I have this recipe that is pretty unique. It's mushrooms made out of meringue and chocolate. You make the caps and stems out of meringue. After you cook and cool them, you carve a hole on the underside of the mushroom. Then you dip the underside in melted chocolate and insert the stem into the cap. When the chocolate dries, it holds the stem in place. To top it off, you dust them with cocoa. They are really cool looking and they are fairly easy to make. These meringue mushroom have been Thanksgiving/Christmas tradition in our home for about 22 years.
A few years ago, my wife and daughter went off to visit my wife's
family in Chicago. I heard about a cooking contest that the Target store was having. Things were quiet at home so I thought I see if my son-in-law wanted to make and enter the chocolate meringue mushrooms. What the heck. Is all we had to do was incorporate the Target brand logo into the dish. We needed up piping red and white colored glaze on top of the mushroom caps. At the end of the day, we took 2nd place and won $1,000. Not bad.
A year earlier, I entered the recipe for these mushroom in a Weight Watcher's magazine cooking contest and won 1st prize, which was a 8 place setting of very nice china. This has been a great recipe to have around.
What did I learn from this? I guess I learned that you don't win the prize unless you get in there and at least try. In both cases, I didn't think I had a chance. It always surprises me when I see that things are so different than what I imagine in my mind. I really like the thrill of winning.