Janet's Notebook
Home Cook Jamie Burris Wins Big with Rich Family History, Decadent Recipe

Grand Prize Winning Kugelis!

"Growing up we called it 'Kugela', but it's actually pronounced 'coo-GHEL-iss.' It's a classic Lithuanian dish!"

Jamie Burris was beyond shocked to learn that her family's beloved potato recipe had won top honors in the !

"My grandfather knew the recipe from his family," explains Jamie, a resident of Fayettville, AR. "My grandparents emigrated separately [from Lithuania] and met in Chicago." That was the beginning of a delicious family legacy. From that day on the famous Kugelis made an appearance at every major family gathering. Jamie laughs as she recalls a photo she has of her own Baptism. There, in the background, rests a steaming dish of freshly made Kugelis! It just isn't a party without someone making the recipe.

Before entering the Heirloom Recipe Contest, Jamie talked to her mom about the dish, a version of which happens to be the national dish of Lithuania!

"My grandmother was Polish and German, and didn't know anything about the [Kugelis] recipe when she married," says Jamie. "So my grandfather taught her and after that she took over!" Jamie learned to make the recipe from her mom, who had been taught a generation before by her mother. She now enjoys making it for her own hungry family!

This wonderfully simple recipe was a first for us in the Test Kitchen. We had never tasted anything quite like it, and it was universally loved by all who tried it. The straightforward ingredients - potato, onion, bacon, egg and condensed milk - combine into a richly delicious mélange of flavor. Serve it straight from the casserole dish, or slice it and give it a fry in butter for a decadent addition to your breakfast!

"We love serving it with ham," say Jamie, who looks forward to teaching her own daughter about their family's rich history with the recipe. "We'll make Polish sausage and those kinds of things, but this is really the only recipe that ties us back to Lithuania. It's a favorite family recipe for sure."

As Grand Prize winner, Jamie wins a trip to visit with the Kitchen Crew in Nashville, TN, the opportunity to prepare her winning recipe in front of a live studio audience at the next Blue Ribbon Showcase event, and a fantabulous $1,000 shopping spree at the Viking Kitchen Store! We're so thrilled to add Jamie to the list of winners we get to meet in person. It's always such a delight!

A big congratulations also goes out to the First Place finishers in each of the Heirloom Contest categories:

Mom's Swedish Meatballs - Marybeth Mank of Mesquite, TX

Eggplant Pie with Italian Sausage and Bechamel Sauce - Mary R. Morris of Grove, AR

Almond Laced Banana Cake - Mary Shivers of Ada, OK

For being such winning cooks, each of these lovely gals will be inducted into the Honorary Kitchen Crew!

Enter your favorite Kid-Friendly eats for your own chance to WIN! There's plenty of love - and prizes - to go around!

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Irene Hirschman - Oct 31, 2012
Jamie, I can't say that I'm surprised that you won the GRAND PTIZE. For your Kugelis Recipe. It is out of this world Congrats!
Martha Rice - Jun 10, 2012
Nancy, I don't know if they are the same or not but they make a recipe turn out different if you try to substitute.
Rose Selvar - Jun 10, 2012
I agree with you, Hope, the recipe calls for evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed milk. That's what I would use if I were making Kugelis. 6/10/12
Hope Wasylenki - Jun 10, 2012
About evaporated milk - My Granny called it Pet Milk (brand name) but it was also evaporated or condensed --- as opposed to sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand). I think the recipe is using the regular evaporated kind.
Marge Schick - Jun 10, 2012
I can't wait to try this. There used to be a little Lithuanian restaurant in Bridgeport area of Chicago that served this but they are gone now and I haven't had it in a very long time...there's was delicious, yours sounds heavenly!
Laura Ellis - Jun 10, 2012
This sounds very much like the Sunday morning breakfast casserole I make for my kids. I usually add sausage and grated cheddar cheese. It's also a favorite at all the church brunches we have!
Sharon Gofberg - Jun 9, 2012
no matter what you call it, its delicious( My family has called it Kugel forever)
Nancy R - Jun 9, 2012
Martha I thought they were the same thing. One is sweet and one is not.
Donna Thiemann - Jun 8, 2012
Congratulations on the win and have a safe trip! We look forward to pictures after your back!! Hugs
Martha Rice - Jun 8, 2012
Jamie says use evaporated milk and you say condensed milk......which is correct?
Diane Terrizzi - Jun 7, 2012
Thank you Rose for the response. I really want to try this recipe. God bless.
Rose O'Connell - Jun 7, 2012
If you click on the blue letters in the body of the notebook that will take you right to the recipe.
Kathleen Hagood - Jun 7, 2012
I believe I have located the recipe for Kugelis.

Diane Terrizzi - Jun 7, 2012
I can't find the recipe either, how come no one answered the first woman when she asked where it is located? What good is a winner when we can't taste first prize?
Sharron Johnson - Jun 7, 2012
This sounds so wonderful I want to try it, but can't find the recipe! I did a search, but must not have entered the correct name. Help! Congrats to you all for your blue ribbons! I love this site! I'll have to live to 100 to make all the recipes I've saved to my box! It's rather intimidating though, I'm hesitant to offer anything I have!