Wednesday, March 01, 2000

Bethel cook runner-up in Bake-Off




BY CHUCK MARTIN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SAN FRANCISCO — Rosemary Leicht of Bethel shocked herself Tuesday by finishing as a runner-up in the Pillsbury Bake-Off and winning $2,000.

        She thought her recipe, Cauliflower Crunch, a casserole made from frozen cauliflower and cheese, canned green chilis and bread crumbs, was too simple.

        “I was stunned,” said Ms. Leicht, who competed as a Bake-Off finalist in 1998. “But it was the visualization that helped. I visualized myself winning. Next time I need to visualize a little more.”

        Her entry was one of three runners-up in the new Yummy Vegetable category. A New York woman won the $10,000 first-place prize in the vegetable category with Island Paradise Salad, using frozen peas, lettuce and mango.

        The Tristate's other competing finalist, Julie Quante of Mason, failed to place in the contest with her Petite Stuffed Pizza Snacks.

        Roberta Sonefeld of Hopkins, S.C., won the $1 million grand prize with her Cream Cheese Brownie Pie, a recipe that combines brownie mix and cheesecake filling in a refrigerated pie crust. It was the first time she had entered the Bake-Off.

        Held every two years, this is the 50th anniversary of the Bake-Off. The finalists — 91 women and eight men — prepared their recipes Monday for 12 judges, who evaluated the food on taste, appearance, consumer appeal and creativity.

        Lauren Eggeman, an 11-year-old finalist from Massillon, Ohio, attracted most of the attention during the competition. The sixth-grader baked Sugar & Spice Black Pepper Cookies, a recipe inspired by her grandmother.

        A third Tristate woman, Amy Heyd of Anderson Township, qualified as a finalist but couldn't make the trip because of health reasons. Her range sat empty during the contest.

        Ms. Leicht and Ms. Quante plan to enter the Bake-Off in 2002, but Ms. Quante admits maybe it's good for her family this contest is over.

        “I made the pizza bites for about the 30th time last Friday night,” she said. “And my 4-year-old (David) said, "Mom, can we please have something else?'”

       



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