These fantastic potluck bars come from Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minnesota. She won the grand prize in our 2012 Best of the Midwest® Recipe Contest. Patrice says they're a twist on her grandmother’s cracker bars. They cut beautifully and brim with salty-sweet-nutty-chocolately flavor.
Annie France of Mission, Kansas, was a finalist in the 2012 Best of the Midwest Recipe Contest for this inventive and beautiful summer dish. Juicy cherry tomatoes are roasted and served over spaghetti squash with herbs and mozzarella balls. Annie says she serves it as a side dish, but we think it would make a fantastic meatless main.
The memory of a childhood orchard trip inspired Melinsa Murphey of Olathe, Kansas, to create this recipe. The cakes are moist and sweet and quite generously proportioned, so you may want to serve a half-cake to each person (or bake them in muffin cups instead).
David Dahlman of Chatsworth, California, says this yeasty coffee cake reminds him of the old-fashioned, down-to-earth treats on his grandmother's farm table. It takes time because it's a yeast-leavened dough, but there's no kneading required.
Gail Gladding-Pullara of Oregon, Wisconsin, won honorable mention in a Best of the Midwest Recipe Contest for this simple, crowd-pleasing soup. "My family loves this recipe," she says. "It’s easy and tastes like you’ve been cooking for hours."
Italian Dinner Soup 
Cindi Rockwell of Berkley, Michigan, was a finalist in our recipe contest for these hearty fish cakes with a zippy wasabi dressing. Cindi says the recipe, which has two signature Minnesota ingredients, was inspired by the resort her grandparents owned there.
Chalk this recipe up as an occasional indulgence. It's topped with a totally mouth-watering combo of thin-sliced potatoes, bacon, sausage and a delectable garlic-rosemary butter. The recipe, which comes from Hidemi Walsh of Plainfield, Indiana, received an honorable mention in our 2012 Best of the Midwest Recipe Contest.
This sandwich looks a bit plain, but appearances can be deceiving. It's packed with flavor. Mustard, herbs and lemon zest season the meat, which is topped with wine-poached pears, sharp cheddar and pepper jelly. The recipe comes from Jen Smallwood of Portsmouth, Virginia, who earned an honorable mention in our 2012 Best of the Midwest Recipe Contest.
Jen’s White Burger 
You don't get much easier than this! Saute a few ingredients, stir in cream cheese to make a sauce, and dump it all over frozen pierogis in a casserole dish. (You don't even need to thaw the pierogis!) The recipe from Jan Valdez of Chicago was a finalist in our 2012 Best of the Midwest Recipe Contest.
Click the links below for more recipe contest winners!