Caldwell Mom Rises to Semi-Finals of Pillsbury Bake-Off

Vote for Kim Van Dunk's recipe for meatball and breadstick sub skewers and send her to the finals in Las Vegas for a chance to win $1 million.

Kim Van Dunk is not a professional cook, but one of her recipes could be worth a lot of dough.

Van Dunk, who lives in Caldwell, is one of 60 semifinalists competing for the $1 million grand prize in the Amazing Doable Dinners category of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off.

The 33 recipes that get the most votes between now and Thursday, March 28 on Pillsbury.com will go to Las Vegas in November to compete against finalists chosen in two other categories. Public voting for the finalists is new this year, as is limiting entries to seven ingredients and 30 minutes or less of prep time.

“This is probably for cooking enthusiasts who like to compete the biggest thing out there,” Van Dunk said at her home Friday.

The Bake-Off’s test kitchens chose her recipe for meatball and breadstick sub skewers and prepared and photographed the meal for the website.

Van Dunk said she chose to work with meatballs because they are a favorite in her family, which includes husband, Paul, and three school-age sons.

The recipe uses Pillsbury breadstick dough interlaced with Van Dunk’s spinach and turkey meatballs on skewers and topped with mozzarella cheese. The skewers are accompanied with tomato sauce for dipping.

“I would serve with a salad,” she said.

While Van Dunk has no formal training, she enjoys cooking and prepares meals regularly for her family and her church. She said when her oldest son was diagnosed with severe allergies, making meals at home became especially important.

“It forces you to really think about your food,” she said.

Her favorite thing to cook are soups, she said, because they are affordable and can use a lot of vegetables.

This isn't the first time Van Dunk enters one of her recipes in a competition.

While she registered for the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest two years ago with no luck, she was one of 12 finalists in a kid-friendly recipe cook-off sponsored by Good Housekeeping last October. 

Vote for Van Dunk's recipe on Pillsbury.com.

viny nik March 17, 2013 at 09:12 PM
We wish you success in the Bake-off competition .We are so proud that you are representing our town Caldwell , NJ.All the best!
Heidi March 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM
What an honor...to make it this far is such an accomplishment. Congrats and wishing you good luck Kim....
E.D. March 18, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Go girl go!!!!! We're all cheering you on and hope you take the prize. And if you don't, you're still a winner in your home town. Good luck. What a inspiration you are to all of us. The recipe looks fantastic!!!!
Jeanmarie Goldberger March 18, 2013 at 09:26 PM
I am lucky enough to have tasted many of Kim's wonderful recipes! Please take just a moment to put your vote in. She is an amazing cook!!


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