By now the whole world knows that local finalists Linda Bibbo and Susie Bowser didn't win the Pillsbury Bake-Off's top prize. Sue Compton of New Jersey won for her Mini-Ice Cream Cookie Cups - a really stunning recipe you'll find in Wednesday's News-Herald food page.
Everyone but me probably watched Oprah yesterday to learn the winner. But I don't have TV so I went on-line to Pillsbury.com when I got home from work last night. That's not the recipe I would have picked, but, then, I don't much care for sweets.
There were many great contestants and some wonderful dishes. Who would ever think of putting a refrigerated biscuit into a waffle iron, or of using the outside of a muffin tin to shape a cup?
All their recipes are in Pillsbury"s 100 Winning Recipes cookbook, just out and available at supermarkets for $5.
I have to encourage everyone who cooks and is the least bit creative to enter the 45th Bake-Off set for 2012. Rules, which require the use of certain Pillsbury products, change slightly from year to year but I expect they'll be out by spring and we'll let you know. Finalists usually have a deadline a year before the Bake-Off, and are notified by September whether they'll be finalists in April 2012.
I met some pretty dedicated home cooks while in Orlando this time... and you can meet some of them here in my videos. I asked many of them for their cooking tips and am sharing one of the best with you.
The Apricot Sour Cream Tea cookies made by Margaret Parsons were brilliant.
David DeMatteo of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, was from a long line of Pillsbury finalists and had the drill down as a science. His mom was there twice, his grandmother once and when his brother was a finalist a couple of years ago, David came along to see how things worked.
I thought Bridget Ulrich was a great good sport, coming to cook at the finals just two weeks before her due date as a first time mom. She prepared her Jumbo Burger Cups with grace and style.