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UMES Chef Instructor Wins National Healthy Cheese Recipe Contest

  • Thursday, July 8, 2010

    Susan Callahan will take a three-day tour of Wisconsin cheese making this summer

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD, July 12, 2010 - An abundance of pumpkins in Susan Callahan's kitchen at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at Shady Grove inspired the chef instructor to create an award-winning recipe: Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese.

    "The students and I developed it when we had so many pumpkins in the kitchen after an event," said Callahan, who won the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board's first-ever Healthy Cheese Recipe Contest for educators this year.

    "I am the queen of finding new things to do with excess food."

    This summer, Callahan will join 19 other foodservice instructors for an all-expense-paid tour of Wisconsin cheese making on August 15-18. The trip will feature tastings, demonstrations, facility and farm tours, discussions, and three days of famous Wisconsin hospitality.

    "There were dozens of contest entries, so we congratulate each winner as having met the spirit of the contest most effectively," said Mary Peterson, president of the Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ).

    CAFÉ is a sponsor of the contest, which required participants to use Wisconsin cheese as an ingredient in the recipe entry. Recipes were judged on creativity, appearance, flavor, and calorie count.

    "I think my recipe stood out because it's unique," said Callahan, a Silver Spring resident who started teaching at UMES four years ago.

    In addition to the tour, some of winners had their healthy cheese recipes featured at the CAFÉ Leadership Conference in June, as well as, at the other events that CAFÉ is producing for professional foodservice educators and trainers this summer. 

    "I have been a foodie for as long as I can remember," said Callahan, the mother of four boys, who discovered her passion for cooking as a child. "When I was a kid, I used to cut out pictures of food from my mother's magazine and feed my stuffed animals."


    Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese


    1 lb penne macaroni; cooked al dente

    2 cups Pumpkin puree

    1 diced red pepper

    2 tablespoons seasoned flour

    1 cup milk

    ½  teaspoon red pepper flakes

    Freshly ground black pepper

    1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

    ½ cup Parmesan Cheese

    ½ cup cheddar cheese

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    ½ cup Bread crumbs 

    ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese

    Pan Spray



    Prepare dish with pan spray.

    Place cooled penne in baking dish.

    Mix the puree and all other ingredients except bread crumbs, oil, and ¼ cup parmesan cheese.