Pets and Bake-Off Contests?Published January 17, 2012
Courtesy of Natalie Morales
For folks who love animals and also are passionate about cooking tantalizing tasty dishes, let me enlighten you. Several of the finalists in the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest to be held in Orlando, Florida, March 25-27 are also devoted pet lovers, vying to win the top prize of one million dollars. Trust me; that ain’t no chicken feed.
Tens of thousands of recipe entries were submitted, with just 100 home cooks chosen to enter the final round. Just being selected to compete in what Teresa Smith of Santa Rosa, California refers to as “The Olympics of the Food Cooking Competition World” is a great honor. These finalists will be busy as bees cooking up a storm purr-fecting their recipes before boarding planes to the Sunshine State.
My interviews with a few of the pet “pawrent” contestants were totally delightful. After talking about what they have whipped up, I am eager to try the amazing recipes submitted by these animal devotees.
One animal-loving contestant, Cheryl Langlois of Jefferson, WI, is totally horse-crazy. Her proudest accomplishment is rescuing those horses who are neglected. While attending a fundraiser at Spirit Horse Rescue, a facility to which she donates her scrumptious pies, a badly abused and neglected horse named Molly caught her attention. Adopted by Cheryl and her family, Molly is now a fit and sassy Grand Champion, winning ribbons and trophies at shows in the Pony cart pulling division. She was overjoyed to be selected as a finalist in the Pillsbury contest and can hardly wait to get to the Orlando event and cook up her fabulous Marmalade-Glazed Asian Meatball Cups recipe.
Twelve years ago, Emmy Lou, aka 6K Cat (her veterinary hospital bill) was one lucky kitten to have found Teresa Smith and her husband while making their daily rounds feeding a feral cat colony. Just five and a half weeks old, this sweet little ball of fluff captured their hearts, and the rest is history. But this happy orange tabby has developed cataracts and is slowly going blind. If Teresa’s fabulous Bacon-Cheddar Whoopee Bites recipe captures first prize, part of her winnings will help pay for Emmy Lou’s eye surgery and donations to help animal rescue organizations.
The first thing the “Dancing with Dogs” lady, Natalie Morales of Oakley, California, did upon learning she was a finalist in the Bake-Off was to boogie-on-down with her two delightful pooches. Owned by an English bulldog named Marley and Mak, an Akita/Shepherd mix, Natalie refers to them as “canine vacuum cleaners” since they quickly devour any food accidently dropped on the floor. If this passionate dog lover’s mouth-watering Mini Carrot- Spiced Cup Cakes with Molasses Buttercream recipe grabs first prize, some serious home renovations and landscaping will definitely be a top priority for Natalie and her charming husband.
For the icing on their cakes, leave a good luck wish to these creative animal-loving cooks in a comment.