Picture of How to enter the Real Simple 'Fake It, Don't Make It!' Recipe Contest!
The winners of the Fake It, Don't Make It Recipe Contest have been announced!

Introducing the Real Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe Contest

Grandmother may have time to slave over the stove making figgy pudding from scratch, but you sure don't. Why bother measuring out flour, baking powder, and sugar when you can pick up a box of carrot cake mix at the supermarket that works just as well in the recipe? Here's your chance to show off your shortcuts. Submit your original recipe for any holiday-related dish to Real Simple and the recipe could be published in Real Simple 's December issue. Plus, you could win one of 20 prizes. The recipe must use some premade, store-bought ingredients and go from package to plate in minimal time, leaving you free for sleigh riding over the river and through the woods.

Check out these Instructables for quick and easy versions of Strawberry Shortcake, Lasagna, Doughnuts, and Crab Cakes. You can also find additional "Fake It, Don't Make It" recipes at RealSimple.com.

The official contest rules are the last word so please be sure to read them. Here's a summary of the basics to help you get started.

What is the Real Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe Contest?
The Real Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe Contest is your chance to share your most delicious holiday recipe shortcuts. Share your 6-ingredient-or-less recipe, dazzle the judges and you could win great prizes. You may even see your recipe printed in the magazine's December issue.

How do I enter the Real Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe Contest?
Simply upload one or more of your best Holiday "fake it, don't make it" recipes at Instructables.com; Instructables may require registration. Add your recipes to the Real Simple group. Be sure to clearly explain the process, from preparation to presentation. Use text, photographs, and videos to make sure that other people will be able to replicate your recipe. If you already have a "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe on Instructables.com, simply add it to the Real Simple group.

How does the contest work?
  • August 15: The Real Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe Contest starts accepting recipes. The contest will begin at 12:01 a.m. EST 8/15/07.
  • Sept 9: Last day to submit your recipe. The contest will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on 9/9/07.
  • Sept 10-24: Judges meet to score and review all contest entries. Top recipes are tested by Real Simple 's Food Editors.
  • Sept 28: Winners are notified.
  • Nov 1: Winner is announced on Instructables.com and RealSimple.com

What are the judges looking for?
The judges are looking for high quality instructions that are 1) creative, 2) delicious, and 3) visually appealing. Your Instructable should be clear, easy to follow, and feature at least two inventive shortcuts for making a version of a known dish. Be sure your Instructable includes a list of ingredients with exact amounts; clear, concise steps; complete photos and text for all important steps including video where possible; and clear photographs (2+ megapixels preferred).

What could I win?
  • The winning recipe will be published in the December issue of Real Simple . Plus, the grand-prize winner will receive a $100 Crate & Barrel Gift Card, a monogrammed Real Simple apron, an Instructables T-shirt, and a year's subscription to Real Simple magazine.
  • Four first-prize winners will receive a $50 Crate & Barrel Gift Card, a monogrammed Real Simple apron, an Instructables T-shirt, and a year's subscription to Real Simple magazine.
  • Fifteen second-prize winners will receive a monogrammed Real Simple apron, a year's subscription to Real Simple magazine, an Instructables t-shirt, and Instructables stickers.

Potential winners will be required to submit a notarized statement confirming original authorship. Since shortcut recipes are popular, we need to know that you're submitting your own work. Using a recipe directly from a cookbook or the back of a box would violate the rules and spirit of this contest, and since we can't check everything we're going to have to take your word for it. A notarized statement may seem like overkill, but it's necessary (and not hard to get).

What's in it for me if I am not a contestant?
Not feeling particularly creative in the kitchen? Read the recipes shared by others in theReal Simple "Fake It, Don't Make It" Holiday Recipe Contest and learn ways to delight your family and friends at your next holiday dinner. Be sure to share your comments on the Instructables post and let the creative cooks know if their dishes are crowd pleasers.

Helpful Links:
How to create a great Instructable
How to add an Instructable to a group
How to embed video into Instructables
Explore popular Instructables
Take a tour of Instructables

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Brennn107 years ago
Winners notified today!!! I can't wait!!
Well I could use a new t-shirt...mine got put through the dryer...but i;m not sure whether or not to post my coveted family recipe...
Don't worry! You do have license protection! hehe
Hehe - in heirloom food type recipes... Methinks bragging rights have more value than commercial licensing :P It's somewhat of a shame too as people age, forget and pass without passing on the information :/
Yeah- we only managed to salvage a subset of the recipes my grandma used to make. I should start putting them up on Instructables for posterity. Expect some scary (but tasty) midwestern stuff. ;D
Whaleman canida8 years ago
What about mideastern stuff, like raw kibet?
canida Whaleman8 years ago
Ooooooh, that sounds good!
I've no idea how to make any of that. Please share?
Whaleman canida8 years ago
Sure, if I can, I don't know how to make it either, but my grandma does.
canida Whaleman8 years ago
Cool. That's exactly the sort of thing you should learn how to do now- you'll be really glad later when she's not around to show you! Maybe we should start a group for family recipe archivers.
Whaleman canida8 years ago
yea, we probably should, my aunt has a good chocolate moose recipe.
canida Whaleman7 years ago
I suspect it's "mousse", but I hope you actually meant "moose"!

Mmmmm, chocolate moose... (insert Homer Simpsons donut-drooling noise here)
Whaleman canida7 years ago
Yay! I like homer and his stupidity. "Let's see, together we weigh 300lbs, my license says I weigh 140lbs. Hmmm. That means you weigh 160lbs Mr. Lobster!"

But yeah, I did mean mousse, but chocolate moose(s? I know it isn't meese) might taste good too. Lets see. 5lbs = $60. $60 / 5 = $12. A moose weighs 1200 to 1500lbs. Let's say 1350. 1350 x 12 = $16,200 of hershey's chocolate. That is a lot of chocolate.
ramcosca8 years ago
Awwww, crap! Puerto Rican residents can't participate. Why can't we ever join the FUN contests? :(
canida ramcosca7 years ago
I'm sorry about that!
Stick around, we'll have more contests you can enter.
ramcosca canida7 years ago
Thanks for your niceness! That counts a lot!
dan8 years ago
i disagree with the entire concept that it is "simpler" to go to the store and buy one specialized product in order to replace a small set of generic products that you probably already have, and which can be recombined in other ways to make other things. furthermore i believe that it is exactly counter to the DIY philosophy because it reduces your ability to cook anything yourself without using specialized branded products. figuring out what specialized product you need, plus going to the store and getting it - this is way more time consuming than mixing a couple of basic things you already have. it also promotes dependence on overpriced branded products and associated helplessness in the kitchen - i'm sure we all know people who are afraid to make such basic things as cake or cookies or pancakes without a specially branded mix - they probably even bought into the advertising that the mix will make better pancakes than they could make themselves. isn't that pathetic? isn't it the exact opposite of DIY to encourage blind reliance on branded products such that we don't know how to make it ourselves anymore?
pstretz dan8 years ago
I agree with you completely. Why is instructables supporting realsimple.com? A diy contest to win a tool used in future diy adventures I understand. A contest to help a corporation sell their magazine by giving them an abundance of free content i do not. i may be missing something here, but i don't get it.
dan pstretz8 years ago
not only that, but the free content they are getting is specifically designed to generate advertising revenue for RealSimple. you give them free projects whose key ingredient is a brand name product, then they run the project in the magazine and put targeted ads from MegaProcessedFoodCorp right next to it.
zieak dan8 years ago
I don't think you need to list a brand name product. For instance "a can of corn" can be the store brand instead of a specific manufacturer. I see the point as being "i can make chili without soaking beans" and not "i buy XYZ brand instead of soaking beans".
Kiteman zieak8 years ago
I agree with all that (revenue, free content et al), but they're advertising the contest through their own site as well. Somebody is going to get the booty, so why not one of us?

If you want to rebel against the branding=advertising revenue theme, use a specialised ingredient that is only available from a specific small supplier local to you, thus helping your local community.
Well, hopefully, they'll make a big deal about instructables. This is really a great site for recipes, what other site has comments and pictures? Pictures are *key* in cooking.
Hmm, well I like "Epicurious.com" too :-)
canida pstretz8 years ago
DIY means different things to different people, and not everyone has the same skill set. Don't make the mistake of thinking it isn't DIY just because it doesn't fit your definition of a perfect contest. How is this different from modding or personalizing a piece of consumer electronics?

This particular contest focuses on shortcut recipes, which are valuable to many people- college students, parents, and those who may not have the time or skills to make everything from scratch. We wanted to run a short-cut cooking contest, and Real Simple is a great match-up. They're offering a nice set of prizes that appeal to those of us interested in food and cooking- these are in fact tools to be utilized in "future DIY adventures".

If this isn't your cup of tea then don't enter- but please don't denigrate the rest of us who are interested in this specific form of DIY.
You do mean skillet , not skills, set, correct?
pstretz canida8 years ago
i mean no disrespect to anyone on instructables. as my skill level is very very low on a great many fronts, i fully realize that there are many different skill levels here. i love the food instructables and get a lot of great culinary ideas from them. i hope you can understand where i am coming from. working for a big company has breed an excessive amount of mistrust of corporations in me. i simply do not trust realsimple.com to stay true to the instructables posted here and not commercialize the winning entries. i would love to see an instructables food contest for a kitchenaid mixer or a high end food processor, tools that in my mind are akin to the laser engraver contest but for cooking. i would love to see what the chefs on instructables would do with these great tools. until such a contest happens we will need to agree to disagree. i hope this contest works out great. i know i can't wait to see the winning entries. i hope realsimple proves me wrong. i also hope that the success of this contest opens the door for other similar contests that turn out well for instructables and bring many new users. i am sorry that the world around me has broken me in this way, but i had to post my opinion and apprehension to this contest upon reading what the contest was. again i meant no disrespect and should have worded my original comment better. please message me if you would like to discuss this further.
canida dan8 years ago
You are incorrect.

Don't make the mistake of comparing from-scratch meals to short-cut recipes; instead compare short-cut recipes to purchasing fully-prepared food. They're a happy medium for people without the time (or skill set or inclination) to do things the long way.

I spend lots of time making dishes from scratch- that's a hobby for me, but not something I can indulge in for every meal. Many of the recipes I've posted on Instructables would qualify for this contest!

You're framing the issue incorrectly. In addition to being a time-saving alternative for people who cook on a regular basis, a good short-cut recipe is a way to introduce people who wouldn't normally cook to the fun of hand-made meals. Instructables is the perfect medium to teach basic cooking skills, and these recipes can serve as training wheels. I'm all in favor of weaning people off of fast food and microwaveable TV dinners.

This contest may not fit the way you view DIY, but it's a perfect fit for many members of our site. Everyone has a different starting point.
dan canida8 years ago
ok sure. time-saving alternatives are great in the kitchen! i'm sure you can think of several times i made a big mess in your kitchen trying to make "cookies" :) personally i am rather in favor of trying to make cookies in 1/2 the steps by using an old carburettor and a gerbil, and rather skeptical of trying to do it with Bisquick for the reasons i mentioned. how long does it take for a gerbil to get the carburettor spinning fast enough to extrude dough? less time than it takes to go to Safeway and buy some Bisquick. and just think of how many other uses you can put your gerbil to!
lebowski dan8 years ago
as someone with two kids and very limited time for almost any meal occasion, i can appreciate the value of quick, hopefully healthy, recipes. shortcuts for large holiday meals can be priceless. now that you can get almost any packaged/canned ingredient as organic, makes these options even more appealing. it's not really an issue of dependence or being afraid of cooking from scratch, the issue is time, none of us (with kids) have enough of it.
I'm excited about this contest. I already know which recipe to do... I just have to find the time to go to the grocery store and make the instructable, lol
Awesome! I can't wait to see it.
Where do I actually enter the Fake it contest??? I don;t see a direct link. Thanks Gina
Post a new Instructable with pictures and directions for your recipe!
Check out these directions to learn how to make a great Instructable.

Let me know if you have any more questions- I can't wait to see your entry!
zachninme8 years ago
Whoo! I'm glad I haven't published my souffle recipe yet! And yes, it is real simple. A 8 year-old-could do it >_>
What kind of souffle? /espionage
Split pea and peanut butter! /anti-espionage I have 4 Ins-- I mean ibles in the works, so expect it after my iRobot one. ;-)
Bookburn8 years ago
Does anyone know if toothpaste counts as a "premade, store-bought ingredient"?
canida Bookburn8 years ago
It would, but you've still got to make it taste good!
dtermani6948 years ago
Which holiday are we submitting FOR? I don't really have any Labor Day recipes and 4th of July is passed already.
Since they're going in the December issue, I'd guess Christmas / Hannuka (sp?).
canida Kiteman8 years ago
Indeed! We're being intentionally vague, though- think food for parties or big family gatherings, and you'll hit the mark.
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