GINNA PARSONS: MOD event showcases area chefs

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Mark your calendars for the March of Dimes 10th Annual Signature Chefs Auction on Thursday at 7:30 at the BancorpSouth Convention Center. The theme this year is “Sweets and Champagne,” said Wendy Parker, who is the community director for the March of Dimes, Northern Division.
“With the holiday season so close, we thought we’d kick it off with a dessert event,” Parker said.
Tickets for the cocktail reception are $50 each and are available at the door or online at marchofdimes.com/mississippi.
Chefs from six businesses have agreed to participate this year, including Billie’s Catering, Endville Bakery, Olive Garden, Hilton Garden Inn, Creative Cakes and Starbucks.
There will also be a candy station, a gourmet popcorn station and a silent auction, featuring items such as signed memorabilia, jewelry and gift certificates. A live auction follows with packages that may include unique dinners, hotel stays and weekend getaways put together by the chefs.
Elizabeth Gable of Endville Bakery is going to be one of the chefs participating this year and she’s planning to make and serve her signature bread pudding. She won’t give that recipe out, but she did share this one for Almost Heaven.

Almost Heaven
Crust
1 cup chopped pecans
2 sticks melted margarine
1 cup all-purpose flour

1st Layer
11⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) tub Cool Whip

2nd Layer
1 large box chocolate instant pudding
3 cups cold milk

Topping
1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip
Chopped pecans
Combine pecans, margarine and flour and press on the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Combine confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese and Cool Whip. Spread over cooled crust.
Combine instant pudding and milk and stir until thick. Pour over cream cheese layer.
Spread Cool Whip over all. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.