Food Recipes Mine Recipes Tried

Recipe :: Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich

Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun
Final sando

This is a riff on a recipe that I found on New York Times Cooking. I say “riff” because while I intended to follow the recipe, once I got started, I realized it wasn’t going to happen.

Check out the original recipe here.

For the marinade:

I used the juice from a jar of pickles that I realized too late, I do not like. But it still turned out good. I can’t wait to try it with pickle juice I like!

I did not use hot sauce because the pickles I used the juice from were already spicy pickles. But I did use red pepper flakes.

I let it marinate a day longer than the recipe said because we ended up making alternate dinner plans on the night we were going to have it. It was fine, feel free to do this if you need to.

For the Dip and Dredge prep:

Why should I use ½ cup of Dijon when that much was not needed? Same with the flour. I’m not into wasting food. So, I just used what I felt was necessary and still had too much of both of those.

For assembly:

I didn’t want to buy a whole head of cabbage so I just got a bag of coleslaw mix. I figured that would be better because it’s a mix of cabbages. Variety, the spice of life!

I also didn’t use that much oil just because I didn’t have that much on hand. I had a small container of oil in the fridge that was leftover from frying something previously and then the rest of the vegetable oil I had in the house. It probably was only one inch thick in the pan. I used a small pan so it would be deeper and I worked in batches.

OK with all that out of the way…

These turned out about 100 times better than I had hoped. When I smelled the marinade, after the tofu sat in it for 2 days I was not hopeful. It was not pleasing.

But I persevered, and I’m glad I did.

Fried Tofu trying on rack
after it came out of the oil

I put the  fried tofu pieces on a nice brioche bun (from Imperfect Foods), topped with the coleslaw and since I wasn’t a fan of the pickles we had, I used dill pickle relish.

It was very tasty, but I felt it could be better if the mayo was mixed into the coleslaw mix as well as the relish. I also felt it needed a piece of cheese.

So here are the ones that I made.

Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun open-faced
before the slaw
Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun

While I was eating it, I was pretty amazed at how the inside actually looked like chicken!

inside of Crispy Tofu Sandwich on bun
Here’s what the inside looks like, almost looks like chicken!

Then Greg wanted another sandwich (a good sign) but since we were out of brioche buns he used a hoagie roll. He did mix the mayo, coleslaw and relish and also used cheese. I tasted it, it was MUCH better.

tofu dansich on a hoagie roll with cheese
Greg’s version, on a hoagie roll with cheese.

So here’s my updated recipe.


Food Recipes Mine

Copycat Big10 Subs- Hoagies

I went to college at the U of MN in the late 80s. I think it’s safe to say I was addicted to these subs. Note that I DO know that a sub is cold so these are technically “hoagies” but the restaurant was called “Big10 Subs” and they called them subs, so…that’s what I’m sticking with.

I ate these at least twice a week when I lived in the dorm nearby even though I was poor. I kept $2.50 in a hidden pocket in my jacket so that I would always have enough for a sub when I needed one.

Well that restaurant has closed. But the Hopkins location was taken over by a restaurant called Thirty Bales. This place still makes these sandwiches and sells them in their restaurant. On Mondays though, you can order them and go pick them up! We did that a week or so ago. (they’re $7 now)

Since we’re a fair distance from Hopkins they weren’t terribly fresh by the time we got home. But they were still pretty damn good.

Big10 sub

But it inspired me to copycat their subs and make them at home.

The bread is a very important part of the hoagie for me, so while these were really good, I would say this is probably the only part I would change up or try to improve on mine.

Copycat Big10 Sub
Copycat Big10 Sub

Copycat Big10 Assorted Sub

If you prefer to use CopyMeThat, it’s here.

Sandwich oil: Or you can buy this pre-made

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 12 slices deli ham (3 per sandwich)
  • 12 slices deli turkey
  • 12 slices provolone (might need more if you like it super cheesy)
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded (about a cup per sandwich)
  • 1 large tomato sliced very thinly
  • ½ white onion sliced very thinly

Make the Sandwich Oil ahead of time. I did it only a few hours ahead but it was a lot better a couple days later when we made these a second time.

Just add all the ingredients together and shake in jar or bottle. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the garlic butter ahead of time too if you can. Melt the butter and toss in the minced garlic. If using unsalted butter add some salt. That way you can keep it on the counter for a few days.

If the hoagie rolls aren’t already sliced, do that. It’s OK to cut all the way through. Butter the bread.

Place the buttered bread into the toaster oven butter side up, of course.  (I’m sure you can do a regular oven too, I just find a toaster oven easier to keep track of and regulate the time). Watch it closely as it goes from “not done at all” to “burnt”.

Take out the bread and set the tops aside to cool (best if it’s on towel so that the condensation doesn’t make them wet.

You’re going to build the subs on the bottoms of the bread.

Lay down the meat first and put the subs back in the oven for a few minutes just to heat up the meat.

Pull them out, add cheese. I just use one piece of cheese broken in half. But I think two would be better. Slide those puppies back into the oven to let the cheese melt.

Meanwhile slather some mayo on the tops of the buns.

Pull the bottoms out and lay down the onion and tomato on top of the melted cheese. Drizzle the oil over that.

Grab and handful* of lettuce and slam that top on. Hold it there for a bit so it doesn’t all fall apart. Stick a toothpick in, if it seems like it’s going to fall apart.


*it’s not a Big10 Sub unless there’s a salad left on your plate when you’re done with the sandwich.

Copycat Big10 Sub
Copycat Big10 Sub

Greg made them again a few days later, he toasted the buns in the pan instead of the oven. But otherwise used my method.

Copycat Big10 Sub

Food Recipes Mine

Recipe :: Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup

This was originally called Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup and it was an Olive Garden copycat. But I changed so much that I feel it is my own now.
I was debating between a Zuppa Toscana and this Olive Garden copycat for dinner last night. I decided I wanted to use the gnocchi I got from Imperfect Foods.

I’ve never had the soup at Olive Garden so I have no reference point. Plus I as I mentioned, I changed so much that it’s not the same recipe at all.

Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup
Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup

Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup


  • Cooking spray
  • 10 ounces True Story Organic Chicken Sausage 
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups beef (or veg, or chicken) broth.
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package potato gnocchi

Prep ingredients as noted (chop, slice veg and sausage).

Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray.

Over medium high heat sauté chicken sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic until tender.

Add the butter and stir veggies until butter is melted.

Add the flour and stir well so that the flour is all incorporated, no white spots showing.

Slowly add the chicken broth and stir or whisk until it starts to thicken.

Add the gnocchi and simmer for about 5 minutes or until gnocchi is cooked and soup is thickened.

Add the spinach to the pot and turn off the heat. Stir, then cover for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted (if the soup is too thin, leave the cover off.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

The only changes I might make next time are to use a hot sausage instead of sweet, or add some cayenne to the soup for a kick.

I also might use red pepper instead of green just for some color.

My Recipe: Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup 

Original Recipe: Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

The gnocchi, green pepper, onion, carrot, chicken sausage, and garlic  were all from Imperfect Foods.  Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)





Recipes Mine Recipes Tried

Breakfast :: Potato and Sausage Hash

For Sunday brunch this past weekend I made the Lazy Sausage and Potatoes from My Fridge Food.

My Fridge Food is a website where you can punch in what you have on hand and it will suggest recipes for you to make based on what you have. I was looking for a good Kielbasa recipe and this is what was suggested.

I took one look at it and automatically pictured an egg on top, as you do.

This is one where I followed the directions (except that I forgot the onions) and I wish I hadn’t. The result was good, but needed work.

Here’s why:

  • The kielbasa ended up being overcooked, it was almost hard in some spots.
  • The potatoes needed their own seasoning: I didn’t add salt because I didn’t think the recipe called for it*, and since kielbasa is salty, I skipped it. Though I did add some oil.
  • *The recipe is written poorly. It says, “Toss everything EXCEPT the cheese, into a bowl and combine well.” So the cheese should be the last thing on the list of ingredients. Why would you expect people to look past the cheese when the cheese is added at the end? The ingredient list should be written in the order you use the ingredients.

So I’ve rewritten it with more clear directions and altered the method so that the meat doesn’t overcook.

Breakfast Sausage and Potato Hash

Roasted potatoes and peppers in a bowl


1 medium onion
3 medium russet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
8oz of smoked sausage (about half of a package)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese  
4 eggs (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large sheet pan (with sides) with foil. Use cooking spray or drizzle oil onto the pan to keep from sticking.

Prep the ingredients:
Onion: peel and chop into 1 inch cubes chunks
Potatoes: chop into 1 inch cubes (unpeeled)
Peppers: chop into 1 inch chunks
Put onions, peppers and potatoes into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the thyme or whatever spices you want, s&p, and toss.
Put the veggies onto the sheet pan and jiggle the pan so that everything is “single file” (not on top of each other).

Put that in the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. While the potato mixture is roasting, slice the kielbasa into ½” rounds.

When the timer goes off, add the kielbasa to the sheet pan of veggies and set the timer for about 10 minutes. But keep checking and take out when the potatoes are golden brown.

Turn off the oven. Sprinkle the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes, and pop back into the oven a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Eggs on hash in bowl

You can eat it just as is, or use this cheese-melting-time to make some sunny side up eggs to put on top.

Ready for the yolk p+rn?

broken yolk on plate of hash

If you try it let me know what you think!

Original Recipe: Lazy Sausage and Potatoes 

My Recipe on Copy Me That

Kielbasa, peppers, and cheese were from Imperfect Foods.

Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.


Food Meal kits Recipes Mine

Recipe :: Indian-Spiced Chicken with Brown Rice

This was a Plated dish called Indian-Spiced Chicken with Cardamom Brown Butter, Pistachios, and Roasted Carrots. I’ve made it a few times now, without the kit and make some changes.
Sine the meal kit it came from is discontinued I think I can share the recipe, especially since I’m not sharing their recipe, but my adaptation of it.
Here’s what it looked like when I made it with the kit:

Indian-spiced chicken
done with the meal kit

The second time I made it, I substituted thighs for breasts. I don’t recall why I made that choice, but I prefer dark meat, and usually have it on hand more than chicken breasts, so that’s probably it.

Indian-spiced chicken
without the kit, subbed meat and no nuts

The third time I made it, well…the new change was an accident. I prepped the carrots and put them in the oven. I set a timer, but I didn’t hear it and didn’t remember the carrots until we were done eating. Ooops! Luckily it was still amazing!

Indian-spiced chicken
on my own, who needs carrots?

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Brown Rice

3 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup quick cooking brown rice
2½ cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ tablespoons golden raisins
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Dash of cayenne
black pepper

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat (if you’re making the rice on the stove). You’ll be draining it so you want at least 2 cups of water.

Rinse spinach and pat dry with paper towel; roughly chop.

Pat chicken very dry with paper towel and cut into 1/2″ pieces. Season all over with garam masala, a sprinkle of salt, and pepper.

Meanwhile, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in rice and cook until tender, 22–25 minutes. Drain and return to pot, off heat, then cover to keep warm. Or you can make the rice in the Instant Pot, quick release and drain off excess water.

While rice cooks, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken; sear until golden and pieces easily lift from pan, 6 minutes. Stir and sear other sides until cooked through and no longer pink, about 6 minutes more. Remove pan from heat. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside to rest; wipe pan clean for the next step.

Place pan from chicken over medium heat, then add butter, cardamom, and almonds. Swirl pan occasionally until butter turns golden and fragrant and pistachios are toasted, 7–8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired; remove pan from heat.

To pot with rice, still off heat, add golden raisins, spinach, and half of cardamom brown butter and pistachios. Stir everything to combine and wilt spinach slightly. Taste for salt and add as needed.

Divide rice between serving plates. Top with Indian-spiced chicken and spoon over remaining cardamom brown butter and almonds.

I did think that this would be great with roasted vegetables such as carrot (which the original recipe called for) or asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, or broccoli. Any veg that roasts well. I think I will do brussels next time.

Let me know if you try it (or if you have in the past!)

Food Recipes Mine

Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving Table
Well, this year was different for all of us. We usually have my parents over to dine with us. But last year my father died, and then this year…well, we all know what this year brought. My dad’s wife spent Thanksgiving with her family and we were going to have my mom over. But as the day got closer she decided she didn’t want to chance it with the virus spreading like wild fire.

We’d already bought all the food so we were doing the meal either way. Greg really likes doing the turkey and I like doing all the sides, so we had a very small Thanksgiving with just us and the pets.

Click the names of the recipes to visit the sites where they came from.

I made The Best Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes from Pinch of Yum

Thanksgiving Mashed Potaotes
from Pinch of Yum

Simple is Best Stuffing from Bon Appetit  I made this last year too and it’s super good!

Thanksgiving Stuffing
from Bon Appetit

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey and Miso. This is from the New York Times so if you don’t subscribe you may have trouble seeing this one. You may know of my love/hate with NYT cooking (last year I used their mashed potatoes and they were TERRIBLE) but this one is great!

Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts

And the Pièce De Résistance…

Thanksgiving Turkey
Yes, the top looks burned. It got a little hot at the end, but it was delicious!

Greg’s Brined and Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey carved

I wrote up the recipe based on what he told me. I think he left some things out, so if you use this, you might have to improvise a little. Nothing is specific. That’s how we roll.

Brine Ingredients:
1¼ cup Kosher Salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups honey
1 big bunch of parsley
6 or more sprigs each of thyme, tarragon, sage (if you don’t have fresh, I just use up my old dried herbs).
3 lemons halved
1 can concentrated apple juice
1 gallon (16 cups) boiling water
1 gallon cold water
You can also throw in an orange of whatever else that is hanging around and seems good.
12 pound turkey

Roast Ingredients:
3 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, each cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed in resealable plastic bag
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 lemons, halved
1 stick butter, room temp/softened

Brine Directions:
Combine all ingredients except water in a large stock type pot.
Boil 1 gallon of water and pour over the brine ingredients.
Simmer on the stovetop for 5 minutes.
Add one gallon of cold water
Bring mixture to room temperature.
Submerge turkey (after washing and getting all the gross stuff out of the inside) in this fantastic brine and refrigerate overnight 12-24 hours (original recipe says 18 hours is optimal).
If you have to use more water to submerge the turkey, just add some more salt.

Roast Directions:
Cook fennel in large pot of boiling salted water until tender when pierced with knife, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons oil; garlic; 1 tablespoon each fennel seeds, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and marjoram; then 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix remaining 1 tablespoon each fennel seeds and herbs in small bowl.
Rub 1 stick softened butter under the skin of the bird. Oil up the bird and rub with salt, pepper, fennel herb mix. Fill cavity with herb, garlic, lemon, apple, onion, celery.
In large roasting pan, arrange remaining fresh fennel mixture along with any of the other veg that didn’t fit in the cavity. Place turkey, breast side down on top of the vegetable mixture. Tie the legs together.
Roast for 30 minutes. After that time, turn the heat to 350F and continue roasting turkey, basting occasionally with pan juices until juices run clear when pierced with fork in thickest part of thigh, about 2 hours longer.
Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest for about 30 minutes before carving.

We don’t serve the veggies. But you can save them to use in the Instant Pot later when you make broth out of the carcass.

Pour pan juices into bowl; skim off fat. Make gravy from the drippings. (butter, flour, broth and juices).

Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy

It made so much that I was able to pack up several boxes of leftovers and give some away.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

It was really nice, but I do hope we can have more family visiting for Christmas.

Recipes Mine

Recipe :: Chili

Yesterday for some reason I was cold all day! I kept wrapping myself in blankets, sipping tea, snuggling puppies and just couldn’t get warm. This is unlike me, usually I am sweltering when others are complaining about it being cold. Thank goodness I don’t work in an office with other people anymore.

Anyway, 5pm hit and I realized I didn’t have a dinner plan. But I almost always have everything for Chili on hand, so I decided to go that route. I also decided to try it in the Instant Pot since I’d waited too long to start dinner.
It worked very well!! Here’s the recipe:

Red Chili

Amy’s Red Chili

1 pound extra lean ground beef (or turkey, or vegetarian alternative)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder (at least)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (at least)
4 ounce can green (mild) chilis, diced
2 tablespoons canned jalapeno (or 1 whole pepper fresh, diced)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
28 ounces tomatoes, canned
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 cups fat-free beef broth
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional, but so nice)
3 Whole Chipotle Chile Canned In Adobo + 2 Tablespoons Adobo Sauce (optional)
dash of ground cloves and any other spices you might want to add (more of the above, plus garlic powder, chipotle powder, etc.)
½ bell pepper (any color), chopped
15 ounces kidney beans, canned, undrained
15 Ounces Black Beans, Canned, undrained

Stovetop/Slow Cooker:
Heat a large pot to medium high and spray with cooking spray. When hot add ground beef with a little of the salt, oregano, chili powder and cumin. Break the meat apart with the spoon and cook until no longer pink. When almost done, add onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or so.
If you want to use the slow cooker, at this point transfer the cooked meat and spices into that vessel and continue using the slow cooker.
Add tomatoes, broth, other seasonings (including espresso powder) and tomato sauce.

Stovetop; Simmer for 1 hour (this is just to blend flavor–if not enough time skip this). Taste for seasoning, adding more if need be. I usually find I need to add a little salt here.
Slow cooker; set on low for 4 hours or more, longer the better as long as it doesn’t get too thick. Check it every hour if you can.

Add the two cans of beans (you can drain if you want, but I like that the “sauce” has extra nutrients and makes the chili a little thicker) and bell peppers and simmer for 15 minutes.

Red Chili

Instant Pot:
Set the Instant Pot on sauté mode and spray with cooking spray. When hot add ground beef with a little of the salt, oregano, chili powder and cumin. Break the meat apart with the spoon and cook until no longer pink. When almost done, add onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or so. Turn off the pot (hit cancel).

Add tomatoes, broth, other seasonings (including espresso powder) and tomato sauce. Put the lid on and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes (you can certainly go longer, this is to develop flavor). Quick release. Taste for seasoning, adding more if need be. I usually find I need to add a little salt here.

Turn off the pot (hit cancel). Then put it back in sauté mode. You are going to want to simmer it for a bit to warm up the beans and peppers. Add the two cans of beans (you can drain if you want, but I like that the “sauce” has extra nutrients and makes the chili a little thicker) and bell peppers and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheddar or taco cheese, sour cream and green onions, cilantro, saltines, corn chips, whatever you like on chili!

This time I did not use the chipotle in adobo because I didn’t feel like opening a whole can to use so little. So I just used chipotle powder. It was maybe not as “deep” of a flavor, but still delicious. I’m sure it will be even better today for lunch!

Red Chili

I hope you try it! Let me know how it goes!

Affiliate links:

Here’s the instant pot I have:

The beans, ground beef, onions, garlic, and peppers were all from Imperfect Foods


Recipes Mine

Lunch :: Sweet Potato with Broccoli Cheese

Sweet Potato with Broccoli Cheese. Sometimes I want a vegetarian lunch. Then I go and make it unhealthy with cheese sauce.

This is my recipe so I can share the whole thing here. Note, I had some difficulty here. Suggestions for cooking that damn potato are welcome!

Sweet Potato with Broccoli Cheese


  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 slice white American cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what I did:

Rinsed off the sweet potato and pricked all over with a fork.

Placed the wire insert in the pot so that the potato isn’t touching the water. Poured in a cup of water.

Placed the cut broccoli in a steamer basket and sprinkled with a little salt. Placed it on the potato.

This is where I need help…I cooked it on high for 6 minutes. The broccoli was done but the potato was nowhere near done.

Took the broccoli out and put the potato back in on high pressure for another 9 minutes. Still not done. Another 9 minutes. Still not done. I gave up and microwaved it for 3 minutes.

While that stupid potato was “cooking” I made the cheese sauce.

Melted the butter, added the flour, whisked until no lumps. Added the milk, kept whisking until the sauce was all incorporated.

Broke up the cheese and dropped into the sauce. Stirred until it was combined.

It would normally be done at this point,  but because of the potato debacle, I had to take it off the heat and reheat it with the now cold broccoli.

Scooped out the potato guts and place in bowl, mash up a little. Add the broccoli cheese sauce.

Notes:  Made this October 2, 2020. Once that freaking potato cooked, it was delicious. I made it again a few days later, using a slice of yellow Kraft American cheese and it was also very good.

Sweet potato, broccoli, butter, and almond milk all from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 too.