Cooking with TechyDad: Tie-Dyed Cheesecake

On our trip to Disney World, we sampled many great foods. Everything from Morrocan to Canadian to, well, good-ol’ US of A food. The food that stuck in our minds the most, though, came from the hotel we stayed in. The Pop Century Resorts’ restaurant had Tie-Dye Cheesecake. A delicious, rich cheesecake, swirled with many different colors, was served atop a “crust” made from red velvet cake. *YUM!*

Being the cooking enthusiest that I am, I decided that I couldn’t let Tie-Dyed Red Velvet Cheesecake be just a fond Disney World memory. I *had* to make it myself. A quick Google search turned up this recipe over at Slashfood. If you follow my wife’s blog, you know that we made it and what the result was. Long story short, the cake, while good, was not what I was hoping for. Instead of a multi-colored cheesecake with red velvet crust, we got a red velvet cake with a multi-colored cheesecake icing. The basic recipe was sound. We just had to fiddle with the proportions. So we decided to halve the cake portion and double the cheesecake portion. We also decided to substitute red velvet cake for Strawberry cake.

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Cooking with TechyDad: Eggplant Italian

Finding good eggplants here is a rare occurance. Unfortunately, most eggplants I look at are bruised and/or squishy. So when I find good eggplants, I snatch them up. Last week, I found a pair of good looking eggplants so I bought them and tossed them into my fridge. Luckily, I had a recipe that I wanted to try them with.

I took the eggplants, peeled and sliced them and soaked them in salt water for 5 minutes to help remove the bitterness. Next, I combined some cottege cheese, eggbeaters, salt a pepper in one bowl and tomato sauce, basil and oregano in another. Then, in a non-stick cooking sprayed crockpot, I layered the eggplant, cottege cheese and sauce. Four hours on high later, it was dinner time.

B loved it. She declared it “amazing” and had seconds. In fact, she loved it so much, that my poor side dish (pasta with a tomato sauce, zucchini, broccoli and mushrooms) was pronounced “meh.” It wasn’t that she didn’t like the pasta, she did. It was that it just didn’t hold up in comparison to the eggplant.

Here are some photos of the results:

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And, of course, here is the all-important recipe:

Eggplant Italian
Book: Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly – Healthy, Low-Fat Recipes for Your Slow Cooker by Phyllis Pellman Good
Recipe by: Melanie Thrower
Makes 6-8 servings
(Ideal slow-cooker size: 4 or 5 quart; and oval cooker works best)
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters
  • 24 oz fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2-4 Tbsp Italian seasoning, according to your taste preference (I used 1Tbsp dried Oregano and 1Tbsp dried Basil)
  1. Peel eggplants and cut in 1/2″ thick slices. Soak in salt-water for about 5 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain well.
  2. Spray slow-cooker with fat-free cooking spray.
  3. Mix eggbeaters, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper together in bowl.
  4. Mix tomato sauce and Italian seasoning together in another bowl.
  5. Spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce into the bottom of slow cooker. Top with about one-third of the eggplant slices, and then one-third of the egg/cheese mixture, and finally one-third of the remaining tomato sauce mixture.
  6. Repeat those layers twice, ending with seasoned tomato sauce.
  7. Cover. Cook on high 4 hours. Allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

Per Serving: 120 calories (10 calories from fat), 1g total fat (0g saturated, 0gtrans), 30mg cholesterol, 940mg sodium, 17g total carbohydrate (4g fiber, 11g sugar), 11g protein, 15% DV vitamin A, 4% DV vitamin C, 8% DV calcium, 4% DV iron.

Here’s wishing you good cooking!

Chef TechyDad

Cooking With TechyDad: Cheesy Potato Pancakes with Sausage

A couple of weeks ago, we were looking through the Sunday circular and came upon an ad for Hungry Jack products. Along with the ad was a recipe for Cheesy Potato Pancakes with Sausage. They sounded intriguing, so we decided to make them.  Of course, we keep a Kosher home, so sausage patties were out of the question.  Especially when combined with milk.  We substituted veggie sausage instead, so this recipe is both kosher and vegetarian:

1 package Veggie Sausage Patties
1 cup Buttermilk "Just Add Water" Pancake Mix
1 1/2 cups Mashed Potato Flakes
2 1/2 cups milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

 First, I prepared my dry ingredients.

I put the pancake mix into a large bowl.

Then added the potato flakes.

Next, I prepared my wet ingredients.

I cracked the eggs into a glass bowl.

Added the milk,

The vegetable oil,

And whisked it all together.

After that, I poured the wet ingredients into the dry ones.

In went the carrots.

Then I took the veggie sausages (cooked in the microwave as per package directions)

And crumbled them.

I mixed it all together.

Into the oil it went.

Turn it over.

Some cheddar to put on top.

Finished product with melted cheese (via microwave) and syrup.

All in all, this was a pretty good dish.  I did omit a few ingredients to either try to make it more palatable for kids (e.g. onions) or to make it easier to keep kosher (Parmesan cheese – hideously expensive for the kosher stuff).  Next time, I’ll put the onions in, put the syrup in the mix, and maybe even spring for kosher Parmesan cheese.


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