• 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:


    Congrats to Niki! She was so thrilled to win!


    [rewind to the beginning of the evening]

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



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



    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!





    Blogger corner!


    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.


    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.


    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!


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


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


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


    YAY!!! :mrgreen:



    Entertaining Appetizers: Salmon Pecan-Crusted Tartlets


    Dinner Made Easy: Zesty Lime-Fish Tacos


    Sweet Treats: Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups


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




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


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


    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.


    The winning recipes!





    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.




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


    After dinner, I hit the dessert display! 😉



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    I tried a few different goodies.



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


    New blog buddies: Carol & Jennifer! 😀


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


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

    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!


    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 😀


    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!


    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!!!!


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

    You must be totally sick of food by now.


    Diana April 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

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


    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!


    Jenny April 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I am soooo jealous of your job!


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

    What an incredible experience!!! Safe travels home!


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

    wow everything looks so awesome and fun!!


    Midgetkeeper April 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

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


    Nicole April 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

    What an incredible weekend, have a safe trip home!


    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!


    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!


    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. 😀


    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. :)


    runnerforever April 13, 2010 at 9:09 am

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


    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 :)


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

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


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

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


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

    Wow that party looks so fun!!


    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!


    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!


    Kathleen April 13, 2010 at 9:38 am

    How fun! Food looked wonderful!


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

    Wow! What an experience!!!


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

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


    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!!


    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! 😉 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:


    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!! :)


    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 :)


    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.


    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!!


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

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


    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!!!!!


    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! =)


    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!


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

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


    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


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