The winners of our time-honored monthly recipe contest share a gift for combining bold flavor and smart techniques.

June 09, 2015
Holly Bauer, August 2010 Winner

"I do a lot of experimenting with foods and enjoy Middle Eastern flavors," says this West Bend, Wisconsin, reader who won with her Casablanca Burgers recipe. "So after brainstorming I decided to add dried apricots, spices, and pine nuts to my burger." She turned to her family to taste her new recipe. "My husband is a willing taste tester and my 8-year old likes to taste new things," she says.

Carolyn Eichin, August 2010 Winner

This creative reader came up with her scone recipe while thinking about breakfast ideas for a bed and breakfast she and her husband own in Virginia City, Nevada. "There's a railroad that goes from Virginia City to Carson City that guests like to take. I was thinking of ways to make a picnic basket breakfast for guests to carry on the train," she says. "Breakfast had to be something simple and easy, so I came up with the idea of these savory scones to go."

Linda Camp Keith, July 2010 Winner, ¿Fresh Corn on the Side¿ Category

"I've always loved to make recipes like this one," says this Plano, Texas reader who won with her Corn and Zucchini Pan Soufflé recipe. "I find that egg dishes are a quick way to throw together dinner when you are busy. I often work in items that I have on hand in the refrigerator and seasonal ingredients. I developed a relish to serve with the pan soufflé for a boost of flavor and freshness."

Richard May, July 2010 Winner, ¿Main-Dish Fish¿ Category

This Bokeelia, Florida, reader won with his mouthwatering Pan-Fried Fish with Peppers and Pecans recipe. As an avid fisherman he had little hesitation when he saw the call out for fish recipes in the magazine, "I have plenty of experience with a variety seafood," he says, "both from the catching and cooking angle." He's also tried the recipe with a variety of other fish. "You can substitute other white fish for the trout like tilapia, catfish, walleye, flounder, and halibut," says Richard.

Jana Razlaff, June 2010 Winner, ¿Ice Cream Sandwiches¿ Category

Jana Razlaff of Ruston, Louisiana, had the top recipe in the June 2010 Ice Cream Sandwiches category with her Chocolate-Marshmallow Ice Cream Sandwiches. It was her 12-year-old daughter who encouraged her to give the contest a try. "The two of us thought it would be fun to create a recipe for ice cream sandwiches. So we went to the store that day, bought ingredients, prepared our ideas, and taste-tested," she says. "I ended up entering three recipes in the contest. The first one we came up with turned out to be the winner," says Jana.

Ellyn Shull, June 2010 Winner, ¿Barbecue Sides¿ category

Our judges awarded top honors to this Kirkland, Washington, reader for her Summer Vegetable Potato Salad recipe. "In the summer months, I make a lot of salads and combine the fresh produce of the season, whatever is available in the market," she says. "I created this recipe as a fresh, light, healthy take on a classic potato salad."

Nicole Filizetti, May 2010 Winner, ¿Cereal Cookies and Bars¿ Category

This Grand Marais, Michigan, reader took top honors with her short-and-sweet recipe for Caramel Apple Bars. Filizetti says her family played a key role in the development of the recipe. "This was a new type of recipe for me to make since I don't usually prepare cereal bars," she says, "so I tested the bar cookie recipe on my two children and husband along with others. This one turned out to be the top winner with my family as well."

Heather Nagy, May 2010 Winner, ¿Veggie Burgers¿ Category

This Pataskala, Ohio, reader took top prize with her Greek Spinach Veggie Burgers. She says she had no trouble coming up with a meatless burger, "I was a vegetarian for about 20 years and still eat vegetarian meals several days a week," says Heather. "I also like to experiment when cooking. Since I had never had a spinach patty, I decided to develop one and tried several versions for this contest. I tested them on my husband until I ended up with the recipe I wanted to enter."

Elizabeth Wright, April 2010 Winner, ¿Pizza Anytime¿ Category

The inspiration behind this Yakima, Washington, reader's winning Jambalaya Pizza came from a trip she took years ago, "I traveled to New Orleans and just loved the food," she says. "I knew I wanted to use Cajun flavors in the topping. Then I thought that rice would go great with these flavors, so rice became the basis for the crust," says Elizabeth.


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