Diane Chapman samples goodies at a local business on Saturday.

Cooks competed for honors Saturday in the annual Houston “Taste of Christmas” competition.

Those entering in the contest vied for honors in several categories. The public tasted the goodies and determined the winners. Photos and the winners in the upcoming Herald.

Earlier: Cooks will again compete in Houston’s “Taste of Christmas” in an annual contest that has become a highlight of the holiday season.

Participants enter various dishes at participating businesses, and customers vote on their favorites today. The winners in each competition will receive a prize from the business where they entered their food item.

Shari McCallister, owner of D & L Florist, and Sharon Sillyman chair the event for the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce.

Participants must enter their goodies by 9 a.m., and the judging starts at 10 am. Winners are selected by 2 p.m. except where businesses close at earlier.

Locations and categories are as follows:

* Animal Shelter of Texas County (located at the Lone Star Plaza) – homemade dog treats

*Catering by M LLC (chamber office) – quick breads.

* Century 21 Show-Me Realty – sugar free desserts.

*Crowley’s HomeWorks – cheese balls.

*D & L Florist – salsa.

* First Choice Realty GMAC – cheesecake.

*First National Bank (closes at noon) – appetizers.

* Forbes’ Pharmacy – fudge.

* Grand Appliance (closes at noon) – soup.

* Hardee’s – Mexican main dishes.

* Houston Dollar Shoppe – jerky and summer sausage.

* Houston Florist – cake.

* Houston Herald – candy.

*Infinite Entertainment – brownies.

*Keller’s Rental Place – yeast bread and rolls.

*Moose Coffee and Gifts – peanut brittle.

* Neal’s Sporting Goods – cookies.

*Orscheln Farm and Home – jams and jellies.

* Progressive Ozark Bank (closes at noon) – muffins.

*Quik Cash – no bake cookies.

*RJ’s Knifeworks and Gifts – chili.

* Romines Motor Co. – dips.

* Rootin’ Tootin’ Alpacas – peanut clusters and nuggets.

* Stilley’s Discount Grocery – homemade pickles and relishes.

* Texas County Farm Bureau – pie.

*Texas County Vet (closes at 1 p.m.) – animal crackers.

* VIP Properties – cinnamon rolls.

The City of Houston bus will be available for participants to catch a ride from Orscheln Farm and Home.

For more information or other Christmas events in Houston, visit www.houstonmochamber.com or call 417-967-2220.

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