WINDHAM — Lyn Paolino admits she’s one of those people who can’t resist posting on social media sites what she’s whipped up in the kitchen.
“I’m always posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram,” Paolino said.
Friends and relatives know by now cooking is a passion for Paolino, and they are always telling her she should be on the Food Network.
Turns out the Food Network might not be out of the question.
Paolino, 33, a teacher and mother from Windham, is a semifinalist in Pillsbury’s 46th Bake-off Contest.
Her Southwest Breakfast Pockets has her rated among the best in the nation in Pillsbury’s Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts.
The company said she is one of 60 semifinalists.
Voting is underway and if enough amateur cooks and people who love what they bake like her recipe, Paolino could be going to Las Vegas this fall for a shot at a $1 million prize.
Pillsbury doesn’t let pros into the contest.
They want people like Paolino.
“You can’t have any culinary experience,” she said.
Paolino doesn’t cook for money, just for her family and fun.
“It’s just a hobby,” she said. “I’m actually a high school art teacher.”
Paolino grew up in Salem, teaches school in the Hillsboro-Deering district and moved to Windham last year.
“My grandmother lived with us and she taught me a lot of my skills,” she said.
But her dad might have had a little influence on those breakfast pockets.
“My dad, he loves Mexican food,” she said.
Around the house, the pockets are in demand.
“Oh, they love it,” Paolino said.
The contest turned out to be a what-the-heck moment.
“I figured I’ll try, why not?” she said.
Pillsbury redesigned the contest this year to encourage simpler recipes.