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.


Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was chosen by Nance. We really don’t eat pancakes around here, I honestly can’t remember the last time I made them (and Fred’s more of a waffle fan), but I was certainly willing to give it a shot.

Before I could make the pancakes, I had to wait until Mama Kate was done with her morning snack.

PC (1)

“Robyn,” Amanda is saying with a disdainful sniff. “You feed your CAT on your KITCHEN COUNTER? That is GROSS and HORRIFYING.”

To which I say “Bitch, you are NOT invited to breakfast, lunch, OR dinner, so it’s not any of your damn business!”

(And yes, I feed Mama Kate on the counter because if I don’t, her bratty little kittens will come along and Hoover up all her food and she’ll get even skinnier and she’s already skin and bones.)

PC (3)
The Enforcer, plotting how to get his paws on Mama’s food.

Mama Kate ate her food, I shooed her out of the kitchen, wiped down the counters, and was ready to make pancakes.

Here’s a tip, before we get started: if it takes your stove top a good long time to warm up as mine does, put your pan (or griddle) on the stove and turn on the heat before you even start mixing. That way, when the batter is mixed, the pan is heated and ready to go.

Your ingredients:

PC (4)

Flour, sugar, sour cream, salt, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla extract (that big bottle in the back is homemade vanilla. One day I’m going to get my butt in gear and show y’all how to make your own.)

Mix your eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl, and set aside.

PC (5)

In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda) together.

Throw your sour cream in there and mix until it’s just combined (don’t go crazy or you’ll end up with tough pancakes, and I’m pretty sure NO ONE wants that.)

PC (8)

Then throw your egg and vanilla mixture in mix until combined.

PC (9)

Throw butter in the pan you were smart enough to preheat and let it melt. I’d say I used… maybe a Tablespoon of butter? I didn’t pay attention when I put the butter in, but that sounds about right.

PC (10)

Drop your pancake batter into the pan by 1/4-cup scoops. I actually have a 1/4-cup scoop that comes in super handy (I’m not kidding, I use it a lot!), and that’s what I used. I only cooked two pancakes at a time because that’s just how I roll.

When the pancakes are bubbly across the top and brown around the edges, flip ’em over. This is a pancake that wasn’t ready to be flipped yet. I didn’t get a picture of one that WAS ready for flipping, because I am a scattered mess sometimes.

PC (12)

Here’s one after I flipped it.

PC (13)

If your pan gets too dry, add more butter. I did that, but I didn’t even think to keep track of how much butter I used.

You know, some people would go ahead and add even more butter to the pancakes once they’re cooked and I’m not judging you if you want to do that, go ahead and knock yourself out. But since they were cooked in butter, I figured just syrup would be good enough.

PC (14)

The verdict? Fred said they had a good flavor, but he still isn’t any great fan of pancakes and would have preferred waffles. (His “meh”-ness on the pancakes probably wasn’t helped by the fact that a couple of the pancakes I gave him weren’t quite done in the middle. It took me a little while to get the hang of waiting for the bubbles to appear before turning the pancakes; it’s really been a long time since I’ve made pancakes and I guess I lost the skill.)

I thought they were AWESOME. I’ve never been a big fan of pancakes, though if they’re put in front of me I’ll eat a few. But these were really really good. I don’t know that they’ll go into regular rotation – I don’t think we’re suddenly going to start eating pancakes with more frequency – but if I have a desire for pancakes, this is for sure going to be my go-to recipe.


Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out our new 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:

Insider information: My grandmother’s name was Edna Mae.

Some people think that I don’t like Pioneer Woman. Those people are wrong-I just don’t care for her type of schtick. But fuck, this recipe sucked balls (calf ones, hee) and that’s no lie! I’m telling you ahead of time because I just can’t keep it a secret until the end of this entry. 

I love my mother to death, but Shirley was working a nerve when it came time to make these. A Nerve, people. It was dinner time and apparently someone was hungry because she was grabbing things and saying, “Come on, let’s get going” while I was hollering, “Stop-it, I have to take pictures of this shit!”  Some people have a calm and tranquil kitchen environment. Mine? There was a whole lot of cussing going on and I’m pretty sure I used the word asshole more than a few times. To describe my mother.


Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

See this griddle? A lot of baggage comes with this damn thing. My mother had one just like it years ago.  It was relegated to the basement due to its size and our lack of space. Somehow the power cord was lost and we searched for months trying to find the damn thing. We eventually gave up and got rid of the griddle. About 6 months later, we found the power cord. IN THE GARAGE (???).  Easy break-down:  we had a griddle with no power cord and then a power cord with no griddle.  I personally find them a pain in the ass to use, but we’re all about keeping The Matriarch happy over here so we got her a new one.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Every time she uses it she packs it all up and puts it back in the box just like it was when it was purchased.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Proof that I am nothing like my mother. I burn every single box as soon as whatever I purchased is plugged in and working. The only thing I keep are the boxes for Apple products and I think that’s only because I love their packaging. What? If you really take a good look at their packaging you would understand. It’s motherfucking ART.

Um, I guess I should yap about this freaking recipe already.

The number of bowls this recipe took was ridiculous. Three fucking bowls for a pancake recipe that serves two.  That’s some crazy dumb shit right there.  Oh wait.  Maybe that’s not some crazy shit.  This may just be a recipe that was written as such to make a woman like Amanda happy.  And I bet that someone as particular as her just loved the fact that the flour was measured out in tablespoons.  Seven tablespoons to be exact.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Action shot! Just imagine me yelling at my mother to slow down so that I could take a picture.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Another action shot. I was really starting to get annoyed with my mother by this time.  Not only was she completely steam-rolling my recipe, but she was also standing in my light when I was trying to take the pictures.  It was starting to turn into a to-do.  I may have contemplated a nursing home.  Or an asylum.  Edna Mae's Sour Cream PancakesPro-tip: Save your butter ends for when you need to grease a pan or a griddle.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

I threw the entire end of butter onto the griddle and Shirley just about died. Apparently she was not going to allow me to put that much butter on her special griddle.

I eventually showed her because I fucked around so much the butter started to turn brown before I even got the pancake mix on the damn thing.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t appreciate that.  Ha!

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

This is me barely combining what-the-fuck-ever because that’s all I saw when I read the recipe. Barely combine and don’t overmix. It’s a pancake for chrissakes!

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

You see those bubbles? That means that the pancake is almost ready to be flipped. Almost, but not quite.  Leave it alone until you see more bubbles all over the surface.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

You see someone messing around with those pancakes before they are ready to be flipped? That someone wasn’t me.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

This one was obviously ready to be flipped.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Two spatulas and WHAT THE FUCK are you doing, Shirley?

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Move your eyes to the right of this picture.  Are you fucking kidding me?

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

End-game. Obviously Shirley liked them because she was so freaking hungry. Rick said they had a strange texture and I agreed. This is not a light and fluffy pancake (even when I was careful to not over-mix). It’s a rubbery mess with butter and syrup. I’ll be honest, the sour cream pissed me off because I thought it was going to add something special. You want to know what it added? More calories and fat. Totally not worth it and I’ll stick with a box mix the next time I want a pancake which will probably when hell freezes over because I like waffles better than pancakes.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Shout-out to Cathy. Sadie didn’t get any pancakes (she’s grain-free), but she did get that piece of bacon!

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

This picture is blurry, but I’m including it because it made me laugh. Rick was talking to her and she was trying to look at him without losing the bacon.  She’s such a good girl!

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 7 T. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter
  • Syrup
  1. Mix eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Add sour cream to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla mixture to the bowl and mix until just combined.
  5. In a (preheated over medium heat) large pan or griddle, melt about 1½ T butter.
  6. Drop batter by ¼-cup servings onto pan/griddle. When bubbles appear on the surface of the top of the batter and the edges start to brown, turn over and cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
  7. Add butter pats or softened butter to the pancakes as you remove them from the heat if you wish; top with syrup and serve.


Microwave Caramels – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe.

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Microwave Caramels, found over at Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

You know? Just… you know? You see a recipe, and you think “Hey, I like caramels! This looks easy! I’ll see if Nance wants to make them!” and then Nance is all “I didn’t even bother to look at the recipe, sure, sounds good, WHATEVER” and off we go.

I’m pretty sure this can all be blamed on Nance for not saying “Are you out of your goddamn mind, idiot?”


So, yes. To recap: I saw the recipe, I had some sort of aneurysm that made me think it would be a good idea to give that motherfucker a try, and then Nance approved. Nance’s fault. JUST SAYIN’.

Caramels (1)

Ingredients: half a cup each of brown sugar, white sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup of butter. The recipe didn’t state whether the butter should be melted first, so after extensive consultation with Fred, I decided to melt it.

That’s probably where it all went wrong.

Mix everything together in a microwave-safe bowl

Caramels (2)

Pretty, right?

Microwave that shit for 6 minutes, stirring after every 2 minutes. I took no pictures of this part. Y’all just use your imagination.

When the six minutes is up, pour that hot hot hot stuff into a buttered dish. The recipe didn’t indicate the size of the dish (SLOPPY RECIPE) so I used my 8×8 Pyrex. Which I buttered the SHIT out of. There was a ton of butter coating the inside of that dish, believe me. I know I’ve covered my hatred of things sticking to things. (FORESHADOWING.)

Caramels (3)

Cool the hell out of that stuff. I let it cool on the counter for six hours, and then I put it in the fridge for another couple of hours. And then I tried to get it out of the dish.

Caramels (4)

I tried a little piece of it, and the flavor was good, but it was so fucking sticky I had to scrape it off my teeth with a butter knife.

Caramels (5)

This is the part where, while having a temper tantrum, I almost tossed the whole goddamn dish in the trash. But I like that dish – it’s so HANDY – that I scraped the dish clean(ish), tossed the shitheap of sticky fucking caramel in the trash, and let the dishwasher clean the dish the rest of the way.

I’ll just buy my damn caramels at the grocery store. Hmph.

(If you point out that caramel is supposed to be sticky, I will hunt you down and set fire to your car. Yes, caramels are sticky. NOT THAT STICKY.)


Nance’s Take:

This quick and easy recipe actually took me 3 days to make.

On the first day, I laid everything out to start making it when my son, Alex, called. By the time I got off the phone, I had to put everything away because it was time for bed. I thought I would make it quickly on Wednesday morning, write about it, and have a post up by Wednesday afternoon. I had a plan.

On Wednesday, I laid everything out again to make it when my aunt called. Next thing you know, Shirley and I were making a mad dash to clean up the house because hello, we’re getting a visit from the family! I ended up emailing Robyn from my late afternoon doctor’s appointment (I just made it there in time!) to tell her that I was not going to have an entry up until much later that evening. She covered my ass with her sweet potato casserole and said to just post the entry on Friday. I may be stupid about some things, but I sure know how to pick good friends (aka: procrastination enablers)!


Felina does not approve of these shenanigans.


On Thursday I got everything out again, decided that I was going to make a double batch and dumped it all in the bowl.  I had been having problems with my left ear and it picked this exact time to get the best of me.  I walked the hell away from everything so I could put a heated pad over my ear for some relief. That’s when Shirley stepped in and took over while Rick snapped pictures. Which is why there aren’t many pictures of this process.  Ahem.


Since I doubled the recipe, Shirley doubled the time in the microwave. It took 12 minutes, with stirring at 2 minute intervals. Not bad.


I covered an old cookie sheet with foil and buttered the hell out of it. I also keep butter in the refrigerator just for buttering dishes. It’s handy. Robyn does it. Everybody does it. Well, maybe not Amanda.  But she should.  And could.  If she really wanted to.  But there isn’t much of a recipe to it.  You just throw what you don’t use in the refrigerator so you have it for buttering dishes.  See, not much of a recipe at all.  I’m probably going to get the Official Seal of Non-Approval by Amanda now.  Sigh.


Action shot!


We covered the top with plastic wrap and left it in the refrigerator overnight because it was taking forever to harden up.  This is the next day.  Some people (Shirley!) cannot leave well enough alone. She picked and picked at it and that’s why it is missing a huge chunk and the foil is ripped up.


I put parchment paper over the top and flipped it over on to the counter (the plastic wrap had been taken off and thrown away by my impatient mother-know my pain) and I was out of wax paper.


The buttered foil peeled away easily.


We had no idea what type of utensil to use to cut this with. I was the one that picked the pizza cutter. All of them were a pain in the ass. Caramel is sticky.  Go figure.


I decided I was going to wrap these in parchment paper since I was out of wax paper and had no interest in going to the grocery store.


There’s a reason I never rolled my own joints (marijuana, Mom) in high school.


This big ol’ knife worked pretty good. On the right side you can see where I told Rick to sprinkle some sea salt because I wanted to try salted caramels. Um, yeah. Apparently Rick thought I was trying to cure a ham.  Maybe next time.


My mother was cutting while I was wrapping (the pizza cutter ended up working well for us). She was just tossing that shit over at me and working my last nerve because it was a sticky mess to deal with.  Look at what she did up there.  Right on the edge of the plastic wrap.  Grr!  I can only assume that wax paper would have been the way to go, but dammit, I said I was NOT going to the grocery store!


Felina inspects Shirley’s wrapping technique.


As usual, she’s willing to take one for the team.  That’s her long ass tongue on the left side of my thumb.  She’s the Gene Simmons (KISS) of the chihuahua world.  She’s such a rock star!  And also an artist (Van Gogh).  Where’s your other ear, Felina?


Sadie also gave it a shot. They both found it to be quite tasty.


We all really liked it, but it was a pain in the ass to work with.


It’s a quick and easy recipe just like it says. My mom did stir in a few teaspoons of vanilla right before she poured it out on the cookie sheet.  The next time I make it I’ll double the recipe, but I think I’ll use a 9 x 13 pain pan so that it’s a little bit thicker. And I’m hoping you guys have some good cutting and wrapping techniques for me because I didn’t have a clue!

Microwave Caramels - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe.
Original Source/Author:
: Snack, candy
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup light Karo syrup
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  1. Mix all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for six minutes, stirring every two minutes.
  3. Stir and pour into a well greased dish (Robyn used an 8x8 Pyrex)
  4. Let cool.
  5. Cut, wrap in wax paper (good fucking luck with that), and store in an airtight container.


Saks Fifth Avenue Tomato-Basil Bisque

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Tomato Bisque,  found over at cdkitchen.  The printable version of the recipe is at the bottom of the page.

Robyn’s take:  

Nance chose this week’s recipe. Well, first she sent me a recipe for stuffed green pepper soup, and I was all “PASS!” and then she suggested tomato bisque and I was like “Well, I’ve never had it before. I’ll give it a try!” I even said something about expanding my horizons, which makes me a big ol’ dork.

I looked at the recipe and thought “Well, it just sounds a lot like a thick tomato soup!” and somewhere in my brain, I had the knowledge that Fred likes tomato soup, and so I thought “Well, this will be a good one.”

AU CONTRAIRE. Apparently His Majesty does not care for tomato soup, and so I could sense his resistance from the very beginning of this venture. But I forged ahead, gathered my ingredients, and made the damn stuff.

It’s fairly simple, the only difficult part was the chopping of veggies, and god knows I like me a simple recipe.


TomatoBisque (1)

Butter, onion, celery, flour, garlic, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, tomato puree, beef stock, heavy whipping cream, and a bay leaf.

Heat the butter in a large stockpot, toss in your diced celery and onion.

TomatoBisque (2)

Saute it ’til the onion is transparent. Five minutes or so, I think? One tablespoon at a time, sprinkle flour over the onion and celery, then stir in until it’s all paste-like. Add the rest of your ingredients. The recipe has annoying instructions like “stir in beef stock and tomato puree slowly”, but I just put everything in there at once, then stirred it all together. Because I am a renegade. The soup should be a rose color, says the recipe, and it was!

TomatoBisque (3)

Then you toss in your bay leaf and put the temp on low and simmer for about an hour. You might be tempted to cook on a temperature other than low. I advise against this. With the wisdom I have gained in a lifetime of “GOD, why won’t this stuff COOK, I’m going to just crank it up on high!”, let me inform you that there’s nothing tomato-based stuff loves more than to burn to the bottom of the pot. If you cook this stuff on a too-high temp, you’ll end up with a bunch of it burned to the bottom of the pot, I guarantee it. Keep it on low!

After an hour of simmering and occasional stirring, the bisque was done. I made grilled cheese sandwiches to eat with it, and I dished up bowls of the bisque for each of us.

TomatoBisque (4)

And the verdict? I liked that it was creamy and tasty, and I actually think it might be good served over a bed of rice. But I am sad to inform you that neither of us much cared for it. I wouldn’t say we hated it – if we were served it at someone else’s home, we’d eat it and we’d like it. But we wouldn’t go out of our way to make it at home, and it won’t be going into the recipe box.



Nance’s take:

Fucking Robyn refused my suggestion of Stuffed Pepper Soup for this week so I had to look up Tomato Bisque recipes.  I had never heard of tomato bisque until I went to a restaurant in Ohio and tried it (shout out to Rockne’s in Ohio).  The whole situation is weird because I don’t normally order soups and stuff like that when I’m in a restaurant (too messy – I’m extremely uncoordinated).  I thought it was so good that I wanted to try to make some at home, but I promptly forgot about it until Robyn put the kabosh on my Stuffed Pepper Soup idea.  For the record:  I hate stuffed peppers so I have no idea why I wanted to try the soup – I will be trying it one of these days, just not with the killjoy named Robyn, and I promise to record the experience.

So yeah.  I have to admit to a couple of things first.  On the day I decided to make this soup I was very unprepared.  All I know is that it was cold outside and I thought a good bowl of hot soup was the way to go.  Unfortunately, I had not been to the store and did not have the exact ingredients at hand.  A normal person would have waited.  But this is when I decided to give you the make-do experience.  What?  Everybody has to learn how to make-do with what they have in this world.  If you don’t know how to do that, you’re pathetic.  Yes, I said it.  Yes, I judged.  As my tube-top, sweatpant wearing mother would say, “You gotta make-do with what you got.”  And you sit there and wonder why my writing is so atrocious.  Table for one, Captain Obvious?


The first thing that I didn’t have was a 16 oz can of beef broth. I had to make-do with these little beef stock cups from Knorr. I remember thinking that they were ridiculously expensive and the only reason I bought them was because I had a coupon. I also remember thinking that I will not be buying them again because even with a coupon they were still too expensive. In my world, beef broth should not be expensive. But in all fairness, I suppose these little cups would be perfect if you lived in an RV (camper) and space was at a premium. So yeah, I’m technically not bashing these little cups of stock. If you have money for an RV and traveling all over the country, you would probably not cringe at the price of this stock. OHMYGAWD, can I go on any more about the goddamn stock? Shut the hell up, Nance.

I had to do some math to figure out that 2 Knorr containers equals 2 cups and 2 cups equals 16 ounces of beef broth. MATH, bitches! It makes the world go ’round. And God, please let me be right because how embarrassing would that be?

Moving on…


I had no half rib of celery (and no fresh onions), but I did have that stuff in my freezer. Interesting fact (maybe): I never knew you could freeze onions until I read a blog entry that Robyn’s husband (Fred) wrote in which he bought frozen onions one time at Publix. I had a lightbulb over my head moment and that was the end of my money wasting on onions ways.  Go, Fred!


Blah, blah, blah. All you’re doing is making a roux. Don’t know what a roux is? Google it. This is how you learn. You’ll thank me later. Fine, I’ll do it for you. Learn how to make a good roux and you can do just about anything.


Go to your grocery produce section and look for this. Because this has seriously saved my ass plenty of times. I’m in a rural area that takes for goddamn ever to get to a decent grocery store. With this in my refrigerator, I’m gold.


When one does not have the correct ingredients you make-do.


See what I mean?


And then I strained them into my pot. But I’ll do full-disclosure here by telling you that the minute I dumped some of those goddamn tomatoes out, it started to take forever to strain and I said, “FUCKTHIS!” and just put the blended tomatoes into the pot, seeds and all. It’s NOT that big of a deal. And I figure that most people reading this are just not that precious. We’re a practical bunch (I hope). Except Robyn. She’s too precious for stuffed peppers. Hee!

More full-disclosure: I used half and half instead of heavy whipping cream and I skipped the bay leaf business because I didn’t have any.


When it was all said and done I had a beautiful, delicious bowl of soup bisque that I loaded with homemade croutons because I am a total fatty.  I’m going to go ahead and say that I liked this recipe even with making the changes because I don’t think I mixed it up too much.  And from reading Robyn’s entry above we should probably say that your mileage may vary.  Different strokes, man.  Different strokes. Heh.

Saks Fifth Avenue Tomato-Basil Bisque
Original Source/Author:
: Soup
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ½ rib celery
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cans (16 ounce size) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cans (16 ounce size) tomato puree
  • 1 can (16 ounce size) beef stock
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat butter in a large stockpot. Dice onion and celery and add to pot. Saute until the onion is transparent. Sprinkle flour over onions one tablespoon at a time, stirring in each one thoroughly with a large spoon until paste forms. Add garlic, diced tomatoes and basil, and stir. Stir in tomato puree and beef stock slowly, then whipping cream. The soup should be a rose color. Add bay leaf and simmer on low for about an hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
A commenter on the cdkitchen site said that the recipe can sizes varied from what she was able to buy in the store. She just used what she had (which is only a few ounces difference) and it worked out fine.


Robyn & Nance try the same recipe – Lemon Bars

Every Monday, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was from Christy Jordan’s book Southern Plate. (She has a web site of the same name, here.)

Robyn’s take:

Nance got to pick this week’s recipe. We both own Christy Jordan’s cookbook, but it wasn’t ’til we started this site that I made anything from it. Actually, even though Christy is local to me it wasn’t until my friend Katherine pointed me to Christy’s site and specifically the Butterfinger Cake recipe a couple of years ago that I even knew who she was. Now that I’ve started using her cookbook, I want to make EVERYTHING from it!

So Nance chose this week’s recipe and I was ALL about making lemon bars. I love all things lemon and I knew I’d love these.

Your ingredients:


Don’t you like my super-awesome way of labeling my confectioner’s sugar? I am klassy with a capital K. Also, I like how the no-name brand of butter just says “BUTTER” on it, that cracks me up for some reason.

Anyway, these are the ingredients for the crust. As you can see, super simple. Confectioner’s sugar, all-purpose flour, and softened butter (you can use margarine if you want. I don’t know why you would, but I’m not here to judge.)

Apparently I didn’t get a picture of the part where you sift together the flour and sugar and then cut in the butter. It went about as you’d expect. I used a pastry blender. It was amazing.

Then you pat the dough into the bottom of a 9×13-inch dish. Christy didn’t say anything about greasing the dish, but the idea of not greasing the dish made me nervous, so I used the butter wrappers to butter the bottom and sides of the dish. Could I say “dish” any more often there? Dishdishdishdishdiiiiiiiiiiiish.

Put your crust in the oven to bake for about 25 minutes or until it’s lightly browned. Like such:


These are some fabulous pictures this week, aren’t they? Hey, I never claimed to be a food photographer. I tried offering the crust some catnip, but it refused to roll around and look cute.

Now, warning: I am a dumbass and I skim when I read recipes. So I missed the part where you’re supposed to let the crust cool. I didn’t let it cool at ALL, and in fact I made the filling while the crust was cooking and dumped it right on the hot crust. It turned out okay, but perhaps if I paid attention to what I was supposed to be doing, it would have been BETTER.

Here are the filling ingredients:


Eggs (from our very own chickens), granulated sugar, lemon juice, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and confectioner’s sugar. You mix it all up (except for the confectioner’s sugar, which is for sprinkling on the top) and then you yell for your husband to come dump it over the crust so you can get a picture of it.


Then stick the whole shebang in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes or until slightly browned and set. Now, my bars weren’t set at 15 minutes, it took another 3 minutes in the oven. Pro (HA HA HA) tip: if the filling is still jiggly, give it a few more minutes.


Perhaps a little more brown around the edge than it should be? But still, they turned out really really good. Fred and I each had a small piece once the bars were cool and they were SO GOOD. They were even better the next day – I’m not sure if that’s because sitting made the flavors blend better or just because we were hungrier the next day.


The verdict? These were oh so good. Perfectly lemony, but not overwhelmingly so. I am definitely going to make these again and I think you should too!



Nance’s side:

It was my turn to pick the recipe and, once again, I went for The Fattening. Y’all (yunz – shout out Western Pa!) should just get used to it.  I’m sure that Robyn will take care of all that healthy stuff.  Something tells me that I’m going to see zucchini and okra in my future.  Barf.

I thought the Lemon bars would be good because Holy Two Sticks of Butter Batman! I have never had lemon bars, but rumor has it that it’s pretty popular in the south (per the husband). I figure I like butter and I like lemonade. How bad can it be, right? And I noticed that the ingredient list wasn’t full of freaky stuff that I didn’t recognize.  Plus, I have tried a few other recipes in Christy’s cookbook and they all turned out excellent.  Can you see where this is going?  Oh, just wait.  It’s going to get ugly up in here.

It cracks my shit up that Robyn and I both took a picture of the butter.  Please note that the placement of my butter was well thought out (unlike someone who just chunked it down on their counter and snapped away, ahem).  Yes, I had to open up a new package of butter and that’s why they don’t look the same.  I’m wishing now that I had taken the extra time to do that.  And if you believe that shit I have some beautiful lemon bars for you to try.

Since Robyn and I are both doing the same recipe (and reviewing it) I follow the directions exactly.  I even busted out the SIFTER for this bitch because Christy said that’s what I was supposed to do and I did it.  Oh look!  Canisters that don’t have masking tape labels.  I guess I’m just not as cool as Robyn.  And I don’t see anything about where Robyn SIFTED her stuff.  Maybe she couldn’t be bothered, hmm?

I cut the butter into the flour until I couldn’t stand it anymore. And this is what it looked like when I got ready to press it into the pan. You like that purple casserole dish? Get used to it because I use that thing a lot.

Me and my man hands pressing that mess into the pan. I thought about making it pretty and then I woke the fuck up and realized that there is no hope.  And no, I didn’t grease my pan because hello, two sticks of butter!

Even Felina (the ridiculous chihuahua) was concerned about how this situation was going to turn out.

It didn’t turn out bad at all. I took this picture so everyone could see what “lightly browned” meant. Or at least my version of it anyway.

This is where I think the situation took a serious turn for the worse. I had Rick beat the eggs and he went to town. And I let him because I was having fun snapping pictures of that it.

See, action shots! What? We were bored.

I even sifted the flour and baking powder. I did what I was supposed to do, dammit! If this was Robyn she would have typed damnit because she’s so perfect.

And yeah, we were really into catching it while it was happening.  Get a life, Nance & Rick!

Looks good, no?

Set the timer. Did everything just like the book said. And guess how it turned out. Well, let me show you…

How do you say FAIL?

I managed to get 3 pieces out and on a plate (dug from the center, gah!) and the shit was oozing everywhere.

I was thoroughly disgusted and as I was walking out the door to go grocery shopping my mother asked me what she should do with them. “Throw them in the garbage for chrissakes!”

And then I went to the store and saw this. How rude!

I am still trying to figure out where I went wrong. And no, there isn’t anything wrong with our stove. The only thing I could come up with is the over-beating (whisking, whee!) of the eggs. If anybody has a clue, feel free to let me know in the comment section. For once, this bitch needs to buy her own vowel. Sigh.

PS:  Even though I screwed it up (oh, trust me, I know it was something I did) I would definitely recommend this recipe based on how Robyn’s turned out.  I’m going to have to try this again (once y’all tell me where I messed up).

Robyn & Nance try the same recipe - Lemon Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 12
  • CRUST:
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c confectioner's sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • ⅓ c. lemon juice
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ c. confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sift together the flour and confectioner's sugar into a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture sticks together.
  3. Press into a 9x13-inch dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven to cool (leave the oven on.)
  5. While the crust is cooling (DON'T FORGET TO LET THE CRUST COOL), make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the beaten eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon juice.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder; stir into the egg mixture.
  7. Pour over the (COOLED) baked crust and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly browned and set. Remove from the oven, cool, and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Cut into bars.
Did I mention that you're supposed to let the crust cool before you add the filling? DO IT.