If you've been following Food52, you know that Cook's Illustrated won the pork shoulder and sugar cookie battle by a narrow margin. And that the year of reader recipe testing has wrapped up, with the “first crowd-sourced cookbook” off to the printer (readers submitted recipes on a theme, authors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs narrowed them down, readers then voted for their favorite). In the meantime, click on the individual images on the photo grid for a peek at the winning recipes — and a fascinating look into what home cooks are really making. Or at least those who don't subscribe to the Semi Homemade meatloaf mantra.

So what are we cooking? Judging by the winning recipes, we like our food spicy (sweet and spicy horseradish dressing), starchy (ricotta and chive gnocchi), and sweet (rhubarb curd shortbread). Vegetables (absurdly addictive asparagus) and meats (meatloaf with blackberry barbecue sauce) are scattered about here and there when necessary.

If you missed out this year, another book will soon be in the works. In the meantime, the recipe contests will continue for another eight weeks (follow the blog for details) with $100 gift certificates to Whole Foods as the weekly prize bait (the overall winner gets $1,000), as well as Oxo goodies. Remember: spicy, starchy, sweet.

LA Weekly