Original Recipe + Cute Story + Ladies’ Home Journal= $400 and fame!

Did you know that if you send in an original recipe with a story behind it, Ladies’ Home Journal may publish it and pay you $400 for it? Seriously, it is true, and here’s how it happened for me.

A coworker told me about this opportunity. Apparently, this has been something LHJ has done for years.  So, I gave it a shot. I actually sent in two recipes with stories behind them. Within a couple months, I was contacted by LHJ, told the test kitchen loved the “man catcher brownies” recipe and they want to publish it with the (excessively cheesy) story. You can imagine my shock and excitement! I was interviewed via telephone by the woman who was writing the piece to make sure the story and recipe were correct. I was sent a $400 check, and then a two page spread with my recipe, story, and picture were published in the next month’s mag.

After this, these brownies became a little more popular. Locally, I was interviewed on KARK 4 news one morning. In other states, a few newspapers did experiments on this recipe, many bloggers blogged about it after trying it themselves. And most exciting, Hoda and Kathy Lee tried them on the Today Show.

Of course, my “fame” was fleeting, but it sure was fun and exciting for a while. And that $400 went a long way for me! So, if you have a recipe with a story, send it in, you never know!
*Info on this process can be found here:

Now if fame and fortune aren’t as important to you as chocolate, then here is the recipe for those gooey, caramel-y, nutty brownies.


-1 15.25-oz pkg German chocolate cake mix
-2/3 cup of evaporated milk
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
-30 Kraft caramels, unwrapped
-3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix german chocolate cake mix, melted butter, and 3 ounces evaporated milk until a thick batter evolves.
3. Add about 2/3 of the batter to a brownie pan (9″x13″ is ideal) and press until evenly distributed.
4. Cook in oven for 7 minutes.
5. Melt the 30 caramels and the remaining 3 ounces of evaporated milk on medium-low heat. Stir continuously for about 10 minutes.
(Remember to take your brownies out after 7 minutes, letting them cool until the caramel sauce is finished)
6. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top of the cooked brownies. Then sprinkle the chocolate chips and chopped nuts on top of the caramel sauce.
7. Add the rest of the uncooked brownie batter in patches or crumbles on top of the chocolate, nuts, and caramel. It doesn’t have to be pretty.  You don’t want to over it all either. Leave some space open so that the caramel, nuts,and chocolate can peek through.
8. Add the brownies back to the oven for another 8-9 minutes, or until brownies are puffy on the top.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments. Or if you have had a recipe published in LHJ, please share!

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