Food for Fines Recipe Challenge

Do you have what it takes to become the Kansas City Public Library’s resident Top Chef? In celebration of Food for Fines Week, we’re holding a culinary contest to see who can come up with the best recipe using some of the ingredients people have donated toward reducing their Library fines. Now, you may find these ingredients a bit unorthodox. But nothing’s impossible for the true book-lovin’ foodie.

If you’ve been reading our blog and following us on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll know that between October 18 and 24, we’re encouraging patrons to bring non-perishable canned and boxed food to any Kansas City Public Library location to be donated to Harvesters: The Community Food Network. Each item is applied as a $1 credit toward the reduction of your existing Library late fees.

The Recipe Challenge: We’ve picked out 16 examples of the hundreds, if not thousands, of items that patrons have brought in so far. We want you to come up with the best recipe you can using at least five of these 16 items as ingredients. (Here's a bigger version of the photo.)

You don’t have to cook up your recipe (bonus points, though, if you do). We just want you to get creative, have fun, and help us spread the word about Food for Fines and the great work Harvesters does year-round.

Once you’ve come up with your recipe, type it up (snap a pic if you actually cooked it), give it a clever name, and email it to Kaite Stover at by 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 24.

Next Monday, October 25, we’ll post our top five favorite recipes on our website and award free cookbooks to the winning “cheftestants.”

Update: Congratulations to winner Jeanne Calkins! Find out what Jeanne whipped up from the list of ingredients.

Here’s a list of the ingredients that you have to work with, in part or in whole:

  • 1 box meat loaf mix
  • 1 box corn muffin mix
  • 1 can mixed greens
  • 1 box macaroni and cheese
  • 1 can pork and beans
  • 1 can sardines
  • 1 can sliced white potatoes
  • 1 box garlic herb snack crackers
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 bag Frosted Flakes cereal
  • 1 can golden corn
  • 1 can olives
  • 1 box chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 box rotini pasta
  • 1 jar peanut butter

Remember: Choose at least five of the above ingredients. And get cooking, Kansas City!