The Contests Articles

Preview of Next Week's Themes + New Contest Schedule

September 25, 2009 • 7 Comments



We need more time to test all of the great recipes you're submitting, so we're changing the contest schedule slightly. From now on, we'll give you a preview of contest themes on Fridays and officially announce these contest themes on Monday (you can begin submitting recipes then) but the new deadline for submissions will be Friday at midnight. So if you need time on the weekend to perfect your recipes, you should look for the theme previews on Fridays.

This week's contest theme preview:

Recipes with paprika, any kind of paprika

Mushroom soup

Winners will still be revealed on Wednesday, but finalists will now be announced on Thursday.


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Editor's Picks -- Week 14

September 24, 2009 • 2 Comments


Well, it was a record-breaking week for recipe submissions here at food52! We had 77 submissions for Your Best Brunch Eggs, and 51 for Your Best Way to Cook Greens. Needless to say, we did a lot of cooking this week, and we came across a lot of great recipes.

In the egg department, there were some frittatas, stratas and tortillas with really interesting additions (chorizo, crabmeat, spaghetti) and even two recipes that called for making your own bread!

As for the greens, we had two kale chip submissions (a great technique if you've never tried it), several pasta dishes (one of which we chose as a finalist), and even a salad where you "massage" kale in order to tenderize it.

Below are our Editors' Picks for the week:


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Making a Recipe Your Own: Deep Chocolate Cake with Orange Icing

September 17, 2009 • 8 Comments



Over the past several weeks, many people have asked us what constitutes an adapted recipe. This is understandable. Very few recipes are not inspired by others -- whether the inspiration comes from a cookbook, a friend, or something eaten in a restaurant. It follows that in recipe writing, the lines between adaptation and plagiarism are often blurry at best. Does leaving out an ingredient and adding another make a recipe your own? How about simply rewording the instructions or introducing a new technique?

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Why We Like When You Vote

September 14, 2009 • 0 Comments


When you vote for a recipe on food52, you become one of the editors of the cookbook, deciding which recipes go in the book. (And there will be more voting later on, as we decide the title, cover and photos.) But there's more to it than that -- by voting, you're letting us know what kind of recipes you like most, which helps us figure out what kind of recipes to choose as potential finalists. In a few contests, one recipe has dominated, and in those cases it's really great to understand what you don't like. And some contests have been extremely close, which is also helpful information because it signals to us that the runner-up may deserve to be named a wildcard winner or featured in some other way on the site.

So we hope you'll continue voting week to week. We make slideshows and try to publish one video each week to help you make your decision. Of course, if you want to cook every recipe, nothing would make us happier. We want this to be an excellent book, so anything you can do to help is appreciated. But cooking them yourself isn't necessary -- we've tested both recipes for you, so either finalist is good enough to win. And it's completely acceptable to treat your vote much like when you're browsing through a cookbook deciding whether or not to make a recipe. if it looks and sounds good, you make it. If not, you don't. So vote with your eyes and your stomach!

And if you want a good barometer for who's winning, look for Mary Velasquez's votes in her Twitter stream. So far, she's picked the eventual winner in every contest she's voted for.


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Choosing Finalists for Week 11

September 4, 2009 • 1 Comment



Before we get started, we want you to know that if we didn't choose your recipe as a finalist, that doesn't mean we didn't think it was great. In fact, we hope you'll re-submit your recipes for relevant recipe themes in the future.

Now that there are lots of people sending in excellent recipes, our decision-making process has shifted toward shaping the book and thinking about assembling a group of recipes that feels coherent, original and enticing.

For the Best End of Summer Cocktail, we were immediately drawn to the Blackberry Caipirinha because it was a simple twist on a classic drink, and seemed to epitomize summer. The Tom and Ginger, though elaborate, seemed thoughfully conceived and we liked the unusual combination of tomatoes with ginger. Among the others on our short list were the Yuzu, I Zu, which we planned to test but couldn't find yuzu juice; the Thai Ginger Lime Cooler; the Honeyed Peach Melba Bellinis (great sounding but we didn't want to have two fruit drinks and we didn't want to have two complex drinks); the Cantaconundrum; and the Michelada (we're planning to do a beer cocktail theme so please re-enter then!).

For the Best Preserves, there was definitely a tomato theme among the entries, and we wanted to acknowledge this by choosing at least one. We went with the Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam because we liked the blend of vinegar and sugar. And we liked both of KelseyTheNaptimeChef's old-fashioned preserves: Grandma's Canned Tomatoes and Bread & Butter Pickles. Since we didn't want to end up with two tomato recipes we went with the pickles, and were amply rewarded. We also liked the sound of the Tomato Preserves (scented with lemon); Peachy Tomato Jam; Plum and Walnut Conserve; and Fresh Fig and Strawberry Jam (which calls for Harvey's Bristol Cream).


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