The third annual Get Wild With Wild Rice recipe contest now is open, sponsored by the Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council based in St. Paul. Recipes must be an original creation and feature wild rice, along with two sponsored products, in a soup, salad, appetizer, entrée or side dish. Up to 16 finalists will receive a first-round prize and be featured in the 2012 recipe brochure. In September, winning recipes will be posted on the website for an online contest celebrating National Rice Month., with the top recipe winning $500. Deadline for recipe submissions is June 22. Visit www.mnwildrice.org for full details.MN Cheese Festival debuts
The first Minnesota Cheese Festival debuts June 3 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds' International Bazaar. Sixteen cheesemakers from Minnesota and Wisconsin will showcase their products alongside artisan and gourmet products from the Twin Cities and across the country. Events feature cheesemaking, wine and beer pairings and recipe demonstrations. Cheesemakers will offer info and, of course, samples. Tickests are $15 and may be ordered at www.mncheesefest.com.Where there's food, there's hope
Those undergoing chemo treatment know that eating can be a challenge. When a friend of sisters Jessica Welsch and Stephanie Williams of Hopkins was diagnosed with leukemia, they came up with some frozen "pops" that provided the needed calories and nutrients for their friend, but also were easier to eat. They tucked messages of hope in each delivery. Inspired, they developed the HopeFULL Company in 2010, developing recipes for those with illnesses, but also for anyone who likes a healthy frozen snack. A HopeFULL gift pack includes brightly colored molds, inventive recipes and an insulated pack for transporting frozen treats. The newest product is BellyFULL Kits, designed to "encourage adventurous whole-foods eating by children in a fun new way." Each is $39.99. For more information, or to order, visit www.thehopefull company.com.ATK gets schooled
Fans of "America's Test Kitchen" appreciate its exhaustive research, its quirky personalities and its sterling credibility. Now, ATK is offering cooking lessons online with an option to get personalized feedback from instructors. A catalog offers more than 100 courses on a platform that enables students to study at any time of day at their own pace. The instructor-led option is $39.95 a month; a self-guided option is $19.95. Three curriculums offer the choice of learning classic recipes, mastering cooking concepts and techniques or watching courses based on classes in professional culinary schools. To learn more, visit www.TestKitchenSchool.com.