Three Easy Reci-pieces

Three Easy Reci-pieces

10:17pm Sep 09, 2015

The Pillsbury website optimistically promises that you can make excellent macaroni and cheese with a can of evaporated milk, elbow pasta, and cheddar cheese. Can our phone contestant guess other dishes based on their "fun three ingredient recipes that take no time at all"?

Heard in Sutton Foster: Really, Anything Goes

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Our next contestant is on the line. Hello, you're on ASK ME ANOTHER.

SARAH VARGESON-CLEARY: Hi, this is Sarah Vargeson-Cleary from Nipomo, Calif.

EISENBERG: Hello, Sarah. How are you doing?

VARGESON-CLEARY: I'm good. Hi, Ophira.

EISENBERG: There's a whole bunch of people here that want to say hi too.


EISENBERG: Just in case you're wondering, there's a whole audience here.




JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Nice. Yeah, that is pretty nice.

EISENBERG: So we have a great game for you that is totally in your wheelhouse 'cause I understand you're studying to be a chef, is that right?

VARGESON-CLEARY: Yes, I am a pastry chef. Those cookies sound amazing.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah, they do. Do you have a recipe that is your go to recipe that you gift to friends or bring to potlucks or whatever?

VARGESON-CLEARY: It's a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. And what makes your version special?

VARGESON-CLEARY: Oh, it's all from hand. I even make my raspberry glaze from hand.

EISENBERG: Really? There was a gasp over here; I just want to let you know. Well, then you're probably familiar with the Pillsbury website which promises fun, three-ingredient recipes that take no time at all. So we have gone to this website and your challenge is to identify what these recipes are for when I read you out the three ingredients. For example, if I said refrigerated crescent rolls, half cup chocolate chips and powdered sugar, you would say ingredients I eat when I'm sad. No.


EISENBERG: You'd say chocolate croissants.


EISENBERG: Yeah, still with me?



EISENBERG: OK, so keep in mind the website uses the term three, as in three ingredients, very loosely. Here we go. Let's see if you can figure these out. One can of chili with beans, four hot dogs, one can Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaf.

VARGESON-CLEARY: I would say like chili pigs in a blanket - chili dogs in a blanket?

EISENBERG: Yeah, chili dogs. That's right, exactly.


EISENBERG: That's a recipe that asks do you have no plans later?


EISENBERG: How about one can evaporated milk, one pound uncooked elbow macaroni, two cups shredded, sharp cheddar cheese.

VARGESON-CLEARY: Macaroni and cheese.

EISENBERG: Macaroni and cheese, exactly.


COULTON: These recipes do not sound very good to me. I - apologies to the fine people at Pillsbury's but this...

EISENBERG: Yeah, but they're using...

VARGESON-CLEARY: That's actually my 7-year-old's favorite way to have macaroni and cheese.

COULTON: Are you kidding me? With evaporated milk?

VARGESON-CLEARY: No, I'm serious.


EISENBERG: With evaporated milk?

VARGESON-CLEARY: Yeah, that's her favorite way.

COULTON: How does it taste?

VARGESON-CLEARY: Yeah, 'cause it makes it - gives it a sweet...


VARGESON-CLEARY: ...A sweet and creamy texture. She likes it.

COULTON: All right, OK.

EISENBERG: I always expect when you open up a can of evaporated milk it will be empty.


COULTON: Where's my milk?


COULTON: Yeah, it's like joke milk.

EISENBERG: Yeah, joke milk. It's like (laughter) open this up.


EISENBERG: Three tablespoon sugar, half a teaspoon ground cinnamon, one role sugar cookie dough and a quarter cup of flour. This was listed as a three-ingredient recipe.


VARGESON-CLEARY: Cinnamon rolls?

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru Greg Pliska, what do you think of that? Cinnamon rolls.

GREG PLISKA, BYLINE: Well, I'm no chef, but you could make cinnamon rolls with that probably. But that's not the answer we're looking for. Pillsbury would frown upon making cinnamon rolls that way.

EISENBERG: They would?

VARGESON-CLEARY: Oh, that's right 'cause they have their own.

COULTON: Yeah, they probably just want you to open the can of cinnamon rolls.

PLISKA: Yeah, you just...


PLISKA: ...Get the refrigerated crusty cinnamon roll thing.

EISENBERG: The one ingredient.

PLISKA: No, Sarah, this is a kind of cookie.

VARGESON-CLEARY: A snickerdoodle.

EISENBERG: Snickerdoodle, that's right.


EISENBERG: Right? That's like half poodle and...


COULTON: Half candy bar?


EISENBERG: Half Snickers.


EISENBERG: Such a sweet dog.


EISENBERG: One can refrigerated crusty French loaf, one can French onion soup - oh, I can just smell Paris.


EISENBERG: Eight ounces sliced deli roast beef.

VARGESON-CLEARY: I don't know actually (laughter).

PLISKA: It's a kind of sandwich, Sarah.

VARGESON-CLEARY: A Philly cheesesteak?


PLISKA: A kind of sandwich where you take the roast beef inside the loaf and you put it into the soup while you eat it.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah.

PLISKA: And it's...


PLISKA: A what - a beef dip?


PLISKA: Yeah, French dip. There you go.

EISENBERG: French dip, yeah, exactly.


EISENBERG: And finally, two cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls and 48 cocktail wieners. That's right, two ingredients on this one. But maybe with so many...

VARGESON-CLEARY: Pigs in a blanket.

EISENBERG: Yes, pigs in a blanket. That is correct.


EISENBERG: Hot dogs you can serve with wine.


EISENBERG: Congratulations, Sarah. You did it. You won.



EISENBERG: We're going to send you an ASK ME ANOTHER anagram t-shirt for you to wear to pastry school. So thank you so much for playing; well done.



EISENBERG: If you think you can whip up something out of nothing, you should be a contestant on ASK ME ANOTHER. Email us at We'll send you a contestant quiz and then we'll see what you've got cooking. Coming up, it's really anything goes when we put Sutton Foster in the puzzle hot seat against her husband. That's right, so stay tuned. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.


EISENBERG: Support for NPR comes from NPR member stations and from Chipotle, committed to serving responsibly sourced ingredients prepared with classic cooking techniques like hand-mashed guacamole, slow braised barbacoa and tomatillo red-chili salsa. Chipotle and TIAA-CREF, a global financial company dedicated to delivering financial outcomes that matter. TIAA-CREF, created to serve, built to perform. Learn more at Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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