Philly Cheesesteak (With a Twist)

Pairs with “The Truth About Thea”

For a book that begins in Philadelphia and takes plenty of twists and turns on its way to a surprise ending…you need to mix the menu up a bit. Pinot Noir and cheesesteaks – it’s a match made in literary heaven.


2 tbsp. butter
1 large onion, sliced
1 large red pepper, sliced
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup beef broth
1 lb. sliced roast beef from the deli, chopped
2 tubes of crescent roll dough, unwrapped into rectangles
¼” thin sliced provolone

Egg wash, for brushing
Salt & pepper, to taste

melted cheese sauce:
1 cup lowfat milk
4 tsp. all purpose flour
1.5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1/3 cup)
¼ tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers in the melted butter until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, and broth, until cream cheese is melted. Stir in roast beef. Season with salt & pepper. Drain excess liquid

Unwrap the crescent rolls and separate into 8 small rectangles. Arrange on a non-greased 12 inch pizza pan or large round casserole dish in the shape of a sun, leaving a small circle (about 2 ½ inches wide) in the center. Half of each crescent dough rectangle should hang over the edge of the pizza pan or casserole dish.

Place half of the slices of provolone cheese around the half of the crescent dough rectangle that is on the inside of the pizza pan or casserole dish. Top with the well drained steak, onions, and peppers, making sure to keep the filling in a circular tube around the crescent dough. Top with the remaining cheese. Carefully pick up the overhanging crescent dough and enclose the filling, tucking the dough underneath in the center of the ring, so all (or nearly all) of the filling is enclosed. Brush with egg wash.Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until dough is cooked through and is a deep golden brown. Let cool slightly before slicing.

While baking, prepare the cheese sauce: Combine ¼ cup milk and flour in saucepan; stir with a whisk. Stir in remaining ¾ cup milk and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and pepper, stirring until cheese melts.

red velvet cupcakes (With a “surprise” cookie ending)

Pairs with “The Truth About Thea”

Line cupcake pan with liners. Prepare favorite red velvet cupcake mix. Our favorite is Betty Crocker’s™ famous recipe. Place a cookie (We recommend oreo or chocolate chip) in the bottom of each cupcake liner and then fill 2/3 with red velvet cupcake mix. Bake and cool completely before icing, if desired. Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Betty crocker™ red velvet cupcakes:
24 cookies (these are the surprise)
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp. salt
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 bottle (1 oz.) red food color (about 2 tbsp.)

1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. white vinegar

marshmallow buttercream frosting:
1 jar (7 to 7 ½ oz.) marshmallow creme
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups. Place one cookie in the bottom of each paper baking cup. In small bowl, mix flour, cocoa and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, beat ½ cup butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until mixed. Add eggs; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Stir in food color and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk on low speed just until blended. Beat in baking soda and vinegar until well blended. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (on top of cookie).

Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

While baking, prepare the frosting: remove lid and foil seal from jar of marshmallow creme. Microwave on high 15 to 20 seconds to soften. In large bowl, beat marshmallow creme and 1 cup butter with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon frosting onto each cupcake, swirling frosting with back of spoon.

pasta with almonds, chickpeas and parmesan

Pairs with “I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around”

Any caregiver knows – the most delicious dinner is one that can be pulled together quickly with pantry items, because you never know when you might have to rescue Mom from climbing out of a window. (That’s also why you pair it with wine.)


1 tbsp. olive oil 3 cloves garlic, chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
¾ sea salt
1-lb. angel hair pasta

1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup unsalted roasted almonds, slivered
½ cup grated Parmesan
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the broth, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas and cilantro.

Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan. Season with fresh ground peppper to taste.

lemon mousse

Pairs with “I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around”


3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¾ cup fat free milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. grated lemon peel

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup reduced fat whipped topping or whipped cream
1 drop yellow food coloring, optional

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the lemon juice, peel and vanilla. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes.

Fold in whipped topping and food coloring if desired. Spoon into dessert dishes.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.