Friday, November 15, 2013

The winner of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest is…….

Well, I didn't win the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off but I had an amazing time!  It's so much fun meeting so many finalist.  After all the excitement and fun it's a hard to come back down to earth.  Thanks to my wonderful husband I don't have to just yet.  He gave me a consolation prize, we are spending the night at Sundra Spa (Wisconsin Dells) for some quiet time and to get my heart beating back to normal again.  As I sit here in my fluffy robe by the fire place I'll go through my pictures and give you a glimpse behind the scenes at the Bake-Off. 
I have to thank my son, Michael, as he took most of the pictures for me.    It was nice not having to worry about taking pictures with all the goings on so THANKS Michael!  Just wish he was in a few more pictures! 
It was so nice having my family with me in Vegas.  After all those three people are why I love to cook/bake!  We were picked up from the airport in Vegas style, a limo!

The Aria is a beautiful hotel!

We had a free night so we went to the show The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil.  It was fabulous!
    The next morning (Sunday) I headed up to the convention center to sign in.   
After I registered I get interviewed right away! Being in front of the camera is when my heart beats a little faster!
So cool to see my recipe and name in print.

                                                  That night we had the reception party           
with a live band,
wine and appetizers (they are on that piece of art)
                                                            and some really good food!

Bright and early Monday morning, it's Bake-Off day! After breakfast, we start to line up for the Grand March where we head to our ovens.  My oven number was #93.  Click here for a cool video on how they put the Bake-Off floor together.

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 The life-size Pillsbury Doughboy and last year's winner Christina Verrelli along with a marching band which played pots, pans and spoons started out our Grand March.   Once we are all in front of our ovens, the announcement is made, READY, SET, MAKE!!  Click here to see the Grand March.

Behind the oven is when I was the most calm.  We have enough ingredients to make our recipe three times and then decide which one we want to go to the judges.  We don't have to make it a third time if we are happy with the first two batches.  My first batch of Cream Puffs came out perfect so I brought them to the Judges.  We don't actually see the judges as they are behind closed doors.  My second batch also came out perfect so they were for samples.  

While you are busy cooking, reporters, food bloggers and food writers are walking the floor interviewing us.  They don't want to interrupt our cooking/baking so they are very careful and ask if you have time to talk.  TV personality Padma Lakshmi, who host Bravo's "Top Chef"series was also on the floor interviewing contestants.  I wish I could of met her as I'm a huge fan of her show "Top Chef".  I wasn't one of the lucky ones who she interviewed.

  Once I was done, I was able to look around and realized a lot of contestants were still cooking.  A few people told me later they had to make their recipe three times because the ovens didn't cook like their home ovens and they had a few issues.   
Once we are done we can walk around and taste samples.  After trying a few, I was full!  I have no idea how the judges do it!  We now had some free time to rest up before getting ready for the Dinner and Awards Ceremony.  

Champagne!  Great way to start the party!
At this point, I think, everyone is thinking….It could be me!  I know I did!  It's fun to dream!
I have to show you what they served us for dinner. It was so delicious!   

First Course - Grilled Vegetables & Pesto, Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Champagne Vinaigrette
 Second Course - Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Croutons
 Dual Entree - Grilled Filet of Beef and Striped Bass
Dessert - Glazed Gianduja Chocolate Bar with Vanilla Berries
Padma Lakshmi, also hosted the Dinner and Awards Ceremony.  Dinner and the entertainment was great!  Now time for the Awards.  And the winner is…..
Glori Springs of Nevada won $1 million with her 
Loaded Potato Pinwheels.
2nd Place - Sheila Suhan of Scottdale, Pa., with Easy Caprese Pizza Bake
3rd Place - Antoinette Leal of Ridgefield, Conn., with Cherry Almond Brunch Tart            
GE Innovation at Work Award - Kellie White of Valley Park, Mo., for Honey Sesame Bagels  
JIF Peanut Butter Award - Kim Doyle Wille of Carbondale, Co., for Thai Shrimp Pizza
Click here for all the recipes.
The End.  Not really!   I have one more time that I can enter and enter I will.  I already have an idea!  Who knows, maybe I'll get selected for the 47th in Nashville.  If not, I'll keep trying!


  1. Love your photos! I'm so glad you posted the dishes from the last supper. My stomach was so tied in knots that I couldn't eat anything after the soup. I wish I had my steak and dessert right now. I hope to see you in Nashville, but since it took me 9 years in between my first and second, you might not see me there LOL!

    1. Thanks! I was the same way with lunch right after the Bake-Off, couldn't eat a thing. I wanted to try everyones samples but my stomach wouldn't let me. By the time dinner came I was hungry and I ate almost every bite. They sure did feed us well! I hope to see you in Nashville too. I was in the 45th and two years in a row was something, but I sure will try for a third!

  2. Dawn, You did a great job on your blog. I enjoyed reliving some memories. I too appreciate the pictures. Hope you don't mind that I copied a few. It was a great event. Although I had been before, it felt like a whole different contest. I really enjoyed feeling like I already knew people before I went. Hope to see you, and Karen, in Nashville!

    1. Thanks! I was so thankful to have my son taking pictures for me and don't mind at all if you copy. Hope to see you in Nashville too!

  3. Great Pictures and Capturing Experiences of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off!! You have a Beautiful Family. So sorry I didn't get a chance to speak with you at the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off, but was glad and it was so very nice talking with you at this Bake-Off. I so wished I had more time to talk to you more and all our friends.It was a wonderful memorable time in our lives we and our families will always cherish and hold dear to our hearts <3

  4. Oh well... There's always next time, I have faith in you!