Archive for November, 2008


I loved this idea for a beautiful dessert for Thanksgiving, so I took off with it. I doubled my pumpkin cake recipe, making two round pans, then made a dairy-free cream cheese icing, and topped it with the fruit. Pretty AND very delicious. Enjoy!

Pumpkin-orange-pomegranate cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs

2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups pumpkin puree


3 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided

6 ounces soy cream cheese

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

2 cups mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained

1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 2)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans.

Place the sugar, oil and eggs in the large bowl of your mixer and combine.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, and mix well.

Stir in the pumpkin puree and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and cake tester comes out clean from center. Cool on rack.

Make icing: Place 1 cup powdered sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add remaining powdered sugar and rind; beat until fluffy.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread 2/3 cup cream cheese frosting evenly over top of cake. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining cream cheese frosting over top, but not sides, of cake. Arrange orange slices in a ring around outer edge of top cake layer. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over center of top cake layer. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator. Makes 16 servings.


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This week’s Presto Pasta Nights Roundup is being hosted at More Than Words blog. All I can say is Mmm, Mmm, Good!

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Yesterday, I posted a photo of my latticed “sour cream” apple streusel pie, and I promised a photo of the interior. Well, here it is, and was it splendid! As promised, here is the delicious recipe. Enjoy!

“Sour cream” apple streusel pie (adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook)


2  1/2 cups flour

5 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 tablespoons margarine, chilled

4-6 tablespoons apple cider, chilled

Sift flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon into a bowl. Cut in the margarine with a fork until mixture resembles rolled oats. Moisten with just enough cider, tossing lightly with a fork, to permit the dough to be formed into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cut off one third of the dough and return it to the fridge. Roll out the other two thirds between 2 sheets of wax paper. Line a greased 9″ pie pan with the dough and trim the overhang and crimp decoratively.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


5 tart apples (I used Granny Smiths)

2/3 cup soy sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons flour

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples, and place the slices in a mixing bowl. Whisk together in a separate small bowl the sour cream, sugar, egg, salt, vanilla, and flour. Pour mixture over apples and toss well to coat. Spoon apples into pastry-lined pie pan.


3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix the sugars, cinnamon, and walnuts together and sprinkle evenly over the apple filling.

Roll out the remaining pie dough between sheets of wax paper to form a 10″ circle. Cut into 1/2″ strips, and arrange these lattice-fashion over the apples; trim the end of the strips and crimp the edge of the crust.

Set the pie in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes. Should the crust brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil. The pie is done when the juices are bubbling and the apples are tender. Serves 8.

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Okay, don’t laugh. It was my first attempt at a lattice pie. But it sure smells good, and the recipe, from the Silver Palate, sounded too good to pass up on for Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for a view of a slice of this pie, and the recipe. But you’ll have to wait til at least tomorrow, ’cause it doesn’t get touched until then!

BTW, I adapted this recipe quite easily, subbing soy margarine for butter, and soy sour cream for the real thing. Can’t wait to bite into it.

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This was an easy dish to put together in the midst of Thanksgiving cooking week. I needed something tasty but not too much work. Not only did this recipe fit the bill, but it was very very good. I adapted it from this recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis, and subbed soy cheeses for mozzarella and parmesan, used margarine for butter, and utilized a package of already-grilled chicken that I had on hand. All in all, a quick and easy pasta dish that will have you helping yourself to seconds and thirds. Enjoy!

Italian baked chicken and pasta

1 pound small pasta (I used mini fusilli)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup leftover or pre-cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 cup shredded soy mozzarella

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan

1 tablespoon margarine, plus more for coating baking dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package instructions til al dente, then drain and place pasta in a large bowl.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and add the onions and garlic. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cut-up chicken and toss everything together. Add the mixture to the pasta bowl. Then add the tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. 

Place mixture into an 8×8″ baking dish, greased with a little margarine. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the parmesan, and sprinkle on top of the pasta. Dot the top with little slivers of margarine.

Bake until the top is golden, about 35-40 minutes.


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Make-ahead turkey gravy


I’ve never made my gravy ahead of time for Thanksgiving, but it sounded like a good idea, in light of the fact that there seems to be so much to do on the actual holiday, so why not get something as important as gravy done ahead of time. This recipe is from Woman’s Day. It calls for turkey wings, but I couldn’t find any (after searching 3 different markets), so instead I used turkey drumsticks. 3/4 cup of flour is called for, but I only used 1/2 cup – I don’t like a very thick gravy. The beauty of this recipe is that you are left with meat leftovers, which, as we all know, can be used for an abundance of recipes. Enjoy!

Make-ahead turkey gravy

4 turkey wings (or drumsticks) (about 3-4 pounds)

2 medium onion, cut up

1 cup water

8 cups chicken broth

1 chopped carrot

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons margarine

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the wings (drumsticks) in a single layer in your roasting pan; scatter onions on top. Roast for 1 1/4 hours or until browned.

Put wings and onion in a 3 quart saucepan. Add water to the roasting pan; stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom. Add to the saucepan. Add 6 cups of broth, and refrigerate the other 2 cups. Add the carrot and the thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the wings. Pour the broth into a large bowl, then strain the broth back into the saucepan. Skim off any fat.

Whisk the flour into the remaining 2 cups of broth until well blended. 

Bring the broth in the saucepan to a boil, and whisk in the flour mixture. Boil for 5 minutes to thicken the gravy. Stir in the margarine and pepper.

This will freeze for up to 1 month, and easily reheats. You can also add your drippings from your freshly roasted turkey.

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This week’s Presto Pasta Nights Roundup is being hosted at the Soy and Pepper blog. The offerings look so enticing. Stop over and be prepared to get hungry!

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This delicious recipe, created by Lidia Bastianich, is a very tasty way to prepare boneless chicken breast. I modified it only slightly, by using margarine instead of butter. It made a very elegant appearance, very nicely seasoned and pretty colors, too. I served it with a side of brown rice. This is a Mediterranean dinner at its best. Enjoy!

Sauteed chicken with olives, capers, and roasted lemons

approximately 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 lemons, sliced 1/4″ thick

2 five-ounce bags of baby spinach

2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs

4 six-ounce boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sliced Spanish olives

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1 cup chicken broth

3 tablespoons margarine, in small dice

2 tablespoons chopped flat parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the paper with olive oil, spread the lemons on the paper and drizzle the lemons with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, til the lemons begin to brown around the edges.

Meanwhile heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the spinach and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a strainer, and press out moisture. Wipe out the skillet and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until toasted. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook for one minute.

In a large medium skillet, heat 4 tablespoons olive oil. Coat the chicken breasts with flour and season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken over high heat, turning once, until golden on all sides. Add the olives, capers, and stock, bringing to a boil. Cook over high heat until the stock is reduced by two-thirds. Add the roasted lemons, the margarine, and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for about another 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to plates, spoon sauce over top, and serve with spinach on the side. Makes 4 servings.

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This recipe from Cooking LIght was a perfect example of a dairy-containing recipe that is easily adaptable for the lactose intolerant person. Easy enough with soy mozzarella and soy parmesan. This rustic and hearty dish was perfect tonight, as we watched our first snow begin to fall. Luckily, the snow didn’t stick, but this dish will definitely stick to your ribs. Scrumptious. The ingredient list is a little long, but it comes together easily. Enjoy!

Baked stuffed shells


1/4 cup boiling water

6 sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 14-ounce package firm tofu

1 egg

18 cooked jumbo pasta shells


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 chopped onions

1 chopped green pepper

1 chopped red pepper

3 garlic cloves minced

3/4 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed

1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons soy parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare stuffing: combine boiling water with sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes until tomatoes soften. Drain and finely chop. Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan, parsley, ground pepper, salt, tofu, and egg in a food processor, and process until smooth. Spoon 2 tablespoonfuls into each pasta shell. Set aside, lightly covered.

Prepare sauce: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute until tender, then place in a bowl. Next add the sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced to 2 tablespoonfuls. Stir in the onion/pepper mixture, tomato paste, oregano, basil, ground pepper, salt, and crushed tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thick.

Spread a cup of sauce over the bottom of an 11 x 7″ baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer in the pan; top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons soy parmesan over the sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6 servings.

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A la Food Wishes, this recipe looked too good to take a pass on. True, I did not use cream; I used non-dairy creamer. And no, I did not use real parmesan cheese; soy parm was my selection. This was absolutely delicious, even with “inferior” ingredients that are non-dairy. Yes, you can still enjoy delectable dishes and not miss out on great flavor. Enjoy!

Creamy mushroom pasta

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3/4 pound sliced mushrooms

1/4 pound sliced shitake mushrooms

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 ounces sherry

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup nondairy creamer

1/2 cup soy parmesan cheese

1/2 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 pound fettucine

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have sweated their moisture and become nicely browned and softened. 

Add the sherry, and cook down until almost completely gone. Then add the vegetable stock and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing all the flavors to nicely mingle together. Then add the creamer, stir, and simmer for about 10 minutes. The mixture will begin to cook down and thicken. 

Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine according to package instructions until al dente

Off heat, add the soy parmesan cheese and the herbs to the mushroom mixture and combine thoroughly. Add the drained pasta to the creamy mushroom sauce and toss thoroughly to coat. Makes 4 servings.


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