And the Winners are:

#1 The Best Noodle Kugel #1

Submitted by EyeballAndChain

1 lb. egg broad noodles
1/2 lb. unsalted sweet butter, room temperature
1/2 lb. Philadelphia brand cream cheese
1 pint sour cream
5 eggs, separated
1/2 cup white sugar
Sunmaid raisins, approximately 1-2 cups (personal preference)
Cinnamon (amount, again, personal preference)
Brown sugar (approximately 1/2 cup, more or less by personal preference)
Fruit preserves, approximately 16-20 oz. (good quality, strawberry, black raspberry or blueberry)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the sour cream and cream cheese. Set aside.

Boil noodles in lightly salted water according to package instructions (slightly al dente) and drain. Put butter in a large mixing bowl and cover with the hot drained noodles allowing the butter to melt. Add the cream cheese and sour cream mixture to the noodle and melted butter. Fold gently, being careful not to break up the noodles.

Beat egg yolks lightly with sugar (until light yellow and ribbony) and fold gently into the noodle mixture, along with the raisins.

Whip egg whites until stiff and fold into the noodle mixture.

Pour into an ungreased casserole baking dish (we use a round 10-12 inch oven-proof soufflé baking dish ). Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar all over the top.

Bake 1 hour, at between 325-350 degrees (depending on the accuracy of your oven, and make sure the top isn't browning too fast).

Allow the kugel to cool for just a little while before bringing to the table.

Heat up the fruit preserves (just to loosen them up a bit) and pour half (about 8-10 oz.) over the top of the kugel. Serve the kugel in wedges, like pieces of cake, out of the casserole dish. Serve the rest of the fruit preserves in a sauceboat on the side of the casserole dish.

This kugel can qualify for any of the 3 categories -- as a main dish, side dish, or dessert. We tend to serve it as a side dish on holiday party buffet tables with a big slab of meat (beef or ham) or poultry (turkey or goose), and a selection of vegetable side dishes and salads to round out the party.


Judge's comments:

TOO good! This one is EXCELLENT!

My wife is Jewish. And kugel is a staple of Jewish cuisine. My wife makes an excellent kugel. But even she raved about this one!

Highly recommended by myself and my wife as a side dish or dessert!

Taste: Even without the addition of jams/preserves, this dish is EXCELLENT!

Creativity: Hey, it's KUGEL! It looks good in the pan or on the plate because of what it is!

Appearance: It's bland alone. But the addition of jams/preserves adds color to the presentation.

Ease: Can ya boil noodles and mix eggs with sugar? 'nuff said!


#2 Sour Creme Coffee Cake #2

Submitted by Trybe

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Walnuts (optional)

1/4 lb melted butter
1 egg
1 cup sour creme
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven 350degrees -- 40 minutes baking time

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Mix wet ingredients, fold into dry. Kneed well. Pour half of the batter into greased/floured tube pan. Sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon and walnuts (optional) on top of batter. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Serve warm

Judge's comments:

This recipe is a keeper. I have been playing with it, and the more I try different things the more I love this recipe.

Following the recipe as given, the batter will look a little dry. Althought I was concerned, I stayed true to the recipe and didn't add any liquid not called for in the recipe.

The batter will be a little on the stiff side. But that is an advantage if you decide to add the walnuts, which I did. The batter is stiff enough to hold the walnuts in place at the center of the cake. They don't sink to the bottom of the cake pan.

A note on the walnuts: If you decide to add nuts to the center of the cake, sprinkle the cinnamon first THEN the walnuts. That way, when you turn the cake right side up, the cinnamon will look like it is sitting on a bed of walnuts, and I think this gives it a more attractive appearance

The finished cake was a lovely golden brown on top. Since the recipe called for a tube pan, I used a bundt pan. When I flipped the cake over to remove it from the pan, I got a wonderful surprise. The actual top of the cake was a beautful gingerbread brown. It looked great in the bundt cake shape.

When cutting into the cake, there was a nice little "crunch" as the cake gave way to the knife. Surprisingly, the cake itself was moist. I hadn't expected this because the batter was so stiff and seemed a little too dry.

It is delicious. The tartness of the sour cream, the sweetness of the sugar, the two layers of crunch provided by the top crust and the walnuts, and the warm aroma of the cinnamon make this cake smell like the holidays.

It is a cake that I call a great base cake. This recipe can be dressed up for any festive occasion or made straight according to the recipe.

If you like a little looser batter, add a 1/4 cup of egg nog and extend the baking time about 5 to 7 minutes.

In addition to the cinnamon and walnut in the center of the cake, you can sprinkle in some brown sugar. If you are inclined to serve ice cream with the coffee cake, this would go well with any flavor, but especially butter pecan or a butter brickle-type ice cream.

As a cook who loves to find recipes that adapted to several different versions, I just love this recipe and will be playing with it for some time to come. I am going to try adding Bailey's Irish cream to it next time.

As to coffee, I had this cake with cinnamon hazelnut coffee - what a combination! It was heaven.

#3 Pecan Tassies #3

Submitted by Ldybroker

1/2 c butter, softened
1 3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c all purpose flour
1 egg
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 T butter , melted
1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans

1. For pastry, in a mixing bowl, beat the 1/2 c butter and cream cheese till combined. Stir in the flour. . Press about a walnut size of mixture, evenly into the bottom and up the sides of mini muffin tins.

2. For pecan filling, drop a few crushed pecan pieces into uncooked shells: In mixing bowl, beat egg, brown sugar and the 1Tablespoon melted butter until combined. Spoon about one teaspoon mixture into each shell.

Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and mixture is puffed. Cool slightly in pan, carefully transfer to plate, and cool completely..

Makes apprx 24 treats.

Judge's comments:

This recipe is fun to make. The pastry crust is exquisite with the filling making a wonderful marriage. Warm or cold, these are wonderful!!

And in no particular order, a few more entries:

Mama's Cranberry Relish

Submitted by _Sheba_

2 cups raw cranberries
1 onion
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp horseradish (I like Tulkoff's, but be warned - it is not bland!)

Put the whole cranberries and the onion in the food processor and chop them. Watch carefully. They should be chunky, not smooth. Stir in the sour cream, sugar and horseradish. Chill until ready to serve.

This sounds terrible and looks rather like Pepto-Bismol, but it is great! Can be frozen but submitter prefers it chilled but not frozen.

Judge's Comments:

Taste: It became addicting after a couple of bites, once it sat over night. The horseradish is a bit strong and could get to be "too much" after awhile. I tried it on Triscuit Crackers and on some leftover turkey. It goes GREAT with turkey.

Creativity: I would have never thought to have onions and
horseradish with cranberries.

Appearance: The contestant is right, it looks like Pepto-Bismol

Ease: Very easy to make. Not many ingredients involved.

Tresec's stuffed shells

Submitted by Tresec

1 box jumbo shells
1 lb of ground beef*
1 onion
2 cups mozzarella
1 cup sliced olives
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cook shells until done. Drain and wash off. Set aside.

Brown beef and chopped onion till cooked, drain fat.

Combine in a bowl, meat mixture, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, olives and mushroom. (Don't worry's supposed to be gooey) Parsley and/or Oregano can be added for taste.

Stuff shells with mixture until all shells are filled, placing them in a large casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining mixture, if any, on top. Pour spaghetti sauce over shells. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Bake covered for 45-50 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes after baking.

Serve with your favorite salad, garlic bread and a nice bottle of wine.
*ground turkey or sausage can be substituted, but I have never tried it with those. :)

Judge's comments:

Taste: The meat mixture would have benefited from some fresh garlic and more cheese would be a good addition.

Creativity: The olives were a creative aspect, imo.

Appearance: Cooked up bubbly and appears very appetizing. The aroma is nice too.

Ease: The ingredients are usually things folks have and not expensive. Very easy to put together.

Justin's Smashed Potato's

Submitted by Buckey

Enough potato's for your needs
Butter or margarine
Salt & pepper to taste
Cream or milk
Sour cream

Wash taters, leave the skins on.
Boil till tender but not coming apart
Add cream ( milk) & butter
Mash but not to a creamy texture. You want the large pieces...

Plate up...
Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro or dill

Sour cream & diced scallons can be added as well as cheese...

You can also smother with fresh green beans

Judge's comments:

When I read this recipe my first reaction was Ho Hum.Having said that here I was very surprised and have added it to my recipe collection.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Submitted by Mingching

3-5 russet potatoes
1/2 C unsalted butter
5 large garlic cloves
1 chicken bouillon
Evaporated milk as needed
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Nutmeg (optional)

Peel and place whole potatoes in cold water (2/3 filled ), along with garlic cloves, chicken bouillon, and 1 tsp. salt in a 6 qt. Dutch Oven. Bring to a boil, covered and then lower to medium heat for approximately 20-30 minutes.

When potatoes are fork tender, drain and return pot to dry slightly over medium- low heat. ( reserve some of the cooking liquid). Shake the pot to keep from sticking or burning. Start mashing when dry enough with a hand masher, while still hot. Add butter until almost melted, then add evaporated milk. At this point you can decide what texture you desire. The reserved cooking liquid can be used alittle at a time along with the milk.
Salt and pepper to taste.

A pinch of nutmeg marries well with combined ingredients.


Serves approximately 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time:30 minutes
Difficulty: easy

Judge's comments:

Taste: Nice flavor with subtle taste of garlic. Very enjoyable side with fried chicken

Creativity: The use of evaporated milk instead of regular milk was very interesting

Appearance: Looks like normal mashed potatos. A sprinkle of paprika adds a bit of interest

Ease: It's mashed potatos folks. How hard can it be :)

Baked Beans

Submitted by TxTrkr98

4 cans Campbell's pork n beans,
1 large onion (an extra half if ya love em)
5/8 to 3/4 pound of dark brown sugar (Imperial brand)
1 can of mushrooms any size(bits n pieces acceptable)
1 large can of tomatoes (diced or whole, but ya gotta dice the whole ones)
1lb of real smoked bacon strips

Put it all in a large baking dish,
Cover completely with bacon strips

Heat oven to 350, cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, let cool 10 minutes and serve,
Excellent with just about anything.

This is the best baked beans you evah will prepare.

Judge's comments:

It was very good. The bacon topping was a great touch. I would suggest cutting the brown sugar in half and adding some molasses to replace the brown sugar and also add 2 tablespoons of mustard but it's great as it stands now.

Chicken Breasts in Raspberry Sauce

Submitted by Platterkat

60ml olive oil (1/4 cup?)
60ml white wine (1/4 cup?)
30ml raspberry sauce (2 tablespoons?)
4 shallots, finely minced
2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
120ml cup vegetable or chicken stock (1/2 cup?)
fresh raspberries to garnish, optional
4 boneless chicken breasts
Flour for dredging, seasoned with 1/2 tsp. each of salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Sauté the dredged chicken in oil on medium for about 4 minutes each side. Remove. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add the raspberry sauce, shallots and mustard. Reduce by half. Add the stock and reduce by half again. (The time it takes to reduce gives it extra flavor.) Return the chicken breasts for a few minuets to reheat. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve sauce over chicken, and garnish with fresh raspberries. Serve with steamed rice or pasta and a salad, or steamed vegetables.

Raspberry sauce is made with equal quantities of fresh raspberries, white wine vinegar and white sugar. Mix, tip the bottle occasionally, leave for a week. Shallots are similar to spring onions.

Judge's comments:

Taste: Sorry. I didn't approve of the taste. The very name starts with "'Raspberry". Yet, the taste of raspberries is but a 'hint' in the dish. The onions (shallots) and the vinegar overwhelm this dish.

Appearance: I cut the chicken breasts into thirds (see pic) for presentation over a bed of saffron rice. Very pretty in this respect.

Creativity: A very unique approach to serving chicken. (needs work, but very creative)

Overall judgement: Not difficult to prepare, but not a true 'raspberry' flavor. The vinegar/wine overwhelms all other flavors.

Of note: I think that omitting both the wine and the vinegar and using a mix of raspberries and sugars would work much better in this recipe.


Thanks and love and hugs to all the judges for their work:

    • Bubba707
    • Cinnaden
    • imagi
    • Patti
    • SuzziQ
    • Smorgas_of_Borg
Patti & SuzzieQ


Contest Rules, Prizes and Judges

All prizes donated by Patti. Shipping arrangements to be discussed.

Patti & SuzzieQ

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