Announcing the 2011 Homegrown Recipe Contest!

So it’s getting to be that time! Spring is just around the corner and gardeners all over the country and beginning to plan their fruit and vegetable gardens. We tend to be more concerned about health and stretching our dollar than ever before in this current society. Therefore, planting an “edible” garden has become quite popular! According to the Garden Writers Association, nearly 1 out of every 4 households in America plan to spend the majority of their “landscaping budget” on fruits and vegetables this year. Contemplating these statistics the other day got me thinking: Why not reward my readers who are putting their heart and soul into their gardens and reaping the benefits of their labors? After all, everyone loves to share their favorite recipes, especially when they’ve grown the ingredients themselves! Therefore, I’m inviting you to participate in our first ever Homegrown Recipe Contest! The top winners in each category will receive a gift card to use on the Holland Bulb Farms site to get his or her garden jump-started this spring! So here’s the scoop:

  1. The 2011 Homegrown Recipe Contest officially begins on Friday, January 28th, 2011. Submit your recipes here no later than Monday, February 28th, 2011.
  2. This contest is open to all who love to garden and/or love to cook! Each recipe submitted MUST contain at least ONE of the fruits or vegetables Holland Bulb Farms sells. These fruits and vegetables are: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, rhubarb, asparagus, garlic, potatoes, onions, shallots, beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, corn, cucumber, eggplant, swiss chard, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, okra, parsnip, peas, peppers, pumpkin, radish, spinach, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, or cantaloupe.
  3. All entries must include the contestant’s full name, location (city and state), email address, and recipe. Photos are strongly encouraged, but not required. If possible, please include whether or not you have grown the fruit or vegetable in the garden or if you intend to in the future.
  4. Contestants are allowed to enter up to 5 recipes per category (Fruits and Vegetables) but are only allowed to win in one category.
  5. A first, second, and third place winner will be determined in each category. Entries will be judged by myself (Bridget) as well as the Holland Bulb Farms staff based on creativity, ease of execution, use of fruit or vegetable, content of entry (photos, whether or not product was grown by contestant, etc.), and taste test (top recipes will be made and tasted by the staff). The prizes for each category will be as follows:
  • First Place = $100 Holland Bulb Farms gift card
  • Second Place = $50 Holland Bulb Farms gift card
  • Third Place = $25 Holland Bulb Farms gift card
  • Honorable Mentions = if your recipe is featured either in this blog or on the Holland Bulb Farms website, you will be awarded a $10.00 coupon to use on any order!

To get things kicked off, enjoy one of my FAVORITE recipes:

ASPARAGUS ROLLS

  • 4 (4 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 1/2 t. olive oil
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1/4 t. dried thyme
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 2 t. cornstarch
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  1. Flatten chicken breasts slightly. Wrap each around five asparagus spears; secure with toothpicks. Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the oil, lemon juice and seasonings; pour over bundles. Cover asparagus tips with foil.
  2. Cover and bake at 350° F for 15 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with the onions. Bake 12-15 minutes longer or until the chicken juices run clear and asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove bundles to a serving platter and keep warm.
  3. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and broth until smooth; stir in pan juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove toothpicks from bundles; top with sauce.

So get out your thinking caps and start going through those recipes! I’ll feature my favorites over the next few weeks and winners will be announced on Friday, March 4th!

Good luck,