In case you’ve been living under a rock, here are the Blogger Secret Ingredient: Dates entries one last time:
- Submitted 1/27 by ttfn300 at Tri to Cook: Butternut Squash & Date Puree
- Submitted 1/28 by Meghann at The Inner Workings of a College Graduate: Perfectly Portioned for One Roasted Eggplant, Date, & Kale Curry
- Submitted 1/29 by Denise at Denise’s Kitchen: Pork Candy (aka Stuffed Dates with Goat Cheese & Prosciutto
- Submitted 1/31 by Brandi at Bran Appétit: Barley Date Pudding
- Submitted 2/1 by Kate: Mystery Date Muffins
- Submitted 2/1 by Emily at Sheila Moon/Big Swingin’ Cycles Team: Powdered Sugar Coated Date, Walnut, & Butter Balls
- Submitted 2/1 by Vani at Fit for Free: Whole-Wheat Coffee Cake Muffins with Date-Nut Streusel
- Submitted 2/1 by Victoria at The Idle Loaf: Banana Date Coffee Cake
- Submitted 2/1 by Kath at Kath Eats Real Food: Blue Cheese, Date, & Pecan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- Submitted 2/1 by Tina at Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Oatmeal Date Cookies
- Submitted 2/1 by Biz at Biggest Diabetic Loser: Date Wontons
- Submitted 2/1 by Andrea at Bella Eats: Peanut Butter Date Blondies
- Submitted 2/1 by my mom: Date, Feta, & Toasted Nut Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Submitted 2/1 by Jenna at Eat, Live, Run: Whole Wheat Date-Banana Bread Cookies
This was pretty much an impossible contest to judge. Have you looked at those entries?! Every single one of these recipes could not help but be delicious. Obviously, I could not make my decision based on potential deliciousness alone (since everyone would win). I returned to my original post about the contest to review the challenge I had initially set forth: “I’m looking for creative and innovative ways to work dates into more substantial meals and side dishes.”
I went back over the submissions and narrowed the list down to a few whose recipes addressed that specific challenge: ttfn300’s Butternut Squash & Date Puree, Meghann’s Perfectly Portioned for One Roasted Eggplant, Date, & Kale Curry, Kath’s Blue Cheese, Date, & Pecan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, and my mom’s Date, Feta, & Toasted Nut Stuffed Butternut Squash.
Before I go on, let me just take a moment to drool over all of the other recipes for appetizers and desserts. Have you seen Andrea’s pictures of her Peanut Butter Date Blondies???? My jaw is still on the floor from looking at those last night … over 24 hours ago! And Brandi turned one of my favorite comfort desserts ever — rice pudding — into the nutrition-packed Barley Date Pudding. Vani & Victoria made two unique and dazzling versions of coffee cake — Whole-Wheat Coffee Cake Muffins with Date-Nut Streusel and Banana Date Coffee Cake — and Biz developed a dessert recipe for Date Wontons unlike any I have seen before. The list does not end, and I am pretty sure I’ll be buying dates every week for the next six months because I plan to try all 14 of these recipes!
So, back to the winner. I was down to the four finalists. The recipe that really made my mouth water the most — if I have to be totally honest — was my mom’s! What can I say? Good taste runs in the family! But I can’t choose my mom to be the winner! (Sorry mom — I’ll make it up to you next time I’m home.) Meghann’s recipe was another highlight of the bunch — clearly I was a fan since I made a variation of it for lunch this week. One recipe, however, stood out for its use of dates as the star ingredient. If I were eating this meal, I would be able to recognize the dates — both flavor-wise and visually — and I know that this combination of ingredients is failproof. So, now that you’ve been dragged along through this whole deliberation process, it is time to announce the BSI – Dates winner: Kath of Kath Eats Real Food with her recipe for Blue Cheese, Date, & Pecan Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. Congratulations, Kath!
As the lucky winner, Kath will be receiving:
– TWO boxes of Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea
– one dozen Earl Grey Biscotti Bites
– plus a couple more little mystery prizes
Thank you to everyone who participated! I appreciate your thoughtful and creative entries, and I can’t wait to try them all over the coming months.
Your host for next week’s BSI is going to be Brandi at Bran Appétit, so check out her blog because she’ll be announcing the new ingredient sometime in the next 24 hours!