I’ve been very hush about it, but for two weeks now, I’d been planning on entering a baking contest. It was to be held and judged at tonight’s “Spring Spouse Showcase” on base, and I’ve been very nervous.

This afternoon, I set to baking my entry in the ‘Colossal Cookie Challenge.’ I wanted the cookies to be as fresh as possible for the 6:30pm judging, and I put the finishing touches on them at only 5:45. I snapped a few pictures and quickly typed up the recipe. I decided on a name for the cookies in the process. Then I changed clothes and was straight out the door, holding my platter of cookies in one hand while I drove.

When I arrived, I found the submission table, and I added my cookies and recipe to the other entries. Every single platter was covered in either aluminum foil, or the recipe was lying on top – I couldn’t see any of my competition! The table was FULL of cookies though, so I became even more nervous.

For the next thirty minutes, I grabbed snacks and chatted up three very nice women at the bar tables. One of them was very sweet, and we linked for the rest of the evening, walking the booths and tables. She chatted and kept me company, as she’d done the booths before snacking, so it was a second round for her. I was trying not to bite my nails in front of her while I waited on the judging.

Finally, the winners were announced. If you’re on my FaceBook or follow me on Twitter, you already know that…

White Chocolate Turtle Cookies.
White Chocolate Turtle Cookies.
(There’s a melted Rolo® candy tucked inside each cookie.)


Oh my goodness, I was so giddy! I squealed and jumped up from my seat, rushing over to the stage. Once there, the coordinator stood next to me and shook my hand while presenting me with a HUGE gift bag. A photographer snapped pictures, and the announcer was still talking about my cookies over the speaker. I barely remember it as it was so fast!

I bounced back over to my seat, and the girl I’d been chatting with congratulated me. I started to look through the gift bag, but it was SO HEAVY, and it was jam-packed with stuff. I didn’t want to be rude, so I took it out to my car and then returned for the rest of the evening. When I came back into the plaza, Jennie (the girl I’d been talking with) said she wished she could try a cookie. I realized then that I needed to get my platter back as well, so I found the judges and asked if there were any leftovers. I’d entered a baker’s dozen, and there were four left. I distributed them to the folks around me, and two ladies even shared the last one – they both wanted to try it badly enough!

It was a fun, fun evening. When she introduced herself halfway through the evening, she said, “Well Nicole, I’m Jennie, by the way.” I realized we hadn’t even discussed names yet! (She said she’d caught mine from the announcer. *grins*) It was a nice evening of female companionship, and I’m so glad I went, though I did miss my Zippy terribly. (We attended the Spouse Showcases every year together in Nebraska. *sniffle*)

I texted Philip right after I won, but he didn’t receive it for a long while and didn’t know, so he’d not told the boys the outcome. They’d been so supportive of me and hopeful for my chances this afternoon, and when I walked in the door tonight with the HUGE gift bag, their eyes doubled in size. When I told them that I won the grand prize, they RAN to me and gave me the biggest hugs!

It was the very best part of my night. I just held on to them and wrapped myself in their love and pride for me. It was absolutely wondrous! I heated up dinner for them (I’d made a casserole last night so that tonight’s dinner would be very quick, not knowing when I’d be back home), and they just gushed and gushed over dinner, asking all sorts of questions about my night. I had such fun in remembering and telling them all the little details.

They also helped me unveil my prize – a TON of super-nice baking stuff! I received three new cookie sheets (different sizes), a heavy-duty scooper spatula, a lifting spatula (which I used tonight on the casserole, in fact!), three sizes of wisks, a set of gorgeous measuring cups and measuring spoons, three liquid measuring cups/bowls, a set of four mixing spoons, and three stackable cooling racks. It seemed like we pulled stuff out of the gift bag forever! In addition, my recipe will be featured in the Air Force cookbook, and I think my picture will be in the base newspaper or website soon. (I’ve raised my guys well, as Jack remarked, “You’ll have to save it for your scrapbook, Mom!”)

White Chocolate Turtle Cookies.

Oh, but aren’t they just so CUTE before baking? I think they look like yummy little truffles!

They look like little truffles before baking!

I was unspeakably nervous about the competition, but I’m ridiculously happy and proud tonight that I still entered. I’m even more proud that I walked into that room with hundreds of women, not knowing a soul, and that I made a new friend in the process!

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6 comments on “Prize-Winning!

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  5. SO not surprised! Well done. Well deserved, and likely to be just the FIRST of many wins. I expect to see you and your cookies in headlines again soon! Always my best to you! Janet

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I’m Nicole, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by my little corner of the web! I’m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-taking… all to the benefit of my loves – my family! C’mon in to…read more.


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