Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest
Kramer to compete
for $1 million in national bake-off
qualified with a unique breakfast recipe
(April 2008) Each year, tens of thousands
of amateur cooks submit creative recipes to the Pillsbury Corp hoping
to earn one of the coveted finalist spots in the competition. This year,
Madison, Ind., resident Lisa Kramer was one of those talented cooks
who made the top 100.
by Konnie McCollum
Kramer created her recipe
during a visit with a friend.
On April 14, Kramer will compete in Dallas for the $1
million grand prize in the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. The contest
has been recognizing and rewarding creative home cooks for nearly 60
years and has become the premier cooking contest in the country.
The annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest is sponsored by General Mills,
General Electric, Old El Paso, The J.M. Smucker Co., Egglands
Best, Land OLakes Inc., Fisher Nuts and Domino Foods Inc. The
100 recipes were chosen from among best original entires in five recipe
categories: Breakfast and Brunches, Pizza Creations, Entertaining Appetizers,
Old El Paso Mexican Favorites and Sweet Treats. Finalists had to use
at least two different eligible products in their recipes.
Each of the 100 finalists received a General Electric microwave with
enhanced cooking performance, $100 and a trip to Dallas for the bakeoff.
In addition to the million-dollar prize, the grand prize winner will
receive a General Electric Profile Double Wall Oven with PreciseAir
Convection and will choose $7,000 in additional kitchen appliances.
Each of the four remaining division winners will receive $5,000 plus
a General Electric Profile Double Oven Freestanding Range with PreciseAir
Convection and two self-clean ovens.
Kramer, 47, will compete in the Breakfast and Brunch category
in the contest. Her recipe, Cranberry-Pecan Crescent Sausage Wraps,
is a combination of both sweet and savory flavors rolled into one dish.
If she wins her division, she will then compete against the other division
winners for the grand prize.
I just simply cant believe I am one of the finalists,
said Kramer. I didnt think I had a chance because there
are so many great cooks out there.
Her adventure with the cooking contest actually began about three years
ago when her friend Donna Thomas came to visit. At the time, Kramer
was living in California and owned a bed and breakfast. Thomas was helping
Kramer with some remodeling.
We were taking a break, and Lisa cooked us breakfast, said
Thomas in a phone interview from her Mississippi home. I thought
the breakfast she cooked was awesome; I didnt realize at the time
that she had made up the recipe.
Kramer said she simply threw some things together like she
normally does when cooking and was surprised when Thomas raved over
how good the dish was. Cooking is simply a necessity for me,
she said. I really didnt think it was a big deal.
Later, when Thomas realized Kramers dish was an original recipe,
she convinced her to enter the recipe into the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off
Contest, which she had seen on television. I told Lisa she definitely
had a winning recipe; I knew the odds were great, but I believed she
could win, said Thomas. Even if she doesnt win the
grand prize, it is such an honor to be a finalist out of so many other
Kramer said it took some time to write the actual recipe before she
sent it to the competition because she had to tweak it by trial
Kramer has invited Thomas to travel to the competition with her. This
is so exciting, she said. We will have such a fun time.
They plan to take some time and tour the area after the competition.
In addition to cooking, Kramer takes care of her 81-year-old mother
Ruth and manages their 33-acre farm in Jefferson County, Ind. She is
also writes detective stories and is working to finish one of her 11
novels currently under way.
But her talent doesnt end there; she built the table top in her
kitchen and the bookshelves in her great room that house her more than
3,000 books. Plus, she is a talented musician who has played her bass
violin with big band professionals.
For more information about the 43rd Pillsbury
Bake-Off Contest, visit www.bakeoff.com.
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