Monday, March 9
So when I got an invite to my blog friend Jordan Baker's annual Semi-Homemaker party, I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to select the first Sandra Lee recipes I'd ever make. This year's event was the third installment, so I didn't want to repeat any previously made dishes. (The infamous Kwanzaa cake was already made in 2008, sadly).
My criteria was simple: the recipe must have a Sandy staple (seasoning packet, crock pot, whipped topping, and/or canned items), must be a gamble as to whether it will taste good or not (I like a game of chance), and must include one of those trademark "Sandy secrets" where you wonder why she chose that instead of just using that (like if she used crescent rolls instead of lasagna noodles in a lasagna).
The first recipe I settled on was something I'd never seen her prepare before: a Pear and Cherry Buckle.
This one definitely met the criteria:
Staple? Crock pot, cans, AND whipped topping.
Gamble on Taste? So hard to tell with the crock pot, usually it makes things taste good... but a dessert?
Trademark Sandy Secret? Boxed cake mix and a packet of instant oatmeal pretty much met this... and the fact that it was cooked in the crock pot.
I wasn't feeling cherries though, so I decided to try peach. Take a look at these lovely brand-free products, a la Semi-homemade.
Look at the great ingredients:
* 1 (26-ounce) can peach pie filling (couldn't find 26 oz., so I used a smaller one)
* 2 (15-ounce) cans diced pears in syrup
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
* 1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 (1.19-ounce) packet maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal
* 1/4 cup sliced almonds
* Whipped topping, for serving
The first thing you do is take those cans of pears and pie filling and dump them into a bowl. Then you put in the almond extract.
Spray that crock down with butter-flavored cooking spray. Then dump the peaches and pear mixture into the crock pot, cover it with the yellow cake mix, and dot the top with a stick of butter.
You then put the almonds and instant oatmeal on top. Buttery, buckled crust awaits you!
Then waste 8 paper towels and put them on top, before putting the lid down. (It's supposed to prevent the moisture on the lid from making the buckle all soggy.)
Cover. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Then get ready to enjoy... THIS:
Hmmm... based on appearances, I still wasn't sure how the finished product would even taste. Had the cake mix even turned into anything resembling cake, I wondered. It mostly looked like glop.
Glop that couldn't be hurt by a little whipped topping?
My friend and taste-tester Merideth sure hoped so!*
Stay tuned for a full post about the party... a post in which all the dishes (and how they tasted) will be described. Until then, keep it simple, keep it sweet... never mind.
*Merideth actually has a nut allergy, so she didn't even get to try any of the bodacious buckle. Sucks to be her!
Labels: Sandra Lee