She made it!

Gresham resident Carolyn Westerback will cook her Chipotle Meatball Appetizer in the final round of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest from Nov. 10-12 in Las Vegas.

“We are so excited,” said Westerback, who was profiled in a June 21 article in The Outlook. “A dream come true.”

Westerback, 44, recruited her husband Mark, and their two children, Genevieve, 6, and Henry, 3, as taste testers before entering and being selected for the semifinals. In fact, thanks to her youngest, who usually eats only foods that are white, she had two ingredients on hand that she incorporated into her creation: Pillsbury crescent rolls and string cheese.

Her recipe was one of 60 that Americans voted on to advance them to the finals. It was the first time in the contest’s 64-year history that America determined which semifinalists compete at the Bake-Off. Plus, it was the first time Westerback ever entered a cooking contest.

Now she is preparing to be one of 100 finalists competing for the $1 million prize.

Her recipe is in the Simple Sweets & Starters category, and will go up against others in the Amazing Doable Dinners and Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts categories. But even if she doesn’t bring home all that dough, she’s thrilled just to have the honor of cooking in the celebrated contest.

The self-proclaimed home cook may not have a food blog, but she can open up a fridge, and no matter how empty, use its contents to whip up a meal. Westerback also grew up in Minnesota, where Pillsbury is based. The brand is such a part of the local culture, that children dress up as the Pillsbury Dough Boy for Halloween.

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