Local mom a finalist in Paula Deen cooking contest

Apparently, the local mountains are brimming with creative folks!

First, we had a nine-year-old whose hippos were a smash in Ore-Ida’s “Mash Destruction” contest.

Now we have a mom, Monica Williams Staniec of Lake Arrowhead, who is one of 16 finalists in the second season of Kraft Foods’ and Paula Deen’s “Real Women of Philadelphia” recipe contest.

Entrants submitted videos showcasing original recipes featuring Philadelphia Cream Cheese or Philadelphia Cooking Creme.

See what they did there?

Recipes could be entered in one of four categories: appetizer, side dish, entree and dessert.

Monica was recently named a finalist in the side dish category for her Stuffed Eggplant with Savory Garlic Cooking Creme recipe.

She and the other finalists will be flown to Savannah, Ga., to meet Paula and attend the final event on June 30, where four winners will receive $25,000.

Go, Monica!

Click through to the jump to see Monica’s recipe video…and of her reaction upon hearing the news she was a finalist.