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Article updated: 7/19/2013 9:13 AM

Deadline looming for Cook of the Week Challenge

By Deborah Pankey

I've been reading through applications for our Cook of the Week Challenge and I realized something's missing: your entry.

The contest challenges 16 home cooks to come up with recipes using mystery ingredients -- nothing as scary as "Iron Chef" or "Chopped," I promise.

The four cooks who win the first two challenges will compete in a live cook-off Oct. 30 at the Hyatt Woodfield Schaumburg where they will have one hour to prepare a dish for a panel of judges. The winner will be named Cook of the Year 2013 and receive $3,000 in prizes.

Really, what doesn't sound fun about that?!

The contest is open to home cooks, not professional chefs. If you have an ounce adventurous spirit and dash culinary creativity then you've got what it takes.

We've got a bunch of sponsors already on board -- like Whole Foods Market: Schaumburg, Novak and Parker, Woodfield and Pure Leaf tea -- and we're pulling together a pretty sweet prize package.

Entering is easy. Grab an original recipe (maybe it's what you made for dinner tonight?) and head to surveymonkey.com/s/COTW2013. You'll be asked a series of questions and provided a space to include your recipe.

The deadline to enter is July 24. The 16 cooks who make the cut will be notified in early to mid-August. So what are you waiting for?

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