Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest Winners and Finalists―Starters and Drinks

See the top recipes from past contests, and learn how to enter yours.

Jalapeno, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid Recipes

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2009 Category Winner: Jalapeño, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid

"When I have something spicy, I like to follow it with something fruity. Sweet and savory make a good flavor combination for breakfast in general, so I like to serve this with a fruit garnish like grapes or melon." ―Angela Spengler, Clovis, N.M.

View Recipe: Jalapeño, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2008 Category Winner: Spicy Black Bean Hummus

"I created this recipe three years ago based on a popular appetizer my friends ordered at a pizzeria in Greenville, South Carolina. I researched the ingredients and added my own variations to suit my preference for spicy flavors. I received glowing feedback from my husband and friends, and now I keep this recipe on hand for parties and tailgates." ―Maureen Redmond, Easley, SC

View Recipe: Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Creamy Carrot Soup

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2008 Finalist: Creamy Carrot Soup

“I prepared this soup for my parents, who watch my daughter one afternoon a week. They ­absolutely loved its velvety sweetness. Garnish with shredded carrot and fresh mint.” ―Lisa Richardson, Glendale, Calif.

View Recipe: Creamy Carrot Soup

Italian Tomato Tart

Becky Luigart-Stayner

2008 Finalist: Italian Tomato Tart

"The beauty of this dish is you can make it year-round; however, it’s great in the spring and summer, when fresh basil is plentiful. It is also a nice light supper or lunch option. I use kitchen shears to chop the fresh basil." ―Sherry Ricci, Mendon, N.Y.

 

 

View Recipe: Italian Tomato Tart

Korean-Spiced Beef and Cabbage Rolls

Howard Puckett

2007 Category Winner:
Korean-Spiced Beef and Cabbage Rolls

"I am originally from Nebraska; one of my favorite places to eat is a small chain of sandwich restaurants called Runza. They are famous for their pillowlike beef and cabbage sandwiches. Since my husband is Korean, I created these pairing the traditional filling ingredients and flavors from his culture. These make a great snack." ―Mollie Lee, San Jose, California

View Recipe: Korean-Spiced Beef and Cabbage Rolls

Video: Mollie Lee shares the story behind her recipe

Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Howard Puckett

2007 Finalist:
Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

"I love the huge flavor packed into these tiny packages, especially when they're dipped in the peanut sauce. These are best served immediately, but they can be made in advance, refrigerated, and then served at room temperature." ―Lindsay Weiss, Overland Park, KS

View Recipe: Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Video: Lindsay Weiss shares the story behind her recipe

Shrimp Toast Puffs with Two Sauces

Howard Puckett

2007 Finalist: Shrimp Toast Puffs with Two Sauces

"The combination of the shrimp puffs served with two sauces makes this a perfect party appetizer. Beat the egg and egg whites well so the puffs will rise when baked." ―Julie DeMatteo, Clementon, New Jersey

View Recipe: Shrimp Toast Puffs with Two Sauces

Video: Julie DeMatteo shares the story behind her recipe

Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle

Howard Puckett

2006 Category Winner: Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle

"Years ago, friends from Argentina invited me for dinner and served an unusual and tasty tostada. I have adapted that recipe into this flatbread." ―Erin Mylroie, St. George, UT

View Recipe: Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle

Baked Brie with Golden Raisin Compote

Howard Puckett

2006 Finalist: Baked Brie with Golden Raisin Compote

"This flavorful appetizer is great because most of the prep work can take place before guests arrive. The Brie is rich enough to carry the appetizer with a tart and sweet compote. To ease slicing, keep Brie chilled until ready to use." ―Elizabeth Bennett, Mill Creek, WA

View Recipe: Baked Brie with Golden Raisin Compote

Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes

Howard Puckett

2006 Finalist: Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes

"I love Ireland and the country's wonderful food. When I think of Irish food, the first items that come to mind are potatoes, salmon, and cheese." ―Abigail McMahon, Sherman Oaks, CA

View Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Cheese Mini Twice-Baked Potatoes

Pide with Yogurt Dip

Howard Puckett

2005 Category Winner: Pide with Yogurt Dip

"I used to buy this bread at a Turkish market in Germany. I couldn't find it in the United States and started to make it myself. Knead the dough until it feels like the soft underside of a woman's arm (the instruction from a Turkish cookbook)." 
―Sabine Zempleni, Lincoln, NE

View Recipe: Pide with Yogurt Dip

Pumpkin Pie Shake

Howard Puckett

2005 Finalist: Pumpkin Pie Shake

"Seeking an all-American taste in a beverage, I came up with this idea." 
―Vivian Levine, Summerfield, FL

View Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Shake

Chipotle-Lime Crab Crisps

Howard Puckett

2005 Finalist: Chipotle-Lime Crab Crisps

"These appetizers combine sweet crab, Parmesan cheese, jicama, bell pepper, cilantro, and mayonnaise highlighted with fiery chipotles. A little crab goes a long way in these appetizers." 
―Bob Gadsby, Great Falls, MT

View Recipe: Chipotle-Lime Crab Crisps

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