Second place winner, Jean Wiome

Jean Wiome 

INGREDIENTS: 8 oz softened cream cheese 4 Tablespoons butter, room temp. 1 small onion, chopped fine 1/4 cup chopped green pepper 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 3 dashes Tabasco sauce 1/2 cup dried beef, chopped fine INSTRUCTIONS: Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add onion, green pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and dried beef. Form into a ball and wrap in saran wrap. Chill overnight until firm. Roll in chopped pecans or walnuts if desired. Serve with assorted crackers

A love of trying new things


Jean Wiome, a 74-year-old from Roseville, says she loves to eat, so trying new things comes naturally.

She says she first made her cheese ball when she was 20 years old for a potluck at her job. The original recipe was a beef cheese ball, and she wanted it to look Christmasy, so she added the green peppers.

“I tell you, no matter where I took it, I always came home with a clean plate,” she says. “You have one cracker and you have to go back.”

It’s been a hit over the years — Wiome says she thinks the original beef and onion cheese ball recipe came from a church cookbook from up by her family’s cabin.

She says she loves cooking and trying new things. At her cabin up north, she has probably 200 cookbooks.

“I sit on the swing during the day and I read them,” says Wiome, noting her husband can’t eat certain things so she has to be watchful and swap out ingredients. “I think, ‘Oh, we kind of like all those things but not this.’”

Wiome says she saw the ad for the recipe contest in the newspaper one day and felt she needed to do something for herself after helping take care of her brother.  

Growing up, Wiome’s mother was a stay-at-home mom and a very good German cook. 

“I didn’t always watch [her cooking] when I should have,” says Wiome, adding that after her mother passed she’d have given everything she owns to eat one of her mother’s dishes. 

Wiome made it a rule that if she eats something she likes, she’d get the recipe, which evolved into cookbooks and tweaking how things are made.

“I don’t cook a lot of German, but my American and Italian are really pretty good,” she says. “I have a 250-pound husband to prove it.”


—Hannah Burlingame

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