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You win with 'Taste of Home Winning Recipes' cookbook


Last updated 5/1/2008 at Noon

On the heels of last week’s Avocado Festival and recipe contest, here is “Taste of Home Winning Recipes,” a cookbook composed only of winning recipes. All 645 recipes were compiled by Taste of Home staff from grand prize winners and runners-up from dozens and dozens of contests.

The cookbook, published by Reader’s Digest, is quite simply a winner’s circle that is unlikely to disappoint: the recipes have all been tested time and time again.

To make it into this special book, each recipe was evaluated for interesting flavors, innovative use of ingredients or a unique twist on old favorites.

The selected recipes featured accurate measuring, showcase good cooking techniques and passed the taste-test of a blue ribbon panel.

So, have a look-see at these winning recipes. Judge for yourself which intriguing recipe to try first.

Each recipe is preceded by a note from the its creator.

“When I found this recipe, I was planning a party and thought it might be a fun, different salsa to set out with chips. It was an absolute success. People love the garlic, corn and avocado combination.” – Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, UT

1 2/3 cup frozen corn, thawed (or canned corn)

2 cans (2 ¼ oz. each) sliced ripe olives, drained

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

3 tbsp. cider vinegar

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

4 medium ripe avocados, peeled

Tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine the corn, olives, red pepper and onion.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic, oil, lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over corn mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, chop avocados and stir into salsa. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes about 7 cups.

“I was looking for a way to sweeten lemonade without using more sugar when I came up with the recipe. I make it more often in the summer, but we enjoy it year-round.” – Wendy Masters, Grand Valley, Ontario

1 ¾ cups sugar

2 ½ cups water

1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice, about 8 lemons

1 ½ cups fresh orange juice, about 5 oranges

2 tbsp. grated lemon peel

2 tbsp. grated orange peel


In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Cool.

Add juices and peels to cooled sugar syrup. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Strain syrup; cover and refrigerate.

To serve, fill glasses or pitcher with equal amounts of fruit syrup and water. Add ice and serve.

Yields 12 servings.

“Anytime you’re looking for a way to use up your zucchini and squash, give this recipe a try. It’s delicious.” – Debbie Cosford, Bayfield, Ontario

1 med. sweet red pepper, chopped

1 med. onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups diced zucchini

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (8 ¾ oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Grated cheese, optional garnish

In a 3-qt. saucepan, sauté the red pepper, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, butternut squash and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is almost tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer. 7 servings.

“While visiting a local Mexican restaurant, I sampled a spicy corn muffin with a surprising sweetness. This recipe is a result of numerous attempts to recreate that treat using convenient mixes. These moist muffins are tasty with Mexican dishes, chili and soup.” – Melissa Cook, Chico, CA

1 pkg. (8 ½ oz.) cornbread/muffin mix

1 pkg. (9 oz.) yellow cake mix

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a bowl, combine dry cornbread and cake mixes. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, water and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add chilies and ¾ cup cheese.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Immediately sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Makes 16.

“I created this dish one day to use up some fresh yellow squash, zucchini and tomato. It’s easy to make because you don’t have to fuss with a crust like with a quiche. Give it different twist by trying it with whatever veggies you have on hand.” – Catherine Michel, O’Fallen, MO.

1 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 medium tomato, sliced

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

4 eggs

1 cup fat-free milk

2 tbsp. minced fresh basil

1 garlic clove, minced

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In microwave-safe bowl, combine the squash, zucchini and onion. Cover and microwave on high for 7-9 minutes or until the vegetables are tender; drain well. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate coated with nonstick cooking spray. Top with mozzarella, tomato and feta cheese.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, basil, garlic, salt and pepper; pour over the cheese and tomato layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

8 servings.

“Since I’m a longtime cinnamon fan, I decided to give traditional gingersnaps a delightfully different twist. My husband and son agree I spiced them up just right.” – Cathy Cain, Carmel, CA

¾ cup shortening

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup molasses

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

Additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add egg and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in additional sugar.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set and tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes 4 ½ dozen.


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