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Winner Winner Lamb Dinner

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Yesterday was Mr. Gourmand Mom’s birthday. (He’s probably not going to appreciate me calling him that.) As the day approached, I began asking him for his birthday cake requests. There was no need to ask what he wanted for dinner. That answer was predictable. Greek Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce, his favorite dish and a¬†fair request, considering that I’ve hardly made them since beginning this blog. As far as the cake went, he insisted he didn’t want a cake at all.

So this is what we sang Happy Birthday to…

To see the complete recipe for my Greek Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce, click here.

But, I’m a firm believer that everyone needs dessert on their birthday. So we also picked up these little treats from Coldstone Creamery…

In other news…

I’ve been keeping a little secret from you. Partly because I wanted to confirm what I should or shouldn’t share and partly because I still can’t believe it’s for real. Perhaps you remember a couple months ago, when I posted this picture…

And this picture…

You may remember me mentioning that the pictured dish was my first entry into a recipe contest.

Well, the recipe contest was for Bertolli Ristorante, the company which produces delicious pasta sauces, olive oils, and surprisingly fresh-tasting frozen pasta meals. The idea of the contest was to create a recipe inspired by one of Bertolli’s pasta sauces. I chose one of the sauces in their Vineyard Collection; the Fire Roasted Tomato with Cabernet Sauvignon. Inspired by the rich tomato flavor in this very yummy sauce, I created my dish, Braised Lamb Shanks with Mushrooms and Brown-braised Onions.

And guess what…

It won the grand prize in the meat category! I couldn’t even believe it when I first got the call. I won the very first recipe contest I’ve ever entered. I certainly never expected that to happen! I can still hardly believe it.

Wondering what I won?

The grand prize includes:

  • A trip to NYC to attend an exclusive event hosted by Chef Rocco Dispirito, where my dish will be featured on the menu
  • $500 spending money
  • A signed copy of Rocco’s newest cookbook, Now Eat This: 150 of America’s Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories
  • Premium 10-piece cookware set
  • A year’s supply of Bertolli Pasta Sauce

Sounds awesome, right??

Here’s where it gets really interesting. I’ve been speaking to the good people who are organizing the exclusive event. Turns out that the event will take place immediately following the Zac Posen fashion show, as part of New York City’s infamous Fashion Week. The event will be hosted by both Rocco Dispirito and Zac Posen at the gorgeous Lincoln Center, which is currently undergoing a transformation in preparation for hosting NYC Fashion Week. We will have seats at the show and then move across the way into a courtyard area for the Bertolli Ristorante afterparty, where my dish and the winning dishes of the other four categories will be served. We can expect a few celebrities and many members of the media to be present at the event.

Wow! Sounds very exciting.

The only small problem, as I put it to my parents, is that I’m barely fashionable enough for the grocery store. As I was selecting bananas the other day, I made a quick evaluation of my look. Terry shorts with an elastic waistband. Well-worn t-shirt from Target (with a tiny hole on the side). Sandals. Chipping polish on my toe nails. Hair in a ponytail, loose hairs surrounding my face.

Oh Boy. I’m in a much better condition for attending (or participating in) a pie-eating contest than a NYC Fashion Week event. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look. It just plays second fiddle to my homemaking responsibilities. Somehow, when I imagined my life as a stay-at-home mom, I fancied myself as the June Cleaver type. Handle the housekeeping and children with ease during the day, then greet my husband in the evening, immaculately dressed, hair perfectly coiffed, with a fresh baked apple pie and glass of brandy in hand. Turned out to be more of a stretchy shorts kind of job.

This gourmand mom is going to require a serious makeover to get herself in suitable condition for a NYC Fashion Week event. Currently accepting applications for a fashion consultant.

Seriously though, I am so thrilled about winning the contest and the exciting prize that Bertolli is providing. Within the next couple of weeks, my recipe will be posted so you can try it out. I’ll be sure to share the link when it’s available. In the mean time, wish me luck as I try to put together a suitable Fashion Week worthy outfit, learn how to apply makeup, and walk without stumbling in heels. I’ll definitely keep you updated!

EDITED TO ADD: The winning recipe for Braised Lamb Shanks with Mushrooms and Brown-Braised Onions can be found by clicking HERE.

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