A hungry crowd feasted on hot dishes at the Osakis Community Center Sunday, Feb. 23.
They tasted six recipes — Scallop Potatoes, Italian Hot Dish, Mozart Mozzarella, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Taco Crock Pot Tater Tot Hot Dish, and Hamburger Stroganoff.
Sponsored by the Osakis Hunger Coalition, the Hot Dish Cook-Off raised about $1,100 through free-will donations to the United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties' Backpack Attack effort, which provides nutritious meals to students on the weekends. That amounts to about one-tenth of the coalition's annual goal of raising between $10,000 and $12,000, according to an organizer, Lil Ortendahl.
Fifty-five students in Osakis are being helped through Backpack Attack currently and the number has been as high as 77, Ortendahl said.
The Mozart Mozzarella dish earned a clean sweep at the cook-off, winning trophies for Judge's Choice, Most Unusual and People's Choice. The inventive recipe, which featured crescent rolls, was prepared by Bev Paul and Marianne Shrode of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Osakis.
Other churches that participated in the cook-off included Leslie Community Church, Osakis Lutheran Church, Fahlun/Our Saviour's Lutheran churches in Nelson, First Presbyterian Church, and Redeemer Lutheran Church.
"It's fun for the community and it's good for the churches to have the opportunity to connect with each other," said Redeemer Pastor James Walburg while serving up hot dish.
Ice cream was served for dessert. There were also prize drawings and the Osakis Girl Scouts volunteered to serve as door greeters and to collect the recyclable plates, forks and glasses.
The cook-off was sponsored by the Douglas County American Dairy Association, First National Bank, Osakis Economic Development Corporation, Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management, Osakis Family Foods and the Osakis Creamery.
For more information about Backpack Attack, call the local United Way at 320-834-7800 or go to the website, www.uwdp.org. The program is confidential and voluntary for those receiving the bags of food.
Directions: Brown 1 pound of hamburger and onion. Add 1 small can of mushrooms, 6 to 8 ounces tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp. of garlic salt.
Put in a 9-by-9-inch pan.
Cover with 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup cheddar cheese.
Unroll 1 package of crescent rolls, spread with sour cream. Sprinkle with basil and oregano.
Roll crescents and place on top of cheeses.
Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, until golden, 40 to 45 minutes.
Serves four to six.