• Pillsbury Bake-Off® Awards Ceremony

    April 13, 2010

    Last night, the judges at the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest selected four category winners. One of these category winners will be named the $1 million winner live on Oprah tomorrow!

    The Eggland’s Best folks are especially excited because the winning recipe for Breakfast & Bunch category included EB eggs! Niki Plourde of Gardner, MA won with her Tomato-Basil Eggs Alfredo in Bread Baskets! Wahoo! :mrgreen:

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    Congrats to Niki! She was so thrilled to win!

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    [rewind to the beginning of the evening]

    Before the awards ceremony, the finalists, media, and sponsors enjoyed a lovely cocktail reception at the hotel.

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    At the reception, I tried a few of the passed appetizers.

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    And enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay.

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    The awards ceremony was so swanky! Pillsbury really knows how to throw a party! I was definitely impressed. Check out the room!

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    Blogger corner!

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    The awards ceremony started with all of the 100 finalists parading onto the stage.

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    Sandra Lee announced the category and special prize winners at the awards ceremony.

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    Along with the category winners, judges named three other award winners: the GE Imagination at Work Award, the Crisco is Cooking Award, and the Jif Peanut Butter Award.

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    Heather Halonie won the GE Imagination at Work Award for her Turkey Club Sandwich Ring with Avocado Aioli. I didn’t try it at the Bake-Off, but it looked really good!

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    Lenore Klass from Koloa, HI won the Jif Peanut Butter Award for her Banana-Peanut Butter Cream Tart. Doesn’t that sound delicious?!?

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    Then, it was time to announce the four category winners: Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy, and Sweet Treats

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    Breakfast & Brunches: Tomato-Basil Eggs Alfredo in Bread Baskets

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    YAY!!! :mrgreen:

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    Entertaining Appetizers: Salmon Pecan-Crusted Tartlets

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    Dinner Made Easy: Zesty Lime-Fish Tacos

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    Sweet Treats: Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups

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    Congrats to the winners! All four of these ladies will appear on the Oprah show tomorrow!

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    The winner’s were immediately whisked-away to a press conference.

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    Attending the press conference was really cool! It was my first!

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    The finalists were asked a number of questions about their winning recipes, sources of inspiration, and past contest experience. Sue Compton, who created the winning Sweet Treats recipe, found out about the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest from a newspaper– she doesn’t own a computer! Niki Pourde is currently a college student. She’s studying social work and hopes to win the money to pay for college.

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    The winning recipes!

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    After the press conference, it was time for dinner. There were a number of food stations set up all over the room. I’ve been eating non-stop for three straight days, so I picked one of the “lighter” stations.

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    I loaded up my plate with greens, veggies, and sweet plantains.

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    After dinner, I hit the dessert display! ;-)

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    I tried a few different goodies.

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    A little while later, I grabbed a Blue Moon from the bar.

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    New blog buddies: Carol & Jennifer! :-D

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    After the event, a bunch of us hung out by the pool. I love bloggers! They’re good people! ;-)

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    I leave for the airport in about an hour, and I still need to pack my suitcase. I hope everything fits!!! 8-O

    See ya in Beantown!

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    { 38 comments… read them below or add one }

    Shannon (The Daily Balance) April 13, 2010 at 8:21 am

    what an amazing experience! And so great that Eggland’s is included in the finals! Hopefully I’ll be able to tune into Oprah today to check it out!

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    Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I can’t get over what an awesome time that looks like, it’s totally foodie heaven!! You are SO lucky you got to go!!! All those desserts look amaze :D

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    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

    That must have been so exciting and so much fun! Award ceremonies always get me excited!!! Have a great flight home!

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    Anusce@ciao-chow April 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I absolutely adore Sandra Lee and I cannot believe you saw her! She seems so full of energy in the pictures…..I am happy to know that you are meeting new food bloggers!!!!

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    Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

    You must be totally sick of food by now.

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    Diana April 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

    This looks so awesome and fun :) Have a safe trip!

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    Jessica @ How Sweet April 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Wow it has to be so exciting for these ladies! I DVR-ed Oprah so I can see!

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    Jenny April 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I am soooo jealous of your job!

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    Estela @ Weekly Bite April 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    What an incredible experience!!! Safe travels home!

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    Heather (runningwithsass.com) April 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    wow everything looks so awesome and fun!!

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    Midgetkeeper April 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Congrats to the winner. It looks like an awesome time. You’re so very lucky!

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    Nicole April 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

    What an incredible weekend, have a safe trip home!

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    Hannah April 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Good luck to Niki!! I’m cranky that in Australia we get Oprah days late, so I won’t get to watch it live. Ah well…

    Safe trip home!

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    Lauren @ Running Examiner April 13, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Great recap, Tina! It sounds like you had so much fun at the Pillsbury Bake-Off. All of the finalists look so excited to have been selected…I wish they could all win! Their recipes look pretty good, too ;)

    Safe, easy travels!

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    Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 13, 2010 at 9:02 am

    That looks like so much fun — with all that amazing food, it would have been foodie heaven. :D

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    Teri [a foodie stays fit] April 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

    oh my gosh, what an incredible event to attend! Thanks for the awesome coverage. :)

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    runnerforever April 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I wish I got to go to that event, fun!

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    Ann @ Appalachian Appetites April 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Everyone looks so happy! I think I’ll need to tune in to Oprah tomorrow :)

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    Lauren @ Eater not a runner April 13, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Wow that looks so awesome, and all the recipes sound delicious :-)

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    Whitney @ Whitinspired April 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Geez…that party looks awesome!! And the winning recipes look yummy!

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    Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Wow that party looks so fun!!

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    Christina April 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I love all the food displays. They look amazing! And I really want to try those ice cream cookie cups!

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    Paige April 13, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Good luck to Niki! I’d love to see one of my fellow Central Massers win the grand prize!

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    Kathleen April 13, 2010 at 9:38 am

    How fun! Food looked wonderful!

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    Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 13, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Wow! What an experience!!!

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    Cynthia (It All Changes) April 13, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Wow that is a great party. And congrats to the winners.

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    Heather @ Side of Sneakers April 13, 2010 at 10:03 am

    What a fun event- that’s so amazing you got to go and experience it all!!

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    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries April 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I love this post for so many reasons! I love that you have been enjoying yourself and indulging without beating yourself up You aren’t, are you? Didn’t think so! :wink: That’s what mini vacations are for! Lettuce will also be back home when you arrive. This is what I tell myself on vacations! I also love all of the recipe names that won. I’d love to try them all. And, finally, I love that one of the finalists is from MA!!!! Thanks so much for blogging about this for us so we can experience it vicariously. You da’ woman! :smile:

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    Abby April 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    That is so exciting! Congrats to the wnning ladies! And everyone who participated!

    And yes, bloggers *are* good people!! :)

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    Heather (Heather's Dish) April 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

    i would say they DEFINITELY know how to throw a party! and niki looks absolutely adorable! congrats to all the winners :)

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    Morgan @ Life After Bagels April 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

    oh man – Tina you have had some of the most delicious looking food setups while you’ve been away. You are right Pillsbury really does know how to do it.

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    Jaclyn@todayslady April 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

    What an amazing work trip!! Looks like you had such a fun time and met some really great people!!

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    Lynn (The Actors Diet) April 13, 2010 at 11:55 am

    good job covering the event, tina – those winners all look so happy!

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    Lisa April 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Hey Tina..can we say jealous :( Your trip looks amazing! And not to mention the weather.

    I will so be tuning in to Oprah tomorrow rooting for Nikki! Let’s go Mass!!!!!

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    Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! April 13, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Man, I wish I could have gone to the Bake Off since it is right in my own back yard, how exciting…..I have watched it on TV over the years and LOVE IT! =)

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    Wendy (Give Love Create Happiness) April 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I loved the pictures of the party, and am so excited now to see who wins tomorrow on Oprah!

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    Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ April 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Wow all those desserts, yummy. Looks like a very fun awards ceremony.

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    Michelle Gauer April 16, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Hi…great pics and story! I was a finalist from MN (Double chocolate-orange Scones). I know Laura Stanke…she actually received the GE innovation award and the Turkey Club received the Crisco Award…they are mixed up…thought you would like to know…Thanks for doing such a great job covering the event…it was fun to re-live it by looking at your great pics! Michelle <3

    Reply

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