Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked for your best Halloween candy-inspired recipes.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Candy recycler blondies by Linda Shiue: Inspired by an outrageous cookie that combines every junk food known to man, Linda loads up a blondie with "compost": a fistful of candy bars, pretzels and coffee grounds -- you know, everything under the kitchen sink. [groan!]
THIS WEEK'S ALUMINUM FOIL-COVERED CHOCOLATE MEDAL WINNERS:
Chocolate-drizzled poached pears by Lucy Mercer: This really is a seasonal dessert -- pears are nearly synonymous with fall, of course, and what could possibly be more seasonal than a chocolate sauce made by melting all the little mini dark chocolate bars your kids will bring home on Halloween but won't eat? But it's a lovely combination, tender pears cooked in a subtle cinnamon syrup and then served with velvety chocolate.
Rich chocolate pots de crème by Theresa Rice: OK, so maybe you're not really going to be in the mood for thick chocolate custards after reading this spooky legend about a sadistic New Orleans hostess, but go ahead and bookmark the recipe for another day!
PLUS, ALSO, TOO, THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Grandma Martha's caramel corn by Janice Wood: Janice is in the kitchen with her granddaughter again, making a classic treat -- crisp, hot, glossy and just a bit sticky, and channeling generations of mothers and grandmothers.
White chocolate peanut butter balls by Zul: "It’s like you just found out that your best friend 'Peanut Butter Cup' has a sexy older sister," Zul says, and I'm inclined, reading this recipe, to believe her… but why does that sexy older sister look like a plate of eyeballs?
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
How old were you when you realized pumpkins were actually, you know, edible? That they were good for much more than just cutting into freaky-faced jack-o'-lanterns?
If you're anything like us, you've discovered that pumpkins and squashes are, in fact, eminently delicious, fantastic for roasting, sautéing, puréeing, stuffing, baking, turning into soups and breads and pies and cakes. In fall, there's little that matches the sweet comfort of the stuff.
So this week, while getting ready for carving, consider what grander fate might have awaited the pumpkin before you, and share with us your finest pumpkin and squash recipes.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC squash and pumpkin (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, and execution.