THE RICH TASTE OF PEANUT BUTTER It's the middle of winter -- we all have tropical fantasies. But 12-year-old Stephanie Wiesler of Burnsville turned her "Tropical Fantasy" recipe into the grand-prize winner of Jif's "Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest for Kids." Her creation -- one of hundreds submitted -- was worth a $1,000 U.S. savings bond and a basketful of Jif goodies.
Tropical Fantasy is no ordinary PB&J: Stephanie starts with two slices of toasted cinnamon bread and then piles on peanut butter, a sliced banana, pineapple chunks and mandarin oranges. She adds a gourmet touch by topping the fruit with grated ginger and using pomegranate seeds as a garnish.
Minnesota kids were on a roll -- 9-year-old Luke Mielke of Falcon Heights had another winning recipe in the contest. His "Peanut Butter Pizza Sandwich" starts with a toasted English muffin spread with peanut butter and strawberry jam. Banana slices, chocolate syrup and coconut are his "pizza" toppings. Luke received a $100 savings bond and a gift basket.
WHERE'S THE BEEF?
Right here, with the 25th anniversary of the National Beef Cook-Off. Amateur chefs are urged to submit their best beef recipes by March 31 -- the best of them will compete at the national cook-off in September in Fort Worth, Texas. The contest is managed by the American National CattleWomen with funding from America's beef producers. For information or to submit your original recipe, visit http://www.beefcookoff.org or write to National Beef Cook-Off Entries, ANCW, P.O. Box 3881, Englewood, CO 80155. Top prize? $50,000. No one will have a beef with that.
• The splendid newsletter: Minnesota Public Radio's "The Splendid Table" has launched a Weeknight Kitchen feature on its Web site http://www.splendidtable.org.The weekly e-mail newsletter offers recipes from "Table" host Lynne Rosetto Kasper, supermarket tips and program information. "The Splendid Table" airs on KNOW, 91.1 FM, at 1 p.m. Saturdays and 6 a.m. Sundays.
• Let the chips fall: Esquire magazine named Old Dutch's "Dutch Crunch" Mesquite BBQ chips one of the "Best Potato Chips You've Never Tasted." Called "perfectly flavored: slightly smoky, not too sweet, with a crunchiness that the Amish describe as a 'hard bite.' " The magazine's odds that you'll chow down the whole bag: 2-1.