DDD #43 – Vegan Fish Tempura Sushi Rolls

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image below to watch the video.

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When I went to Dallas in 2015 to MC an event for the Humane League there – everyone kept talking about how awesome these vegan fish sticks are.  So – I bought some as soon as I got home.  My first effort with them was these vegan fish tacos.

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They were delicious!   The fish sticks are triangle-shaped and almost as large as the palm of my hand – and they have 90 calories each.  I am a huge fan.

So – I got it in my head that I wanted sushi.  My first thought was to make tempura chicken with Beyond Meat chicken & tempura batter but I discovered that I had no tempura batter & then I decided I didn’t want to fry anything, anyway.  Then these guys jumped into my mind!  So – while these are not fish & not in tempura batter – they are breaded & they made an excellent substitute.

I buy my nori at Bangluch Market because it costs about $1.25 for a package where Gelson’s charges almost $5 – so I recommend looking in ethnic stores for ethnic supplies.  I bought the fresh ginger & wasabi at Gelson’s.

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Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS salt

Put the rice & water in a pan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Let the rice cool & then mix in the other ingredients.

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Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Gardein fishless fillets (or other brand) – cooked according to package instructions

Carrots – cut into sticks

Daikon – cut into sticks

Cucumber – cut into sticks (I forgot to use mine)

Avocado – sliced

Nori sheets

Sesame seeds – white & black

Wasabi, ginger & soy sauce for dipping.

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DIRECTIONS

Get all your ingredients ready.  Press some rice onto the nori – leaving about an inch on one end uncovered.  Layer the ingredients & roll tightly.  Wet the naked end of the nori with water on your fingertips.  roll until the seam side is down & rub the roll back & forth on the counter a few times to better seal the seam.  Cut with a sharp wet knife.

Serve with ginger & wasabi & soy sauce & a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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Vegan Crab California Rolls – Sushi

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Yesterday, I posted my Vegan Hearts of Palm Crab Salad (seen just above) – fully intending to make these California rolls with it and – today – I did!  California rolls are no mystery & this is just a suggested way to use the crab salad.

If your local market makes sushi or carries fresh sushi – they usually sell extra wasabi & ginger there, too.  That is where I get mine.  Powdered wasabi (that you add water to) is also good but just buying it ready to go is cheap & easy so – why the fuck not?

I buy the nori at my local Thai market because they charge under $2 for a package & Gelson’s charges closer to $5.  Same for the sushi rice.  Ethnic foods are – typically – WAY less expensive in ethnic markets than they are in the ethnic aisles of your local grocery store – so – look into that option (if saving money appeals to you).  Indian markets & Asian markets & Hispanic markets are great resources for rices & spices at drastically discounted prices.  Just FYI.

Sushi rice is shorter than most other common rices but I think you can make sushi rice with any rice.  I used the stuff you see below.

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As to the filling of a California roll – I went pretty traditional – using the vegan crab, avocado and cucumber – and I added carrots.  This is absolutely not a science so do what suits you.

Sushi Rice

2 cups rice – washed until the water runs clear

3 cups water

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (I like less sugar but this is a matter of taste)

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DIRECTIONS

Put the rice in the water & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Wrapping the lid of the pan in a kitchen towel creates a tighter seal & cooks the rice more quickly but be careful not to set the towel on fire.  When it is done – transfer to a large bowl, fluff & allow to cool.

(Photo stolen from Google)

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Heat the vinegar & stir in the sugar & salt.  Stir until the salt & sugar dissolve.  Allow to cool.

When the rice is cool – stir in the vinegar & mix it in well.  Store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  I actually like the rice room-temp, so I leave it out before I use it – but this is just my preference.

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California Rolls 

INGREDIENTS

Cooked sushi rice

Nori sheets

Vegan crab (see link above)

Avocado – sliced

Carrot – cut into long matchsticks

Cucumber – cut into long matchsticks

GARNISH – wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, black and/or white sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

I don’t use a sushi roller mat.  I just free-form it.  HERE are a bunch of videos & other technique options you might like to try.

I do it near the sink with cool water running.  Sticky rice is, indeed, sticky & will stick to everything.  The water helps rinse it off.

Put the shiny side of the nori down & pack some rice onto it.  Go light.  I went heavy & my rolls were huge (in girth) and messy to eat.  You can probably go more sparse with the rice than you guess – just leave about 1-inch clean on one end.

Layer the other ingredients in there & roll it.  Wet that clean inch with wet fingers & roll over that to close to roll.  Leave it resting on the seam as you roll any others you might be making.

Slice with a wet, sharp knife.

Garnish as you will & eat!

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Vegan Rice Paper Bacon

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Photo credit: Veganer.nu

So!  The vegan world has been all abuzz recently about this new invention – rice paper bacon.  I admit to having held a deep skepticism about how it might taste but I researched photos & recipes.  THIS ONE seemed the easiest & looked very good – so I tried it.  And OH MY GOD!  Really easy, as fast as real bacon & damned convincing!   A revelation!

Vegan Rice Paper Bacon

INGREDIENTS

Rice paper sheets

2 TBS olive oil

3 TBS soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)

6 TBS nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

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DIRECTIONS

Cut the rice paper into strips.

Mix the remaining ingredients.  Get a bowl of water.

Heat a frying pan.  I sprayed mine with cooking spray.  Soak the 2 strips in the water a few seconds until they soften.  Squeeze excess water off the first one & dredge it through your smokey paste.  Stick the other strip to one side of the dredged slice to make it a double thick slice (single thickness is too fragile in the pan).  Dredge the thicker slice again & fry it 2 minutes or so on each side or until it starts to get crispy but before it burns.  Drain on paper towels.   Repeat.

Taste.  Lose your shit.

Vegan Cabbage Cake (Stuffed Cabbage Tower)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I had cabbage & I had a desire for some old school comfort food.  I was Googling around looking for inspiration & saw this thing of beauty by Proud Italian Cook:

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Both my friend, Rose, and I were blown away & both swore to make it immediately.  And we both did.  I think she stuck with the original recipe but I had to make it vegan & make it before work – including going to the store to buy a different kind of cabbage – Savoy cabbage – so I could get that pretty lace effect – so I had quite a task ahead.  My cabbage, ultimately, was not quite as vascular as the one Proud Italian Cook used & my oven heats unevenly – so I did not get quite the forest effect they did & I browned one side.  No matter!  This was easy to make & is really delicious & quite the show stopper!

I used:

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I would have just used two bags of the Beyond Meat rather than add tofu but I only had one bag.  I used frozen tofu that I thawed & then squeezed the water out.  It gives the tofu a spongy-texture that resembles ground beef more than raw tofu does.  It also has the added benefit of removing lots of the moisture.

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I also added maitake mushrooms (seen above) and 2 grilled zucchini – simply because I had them.  You could fill your cake with whatever traditional filling you would use for cabbage rolls or use this recipe or tweak this recipe.  I used Rao’s sauce for ease & because it is the best jarred sauce on the market.  You can use your own favorite – homemade or from a jar.  Whatever you decide – I promise you will be delighted with this unexpected & regal reinvention of the humble stuffed cabbage roll.

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Vegan Cabbage Cake (Stuffed Cabbage Tower)

Serves 4-6 (depending on appetites)

INGREDIENTS

1 head of Savoy (or other green) cabbage

2+ TBS olive oil

9 oz vegan beef crumbles (or 18 oz or more and skip the tofu below)

1 lb tofu – frozen, thawed, water squeezed out & crumbled

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 celery stalk – chopped

2 zucchini – grilled & diced (optional – both the grilling of the zucchini & the zucchini themselves)

1/2 lb mushrooms – chopped (optional)

1/4 cup parsley – chopped

1-3 tsp fresh thyme (or oregano) – less if you use dried

1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown) – or more if you eliminated the zucchini & mushrooms

S&P to taste

24 oz of your favorite red sauce

1 cup or so of Grated Parmesan (vegan – or not, if you are not vegan) – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Core the bottom of the cabbage (leaving it in tact) & place in a deep pot cored-side down.  Add 2-3 inches of water & bring to a boil – covered – for 5 minutes.  Plunge into cold water & when it is cool enough to handle – carefully peel the leaves away & place on paper towels to dry.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan & then cook the onions, celery and mushrooms (if using) until soft (my photos do not reflect the proper order & it doesn’t really matter).  Add the beef, tofu, zucchini (if using) and garlic, thyme, parsley rice & 1 cup marinara.  Blend well.  Season with S&P.

Grease a deep, round casserole or souffle-type dish & then arrange the prettiest and largest leaf on the bottom. Place another leaf on top of that and up the sides of the dish all around.  Layer in some beef mixture (maybe 1/2 inch) & top with another layer of cabbage.  Repeat until you reach the top or run out of filling.  Finish with cabbage on top making sure to tuck it in the dish all around.  Drizzle the top with olive oil and a sprinkling of about half your cheese (if you are using vegan or real cheese) all over.  The cheese can be eliminated completely with little impact on this recipe.

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Bake for about 40 minutes.  Let it rest then invert a serving plate over the casserole dish, then carefully flip it over.  Top with more warmed marinara & some of your cheese.  Cut into slices and serve with additional warmed marinara and more grated cheese.

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Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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When I went to Dallas last month to MC an event for the Humane League there – everyone kept talking about how awesome these vegan fish sticks are.  So – I bought some as soon as I got home.  My first effort with them was these vegan fish tacos.

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They were delicious!   The fish sticks are triangle-shaped and almost as large as the palm of my hand – and they have 90 calories each.  I am a huge fan.

So – yesterday – I got it in my head that I wanted sushi.  My first thought was to make tempura chicken with Beyond Meat chicken & tempura batter but I discovered that I had no tempura batter & then I decided I didn’t want to fry anything, anyway.  Then these guys jumped into my mind!  So – while these are not fish & not in tempura batter – they are breaded & they made an excellent substitute.

I buy my nori at Bangluch Market because it costs about $1.25 for a package where Gelson’s charges almost $5 – so I recommend looking in ethnic stores for ethnic supplies.  I bought the fresh ginger & wasabi at Gelson’s.

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Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS salt

Put the rice & water in a pan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Let the rice cool & then mix in the other ingredients.

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Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

INGREDIENTS

Gardein fishless fillets (or other brand) – cooked according to package instructions

Carrots – cut into sticks

Daikon – cut into sticks

Cucumber – cut into sticks (I forgot to use mine)

Avocado – sliced

Nori sheets

Sesame seeds – white & black

Wasabi, ginger & soy sauce for dipping.

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DIRECTIONS

Get all your ingredients ready.  Press some rice onto the nori – leaving about an inch on one end uncovered.  Layer the ingredients & roll tightly.  Wet the naked end of the nori with water on your fingertips.  roll until the seam side is down & rub the roll back & forth on the counter a few times to better seal the seam.  Cut with a sharp wet knife.

Serve with ginger & wasabi & soy sauce & a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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Sausage Pizza Roll-Ups – Vegetarian or Vegan or Not!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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There are still a few left! PERFECT book for your anti-Valentine’s Day book club meeting!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your Valentine’s Day gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

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So – the badass Miles Miller was in town for Christmas.   Those of you that know him and my regular readers know that he lives almost exclusively on meat.  I eat none.   So, meals can be tricky.  But these roll-ups proved to be a perfect compromise.  He made his with real sausage & I used vegan ones.  Problem solved.

These are really easy & be customized to suit almost all tastes.  Vegan?  Use vegan cheese.  Want some veggies?  Add chopped spinach – like the filling I used in my Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells (Vegan – Vegetarian – Or Not).

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You could add anything, really.  Just saute your selections with whatever sausage you are using.  I used a homemade pasta sauce and I have posted lots of recipes in the past for sauce.  HERE is a 5 minute arrabiata (spicy red sauce) and HERE is a marinara.  You can make a sauce or use your favorite brand.

I used homemade pizza dough – from this recipe HERE.  You can use that (I use it the same day despite the instructions) or make another kind or use a store bought variety.

This post is really just a guide rather than a recipe.  The ingredients are up to you as is the quantity you use – of sausage or cheese or sauce.  Whatever you decide to do – I can promise these will be crowd pleasers.

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Sausage Pizza Roll-Ups – Vegetarian or Vegan or Not!

Two of these little roll-ups will typically feed one person.  One recipe here can be cut up to make 6-7 roll-ups.

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough

2 sausages – (vegan or not) – sliced

1 pinch fennel

1 tsp dry oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

2 garlic cloves – minced

Red sauce

Grated cheese (I used a Mexican mix) – (vegan or not)

Mozzarella – sliced – (vegan or not)

Fresh basil

Olive oil

Cooking spray

Flour to roll the dough out on

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Saute the sliced up sausages.  If using vegan ones – you will need olive oil to keep them from sticking.  If using real sausage – adding spices might not be necessary but I think they REALLY help the vegan sausage.   If you care to – add the fennel & oregano & crushed red pepper.  Once the sausage is browned & ready to go – add the garlic & saute another minute but be VERY careful not to burn the garlic.  Burned garlic is bitter.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface.  Roll it pretty thin.  Top with sauce (reserving some sauce to serve with the roll-ups) & sausage & grated cheese.  Roll up & slice.

Place the roll-ups in a pie pan (or other pan) treated with cooking spray.  I then sprayed the rolls themselves to aid in browning them.  Add some grated cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until they just begin to brown.

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Warm the extra red sauce on the stove.

Take the roll-ups out & top with mozzarella & cook another 10 minutes or so or until the cheese is properly melted.

Serve with warmed red sauce & chopped fresh basil.  Bust out the bag of wine & get down to the serious business of chowing the fuck down.

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Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Well now – here is an embarrassing blog post: I am posting two recipes here WITHOUT any photographs of the final results.  (Update!  I made these a second time in 24 hours & have result photos to share.  They will follow at the end of the original post.)  This happened because I had a dinner party yesterday & by the time these guys came out of the oven – I was more interested in serving them & eating them that I was in photographing them.  Let me assure you – there were no visual surprises when they came out of the oven so do not be afraid to try these.  They are easy & delicious!!!!  They are an interesting alternative to tradition lasagna.  My sauce was made with the produce I had handy – which included a leek & both a red & yellow pepper.  You need not use two colors of pepper nor a leek.  Onions alone would do as would just a single red bell pepper.  I am going to list quantities here but they are really approximates.  When making dishes like this that require layers of assembly, I always err on the side of making or buying more of each ingredient than the recipe calls for.  That way, you do not run out of sauce or cheese or whatever midway through putting it all together.  This made about a dozen of each of the two rose varieties.  And – as a brilliant coincidence – I served my guests pasta roses & after they left – my awesome stud of a boyfriend, Miles, presented me with these roses!  At like – 11pm.  It was a total surprise.  Isn’t he great?

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Pasta Roses: Ham & Fontina and Zucchini, Mozzarella & Basil with a Spicy Pink Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Approximately 1.5 lbs lasagna noodles (I cooked two boxes but threw a lot away)

For the sauce

1/2 onion – diced

1 bell pepper – diced

1 leek – diced

6 garlic cloves – minced

1-2 TBS olive oil

2 (29 oz) cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

2 TBS crushed red pepper

2 TBS fresh basil – chopped

1 cup heavy cream

S&P to taste

For the ham & fontina roses

Approximately 1/2 lb sliced ham

1/2 lb sliced fontina

For the zucchini, mozzarella & basil roses

1-2 large zucchini – sliced into rounds

12-16 oz fresh mozzarella – sliced

1 large bunch basil

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna noodles.  About 2-3 minutes before they are done – add the zucchini rounds to the water.  I cooked mine for 5 minutes – which was too long.  Then – rinse the noodles & zucchini under cold water.  Then set the zucchini aside & lay the noodles out to dry.

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For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a stock pot & saute the onion, bell pepper, leek (or additional onion) & crushed red pepper for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the garlic & basil & stir for another minute or so.  Add the canned tomato sauce & simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes.  Stir in the heavy cream.  I used an immersion blender here & pureed the sauce into a smooth & creamy texture.  You can do this in a blender or skip this step & leave the sauce with the vegetable texture.  Set aside.

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To assemble the roses, layer a casserole pan with the sauce.  I needed two casserole pans to fit all my roses.  Roll the ham & fontina in some of your lasagna noodles.  No need to roll them tightly.  A nice loose roll is good.  Stand the roses up in the pan.

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I cut the ribbon edge off one side of the lasagna noodles on the ham rolls so I could identify which roses had meat in them & which did not.

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Roll up some zucchini, mozzarella & basil in the other lasagna noodles.

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I had a little extra zucchini & mozzarella left over so I just stuck in in where I could fit it – once my casserole dishes were filled to capacity with roses.

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I then slathered lots of sauce on top of both casseroles.  You might want to go lighter than I did & leave the edges of the lasagna noodles uncovered.  That way they will brown & curl a bit & create the rose effect you want.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes – or until the top of the noodles are golden.  Again – apologies for the lack of final result images!!!  Serve with additional sauce if you have more left over.

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UPDATE at 3:00pm!

I made these again so I could show you results.  This time – I used oven-ready lasagna noodles soaked in warm water until they were pliable.  I cut them in half to make smaller roses.

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I made the ham & fontina again and the zucchini, mozzarella & basil again.  I added some amazing garlic sauce that I bought at Super King to the veggie ones but I might not in the future.  It made them too wet & sort of limp in the end.

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Here is the assembly of the two versions.

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I’ve read that slicing an X into the tops of the roses will allow the lasagna noodle to curl outward as they cook – creating a better blooming effect for your roses.  I neglected to do this.  Just cut about a 1/2 inch down into the tops & you should get a good curl.

I baked them in about 1/4-1/2 inch of the spicy pink sauce at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I then took them from the oven & added a tad more sauce & some grated Parmesan to the roses.

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Ten minutes later – they looked like this.

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And they serve up looking like this!  Whew!  What a relief!  I felt like such a fraud!

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Pretty, right?  And yummy!