Carmelitas – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Carmelitas. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Lulu the Baker.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I don’t remember where I first read about Carmelitas or what was said about them, but it was enough to make me go look for a recipe. This one looked pretty simple – but tasty! – so I thought we should give it a try. Luckily, Nance agreed. (Or more likely, Nance said “Yeah, fine, whatever” after glancing at the picture of what they look like.)

Your ingredients:

Carmelitas (1)

Caramels, heavy cream, melted butter, brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and semisweet chocolate chips.

I had one hell of a time finding the caramels at the grocery store. I must have walked up and down the damn candy aisle three times before I thought to look at the big Halloween candy display at the front of the store. (Then I bought two bags, because they were buy one, get one free and there’s nothing I love as much as a good B1G1 sale.)

Okay, so first you combine your caramels and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Like such:

Carmelitas (2)

This part took longer than I expected, probably my heat was a little too low, but when it comes to stuff like this I figure I’d rather go too low than too high and burn the crap out of everything. (If you want, you can use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce instead.)

I actually watched the clock on this, so I can tell you that it took almost 20 minutes for my caramels and heavy cream to melt together and be all smooth and tasty looking.

Carmelitas (5)

The recipe actually makes it look like you should do the next part when the caramel sauce is done, but I’m a multi-tasker, so while the caramels were slowly, slowly, slowwwwwwly melting, I started the “crust” part of the recipe. It’s simple – mix together melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Then pat half of the mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan.

Carmelitas (3)

Carmelitas (4)

Bake it for 10 minutes. It just so happened that when this part was done, my caramel sauce was done, too. So it was just a matter of sprinkling the chocolate chips over the hot oatmeal crust, pouring the caramel sauce over that, and then crumbling the other half of the oatmeal mixture over the top.

Carmelitas (6) Carmelitas (7)

Carmelitas (8) Carmelitas (9)

Then you bake it for 15 – 20 minutes, and while it’s cooking, you go snorgle you some kittens.

Carmelitas (11)
Those kittens are 5 weeks old now, and MY GOD the attitude on them. I punish them by kissing them as often as possible. They HATE it. (Okay, they don’t. They don’t understand it, but they tolerate it.)

Once out of the oven, it took hours and hours for this stuff to cool down. I waited until it was completely cool before I cut a piece to try. They were still warm, like, 5 hours later.

Carmelitas (10)

The verdict? I thought they were pretty good the day I made them, even better the next day, but the day after THAT is when they crossed the line into completely awesome. Fred thought they were okay the day I made them, but he was completely uninterested in trying them again after that (I think he’s not quite the fan of caramel that I am.)

I will absolutely be making these again in the future – but only when we’re expecting company so that I don’t end up eating them all by myself!


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:
I decided to write Robyn a note so she could visualize my enthusiasm for the recipe she picked.


I wonder if Robyn understood my message.


Yes, I am throwing shade at her because we just made stuff with caramel!


These are unwrapped caramels in a pan with some heavy cream. I know you’re impressed.


Rumor has it that cats like cream, but Waldo wouldn’t know because I also heard a rumor about cats, cream, and diarrhea.Caramelitas

Nothing more boring than waiting for something to boil. Or melt.


Apparently I’m psychic because I called this shit before the cream was even added.


Not going to lie…I ate some of this before I patted it into the pan. And by patted I really mean smashed that shit into the bottom of the pan with a spoon.


Grabbed it out of the oven and tossed the chocolate chips in. Action shot, FTW!


The beagle would like to know why Robyn had to pick a recipe that includes chocolate because that’s just RUDE. Note: Waldo in background.  The cat knows how to open the cupboard doors, but refuses to close them. Very annoying.


Thankful that I was not the recipient of a hot caramel burn.


These two didn’t hear about the chocolate part of the recipe yet. I smell disappointment in their future. Thanks, Robyn.


I sprinkled the other half of the oatmeal mixture on top and once I threw it in the oven and set the timer I went to take a nap. Shirley made sure the house didn’t burn down.


This is what it looked like when I came downstairs later. I was pissed when I saw that caramel up on the sides because OHHELLNO.


I knew this was going to be some messy, sticky shit to deal with and this recipe did nothing but prove me right. You can’t even eat it without having a mess on your hands. That, to me, makes this cookie recipe an absolute dud.


What kind of cookie needs a fork to eat it with? The wrong kind.

Carmelitas - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: With a name like that, it's gotta be Spanish! Italian? Oh, I don't KNOW.
Serves: 12
  • 32 caramel squares, unwrapped (OR 1⅓ c. Kraft Caramel Bits)
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • ¾ c. butter, melted
  • ¾ c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. (If you prefer to use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce in place of the caramels & cream, use 1¼ c. of caramel sauce, and omit the caramels squares and heavy cream.)
  2. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Mix well. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8x8" baking pan.
  3. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Pour caramel sauce over chocolate chips. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the caramel.
  5. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 15 - 20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.
  6. Cool completely before cutting.
  7. Store and serve at room temperature - you can put the pan in the fridge to help with the cooling; it takes several hours at room temperature to cool completely.


3-2-1 Sponge Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was 3-2-1 Sponge Cake. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at The 350 Degree Oven.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and I DO NOT CARE what she says, there’s NO WAY ON EARTH she’s not deliberately poking Amanda. This recipe is Amanda-baiting at its finest! I mean, come on. Let’s take a look at the ingredients, SHALL we?


A box of Angel Food Cake mix, a box of regular cake mix. Not shown: water. You can use any flavor of regular cake mix; I used chocolate because that’s what I had on hand.

What do we do with these cake mixes? What do we dooooo?

Throw the mixes in a gallon-sized zip-top bag.


Mix them together.


I just made sure the top was zipped close and then tossed the bag around a few times until everything was well mixed.

Now here comes the 3-2-1 part of the recipe. 3 Tablespoons of the mix, 2 Tablespoons of water, mix ’em together, and microwave for 1 minute.

SC04 SC05

Over at The 350 Degree Oven, she said that hers cooked perfectly at 50 seconds. Mine was actually a little goopy on the bottom at 50 seconds; 1 minute was perfect for me.




The verdict? Tasted exactly like a chocolate kitchen sponge. I was tempted to use it to wash dishes with, but I suspect it would not have held up well. I didn’t care for the texture, and neither did Fred.

But I had this whole big bag of mix. What to do, what to do?

Make a bunch of little cakes, slap them on a plate, put a bunch of whipped cream (made from just-expired heavy cream, which has been sitting in the fridge forever) on top, is what I did.


And then I served it up to a more appreciative crowd.



It was a hit with the chickens, to say the least.

The dogs couldn’t have any of the cakes (since dogs can’t have chocolate), but I placated them with some of the whipped cream.


So, to summarize: not popular with the humans, but the chickens thought those little cakes were DIVINE. And since I’ve still got most of a bag of the mix left over, I guess they’ll be eating chocolate sponge cake for the foreseeable future.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

What NOT to do…
IMG_0620 (1)
Don’t go to the website and print out this recipe without first looking at how many pages you’re going to be printing. FOUR fucking pages with color photos. Way to waste expensive ink, motherfuckers.
IMG_0664 (1)
Don’t worry about the fact that your plastic bag is a zipper type bag. Nobody gives a shit except me (I really hate those kinds of bags).123 Sponge Cake
Don’t fret that you don’t have rice bowls. You don’t even eat rice, bitch. Uh, that’s me. I’m talking to myself. I don’t know if you eat rice or not. Either way, don’t sweat it if you don’t have a rice bowl.
123 Sponge Cake
Don’t worry about what name brand the cake mixes are. I bought whatever the hell was on sale. Well, okay. I didn’t buy them. I sent Rick to the store because that man doesn’t mind running errands as it gives him a chance to listen to his beloved NPR. But I was the one that told him to just buy whatever was on sale so there’s that.
123 Sponge Cake
Don’t worry about whether or not Sadie prefers to not have an iPad shoved in her face for a fuzzy picture. For the record, she does not like it, but until she starts paying rent around here she doesn’t get a say.
123 Sponge Cake
Don’t be all anal about cutting the tops off of the cake mix bags. Just rip that shit and let the dust land where it may.123 Sponge Cake
Don’t worry that this Polish Pottery mug is obviously an imperfect item. That’s what makes it so affordable!
123 Sponge Cake
Don’t worry about writing the recipe down on the plastic bag and taking a picture. Nobody will be able to tell you’re a sociopath from your handwriting, silly. Right?
123 Sponge Cake
Don’t worry about spilling that water and cake mix all over the place. It’s your kitchen, dammit. You can do what you want!
Don’t worry about having to make more than one of these because your timing is off. For the record, my microwave turned it to rubber at 1 minute.

But the most important DON’T you need to know is…
123 Sponge Cake
Don’t bother! If you want a piece of cake, go bake a motherfucking real cake and eat a piece. And then take the rest, wrap it up, and throw it in the freezer until the next time you want a piece of cake. Ugh! I should have known better than to even be bothered with some twee type recipe like this. NEVER AGAIN.

3-2-1 Sponge Cake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Serves: 1
  • 1 box Angel Food cake mix
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (or you can use chocolate, lemon, strawberry - whatever flavor you prefer)
  • Water
  1. In a gallon sized zip-top bag, empty both boxes of mix. Seal the top and shake the bag until the mixes are well combined. (Bag will store in the pantry indefinitely.)
  2. To make one serving, measure 3 Tablespoons of mix into a small bowl or mug. Mix in 2 Tablespoons of water. Mix together and microwave on high for 50 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. You can eat the cake right out of the bowl or place on a plate and get fancy with fruit garnishes or whipped cream/ Cool Whip.
  4. The whole bag contains 28 servings. Each serving: 133 calories each.


McDonald’s Cheeseburger Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was McDonald’s Cheeseburger Recipe. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe was submitted by reader Kris.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by reader Kris, who submitted it wayyyyyy back in May. I’m not kidding when I tell y’all that we have a backlog, so if you’ve submitted a recipe and we haven’t made it yet, that certainly doesn’t mean we aren’t going to. Be patient – it’ll happen one day. Or not. You’ll just have to wait and see.

I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager, and to this day when I go into a McDonald’s (or, more accurately, drive through), the onions-and-pickles smell makes me nostalgic.

(And then I thank my lucky stars that I no longer work there. I worked there for three years, and can’t believe I made it that long. On the other hand, I think every kid should be required to work in the service industry for at least a year. It might cut down on the number of ASSHOLE CUSTOMERS out there.)

So I was all for giving this casserole a try, even though I don’t eat fast food burgers any more because every time I consider it, I think of the “pink slime” stories and my whole body just says “UM, NO.” (No, I’m not providing a link. You’re ON THE GODDAMN INTERNET, do your own search. I don’t want to have to look at that shit again.)

I don’t eat fast food all that often, really (except for the occasional Egg McMuffin), but when I do it’s usually something from the poultry side of the menu (I KNOW, I KNOW, caged, factory-farmed chickens, shot up with hormones, living terrible, miserable lives, I DIDN’T ASK YOUUUUUUUUU.)

Okay, let’s do this. Your ingredients:

Cheeseburger Casserole (1)

Lean ground beef, chopped onion, chopped dill pickles, ketchup, yellow mustard, American cheese, an 8 oz. can of crescent rolls, milk, and sesame seeds. Not pictured: water.

Regarding the chopped dill pickles: the recipe calls for 1/4 c. chopped dill pickles, and when I bought pickles at the store I grabbed one of those big jars of the huge dill pickles because they were the SAME price as the much smaller jars. What’s that about, I ask you? It only took me one of those dill pickles to get 1/4 c. of chopped pickle.

I love pickles. I can’t make a decent pickle to save my life, but I’ve always got a jar or two of pickles on hand. Dill, bread ‘n butter, sweet gherkins, I love ’em all. (I do make a mean sweet pickle relish.)

This is a pretty simple recipe (you know how I love that!) First, brown your ground meat and onion.

Cheeseburger Casserole (2)

You’re also supposed to add salt and pepper to taste, but I spaced on this part. I don’t think it made a difference, honestly. Salt and pepper are overrated. Unless I’m having a salt craving, and then it’s like “WHY SO STINGY?”

“My nipples and I would like to know if you’re EVER going to make something that doesn’t have onion or chocolate in it, so that the kitties can partake. Would that be so much to ask?!”

That’s my foster kitty Livia. She and her nipples are supporting 7 (yes, 7!) 2 week-old kittens at the moment. My hat is off to Livia, because she’s making it work even though I’m ready and willing to step in and bottle feed if the need arises. They’re fat and sassy little things, and Livia is doing a bang-up job. You go, girl!

Drain the fat off your browned meat and onions. I’d show you this part, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Imagine a whole mess of browned meat (and onions) in my fancy-bitch collapsible colander, which is awesome. My only gripe is that it doesn’t come in red or yellow, so it doesn’t really GO with my kitchen, but that’s a minor gripe. It’s not like I really decorate with it (let us take a moment to guffaw over the idea that I “decorate” with anything), it sits in the cupboard unless I’m using it, so that’ll just be our secret, the way the colander doesn’t match my kitchen colors.

Throw your drained, browned beef and onions back in the pan and then toss in your chopped dill pickles, water, ketchup, yellow mustard. Mix together well.

Cheeseburger Casserole (3)

On a side note, Kris mentioned that the measurements on these ingredients is really more of a guideline. If you are a particular fan of pickles or ketchup or whatever, go ahead and toss in more. It’s all up to you.

Spread your meat-and-other-stuff mixture in the bottom of a 9×9 pan (or if you don’t have a 9×9, use an 8×8. That’s what I used.) Cover with slices of American cheese.

Cheeseburger Casserole (5)

Clearly I really wanted to get it all well covered with cheese. Hey, I like cheese.

Then take the crescent roll dough and pinch it together the best you can to form a crust to cover the entire pan. I ended up overlapping the dough in the middle.

Cheeseburger Casserole (6)

Yeah, I know. Kinda ugly. Make small slits in the dough to allow steam to escape. Brush milk over the dough, and then sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. On a side note, I just want y’all to know that I know that McDonald’s cheeseburgers do not have sesame seeds on the buns. But I like sesame seeds, so I used them. McDonald’s cheeseburgers start with pink slime, too, so I guess we’re not being 100% authentic here.

Cheeseburger Casserole (7)

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Cheeseburger Casserole (8)

Kinda looks like a giant cheeseburger, doesn’t it? Check out that cheese, bubbling up from the side.

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And here it is, scooped out onto a plate.

Cheeseburger Casserole (10)

It’s impossible to take a really good picture of any casserole.

The verdict? I liked it. I liked it A LOT. Fred liked it, too, although he was hesitant to give it the full two thumbs up because it’s not the healthiest thing in the world. I bet it’s healthier than the actual McDonald’s cheeseburger, amiright? We are absolutely going to be eating this again – Kris had mentioned that she doubles everything to make a 9×13 pan, and I was wishing I’d done that, too. We had leftovers for dinner the next night, and it was even better than when it was fresh from the oven. Two thumbs up from me, one and three-quarters thumbs up from Fred.

Thanks for the submission, Kris!


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:
Because I am all about full disclosure you need to know that my 19-year-old son works at McDonald’s. This means absolutely jack shit to me, but it may matter to some of you (Amanda). We’re just not fast-food people anymore, but I do love a cheeseburger. And rumor has it that this recipe could do the trick.  I’m in, but I’m guarded because you know, casserole.

Another disclosure: We were HUNGRY and ready to eat! Rick and I were scrambling to get this thing in the oven so we would know whether or not we had to order pizza.

McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I put Rick to work browning the ground beef.  Pretty hard to fuck that up, right?
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I went to work chopping those damn onions. I am just like Rick on this subject. We like onions in recipes, but you’re never going to catch me eating a raw one on purpose. I wanted these bad boys to be small because I know how we are. That’s one of those clear plastic mats that I’m cutting on. They suck.McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I finally gave up and decided to use the electric mini chopper so I was sure those onions would not be heavy on our tongues. We are a bunch of pussies. Sigh.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Here, you don’t need to see everything I put in it one single item at a time. Just know that I put in all the shit that the recipe called for and as you can see, I stirred that shit.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
A made a decision to change the recipe. I had bought a two pack of crescent rolls so I decided to do a top and a bottom bun. Somebody that wasn’t me opened this bad boy up because I’m kind of afraid of them. I will do it if I have to, but if someone is available, it’s their job.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Those man hands are really Rick’s! He was really in a hurry and ready to kill me about this time. I was dawdling.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I par-baked the bottom crust until it was light golden brown. With my oven it was 6 minutes at 375 degrees. Then I dumped my fixings in it. We decided to stay true to the recipe when it came to the “guts” of the casserole (this ain’t no Burger King up in here). 
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
There’s a reason that the cheese on the bottom right is missing a chunk, but the reason is so stupid that I’m not even going to tell.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Roll the top crust crescent roll dough over the top and pinch those holes closed.  And then add a few slits for steaming. Which, I suppose, would have worked just as well if you didn’t bother pinching those perforations, but what the hell do I know?
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
This is what it looked like. Rick was snapping my picture.  As you can see, I have good veins. You could also probably see that I completely forgot to add the sesame seeds.  And, for once, I had them!  
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I didn’t get a good picture of this, but it was delicious. Seriously. Not only is this one a keeper, but it’s definitely going into rotation. Everybody in the house loved it. ALL FOUR PEOPLE.  Miracle. A motherfucking miracle.

The leftovers microwave beautifully.  I was surprised because I expected rubbery consistency, etc., but it did great.  I had some for breakfast!

Winner, winner, winner!!!!

McDonald's Cheeseburger Casserole - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: FastFoodlandia
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ¼ c. chopped onion
  • ¼ c. chopped dill pickles
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. ketchup
  • 1 - 1½ T yellow mustard
  • American cheese slices to cover hamburger mixture (it takes about 4 slices)
  • 8 oz can Crescent Roll
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 - 2 T sesame seeds
  1. Brown ground beef with onion, add salt and pepper to taste. Drain off excess fat. Add the chopped pickles, water, ketchup and mustard to the beef and onions, and stir until well mixed.
  2. (If you want to add more of any of the ingredients except water, go ahead and do so - it's a matter of personal preference.)
  3. Spread the beef mixture into the bottom of your pan. Cover with slices of American cheese.
  4. Take the crescent roll dough and pinch together as best you can to form a crust to cover the entire pan. Make small slits in dough to allow steam to escape. Brush milk over the dough and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake at 375ºF for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. *Recipe can be easily doubled; use a 9x13 pan, but do NOT double the amount of water, just use the ½ c, or you may end up with a runny casserole.
  7. *Note: If you prefer to have a bottom "bun" in addition to the top "bun", use an additional can of crescent dough and layer it on the bottom of your pan. Parbake it at 375ºF until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Then pick up with step 3 (spread the beef mixture in your pan) and go from there.


Twix® Brownies – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Twix Brownies. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Jasey’s Crazy Daisy.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice – but really it was Fred’s choice. He saw the picture on Facebook or something, and emailed me the link telling me that he’d be kind enough to allow me to make them for him, because he is ALL HEART. I, in turn, added it to my list of potential recipes, and when it was time for Nance and I to set up our schedule of recipes (we plan them weeks and weeks – really, months – in advance, just so you know), I made him look through the list and choose what he wanted me to make. Because I think we all know that if left to my own devices, I’ll eat Asian chicken for all my meals, and Dove ice cream bars (or Mayfield ice cream sandwiches) for all my sweets cravings. Stuck in a rut, is my usual default. I LIKE IT THAT WAY.

It, luckily for Fred, wasn’t until I was ready to make the Twix Brownies that I realized what a huge fucking PAIN IN THE ASS this whole thing was going to be. So I shot a glare in his general direction and started making them at 11 am.

Your ingredients:

Twix Brownies (1)

Sandies cookies, brownie mix, hot fudge ice cream topping, caramels, heavy cream, milk chocolate chips, butter.

My gripe this time around: recipe calls for a 14 ounce bag of caramels, and my grocery store only had 11-ounce bags. Fred, who WAS NOT MAKING THE FUCKING BROWNIES (and yet this did not stop him from making an unsolicited offering on the topic) thought I should just use a single 11-ounce bag. I wonder who would be the first one to complain if there wasn’t enough of a caramel layer, who oh who would be FIRST IN LINE to bitch about that, do you think? A MYSTERY. Instead, I bought two 11-ounce bags, measured out 14 ounces on the kitchen scale, and crammed the leftovers into my face over the rest of the weekend. Damn, I love caramels.

CARE. UH. MELLS. Is how you pronounce that. Properly. For the record.

First, you make your crust. You do that by cramming cookies into a food processor and processing them until they look like sand. I made the mistake of putting ALL my cookies in at the same time. If I were to do it again, I’d do half the cookies at a time, just because it’d save me from having to take the top off the food processor, stir the cookies around, put the top back on, run the food processor some more, and repeat. The profanities: I used them liberally.

Twix Brownies (2)

When you finally have your cookies ground down to a sand-like texture, mix your sand with melted butter, and then spread it out on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Twix Brownies (3)

Clearly I lined my pan with tin foil, which made life a whole lot easier when time came to cut the brownies – we just lifted the whole thing out, peeled down one corner of the foil, and cut. I highly recommend this technique.

Then you mix your brownie mix (following the directions on the back of the box), and add 1/4 cup of hot fudge ice cream topping. Don’t bother to warm the topping first, just add it straight from the jar. I didn’t take pictures of any of this part, so you’ll just have to imagine.

While I was waiting for the brownies to finish baking was when I really started swearing up a storm. Because is there anything in the original recipe about needing to cook the brownies LONGER than the directions called for? Why, no. No there was no discussion of that at all. The box said to cook them for 23 minutes, but at 23 minutes I the brownie layer was nowhere near done. They had to cook for another 11 minutes. Which isn’t so long, granted, but I was ready to fake my own death to get out of finishing up these brownies AND THE FUN HAD ONLY JUST BEGUN.

Twix Brownies (4)

You’ve gotta wait for your brownie layer to cool. Which takes HOURS. So I went off to take a nap. Because fuck this shit.

Twix Brownies (5)
“You take too many naps, lady.”

That’s Jon Snow. Doesn’t he have the coolest eyes? Don’t you love him? Don’t you want to adopt him? TOO LATE. I took him to Petsmart at 11:30 Saturday morning, and he was adopted by 1:00. YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOOOOOOOOSE.

Before I went off to take my nap, I unwrapped my 14 ounces of caramels, and set them aside in a bowl. Fred – who thinks he is hilarious – came into the living room and said “That was a good idea, to unwrap all those caramels. It makes it much easier to eat them!” Oh, har har. (He didn’t really eat any of them, because he knew I’d tear his head off and bake it into the caramel layer of the brownies.)

The brownie layer was cool after my nap (it was a long nap)(shaddup), so I started the caramel layer. Caramels and a little heavy cream, in a saucepan over medium-low heat. The instructions say to stir constantly, but I had shit to do. I was NOT going to stand there for ten minutes and just stir that shit. I went back to the stove every few minutes and stirred the caramels, and somehow it worked out just fine. I think we can conclude that the need for “constant stirring” is a myth perpetrated by THE MAN to keep us all chained to our stoves!

Twix Brownies (6)

I found it easiest to dump the melted caramel down the middle of the brownies, and then smooth it out with a plastic spatula.

Twix Brownies (7)

Oh, dude. You see that picture? You see the upper right part of the picture? Those are my fingers (which were on my hand at the time, shockingly), wrapped around the handle of the saucepan. But if you let your eyes go a little unfocused, they kinda look like LIPS. Big colorless lips. Like Angelina Jolie’s lips are swooping in for a slurp of melted caramel before she puts on her lipstick. IT’S KINDA FREAKIN’ ME OUT, MAN.


Smooth your caramel layer with a plastic spatula (or Angelina Jolie’s lips, whichever you prefer), and then you can leave it on the counter to cool for another 145 hours, or you can pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes. I opted for the latter. Because can we GET this SHOW on the motherfucking ROAD?

While the caramel layer was cooling in the fridge (with the brownie and crust layer, obviously)(possibly also Angelina Jolie’s lips), I washed the saucepan I’d used to melt the caramels. And then I tossed the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream in there.

Twix Brownies (9)

Then I stirred. Not constantly (the need for “constant stirring” being a myth, as mentioned), but more often than I did with the caramels, because the chocolate chips were melting faster. I don’t know if the temperature was too high or I accidentally got a little water in there, but I do believe that the chocolate did what is known as “seizing.” Which is to say that it wasn’t smooth and glossy, it was kind of thick and clumpy. I imagine that with a little time and patience and maybe some more heavy cream I could have gotten to the smooth and glossy stage, but I said:

Fuck. That. Shit.

And I dumped it on the top of the caramel layer. (I tasted the melted chocolate first, and it tasted pretty damn good, so I didn’t worry too much about how it looked. Who’ve I got to impress?)

Twix Brownies (11)

Then I smoothed it out.

Twix Brownies (12)

Then I let it cool.

About an hour later, Fred decided everything was cooled enough, and it was time to give it a try. So he cut a piece, and he bitched about how the caramel was sticky and chewy. Because this is apparently unusual for caramel. I took a few bites, and personally? No. I didn’t care for it. It was blah. It was kind of bland. The crust was too crumbly. Fred said that aside from the caramel layer being sticky and chewy (I think we all know I’m rolling my eyes right now), he thought the flavor was good. He was wrong.

This is where I fucked up even more, after an ENTIRE FUCKING DAY of making this shit. I didn’t take the “after” picture with all the layers showing beautifully so that all of you would be sucked in by the picture, all “Oh! I need to make that!”, only to find out that it is SO NOT WORTH the time and effort. I figured I’d get a picture in the morning. Only, in the morning while I was laying in bed trying to decide whether to get up or go back to sleep (I never ever go back to sleep, I don’t know why I always think I’m going to), Fred came in and we discussed the brownies and he complained some more about the chewy caramel. I told him that as far as I was concerned the chickens could have it, and so he decided to remove the caramel layer (he was afraid the chickens would eat it and glue their beaks shut), and by the time I realized I hadn’t gotten an “after” picture, he’d already done it.

Twix Brownies (13)

He reported that the caramel peeled off in one easy sheet, in case you were wondering.

Do yourself a favor – do not EVEN try this nonsense. Life’s too friggin’ short.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:
Confession: I never eat Twix™ candy bars because I think they’re awful.  And I can’t fathom why anyone would choose a Twix™over a Snickers™or a Milky Way™.  But I have to tell you that my husband loves Twix™.  He’s also a big weirdo and there is nothing I can do about it.

Here, have a picture of a beagle.
Twix Brownies
When it comes to seeing pictures of animals in the kitchen you’re going to have to get used to seeing Peace. This damn dog is always in the middle of things when there is food involved. Peace does not like it when I crouch down with the camera aimed at her face. So I just slowly lower the hand that’s holding the camera and casually snap away hoping that something good comes out.
Twix Brownies
It would have helped if the original poster had mentioned that Keebler™ makes these cookies or even just posted the name correctly. They are Sandies™ by Keebler™.  I had never heard of Simply Sandies Shortbread Cookies and figured I was going to have a helluva time finding them.  Which is why this entry is late because I am a procrastinating motherfucker when it comes to doing things that could become irksome.
Twix Brownies
I have never been prompted to give blood from a package of cookies. Whatever works, right?
Twix Brownies
Surely I’m not the only person on the planet that hates to haul the food processor out to do one freaking thing. What a pain in the ass.  I should have thrown these cookies in a plastic bag and took a rolling pin to it.
Twix Brownies
I’ve had this thing for over 13 years and the locking/protection mechanism still throws me the fuck off every time I go to use it. It won’t work unless I am safe, dammit.  I really need to hack this bitch.
Twix Brownies
If you let someone with ADD control the food processor, they will walk away and let the cookies go way past the sand stage. I do have a pulse button, but eh, that takes commitment and effort.  My husband is amazed that I’m still married when you consider the commitment that shit took.  So am I, Rick.  So am I. Heh.
Twix Brownies
The crust.  This butter cookie mixed with melted butter…it may or may not be delicious and I may or may not have wanted to stop right there, put it in a bowl, and eat it.  ALL OF IT.
Twix Brownies
Guess who forgot to add the Hot Fudge Stuff to the brownie mix when she was making it?
Twix Brownies
Sometimes being in the kitchen just overwhelms me. I’m pretty sure I just put this in my microwave, turned it on, and walked the fuck away. The funny thing is that I know some of you think that I’m lying since nobody in their right mind would do that, right?  Yup.
Twix Brownies
I glooped it all in there and then I marbled that shit.
Twix Brownies
Fancypants Nance is fancy.
Twix Brownies
It was a pretty good recovery.
Twix Brownies
Peace is concerned because there is no dance party going on in her kitchen.
caramel Bits
Image Source:
There was no way in hell I was willing to sit down and unwrap all of those caramels so I took the easy way out by buying Caramel Bits.
Twix Brownies
Rick did this part because I was otherwise occupied (in the bathroom reading a book – yeah, I said it).
Twix Brownies
He took this picture and I laughed like hell when I saw it because somebody was trying to be artistic.  Or maybe just weird.
Twix Brownies
This.  I had just realized my chocolate chips were not milk chocolate so I decided not to risk ruining it with semi-sweet.  And there is no way in hell I was running to the store for the right ones because I don’t care what Amanda C. thinks of this recipe!  So I took a little piece out of the pan to try it.  And then I took another one. Then Rick came along, and then my mom, and there was just no turning back.

Twix Brownies
Unfinished faux Twix™ brownies. Does it taste like a Twix™ bar? Of course not. It’s not even close. Is it good? Of course it is. It has a buttered butter-cookie crust with a chocolate brownie center and caramel on top. By law this had to be good. But you know what else is good? A damn brownie.
Twix Brownies
Peace cannot believe that I’ve been in the kitchen for so long and there was no meat involved.

You know how we all have that one friend/relative that has to make everyone else’s food look like ass? And whatever they make is so delicious and over-the-top that you rave about it and even ask for the recipe? Even when you know damn well you’re not going to be bothered because WHOINTHEFUCK has time for this shit? That’s this recipe.

I’ll pass.

Twix Brownies - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Cuban
Serves: 16
  • Crust Layer
  • 1 (12.8 oz.) package of Keebler Simply Sandies Shortbread Cookies
  • 6 T butter, melted
  • Brownie Layer
  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • Ingredients required in directions on back of box
  • ¼ cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • Caramel Layer
  • 14 oz of caramels
  • 2 T heavy cream
  • Chocolate Topping
  • 1 (11.5 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 T butter
  • ¼ c heavy cream
  1. Grease the bottom of a 9x13 pan OR line pan with foil first (and grease the bottom of the foil). Using foil will make it easier to cut the brownies at the end.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse half your cookies until they resemble sand. Remove to a bowl, and process the other half of the cookies. Mix all cookie sand with melted butter until well mixed, and press into the bottom of your pan.
  3. Prepare brownie batter as directed on the back of the package, mixing ¼ c. hot fudge ice cream topping into the brownie batter (don't heat the topping first). Pour batter on top of cookie crust and bake as directed. You will likely have to bake longer than the directions call for; once the original bake time is up, continue baking and check in two-minute increments until brownies are done. (Check using a toothpick inserted into the brownies 1 inch from the side of the pan. When toothpick comes out clean or with only a few crumbs, brownies are done.) Cool completely.
  4. Place caramels and cream in a saucepan over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and creamy. Pour over cooled brownies. Spread the caramel as evenly as possible. Let cool until set (you can stick the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to make this step faster).
  5. Melt chocolate, butter, and cream together in a saucepan over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and creamy. Pour over cooled caramel layer and spread as evenly as possible. Cool.


Easy Peach Cobbler – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Easy Peach Cobbler. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by Elaine. We actually had a different recipe slated for this week, but Elaine happened to submit it at just the right time – peaches are everywhere you look right now – so we opted to kick the other recipe to a later date.

I’d love to tell you that we used peaches from our own trees, except that we are TERRIBLE when it comes to growing fruit, so we didn’t get any peaches this year. That’s okay, though – we have a farmer’s market a 10 minute drive from home, so we went there to buy some locally-grown, super-fresh peaches. (If all our fruit trees ever start producing fruit all at once, we will be SO screwed. We have a zillion fruit trees – apples, peaches, plums, pears – and just bought two fig trees over the weekend. We also have grape vines growing around our back yard fence, and Fred should be harvesting Muscadines (wild grapes that grow here in Alabama; don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of them, I hadn’t either before I moved here) soon, which is the one fruit we CAN seem to grow. We’ll probably get 20 pounds of Muscadines and guess what you make from Muscadines? Muscadine jelly or Muscadine wine. Neither of us drink more than once in a blue moon so guess who gets to can up 7,000 jars of Muscadine jelly? It ain’t Fred, I can tell you THAT.)

Oh, excuse me for a moment while I tell Fred that he needs to take those catfish he just caught and cleaned and stuff them up his ass. Okay, done.

(Don’t you even start with me on the “At least he cleans them!” because there is ONE OF US who loves catfish and fishing and THE OTHER OF US who loves seafood and is not so crazy about catfish. I leave it to you to guess who’s who. If I could have a shrimp pond out there in the back forty, I’d GROW them, I’d CATCH them, I’d CLEAN them, and then I would COOK them, and I would do so happily. So you’re goddamn right he cleans the catfish because I’M NOT GONNA. I’m pretty sure I’m the one who deserves the medal, here, because I’m the one who cooks the damn stuff.)

ANYway. Where was I? Oh, right. Peach cobbler!

Your ingredients:

Cobbler (1)

Butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt milk, peaches (duh), lemon juice, and cinnamon (you could use nutmeg if you’re so inclined. I prefer cinnamon.)

Melt your butter in a 13×9 inch baking dish. I don’t know if this is how you’re supposed to do it or not, but I put the butter in the baking dish, and stuck it in the oven, which was preheating.

Cobbler (2)

While it was melting, I sliced up my peaches. You need four cups of peaches, and I thought that three of the baseball-sized peaches would give me about four cups. And I was right.

Cobbler (3)
Aren’t they pretty? These are Freestone peaches, by the way. Not that I’d know if they were some other kind of peach, but the farm stand had a sign up that announced that they’re Freestones, so I’m passing the knowledge along. YOU’RE WELCOME.

The butter (in the baking dish in the oven) had melted at this point, so I combined the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, then stirred in the milk just ’til everything was moistened, and poured it over the butter.

Cobbler (4)

Cobbler (6)

This is the point where I was all “Oh, Elaine. WHAT have you gotten me into? Is it supposed to partially cook like that when it hits the hot butter? Have I fucked this up?”

To my dismay, Elaine did not pop up in front of me like my fairy godmother to reassure me that all would be fine. What the hell, Elaine?!

I tossed the sliced peaches, the rest of the sugar, and lemon juice into a pot. I was supposed to turn it on high heat, but apparently have no idea what “high heat” means (so conFUSING), and turned it on low. I stirred and stirred and waited for it to come to a boil, and it didn’t… and didn’t… and then I realized that I am an idiot. Once I turned the heat up to high, it boiled in less than two minutes.

Cobbler (7)

Cobbler (9)

Meanwhile, Inspector Brandon came up for a sniff around.

Cobbler (8)

Once the peaches/sugar/lemon juice was boiling, I dumped it over the top of the other stuff in the baking dish.

Cobbler (10)

I wished, as soon as I’d done it, that I hadn’t just dumped it all in the middle of the baking dish. But I was afraid to spread the peaches out, because the recipe is VERY stern about not stirring anything together, and so I was afraid that I’d mess it up, and so I left it all piled in the middle like that.

I put it in the oven, whereupon Brandon and his brother Jon Snow watched carefully to let me know when it was done.

Cobbler (11)
“Is it done yet?”

Cobbler (12)
“Doesn’t it smell done? It smells done, right? Should we tell her it’s done?”

Cobbler (13)
“Lady, it’s DONE. You better take it out now!”

I realize now that I forgot to take a picture after I sprinkled cinnamon on top before I put it in the oven, but this is what it looked like when it was done. You see that there’s plenty of cinnamon there.

Cobbler (14)

Cobbler (15)

The verdict? A++, will make again! Fred gave it two thumbs up, too. And, hey – I’ve got another three peaches in the fridge. I wouldn’t want ’em to go to waste!

Great submission, Elaine. Thank you!


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:
Peach Cobbler

The reason this entry is late is because I might have been too busy dressing Peace up in toddler-sized clothing.


Or maybe it was because I was too busy taking “selfies” on my way to the grocery store since it was the first time I was out of the house all week…I may have been giddy. Please note: Husband is so serious over there that you would think I was out with my cranky Grandpa. Damn, Rick.

Nah, I was late because apparently I love to pile-on and find myself completely surprised when I can’t accomplish my unrealistic daily goals. And who in the hell has daily goals? Who am I anymore? Shut-up, Nance.

Fun fact: I’m slightly allergic to peaches and can usually rate their freshness by how much they make my tongue and throat itch. I suppose a normal person would avoid them, but I can’t imagine a world without peaches. To me, they are the perfect fruit. Which is why I was all about making this particular dish…as soon as my mother skinned those fuckers. If I were to touch one I would become a giant hive. Yes, Nance has to have her mommy cut up her peaches. SHUT THE HELL UP.

Peach Cobbler

I wonder if the first person to eat a peach broke his tooth on the pit? Could happen.  I also wonder why I automatically assumed it would be a guy.  Maybe a chick tried the first peach.  Maybe a chick tried the first peach and broke her tooth!

Peach Cobbler

An entire stick of butter. Hmm. This cobbler just got a little bit more interesting.

Peach Cobbler

Action shot of entirely too much sugar.

Peach Cobbler

No lie – I had my face all up in this shit because hello, fresh peaches!

Peach Cobbler

The cobbler part of the cobbler?

Peach Cobbler

This part makes me nervous. It just doesn’t feel right to not stir things up. And that big ol’ pool of melted butter at the top right? I was fretting about the hot mess that could possibly make.

Peach Cobbler

Throw your peaches on top and pray that nothing boils over.

Peach Cobbler

This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven. OHHELLYEAH. Peaches, sugar, butter…we already knew it was going to be good.

Peach Cobbler

Shirley was going to the grocery store and asked me if I needed anything. I said that I needed a half gallon of vanilla ice cream. She came home with this.

Old people.

Peach Cobbler

So I fired off an email and told Rick to pick me up vanilla ice cream because Shirley is insane. I also asked him to pick up ribs and hot dogs for Labor Day. When Rick came home, NO LIE, he proceeded to stand in our very narrow kitchen where my mother was and announce every single one of his purchases. “I got the ribs and the hot dogs…”

Fucking kill me. Just kill me.

As soon as he announced that he picked up vanilla ice cream I knew I was fucked. “Goddammit, Nance!”

See, there some people in this house (Shirley) that think I’m too particular. I say that I’m not and it’s just that I want what I want. If I wanted a gallon of VALU-TIME strawberry/chocolate/vanilla ice milk product I would have told her to pick that up, right? Of course I’m right. No way in hell did that bucket o’ “light” whateverthefuck resemble anything like the half gallon of vanilla ice cream that I wanted. She’s nuts. And now I have that bucket taking up precious freezer space! And my husband! Way to rat me the fuck out with his little grocery shopping declarations. GAWD.  The entire family is full of crazy.

She insists that she’ll eat it. Damn right you will, Shirley. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.UNTIL.IT’S.GONE.

Peach Cobbler

So yeah. It was good. And I can see me making this again. But only once a year when peaches come in season.

Peach Cobbler

Sadie likes ice cream.  REAL ice cream.

Easy Peach Cobbler - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert. Or snack. Breakfast? We're not judging you!
Cuisine: Canadian
Serves: 6
  • ½ c. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. sugar, divided
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 4 c. fresh peach slices
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  1. Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish in the oven or microwave.
  2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, stirring ingredients together just until moist. Pour batter over melted butter (do not stir).
  3. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Once it's boiling, remove from heat and pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
  4. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Annie’s Eats.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I’d love to tell you how I stumbled across it – I have some vague recollection of a commenter mentioning them, but it’s entirely possible that I saw it on my own and thought it sounded good, since Annie’s Eats is one of the food blogs I check out on the regular. (Also, I searched the comments and didn’t find the recipe linked or mentioned, so I guess it’s more likely that I found it on my own.)

I guess it’s just going to remain a fascinating mystery, how I discovered this recipe.

ANYway. Your ingredients:


Cake flour, baking powder, salt, 1 vanilla bean, butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.

Mix your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt – together in a medium bowl and then set it aside.


Put your butter in a large mixing bowl, and then split your vanilla bean, length-wise, scrape out the seeds, and add it to the butter.



May I just take a moment to say that vanilla beans smell SO DAMN GOOD, but holy CRAP are they expensive. I think two vanilla beans were almost $9 at the grocery store. You can (and I have) get them cheaper online, but I didn’t have any on hand and had to shell out the bucks for them.

Beat your butter and vanilla bean seeds together ’til everything’s light and creamy, then scrape down the bowl and beat for another minute.

I followed the instructions exactly, but this was about the point where I wanted to throw myself on the floor and have a temper tantrum. Is there anything more borrrrrrrrrrring than waiting for that one minute to be over? One minute of waiting for the mixer time is like 15 minutes in real time, I swear.

But look at those vanilla bean seeds, distributed through the butter and looking all yummy.


I did not take any pictures of the rest of this process because I was too busy bitching about having to wait for shit to mix. GOD. LIKE I HAVE TIME TO STAND AROUND AND WAIT FOR THIS SHIT. (Spoiler: I DO have time to stand around and wait for this shit, because I am not that important. But I am also a whiny bitch. I know – shocking, right?)

Basically, once your butter and vanilla bean seeds are mixed, you add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.


Then you mix in the eggs, one at a time, until the egg is completely mixed in, then scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.


Then combine the buttermilk and extract together in a measuring cup, and with the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients (the flour and baking powder and salt you set aside earlier) and the wet ingredients (aforementioned buttermilk and vanilla extract) alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix, ’cause you’ll end up with tough cupcakes and then you’ll have to put them in tight t-shirts and teach them to sing the Jet Song. Probably they’d need to learn to smoke, too.

In this recipe, you’re supposed to own things like “cupcake paper liners,” but I do not. I also only have one cupcake tin (some people call it a cupcake tin, I call it a muffin tin, mmhmmm), so I sprayed the hell out of the cups with Baker’s Joy and hoped for the best.

As those cupcakes were cooking, I remembered that I do have two six-cup silicone muffin pans, so I sprayed those with Baker’s Joy and filled ’em up.

I don’t know what the deal was, but the cupcakes in the regular tin cooked faster than the ones in the silicone pan, but the ones in the silicone pan were less ugly than the ones in the regular tin.

MYSTERIES ABOUND THIS WEEK AT DCEP, Y’ALL. Someone call the Scooby Gang!


Silicone-pan cupcakes on the top, regular tin-baked cupcakes on the bottom.

I let ’em cool, and then I made frosting. Because I am a dumbass who let the supply of confectioner’s sugar run low, I made a half batch of my favorite frosting recipe – this one right here – and added a tablespoon of cocoa to it, so we’d have chocolate frosting. Then I stuffed the frosting in a plastic sandwich bag, cut off a corner of the bag, and piped (glopped) frosting onto the cupcakes.


I totally meant to make it look like that. I swear it! (LIE.)

The verdict? First of all, I think that maybe I need to realize that I’m just not a cupcake person. They’re such a pain in the ass to eat and I always end up with frosting on my nose. I guess I’m really more of a cake person.

These cupcakes were okay, but I don’t know that I loved them that much. They didn’t knock me over with flavorful vanilla yumminess. I might have liked them much better if I’d just used the batter to make a cake instead. (I should add here that the batter, before baking, was outstanding and I should have just eaten it that way.) Fred was kind of lukewarm on them, too – but the chickens (and the dogs, who each got an unfrosted cupcake) thought they were pretty awesome!



Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Let me start out by saying that in order for me to make this recipe I had to pay $13.78 for TWO (2) freaking vanilla beans.  And we’re not even going to discuss how much gas I wasted trying to track these fuckers down.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

A while ago I bought powdered buttermilk because I hate making a special trip to the store just to get it (see: biscuit recipe). I also thought it would be handy for the thousands of recipes out there that call for buttermilk. I guess I was wildly optimistic since I haven’t made shit that involved buttermilk until now. This is me showing you what it looked like before I mixed it.  Shake yo’ shit in a jar (with a lid!) and call it done. I didn’t even need to plug in my immersion blender.  Imagine that.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Cake flour is  another thing I do not keep in stock. $3.89 – I don’t know if that’s a good price or not. I was just annoyed that I was buying special flour, but seeing the recipe for raspberry cake on the back helped ease my mind. I’m going to have to try it since The FredMonster (aka: Robyn’s husband) never made his special raspberry cake for on here.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Pro-tip: Paper-clips aren’t just for the office. I use them all the time in the kitchen.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

I scraped the shit out of that vanilla bean in order to get my $6.89 worth!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Whipped butter with vanilla beans. I know that you’re impressed.

I was a little annoyed with this recipe because the original author wrote it with the implication that everyone owns a KitchenAid mixer. Not everyone has $300-$500 to blow on a kitchen mixer for chrissakes! Full Disclosure: I own the 6-quart mother of all KitchenAid mixers.  But I still sincerely think that a lot of food bloggers are being pretentious and downright ridiculous with their inspired recipes. Two perfect examples: Vanilla beans, but then you have to add a tablespoon of vanilla extract (because everyone knows that a vanilla bean straight out of the pod doesn’t really flavor shit). Or the use of a KitchenAid mixer along with the special paddle attachment? I have one of those, too. DID NOT NEED. I used my good ol’ General Electric mixer that I bought at a thrift store.

My point is that our aunts, mothers, grandmother’s, etc., did not have all these bullshit implements and yet they still managed to make great food. I don’t want anyone that is sitting out there without a KitchenAid thinking that they can’t make these freaking cupcakes.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Behind the scenes at DCEP: All this and I still can’t take a decent picture.  This recipe, once you get past the pretentious bullshit, was easy to make.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

More full disclosure: I was not about to add to the cost of these cupcakes so I just bought a can of frosting instead of making my usual recipe. I do not like sprinkles, but this can was on sale. I already spent $13.78 on vanilla beans, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

One of the real reasons why I don’t enjoy making cupcakes. There is something in my DNA that sends my brain into a tailspin when batter doesn’t go perfectly into the liner. Those drips on the sides of the liner up there made me feel like I had to go lay down with a wet cloth on my head.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Baked for exactly 18 minutes.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

As you can see, Waldo is fascinated with what was going on in the kitchen. It’s really kind of embarrassing having a doofus for a cat.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Meet the newest member of Dysfunction Junction! Waldo loves her and they are best buds.  If you’re following me on my Facebook, you already know who this is, but I’ll give the quick and dirty version for others.


My son picked up a stray that was walking across the bridge late at night.  It had a collar with a license on it. The dog was in such bad shape that we thought the vet would euthanize it when we took it to be seen the next day. We also contacted the owner through the county that it was registered and they denied, denied, denied owning it! I’m guessing that a 12-year old beagle that has been bred to death, is deaf and blind in one eye isn’t worth much anymore.  Nevermind the yeast and bacterial infections, along with being just plain ravaged and scarred (not photographed because I’m projecting vanity on her).  Blech, this is a food blog – I will bitch no more.  Just know that in my heart I’m a hating whore and I really think that some people should be jailed for what they do to animals.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Two weeks later. It’s amazing what food, medicine and lots of care by humans can do. She’s not completely healed, but she’s doing so much better.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Trey insisted on naming her Peace. Something about her going through a war, blahblabhblah. It doesn’t matter because she can’t hear us call her name. We do a lot of waving our hands now, but we have to make sure we’re on the side of her good eye. She’s such a sweetheart that none of us really mind the hassle.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Half-blind beagle immediately steps on cupcake and then flings it.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Is eating it although foot in foreground is stuffed full of tie-dyed icing.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Peace thought it was good. Everyone else in the family said that the cupcake was TOO DAMN DRY. I baked them for the minimum amount of time so it’s not like the dryness was due to over baking. This recipe is getting shit-canned and the search for the perfect cupcake recipe will continue.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
PS:  I can’t make a pretty cupcake to save my life.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian, mate
Serves: 30
  • 3 c. cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter (also known as 1 cup or 2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1¼ c. buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners OR spray cups with cooking spray (I recommend Baker's Joy)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. Add butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer and discard the pod. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy colored. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ c. at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time until well mixed in; scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  6. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup or bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until incorporated; do not overmix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
  7. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners or sprayed cups, filling each about ⅔ of the way full.
  8. Bake 18 - 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pans 5 - 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Replace paper liners (or wipe out used tin and re-spray with cooking spray) and bake remaining batter if desired.
  11. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.


Crockpot Apricot Chicken – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Crockpot Apricot Chicken. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Busy Cooks.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. I make a point of NEVER SAYING NO to her recipe suggestions because I AM THE NICE ONE (don’t roll your eyes at me!), so even though I’m not crazy about apricots (which, I know, unAmerican, right?) and even though I was giving the idea of mixing French dressing and apricot preserves the side-eye, I thought that mayyyyybe I’d end up liking it anyway. Weirder things have happened, right? I figured that even if I didn’t like it, maybe Fred would, and then I could make him eat the leftovers while I ate cereal or pepperoni and cheese sticks (DO NOT JUDGE ME) for dinner.

If left to my own devices, Lucky Charms would be the menu for dinner every night. In case you were wondering.

So, your ingredients:

DCEP (1)

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, frozen. Dry onion soup mix, French salad dressing (alternately, you can use Russian dressing), apricot preserves, apple cider vinegar, basil (alternately you can use thyme. I’m not super crazy about thyme. And HELLO, I had no idea how many herbs and spices I just flat out don’t care for until we started this damn site. Parsley, I’m looking at you.)

Please note the packaged chicken. Yes, I have a freezer full of home-grown chicken, but Fred and I decided that all first-time recipes involving chicken will be made with store-bought chicken. If we like the recipe, then I am allowed to proceed to using home-grown chicken. We just don’t want to waste our home-grown chicken on recipes we might not like, you know?


The recipe calls for frozen chicken breasts, so I actually had to buy the chicken, which was unfrozen, and then stick it in the freezer the night before.

Put your frozen chicken in the crock pot.

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I had six chicken breasts (which is what the recipe called for), but once I got four of them in the crock pot, I decided to just stick with that instead of cramming another couple in there.

Mix all your other ingredients in a medium bowl and dump it over the frozen chicken. Like so:

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Then set your crockpot on low for 6 – 8 hours, and take a kitten break.

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That’s Hodor. He’s a 6 week old foster kitten who is a snuggly little guy and likes to make me worry by refusing to eat more than a few bites at a time. I’ve resolved this issue by repeatedly putting him in front of the food dish until the light goes on over his dumb little head (bless his heart!) and then he eats like crazy. Oy, kittens. Worrying about them is MY LIFE’S WORK.

I let my chicken cook for 6 hours – I like to err on the lower time when it comes to boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot, because ain’t nobody got time for no dry-ass chicken.

I didn’t take pictures of this part, but after I took the chicken out of the crock pot, I mixed 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with some water, stirred it into the sauce, turned the crock pot on high, and let it cook for about 15 minutes. It thickened nicely.

We ate ours over rice. You could also serve it over pasta or couscous (I don’t think I’ve ever had couscous, but I like saying it. Couscous! Couuuuuuscous!).

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The verdict? Dry. And I wasn’t crazy about the sauce. Was it because I really am no fan of apricots? Was it because mixing jam with French dressing and dry onion soup mix is just WEIRD? And would it have been less dry if I’d made all six chicken breasts, as the recipe decrees?

Fuck if I know. Alls I know is that I didn’t like it. I ate one chicken breast, but halfway through it I decided I wasn’t eating a second one. Fred disliked it less than I did – he actually ate it again the next night. I offered him the last one, and he didn’t want it.

The chickens gave it two beaks up, though. They’ll eat anything.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

Two things that must be said before I can tell you about this chicken.

1.  I was informed by my friend, Regan, that years ago her mother served me last week’s cake while I was at her house.  Well, damn.  I was just saying how I have never tasted anything like it and apparently I had! In my defense I will say that Pat (aka: Regan’s mom) was a foodie before anybody knew what a foodie was and I probably just thought it was one of her fancypants gourmet cakes.  And I probably didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to confirm my country bumpkin status.

2. It is well known around these parts that if I have a good week of cooking, the next week will surely go to shit. I really wasn’t sure what week I was on because I hadn’t really been doing any cooking around here. The lesson here?  I need to start writing down my shit so I know where I’m at in my life.  SHUT-UP.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Behold, giant frozen chicken breasts! I am so ready for this simple, yet fabulous, crockpot chicken. Seriously. I NEED this recipe to work because the night before I had Pizza Hut™ pizza and OHMYHELL, there is nothing worse (bye bye, Pizza Hut™ Sponsorship)! And I am so glad that I am not in the Anderson household right now because I’m sure they are rolling their eyes hard at my mutant chicken breast that cannot be anywhere close to what nature intended. And also, I don’t like it when Fred starts talking about corporate freezer camps and the horrible living conditions, blahblahblah. And another thing, while I’m shit-talking on Fred…he gets all superior about his ethical fucking food. I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want…I just wanna eat. And I don’t want to eat what I was just looking in the eye, okay?

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

This is me using Rick’s huge knife to cut that huge fucking piece of chicken because HOLY BIG BREASTS, BATMAN!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

I had to really hack at those breasts to make them fit into my crockpot.  Don’t think about that sentence too hard because I did and UGH.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

I was mixing all of the stuff up when I had a brilliant idea. BRILLIANT!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

I had a jar of preserves made by our own Robyn Anderson on her Crooked Acres Farm. Raspberry Habanero. I used a ½ cup apricot preserves and a ½ cup of the Raspberry Habanero. In my own mind (which I already told you was brilliant) I figured it would be sweet with a little bit of heat. HOW GOOD WOULD THAT BE? PRETTY DAMN GOOD!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Action Shot!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

We interrupt this program to show you my latest Polish Pottery find. Yeah, I’m going there. It’s PRETTY. This also shows you how I face most tasks. Iced Tea and coffee. Also known as CAFFEINE MEETS CAFFEINE.

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

The crockpot o’ chicken is on and since I have a minute I decide to bake some brownies. I was all, “HOME-COOKIN’, FTW!” And this is when I realized what week in my good cooking/bad cooking rotation I was in. SHIT.

I was already sifting through my mental index of take-out restaurants because I just knew the chicken was going to blow. I mean, really. Once you fuck up brownies you know there is no turning back. We were screwed.

Things turned out so bad for me that I don’t even have a picture to show you. I can tell you one thing.  Regan came over, pulled an ugly face and actually had the audacity to tell me, “That even smells BAD!” The chicken went straight to the garbage can and I didn’t even think to try and take a picture of it.

Tomorrow’s another day. And it’s also another week. Thank God!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: Norwegian
Serves: 6
  • 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts (don't thaw them)
  • 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
  • ½ c. Russian or French salad dressing
  • 1 c. apricot preserves or jam
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or basil
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  1. In 3-4 quart slow cooker, place frozen chicken breasts.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over chicken. Stir to coat chicken evenly.
  3. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  4. To thicken the leftover sauce before serving, combine 2 T cornstarch with 3 T water until smooth. Stir into the sauce in the crock pot, turn the crock pot on high and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  5. Serve with hot cooked rice, pasta, or couuuuuuuuscous.


Amanda’s Pearl-Clutching Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Amanda’s Pearl-Clutching Cake. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by reader Nanc in Ashland, who said:

This particular recipe came out of my Mom’s box o’ recipes. She still has the grease laden typed original. We no longer have that typewriter but I suppose it doesn’t matter. If you need it for legal protection, I can get a picture of that sucker and send it off, but I’ve made it so many times over the years I have it memorized.

I suspect the original recipe came out of a one of those happy-homemaker type magazines from the late 50s or early 60s (that’s the mid-20th century for those of you too young to remember) and if you search “sherry wine cake” on ye olde World Wide Web you’ll get a ton of hits with slight variations and attributed to a variety of sources.

Since this is the 21st century and we can do such things, I thought I’d rename the recipe in honor of everyone’s favorite DCEP commenter as it has three things guaranteed to make the title a reality: 1. Packaged cake mix, 2. Instant pudding mix, 3. Booze.

I can’t wait to see your take on Amanda’s Pearl-Clutching Cake, appropriate for family dinners, church potlucks, office birthday parties (I make this for my boss’s birthday every year) and children’s slumber parties (the booze bakes out but it’s the chaperones who eat it all)

With a name like that, how could we NOT make this recipe, I ask you!

So first of all, Nancy suggests a tube pan rather than a Bundt pan when making this cake. When I realized I didn’t have a tube pan, I up and ordered one off of Amazon – this one – because a tube pan seems like something I might want to have on hand for the future. Also, it was an impulse purchase. DAMN you, Amazon, for making it SO EASY to impulse buy!

Then, as I was gathering everything to make the cake, I realized that it calls for “cream sherry” rather than the cooking sherry I had on hand. That’s what I get for skimming, LIKE I ALWAYS DO. So off to the grocery store I went, and went up and down and up and down and UP and DOWN the baking aisle, assuming that that’s where the cream sherry would be. BUT NAY. Finally I rubbed two brain cells together and thought to check in the wine aisle, and there it was.

So THEN I was gathering my supplies to make the cake, and I realized that (1) the cake mix had pudding already in the mix, and (2) the instant vanilla pudding mix I had was the big box, not the small. I ordered Fred to run over to the dollar store (so close that I can see it from the front porch) to buy a cake mix that did NOT have pudding in it.

He came back with a box of these:

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I don’t really get the Moon Pie love, I assume because I didn’t grow up eating them. On the other hand, Fred doesn’t get the whoopie pie love (I often mock him for that), so I guess we’re even.

So the dollar store didn’t have cake mix without pudding in it. I debated running into town to buy a box of the correct stuff, but I was getting so annoyed that I decided to just use the cake mix I had, and hopefully it would work out.

Your ingredients:

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Yellow cake mix, vegetable oil, cream sherry, nutmeg, eggs.

It’s pretty simple, to Amanda’s dismay. Mix together the cake mix, pudding, and nutmeg. Then mix in the eggs and oil.

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Don’t forget the sherry!

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Okay, it’s maybe obvious that all I did was throw everything into the bowl at once, and mix it all together. I’m a rebel like that (could someone get Amanda to the fainting couch, please?)

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While that was mixing, I prepared the tube pan by greasing it up with Crisco, since that’s how Nancy prefers it.

Everyone knows the trick of using a sandwich baggie to protect your delicate fingers from the greasiness of Crisco, yes? I’m sure you do, I just thought I’d toss it out there for anyone who didn’t. You grease the pan and then toss the sandwich bag in the trash, because you hate the planet and want to smother it in plastic, you asshole.

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Pour the batter into the greased pan, and put it in the oven.

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Then after you’ve washed the dishes, take a kitten break.

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“If you are very very nice, Scorch will let you play with the straw, lady.”

“This is all going very well,” I said to myself as I played with kittens. “I hope this cake is good!”

And then.



10 minutes into the baking, THE GODDAMN POWER WENT OUT. I swore, I stomped, I swore some more, but none of that made the power come back on. And although USUALLY when our power goes off it comes almost immediately back on – in April of 2011, when most of the area was without power for days and days due to tornadoes ripping through the area, we were without power for only 5 hours – this time, it stayed off.

For an hour.

I didn’t even look at that goddamn cake until the power had been back on for about 10 minutes. Then I remembered it, and I opened the oven door, expecting to see a half-baked cake sitting there glaring up at me.

You know what?

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It was, like, PERFECTLY done. I poked a toothpick into it, and the toothpick came out clean. I sliced it, and it was perfectly baked. Seriously, y’all, what the fuck? That’s not how baking works!… is it?

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The verdict? It was pretty good! I could taste the sherry flavor, which was tastier than I expected. Fred, who had told me up front that he wasn’t going to touch the cake because ewwwwww, it has alllllcohol in it, and heeeeeeee doesn’t like alcohol based caaaaaakes, ewwwwww (imagine me saying all that in a whiny-baby voice as I mocked him), even Fred tried it and admitted that it had a good flavor.

Will I make it again? Probably – I’ve gotta use up that sherry somehow!

Thanks for the submission, Nancy!

PS: Nanc in Ashland said that you can vary the taste of the cake by using dry or sweet sherry, or you could also use white cake mix and Irish Cream, chocolate cake mix and creme de cocoa or Kahlua, or any other combination of cake mix flavors and booze.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

Shout-out to Robyn for finally fixing this damn website. Good help is so hard to find.  Sigh.

Cream Sherry Cake

Please note the blue arrow on this box. It’s pointing out the one thing that should not be in the cake mix you use for this recipe.  NO PUDDING IN THE CAKE MIX, you dum-dum!  Truth is, I skimmed the recipe when I read it and figured any ol’ yellow cake mix would do. Regarding submitted recipes:  I’m the type of girl that needs ALL CAPS to SPELL OUT the IMPORTANT PARTS (Translation: I am the dumbest dummy in all of Dumbville).  YELL AT ME, DAMMIT.  But only on the important parts.  Otherwise I’ll be pissy because I hate being yelled at.

I figured that I would just have to bake it a little longer to ward off all that extra “moistness” in this super moist cake. Here is where I go off-topic to tell you that my friend, Shelley (aka: Shelleyness™), once used the word moist to describe a male blogger. I have never, ever been able to hear or see the word moist without thinking about both of them since then. No need to ask who it is because if you actually think about all of the male bloggers you know, the one in which the word moist could apply is the one that I am talking about. Hee!

Thanks for the memories, Shelley Anne.

Cream Sherry Cake

Y’all know that we don’t drink much around here so it’s no surprise that I have never used Cream Sherry. But I rolled up in the liquor store and bought myself the cheapest bottle ($5.99) they had. Like a boss.

Cream Sherry Cake

There really isn’t much to show regarding this recipe. Here I am mixing the Sherry into the cake mix concoction. The highlight, if one were sadistic, would have been my holding the mixer with my left hand while taking pictures with my right. Ohh, Danger Kitchen! Okay, I did try to remove those beaters with my fingers while it was still plugged in but in my defense…I couldn’t figure out the eject button!  Rick just gave me That Look that says he thinks I’m stupid, but he’s smart enough not to say it out loud.

Cream Sherry Cake

Felina did not appreciate my pointing out that her princess ass never touches the floor thanks to Sadie. I may have also said that her ass was fat.  Sometimes the truth hurts.  They’re both getting pretty bored with this recipe because there was absolutely no chaos in the kitchen.

Rumor has it that Amanda thinks we’re the MySpace of food blogs.  As if.

Cream Sherry Cake

True Confession: I had to google what a tube-pan was. I had no idea. To me, this is an angel-food pan. The other one we have is a bundt cake pan. DCEP teaches me new things and Amanda has the nerve to snark? What an ignoramus. Her. Not me. Why? Because I can learn new things. If you think you already know everything, you can’t learn anything new. Who’s the dum-dum now, Amanda?

Also note: I greased AND floured the shit out of that pan because I had no idea what was going to happen with this cake.

Cream Sherry Cake

Presenting: Shirley’s entirely new tube-top combo. Green with purple…wait for it…scrubs! No, Shirley is not a nurse and has never worked in any part of the medical field. I had a haaaaaaard childhood. I like to think that she wore this as a homage to DCEP, but I know better. She just has fabulous taste and knows that green and purple is a wonderful color combination. That Shirley. She is a fashion plate.

Cream Sherry Cake

This is what it looked like after 42 minutes in my oven. I ended up using a bamboo skewer as my toothpick tester because it was long enough to hit the center of the cake. The top is shiny, but it’s not moisture. I’m guessing all the extra eggs might have something to do with it, but what the hell do I know of eggs and shine?

Cream Sherry Cake

Close up of the not-wet top. AKA: Artistic food photography by one of The Best. Take note, Amanda.  It’s not everybody that can take such great photos of food.

Cream Sherry Cake

The cake was dumped out onto a plate because I was unprepared and did not have a cake platter ready. Probably because I don’t own a damn cake platter. Do you notice that flour on top of the cake. I ALWAYS get that because I ALWAYS use way too much of everything when I do the pans. I think I was in 7th grade when I had a cake get stuck inside the damn pan. Obviously I have never recovered from that particular horror.

Cream Sherry Cake

Here’s the thing about this cake – I have never tasted anything like it in my life and that’s no exaggeration. The texture of this cake is FABULOUS. It will most definitely hold any type of icing/frosting (although you really don’t need it). And according to the recipe you can make it with almost any different alcohol combinations that you can imagine.

The people in this house have repeatedly tried this cake several times and no one has made a solid decision on it yet. We’re not saying that it tastes bad, it’s just so different from any cake we’ve ever had that none of us know how to process the flavor in our brains! It may very well be because we’re not use to the Sherry. It sounds nuts, huh? But it is what it is…a cake that has a unique flavor with an incredible texture. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that you make it because even if you don’t like it, you’re only out of a few inexpensive ingredients.

Amanda's Pearl-Clutching Cake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Cake!
Cuisine: West Cakelandia
Serves: 12
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (without pudding)
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
  • ¾ c. vegetable oil
  • ¾ c. cream sherry
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a tube pan (preferred) or Bundt pan by greasing, spraying, or oiling and flouring.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix cake mix, pudding, and nutmeg. Add eggs, oil and sherry. Beat at high speed for 4 minutes.
  3. Pour into greased pan (duh).
  4. Bake 40 - 45 minutes; cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. Turn out at once.
  5. Notes: You can vary the taste by using dry or sweet sherry. You could use white cake mix and Irish Cream, chocolate cake mix and Creme de Cocoa or Kahlua, or any other combination of cake mix flavors and booze.
  6. If you live at a high altitude, you need to add 2 T of liquid (water, milk, sherry) to the batter.
  7. Nancy says that the tube pan works best; the Bundt pan may make a drier cake.
  8. Nancy suggests greasing the pan with Crisco, but you use what you feel is right. We'll only judge you a little.



Crockpot Mongolian Beef – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Crock Pot Mongolian Beef. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at Very Culinary.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. And by “my choice” what I mean is that I sent Fred a bunch of links that I’d bookmarked and told him to choose one. This is the one he chose, so if it turns out Nance’s family didn’t like it, it’s all Fred’s fault. (If it turns out they did, I get all the credit, of course.)

Your ingredients:

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It was while I was assembling the ingredients for this picture that I began swearing. I am TELLING you – am I EVER going to learn to read through the ingredients before I decide on a recipe? Would that be too much to ask? Because apparently it WOULD. Ingredients I didn’t have on hand and had to find substitutes for: white wine (I used chicken broth), white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar), and molasses (I used honey.)

What I’m saying is that I’m apparently one of those assholes who reviews a recipe by saying “I didn’t remotely make this recipe the way I was supposed to, and it didn’t come out the way it was supposed to, and IT IS ALL THE RECIPE’S FAULT.”

So your ingredients, basically: meat, cornstarch, soy sauce, and a bunch of other shit I’m not going to list here, because that’s what the recipe is for, and I’m too lazy to type it all out.

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Toss your meat with the cornstarch. I started out with my meat in a smaller container, but it didn’t allow for much meat movement, so I switched to a larger container, put the lid on it, and shook it all about. Thus dirtying two containers instead of one, is what I’m saying. Because I can’t get enough of DOING THE GODDAMNED DISHES. I live for it!

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Combine all the other non-meat, non-cornstarch ingredients in the crock pot and whisk them together.

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Put your meat in the crock pot, and stir it all together. Turn that shit on low and ignore it for 4 hours.

While you’re waiting, you could probably do all the goddamned dishes.

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“Don’t go down there. She’s doing dishes again.”

“AGAIN? How many dishes does she USE in a day?”

“She says it’s our fault. I didn’t tell her we’d eat off the floor if she’d let us and then she wouldn’t have to wash dishes. She didn’t seem like she’d be receptive to hearing that just now.”

“Humans are dumbasses.”

When it’s done, serve it over white rice (though I suspect brown rice would be good, too. If you’re into that sort of thing.)

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The verdict? You know, it was really pretty good – not GREAT, but certainly GOOD – the night I made it. The leftovers, however, weren’t so good. I don’t know. It was good but not so good that I’m inclined to make it again. How’s that for noncommittal and useless? I wasn’t a big fan, but YOU might be!


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!


Nance’s Take:

I pretty much never object to Robyn’s choices for DCEP recipes because the object of this site (besides cursing) was to force us to try new things. But I was ready to kill her when I printed out this recipe and actually read the ingredient list.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

Note: This motherfucking recipe rode in my purse for way too long.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

A visual of the things needed for this recipe that I did not have in my house. To say I was annoyed is an understatement.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

We’re teetotalers around here so I knew when I went to the liquor store* that I wanted to buy the cheapest white wine they had. Does Mad-Dog 20/20 come in a white? Of course we were jumped by a saleswoman from hell and I was ready to throttle Robyn when this dumb bitch decided to school me on cooking with wine. Really? Like I no idea that people actually cook with wine! Rick could do nothing but half-grin, half-grimace at me while I half-rolled my eyes and pointed to the cheapest thing on the shelf. Hence our four-pack of tiny pinot grigio bottles!

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

The package said Top Round London Broil. I have no idea if $3.99/lb is a good price or not.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

This is everything you need to make this recipe. I sincerely think the original recipe was the result of someone just dumping everything they found in their cupboards into the pot and hoping for a miracle.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

Some people can take a picture of themselves and look normal. And some people look like squinty, mouth-breathing simpletons. Guess which category I’m in. Ack! I was trying to show how big this knife is that Rick bought at a yard sale many years ago. It’s huge and fabulous.  You should also be jealous of my bedazzled shirt.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

Cuts right through it like butter. Here’s where I confess that I was going to use an electric knife because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to cutting meat. This is the very first time I have ever used this big knife and we have had it for years.  I should be ashamed about this fact, but see above bedazzled shirt.  I have no pride.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

This picture is kinda gross if you think about it too much.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

I put Shirley (aka:mom) to work getting the meat coated with corn starch.  And I took this picture to prove that I don’t lie when I say Shirley likes to wear her tube-tops with sweatpants. I drew the red-line to show where the tube-top ends and the sweatpants begin. I can’t figure out how she got the colors to match up like that. It’s amazing and horrifying all at the same time.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

I started measuring and dumping everything into the crockpot. If you don’t mind measuring and dumping a LOT of things, you’ll find this recipe pretty easy. If you do mind, you’re shit out of luck because there are a lot of things to get out, measure, and return to their proper place. I’m really just saying that this could be considered a work-out depending on the size of your kitchen and how much you swing your arms.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

I’m getting ready to whisk all that crap together.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

This is the only action shot I took.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

This is the point where I started to think about the pizza we were going to have to order for dinner. I really didn’t have much hope for this mess. At all.

Crockpot Mongolian Beef

It was delicious!  Great flavor, tender meat and just enough heat to make it interesting.  Every single person in the house (including the teenager) loved it so I know we’ll be having it again.

Robyn picked a winner!

*Pennsylvania is really behind the times when it comes to selling wine in grocery stores.  

Crockpot Mongolian Beef - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: Crocklandian
Serves: 4
  • 1½ pound flank steak or ball tip steak (if you can't find either of those, I'd give London Broil a try)
  • ¼ c cornstarch
  • ½ c soy sauce (low sodium or gluten-free)
  • ¼ c white wine (you can substitute chicken broth)
  • ¼ c cooking sherry
  • ½ T white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar if you don't have white wine vinegar on hand)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp molasses (or honey!)
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp dried onion
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • ½ T peanut butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  1. Slice the meat thinly and coat with cornstarch - discard any excess cornstarch.
  2. Put all the liquids, spices, peanut butter, garlic and scallions into the crock pot and whisk together. Add meat and stir to coat.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Serve over white or brown rice.

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