Appetizers
June 14, 2013
Sacramento-area women vie for $1 million Pillsbury Bake-Off

panzanella.jpg Kalani Allred of Loomis already has baked her way to Las Vegas. Rebecca Moe of Citrus Heights and Charm Allison of Lockeford are halfway there - but need a little help from their online friends.

All three cooks made the initial cut in the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off. Grand prize: $1 million.

In the revamped Bake-Off format, cooks must make it through online voting as well as professional critiques before they're invited to the finals, to be held in November in Las Vegas.

Allred, a graphic artist, earned enough votes online for her creation - Balsamic Chicken Cranberry Panzanella (shown here) - to be named one of 33 finalists in the "Amazing Doable Dinners" category. Her summer salad - inspired by the Italian classic - uses Pillsbury pizza crust and cranberries instead of bread and tomatoes.

"When I'm cooking, I love the gratification of preparing meals for my family and people I love," she said in her online presentation.

Voting is now open for Moe's and Allison's category - "Simple Sweets and Starters." Moe's Mocha Hazelnut Truffle Tartlets and Allison's Chocolate and Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares are among 60 semi-finalists from 30 states. Of those 60, 24 are former Bake-Off finalists.

Deadline to vote for "Simple Sweets and Starters" is June 27. To vote and see all the semi-finalist recipes including Allred's panzanella, click on www.bakeoff.com.

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