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Monday, March 9

My First Sandra Lee Recipe

Don't wanna make Aunt Sandy mad, but I have a confession to make: I've never made a Sandra Lee recipe before. Shocking, I know. I watch Semi-homemade mostly for its entertainment value and don't often find myself jotting down recipes.

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!




At 3/09/2009 8:23 PM , Blogger grannymelissa said...

After reading this, i can barely wait for the full post to come!

And, uh.. i don't think i would have eaten that buckle. I'm hoping for your sake, and for the rest of the party attendees, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. :)

At 3/09/2009 8:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - like this is an "original" recipe. Check any Boy Scout cook book and it's done on the campfire in a cast iron Dutch oven. Look in any good church fundraiser cookbook, and it's called a Dump Cake (for obvious reasons) and baked in a conventional oven.

That's plagarism with a cocktail on the side.

At 3/09/2009 8:50 PM , Blogger Freddy said...

Sounds like a lot of fun Jacob. To really make it an Aunt Sandy night, you should have made one of her famous drinks too :) Cannot wait to see the rest. Love the pics and post, very cute

At 3/09/2009 9:00 PM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

It was still the best dessert of the night. Which. . . yeah, is kind of like saying that Bush 41 is the best President Bush, but hell. You take a compliment where you can get it.

At 3/09/2009 9:02 PM , Blogger JordanBaker said...

Oh, and I THOUGHT nothing could make me happier than the "NUTZ" brand almonds, until I saw the disguised Instant CakeMix Dough Person.

At 3/09/2009 9:35 PM , Blogger Angie said...

Oh dear, that's some funny stuff! Nutz brand almonds are my new favorites.

At 3/09/2009 9:56 PM , Blogger ChristopherM said...

I don't think you can really judge the appearance of an Aunt Sandy recipe without seeing it in its proper place in the tablescape.

At 3/09/2009 10:01 PM , Blogger Katherine aka Scrap Yard Kath said...

I have to share with you that the Pear and Cherry Buckle is also the only recipe that I have ever made from Semi-Homeade! I brought it to a school party and actually people liked it and I even liked it. I don't think I used the whipped topping tho. Your post had me hysterical! Now check out what else I did with it, you think Sandy would like???


At 3/09/2009 10:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come ur not posting on Cat Cora and her "wife" both being pregnant? That is more FN newsworthy than this post....

At 3/10/2009 9:47 AM , Blogger Megan said...

I'm with Jordan Baker on both counts-- the Mysterious Cake Mix Mascot is hilarious, and that actually was the best dessert, despite its questionable appearance...

Nice meeting you at the party!

At 3/10/2009 9:56 AM , Blogger Katie's blog said...

That was a funny post!!

At 3/11/2009 12:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, is Merideth available?

At 3/11/2009 1:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is Merideth? Feel free to post more pics of her... your site will gain in popularity.

At 3/11/2009 1:24 PM , Blogger jacob said...

Is Merideth available? yes. ;-)

Here's her band's myspace: http://www.myspace.com/pashva

At 3/11/2009 1:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Making this dessert in a crockpot is just plain stupid.

It says you are lazy , ignorant, and uninspired.

If you can't figure out that cake mixes need direct heat then maybe you deserve to drink your "buckle" thru a straw.

Why the hell does FN promote such pagan culinary practices ? This is disgraceful.

At 3/11/2009 1:33 PM , Blogger Katherine aka Scrap Yard Kath said...

It's just for fun, 'anonymous' relaaaaxxx!

Love, from lazy, ignorant, and uninspired me.

At 3/11/2009 9:44 PM , Blogger Charles said...

Cute post Jacob! I bought one of Aunt Sandy's dessert books at her book signing and haven't actually made one thing from it yet. The desserts look good but the ingredient lists are unusual, calling for things like imitation butter flakes. Ewww.

At 4/04/2009 3:48 AM , Anonymous Rumela said...

The Kwanzaa cake looks amazing and it will be tasty too. I would love to try them.the Kwanzaa cake also seems to be nutritious. Thanks for the recipe.


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