Debbie Reid of Clearwater took first place in the Spicy Holiday Heat recipe contest, sponsored by Sherry Stoppelbein and Hot Shot Bakery n' Cafe of St. Augustine.
Reid, who works for Clearwater's Parks & Recreation Department, won for her Kickin' Cheesy Chorizo Tartlets with Lime-Kissed Sour Cream, which includes ingredients such as lime zest, sharp cheddar cheese, a datil pepper and frozen mini phyllo shells.
She explained how she came up with the winning recipe.
"I simply love chorizo and am always looking for new recipes to use it in. I came up with a quick and easy appetizer tartlet to showcase its wonderful flavor. When I saw the Spicy Holiday Heat contest, I knew immediately that I wanted to try adding a roasted datil pepper to it, knowing it would bring the tartlet to another level. And, boy, was I right. Delish!"
The grand-prize winner receives a two-night stay in St. Augustine at the historic St. Francis Inn that includes all amenities, lunch at Hot Shot Bakery, two tickets aboard the Old Town Trolley, two tickets to tour the city's historic lighthouse and an assorted case of Datil B. Good jams, condiments and hot sauce.
Reid's prize-winning recipe will also be incorporated into one of the restaurant's menus.
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Three students representing elementary, middle and high schools were recognized by the Pinellas County School Board Tuesday as Young Hero Award Winners.
The awards program was created in 2007 to honor students who have overcome adversity, excelled in academics or given back to their community.
Michael Risola is a hard worker. Over the past three years the 16-year-old has logged more than 1,000 volunteer hours. A junior at Tarpon Springs High, he has a 3.8 weighted GPA.
He also tutors and mentors struggling students in math and reading, is the Division 12 lieutenant governor of the Florida District of Key Club International, and he often helps the school's plant operations with general beautification of the facilities. He's also a member of the Teen Council for the city of Tarpon Springs, a cadet second lieutenant and squadron cadet deputy commander of the Civil Air Patrol, and works 25 hours a week at Panera Bread in Tarpon Springs.
Six years ago Felicia Whittington was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, followed by two years of hospitalizations, then chemotherapy and physical therapy. Now in eighth grade at Palm Harbor Middle, the 15-year-old started a holiday letter-writing project with the help of her classmates, collecting and mailing more than 1,500 holiday cards to American troops overseas.
Kobie White, who attends the third grade at St. Petersburg's Sawgrass Lake Elementary, sorts and packages food once a week to feed homeless children in the community. As the youngest member of the Roberts Recreation Center Youth Council, the 9-year-old works to beautify the community by participating in park and area cleanups. Last year, he was named the youth council's member of the year.
Each student will receive a $500 savings bond and a certificate of appreciation and will be recognized at an April 24 award breakfast.
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On Feb. 5, a dozen Catholic schools participated in the annual science fair sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg and hosted by St. Raphael Catholic School.
Stuart Case, a seventh-grader at Guardian Angels Catholic School, 2270 Evans Road in Clearwater, earned a first-place for his project titled, "Shingle Color — Hot or Not?"
Earning a third-place award for their project, "Keep the Glow in Glow Sticks," was the team of John Pujol and Blake Taylor, also seventh-grader at Guardian Angels Catholic School.
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