Blue ribbon recipes 
can fit any dietary need 
for a peach of a dish

The 2013 Palisade Peach Recipe Contest is now history, but savoring the flavor will live on as peach lovers throughout the valley, state and beyond will soon be whipping up the winning recipes.

This year’s contest combined tradition with new twists, but one thing never changes: the search for the best peach-tasting dishes.

The addition of a Sweet and Savory Category was a success entries included shrimp, pork, chicken and turkey dishes plus salads, barbecue sauce and fresh salsa. Old cookbooks and recipe files proved sweet and savory dishes have always been around, but they have exploded on the culinary scene in recent years, as evidenced by the entries the contest received.

Another unexpected twist: a first ever prize-winning gluten-free recipe entry. Eileen Hart of Grand Junction received third place in the Pies, Tarts and Cobblers Category with her Gluten-Free Peach Crunch. She was diagnosed with celiac disease just four months ago.

Hart admitted that she, like many others, thought people following gluten-free diets were doing so as a lifestyle choice. Once diagnosed, she learned anyone with celiac disease must follow a gluten-free diet to avoid life threatening conditions.

Education and discussion about this disease along with new products, cookbooks and information, will hopefully raise awareness and understanding for many.

In the Home Canned/Preserved Category, “idea cards” were used as an additional way to win a prize. The cards allow cooks to show the various way their jam, jelly or preservers can be incorporated into a meal or recipe.

The third-place winner in the Home Canned/Preserved Category and her idea card won the additional prize, a Ball Fresh Tech Jam Maker. Her idea will be submitted to Ball Brand Home Canning Division and reviewed for inclusion at

The Dessert and Pies, Tarts and Cobblers categories were deliciously peachy, as expected, with a large turnout and many wonderful entries that wowed the judges and then the public at sample sales.

Grand prize winner Laurie Valdez impressed the grand prize judges with her Sweet and Savory, Braised Pork with Palisade Peach Chutney Tamale. Let me say to all the chefs in the area: Watch out for this young mom!

Valdez says she grew up cooking with family and gaining an appreciation for good food, all with a charming sense of humor.

Here are a couple contest recipes. Stay tuned to for winning recipes.


By Eileen Hart of Grand Junction, who received third place in the Pies, Tarts and Cobblers Category


4 cups peeled, pitted, chopped or sliced Palisade peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir together and add to peach mixture:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons gluten-free cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon gluten-free cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon gluten-free nutmeg

Place in greased 8x8 pan.

Melt 6 tablespoons margarine, Stir in:

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon xantham or guar gum

1 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

3/4 cup gluten-free flour*

3/4 cup quick oats

Sprinkle over the peach mixture in the pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes until browned.

*Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour works well or you can make your own flour by combining 2 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca starch. 

Note for those with celiac disease: Check to make sure this fits your gluten-free diet.



By Anna Fasken of Palisade, who received third place in the Home Canned/Preserved Category and an additional prize for her idea card.

Serves 2-3 people.


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons homemade peach jam

Mix these three ingredients in salad bowl.


4 cups fresh baby spinach

1 sweet red pepper, julienned

Red onion, slivered, amount to taste

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

Layer these four ingredients into the salad bowl and toss with dressing.

Optional toppings: Toasted sliced almonds, avocado and/or fresh peach slices.



Grand Prize Winner

Braised Pork with Palisade Peach Chutney Tamale by Laurie Valdez, Grand Junction

Pies, Tarts, Cobblers Category

■ First place: Patricia Aller, Palisade — Peach Mango Pie

■ Second place: Darlene McCrackin, Grand Junction — Grammy’s Peach Custard Pie

■ Third place: Eileen Hart, Grand Junction — Gluten-Free Peach Crunch

■ Honorable Mention: Julie Coleman, Grand Junction — Pride of Palisade Peach Pie

Desserts Category

■ First place: Julie Coleman, Grand Junction — Palisade Peaches & Cream Bars with Coconut

■ Second place: Peggy Downer-White, Fruita — Palisade Peach Pretzel Squares

■ Third place: Darlene McCrackin, Grand Junction — Peach Caramel Blondie Bars

■ Honorable Mention: Elsie Bishop, Grand Junction — Peach Blueberry Cake

■ Honorable Mention: Jami Shockley, Grand Junction — Peach Cinnamon Roll

Sweet and Savory Category

■ First place: Janice Psenda, Palisade — Peachy Pretzel Salad

■ Second place: Nicole Hartig, Clifton — Peach BBQ Sauce

■ Third place: Frankie DelaHoz, Grand Junction — Savory Peach Turkey

■ Honorable Mention: Daphne Hinton, Fruita — Peach Pico De Gallo with Baked Chicken Breast

Home Canned/Preserved Category

■ First place: Jami Shockley, Grand Junction — Peach Preserves

■ Second: Julie Coleman, Grand Junction — Peach Jam

■ Third: Anna Fasken, Palisade — Peach Jam

■ Honorable Mention: Darlene McCrackin, Grand Junction — Peach Jam


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