Philly Cheese Steak
May 31, 2011, 11:00 am
Filed under: Dinners/Lunches

I’d never had a Philly Cheese Steak before, so we found this killer recipe – it’s so good!


• 2 cups gluten
• less than 2 cups cold water
• 10 cups vegetable broth, boiling
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 small onion, sliced
• 1 green bellpepper, sliced (optional, not seen here)
• 4 slices provolone, torn into strips
• Hoagie rolls, toasted

First things first, we’ll need to make some seitan.

1. In a medium bowl, combine gluten and water and stir until spongey.
2. Tear off handfuls of gluten, and place in the boiling broth
3. Simmer for 60-90 minutes.  (The longer it simmers, the more flavorful!)
4. Remove gluten from the broth.
5. Once cooled, cut into very thin strips. Dispose of broth.
6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and the peppers. Stir and cook until the onions begin to turn clear (3-5 minutes)
7. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, then add the seitan strips.
8. Cook, pushing the seitan, peppers and onions from one side of the pan to the other, to ensure even cooking.
9. The seitan will start to crisp and turn golden (approximately 3-5 minutes). Turn off the heat, lay the cheese strips on top of your mixture, and cover your skillet. Let sit until the cheese has melted, and spoon your mixture into a toasted Hoagie-roll.

Happy Memorial Day! Sweet Potato Salad
May 30, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Dinners/Lunches

This salad is a delicious and filling companion for your BBQ food today. We served it at our BBQ-style wedding reception, so flavorful! :]


• 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced.
• 1 minced red onion
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced.
• 1 clove garlic
• 2 limes, juiced and filtered (no pulp or seeds)
• 1 can black beans, drained and cooked.
• 1 bellpepper (any color you’d like)
• 1 cup chopped cilantro
• salt and pepper, to taste.

1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle the potatoes and onion mixture with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Roast in oven for 15 minutes on one side, turn and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
5. In food processsor, blend garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, remaining olive oil, and salt & pepper.
6. Place the black beans, bellpepper and cilantro in a big bowl, toss.
7. Drizzle with sauce that you made in the food processor.
8. Finally, toss in the cooled potato and onion mixture. Serve hot or cold.

Cinnamon Sugar Bread
May 29, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Desserts!

I got this recipe from Joy The Baker. There are a lot of directions, but don’t let it scare you – the bread was so delicious and makes your house smell great!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

For the Dough:
• 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/3 cup milk
• 1/4 cup water
• 2 large egg, room temp
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 cup butter, melted until browned

1. Using the whisk attachment in a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.
2. Whisk eggs and set aside.
3. Using a small saucepan on low heat, melt milk and butter until the butter has just melted. Remove from heat, add water and vanilla.
4. Let mixture stand for 2 minutes.
5. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula. Add the eggs, and keep folding. When the eggs have been mixed in, add 3/4 cup of flour and stir in. Your mixture should now be sticky.
6. Coat a medium sized bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the ball, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cover again with a hand towel. Allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour.
7. While your dough is rising, get a small bowl and whisk together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Melt the 1/4 cup butter until browned, remove from heat.
8. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray and flour.
9. After you dough has risen for an hour, deflate the dough and knead the remaining 2 tablespoons flour into the dough.
10. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out, as far out as it will go.
11. Use a brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough. Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

12. Slice the dough into six, identical vertical strips. Stack the strips on top of each other, and slice 6 more times. Now, you will have 6, stacked squares.
13. Layer the squares in the loaf pan. Place the hand towel over the loaf pan and leave out at room temp for approximately 45 minutes, until it has risen again.
14. Preheat oven to 350 F
15. Bake for 35 minutes.
16. Remove from the oven, let cool for around 1/2 an hour.

French Silk Pie (Tastes just like Denny’s!)
May 28, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Desserts!

A delicious quick dessert! We cheated and bought a pre-baked Oreo pie crust – definitely sped up the cooking time!

French Silk Pie

• 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 1 prepared 8 inch pastry shell

1. Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream butter in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly beat in the sugar until well blended.
3. Add in the thoroughly cooled chocolate, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 5 minutes on medium speed after each addition.
5. Spoon the chocolate filling into a pie shell.
6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
7. Top with delicious whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

Delicious Whipped Cream

It’s important to have all of the items you will be using, chilled. I place the bowl and whisk attachment for my Kitchenaid in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before hand.

• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, whisk all of the items together at high speed, until whipped cream is thick and will form a peak when you take the mixer out.

To use chocolate shavings, I took a square of baking chocolate and used my vegetable peeler, sliding up and down the pointed edge.

Saucy Beans with Eggplant
May 27, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Dinners/Lunches

I borrowed this recipe from my sister. Jack loved it, but admittedly, it did not hold up very well in the fridge! You might want to cut this recipe in half :]

Saucy Beans with Eggplant

• 1 small eggplant, cut in 8 rounds
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/4 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
• 1 cup instant rice (white or brown)
• 1 15-oz. can navy or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 26-oz. jar roasted garlic pasta sauce

1. Brush eggplant lightly with approximately 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and pepper, then dip in bread crumbs, until the eggplant is fully covered.
2. In a medium skillet, cook eggplant in remaining oil over medium-high heat for approximately 3 minutes per side.
3. Cook rice according to package directions.
4. In another saucepan combine beans and pasta sauce; heat through.
5. Combine all of the elements on your plate, and enjoy!

Chicken Fried Steak
May 26, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Dinners/Lunches

Another great fake-meat recipe, delicious by itself, or the next day on a toasted sandwich with the mozzarella!

Chicken Fried Steak

• 2 cups gluten
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 cup cold water
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large pot of boiling vegetable broth
• 3 cups flour
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. In a medium bowl, combine gluten, flour, onion powder and garlic powder.
2. In a separate bowl, combine cold water, soy sauce, olive oil – whisk together well.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix together with a heavy spoon until spongy.
4. Form and flatten very small patties (they triple in size) approximately 8-12 patties
5. Place the patties into the boiling vegetable broth, cover and simmer for 90 minutes.
6. Strain the patties from the vegetable broth
7. Fill a small brown lunch bag with the 3 cups of flour, cayenne, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, shake well.
8. One at a time, take a patty and drop it into the bag, roll the bag and shake, until the patty is coated.
9. Remove with clean, dry fingers or tongs.
10. Fry the chicken fried steak patties in vegetable oil, until crispy.
11. Remove from oil onto a plate covered with paper towels to drain excess oil.

Four Cheese PUMPKIN Lasagna
May 25, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Dinners/Lunches

We were going pumpkin crazy around Halloween and got rather burn-out. This was the perfect dish to get me excited about pumpkin, again!

Four Cheese Pumpkin Lasagna

• 2 cups peeled and diced pumpkin
• 5 Roma tomatoes, diced.
• 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds, then diced.
• 1 pint ricotta cheese
• 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
• 2/3 cup pesto
• 2 eggs, beaten
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
• approx. 4 sheets of lasagna noodles, boiled and cooled.
• Approx. 2 cups shredded mozzerella, or 8 pieces of string cheese.
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Place pumpkin on a cooking sheet – cook for 15 minutes, turn over and add tomatoes.
3. Cook for 15 more minutes.
4. Cook eggplant in a skillet, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, feta, pesto, eggs, salt and pepper until well mixed. Add pumpkin, tomatoes and eggplant to the cheese mixture and stir gently.
6. Lightly coat the bottom of a 8×8 in cooking dish with tomato sauce. Lay 2-3 pasta sheets on top of the sauce. Spoon in half of the filling.
7. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmeasan.
8. Layer one more time, in the same order: tomato sauce, 2-3 pasta sheets, filling, and remaining mozzerella and Parmesan.
9. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden and delicious!