Minnesota did not send the largest number of competitors to the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off, held earlier this week in Las Vegas. That distinction is held by two states -- Texas and Pennsylvania, with 10 cooks each.
Among the Bake-Off's 100 finalists were four Minnesotans (the million-dollar winner was Glori Spriggs of Henderson, Nev., for her Loaded Potato Pinwheels). Here are their recipes:
ON THE GO BREAKFAST COOKIES
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Note: From Beverly Batty of Forest Lake.
1 package Pillsbury Big Deluxe refrigerated oatmeal raisin cookies
1/2 c. Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Coconut Pecan Frosting
1/2 c. quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/4 c. flaxseed
1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped '
2 tbsp. sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, combine cookie dough, frosting, oats, flaxseed, walnuts, cranberries and coconut and mix until thoroughly combined.Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake until edges are light golden brown, about 12 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
MINI ITALIAN SHEPHERD'S PIES
Makes 36 appetizers.
Note: From Sonya Goergen of Moorhead.
1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, divided
1 lb, extra lean (at least 90%) ground beef
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 c. marinara sauce
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 package (24 oz) refrigerated mashed potatoes (about 2 1/2 c.)
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 36 mini-muffin cups with non-stick cooking spray. In a microwave oven, cook frozen spinach to thaw, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven and squeeze spinach dry with paper towels. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef, breaking up large pieces, until meat is no longer pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in onion and cook 3 to 4 minutes until tender. Drain pan of oil. Stir in marinara sauce and half of the spinach.
Meanwhile, unroll pie crusts. Using 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 18 rounds from each crust, rerolling dough if necessary. Press each round in bottom and up side of muffin cups. Spoon rounded tablespoon meat mixture in each cup.
In a microwave oven, cook mashed potatoes as directed on package, about 2 to 3 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix potatoes, remaining spinach, cheese, salt and pepper until well blended. Top each cup with a rounded tablespoon of potato mixture. Bake until potatoes are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cups to loosen pies. Serve warm.
SEEDS AND CHOCOLATE PASTRY WEDGES
Note: From Vicki Mager of Bloomington.
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. dried currants
1/4 c. roasted unsalted sunflower nuts
1/4 c. roasted salted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 c. Jif Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pie crust on an ungreased baking sheet. Pinch outside edge of crust to form a 1/4-inch rim. Prick dough several times with fork. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over crust. In medium bowl, mix currants, sunflowers nuts and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle mixture over crust. Press mixture firmly into crust. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake until edges are light golden brown, about 3 to 6 minutes longer. Remove from oven and immediately cut into 12 wedges. Do not separate wedges. Spoon chocolate hazelnut spread into decorating bag or 1-quart resealable food storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut off tiny corner of bag; squeeze bag to drizzle spread over seeds. Cool completely.
ORANGE CARDAMOM BLUEBERRY CROSTATA
Note: From Cathy Wiechert of Mound.
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
1/2 c. Smucker's Orchard's Finest Pacific Grove Orange Marmalade Medley
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
2 c. fresh blueberries
1 egg yolk
1 to 2 tbsp. coarse white sparkling sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a 15x-10-inch baking pan with sides with parchment paper. Unroll pie crust in prepared pan. In medium bowl, mix preserves, flour and cardamom. Carefully fold in blueberries. Spoon mixture over crust to within 2 inches of edge. Fold edge of crust over filling, pleating crust as necessary. In small bowl, beat egg yolk with two teaspoons water. Lightly brush crust edge with egg mixture; sprinkle with sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 17 to 23 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at least 30 minutes before serving.
The 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off takes place on Monday in Las Vegas (for the first time in the contest's 64-year history), and four Minnesotans are among the 100 finalists.
This year's Bake-Off finds competitors in three recipe divisions: Amazing Doable Dinners, Simple Sweets and Starters and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts.Recipes must have seven ingredients or less and require 30 minutes or less in preparation time.
There's plenty on the line: $1 million to the grand-prize winner. From there, the drop-off is steep: $10,000 for second place, along with $5,000 for third place and four $5,000 special award winners. (Doughboy image, above, courtesy of Pillsbury).
The four Minnesotans are:
Beverly Batty of Forest Lake, preparing On the Go Breakfast Cookies (which calls for Pillsbury refrigerated oatmeal raisin cookies and Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Coconut Pecan Frosting).
Vicki Mager of Bloomington, preparing Seeds and Chocolate Pastry Wedges (which features Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts).
Do you have a favorite Bake-Off recipe? Mine is Peanut Blossom cookies, from the 1957 Bake-Off.
Here's a rundown on what's happening, food- and drink-wise, in the Twin Cities this weekend:
Saturday: Izzy's Ice Cream is celebrating the opening of its sparkling new Minneapolis ice cream kitchen and scoop shop on Gold Medal Park (pictured, above), with a long list of reasons to stop by, including free kids' activities (noon to 2 p.m.), free peeks into the kitchen and samples of locally-sourced ingredients (4 to 7 p.m.), and a series of tours ($15 to $20) with architect David Salmela (12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; read more about the building's design here) and co-owner Jeff Sommers (3 to 4 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.).
Saturday: The season's first indoor version of the Mill City Farmers Market kicks off at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, with 40 vendors selling late-fall produce (kale, spinach, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms and squashes), along with eggs, baked goods, milled grains, cheeses, honey and more. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A reminder: The St. Paul Farmers Market continues its outdoor market hours, open Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. And the Minneapolis Farmers Market remains open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily through the middle of the month.
Sunday: Be on the lookout for a second indoor farmers market, this time a combined effort of the Kingfield Farmers Market and Fulton Farmers Market, at Bachman's in south Minneapolis. Expect a crowd, browsing over wide selection of produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods and more, along with wine and beer by the glass from the good folks at the Bryant Lake Bowl. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I am seriously bummed. I will be working on the night of one of the coolest wine events of the year.
A week from tonight, on Oct. 2, the Parkway Theater will screen “A Year in Burgundy,” which is just what it sounds like: a chronicle of 12 months in what many of us consider the world’s foremost wine region.
Divided into four chapters denoting the seasons, the documentary covers the tumultuous 2011 vintage, with up-close-and-personal looks at everyone from an 80-year-old matriarch known as “the Queen of Burgundy” to a 2-year-old who might eventually fill that role.
James Molesworth, one of the Wine Spectator’s best writers, calls it “lovingly shot … tender and real. … It captures the romance and allure of the wine business without an overabundance of schmaltz.”
So the film itself is worth the price of a regular movie admission. But for just $20 ($25 at the door), you not only can see the movie but enjoy some Burgundian wines and appetizers (from Meritage and Café Arnaud) beforehand, and coffee and desserts afterwards.
The folks at Martine’s Wines, Grand Père Wines and South Lyndale Liquors are responsible for those extras, and proceeds go to Alliance Francaise. Tickets are available here,
Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait for the DVD. Sigh.
Here's what's going on, food- and drink-wise, in the Twin Cities this weekend:
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Seventeen Minnesota and Wisconsin cheesemakers -- including Alemar Cheese Co., Shepherd's Way Farms, Singing Hills Goat Dairy and Stickney Hill Dairy -- are the main attraction at the Minnesota Cheese Festival, along with artisan food producers, a handful of food trucks (Foxy Falafel, the Moral Omnivore) and wine and beer pairings. Workshops and demonstrations, too, all held at the International Bazaar at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights. Tickets $15 ($10 children) or $65 for a VIP pass, and must be purchased in advance; no at-the-door sales.
SATURDAY: The brewers at Summit Brewing Co. will be on hand at Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment (outdoors, on the restaurant's rooftop veranda) in Minneapolis, tapping 10 of their latest brews. Brewers are available from noon to 3 p.m., taps run from noon to 4 p.m.
SATURDAY: Drop in on the 10th-annual Wild Rice Festival at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center in Roseville. The day begins with a wild rice pancake breakfast (served with wild rice sausages and locally produced maple syrup), and includes games, storytelling, crafts, demonstrations and more, all focused on local Native American cultures. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SATURDAY: Meet local author Anne Gillespie ("Ingrebretsen's Saga") at a meet-and-greet (samples, book signings) at the Midtown Farmers Market in Minneapolis.
SATURDAY: Chef Sameh Wadi of Saffron Restaurant & Lounge and World Street Kitchen in Minneapolis will take to the podium at the Minneapolis Farmers Market at 10:30 a.m. (free). Also at the market: be sure to pick up your free reusable shopping bag, starting at 8 a.m.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Meet influential cookbook author Deborah Madison ("Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," "Local Flavors," "The Greens Cookbook") and hear her talk about her latest book, "Vegetable Literacy" at two events: On Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis, and on Sunday at 4 p.m. at SubText Bookstore in St. Paul. Free.
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