Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh.My.Gosh. Cheesecake. And cookies. And Bread. And Soup. And Salad.

The Divas are back at it again.  Well at least I hope so.  It was about time for us to have another one of our famous lunches.  Here's the drill:  6 women who immensely love running, eating and each other.  Last year we started this little tradition of a pot luck lunch of salad, soup, bread and dessert.  Usually there is no occasion: just friends getting together enjoying gorging themselves with from scratch goodies, all the while talking about running, kids, husbands and whatever other topics might come up.

Sara brought her Chicken Chili, which I just enjoyed again for dinner:
3 ckn breasts cooked and shredded
1 can of stewed tomoatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of medium chuncky salsa
2 zucchini's depends on size chopped up
1 cup of frozen corn
1 can of mushrooms
1 can of black beans
1 can of chick peas
chili powder to taste simmer 

Lisa brought Peg's bread (which pretty soon will be known as Lisa's bread). She outdid herself, making a white, wheat and rye.  Here is the original recipe for Peg's bread.  Lisa: feel free to comment with any modifications. (I had some of this again for dinner too).

Here is the recipe for the white bread - this is an excerpt from their website.

Our book had great coverage in “The Week” magazine on April 18th (page 30 in the paper version). But their version of our recipe has you throwing in 4 cups of water, rather than the correct 3 cups (see the fine print on the right, above). Please use 3 cups, or you’ll have pancake batter! The correct version of our basic recipe in the book (page 26) is:
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Cornmeal for the pizza peel
And then, you know the drill. Mix with a spoon in a food-safe bucket, let it rise at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours, then into the fridge for two weeks. Tear off chunks, shape, rest, and bake as needed. And you all know you can decrease the yeast ( and the salt if you like it. Details in the book.
But there it is, pretty much.

The wheat bread recipe is:

5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 vital wheat gluten
4 cups lukewarm water
This will make 2 of the bigger loafs or 4 small ones.

Peg made a wonderful Salad with mixed greens, toasted pine nuts, feta cheese and dried cherries.  Peg, please comment with your recipe.  YUM! (My mom ate the leftovers from that for dinner).

Staci made the most FABULOUS cheesecake I have ever had. I am trying NOT to eat the leftover piece right now.


Makes one 9~inch cheesecake 

2 Cups crushed chocolate cookies or vanilla wafers *approximately 8 ounces cookies*
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 1/2 (8~ounces) packages cream cheese, softened
1 Cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all~purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs 
2 tablespoons whipping cream
**Carmel Topping (recipe follows)
**Chocolate Topping (recipe follows)
1 Cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 450*F. Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of a 9~inch springform pan. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy. Add sugar, flour, salt adn vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in cream. Pour over crust. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200*F; continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. 
Drizzle with Carmel Topping and Chocolate Topping. Refrigerate. Sprinkle with pecans just before serving.

Carmel Topping: 
Combine 1/2 (4~ounce) bag of caramels and 1/3 cup whipping cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth.

Chocolate Topping: 
Combine 1 (4~ounce) package German sweet chocolate, 1 teaspoon butter and 2 tablespoons whipping cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth.

And I made some yummy cookies from the picky palate website (i have been eating these for the past 2 days):

Brownie-Stuffed chocolate chip cookies

White Choc Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies w Sea Salt

I SO wish I would have taken photos.  Oh well.  I guess that just means we need to do another lunch soon girls!  I just found another good recipe...


  1. Wow that is a quick post! That was way too much fun and we have to do it again soon. I tried the white chocolate pretzel cookies and they were amazing. Doug had the cheesecake last night and was really impressed. Big hugs to you my friend and have an awesome vacay. Get those toes in the sand and have a nice cold one for your running friends in Michigan ;)

  2. Here is the recipe for the dressing:

    1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup maple syrup - (not commercial pancake syrup, real maple)
    2 tablespoons dijon mustard
    2 tablespoons dry tarragon leaves
    Blend together all ingredients, refrigerate at least 2 - 3 hours before using.
    Keeps indefinitely
    Makes 1 1/2 cups