We’re back! The beginning of fall brings a new season of The Seattle Times Pantry Kitchen Challenge — with a new twist!

The inaugural season of the challenge went five rounds and culminated in a champions round in July that Alea Abrams won with her shrimp and grits recipe.

Now, we’re starting over in Season 2 and hoping to inspire everyone to get creative with fall ingredients.

We’ll go another five rounds and the top three finishers in each round will be invited to participate in the champions round sometime in December. The winner of the champions round will receive a $50 gift card to a grocery store of their choice!

Rules are basically the same, with one new caveat, in the interest of keeping things fresh — think about all the different iterations of the long-lasting TV show “Survivor”! — we’ll add a new “wild card” rule to each round. This can be anything from a prep time limit, to a course (say: “dessert” or “entrees”), a dietary restriction (“vegan” or “gluten-free”) or something else our judges manage to concoct.

So, definitely read the rules before submitting.

And here we go!

The four ingredients for Round 1 (“The Weeknight Challenge”) of the fall season are:

  • Apples
  • Squash (of your choosing)
  • Soda (think, Coke, 7-Up, Jones, whatever you choose or have around)
  • Nutmeg


  • You have to use all four ingredients, but you can use as many additional ingredients as you desire.
  • Wild card rule for Round 1: The prep time for your dish of choice cannot exceed 30 minutes!
  • Deadline: Create a dish, tell us how successful you were and email photos (JPG files preferred!), your recipe and a description of your dish to food editor Stefanie Loh (sloh@seattletimes.com) by Friday, Oct. 2.
  • Judging will be based on creativity, how well you incorporated the four ingredients, presentation and adherence to the wild card rule. We’ll name the top three and select several of the most interesting submissions to be published in a future edition of The Mix.