The 2018 Iowa State Fair is now in the books.  What they say is true,  “Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair”.

For the first time, Mariposa Farms sponsored a cooking competition – Creative Cooking With Fresh Herbs.  There were three classes:  appetizer, bread and dessert, with a first, second and third place in each class, and also an overall winner.

Thank you to all of the participants!  We are so pleased with the turnout and consider this to be a great success.

Below are the winners of this competition and the recipe for the overall winning item.  (Keep checking back to our website as the rest of the winning recipes will be added to our recipes page!)

Congratulations to all!

Overall Winner

Jennifer Bartles, Des Moines, IA

Tomato, Basil, Garlic Loaf

Jennifer, that looks SO delicious!  (Recipe at bottom of article)


Appetizer Class

First Place:  Bridget Lottman, Norwalk, IA – Fresh Herb Salmon Bites

Second Place:  Anita Van Gundy, Des Moines, IA – Cheese Ball Mice with Herb Cheese Crackers

Third Place:  Cheryl Pike, Johnston, IA – Pesto and Risotto Balls


Bread Class

First Place:  Jennifer Bartles, Des Moines, IA –  Tomato, Basil, Garlic Loaf

Second Place:  Natalie Ridgway, Des Moines, IA – Herb and Cheese Bread

Third Place:  Rebecca Howe, West Des Moines, IA – Parmesan Herb Bread


Dessert Class

First Place:  Bridget Lottman, Norwalk, IA – Fresh Herb and Berry Tart

Second Place:  Anita Van Gundy, Des Moines, IA – Chocolate Silk Mint Pie

Third Place:  Eileen Gannon, Des Moines, IA – Mariposa Rosemary, Peach and Raspberry Parfaits






Mariposa Farms’ display of the winning submissions at the 2108 Iowa State Fair.



Look at the concentration on the judge’s faces below!



Also, while at the fair, Colette, from Mariposa Farms, gave a presentation on the use of fresh herbs.  She gave information on what herbs pair best with, and how to prepare the herbs for use.

Thank you to all that attended!





Colette talking a bit about our most popular herb, BASIL!



Thank you to everyone that made this Iowa State Fair experience a great success and, again, congratulations to all the winners!

And here is the overall winning recipe!

Tomato, Basil, Garlic Loaf

This is the overall winning recipe from the Creative Cooking With Fresh Herbs competition at the 2018 Iowa State Fair submitted by Jennifer Bartles from Des Moines, Iowa.
Servings 2 loaves


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup low fat milk warm
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs large
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6 cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour
  • 1-8.5 oz jar sun dried tomatoes oil packed
  • 3/4 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 2/3 cup Mariposa Farms Fresh Basil chopped


  • Combine the water, sugar, yeast, milk, olive oil, eggs, salt, and flour. Mix and knead by hand until you've made a cohesive, soft dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the sun-dried tomatoes. Lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Using kitchen shears, finely chop the tomatoes.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Roll one piece into a 22" x 8 1/2" rectangle Sprinkle on half of the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes.
  • Starting with one edge, roll the dough into a long the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.
  • Place the long seam-side down on a baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, start 1/2" from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1" deep, to within 1/2" of the other end.
  • Keeping the cut side up, for an "S" shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the "S" to form a "figure 8". Pinch the ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45-60 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bake the first loaf for 35-40 minutes. Tent the loaf with foil after 15-20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bake the remaining loaf.
  • Remove loaves from their pans; cool on racks. Store any leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.