Nicole Conn is the film director of lesbian-themed movies Claire of the Moon and Elena Undone, as well as the award-winning documentary Little Man, about her baby son’s struggles to survive a premature birth.
Nicole’s partner is Marina Rice Bader, the executive producer of Elena Undone, a movie based on Conn’s and Rice Bader’s very Dear John, I Love Jane, cataclysmic falling in love. Like Elena, Rice Bader was married to a man when she fell spontaneously in love with Conn. And, in true Hollywood fashion, they decided, while driving back from a romantic weekend in Ojai, CA, to make Elena Undone, which stars the startlingly gorgeous Necar Zadegan and smokin’-fine Traci Dinwiddie They’re currently raising the funds for their new film, A Perfect Ending.
Nicole and Marina have a large blended family, and every Thanksgiving, Marina makes Chewy Gooey Bars and Nicole makes a day-after leftovers sandwich that has no equal: Mommy CoCo’s Post Turkey Day Sandwich. They’ve contributed those stellar recipes to this roundup.
Mommy CoCo’s Post Turkey Day Sandwich
Bread of your choice (I actually love this on a bagel — oy, what can I say?)
Choice of brown or white meat (I prefer yummy dark meat)
Mayo, plenty of it
Mustard, not so much
Fry the left over mashed potatoes and stuffing up in a pan so that it gets sort of on the crispy side. Put all this between two pieces of bread, with the turkey (or veggie alternative).
Depending on my mood, I either put a very thin spread of cranberry sauce over it, or dip it in cranberry sauce.
But here’s the one ingredient you musthave to make it a Mommy CoCo sandwich: take a liberal handful of potato chips (the salt and pepper crinkle cut is my preference), mash it on the top sandwich layer and gingerly place the top piece of bread onto it. Moosh until you can get it to a bite-size width! It’s true — this is extremely difficult to get your mouth around but, oh, when you do, it’s Turkey Heaven.
Since I can’t boil water, I’m the first to admit this recipe is rather pedestrian; but let me tell you, everyone who’s ever had my post-T-day sandwich always asks me to make it again.
Chewy Gooey Bars
1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix
1 stick butter, melted
3 large eggs
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1-lb. box powdered sugar (save a bit for sprinkling)
In one bowl, mix together the cake mix, butter and one egg. Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan, preferably Pyrex.
In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and two eggs until frothy. Pour over the cake layer and spread evenly.
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes (until golden brown).
Cool completely, sprinkle with remaining sugar, cut into small squares, and speak to them kindly as you attempt to get them out of the pan.
So now to get started.
Candace is the co-editor of Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write About Leaving Men for Women (Seal Press, 2010), and Ask Me About My Divorce: Women Open Up About Moving On (Seal Press, 2009). She is currently working on a memoir-with-recipes for Seal Press called Licking the Spoon. Candace is also the features editor at Mothering magazine, mama of two, and enamorata of smarty-pants Laura, her live-in recipe tester. Follow Candace on Twitter @candacewalsh.