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Published: Sunday, 1/13/2013

Bake-Off is back with a sweet payoff

BY DANIEL NEMAN
MORSELS

This time, more than $1 million is at stake.

And as they are fond of saying at the Pillsbury Bake-Off, that’s a lot of dough.

Perhaps America’s most venerable cooking competition is back, though some of the details are different. The 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off is now accepting recipe submissions in the first of three categories. Voting comes later to pick the finalists in each category, followed by a grand finale contest in mid-November in Las Vegas.

The contest categories are:

• Amazing Doable Dinners: These are easy entrees, the sort of dish you might make on a weeknight. Contest organizers suggest you think in terms of pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, foldovers, casseroles, chilis, and savory pies, though any main course that meets the general criteria (below) will do. The recipes must be submitted between now and Feb. 7.

• Simple Sweets and Starters: This is the category you probably think of when you think of the Pillsbury Bake-Off (or at least it is the category I think of) — desserts and dough-related appetizers. As the name implies, they should be fairly simple to make (but since you’re going for a million bucks, don’t make it too simple). Pies, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, plus things like bruschetta and foccacia. You know the drill. Entries will be accepted from April 4 to May 9.

• Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts: As you would expect, this category is for recipes intended for breakfasts, either fast and on the go or served at a nice, leisurely weekend brunch. They are looking for anything from sweet rolls, pull-aparts, and pastries to breakfast breads, egg dishes, and breakfast sandwiches. The recipes have to be received from July 4 to Aug. 8.

Naturally, there are rules, lots and lots of rules. The most important rules include that each recipe can contain no more than seven ingredients (excluding salt, pepper, and water), and that each recipe can take no more than 30 minutes to prepare (excluding time spent cooking and cooling).

Each recipe also must contain at least one item from List A (Pillsbury brand refrigerated biscuits, cinnamon rolls, crescent rolls, pizza crust, bread sticks, French loaf, pie crust, cookie dough, frosting, or flour) and at least one more from List A or at least one from List B (Green Giant Vegetables; Jif Peanut Butter; Smucker’s Jams, Jellies, Preserves, or Fruit Spreads; Crisco Cooking Oil or baking sticks; or Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk.

Every entrant has to be at least 21 by Oct. 31 and must be living in the United States.

Now the good news. The grand prize winner, as we said, will get $1 million, plus $10,000 worth of new kitchen appliances. The second-place winner will receive $10,000 plus $3,000 in appliances. Third place will get $5,000 plus $2,000 in kitchen appliances. Meanwhile, each of the 100 finalists will receive paid air fare to Vegas, a hotel room, food, some kitchen stuff, and $125 in walking-around money.

All the information you need is available at BakeOff.com, which is also where you need to go to submit your recipes. All submissions must be made online.

Veg-O-Matic

A milestone is at hand.

The current Vegetarian Times magazine is its 400th issue, which is quite an accomplishment for a publication many people scoffed at when it first hit the newsstands. Who could have guessed, when it first came out in 1974, that it would still be publishing in 2013?

I’ll admit, I was one of the scoffers. A magazine just for vegetarians? Who would read that? Then again, when USA Today first came out, I famously said, “It won’t last six months.” So maybe I’m not the first person you should turn to when you’re looking for a prediction about a publication’s success.

In noting its achievement, the magazine’s own press release says something I find both pithy and true: “In the 38 years since the magazine was first published, public perception of vegetarianism has evolved from a fringe movement to a mainstream way of life.”

The numbers bear it out. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group — admittedly, not the most disinterested of organizations — 7.3 million Americans now identify themselves as vegetarian, with an additional 22.8 million following what is described as a “vegetarian-inclined” diet. That number of vegetarians has jumped by more than 50 percent since a 2000 poll taken by a different group.

All those vegetarians means the magazine is thriving. According to a statement by publisher Bill Harper, “our circulation has never been higher.”

I’ll take that plate of crow now. With a side order of tofu.

Food/Health

If we are literally what we eat, then our health is inescapably connected to what we eat. Right?

So, at least, says the Weston A. Price Foundation, which promotes eating animal fats, meat, whole grains, organic farming, the consumption of raw milk, and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, and opposes fluoridation, among other things.

At 6 p.m. Jan. 22, the foundation’s Toledo chapter leader, Kris Johnson, will hold a class called Digestive Wellness — The Foundation of Health. The class will look at one theory of how the brain and the digestive system are dependent on each other, and what is causing an epidemic of chronic disease.

The class will be in the Fellowship Chapel of the Grace Lutheran Church, 4441 Monroe St. The class is free, but as always, donations are accepted.

To register, call 419-836-7637.

Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks before an event to food@theblade.com.



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