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!

Review: Farmer’s Markets in Central AR


This is my first year selling at farmer’s markets. (Not that I haven’t tried before, but I finally found smaller, nicer markets that will accept me as a non-farmer, but home-baker) This has been my dream. While this dream is a little slower than I imagined, it is still so awesome! The Westover Hills Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays from 4-7 is amazing. We had 17 vendors there tonight and a lot of customers. Everyone there is REALLY nice: the farmers, the sellers, the customers. Seriously, this group of people is making my life better. I have made great new friends. I have struck deals with amazing farmers. (Ex: I am promoting Hardin Farm’s pecans by using them in my pralines, and they are giving me a great deal on their amazing pecans, which are really the best I have ever tried.)  And at the end of the market, we can trade goods. So, I can trade my leftovers for delicious groceries for the week. Do things get any better?!


Goat Roper Farms selling their amazing food, full of goat’s milk, homemade goat butter, award-winning fudge….and the list goes on.
The “Kitchen Witch” with her hubs, Mitch, selling amazing, gluten-free food. Seriously, this lady is making me fat. So. Good.




On Wednesdays, I sell at the Winfield Church Farmer’s Market. This market is new and smaller, but it is growing every week. Again…can people be nicer? Come check this place out. These sellers are hard workers with amazing products. And I would know…I have bought them all, and continue to buy them every week. If I ever ask why selling pralines doesn’t make me any money, this is why! #worthit

No matter where you are, go check out your local farmer’s market. These are the best products/ foods/ etc you will get. And usually, they are also the cheapest. Plus, supporting local growers and businesses is important.