Congratulations to our recipe contest winners!

Thanks so much to all of you who entered our recipe contest in November! The trio of winners, randomly selected, each received a PCC gift card for adding to our Recipe Database. Here's a little about two of our winners, Sheila and Mary.

"It's fun to start with a pile of ingredients and put them all together into something that tastes good. It's almost like solving a puzzle," Sheila, left, says about her love of cooking. Time in the kitchen is her favorite way to unwind.

"My fantasy is having an entire weekend to plan a menu, shop, prepare ingredients and cook a great meal for a group of friends and family members. I have always loved food, and I think it is so rewarding to impress family and friends with good meals." Sheila, we totally agree!

Sheila advises new cooks to pay attention to tastes they like and to ask cooks and servers about specific ingredients. "You can build a whole meal around a specific ingredient -- just do a Web search for a few things you might have on hand, like "curry chicken potatoes") -- or look at PCC's online recipes, and you're bound to find something great to cook."

Her favorite section at PCC is produce. Try her recipe for Sauteed Kale.

"I love PCC's fresh vegetables. I try to use only seasonal ingredients in my meals, and PCC  has a good selection of squash and greens in the fall, and berries and cherries in the summer. Clean, organic, locally grown produce is important to me, and I never have to worry about PCC meeting all my requirements."

 Mary, left, whose favorite PCC department is our bulk section, submitted a recipe for Potato Corn Chowder. She learned to cook from her mom, who always included the family in her kitchen projects, from baking homemade bread to canning beans. "She was and is a great cook and always made working in the kitchen fun," Mary says.

Mary enjoys cooking as a way to relax and unwind at the day, loves to read cookbooks and uses recipes more as inspiration than a guide. She loves to cook for others and to see the pleasure a good homemade meal can create.

Her biggest piece of advice for new cooks? Relax.

"I see too many people that come at a cookbook with a white-knuckled approach and are so afraid of making a mistake and not having it turn out that they do not enjoy the experience, smells and sheer fun of cooking. Some of my "mistakes" have turned out to be my best results!" says Mary.

Again, thank you to all of you out there who shared a recipe, and hope to see more of your delicious meals in the database in the coming months!



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