners receives $150.

Budweiser Chili Cook-off: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2-8:30 p.m. First place wins $300.

Fresh Made Salsa Competition: Thursday, Sept. 13, 4 p.m. First place wins $75.

Utah Farm Bureau Great American Dutch Oven Cook-Off: Saturday, Sept. 15. First place wins $300 and a berth at the International Dutch Oven Society World Championship Cook-Off in 2013.

Valerie Phillips is the former Deseret News food editor. She blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com. Email: vphillips@desnews.com

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