No, I wasn’t IN the Pillsbury Bake-Off but I did get the awesome opportunity of watching all 100 finalists compete for a million dollars and even eat some of their tasty creations. The bake-off was held in Orlando, Florida at a beautiful Waldorf=Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel.
While riding from the airport to the hotel, I actually got to sit next to a finalist who happened to be from Texas! Her name was Kim Rollings from Dallas, TX and was sweet as can be. She clearly was honored to be a finalist and no matter the results, I’m pretty sure she was happy and proud with just getting to the bake-off. Here’s a few pics of her!
Recipe: Muffuletta Quiche Cups
Summary: Individual Italian-inspired quiche cups are surrounded by a flaky crust made easily with Pillsbury crescent rounds.
- 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Place ’N Bake refrigerated crescent rounds (8 rounds) or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 3 tablespoons finely diced ham
- 3 tablespoons finely diced salami
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 EGGLAND’S BEST eggs
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese (4 oz)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8 regular-size muffin cups (2 3/4×1 1/4 inches) with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
- If using crescent rounds, remove from package, separate into 8 rounds. If using crescent rolls, remove from package, but do not unroll. Using serrated knife, cut roll into 8 rounds; carefully separate rounds. Press 1 round on bottom and completely up side of each muffin cup.
- In small bowl, mix ham, salami, olives and oregano. In another small bowl, beat eggs, half-and-half and pepper sauce with fork until well blended.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon cheese into each muffin cup. Top each with about 1 rounded tablespoon ham mixture. Divide egg mixture evenly among muffin cups (about 1 tablespoon each). Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until filling is set and edges of rolls are golden brown. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of each quiche to loosen; remove to cooling rack. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.
1 Serving: Calories 190 (Calories from Fat 110); Total Fat 13g (Saturated Fat 5g, Trans Fat 1 1/2g); Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 480mg; Total Carbohydrate 12g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 3g); Protein 8g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 10%; Iron 6% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 High-Fat Meat; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Cooking time (duration): 45
Number of servings (yield): 8
Meal type: breakfast
Recipe by Kim Rollings from Dallas, TX.
Microformatting by hRecipe.
Okay, now to the rest of the bake-off………..
You walk in and there are 100 stations set up with stoves and a small counter/cabinet area for each of the finalists. Just to see it all setup was so cool! I’ve never seen so many ovens in one place!! They had a grand march with all the contestants coming in clapping. It was so much fun to see the excitement on their faces. I know they had to be so proud and many of them so nervous. Once they were all standing at their stations, announcements were made and the 4 hour time limit began. They were allowed to make the recipe up to three times. They had to have some for judges to taste and for photos and if they chose to, they could make some for everyone to sample. Oh yeah, you heard me right people….we got to sample lots of tasty creations!
You could definitely tell who was nervous and who was relaxed. There was one fella who looked like a nervous wreck, with a station that was stacked up with bowls, spoons, ingredients and come to find out, he barely made it in to judging…like literally on the dot! Chipotle chicken sandwiches!
When they were done and ready to submit their recipes to the judges, they had their own person walk them to the judge, clearing the way for them. Everyone was cheering, cameras were snapping, and even Oprah‘s gal Ali Wentworth and the camera crew were going around talking to all contestants.
There was just so much food, it was crazy madness in there!! People walking everywhere I tell ya!!! There were “helpers” that were making sure the finalists had everything they needed, getting them things from the fridge, making sure they weren’t bothered too much by media and the people who got to walk the floor.
AND THE FOOD!!!!!
No Pillsbury Bake-Off would be complete without the lovable, squeezable dough boy! And yes, that’s me!
These guys here were so awesome and I already miss them. I’m so glad that we all got to meet and share the experience together!
Such a fabulous event and I have to thank Pillsbury for inviting! They were first class all the way and it was such a great experience. I look forward to seeing who the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off Winner will be! My Blogger Choice Award goes to Stephanie with her Candied Bacon and Apple Canapes. OMG, the flavor was amazing!!!! She didn’t make it as one of the four finalists but I think she should have. It was the best appetizer evah! Jaden, Vanessa, and Tina thought so too!
Recipe: Candied Bacon and Apple Canapés
Summary: A little time is all it takes to make these impressive appetizers, featuring easy “crackers” made from Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust and topped with cheese, apple and candied bacon.
- 1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
- 1 EGGLAND’S BEST egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 20 thin slices center-cut bacon (about 12 oz)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 small Granny Smith apples
- 4oz cream cheese (half of 8-oz package), softened
- 1 1/4 cups crumbled blue cheese (6 oz)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line large cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. Unroll pie crusts on work surface. Using 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 20 rounds from each crust, rerolling dough if necessary. Place on cookie sheet; prick each round twice with fork. In small bowl, beat egg and 1 tablespoon water until well blended; brush on rounds. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool while preparing bacon.
- Line 15x10x1-inch pan with cooking parchment paper. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and red pepper. Place bacon with sides touching in pan; sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until sugar is hot and bubbly. Remove bacon from pan to a plate; let stand 10 to 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using sharp knife, cut each bacon slice into 4 pieces.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Cut each unpeeled apple into 20 (2×1/4-inch) slices; place in water mixture and refrigerate.
- In another small bowl, mix cream cheese and blue cheese with wooden spoon, leaving small pieces of blue cheese visible. Spoon mixture into pastry bag fitted with 3/4-inch tip; pipe onto each cracker. Drain apple slices; pat dry. For each cracker, place 1 apple slice between 2 bacon pieces; press at an angle into cheese mixture.
If a pastry bag is not available, use a 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, cutting a 3/4-inch tip from one corner.
Cooking time (duration): 1hr
Number of servings (yield): 40
Meal type: hors d’oerves
Recipe by Stephanie Lemus from Westlake Village, CA.
Microformatting by hRecipe.
There’s so much more to tell you guys about but this post has gotten really long so I’ll save it for later. I still haven’t told you about Colin Cowie! GAH! so much to tell y’all!! Until next time folks……..
All photos are mine except for the group photo with dough boy which belongs to Marc from NoRecipes.com and the Canape photo which if from Pillsbury…..and maybe the one of me and Tina rubbing dough boy’s belly. LOL