March 20, 2012

Pillsbury Bake-Off (and giveaway)

Hot pink cupcakes- made my 'red velvet way'- using a white mix, some pink and red gel coloring and a lot of frosting- perfect!

The other day at the park, one of my friends mentioned in passing by that she was up to do/help with/whatever since she isn't busy at all. I was kind of shocked (she does have a family, home and Church responsibilities, lots going on). It made me wonder if her perception of busy is different than mine, if she is just ultra-capable, or if I am just a crazy person and doing too much. I don't know about you but I feel busy. I try to simplify but every so often it just gets to me that I am busy and there isn't a lot to do about it (especially since I am certainly creating my own reality!) Sometimes there isn't a happy shortcut to simplify certain things but when there is... a way to mix quality and efficiency, fun and useful, it makes me happy. 
I love experimenting in my kitchen and spending time knocking out big, fun projects (homemade chocolate sweet rolls anyone?) but sometimes I need a showstopper and I need it fast.  When MyBlogSpark contacted me about the Pillsbury Bake-Off I thought it looked like a lot of fun. I love perusing recipes and seeing how creative people can be (and thinking about the $1 Million prize on the line for the best recipe?! Wow!) There are a ton of great recipes to check out- for breakfasts, appetizers, dinner, desserts.

I love recipes like these that feature simple, easy to follow instructions and ingredients and yield infinite different results. It's easy to customize and change things up based on your own preferences. I can't believe how many different things you can do with cresent rolls. Myself, I usually doctor up cake and brownie mixes. Cereal is another tricky one (way more  uses beyond breakfast!) What is your favorite short cut? Something I am missing out on? As for the recipes... I am going to try the Hazelnut French Silk Turtle pie first. Wow.

My favorite lemon cake recipe comes from a box. It's so tender and flavorful (and delicious, even if I am terrible cake decorator!)

Instead of oreos, I use Chocolate Cheerios to make press in crusts for cheesecakes and pies. It sounds kind of weird, but it's crazy delicious and simple too (just some melted butter and whirl in the food processor). Plus, I feel a lot better about eating Chocolate Cheerios than oreos, even if that's fuzzy math.

Peanut butter and cheesecake swirled brownies take less than ten minutes to prepare and taste divine.

These were a beast to name but seriously delicious-
A Golden Graham crust
Topped by a layer of Sugar Cookie Dough
Followed by some apple pie filling
And they layered with a cream cheese filling
And more cookie dough
Then topped with caramel and pecans.
Let's call them Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake Sugar Cookie Bars. Or little bars of deliciousness, I think they would answer to that too. They are also easy to customize (store bought cookie dough and pie filling, or homemade, or some of each, whatever you have. It will taste yummy!)

I really think anyone can bake delicious food for their families without too much stress. We are all so busy but everyone needs to eat, so why not show your love to your family by making them something special?

MyBlogSpark and Walmart have a prize pack to give away to one lucky reader- a $25 Walmart giftcard to stock your fridge and pantry with yummy food for your families so you can have your own little bake-off. Leave a comment (make sure your profile is linked to your blog or email or leave it for me) by Sunday night, midnight AZ time to be entered. One entry per person. 

And before you shop, check out this site for great General Mill's product coupons- even though I am beyond tired of picking them up off the floor, there's no such thing as too many Cheerio's around here!

Disclosure:  The gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Walmart and General Mills, through MyBlogSpark.


  1. Ok, you have the CUTEST blog ever! I am dying to try those mint patties! Too fun! -Shelli

  2. I love to bake. A $25 gift card to Walmart would be wonderful.

  3. I've always thought it would be fun to be in a bake-off. My dad's mom won a brand new oven/stove top from a contest she entered when my dad was younger. I can't remember if it was related to the pillsbury bake-off or not (like a regional competition). The stove lasted for decades.

  4. the mint patties were amazing. were yum yum.

  5. I made your mint brownies for St. Patrick's Day. They were yummy! Thanks Anne.

  6. Loretta alg789@yahoo(dot)comMarch 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I love baking and cooking for my family! This would be great to use on one of the many recipes I'm currently craving!

  7. I can't believe how many desserts you've made using pillsbury products!! They all look delicious!

  8. You're so creative! I really love the idea of using Chocolate Cheerios instead of Oreos for chocolate crumb crusts--clever.

    sharonjo at gwtc dot net

  9. I absolutely love your idea of using chocolate Cheerios to make press in crusts for cheesecakes and pies.

  10. Would love to win!!!! Love your site!!!!!!!

  11. These recipes look super gorgeous :D
    Can't wait to try them!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Double Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

  12. That looks delicious! I'd probably also try the Smoky Onion-Custard Tarts recipe.

    runningmatey at hotmail dot com

  13. thank u for the giveaway and have a wonderful day

  14. The carrot cake tarts on the Pillsbury Bake-off web site look fantastic!

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  15. I'd love to win! These recipes look great!


  16. The Hazelnut French Silk Turtle Pie certainly looks good! YUMMY!

    Truthfully, I’d love to taste just about every recipe they show! Hard to know what to make first.

    karin56381 (at)

  17. I love to bake but I can never think of any ideas on my own thats why I love cooking blogs!

  18. I would love to win this :)

  19. I have seen those thin mint patties multiple times, I need to make some. I need to figure out how you frost your cupcakes so pretty.

  20. I love your's always so inspiring. Thanks for the giveaway & the chance to win.

  21. your Peanut butter and cheesecake swirled brownies look delish! thanks for the giveaway as well!

  22. These all look amazing! I love the cupcakes

  23. I love the bakeoff especially when they show it on Food Network.

  24. I would love to win a gift card to my favorite store!

  25. i really need this right now
    tcogbill at live dot com