Barbara Whatley wins state 44th annual Heritage Cooking Contest


By Ann Cipperly

With her scrumptious Smoked Gouda and Bacon Dip entry, Barbara Whatley of Beauregard won first place in the state 2019 Heritage Cooking Contest , sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation, held Sept. 5 in Montgomery. The Federation State Women’s Leadership Committee hosted the contest featuring dairy products as the primary ingredient. Twenty-nine contestants from across the state, who were winners in their county, entered the contest.
Barbara was named the Lee County winner in the local contest held in June at the Mt. Olive Church fellowship hall. The competition was sponsored by the Lee County Women’s Leadership Committee. Jamie Lazenby is the president. Member Ann Whatley serves on the state Women’s Leadership Committee.
As the first place winner, Barbara received $150. Second place went to Elizabeth Usery of Geneva County, who received $100 for her BLT Dip, and Shirley Lumsden of Cherokee was named third place winner and won $50 for her Charleston Cheese Dip recipe.
Food blogger Brooke Burks of “The Buttered Home” was the speaker for the 44th annual competition. Brooke talked about her family and her love of cooking. Along with her blog, she does a cooking demonstration in her kitchen on Monday nights on Facebook.
After the winners were announced, contestants and guests sampled the state contest entries.
This is not the first time Barbara has won a cooking contest as she won several beef cooking contests when she was a member of the Lee County Cattlewomen. Barbara’s husband Gaines was a cattle farmer for many years, but he has retired.
Barbara and Gaines have two daughters and three grandchildren. Daughter Fran Howard has two daughters, Terry and Taylor, while daughter Ashley Whatley has one daughter, Eden Grace Adams.
For her winning recipe, Barbara combined shredded smoked Gouda with a creamy combination of cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream embellished with bacon and green onions. Sliced French bread accompanied the hot dip for a tasty appetizer or party dish.
Barbara enjoys making this tasty appetizer for family gatherings and for football games. The recipe is quick and easy, and she likes that she can bake and serve the dip in the same dish.
While Barbara has been a member of the women’s group for about 25 years, this is the first time she has received first place in the cooking contest. She has won first for tablescapes in the past.
Over the years, she has enjoyed cooking country style dishes on their farm in the Beauregard community.
Barbara is a retired principal of Sanford Middle School in Beauregard. Since retiring, she enjoys going to a softball tournament nearly every weekend to watch Terry, who is on the Beauregard varsity team, and Taylor, who is on Sanford’s Junior High team. She also enjoys babysitting grandbaby Eden.
A different category is selected every year for the Heritage Cooking Contest, which spotlights Alabama commodities and agricultural products. The cooking contest is open to any Alfa member.
The Women’s Division was organized to promote agricultural products and commodities, as well as to provide an opportunity for women to participate actively in policy making.
The group meets about every other month. They donate to Big House, the Battered Women’s Shelter and the Veteran’s Association, among others.
Following are the winning recipes and a sampling of other entries from around the state. You will want to clip and keep these recipes, especially the Smoked Gouda and Bacon Dip, on hand for making delectable party dishes during the football season.

Cipperly can be contacted at


Smoked Gouda and Bacon Dip
Barbara Whatley, Lee County
First Place
1 can Pillsbury refrigerated French bread
8 oz. smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup cooked chopped bacon
¼ cup sliced green onion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake French loaf as directed on can, cool before slicing. Spray pie plate with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, mix Gouda cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, and crushed red pepper. Mix on low speed with electric mixer until well mixed. Reserve 2 Tbsp. and set aside. Stir in remaining bacon and 3 Tbsp. of green onion.
Transfer mixture to pie plate. Bake 20-25 minutes or until dip is heated through. Top with remaining bacon and green onions. Serve hot dip with sliced French bread.

Elizabeth Usery, Geneva County
Second Place
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 lb. cooked pork bacon, crumbled (retain some for garnish)
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes (retain some for garnish)
1 Tbsp. chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
Chips or crackers of your choice
In a large bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon and tomatoes. Refrigerate until serving. Garnish and serve with crackers. Prep time 10 minutes. Yields 3 cups.

Charleston Cheese Dip
Shirley Lumsden, Cherokee County
Third place
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package Hidden Valley dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup shredded chicken (can use canned chicken or rotisserie chicken)
1 ¼ cups chopped bacon, divided
1 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped (optional)
Mix cream cheese and sour cream together. Add the dressing mix, 1 cup cheddar cheese and ½ cup mozzarella cheese until well combined and smooth. Fold in shredded chicken and 1 cup chopped bacon. For a warm dip, put the dip mixture in a dish topped with ½ cup cheddar cheese and ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup bacon. Bake at 350 degrees until the dip is heated thoroughly and bubbly. This dip can also be served at room temperature. This dip may be served in a purple cabbage and garnished with radishes, cauliflower, etc. for a more decorative dish. Serve with corn chips, crackers, vegetables or whatever your heart desires.

BBQ Chicken Dip
Lyndsey Rasco, Cullman County
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup BBQ sauce
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ cups chopped chicken
1/3 cup corn
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped red onion, cilantro and additional BBQ sauce for garnish
First mix the cream cheese, BBQ sauce and garlic powder until smooth. Then add the chopped chicken, corn, sliced green onions, ¼ cup of the pepper jack and cheddar cheeses and mix well.
Next, transfer to an over safe dish and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remainder of pepper jack and cheddar cheese then return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
Finally remove from oven and drizzle with additional BBQ sauce. Garnish with chopped red onion and cilantro. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Ranch Bacon Dip
Shannon Murray, Franklin County
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar (reserve ½ cup for garnish)
1 cup chicken broth
1 oz. package ranch dressing mix equal to 2 Tbsp.
2 Tbsp. hot sauce, optional
1 package real bacon bits (for garnish)
Add the chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chicken broth, ranch seasoning mix, and hot sauce to the slow cooker. Heat on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. Remove the chicken and place on a large cutting board. Use two forks to finely shred it. Add it back to the slow cooker and mix to combine. Top with additional ½ cup shredded cheddar and bacon bits.
Heat on low until ready to serve. (If you won’t be serving for a few hours, heat on warm.)

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Dip
Polly McClure, Jefferson County
16 oz. cream cheese
½ cup basil pesto
1 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, julienned (drain and pat oil on paper towels) 2 cups freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
16 oz. sour cream
3 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 8 oz. cream cheese and pesto. Spread on bottom of small baking dish (pie pan size). Combine remaining 8 oz. cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, sour cream and dried herbs. Mix well. Spread evenly over pesto mixture.
Bake 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve warm.

Fiesta Dip
Jan Parker, St. Clair County
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
½ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
¼ cup diced tomato
½ cup iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. diced onion
2 Tbsp. sliced olives
Mix cream cheese with mixer until fluffy. Add 1 ½ cups sour cream and taco seasoning and mix to combine. Spread into a dish (any size, I used a 1-quart round casserole dish). Top with toppings in order listed.

Baked Cheese Sausage Dip
Becky Martin, Russell County
1 (12-14”) loaf baked bread
1 lb. hot bulk pork sausage
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 (4.5 oz.) can green chilies, chopped
1 large bag of Frito scoops
Hollow out bread to make a bowl. Brown sausage and drain. Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, sausage, cheddar cheese and green chilies. Spoon mixture into bread bowl and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm with Frito scoops.

Bacon Cheddar Dip
Dora Rider, Monroe County
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 dashes hot sauce
½ tsp. dry mustard powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
8 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers, veggies or sour dough bread chunks.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Joan Smith, Autauga County
1 (10 oz.) package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained and minced
1 container garlic and herbs soft spreadable cheese (I use Alouette brand)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels. Combine all ingredients. Spoon into lightly greased 8×8 inch dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve in a bread bowl with crackers or chips.

Hot Corn Dip
Debbie Baker, Dale County
2 cans Mexicorn
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup cream cheese
1-2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced
Additional green onions for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease case iron skillet, casserole dish or pie plate. In a large bowl, combine corn, mayonnaise, cream cheese, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir well until fully combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add crumbled bacon and green onions. Stir until combined.
Spread the mixture in the prepared dish/skillet and top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Turn on broiler and bake for 1-2 minutes more until golden brown on top. Serve the dip warm from the oven with crackers or tortilla chips.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Lark Edgar, Elmore County
1 cup shredded chicken
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup ranch dressing
½ cup hot sauce
1 ½ cups shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine everything except ½ cup of shredded cheese. Mix well. With a spatula, spread the mixture evenly into an oven safe dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheese over the top of the mixture before placing the dish in the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted on top. Serve hot with tortilla chips or baguette bread slices.

Million Dollar Dip
Charlene Roney, Houston County
5 green onions, chopped
1 (8 oz.) package cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
½ cup chopped bacon
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped fine
Add green onions, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, bacon and peanuts in a small bowl. Mix until combined and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Zesty Bacon-Corn Dip
Kasey Gross, Etowah County
1 ½ cups shoepeg corn, cooked/charred
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
1 ½ cups Mexican blend shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices cooked-crisp bacon, crumbled
2 Tbsp. Wickles jalapeno relish
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. onion powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
Dash of salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients with mixer. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or serve cold. Garnish with green onion and jalapeno relish. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Beer Cheese Dip
Lee Freeland, Mobile County
16 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 2/3 cups shredded mozzarella
¾ cup IPA beer
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
8 slices crumbled bacon
Crackers or baguette slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an oven-safe dish with cooking spray. Add cream cheese, sour cream, mozzarella, beer, cheddar, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and salt into a blender. Process on high until smooth.
Stir in the majority of the bacon (reserve about 2 Tbsp. for topping). Pour dip into prepared dish and sprinkle reserved bacon on top. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.


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