Ready Set Cook

For those of you who know me, you probably know that when I get involved in something I really get involved.  Back in 2004 I joined a cooking website,  The site was purchased a few years back and is now associated with Food Network and has a new name,  Well here it is 2012 and I have posted over 700 recipes, reviewed over 3,000 recipes and took untold food photos. Plus developed some wonderful recipes of my own.

The first online contest I entered was Ready Set Cook #5.  For my efforts and much to my surprise I won an honorable mention for Summer Squash Slaw (Recipe #93962).  There were several others that I developed but none did quite as well.  This contest was a challenge and my first experience at using duck and buckwheat flour.  Well after that I was hooked.  In 2007 I won Best Vegetarian for my Mediterranean Pizza with Caramelized Onions (Recipe #132001).  There have been other contests on that I have participated in over the years.  I have placed in a couple of more and came in first place during Craze-E Contest in 2010 with Date and Walnut Spread (Recipe #443144). 

Most of these contests have had one thing in common a lot of stiff competition and some very dedicated people to make the contests happen.  The basic principles behind these contests have been you are given an ingredients list of 15 ingredients and must use a minimum of 5 to make an original recipe.  The recipes were posted anonymously and then a review period.  The winners were determined by the number of reviews a recipe received.  At the end of the contest, winners were announced in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and the creators of the recipes were revealed.  Lots has changed over the years.  Change is inevitable.  

This time around has joined with Simply Potatoes for this round of Ready Set Cook.  The recipes are posted on the website and unlike past contests you can see who developed these wonderful recipes.  There is a required ingredient which is one of the following:

Simply Potatoes Shredded Hasbrowns
Simply Potatoes Diced Potatoes and Onion
Simply Potatoes Mashed Potatoes

Then there is the list of ingredients to choose from:
Fresh or Frozen Shrimp
Fresh or Frozen Spinach
Fresh Carrots
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Green Onions
Red Bell Peppers
Chicken Broth
Alfredo Sauce
Goat Cheese
Taco Seasoning
Black Beans
White Wine Vinegar

Along with the required ingredients a recipe can use as many other ingredients as necessary to develop it.  The required ingredients must be essential to the recipe.  An entrant can only submit 3 recipes for the contest. 

While I had seen Simply Potatoes products in my local grocery store, I had never used them.  I was surprised to find that they had “Gluten Free” on the label.  I was also surprised at how convenient they are to use.  I do have my 3 entries and am very pleased with the final products.

My first entry was for Simply German Potato Salad.  Years ago this was made in my home quite frequently but it had been years since I made this delicious salad but Simply Potatoes inspired me.  Using the Simply Potatoes Diced Cut Potatoes and Onions made this a snap.  There was no peeling or dicing of potatoes.  The potatoes cooked very quickly and dinner was on the able in under 30 minutes.  
My second Simply Potatoes recipe was for Pork and Red Chili Stew.  The stew is cooked in the crock-pot making it a wonderful fix ahead meal.  The stew is wonderful served with tortillas of choice or used as a filling for burritos. 

The final creation was a Cajun inspired dish, Creole Breakfast Stack.  
All are culturally diverse and all have some pretty stiff competition.  The deadline for entries is coming up and then the judging begins.  All of these recipes plus many more can be found at

One Comment

  1. Paula, your recipes and photos look absolutely wonderful! I hope you win! I am jealous, because I also love these challenges in cooking, but it’s only for US citizens,

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