Monday, November 9, 2009

Christmas Contest...for Thanksgiving

Yes, it's been far too long since my last book contest.  But the drought is over!  I am happy to announce the easiest book contest in the entire universe (okay, that may be a stretch...but the criteria for such things is very subjective, so I'm sticking with it).  There are 3 separate prizes up for grabs:

  1. Two signed copies of the newly released PAPER BAG CHRISTMAS (with its beautiful new cover!). The perfect Christmas gift for anyone with a heart.
  2. Two signed copies of THE NINE LESSONS.  Keep them for yourself, or put them in someone's stocking.
  3. One advance reader copy (ARC) of SWEET MISFORTUNE.  You'll be the first person to get a sneak-peek at this upcoming book, which won't be available commercially until June. Wow!  
The prizes will go to three different winners.  Although you can only win once, you can boost your chances of winning by submitting lots and lots of entries.  Here's how:

a) Post a comment to this blog by November 23rd which includes a recipe for your favorite Thanksgiving side-dish or dessert (one recipe submission per person).  My wife will pick the one that sounds the yummiest as the winner, and we will prepare that dish to accompany the Milne family Thanksgiving feast.

b) Send a post-card to ME!  Any post-card will do, so long as it arrives before Thanksgiving.  One entry will be given for every post-card, and there is no limit to the number that you send. The address is 20842 SW LeBeau Rd.  Sherwood, OR  97140. I look forward to hearing from you! [Hey teachers: want to bump your odds of winning? Have your students send me a post-card too!  If they identify you as their teacher, I'll give you and them each an entry in the contest.]

c) Get your friends and family to join my email list.  After they have signed up, send me an email identifying who you strong-armed to join.  You'll receive one entry per person that you 'help' sign up.  Your friends will also receive a free entry just for joining. 

So that's it.  Simple, right?

Here's the fine-print: 
- Winners will be announced on Thanksgiving day.    
- The recipe contest winner will receive the copies of The Paper Bag Christmas (prize #1)  
- All other contest entries (including recipe submissions who didn't win prize #1) will be lumped together and drawn at random for prize #2 & #3.  
- Milne family members cannot submit recipes for prize #1 (we already know what your cooking is like...and we don't need any more of it :-)  
- No international entries will win...but feel free to submit anyway.  Your recipes and post-cards will be welcomed.


    Anonymous said...

    What fun! I'll start on a postcard (or 2) soon! In the meantime, since I read The Nine Lessons to my husband (our version of Books-on-tape) as we'd go the 2 hrs. 20 min. to/from Purdue for home football games this fall, I thought I’d let him select his favorite recipe I make for holidays. I was just starting to think about this recipe now that it’s almost mid-November. My favorite part is the make ahead aspect!
    With all thanks and credit to Deanna House, my Michigan Home Ec. Extension microwave instructor in 1983, her Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes are still our favorites! (From her first cookbook, House Specialties (1981) when microwaving was VERY new!)

    Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    Serves 12 (can easily be doubled or quadrupled (x4) for large family gatherings)

    5 lbs. (9 large) potatoes (x 4 = 20 lbs)
    2 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese (lite is OK, but skip the fat free) (x 4 = three 8 oz.)
    1 c. sour cream (same goes for lite and fat free!) (x4 = 4 c.)
    2 tsp. onion salt (x 4 ~ 2 TB)
    1 tsp. salt (opt.) (x 4 ~ 1 TB)
    ¼ tsp. white pepper ( x 4 = 1 tsp)
    2 TB butter or margarine (1 stick, 8 TB)

    1. Cook peeled potatoes in boiling water. Drain.
    2. Mash until smooth. (She recommends putting in a potato ricer and use electric mixer, assuring no lumps. My family likes some Amish lumps to know they’re homemade!)
    3. Add cream cheese, sour cream, onion salt, salt, and white pepper. Beat until light and fluffy. Cool.
    4. Cover and place in refrigerator. These may be used any time within two weeks.
    5. To use, place desired amount in greased/sprayed casserole, dot with butter and bake in preheated 350 degree oven until heated through, about 30 min. for reg. batch in a 2 qt. casserole. (Alternatively, can be probed to 150 degrees at 80% power in the microwave.)

    Submitted by Jennifer Pitcher, Elkhart, Indiana

    Anonymous said...

    Living here in the Southwest, our Thanksgiving tables usually include a side dish from Mexico. I save the pumpkin seeds from Halloween and make a salsa out of them.
    3 chilies charred until blistered and black,seeded and deveined
    1 medium onion thickly sliced with 8 cloves garlic, pan roasted until brown and soft
    1 large ripe tomato
    1/4 C toasted pumpkin seeds
    1 C. water
    1/4 tsp Mexican oregano
    1/4 tsp salt
    Chop and mix ingredients until a chunky salsa is formed.
    Serve with turkey breast.

    Anonymous said...

    I loved your book, "Paper Bag Christmas." I haven't read The Nine Lessons yet, but I will. I'm sending you my favorite cake recipe, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese icing, if you can find hickory nuts, it is better than pecans, I will send you some hickory nuts if want them, just let me know. Carrot Cake

    ¾ C. extra light olive oil 2 C. grated carrots
    4 eggs 2 C. sugar
    mix together,
    then add the following;

    2 C. flour 1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. salt ½ C. nuts
    1 tsp. baking soda ½ C. raisins

    Grease and flour 2 8” round cake pans. Or 11 x 14 cake pan

    Bake 30 Min. at 350 degrees

    Cream Cheese Icing

    8 oz. Cream Cheese 1 lb. powered sugar
    1 stick Butter 1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla

    top with nuts.

    LindseySoren said...

    We love this recipe! Very yummy!!!

    THE Pumpkin Dessert
    3 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 (12-1/2 oz) can pumpkin
    1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 box yellow cake mix
    1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine
    1 cup nuts, chopped (I use pecans)

    Combine eggs, pumpkin, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; mix and pour in 9x13 in. glass Pyrex dish. Combine yellow cake mix and butter; mix until it resembles meal, and sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle nuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

    Soren Family

    LindseySoren said...

    I forgot you also need to add 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice to the pumpkin mixture! Yum!

    Anonymous said...

    I'm originally from Oregon having joined the military after high school and have lived all over the world. I stumbled onto Kevin's book at the local library and I loved it! Made me homesick for Oregon!!!Hoorah to a fellow Oregonian for your outstanding literary works!
    I can't wait until your new book comes out!!!

    Corn-Oyster Casserole

    This recipe is over 70 years old passed on from my German Great Grandmother Alvina Helms
    who came from Odessa, Russia (which is now part of the Ukraine). This was a special dish served around the holidays.

    Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

    1 Can Cream Style Corn
    1 Can Whole Kernel Corn
    1 Pint Oysters
    2 Eggs beaten
    1 Can Evaporated Milk
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    12-15 Soda Crackers (crumbled)
    1-2 T. Butter

    Use cooking spray on the 8 x 11 inch baking dish.
    Mix the corn, oysters, eggs and evaporated milk . Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Pour mixture into baking dish.
    Sprinkle on top crumbled soda crackers and use cut up butter
    Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.


    Lisa Helms Guba

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Mr. Milne! I'm in 7th grade in Calabasas California and were reading your book in class.My Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Kimball told us about your contest.
    The dessert i would like to share with you is my aunt's famous apple pie. It will take you about half an hour to prepare and an hour to make.
    Here's what you'll need:
    1 Pillsbury pre-made pie crust 9"
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup water
    8 granny smith apples-peeled cored and sliced

    1.Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
    2.Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with top crust(cut slits into). Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
    3.Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 45 minutes.
    * if you want you can add one tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg and 1 tablespoon vanilla to the apples to give it some spice*

    Delaney Kinford

    Anonymous said...

    Potato leek soup: serves about 6 people
    2 cups of choped leeks. (the top part of the leek that is white and green.)
    3/4 cups of diced potato.
    1 and a half pints of water
    Tip: Add bay leaves for more flavor, And add your own spices to create a tasty flavor!

    Jaymus Isaacs said...

    Sweet Potato Pie: By Jaymus Isaacs
    (serves about 5 people.)
    1: Mash 2 Cups of Peeled Sweet Potato
    2:Add 1/4 of sugar and put it together in a bowl with your mashed sweet potato.(then Mix)
    3: Put a 1/2 a cup of water in to the bowl.
    4: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ( And pour the mixture into a Pan and let it cook for 20 minutes.
    5: Place about 25-50 mini marshmellows after the mix heats!
    6: ENJOY!!!!!!

    Mehrnaz Ashley Siavoshi said...

    Hi. We are reading The Paper Bag Christmas in Mrs. Kimball's class and she told us about your contest. I love to read and so does my best friend. If we won the copies, we would be so happy. So anyway, here is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

    Cheesy Potato Casserole:
    Serves 8
    Hour and 15 minutes cooking time
    5 minute prep time

    2 lbs. frozen hash browns (diced)
    1/2 cup butter
    10 1/2 ounces of cream of chicken soup
    1 cup sour cream
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup diced onion
    Salt and pepper to taste
    mixed herbs as garnish

    1)defrost potatoes and melt butter

    2) mix all the ingredients

    3) bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour in a 9x13 baking dish

    4) add garnish and enjoy!

    Thanks a lot for having this contest!


    Mehrnaz Ashley Siavoshi

    Anonymous said...

    I enjoyed the article about you in the Sherwood Gazette. What an exciting time for you and your family.

    My sister started making this simple recipe for our holiday dinners after she had it in a San Francisco restaurant.

    Spinach Salad:

    spinach leaves
    mandarin oranges
    candied sliced almonds
    crumbled bacon pieces

    1/4 c. red wine vinegar
    1/4 c sugar
    1/2 c oil
    pepper to taste

    Shake dressing ingredients well and toss into salad.

    Anonymous said...

    My son was so excited to participate in this contest, and we chose one of our family's favorite side dishes:

    Thanksgiving Zucchini Souffle by Josh Gabay

    Serves 12 or more


    5 Large peeled/shredded zucchinis
    3 Large diced onions
    1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
    ¾ cup water
    ¾ cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    1 Tablespoon chicken soup mix powder

    salt & pepper to taste
    margarine or Pam spray for greasing the dish

    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Shred zucchinis in a food processor and place in large mixing bowl
    3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl
    4. Grease a 9” x 12” baking dish or 2 pie dishes
    5. Bake 60 – 70 minutes until the soufflé starts to brown on top

    Anonymous said...

    Hey, my teacher Mrs. Kimball told us about your contest my recipe is pumpkin ice cream with lots of thing to top it with.

    15 ounces canned pumpkin
    1 teaspoon ground cinnimon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup chopped peacans
    1/2 cup crushed choc. chip cookies
    1/4 cup marshmellows
    1/4 cup crushed grahm crackers
    whip cream to top it of

    Anonymous said...

    i forgot to add something

    1 half gallon vanila ice cream

    Anonymous said...

    14 tablespoons (1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons) butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cold water
    1/2 chopped pecans
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Dash salt
    1 (6-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips or thin chocolate bars
    Generously butter a cookie sheet.

    Put butter, sugar, and water in a heavy pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a bubbling boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove spoon from pan, and cook to a very brittle stage (300 degrees to 310 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Or, make a cold water test: candy will separate into hard, brittle threads when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat and add nuts to mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Pour onto prepared cookie sheet and spread to 1/4-inch thickness. Cool slightly, top with chocolate chips or chocolate bars, and spread as it melts. Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

    Stephen Barnes said...

    Here is our yummy pumpkin pie recipe. We really love it!!!!! Now I get to make it for everyone. We are reading your book in my language arts and our teacher told us about the contest. I want to submit this recipe to it.

    Holiday Pumpkin Pie

    3/4 cup of sugar
    1-1/4 cups of pumpkin puree
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon of flour
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
    2 beaten eggs, but not too much
    1 cup of evaporated milk
    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons of water
    9 inch pie crust, not baked already

    Mix in a large bowl the pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, flour, ginger. Then add eggs and mix it alot. Add evaporated milk, water and vanilla and mix it well. Then pour the mix into the pie pan lined with the pie crust. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. You bake the pie for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes longer until the pie is set.

    From Aren Barnes, 7th grade, Calabasas, California

    Anonymous said...

    Hello Mr. Milne. My 7th grade English teacher Ms. Kimball, informed me of your webside. Here is my grandma's delicious Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup.
    5 cups of peeled sweet potatoes cut in small pieces.
    1 cup of chopped onion.
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
    4 cups of water.
    3 cups of chicken broth.
    3 cups of carrots cut in small pieces.
    3 tablespoons of butter.
    1/2 cup half and half.
    1/2 teaspoon salt.
    1/2 teaspoon pepper.

    Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan. Add onions to it and cook for 4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute. Stir constantly. Add the rest of the butter to the pan. Increase heat to high. Add sweet potatoes, water, broth and carrot to the pan. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pan for 35 minutes. After, pour the soup into a blender. Blend until smooth. While blending, stir in half and half, salt and pepper. Enjoy!!

    Brandon S.

    Sarah Z. said...

    Hi Mr. Milne,
    My language arts teacher Mrs. Kimball told my class and I about your contest. Here is a pumpkin cheesecake recipe. The recipe serves roughly 12 people.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping

    For the crust:
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
    1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    For the filling:
    1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
    3 large eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons heavy cream
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon

    For the topping:
    1 3/4 cups (1 16-ounce container) sour cream
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon, or to taste 15 pecan or walnut halves, for garnish


    1.Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and tightly wrap the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.

    2. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and granulated sugar; stir in the butter.

    3. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of the prepared pan.

    4. Chill the crust for 1 hour in the refrigerator. (or 15 minutes in the freezer.)

    5. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    6. In another medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar.

    7. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and granulated sugar.

    8. Beat in the cream, corn starch, vanilla, bourbon liqueur, and the pumpkin mixture, and continue beating until smooth.

    9. Place the spring form pan on a cookie sheet.

    10. Carefully pour the filling into the crust and bake the cheesecake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is just set.

    11. Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Do not turn off the oven.

    12. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and bourbon liqueur.

    13. Spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cheesecake and bake for 5 minutes more.

    14. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool.

    15. Cover the cheesecake with foil and chill overnight.

    16. Gently run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the crust.

    17. Carefully loosen and remove the side of the pan.

    18. Decorate the top of the cheesecake with the pecan halves. (optional)

    Ms. McDonnell said...

    Dear Mrs. Milne,

    Since you're the cook, I thought you might enjoy this recipe. My mother has been making this souffle for years, and although it features squash--a vegetable known to strike terror in the hearts of children [and even some adults]--it has the delicious power to covert the staunchest of squashophobes. I'm sure there's a word for them, but I don't have time to Google it right now!

    The souffle is prepared in two steps. You can cook the squash and keep it refrigerated several days ahead. One hour before you intend to serve dinner, beat the egg whites [final step] and pop the souffle in the oven.

    Here's the recipe:
    Gramma Paula's Squash Souffle

    2 cups cooked & well mashed butternut squash
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1 Tbsp brown sugar
    3 Tbsp cornstarch
    3 eggs, separated
    1 1/4 cups whipping cream (liquid)
    Slivered almonds

    Combine squash, salt, syrup, brown sugar & cornstarch. Beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time. Mix in whipping cream. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold them into the squash. Sprinkle with almonds. Spray a soufflé dish and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

    Anonymous said...

    Hello Mr. Milne,
    We are reading your book,The Paper Bag Christmas, in my Language Arts class and my teacher Ms Kimball told us about your contest.My favorite recipe for Christmas or Thanksgiving is Plum Pudding.It's been a part of the feast for as long as I can remember.

    It serves 8-10 people.
    Preperation time:2 hours.
    Cook time:8 hours.

    -1 pound dried mixed fruit(golden raisens,raisens,currants),
    -1 once mixedd candied peel,finely chopped,
    -1 small cooking apple,peeled,cored,and finely chopped,
    -Grated zest and juice 1/2 large orange and 1/2 lemon,
    -4 tablespoons brandy, plus a little extra for soaking at the end,
    -2 onces self raising flour, sifted,
    -1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice,
    -1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnimon,
    -4 onces shredded suet,beef or vegetarian,
    -4 onces soft, dark brown sugar,
    -4 onces white fresh bread crumbs,
    -1 once whole shelled almonds,roughly chopped,
    -2 large free- range eggs.

    -Lightly butter a 2 1/2 pint pudding basin.
    -Place the dried fruits,candied peel,apple,orange,and lemo juice into a large mixing bowl.Add the brandy and stir well.Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to maerinate for a couple of hours,perferable overnight.
    -stir together the flour,mixed spice, and cinnimon in a very large mixing bowl. Add the suet,sugar,lemon and orange zest,bread crumbs, and nuts and stir again until all the ingrediants are well mixed.Finally add the marinaded dried fruits and stir again.
    -Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl and then stir quikly into the dry ingrediants. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistancy.
    -(optional)You can now have everyone take turns stirring,making a wist,and adding a few coins.
    -Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin,gently pressing the mixturedown with the back of a spoon.Cover with a double layer of greasproof paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil and tie securly with string.
    -Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Check the water level frequently so it never boils dry.The pudding should be a deep brown coler when cooked.
    -Remve the pudding fron the steamer,cool completely.Remove the paper,prick the pudding with a skewer and poir in a little extre brandy. Cover with a fresh grease proof paper and retie with string. Store in a cool dry place until a hour before serving.
    -Reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour.
    -Turn the lights out, pour a little brandy on it, and light it on fire.
    -Can be served with Brandy sause,brandy butter, or custard.

    Remy D. Calabasas, California.

    Anonymous said...

    Hope you had a great (yummy) Thanksgiving meal! The 6th grade class I am currently teaching started on some postcards but I didn't get them mailed in time...oops... there just isn't much "extra" time in a school day anymore! I promised to share more with them about the 9 Important Lessons during our 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas before their teacher returns. I was glad to read that a 7th grade class was reading The Paper Bag Christmas for their reading! Great kudos to that teacher who also encouraged them to write into the blog. Mrs. Pitcher, Eastwood Elem., Elkhart, IN.