Despite the grounding of hundreds of flights by Dallas based American Airlines, travel to this city for the Pillsbury Bake-Off went smoothly. My Continental flight was overbooked, probably as a result of American trying to get their many stranded passengers to their destinations. Continental offered a $400 voucher and a later flight via Atlanta to encourage four passengers to give up their seats - an offer that was quickly snapped up. Pillsbury met its Bake-Off guests at the airport and we were taken to the Dallas Fairmont, a top city hotel that is headquarters for this weekend's events. Finalist Kathy Sepich and her daughter Cassie, both from Portland, Oregon, sat opposite me on the bus. Kathy's Chicken Alfredo Gorgonzola Walnut Pizza made her a finalist - her second try for the $1 million top prize. In 2006, she competed with a blueberry muffin of her own invention. Cassie told me that her mom was always inventive in the kitchen and her friends always wanted to come to her house for a meal. Kathy said she grew up way out in the country so had to make do with what was on hand and was never afraid to experiment. "I don't remember not cooking," she said. The taste combinations in her pizza sound delicious and would, I'm sure, be appreciated at my house. Her recipe, on P 75 of the 43rd Bake-Off Cookbook makes me hungry just thinking about it. All I've had since my 6 a.m. breakfast was a tiny bag of inflight pretzels, so I'm off to see what the Dallas Fairmont and its West End neighborhod has for lunch. This will be just about my only free time in the next few days, so I'm going exploring.