If we’re friends on Facebook, you’re probably sick of this news… but, today there was a “Crock-Off” at work – a cooking competition requiring the use of a crock-pot. There were 6 different categories: Appetizer, Soup, Chili, Side, Main Dish and Dessert. Any employee who wanted to enter was welcome – there were only two rules: Make your dish in a crockpot, and show up on time to set-up/plug in on Friday, February 17.
Even though both Wednesday and Thursday nights I had work events, I decided that I couldn’t let a cooking competition come and go without entering. I’m a little competitive…and when I say a little, I mean a lot. Even though our crock-pot is entirely underutilized, and we have only one recipe that uses it, I threw my name in the hat.
This was followed by a mild panic attack, caused by the fact that even though our one crock-pot recipe (chili) won an honorable mention in a neighborhood competition in 2008, it definitely could not compete against the dishes of my talented coworkers. So, as I often do in stressful situations, I consulted my mother.
Her sausage balls are a regular hit at their annual Christmas party – people joke about coming to the party for the sausage balls alone. My siblings and I would always suggest she make an extra batch, “just in case,” knowing full well that we’d happily eat leftover sausage balls for a solid week after the party. She doesn’t make the sausage balls in a crock-pot, but we both figured it would work reasonably well – after all, once they’re cooked, they just need to stay warm.
Well – long story short, I entered, somehow got placed in the “Main Dish” category (thinking I’d certainly lose), and not only did the sausage balls beat another meatball dish in the category, they beat pork carnitas AND red beans & rice. The sausage balls won… and I was a very happy camper with a full belly. I won a whopping $13, mardi gras beads and a bikini t-shirt, pictures of which are all over Facebook.
I can’t take all of the credit, though. Gardner helped me alter the recipe, adding a bit more spice and heat. We’ve posted both the original and the altered recipes at the link below. Enjoy! and Thanks, Mom!
Recipe: Sausage Balls
Oh! and here’s a picture of me with the other category winners…