Strawberry Fest: Sweet Cooking Showdown

Have a zingy recipe for the Berry Blast Off Contest? Glory and prizes await.

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MAYBE YOU'RE THE TYPE OF BERRY BUFF... who only ever eats a strawberry in its plainest, stand-alone-iest form. Sure, you wash it, but after that, you remove all other possible ingredients or additions from its near vicinity. That includes sugar, and cereal, and balsamic vinegar, and vanilla ice cream, and yogurt, and all of the many, many edibles that pair so very well with seed-a-licious star. Or, just perhaps, you're on the other side of the garden patch fence on this topic. Maybe you prefer your strawberries to sing inside a recipe, one that includes a complex pastry crust, or loads of spinach and other salad fixings, or even roasted poultry. If this is your strawberry story, and you have really buzzed-about berry dish that wins accolades at all of your summertime potucks and picnics, best consider entering it in the Berry Blast Off Contest, the cooking showdown at the California Strawberry Festival. While the festival itself, a longtime Oxnard tradition, is on May 20 and 21, 2017, the deadline for the Berry Blast Off is...

FRIDAY, APRIL 7: And that's at noon, do note, and not close of business. Which means you should start perfecting and/or experimenting with your tried-and-true strawberry dessert, salad, or entrée. There are more categories beyond those, even — hello jams, hello drinks — so eye all you need to know. And check out the prizes, too, which include a VIP getaway to a Welk Resort, a swanky knife set, and a single-night's stay at Courtyard by Marriott (with dinner included at Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars). But, even before that, best peruse the winners from past years, which include strawberry-inventive spins on tiramisu, coconut cake, shrimp, and chicken wings. Totally dig that strawberry flavor in a big, multi-ingredient dish? Give your recipe a whirl at one of the state's biggest fruit-fun fests.

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