Lighten up…

“This negativity just makes me stronger, we will not retreat, this band is unstoppable!”- Cliff Ponicer (Matt Dillion’s character in Singles). Just insert blog where band is. :)

It’s good to know that I am not alone in the blog bashing as of late. Maybe it is just us Seattle area girls that are getting it, as my buddy Cakespy got a ton of grief for making conversation heart pie over on Serious Eats. She was just having a little, you know (or maybe you don’t and that’s the problem) fun. Which is funny because I made conversation heart ice cream (kind of like I did for the candy corn), so I’m sure if I post it (it’s a really odd color) I will get crap for it too.

I would like to extend a big giant lighten up to everyone out there in Uptight Land….come on over and vacation in Laid Back Land. No really, I can send you a brochure.

There are many benefits to Laid Back Land. For one, they offer stick removal from your butt the minute you arrive. It’s just one of the many services they provide, free of charge, along with a facial massage to remove the scowl from your face in attempt to turn it into a smile. You can eat cold pizza for breakfast without anyone saying anything, or without them telling you how many calories or carbs are in that pizza. No one here is telling you how many calories they burned on the elliptical trainer last night either to make you feel bad that you didn’t. No one is complaining about how the garbage truck/landscaper/UPS man/milk man/fill in the blank someone doing their job man dares to disturb their child during nap time. No one telling you that you didn’t fill out a form properly, or you didn’t follow the right procedure (you still got it done, you just didn’t follow procedure). A land where people aren’t so set on everything being done their way or no way at all. Oh, and no one corrects your grammar! :P

Why yes there are many benefits of Laid Back Land…including afternoon brownies. No, not 420 brownies you pot heads. Just brownies. Well, okay, not just brownies, Tiramisu Brownies. Brownies with pieces of pound cake and mascarpone cheese in them. If you are still living in Uptight Land you might be upset that I messed with Cream Cheese Brownies, but if you are visiting Laid Back Land you will just appreciate that they are brownies and you are eating them. :)

You will probably cringe (if you are in Uptight Land) that I used Sara Lee Pound Cake, but I did. And here’s why. Number one, it was $2 on sale at the grocery store. I can’t make a pound cake for that. Number two, it’s going in brownies, so it’s not like the whole dessert is about the pound cake. Number three, Sara Lee pound cake is sturdy as heck. Seriously. You need sturdy for this.

So come on over and join us for brownies, you won’t be sorry. :P

Tiramisu Brownies

10 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into pieces, divided
1 cup plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant coffee
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces room-temperature mascarpone cheese
1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, divided
1 cup pound cake thinly sliced, then cut into 2-inch pieces (I used Sara Lee because it was cheap and very dense so I knew it would hold together well)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or use baking spray. Sprinkle ½ cup of pound cake pieces on the bottom of pan. Arrange so they are laying flat.
In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, cocoa, baking powder, instant coffee, and salt; set aside.
Place 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan.
Add 1 ¼ cups sugar; mix to combine.
Add 3 eggs, and mix to combine.
Add flour and cocoa mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix).
Prepare ,mascarpone mixture: Whisk mascarpone cheese with 2 TBSP room-temperature butter. Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 2 TBSP all-purpose flour.
Spread half the batter into the pan over pound cake pieces, they will move, it’s fine. Add another layer of pound cake pieces and add remaining brownie batter.
Spoon mascarpone mixture on top the brownie batter, leaving some brownie exposes. With the tip of a paring knife, swirl to marble.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.
Adapted from

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  1. Ok, I have never commented before but couldn’t stop myself when I read “There are many benefits to Laid Back Land. For one, they offer stick removal from your butt the minute you arrive.” I have always loved reading your blog but this made me LOVE your blog. I always look forward to reading whatever it is that is on your mind.

  2. These uptight people must be the most miserable people around, having no sense of humor and must be pretty hard on themselves in order to be so perfect. I’m glad to be in laid back land. I like that you tell it as it is…
    P.S. I hope your hockey friend is doing okay.

  3. I saw that cakespy post and all I could think of was the candy hearts in her photo had kind of funny slogans — “reach 4 it” –printed on heart-shaped candy–I cracked up.
    Also, thanks for another crack-up moment in your post. :D

  4. I sorta think these brownies are the opposite of laid back – but I’ll gladly walk the line between laid back and uptight if it means I can have one :)

  5. Snerk. You’ve totally made my day. Love it. Love the blog. And I cannot believe that some people haven’t discovered Laid Back Land.

  6. Can we at least have a photo of the ice cream? I need to know what this “odd color” is.

    NEED, I said.

  7. I totally agree – life is much better in Laid Back Land! The brownies look like they would help anyone to get there as well, guess what’s on my list to bake this week?

  8. Laid Back Land resident for almost 30 years! Thanks for the smile & the great recipe!

  9. ROFL! Thanks for the laugh, and the seriously yummy looking brownie recipe. I do love tiramisu…

  10. Seriously?? People, calm down.

  11. Two tickets to Laid Back Land and a Tiramisu brownie, please!!

    Thank you for today’s chuckle! :D

  12. Yikes! They didn’t just give her grief, they flipping CRUCIFIED her! IApparently some of the Serious Eats people take *themselves* much too seriously. I’ll have Tiramisu Brownies in Laid Back Land, please! :) I love how you always shoot it straight.

  13. Sara Lee Banana Cake used to be one of my favorite things, especially if it as still a little frozen. No plate require, just a fork.

    Laid Back Land sounds like my kind of place. How could you not like it with classic lines like “they offer stick removal from your butt the minute you arrive”.

    When I make a trifle I use a store-bought pound cake because it gets the job done. I need something that can soak up a lot of alcohol and not give way, and this is perfect.

    I see nothing wrong with this pie at all, it is actually quite sweet with the little hearts. I think that when Cakespy put the one that says “reach 4 it” on top she meant it for those who still have a stick stuck up their butts.

  14. oh, DAAANNNNG these look fabulous.

    and complainers can stay away… they are not fun and all I do is feel sorry for them that they must go through life feeling (and looking!) like they ate a poo burger for lunch.


  15. Mmm, I could go for some of these…

    Poor Cakespy! It was a fun kitschy Valentines treat! As if anything Valentines related isn’t a little kitschy! Yeah, CHILL OUT.

  16. This looks so delicious! And now I really, really want to see the conversation heart ice cream!

  17. I hate uptight people… Yay, to laid backness!

    Those Brownies must be terrific!



  18. ROTFL

    Love your brownies. Will try this if I have too much chocolate cake next time.

  19. I love laid back land. I am glad you are taking all the complainers in stride, Peabody. You can’t please everyone, and really, who would want to?

  20. I’m a newbie to this site and a visitor to Laid back Land. I will be coming here daily to see what Peabody’s cooked up for us. She’s something isn’t she! :)

  21. After you mentioned it in this post, I headed over to CakeSpy to see what people were saying and I honestly can’t believe how cruel some people are! Thanks for your rebuttal post. I particularly loved the stick removal. Hopefully the grumps will get the message and piss off.

  22. Just wanted to say “Hi” from over here in Uptight Land. No, seriously, I struggle with being too uptight ALL the time!! Which is why I make a conscious effort to do things that force me to not take myself too seriously — baking being one of those things :) Reading this blog is another. So, thanks!

  23. These brownies look amazing! I might have to make them for a friend who has been requesting Tiramisu lately! And, as for the blog-bashing – didn’t their mothers ever tell them “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?” I wonder if it makes the critics feel better about themselves when they cut down other people? I’m glad you’re taking it lightly and are able to move past it. I love your blog and wish you nothing but the best!

  24. I know that you are just coming out of a relationship. but…is it too soon for me to ask you to marry me? These are amazing!

  25. I work with some folks from uptight land. I skipped down one of the aisles last night and you would have thought I smacked someone. THe store was closed and I would have tripped if I ran, so I skipped. It’s rather fun to skip. they are poopy heads that need the stick removal service.

    the brownies look very yummy.

  26. Those look yummy!

  27. Stephanie says:

    I had never commented before either, but your post just made me laugh out loud, so thanks!

  28. I love recipes that incorporate candy bars, Oreo’s, Peanut butter cups, etc. Baking/cooking is supposed to be FUN. I’ve been putting off making Tiramisu because it looks a little intense. I’m definitely part of the laid back land.
    Good post!

  29. I live in Karen world which resembles laid back land.

    Now about the kaluaha for the brownies – maybe mixed with whipped cream?

  30. Wow, I just headed over to Serious Eats and read some of the comments. Good Grief. That’s too bad. I read a blog not to long ago where a first lengthy paragraph apologized for posting a hot dog recipe. I thought to myself “c’mon you’re being pretentious by assuming food bloggers are pretentious”…maybe he was right. :/

  31. Thanks for the laugh! I live in Laid Back Land too :) This looks delicious, I have a friend who loves Tiramisu, so I’m sure she’ll be happy to taste test for me!

  32. I think some of these people fail to realize that it’s YOUR blog, and if you wanted to post about boogers you can. If they don’t like it, maybe they should start their own blog. But they should remove the stick from their butt first – makes it easier to sit down infront of a computer.

  33. Great post :). I find I live directly on the border of Laid Back and Uptight Lands. However, these brownies definitely look like they’d put me into a wonderful bliss induced coma, so I might be a permanet resident of Laid Back Land soon :).
    Oh, and I have to say *bravo* for making a post titled “Lighten Up” about a brownie with 10tbsps of Butter and 8oz of chocolate :). Made my day. :)

  34. Carey (cooknbooknbeadn) says:

    As a lifetime resident of laid back land I applaud you and your approach to life and this blog.. it is one of the reasons I subscribe – oreo picture included. Please continue as you are I think the positive responders far out weigh the uptightville residents.

  35. As the mother of a toddler I find I have live on the border between Uptight and Laid Back Lands. It is exhausting, I think I need that brownie up there. Hmm, I wonder if there would be an audible gasp heard round the world if you were to make it with a brownie mix ;-) If course, either way you’d have a warm chocolate brownie in your hands and the food snobs wouldn’t so who is really losing here?

  36. Thank you for this post! On a day like today I really needed the laugh. I really do look forward to your blog & really, I don’t log on for the recipes, I log on to hear your comments. The recipes are just a bonus!

  37. LOVE the idea of Tiramisu Brownies. I like Laid Back Land. It is the place that let me laugh when someone commented on my blog that my recipes were not original (I have never claimed that they were.) and that my life was boring snivel and that I should just go away. Yes. Like I forced those angry people (3 comments worded almost identically on the same day) to read my blog. Oh well. Their problem; not mine. I reside in Laid Back Land. :-) Good for you.

  38. Laid Back Land is the place to be. Brownies, no matter what’s in them, are going to taste better without the criticism in Uptight Land.

    Man, I love this post, Peabody! Really. I really do.

  39. Laid back land is where its at!

    and those look damn good. need chocolate. now.

  40. How can peeps comment negatively about food??? I find that amazing and confuseling. Yesh – I did that on purpoise – that too. :)
    Anyway, maybe they are gluten intolerant and seeing your WONDERFUL warm food – photographed so lovely and it just makes them alittle crazy?
    Who knows – but here’s a lovely comment – your food and your presentation is LOVELY!
    Thanks and as I am gluten intolerant – hey – I LOVE looking at great food – esp. sweets. :) Have a GR8 Seattle day.
    Oh – and mean goils are EVERYWHERE!

  41. I’m a citizen of Laid Back Land! Love these bars. Tiramisu + brownies = YUM.

  42. Peabody you are amazing! I have always loved your blog but now it’s beyond love! This post made me crack up and the fact that you have been posting amazing posts everyday is even more awesome.

  43. You continuously amaze me with your creative (and drool-worthy) ideas. I’d love to know what inspired these brownies!

  44. “stick removal upon arrival” I had to read that twice, probably because the last time I briefly ventured into Up Tight land was a long time ago. That and the fact that English is not my first language. Time being 7.30am must have something to do with it as well. Severe cold might contribute too. Which caused a major clog-up when I read it the third time just for fun. I won’t tell you the results, lots of spilled coffee, tissues and bodily fluids involved, not pretty lots of fun. At 7.30.
    Thank you. Also for messing with that cake and tiramisu!

  45. Are there t-shirts for sale in Laid Back Land? I think you should have them printed with brownies on them, available at the Pea’s Shop of Awesomeness.

  46. Definitely would rather be in Laid Back Land! With those brownies! In PJ’s on a squashy sofa :) Mmmm!

  47. I guess I don’t have much of a blog following, as I don’t think people care enough about my blog to make nasty comments. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I just don’t get that people are so worked up. Just don’t read if you don’t want to!

    I’ve made a couple of tiramisu recipes but never brownies. They sound great!

  48. Love your blog – am a newbie to Peabody Land. Recipes are amazing. Going to be trying several. Thank you for making our days just a bit more sunny!

  49. For shame Peabody! you should really be more sensitive to those with sticks up their asses… Maybe they were born with it lodged in there, maybe it’s hereditary. It has to be uncomfortable. As for the scowl on their faces, maybe that’s just the way their face looks…scowly. I mean, food is SERIOUS business, it is not to be enjoyed or toyed with.

    I only eat while grimacing and I only eat foods hand harvested by virgins committed to the seriousness of sustenance.


  50. I’ve always liked your blog, but now I LOVE it. I can’t believe that anyone would take the time to comment negatively on a cooking or baking blog. I need to take the time to comment more often on how crazily delicious your creations always look – the brownies are no exception.


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