Monday, January 7, 2013

Pillsbury Bake-Off makes big changes

It's time to enter recipes for the Pillsbury Bake-Off, but this year they're mixing up the rules, not just the recipes.

There will be three recipe categories with three entry periods, recipes must include no more than seven ingredients (not including water, pepper and salt) and take no more than 30 minutes to prepare (not including baking or cooling time). And in the final twist, voters  will pick the 100 finalists.

Confused enough yet? Yeah, it makes me want to bend over and giggle too. OK, let's go through the categories and deadlines:

Amazing Doable Dinners. For simple main dishes that you'd make for weeknights. Think pizza, calzone, sandwiches, casseroles, chilis and the like. This category is open now through Feb. 7, and voting opens from March 14 to March 28.

Simple Sweets and Starters. For desserts (cookies, bars, pies, tarts) and appetizers (bite-size or bruschetta, focaccia or the like). Entry period is April 4 to May 9, and voting is open from June 13-June 27.

Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts. Sweet rolls, pull-aparts, bread breads, egg dishes or egg sandwiches. Enter from July 4 to Aug. 8; voting is Sept. 12 to Sept. 26.

Bake-Off officials will pick entries that qualify, and then voters will choose from those to pick 33 finalists each from Doable Dinners and Quick Breakfasts, and 34 from the Sweets and Starters.

Still the same this year: The grand prize winner gets $1 million and $10,000 in GE kitchen appliances. And recipes have to include a list of eligible Pillsbury, Green Giant, Jif, Smuckers, Crisco and Eagle Brand products. Since it's so confusing, you can get the rules, deadlines and entry forms at