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Cook Up Some Contest Action

By Rick Bonino Food Editor

Interested in trying your hand at this cooking-contest racket? Here are a few upcoming contests, one of which doesn’t call for any cooking skills (although all require some writing ability):

The Bolla Four-Course Pizza Contest is open to original appetizer, salad, main course and dessert pizza recipes. The winner in each category receives a trip for two to the 1998 Pizza Expo in Las Vegas next March.

Entrants must also pick a Bolla wine to pair with their recipes, and write a description (50 words or less) of “the perfect casual evening with a four-course pizza meal and Bolla.”

Postmark deadline is Aug. 29. For complete rules, call (800) 265-5203, write to Edelman Worldwide, 200 E. Randolph Drive, 63rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60601, or visit Bolla’s Web site at www.bolla.com.

Kids (12 and under) do the initial work in the Uncle Ben’s Good Cooks Cook Off, writing an essay of 150 words or less on why their mom or dad is a good cook.

Eight regional finalists will then be selected for a trip to New York City, where the parents must pull together a meal in 30 minutes or less. Grand prize is $5,000.

Entries are due Aug. 31. For complete rules, write to Uncle Ben’s Good Cooks’ Cook Off, P.O. Box 11172, Chicago, IL 60611.

Have a favorite ice cream churn, old or new, hand-cranked or automatic? The Dreyer’s Ice Cream Challenge is seeking churns in the following categories: most appreciated, crankiest, cutest, homeliest and oldest.

Send a picture of your churn, along with an essay of 250 words or less on why it fits the category and your name, address and telephone number, by Aug. 31 to Churn Challenge, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, 5929 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618. Winners receive a trip for two to Houston to tour the Dreyer’s factory.

Darigold stars

If you want a closer look at what kind of recipes win these contests, Darigold is offering a free leaflet of top finishers in its recent Mix-Ins competition - including a White Chocolate Strawberry Dream Pie from none other than Edwina Gadsby.

Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Darigold, CS/Winning Recipes, P.O. Box 79026, Seattle, WA 98119-7926.

TOPS it off

Trying to make the rounds of summer picnics and festivals without wrecking your waistline?

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) recommends planning ahead how many fat grams and calories to consume, picking one or two favorite foods to enjoy and eating less of everything else. For more information on TOPS, call 326-3006 in Spokane, or (800) 932-8677.

, DataTimes

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