Homemade Pierogies

Pierogi ; also spelled perogi, pierogy, perogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, pyrogie, or pyrogy; are dumplings of unleavened dough – first boiled, then baked or fried usually in butter with onions.

I’m going to show you two ways of making cheese and potato pierogies. By hand and by using a simple Pierogi mold.  Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of the page.  I’m telling you now that I’m horrible with using detailed/technical terms about cooking.  I’m counting on everyone that tries this recipe to have had at least one home economics class under their belt (or spent some time in the kitchen with an aunt like I did).  You can use all different types of fillings (Google that shit), but around here we stick with the one we know and love.

Some quick points.

  • One person can make this, but it’s easier and faster if you make this recipe with someone.
  • Nobody makes pierogies for just one meal.  Have freezer bags handy because this recipe makes a lot. They freeze beautifully.
  • It’s not difficult, but it will take time.  I usually block out an afternoon when we make them.


Mix together the flour, margarine, salt and sour cream.  I use a pastry cutter because I’m fancy that way, but you can use a fork if you’re not a fancypants.


Hollow out the mixture and pour in the beaten eggs.  Add milk last.


DO NOT USE A MIXER. Use your hands. This is the part I hate, but it has to be done. Make sure you just mix it (don’t knead it)  – add flour as needed, but don’t go nuts.


When it’s all mixed together (so that it forms a nice ball) place a wet paper towel over it and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.


While the dough is resting make your mashed potatoes. If you’re using real mashed potatoes you should have them finished (with cheese added) before you start making the dough.


Mix the cheese in while the potatoes are still hot because you want it to melt.


Cheesey Potato Heaven.


Take a small amount of dough (leaving the rest covered with the wet paper towel) and roll it out.  Use a goblet (1970’s, baby) or another wide mouth glass/mug to cut out circles. Yes, I have a mess here. It happens.


Drop a heaping spoonful of the mashed potatoes in the middle of the dough.


Lightly brush water around the edges of the circle.


Fold over and pinch closed with a fork. Make sure they’re sealed or you’ll have a mess when you go to boil them.  When we make pierogies we usually lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper as we go.  Then we put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer.  Rumor has it this is called flash-freezing.  Heh.  After they’ve hardened up, put them in freezer bags and freeze until ready to make.  The following  steps are used whether you’re cooking them fresh or frozen.


In a skillet, fry sliced onions with butter.  You can skip the onions if you’re like me and just melt butter in the skillet.


Drop the pierogies into boiling water – they’ll float to the top when they are done. Strain.  You CANNOT skip the boiling step.


Add them to the skillet with the butter and onions. Again, you can skip the onion part if you want, but don’t skip frying them in the butter.


A favorite meal at our house.  These bad boys are Eastern European peasant food and I love them!

Using a pierogi mold is a helluva lot faster than doing them by hand.


Flour your mold. Roll your dough out a little bit bigger than the size of your mold.


Lay the dough over the mold.


Fill with the cheese/mashed potatoes. Brush water all around


Roll out another layer of dough and place it over the mashed potatoes in the mold.


Run your rolling pin over the mold.


Lift off the excess dough (which can be used again).


Turn the mold over and plop them out onto a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  Once the cookie sheet is filled up flash-freeze them.


I boiled these for lunch one day – straight from the freezer.


And it only took me a couple of minutes to fry them up.


And then I had a fabulous lunch. Did you notice how half of the pierogie is missing in this picture?  I couldn’t wait.

Pierogies re-heat in the microwave really well so don’t worry about making too many at one time (as if).

Homemade Pierogies
Original Source/Author:
: Dinner
Cuisine: Eastern European (peasant food)
Serves: A shit ton
  • Filling:
  • 8 cups mashed potatoes (already cooked instant or made with real potatoes)
  • 8 cups mild cheddar cheese (finely shredded)
  • Dough:
  • 6 cups flour
  • ½ stick (or ¼ cup) softened margarine
  • 1 pint (or 2 cups) sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 large eggs (slightly beaten)
  • ¼ cup milk
  1. Start by making the mashed potatoes first (instant or real). When finished make sure you have 8 cups. Add the shredded cheese to the mashed potatoes while they're still hot. Stir until melted. Set aside.
  2. Measure flour into a large bowl. Add margarine, sour cream, salt. Mix together with pastry cutter or fork. Form a hollow in the flour mixture and pour in eggs. Add milk. Mix together with hands. Add more flour if needed. Don't knead the dough (this isn't bread/pizza dough). When it's mixed well, cover with damp towel and rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Working with small sections of the dough, roll out flat and cut into circles using a wide mouth glass/mug (or use a pierogie mold - see above). Put a heaping spoonful of the mashed potato mixture in the center of the dough circle. Lightly brush with water and fold the circle in half. Pinch with fork to seal. Drop in boiling water until they float then fry in a skillet with butter and onions.
  4. Can also be flash-frozen and placed in freezer bags. Making frozen is the same - just drop in boiling water until they float and then fry.


Pierogi Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Pierogi Casserole. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The recipe was submitted by reader Jamie.

Robyn’s Take:

Jamie reports that she got the original recipe for this casserole from a cookbook her mother’s law office (in Canada) puts out every few years, but that she’s changed the original recipe a lot. When she submitted this recipe, I was all about trying it. Because guess who’s never actually HAD pierogies? That’s right, as far as I can recall, I’ve never had a single pierogi. I mean, Nance can apparently make them in her SLEEP, and I’ve visited her like 3,000 times, but has she ever actually made them for me? NO, SHE HAS NOT.

Why you hate me, Nance?

Anyway, when I actually got around to making the pierogi casserole, I was a little overwhelmed with all the different layers, but once I actually started doing it, it came together easily, and worked out like it was supposed to. Pretty much what it is, is a mashed potato/bacon/onion/cheese lasagna.

Your ingredients:

Pierogie Casserole (1)

Lasagna noodles (the ones you have to boil, not the oven-ready ones!), flavored instant potatoes, cut-up bacon, diced onion, minced garlic, shredded cheddar, cottage cheese, one egg, dried chives, green onions, and a package of Kraft dinner cheese powder.

Now, I don’t know if Kraft sells their cheese powder in a packet by itself, but I certainly couldn’t find that anywhere in the store, so I bought a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese, and just used the powder from the box.

First thing, boil your lasagna noodles.

Pierogie Casserole (2)

While that’s going on, fry the bacon, garlic, and yellow onion over medium heat until the onion is cooked through (about 8 – 10 minutes).

Pierogie Casserole (3)

And also, make your instant mashed potatoes.

Pierogie Casserole (5)

In another bowl, mix the egg and dried chives into the cottage cheese.

Pierogie Casserole (4)

When the lasagna noodles are done, drain them. I didn’t get a picture of it, but once they were drained, I set each noodle down, flat, on parchment paper on the counter, so that the noodles wouldn’t stick together.

Pierogie Casserole (6)

And when the bacon, garlic and onion are done cooking, add HALF of the mixture to the instant mashed potatoes, along with the powdered cheese.

Pierogie Casserole (7)

So, to sum up: before you start putting your casserole together, you have:

ONE bowl with cottage cheese/egg/chives mixed together.
ONE bowl with instant mashed potatoes/powdered cheese/half the bacon/onion/garlic mixture, mixed together.
Cooked lasagna noodles.
Half the bacon/onion/garlic mixture still in the pan.
And a packet of cheese over on the counter, minding its own business.

Grease a 9×13 pan (I used Pam), and cover the bottom with a layer of lasagna noodles.

Pierogie Casserole (8)

Spread 1/2 of the potato mixture on top of that.

Pierogie Casserole (9)

On top of that, another layer of noodles. Then the entire bowl of cottage cheese mixture on top of THAT, and the shredded cheddar on top of the cottage cheese.

Pierogie Casserole (10)

Another layer of noodles, the rest of the potatoes, and the last layer of noodles on top of that. Top the noodles with the rest of the bacon/garlic/onion mixture, and then sprinkle the chopped green onions on top of it all.

Pierogie Casserole (15)
Chef Tony says “This very complicated, lady.”

What it looked like before it went into the oven.

Pierogie Casserole (11)

And after it came out.

Pierogie Casserole (12)

I let it cool for 15 minutes, and then we ate.

Pierogie Casserole (13)

(Note: I didn’t have any sour cream on hand, but I think it would have only enhanced the experience.)

The verdict? It was good! Jamie referred to it as comfort food, and it very much was. Fred didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, but he ate it a couple of times, so he certainly didn’t HATE it.

The things I would do differently: I’d probably cut the lasagna noodles into smaller pieces because getting the pieces out of the pan was a pan. Also, next time I’ll use the herb and butter instant potatoes that Jamie suggested, because I got the roasted garlic ones, and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, all the vampires in a 30-mile radius turned and fled en masse. That was some garlicky-ass shit, right there. I mean, I love garlic, but I don’t love smelling it coming out of my pores for two days afterward, thanks.

In summation: two thumbs up from me, one and a half thumbs up from Fred, definitely comfort food, and I recommend it. Thanks for the submission, Jamie!

Pierogie Casserole (14)
“Once again, Chef Tony not get to eat ANY of it. Y’all are some onion-eating motherfuckers.”


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:

Truth Game:  I discussed this recipe with Robyn last week.  If by discussed you mean that I sent Robyn an email asking her if she actually followed this recipe. She replied that she had followed the recipe and I told her that was a good thing because I wasn’t going to.  Translation: I didn’t want to listen to the family bitch.

My happy ass knows some shit about pierogies. I grew up eating and making pierogies so I can’t be playing when it comes to these things. We take our pierogies as seriously as we take our football team and yunz know how we are about our Steelers!

We have on very rare occasions made up a pierogi casserole/lasagna, but the truth is, it’s not even close to eating real pierogies. It is, however, a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. Our recipe is very simple. Noodles, mashed potatoes, cheese.  Bake.
Pierogi Lasagna
My God, this babydoll is getting old! But I can still count on her to be in the middle of the kitchen floor when I have some cooking to do!
Pierogi Lasagna
I had good intentions when I started – that’s why I got the big pasta pot out. I took a picture before I noticed that I didn’t have much water in it.
Pierogi Lasagna
Turns out that it didn’t really matter since I only had a few lasagna noodles in my house. Sigh.
Pierogi Lasagna
I decided to use a bread pan in place of a casserole dish since I only had 5 motherfucking lasagna noodles.
Pierogi Lasagna
I sprayed the shit out of that bread pan with cooking spray because I didn’t want to clean up a mess. Then I threw one cooked noodle in there and slapped some potatoes in it.
Pierogi Lasagna
Spread the mashed potatoes all over the noodle and sprinkle with way too much cheese.
Pierogi Lasagna
Keep repeating until you hit the top.
Pierogi Lasagna
I baked it until my need to eat transcended my need to make it look good.
Pierogi Lasagna
I know this looks horrid and let me tell you why…
I willingly poured melted butter all over this shit because I lost my damn mind. The reason for the butter was because real pierogies are boiled and then fried in butter and onions.  I didn’t want to mess with onions, but I thought I would try just throwing some butter in there.  Don’t do that.  If you want to fry some onions in butter and layer them on top of the noodles go ahead.  Just don’t be a dumbass like me.

Between the melted butter and the greasy cheddar cheese this was probably the grossest thing I ever ate. Don’t do that. EVER. Pierogi Lasagna
You can barely see it, but even Sadie was giving me the side-eye.

Since I half-assed this recipe I promise that Shirley and I will take a day to make real pierogies and I’ll post it on DCEP.  This way everyone can know the joy that is stuffing your piehole with our family’s version of soul food.

Pierogi Casserole - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine: Polish Comfort Food
Serves: 12
  • 12 lasagna noodles (don't use oven-ready)
  • 2 packs of flavored instant potatoes
  • 8 slices of bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 pkg of Kraft dinner cheese powder (I used the packet of cheese from a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese)
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Boil the lasagna noodles according to directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, fry bacon, garlic and onion until the onion is transparent, about 8 - 10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, make both packages of instant mashed potatoes. Mix in powdered cheese and half of the bacon/onion/garlic mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix 1 egg and chives with the cottage cheese.
  6. Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of the baking dish.
  7. Top with ½ of the potato mixture.
  8. Add another layer of noodles.
  9. Spread with all of the cottage cheese mixture, and sprinkle with shredded cheddar.
  10. Add another layer of noodles.
  11. Top with the rest of the potato mixture.
  12. Add the last layer of noodles.
  13. Sprinkle the rest of the garlic/onion/bacon layer across the top, and top that with the sliced green onions.
  14. Cover with tin foil.
  15. Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  16. Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
  17. Serve with sour cream, if desired.


Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at The Coers Family.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by Jai. (We have so many reader-submitted recipes in the queue that for the time being we’re going to do reader-submitted recipes every week. That might change in the future, we’ll see how it goes.)

Your ingredientses:

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 1

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bacon, cream of chicken soup, Monterey Jack cheese, spiral pasta, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.

The first thing you need to do is make your bacon. Luckily, there’s a simple step-by-step instructional post on the easiest way to make bacon in the oven. You don’t have to make your bacon like that, if you don’t mind walking around with spatters of bacon all over your shirt front and tiny little burned-oil spots on your hands and arms, then you go on with your bad self and make your bacon on the stovetop. You could also make it in the microwave. Whatever works for you works for me. You do what you feel is right (even if it’s wrong.) No judgement here! Who am I, Amanda? As long as you don’t make me clean up the grease spatters, I don’t care how you make your bacon.

(But if you’re making your bacon in the oven, these cooling racks are perfect. I actually got that cooling rack as part of a package – a “value pack” – but I like that cooling rack way more than the stackable ones I’ve had forever and which are kind of flimsy. Also, what’s the point of having stackable cooling racks when you never actually stack them?)

While the bacon is cooking, chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 2

Raw chicken! Is there anything less appetizing? I don’t think so.

Also, at some point, make your pasta using the directions on the back of the box. I think I waited ’til the bacon was done to put the pot on, but then I was stuck waiting for the pasta to be done cooking. Kitchen timing: I suck at it.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 3

When your bacon is done, put it on paper towels to cool so that you don’t burn your fingers when you crumble it, and then dump all (or at least some) of the bacon fat from the cookie sheet you baked the bacon on, into a large skillet. Let it heat, and then toss your chicken in there.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 4

While the chicken is cooking, once your bacon has cooled, crumble it into smallish pieces. Try not to cram it all in your face instead, because then you won’t have it for the casserole and then everyone will be very very sad.

When the chicken is cooked through and your pasta is cooked and drained, then throw everything (chicken, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, cream of chicken soup, pasta) except the bacon and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack into the pot you used to make your pasta. Mix it together well.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 6

Once it’s well mixed, dump it into a 9×13″ baking dish, which you have already sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the top evenly with your crumbled bacon, and then top with your remaining 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 7

Bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown on the top. I might have let mine bake a little too long.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 8

While it’s cooling enough to be eaten, go snuggle with your resident ham-hog kitty.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 9
“I know you gots bacon in there.”

Annnnd then eat it.

Cheesy Chicken Bacon Bake 10

The verdict? I wasn’t crazy about it, and I don’t know why. I like all the components that went into it, but just didn’t really care for it all together. IT IS A MYSTERY. Fred said it best when he said that it was “Edible, but not memorable.” In other words, he’ll eat it if it’s put in front of him, but he’d never ever ask for it.

I won’t be making it again (and the way things usually go around here, Nance will be all “OMG BEST THING EVER, A++++!” Damn her.)


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:

Everybody in the house loved this recipe.  Oops…Spoiler!

Come on. We knew this recipe would not be a fail since it had bacon, cheese, chicken and pasta in it. My bitch was not with the taste, but the fact that your ass will be stuck in the kitchen for a while making it.  Casseroles are suppose to be EASY.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

You have to fry the bacon in a skillet. I didn’t do it because Shirley is the queen of frying bacon. Had Shirley not been around I would have used Robyn’s baken method. And if it would have messed up my stove I would have made Robyn fly up here and clean it. She needs to come visit anyway.  We’ve got things to talk about. Like how to avoid the fucking Food Blogging Illuminati and shit.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

This part upset me because I am trying to watch what I eat and damn, frying chicken up in bacon grease just got to me. Shirley didn’t drain the bacon grease out before she did this so those motherfuckers were deep fried in bacon grease. If I have a heart attack, MOM.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

My mother drives me ape-shit because she never uses the right tools when she’s cooking. Here she is frying chicken with a bowl scraper/spatula that you use for cake mixing and such. I have no idea how I learned to cook when I have a mother like this. Thank God for cable and cooking shows.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Shirley was handling the casserole because I was busy doing other things. Rick came home from a work trip with goodies! A massive amount of pretzels from a pretzel factory in Reading, Pa.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

I don’t have a banana for scale, but I do have the husband. That’s a lot of motherfucking pretzels, man! And oh my God, so freaking good.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

I suppose it should be noted that I once again over-cooked the pasta. Remember that kitchen trick where people say to throw spaghetti at the wall? WTF? I never understood it. If I threw food at the wall, Shirley would kick my ass. No throwing food, dammit.

I know those aren’t Rotini. I have 10,000 boxes of pasta back on my shelf and not one of them was Rotini (we call them springs).  I made an executive decision to USE WHAT I HAVE because The Beagle killed my money tree* this summer.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Here’s a little secret nobody knows about me. I have never crumbled bacon in my life. I have always used kitchen scissors. I cannot even fathom what crumbling bacon is like and I don’t want to find out.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Uh-oh, a cat creeping up on my bacon!  KILL IT.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

You throw everything into a bowl and mix it together. Shirley used her bowl scraper/spatula again. GAWD.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

And then you throw it into the casserole dish. That’s not hard at all.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Bacon and another freaking cup of cheese go on top.  Now toss that bad boy in the oven for 20 minutes.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Beagle is always appalled at how much bacon is wasted on The Humans. This picture was snapped while she was trying to get that bacon-creeping cat to play with her.  It did not end well and feelings were hurt.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

Everybody got really excited when this came out of the oven. Rick was especially excited because he loves it when the cheese gets brown. Yes, those are more bags of pretzels back there.  I wonder when I’ll start craving potato chips.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

It’s not a pretty dish, but it tasted really good (of course!). My problem is that this reminds me of a dish Pioneer Woman would make and that pretty much sums up why it’s not going into our rotation. It’s just too much for me to be comfortable serving on the regular.  My family drives me crazy, but I wanna keep them around for at least a little while longer.


* Vet bills are a bitch so I’ve been staying at home and window shopping via the Internet.  As I come across things that I think are interesting or unique, I’ll post them as an affiliate link here.  Robyn and I want beach mansions so feel free to shop till you drop, baby!  

Flexible measuring cups – They’re microwaveable (melting butter or cheese). And I love the idea of having control when I’m pouring something.  Okay, honestly.  I want these because I think they’ll be perfect to drizzle butter all over my popcorn. I really like popcorn.

This Breakfast Sandwich Maker is the shits!  I would totally get this for Trey if he would ever decide what he wants to do with his life.  Trade school, college…COME ON, man!  Perfect gift for that male (or female) that doesn’t have much of a clue in the kitchen.  I just think it’s neat.

If you’re making a sandwich without a spreader, you’re doing it wrong.  Look, I spent 40 years making sandwiches and smearing butter all over my toast with a butter knife and dammit, they are useless.  Get one of these and you’ll realize how pathetic your life really was before I told you what to do.  Make sure you buy two because you’re going to be pissed if one’s in the dishwasher when you’re wanting to make a sandwich.

Chop and Drop Silicone Cutting Boards.  Where have you been all of my life? God, I’ve had Shirley dropping raw chicken all over my hands while trying to put it in freezer bags for years.  I had no idea, but you can bet your ass I’m asking Santa for this.

Bwahaha.  The Squatty Potty.  Robyn told me about this one because we both listen to Keith and the Girl and The Girl talks about how she uses a waste basket to lift her feet up when she goes to the bathroom.  And this is where you have to ask yourself the most important question of all.  Do you throw your pride out the window in order to take a better shit?   Hmm.  What Would DCEP Do?


Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: Casserolandia
Serves: 8
  • 4 - 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 16 oz dried spiral pasta
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook bacon. While the bacon is cooking, cut chicken into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. When the bacon is done cooking, set aside to cool. When bacon is cool, crumble it into small pieces.
  3. Cook the cut-up chicken in bacon drippings (if you made your bacon in the oven, just dump the grease from the baking pan into a large skillet.)
  4. Add garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to the directions on the back of the box.
  6. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in.
  7. Add chicken, both cans of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of cheese. Stir together well.
  8. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray; pour chicken mixture into dish. Top with crumbled bacon and then with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top.


Oven Baked Hot Dogs

The recipe that Robyn and I both made will be posted later this week. The following entry is one that I made specifically for when our tandem post wouldn’t be uploaded on time.  And yes, it’s all my fault, as usual. Shirley’s having some out-patient procedures done today and I forgot that she wouldn’t be able to eat anything on Sunday. So I’m waiting to make our recipe later in the week when she’s able to taste-test for me. Rick’s going out of town, too. Should I be nervous that all of the people that I force to eat this stuff are suddenly bailing? – nance

Baked Chili Hotdogs

This particular recipe kept showing up on my mother’s Facebook feed and I finally decided to try it just to shut her up about it. Hot dogs, placed inside their buns, and baked in a casserole dish with a bunch of shit on them. Oookay. The recipe is from a facebook page called Food And Everything Else.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

You start out by taking a hot dog bun and putting mayonnaise on it. Some people have a preference when it comes to their mayo. As you can see, I stand by Hellmann’s.  Y’all can use what you like, I’m not going to judge.  I just like how it makes my egg salad turn out.  Not that I make a lot of egg salad, but when I do make it I like it with Hellmann’s.  Isn’t this a good thing to know? How Nance likes to make her egg salad when she decides to make it every 8 months?  I know, right?  IMPORTANT information right there.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

I decided that I was going to do it exactly like the recipe says so I proceeded to put everything on that damn hot dog bun even if it was something that I felt didn’t belong there (mayonnaise, I’m looking at you).

Baked Chili Hotdogs

Please note that I couldn’t even make one of these without making a mess. Something died inside of me when I saw that glob on my casserole dish.  I used bun-size hot dogs because I quit buying those short ones that were 10 to a pack when I could only find 8-pack hot dog buns.  8 hot dogs, 8 hot dog buns.  It’s the right thing to do.  Spell check is insisting that the word is not hotdogs.  This is making me very nervous.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

With all the condiments all over the buns I had hot dogs flying up out of there when I tried to squeeze them all in the casserole dish. I used the backside of a spoon to push the hot dogs back down into the buns.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

We had been in Ohio and since we knew we were going to be making these over the weekend we just got our chili from the Hotdog Shoppe.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

It’s right about at this point when I started to realize that I was wasting a whole lot of time making motherfucking chili hot dogs in a casserole dish.Baked Chili Hotdogs

I’m so over it.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

As much as I like sharp cheddar cheese, I needed to slip some good ol’ American cheese pieces in there for creaminess.  I have no idea why.  It just seemed like the right thing to do.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven.  Eh.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

The best photo I could get of the whole damn thing after it was plated.  I just love being a pretentious asshole that uses the word “plated” in a blog.

Baked Chili Hotdogs

The truth.

I’m noticing more and more that people are passing around the most ridiculous recipes on Facebook and it seems like for every 5 recipes “shared” only 1 of them will turn out like expected.   You know what I did up there?  I wasted a LOT of time to make a chili hot dog with cheese.  Just the construction of the damn casserole was a time-suck.  And for what?  To eat your damn hot dog with a fork!

I’ll pass.  And you probably should, too.

Oven Baked Hot Dogs
Original Source/Author:
: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: It's hot dogs, for chrissakes!
Serves: 8, I suppose
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 1 can of chili
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • cheddar cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • sweet relish
  1. Line inside of hot dog buns with mayonnaise and sweet relish. (I know this sounds crazy, but the mayo did something magical to the bread! It stayed super soft and yummy!)
  2. Evenly add mustard (I added ketchup too). Fill with hot dogs and squish into a 13×9″ baking pan.
  3. Top hot dogs with chili, cheese, and diced onion. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove from the pan with a spatula. —


Red Lobster® Cheese Biscuits in a Loaf Pan – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits in a Loaf Pan. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at iVillage.com

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I ran across it on Pinterest and knew I had to make it, because who doesn’t love the HELL out of those little cheese biscuits from Red Lobster? And doesn’t it sound way easier to throw it in a loaf pan and bake it than making biscuits? It totally does.

(Amanda is sniffing in disdain right now and saying “Chain restaurants. Well, of course YOU PEOPLE eat at chain restaurants.”)

Your ingredients:

ChzBread (1)

Milk, flour, chunks o’ cheddar, sour cream, salt, pepper, cayenne, baking powder. Not shown: melted butter.

Throw all your dry ingredients into a big bowl and whisk ’em all together.

ChzBread (2)

Then toss your cheese chunks in the bowl and coat them with the flour and other dry ingredients. This somehow helps to prevent the cheese from sinking. You don’t want all your cheese to sink to the bottom of the bread, do you? No, you don’t.

ChzBread (4)

In a different bowl, mix all your wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, egg) together.

ChzBread (5)

Throw all your wet ingredients in with your dry ingredients and mix well.

ChzBread (6)

Toss it all into a loaf pan. The recipe said to “oil” the loaf pan, which I did. I recommend you use Baker’s Joy instead.

ChzBread (7)

Bake that shit, and take a kitten break while it’s baking.

ChzBread (3)

This is Kate and one of her five kittens, Aslan. He’s well past the age of needing to nurse, but that doesn’t stop him from harassing his mother 75 times a day. Sometimes she bunny kicks him in the head, and sometimes she gives in. Hope springs eternal for little Aslan.

This is what my loaf of bread looked like when it came out of the oven.

ChzBread (8)

It barfed up some of the cheddar – but hey, at least the cheddar didn’t all sink to the bottom of the loaf, amiright?

When I went to remove it from the pan, it stuck at the bottom. Because I oiled it instead of using the stupid Baker’s Joy.

ChzBread (9)

On the up side, I was able to pull that chunk out of the pan and see how the bread was instead of having to wait for the loaf to cool. DAMN it was good.

This is what a loaf of bread looks like when its cooling on a wire rack. Fascinating, no?

ChzBread (10)

Then I had a brain storm (or an aneurysm, you decide). “This loaf of bread totally needs to be brushed with melted butter with garlic salt mixed in it!” I told Fred. He concurred. I said “You come mix the garlic salt in with the butter, and I’ll brush it on the bread!”

I cleaned up the dishes in the sink while Fred melted the butter and added the garlic salt. He tasted it. “This needs more!” He tasted it again. “The garlic taste just really isn’t coming through!” Finally, he’d added enough garlic salt that the butter met with his approval. I got out the pastry brush and brushed the butter on the bread.

ChzBread (12)

“Let’s eat!” I said. I sliced the bread.

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I took a big bite of a piece of bread.

And it was like a goddamned salt lick. Deer were crashing through the door and elbowing me out of the way to get at that shit. As it turned out, my brain surgeon of a brilliant husband was DUMPING garlic salt into the butter, the garlic salt was sinking to the bottom of the bowl, and then he was tasting the melted butter from the top of the bowl without mixing the garlic salt into what he was tasting. It was fucking VILE.

We ended up cutting the top and sides off the bread and ate what was left, but the spell was broken. He totally ruined it. He’s never allowed in my kitchen again. Fucker.

Seriously, that stuff was good. I recommend it. Just don’t let Fred help out in your kitchen.


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Nance’s Take:

Truth Game: I have never been inside a Red Lobster® restaurant (I don’t like seafood). I have no idea what their cheese biscuits taste like and I have no intention of ever finding out. I have heard a lot of people rave about how good they are and I almost bought their official boxed mix (heads-up, affiliate link).  The reason I didn’t buy it? Because The Olive Garden® restaurant tricked me into buying two bottles of their salad dressing and it sucked.  It was so awful that it made me paranoid about buying those kind of branded items. Okay, MORE paranoid. Whatevs.  If one of you guys buy it…

1.  Use the affiliate link.  Ha!

2.  Tell us all about it!

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

There are many people that take issue with a lot of different things (Amanda). This recipe annoyed me when I saw that it said to “oil” the pan. Should my dumb ass be wiping the pan with an oil-soaked paper towel or could I just “grease” the pan with Crisco® like God intended? I had a flashback of 11-year-old Nance using vegetable oil and her fingers to prepare a cake pan.  And I was flouring that mess, too. There was a good reason for Home Economics to be taught in school, people.  And thank Christ I was forced to take it in 7th grade!

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

After the greasing and oiling issue I started to wonder if there are people out there that don’t know you have to level your flour when you measure it. Something so simple, yet really important.

Well, now you know. Level that shit.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

I don’t think I would have this in my cupboard if it weren’t for DCEP. I have always used cayenne flakes. And no lie, I would use a mortal/pestle thing to grind it up. What rock have I been living under? Sheesh.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

I didn’t even taste the cayenne powder in the biscuit, but Rick says you could. So take that however you want to because I don’t have a clue.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

Felina really, really wants to be a part of the action. But she does not fit in with my artistic ideal so tough shit, little dog.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

Demon cat be snorting that cayenne and exorcising like Linda Blair.  Heh.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

Shh…this is the whisk that came with Shirley’s (aka:mom) special stainless steel pan set. I’m totally using it behind her back.  Hi, mom.  You should probably find a new hiding place.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

Half of 8 ounces is 4 ounces which is equal to the amount this recipe requires. I genius!
(Shout-out to Shelleyness – who I always think of whenever I use a Ziploc® Bag).

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

I cut the cheese (hee!) into ¼” cubes. Or what I thought ¼” cubes might look like. I sure as hell wasn’t going to measure them.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

Action shot with Polish Pottery!

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

This is kinda gross, huh? And I need my ass kicked for trying to pour a too full bowl like that into another bowl. I got lucky this time, normally I would have had to clean up a huge mess.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

This is me not over-stirring.

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuit in a Loaf Pan

Color me un-impressed. It tasted okay. But cutting the biscuit loaf was a pain in the ass. Crumbs everywhere. It was also a pain in the ass to eat because hunks would break off when you lifted it. Ugh.  Too much hassle/mess for me to bother with it again.  I’ll pass.


Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits in a Loaf Pan - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: appetizer, side dish
Cuisine: German
Serves: 12
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 1¼ c milk
  • ¾ c sour cream
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, cayenne and black pepper. Add cheese cubes and stir until covered in flour mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, sour cream, melted butter, and egg. Stir the wet mixture into the flour and cheese mixture until just combined.
  4. Spread dough in your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Allow to cool for one hour before slicing and serving.

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Cheese and Crackers – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe is a favorite of both Nance and I – and we each have our own version. Nance thinks hers is the best, but she’s obviously nuts because Robyn’s is the best. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

I don’t know where I found this recipe, but one thing is certain: I’ve changed it enough over time to make it ALL MINE. I should copyright it. Hell, I should get some sort of award for this easy, versatile, EASY, tasty, EASY EASY AND DID I MENTION EASY recipe. So I’m copyrighting it and I’m trademarking it and I’m attaching the baddest of the bad-ass kittens to it, so that if you DARE to serve it without giving credit to ME, this kitten will track you down and kick your ass.

“Motherfucker, I not messing. I fuck you UP. You see these claws?”

Do we understand each other? Yeah, yeah, TRY to act all nonchalant. You know you’re scared.

Okay, then. Moving on.

The ingredients:

2013-04-01-DCEP (1)

That’s goddamn right: I got all FANCY BITCH on your ass. I got the NAME BRAND Ritz crackers, and if that wasn’t enough, I got the Cracker Barrel brand SUPER sharp white cheddar. But if you’re a cheap motherfucker (as I usually am; I just wanted to impress you this time around. Store brand shit for the next recipe, I promise.) you can go with the store brand crackers and cheese. Or if Ritzeseses are not your preferred cracker, use whatever cracker you prefer. Are you one of those Triscuit-loving hippies? Get you some Triscuits. Do I look like I care?

“That crazy bitch not care.”

So get your crackers. And your cheese. Open the box of crackers. Take out a sleeve of crackers, open the sleeve, and place your crackers on the serving plate of your choice. I’m just going with a simple Fiesta dinner plate here, because I was such a fancy bitch with the fancy crackers and cheese that I didn’t want you to think I was a TOTAL hoity-toit.

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IMPORTANT: Place your crackers carefully on the plate, one by one. If a few of them don’t make it all the way to the plate because you’ve crammed them in your face, well, I’m not telling anyone.

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ACTION SHOT: Crackers, being placed on plate!

You can use more than one plate, and you can use as many crackers as you have cheese for. It’s your party, not mine. But keep this in mind: I recommend AT LEAST seven crackers with cheese per person. It won’t be enough, everyone will wish they had more, but leave ’em wanting more is what I say.

Now. Remove your cheese from its wrapper. Cut cheese approximately 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. This is a FORGIVING recipe and it’s – perhaps I mentioned? – EASY, so if you cut your cheese (snicker) a little too thick or too thin, it’s OKAY. The cops aren’t going to bust down your door and arrest you for cutting the cheese (snort) too thickly or too thinly. Cutting the cheese (titter) to your preferred thickness is one of your inalienable rights – it is IN THE CONSTITUTION right below the right to snorgle kitten bellies when they are presented to you –

“CAREFUL snorgleation must be performed or I MESS YOU UP.”

so GIRRRRRRL, you cut that damn cheese (chuckle) however you want.

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Continue cutting the cheese (giggle) until you have one slice of cheese for each cracker.

NOW. This is VERY important. I was smart and thought ahead, and bought the cheese that’s the perfect height and width to fit upon my crackers. If you were dumb, and you bought the cheese that’s too tall, then you’re going to have to trim the cheese to fit your crackers. You’re on your own there, dummy. I GUESS NEXT TIME YOU’LL THINK AHEAD.

2013-04-01-DCEP (5)

Okay, once you have a slice of cheese for each cracker (important tip: if you have too many slices, eat the extra slices. If you don’t have enough, cut some more slices. I know, right? So obvious, and yet you never would have known if I hadn’t just told you! How the hell do you get dressed in the morning without me here to give you instructions?), place one – ONE – slice of cheese upon each cracker.

Like such:

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And also:

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I’m sorry, do you SEE how perfectly I did that? Have you ever seen such perfection in your entire life?

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To recap: ONE slice of cheese PER CRACKER. Not HALF a slice per cracker. Not THREE slices per cracker. ONE.

Look, I know you’re blown away by this recipe. So simple and yet so complicated. You’re wondering to yourself, “HOW did she come up with this AMAZING recipe? BRILLIANT!” And yes, so brilliant. So simple. So complicated. I am a genius.

I know you’re probably also saying to yourself “Cheese on crackers is such an AMAZING taste sensation. I wonder if I could improve upon it?”

You cannot. You might be TEMPTED to. If you are MY HUSBAND, you’re probably already thinking wildly about ways to improve upon this recipe. “I’ll add slices of pepperoni! I’ll add a sprinkle of onion! Garlic powder! THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER.”

RESIST. Because unless you follow this recipe exactly as instructed, it is JUST WRONG, and I will send out The Enforcer to take care of you, post-haste.

“You: dead meat.”

Also, if you’ve made your cheese and crackers, you might be tempted to start eating them immediately. You are HUNGRY, and making this delicious delicacy was ARDUOUS, but nay. Eating has to wait: first, you’ve got to clean up your mess.

Scrunch the end of the cracker wrapper together. You could even tie a twist tie around if you want to, but let’s not get crazy.

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Put the partial sleeve of crackers back in the box.

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And then put the box away.

For the cheese, a sandwich bag will do. Plastic wrap would work as well, but let’s not get all crazy up in this kitchen. Make sure you label the cheese so that you know exactly what you’ve got. Put it in the cheese drawer of the fridge so that you can make this wonderful and amazing recipe again, the sooner the better.

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Now take your plate of cheese and crackers, sit down, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You deserve it!

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And remember: You follow this recipe exactly, it’ll be an instant favorite. Everyone will request the DCEP Crackers and Cheese at EVERY gathering. But if you deviate from the recipe even one tiny little iota…

“De Enforcer will mess you up for reals, motherfuckers.”

Cheese & Crackers

Cheese and Crackers - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: Appetizer, hors d'oeuvre
Cuisine: French?
Serves: 75
  • Crackers (I prefer Ritz; you use whatever you want)
  • Cheese (I like sharp cheddar. Go with what you prefer, weirdo.)
  1. Cut cheese. Put on cracker. Eat.
  2. Happy April 1st, Fools.



Pepperoni Pasta Bake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Pepperoni Pasta Bake, found over at BlogChef.net. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and by “my choice”, I mean “Fred sent me the link to this recipe and asked me to make it.” It looked interesting – and certainly easier than making real pizza from scratch – so I was willing to give it a try. And because it’s so much like pizza, I’ve been calling it “Pizza Casserole” ever since. Imagine my surprise when I realized it had a different name altogether. Duh.


Pizza Casserole (1)

Rotini pasta (uncooked), Italian sausage (I used some of the sausage I had in the freezer from our very own pigs), pasta sauce, cottage cheese, sliced black olives, mozzarella, sliced pepperoni. In addition, I added onion and mushrooms, because that’s how we like our pizza. Garlic would have been a tasty addition, too.

Preheat your oven, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, and toss your sausage (and chopped onion, if you’re using it) into a skillet over med-high heat.

Pizza Casserole (2)

Pizza Casserole (5)

When the water’s boiling, add your pasta to the water (please note: wooden spoon across the top to stop the water from boiling over. Doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me. Maybe I’m magic.) Boil the pasta for 8 – 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, and keep an eye on/occasionally stir your browning sausage/onion mixture.

Because you’re trying to multi-task, the pasta and the sausage/onion mixture will probably be done at the exact same moment. Drain your pasta first; the sausage can wait.

Pizza Casserole (4)

In a large bowl, mix your (drained) pasta, your (drained) sausage/onion mixture, and your pasta sauce.

Pizza Casserole (3)

In another bowl, mix your cottage cheese, sliced black olive, and mozzarella. This is where I added my (drained) sliced mushrooms.

Put your pasta mixture in a greased 9×13 pan, and then top it with the cheese mixture.

Pizza Casserole (7)

Pizza Casserole (8)

And then top THAT with pepperoni slices. This was a LOT of pepperoni, and I ended up using only about 3/4 of the 6-ounce bag of pepperoni.

Pizza Casserole (9)

Bake that shit for 25 minutes. This is just enough time to go upstairs and snorgle….

Pizza Casserole (12)
Kitten ears and bellies! (Yes, that’s a completely gratuitous kitten picture. Whatcha gonna do about it?)

This is what my pepperoni pasta bake looked like when it was done:

Pizza Casserole (10)

Yeah. Still haven’t gotten the hang of food photography yet.

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The verdict? To me, it was just “meh.” Fred, however, loved the hell out of it. He took the leftover casserole to work for lunches, and every single day he came home and told me how good it was. I’ll make it in the future for him, but I’m not interested in eating any of it myself; it just wasn’t my thing.

The good thing about this recipe is that it’s pretty flexible – if you prefer ground beef to sausage, or half ground beef and half sausage, that’ll work. If you like your pizza with anchovies, by god go right ahead and toss some anchovies in there. The sky’s the limit!


Nance’s Take:

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

I don’t know about you guys, but something dies inside of me every single time I find myself boiling pasta. My mother’s favorite meal is spaghetti and since it’s one of the cheapest meals you can make we had it often when I was growing up. That’s also why I’m always amazed when I see spaghetti on a menu in a restaurant.  Who would want something that they could eat at home?  Blech.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

This recipe was pretty simple. Cook your pasta, cook your sausage (yuck), throw the shit together, move it along, etc., etc.

True Confession:  Rick and I are pretty fond of having dance parties when we’re alone in the house.  We’ve been doing it since we met and we’ll probably keep doing it until one of us breaks a hip.  This dish was prepared in the middle of an 80’s dance party (we switch it up all the time, oldies, top 40, whatever).  And now you know a secret about us that very few people know.  We like to bust a move while cooking.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

In Pennsylvania it’s okay to wear a sweatshirt with snowflakes on it after the first day of spring because tomorrow we’re supposed to be getting 3-6 inches of snow. My point is made.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

There are no words for how much I love Ragu™. I once read an article about how certain food makers are allowed so many pieces of flies and shit to get into their product. Did this stop me from eating Ragu™? OHHELLNO. And that, my friends, should tell you how much I love Ragu™.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Action shot! Yup, I sure did over-cook that Rotini. I swear it is because of the ADD. I get bored waiting for it to be al dente, walk away and then BAM…too late.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Another action shot. I’m already not into this dish because of the sausage. I’m just not a fan. Although once a year I do love a good hot sausage sandwich with onions and peppers. Weird.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

When you pour spaghetti sauce out of the jar, do you rinse it out with a little bit of water and then pour that back into the sauce? Shirley does that and it drives me batshit. She fucking thins the Ragu™ all in the name of making sure she isn’t being wasteful. I don’t do that shit, man. That’s crazy.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

When I color with crayons (which I haven’t done in 40 years) I like to stay in the lines. You can just imagine what this did to a Type-A like me.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

I was starting to get pissed here because shit was getting messy.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Rick takes a photo of my thoughts on cottage cheese.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Oh, look. It’s time to eat some of satan’s bed sores.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

This is just not looking good, man.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

This picture reminds me of that coconut cake we made a while back. If only.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

I used the handle of the spoon so that none of it could taint my cooking utensils. Rick just laughed because he knows.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

I tried to sink them so that it would be like the actual recipe (that said to mix that hot mess in with the cottage cheese/mozzarella mixture).

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

You can see that I only did a quarter of it with olives. And then I tried to cover it up with pepperoni so that none of the smell would seep into my oven much. Gag.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

We put some in a bowl to try it when it was done.

DCEP - Pepperoni Pasta Bake

This one is not going into the recipe book, but to be fair, it’s probably because we’re not fans of cottage cheese (although I use it in my lasagna). The amount of cottage cheese required by this recipe pretty much sealed the deal that we weren’t going to care for it.  But if you love cottage cheese and olives this might be the recipe for you.  You can try it out if you want to come over and dig it out of my garbage can!

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Pepperoni Pasta Bake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: Casserole
Cuisine: Italianish
Serves: 8
  • 16 oz pkg uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 16 oz jar of pasta sauce
  • 24 oz cottage cheese
  • 2.25 oz can sliced black olives (drained)
  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella
  • 6 oz sliced pepperoni
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13" casserole dish.
  3. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add the pasta to the pot and follow directions on the box to get al dente pasta (usually 8 - 10 minutes). Drain.
  4. In a medium skillet over med-high heat, cook the sausage until brown. Drain.
  5. In the prepared casserole dish (or a large bowl) mix the cooked pasta, sausage, and pasta sauce (then pour into casserole dish and spread evenly).
  6. In a medium bowl mix cottage cheese, sliced black olives, and mozzarella. Spoon the cheese mixture over the pasta mixture. Top with pepperoni slices.
  7. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.


Zucchini Tots

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year – the time where you have to keep your car locked at all times lest someone sneak a bag of zucchini inside, and then you’ll be stuck with what to doooooo with it. Actually, zucchini is my favorite summer squash, and I think it’s the most versatile. It’s not as seedy as crookneck squash, so you don’t have to worry about people (FRED) complaining about how many seeds there are. Also, they grow HUGE if you leave them, and all that zucchini flesh can be shredded, frozen, and thrown into casseroles, stews, and the like, year-round.

So when I wandered across this recipe at The Two Bite Club, I was all “Yes, please!”

Please note, you need a mini muffin tin for this recipe. I really and truly think that you could make fritters from this and bake them on a cookie sheet in the oven, but I haven’t done that, so I don’t have exact instructions for you. (If you give that a try, let me know how long you baked them for, and I’ll add it to this recipe.)

The ingredients:

ZucchiniTots (1)

Grated zucchini, egg, diced onion, grated sharp cheddar, dry breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. (Salt and pepper not pictured; they’re shy.)

Once you have the zucchini grated (I use my food processor to do that), put it in a clean dish towel and squeeze as much of the water out of the zucchini as you can. There’s not a picture of this, because I needed both hands to do the squeezing, and Fred wasn’t around. Also, the cats are terribly photographers. I’m sorry, kitties, but it’s true.

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“Inspector Stompers would like to invite you to go eff yourself. Stompers is highly in-demand photographer and you are just jealous.”

ZucchiniTots (2)

Put all your ingredients into a bowl and mix ’em together.

ZucchiniTots (3)

Spray your mini muffin tin with cooking spray. This recipe makes 12-ish tots, but I’ve gotten more and I’ve gotten fewer, so I’d recommend spraying 10 cups to start with, because you can always spray more as you need to. Or I guess you could always wipe the spray out of the tins that aren’t filled before you put it in the oven. (I just thought of that option, obviously.)

ZucchiniTots (4)

(You can tell that I bought this mini muffin tin specifically for this recipe, because it doesn’t look like crap.) Fill each cup to the top, pushing down on the filling with your spoon to compact it so they don’t fall apart when you take them out.

ZucchiniTots (5)

Bake 15 – 18 minutes in a 400ºF oven. When the top is starting to brown, they’re done.

ZucchiniTots (6)

These are really, really good, they’re easy, and they’re just as good the next day, warmed in the microwave.

I’ve made these probably 10 times since I found the recipe, and they were really good every time. One time I wasn’t paying attention, and I’d gotten it into my head that the recipe called for two cups of shredded zucchini rather than one. They still came out just fine, but they were softer, and in fact Fred prefers them made with two cups (and also, you use up more zucchini that way, yay!)

Zucchini Tots
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: appetizer, side dish, snack
Serves: 12
  • 1 c. zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ of an onion, diced (I used an entire small onion because we love onions)
  • ¼ c. sharp cheddar, grated (any kind of cheese will work)
  • ¼ c. dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Grate the zucchini, place in a clean dish towel, and wring as much water out as you can (it won't be much).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Fill each muffin section to the top, pushing down on the filling with a spoon so it's compacted.
  5. Bake 15 - 18 minutes. When the top is starting to turn golden brown, they're done.
I've made these with 2 c. zucchini instead of 1, and they were really good, just softer than the ones made with 1 c.


Baked Cheese Sticks – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Baked Cheese Sticks, found over at Mmm…Cafe. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and I have to confess that it’s been sitting in my pile o’ recipes (I see recipes I think I might like to try, and I print them out and keep them in a stack and that stack is about 300 feet high at this time), and I thought it was something Nance might want to try. Also, who doesn’t like cheese sticks? But not only are these cheese sticks, they’re BAKED cheese sticks, which I am pretty sure means eating one is like eating a salad AND a bowl of fruit, nutrition-wise.

The ingredients:

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Won ton wrappers, cheese sticks, olive oil (I’m using my olive oil mister), salt.

Place three won ton wrappers diagonally on top of each other (see pic below), and place your cheese stick in the middle.

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Moisten all edges with water:

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Fold the end wrapper over the end of the cheese stick, and then alternate folding sides over the cheese, like such:

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(Hmm. Not exactly alternating, am I?)

Then fold the end and the last two sides over:

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Place each one on a baking sheet (no comments about how stained my cookie sheet is. It’s CLEANED, it’s just STAINED and you just shaddup.) They look like little cheese mummies laying there.

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The directions call for brushing the tops with olive oil; I used my mister. Then sprinkled with salt.

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Bake for 15 minutes, then turn and bake another 5. Well, THAT’s easy enough, right? Bake little cheese sticks, bake.

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Well, fuck. It appears that the cheese has melted out of all the FUCKING won ton wrappers. But undeterred, I turned the damn things over and gave them another five minutes.

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Yep. Those look super yummy, don’t they?

Serve with marinara sauce!

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Miz Poo was not impressed.

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I ate part of one and didn’t care for it – it was chewy and there was less cheese in it than I would have liked SINCE THE CHEESE HAD MELTED OUT ALL OVER THE BAKING SHEET. Fred was no fan, either. Where’d I mess up? I don’t know – maybe I didn’t use enough water, and maybe the won ton wrappers didn’t seal like they should have. Maybe I’m an idiot. Who knows? What I do know is that it was a big fat FAIL, and hopefully Nance had better luck with it than I did!

Nance’s take:

When Robyn sent me this recipe you should have already known that my fat ass was going to agree to it. Baked cheese sticks. Cheese sticks that could maybe be healthy and I could justify eating the shit outta them? I’m in! And then I read the fucking ingredient list. Fucking wontons. The hell? I don’t like wontons. I just don’t. That’s not true. I like them when a restaurant cooks them and they’re being used for what they’re supposed to be used for (like wonton soup). But I have never liked anything that I made with them. One day I will regal you with my tale of woe concerning wontons and the making of lasagna cups. That story will go down in history as the biggest waste of good food and money that has ever happened in my lifetime. You should never mess around with the wontons, man. Trust me.


I have to admit that there have been a few (very few, ahem) times that I have been wrong before so I went into this with a semi-open mind. But for the record I would like you to note that there is no wording on that package that says they would be great for cheese sticks. Just saying!


This, my friends, is called optimism. I had faith in this recipe because I assumed Robyn had half a clue about what she was doing when she sent it my way. I had big plans with this platter and condiment cups. BIG PLANS.


I laid out the stupid wontons and did what the recipe said to do. Well.  Honesty would dictate that I really went and tracked down the recipe web site to see if I could get some visual clues because I got tired of reading and re-reading the directions to figure out the proper way to wrap those bitches.


The red bowl in the back may or may not be the bowl that I fill up with water every morning because Maddy the Cat requires me to do it BEFORE I pour my own coffee. Yeah, come on over to my house! We have Cats!  Whee!


No idea what the fuck I was doing.


I was a little heavy handed with the olive oil, but only because I was having flashbacks from my wonton lasagna cups.


Lame attempt at artistic photography where you can see that I am very good at salting aluminum foil. Be jealous of my mad skills.


Oh, look! It’s way more optimism! Yellow mustard (my personal favorite), brown mustard (second favorite) and marinara in the middle (no reason for it ever, but I was trying to be nice to the husband).


Get a load of this shit.

The husband was in hog heaven because cheese that has spilled over (out?) and turned brown is what he considers fine dining. He happily peeled his cheese from the foil and went to town on it.

My mom (tube-top at high alert) refused to try it as it contained string cheese and according to Shirley (direct quote), “That’s the shit that will choke you!”

The kid and I attempted to gnaw on our empty, oiled up and baked wontons that had no cheese inside. Have you ever chewed on a tire? What? You wouldn’t want to chew on an automobile wheel? Well, I suppose we have our answer then.

This recipe will be buried right beside the wonton lasagna recipe.  May it rest in peace.

Baked Cheese Sticks - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: appetizer, snack
Serves: 10
  • 10 cheese sticks
  • 30 won ton wrappers
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  1. Stagger 3 won ton wrappers diagonally on top of one another.
  2. Place a piece of string cheese in the middle of the wrappers.
  3. Moisten all edges with water.
  4. Fold end corner of wrapper over cheese. Alternate folding sides toward center over cheese. Finish by folding the far end of the wrapper over cheese, and fold sides over top.
  5. Brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn cheese sticks over and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with marinara sauce.


Doritos® Cheesy Chicken Casserole – Robyn & Nance try a new recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Doritos® Cheesy Chicken Casserole found over at Plain Chicken. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Nance’s take:  I picked this recipe because I am a sucker for an all-in-one casserole meal.  And because I was curious to see what a meal that included an entire bag of Doritos® would taste like.  Certain fatties in my family (I’m looking at you, mom and Rick) were all excited to see how this was going to turn out.  Please note that I did not include myself in the whole fatty remark.  Ha!  I am such a pretentious asshole.  I was all up in that shit, too.


The recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked chicken. You might not be able to tell it here, but these are HUGE chicken breasts.


It didn’t say anything about salt and pepper, but I cannot even look at unseasoned chicken for some reason. Does anybody remember the fad diet in the late 80’s in which you had to eat nothing but boiled (yes, BOILED) chicken 3 times a day? I can’t remember what it was called, but of course I tried it. And, of course, I did not lose weight. Probably because by the second day I was gagging at the sight of boiled unseasoned chicken. Please note the well placed arrow pointing out where I cut into the thickest part of the chicken to make sure it was done. I am the queen of over-cooking meat (think petrified) so I’m forcing myself to get better at checking it instead of just over-cooking it.


This was supposed to be an action shot, but I had a helluva time holding the bag of Doritos® while taking a picture at the same time.  My left hand doesn’t work for shit.


Ugh!  This is going to take all freaking day!


And then they all came flying out because that is how my life works. Sigh.


I’ll be honest here. I was very, very unsure as to whether or not this sour cream was okay to use. My general rule is this: Sour cream is okay to use the first day you open it and then the very next day. After that, it should be thrown away. Seriously. That’s what my rule is because I am a freak about spoiled food. Except I am not militant about throwing it away on the third day. I just don’t use it and then I throw it away when I clean out the refrigerator (which is usually at the end of the week when Shirley isn’t looking because she’s a nut bag that thinks we should save everything and just cut and/or scoop out any mold, ahem). This sour cream was opened sometime the week before. I’m sure you can imagine my trepidation.


I adore Rotel®.


Full Disclosure: I substituted a second can of Cream of Chicken soup for the mushroom soup as Rick is allergic. I like it when I can throw every single thing in a bowl and be done with it. Even if it does look like vomit. Tomatoey vomit.


This is what it looked like when I put it in the oven. In fact, the picture was taken directly from the oven because I forgot to take a picture before. Please note the cookie sheet that I placed underneath it. NO WAY was I risking this cheesy shit bubbling over and making a mess of my oven.


The finished casserole in my dish.


A close-up of the finished product. Since I am not one to plate my food, I don’t care about what it looks like as long as it tastes good. Rick said it was okay. Trey said he didn’t care for it. I was unimpressed with the whole mess and I feel like I wasted an entire bag of perfectly good bag of Doritos®. Never again.


Robyn’s take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and when I saw that it took a bag of Doritos®, I was definitely on board. Fred read the recipe and said that it sounded like King’s Ranch Chicken, which we’ve had at his parents’ house. There’s definitely a similarity, but I think their version uses tortillas or tortilla chips instead of Doritos®.




We tried to get all healthy (HA HA HA) by using the lower fat or baked versions of all the ingredients (except the condensed soups). So we’ve got baked Doritos®, reduced-fat cheese, and light sour cream. I cooked a chicken in the crock pot the night before and pulled all the meat off the bones after it had cooled. It’s possible I had more than three cups of chicken here, but I didn’t even bother to check, because I was using all the meat either way.

(You’ll note that the bag of Doritos® was opened and then clipped shut. Fred decided he needed to do quality control and check to be sure the Doritos® were still good. In other words, he was hungry and they looked good.)

You crush the Doritos® (I left them in the bag and just crushed them with my hands – I’m sure there are a bunch of other ways to do it, but that’s what worked for me), and then dump them in the bottom of a (sprayed with Pam) 9×13 dish.


Then mix everything else (except for 1 cup of cheese) together in a bowl and dump it over the crushed Doritos§. I didn’t get any pictures of that step, because you know how to mix stuff. Maybe Nance got a picture of that step (she’s already written her part, but I don’t read hers before I write mine because I don’t want to pollute my artistic process)(HA HA HA)(who’s feeling parenthetical today?)

Then you bake it for 20 minutes, top it with your remaining 1 cup of cheese, and bake for another five minutes. I also didn’t get a picture of that. I was a slacker this week. Here, maybe this will make you feel better:

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This is what it looked like fresh out of the oven:


I didn’t even bother to take a picture of the casserole on my plate, because I am not a food artist, and all the artsy lighting in the world wasn’t going to make that stuff look decent on a plate anyway.

Was it good? It was… okay. I mean, I ate one serving of it and then saved another for lunch the next day. If I never have it again in my entire life, I will somehow live. I am NOT saving this recipe and I’m not going to bother to make it again. I would have rather used the chicken to make a chicken salad sandwich with a side of Doritos®, honestly.


Doritos® Cheesy Chicken Casserole - Robyn & Nance try a new recipe
Original Source/Author:
: Main
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1½ cups salsa or 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 1 bag of nacho cheese Doritos®
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Crush the entire bag of Doritos® and cover the bottom of the dish. Reserve one cup of cheese. Mix together remaining ingredients in a large bow. Pour chicken mixture over the Doritos®. Bake for 20 min. Top casserole with the remaining cheese and bake 5 additional minutes or until melted.