Local woman wins category in 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off

April 10, 2012 10:15:29 AM PDT
One hundred finalists from around the country competed in the 45th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. The contest judges consisted of a panel of 12 food experts who evaluated the entries based on taste, appearance, creativity and consumer appeal.

Terri Sherman of Palos Heights, Illinois was named the winner in the "Entertaining Appetizers" category for her recipe "Asparagus, Artichoke and Red Pepper Pizza." She was awarded $5000 cash and $3000 in GE Kitchen appliances.

Terri and her two daughters say they love to act out their own cooking competitions in their home. They take turns between creating the recipes using what they have on hand and being the judge. When she is not in the kitchen, Terri is busy planning her wedding.

Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pennsylvania was named the $1 Million grand prize winner for her original recipe: Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream.

Visit www.bakeoff.com to see the million-dollar recipe as well as other finalists' recipes to try at home.


8 oz fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 tablespoon Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ teaspoon McCormick® Sea Salt
¼ cup Progresso® panko bread crumbs
1 can Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust
6 tablespoons whipped cream cheese spread
1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 jar (12 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
¾ cup shredded Swiss cheese (3 oz)
¾ cup shredded Gruyère cheese (3 oz)
½ teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder


  • Heat oven to 400°F. Place asparagus and red pepper in ungreased 13x9-inch pan; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake vegetables 12 to 16 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning once halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, spray cookie sheet with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Unroll pizza crust dough onto crumb-coated sheet; press into 15x10-inch rectangle. Flute edges of dough.
  • Bake 12 to 16 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut asparagus and red pepper into 1/2-inch pieces. Spread cream cheese onto warm crust; sprinkle with lemon peel. Arrange half of the artichokes, asparagus and red pepper over cream cheese; sprinkle with half of the Swiss and Gruyère cheeses. Repeat with remaining vegetables and cheeses.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven; sprinkle with garlic powder.