We’ve all had a life-changing meal, but for Melissa Jollands, a simple cheeseboard she had at a hotel truly was life altering. Her recipe beat out thousands of entries and three other finalists to be dubbed the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off 2019. The Michigan native says a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Dublin, Ireland, helped to inspire her appetizer. After flying across the ocean and exploring the sights of the city, she and her husband were exhausted and sought respite in the restaurant attached to their hotel. They wanted “a small bite and we ordered the cheeseboard, which came with different Irish meats, cheeses, nuts and jams. It may sound silly, but it was the best meal we had all trip.” To translate those flavors into her winning dish, the mother of three replaced some of the Irish meats and cheeses with American favorites like salami and cheddar, along with goat cheese for a bit of a tang. The result is salty, creamy, cheesy, crunchy and just a bit sweet thanks to a garnish of dried apricots and fig preserves. Basically, it is what is says it is: all of the deliciousness of a cheeseboard rolled into one portable slice of bread.
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