Mac & Cheese Contest this week at the Downtown Market |

Mac & Cheese Contest this week at the Downtown Market

Shari Heikkila of Chocolate Remedies
Provided |

It’s our second annual Mac & Cheese Contest. A blast from the past-a … good-ol’ mac and cheese, an old-time standard for a lot of us growing up. From homemade to the box mac kind, it is well-known by many. The first published recipe appeared in 1769 in England, so it’s been around for a long, long time. I grew up with a mom who made everything from scratch, so ours was the homemade, yummy, gooey, cheesy kind. A “gourmet” addition was cut-up hot dogs, which I loved as a kid.

Now enter the new hot trendy mac and cheese that is showing up in an array of restaurants in every concoction you can think of. It’s easy to create a savory unique dish by adding new flavors: jalapenos, ham, vegetables, etc. We were amazed at the array of mac and cheese recipes last year, and certainly you won’t be let down this year. Think you are a true genius of this dish? Then bring your mac and cheese to the market by 4:30 p.m., and we will test yours against the other entries. All great fun, and we have rounded up some independent judges who we have on good authority are experts on mac and cheese. After the judging, we will sell samples at 50 cents a shot so you can taste the wonderful dishes.

As our summer market continues, we are discovering more about our talented vendors. Katie Leavitt comes to us under the banner “Girl Ran Away With The Spoon” and brings unique and very creative jewelry she creates from silverware. With her art background, she shines with her creations such as a bird house necklace fashioned from the broad end of a silverware knife handle complete with roof, bird and small round opening all sitting on a copper penny. She loves the nostalgic appeal and is always on the lookout for treasures to incorporate into her art. .

Another new vendor is Chocolate Remedies by Shari Heikkila who bakes the most amazing cupcakes. We tried her chocolate jalapeno cupcakes and “wow.” Her best-selling cupcake is her peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, which after one bite, you get it. She brings five to six different flavors, which she changes from week to week, but the chocolate peanut butter she always has. Shari learned her baking skills from her grandmother and mother and is carrying on the tradition in a very tasty manner.

This week we will be graced with the well-known talent of Jim Hawkins from Four Mile Creek Bed and Breakfast sponsored by Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Jim’s songs tell great stories, and it’s always fun to listen to his toe-tapping music. Jim wrote a wonderful tribute song about the 14 firefighters we lost 22 years ago at the Storm King fire. You can watch his video “When Hell’s Fire Broke Through” on Youtube. It’s beautiful and poignant, and we will always remember these gallant men and women who lost their lives.

Our market produce vendors have the best tomatoes now and with some fresh baked bread and garlic olive oil from our market booth, you are set for dinner and music in the cool park while being serenaded. And remember, we still accept EBTs and now the Double Up Food Bucks giving you double the value of your EBTs up to $20. And we also can now double up WIC up to $20.

Please remember not to park in Sunlight Ski & Bike’s parking lot. There is ample parking with the parking garage and the Bank of Colorado’s parking lot across the street. Come on down and enjoy this wonderful community event. It’s a sweet, mellow way to mingle with friends and family while supporting your local farmers and artisans.

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