For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you probably saw a flurry of tweets over the weekend with the hashtag #PBO. If you couldn't guess from all the drama, suspense and twittering, I was in Orlando Florida attending the Pillsbury Bake-Off.
Upon arrival, I was pleased to see many familiar faces including Jaden, Jennifer, Jessica, and Carolyn, as well as many new ones, like Vanessa, Carol, Lori, Babette, Tina, Chris, Stephen, and Amy. As with most occasions when food bloggers get together, we had a blast, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, taking a few laps around the "lazy" river, and letting the camera shutters fly every time we crossed paths with food.
But the main event, and the reason why Pillsbury flew us down to Orlando was to cover the Bake-Off, and boy howdy, did we have it covered.
We blanketed the bake-off floor, each with our own personal quests. Chris and Stephen got all 100 finalists to autograph bake-off finalists book. Since I was one of the few in attendance with a Y chromosome, I made it my mission to chat with all 7 male finalists. Above, Chris Caston shows off his tasty Chai Brownie Cupcakes with Creamy Froth. The cupcakes tasted of Chai tea and the frosting was light and airy without being cloyingly sweet.
Meanwhile, Jaden was off poking the Pillsbury Doughboy.
In between all these adventures, we managed to sample some surprisingly tasty treats, all made using a Pillsbury product. I was impressed by the creativity exhibited, and as one person noted, some of the contestants were using the pre-packaged products the "wrong" way. The dish pictured above is a savory breakfast pizza made by Adrienne Davis of Highland, MD. Topped with pesto, bacon, cheese, tomatoes and eggs that were still just a bit runny in the middle, it was like a portable version of a baked egg.
As you can see, there were way too many entries to taste all of them, and it turned out, I didn't taste any of the winning entries. Still between the dozen bloggers in attendance, we managed to eat our way through most of the entries and there was one in particular that everyone kept talking about.
Most of us went back for seconds of the Candied Bacon and Apple Canapés, by Stephanie Lemus. While we were all hoping it would win in the appetizers category, we decided to give it our own Blogger's Choice Award. Despite my general feelings towards recipes and packaged foods, I can see myself making this one, and eating all of them. It was that good! Check out the recipe here
At the end of the day, it was time for the real award ceremony, and all the contestants lined up, eager to find out if they'd won in their category.
As the names were read off, the winners lined up on stage. Some where elated, while others just looked shocked.
The four finalists were flown out to Chicago right after the ceremony, where the grand prize winner (who won $1,000,000) was announced on The Oprah Show today.
Sue Compton of Delanco, NJ is now a million dollars richer thanks to the Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups she came up with. Congratulations to Sue, and all the other finalists of the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off!