To prepare an appealing, nutritious meal that can be prepared easily by using common ingredients available in many homes. Meal should be prepared using food safe techniques and reflect creative use of ingredients.
Participants: Individuals or teams of two. Teams must be the same age category for competition. Juniors are 4-H Age 8- 13 or Seniors are 4-H Age 14+ and older. 4-H age is age on October 1.
Time Frame: Meal preparation and cleanup: 60 minutes, Presentation/Interview: 15 minutes


  • Ingredients: Contestant must use at least five ingredients in the dish. Contestants will be responsible for all food and supplies needed in their dish.
  • Mystery Ingredient(s): Ingredient provided by contestant to augment their dish. Contestant must use at least one mystery ingredient and may use up to three.
  • Pantry Ingredients: Staple ingredients that will be provided by contestant and not included as a mystery ingredient. Pantry ingredients include yeast, flour, water, oil, sugar, cornstarch, butter, baking soda, baking powder, stock (chicken, beef, and vegetable), salt, and pepper
  • Spices/herbs: Contestants may provide their own spices/herbs as needed. Spices/herbs do not count as a mystery ingredient.

Contestants will prepare a dish utilizing five of the ten ingredients. They must use at least one mystery ingredient and up to three. The dish should be visually appealing, nutritious and show creativity. Contestants should use effective work habits and sanitary food preparation practices. Following the preparation of the meal the contestant(s) will present an oral presentation to judges. Oral presentation: should address selection of dish; preparation process; nutritional value of dish; potential alteration; overall learning. Judges will ask more questions about your dish during/after the presentation.

Contestants will bring all materials needed to make your dish (ingredients, bowls, pots, pans, mixers, utensils for cutting, mixing etc.). In order to compete you must come with all materials, including the ingredients for your dish. You are making one dish that will be done and prepared at the Stir-Ups and presented on one plate for the judges. You do not need to make side dishes, dessert, etc. Bring a plate to present your dish on to the judges.

Coordinators will provide paper products and cutlery for judges to sample your dish.



Ingredients for 2022

Chicken                                                   Mushrooms                            Diced Tomatoes


Chickpeas aka Garbanzo                       Sweet Potato                          Pineapple


Onion                                                      Cabbage                                 Broccoli 


Pepper  sweet or hot or both                  Rice                                        Carrots

Stir-Ups - Contest Score Sheet

Name:                                                                                             County:                                                                           

Name:                                                                                             County:                                                                           

Dish Being Prepared:                                                                   Start Time:                         End Time:                             

One point/per minute will be subtracted from total score for going over 60 minutes. -_______


Points Possible







Can this recipe be easily made by a busy person with “average” cooking skills?

Use of foods provided

Used at least five ingredients from list

Used at least one-three mystery ingredients





Has appetizing appearance, aroma, and flavor

Includes variety or contrast in color, texture, flavor, etc.

Does the dish show creativity in blending the concepts of being quick to prepare and also nutritious?





Uses effective time management techniques

Uses correct food preparation skills (meat…)

Uses proper safety and sanitation skills (washed hands)

Leaves kitchen clean

Coordinate efforts and work as a team, if applicable





Is the portion appropriate?

Dish does not contribute excessive amount of fat, sugar, or salt?

Is the dish an overall healthy dish?

Oral Presentation: (answers are clear, concise, detail given, and answered every question.  Eye contact was maintained during interview.  Shook hands at beginning and end of interview, (introduced and thanked).  Dressed appropriately.





-Selection of dish (why you chose this dish and why or why it wouldn’t be a good meal to prepare every week)

-Preparation process (describe dish chosen)

-Nutritional value of dish (what did you discover)

-Potential alterations (Describe any challenges and how you overcame them)

-Overall learning and cooking experience (how often do you cook?  What is your favorite dish(es) to cook? 

Both team members participate in presentation, if applicable

Subtract any points for going over time