Easter Brunch Menu

Easter Brunch is a tradition in many households. Egg dishes, sweet and savory baked goods, succulent meats, and fruity desserts grace many decorated tables. My Easter Brunch Menu offers two enticing appetizers, an elegant main course with a healthy salad, and a savory and sweet dessert. Serve your favorite beverages such as tea, coffee, and wine.

Easter Bunnies celebrate Easter! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Easter Bunnies celebrate Easter! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Set your table with a festive tablecloth, fresh flowers such as tulips or daffodils, and some Easter knick knacks. Little bunny figurines and alabaster eggs are standard on my table. Get out your fancy china and glassware. And use your prettiest cloth napkins. It’s a celebration!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Easter Brunch Menu

To start:

Fig Almond Cheese Nibbles

Simple Amuse Bouche: Laughing Cow Cheese, Fig Jam, Toasted Sliced Almonds on Mini-Toasts (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Simple Amuse Bouche: Laughing Cow Cheese, Fig Jam, Toasted Sliced Almonds on Mini-Toasts (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Hubby’s Chicken Liver Pate

It's a party with Hubby's Chicken Liver Pate and a nice crusty baguette.  Add some red wine and you're on a roll!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It’s a party with Hubby’s Chicken Liver Pate and a nice crusty baguette. Add some red wine and you’re on a roll! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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The Main Course:

Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs served with a biscuit

Velvety Scrambled Eggs flavored with chopped Smoked Salmon and Fresh Chives (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Velvety Scrambled Eggs flavored with chopped Smoked Salmon and Fresh Chives (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Minty Fruit Salad featuring fresh local in-season fruit

Minty Fruit Salad with assorted in-season fruits is a healthy side dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Minty Fruit Salad with assorted in-season fruits is a healthy side dish (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And a Savory and Sweet Dessert:

Savory Zucchini Bread served with butter or a flavored cream cheese of your choice

Savory Zucchini Bread -- ready to serve!   (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Savory Zucchini Bread — ready to serve! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Beverages:

Filtered Water
Hot or Iced Tea
Coffee
Sparkling Wine or Champagne
Dry Rose or White Wine

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs

A Weekend Brunch is a festive time to get together with family and friends. You’ll want your food selections to be festive as well. My Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs are easy to make, and are a tasty addition to a brunch buffet. This dish also goes well with a biscuit and my Minty Fruit Salad.

Elegant Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs is a brunch favorite! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Elegant Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs is a brunch favorite! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Start with a dozen eggs. You can also use Egg Beaters if you prefer. Whisk the eggs with a small amount of heavy cream until light and frothy. Soften some cream cheese and cut it into small cubes. Dice some smoked salmon into small pieces. Finely chop some fresh chives.

Whole Foods Market's 365 Brand Cream Cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whole Foods Market’s 365 Brand Cream Cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whole Foods Market carries a very tasty Wild Smoked Salmon (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whole Foods Market carries a very tasty Wild Smoked Salmon (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Over very low heat, melt some butter in a non-stick skillet. Slowly cook the eggs, moving them delicately in the pan until they form soft curds. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cream cheese cubes. Let the cream cheese melt a bit. Return the skillet to the heat and stir in the salmon and chives. Warm through, and serve! Garnish with some chopped fresh chives.

Velvety Scrambled Eggs flavored with chopped Smoked Salmon and Fresh Chives (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Velvety Scrambled Eggs flavored with chopped Smoked Salmon and Fresh Chives (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients:

2 T butter
12 large eggs or the Egg Beaters equivalent
1 T heavy cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes
4 oz smoked salmon, diced
2 T chopped fresh chives, reserving some for garnish
Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Over very low heat in a non-stick skillet, melt the butter.
2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add the heavy cream. Whisk the eggs until they are light and frothy.
3. Pour the eggs into the skillet. With a flat-bottomed plastic or wood spatula, slowly move the eggs around until they form soft curds.
4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Slowly stir the cream cheese into the eggs and let it melt slightly.
5. Return the skillet to the burner. Over low heat, stir in the salmon and most of the chopped fresh chives. Warm through. Work slowly and have patience so the eggs don’t over cook.
6. Serve!

Serves 4 as a main course. Offer with wheat toast or biscuits, butter, and my Homemade Strawberry Jam. My Minty Fruit Salad is a great accompaniment, as is my Tropical Mango and Avocado Salad.

Variations: Use a different smoked fish such as trout instead of the smoked salmon. Stir in some creme fraiche instead of using cream cheese. Use chopped fresh tarragon instead of chives. Use fat-free cream cheese. Omit the cream cheese and heavy cream if you are watching your dairy intake.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta with Easy Turkey Meatballs (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta with Easy Turkey Meatballs (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Basil is usually abundant in the summer months. This past winter, I found quite a lot of fresh basil in the grocery stores. My Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs was just the ticket for a nice “green” Saint Patrick’s Day meal. You could use spinach pasta for a greener hue.

It wasn’t really a green dish though. Adding a bright green pesto to a creamy chicken-stock-based sauce turns kind of taupe in color. But it sure tasted good! I guess I could have added some green food coloring to the sauce, but that would be weird.

I like to make my own pesto. It’s usually a combination of an herb such as basil or oregano, some pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. You can make your own or substitute store-bought pesto.

I like to make my own basil pesto (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I like to make my own basil pesto (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Make my Easy Turkey Meatballs and set aside. You’ll need 12 – 18 of the turkey meatballs.

Easy Turkey Meatballs from my recipe elsewhere on this site! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Easy Turkey Meatballs from my recipe elsewhere on this site! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Then prepare some linguine pasta and cook it according to the package directions while you are preparing the rest of the dish.

Whole Foods Market's 365 Brand Organic Linguine (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Whole Foods Market’s 365 Brand Organic Linguine (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Then warm some olive oil in a non-stick pan. Saute some chopped onion and minced garlic. Add some chicken broth/stock and let cook a bit. Then add some heavy cream and some grated parmesan cheese and let it reduce a bit.

Add the meatballs to the pan and warm through. Then add the basil pesto and stir.

Add the turkey meatballs to the sauce, then add the basil pesto, and warm through.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the turkey meatballs to the sauce, then add the basil pesto, and warm through. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Remove the meatballs to another dish with a slotted spoon and set them aside.

Add the cooked and drained linguine to the sauce. Toss the linguine pasta in the sauce, and divide amongst your serving plates.

Toss the linguine in the creamy pesto sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Toss the linguine in the creamy pesto sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Top the pasta with the meatballs. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, shredded Parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh basil.

Easy Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Basil Pesto Linguine topped with Shredded Parmesan, Chopped Fresh Basil, and Toasted Pine Nuts (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Easy Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Basil Pesto Linguine topped with Shredded Parmesan, Chopped Fresh Basil, and Toasted Pine Nuts (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

12 – 18 Turkey Meatballs (use my recipe here)
8 oz linguine pasta, cooked
1 T olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c chicken broth/stock
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c basil pesto (add more if you like a lot of pesto)
Salt and pepper to taste

2 T toasted pine nuts
Shredded Parmesan and chopped fresh basil to garnish

Method:

1. Make and cook the meatballs according to my Easy Turkey Meatballs recipe. Set aside and keep warm.
2. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions while you are making the rest of the dish. Drain, set aside and keep warm.
3. Warm the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until it’s translucent and soft. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute or two.
4. Add the chicken stock to the sauce and let the sauce cook down a bit.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the heavy cream and grated Parmesan cheese and let the mixture reduce a bit.
6. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and heat through to warm the meatballs.
7. Stir in the basil pesto. Let cook another few minutes.
8. With a slotted spoon, remove just the meatballs to a plate and set aside.
9. Add the cooked and drained linguine to the sauce in the skillet and toss it. Plate the pasta on serving plates.
10. Divide the meatballs amongst the pasta on the plates.
11. Top the pasta and meatballs with the pine nuts, shredded Parmesan cheese, and chopped basil.
12. Serve!

Serves 4 as a pasta course, and two as a main course. Offer toasted garlic bread alongside the pasta.

Variations: Try a spinach-based pasta for a greener hue. Use beef or pork meatballs instead of turkey meatballs. Use an oregano pesto instead of a basil pesto. Use a different pasta such as penne or spaghetti. You can substitute a couple spoons of Greek yogurt for the heavy cream. Just watch that the sauce doesn’t curdle.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables served with Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken Breast (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Vegetables served with Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken Breast (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Vegetables are a tasty and healthy side dish. It’s a favorite dish in my house! We like to serve the roasted vegetables alongside grilled chicken, lamb, beef or other meat.

Smoked Chicken Legs with Roasted Vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Smoked Chicken Legs with Roasted Vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

There’s a bit of prep time involved in order to wash, peel and cut the vegetables. Also, you’ll need to know that some vegetables will roast quicker than others, so add the more delicate ones later in the roasting process. Potatoes and beets take longer to roast than mushroom caps.

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Roasted Vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Roasted Vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I like to use a Silpat mat for easy clean up. It’s a non-stick mat that I use for roasting and baking. You can use parchment paper to line the pan. Sometimes the vegetables may stick to a non-lined pan, even if it’s greased.

So how do you start? Just prepare the vegetables, put them on the pan, toss them in some olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and maybe some fresh or dried herbs, and roast!

Vegetables -- ready for the oven (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Vegetables — ready for the oven (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Serve the roasted vegetables with your favorite meat or fish.

Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Rack of Lamb (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Rack of Lamb (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Herbs de Provence and Roasted Vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Herbs de Provence and Roasted Vegetables (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I love to make roasted veggies all year round. Serve them chilled with a vinaigrette as a summer side dish. Enjoy!

Roasted Green Tomatoes!  Goes great as a side dish with Roasted Chicken or as part of a Green Chile Sauce. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Roasted Green Tomatoes! Goes great as a side dish with Roasted Chicken or as part of a Green Chile Sauce. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

Pick your favorites such as:

Baby potatoes, unpeeled, cut in half (I like to use purple, yellow, and red potatoes)
Beets, peeled and cut into one inch chunks
Butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
Brussels sprouts, halved
Carrots, peeled and cut into one inch chunks
Cauliflower florets
Small yellow onions, quartered
Pear tomatoes, halved
Broccoli florets
Zucchini squash, cut into one-inch chunks
Yellow squash, cut into thick slices
Asparagus spears, tough ends removed
Haricots verts (thin green beans), trimmed
Bell peppers, sliced into fat strips
Whole peeled garlic cloves
Mushroom caps, whole or halved

Olive or canola oil
Salt and pepper
Your favorite dried or fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, savory, oregano

The above list is ordered by roasting time. Baby potatoes will take longer to roast than mushroom caps.

Special tool: Silpat mat for baking pan. You can use parchment paper as a liner if you don’t have a Silpat mat.

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with a Silpat mat for easy clean up.
3. Assemble your prepared selected vegetables on the Silpat. Toss with olive or canola oil to coat. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
4. Roast vegetables for up to 60 minutes, checking on their progress. Roast the denser vegetables longer, adding the thinner and less dense vegetables halfway through the roasting. Stir the vegetables a few times during the roasting. You do want some caramelization on the vegetables for the best taste, so let them roast until browned.
5. Add the mushroom caps and the herbs about 5 – 10 minutes before the end of roasting. Be sure to toss after adding the mushrooms and herbs.
6. Toss and serve!

Serves 4 – 6 depending on how many vegetables that you roast. Offer as a side dish to roasted chicken, grilled steak, or seared fish.

Variations: Use your favorite vegetables and mix it up each time. You might want to test this recipe with different vegetables to see how long each vegetable takes to cook through. Size and density of vegetable will affect the roasting time.

Order your own Silpat mat from Amazon.com:

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich

Cheese Steak Sandwich is a quick weeknight meal (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cheese Steak Sandwich is a quick weeknight meal (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cheese Steak Sandwich. It’s a wonderful gooey cheesy and sometimes greasy treat. I make my cheese steak sandwiches with antibiotic-free steak and organic onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Sometimes I add organic bell peppers to the mix. It’s a good way to feel better when consuming lots of fat and calories! The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich is sure to be a hit with your family!

Comfort Food at its best: The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich and Crispy Onion Rings.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Comfort Food at its best: The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich and Crispy Onion Rings. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sure, there’s an ongoing argument with the Cheese Steak Purists on what type of cheese to use (American, Provolone, Cheese Whiz), what goes on a cheese steak (peppers, onions, mushrooms), do you chop the meat or leave it in whole sliced steaks (chopped is most popular). I’ve eaten at both Geno’s and Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia where the Cheese Steak Wars are a daily feud. There’s an art to ordering your cheese steak sandwich at each restaurant which I guess is part of the charm. I didn’t get it right, and they yelled at me at Geno’s.

Geno's Steaks serves famous Cheese Steak Sandwiches in Philadelphia, PA (Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org)

Geno’s Steaks serves famous Cheese Steak Sandwiches in Philadelphia, PA (Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org)

Across the street, Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia, PA goes head-to-head with Geno's for the title of Best Cheese Steak (Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org)

Across the street, Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia, PA goes head-to-head with Geno’s for the title of Best Cheese Steak (Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org)

My favorite cheese steak includes chopped steak, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and white American cheese. Add a little shredded lettuce and sliced ripe tomato, put it all on a toasted steak roll slathered with mayonnaise, and I’m happy. My husband prefers Swiss cheese on his cheese steak. Don’t tell the Cheese Steak Purists about that!

Cheesesteak sandwich with grilled onions, red bell peppers, American cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Side of onion rings.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cheesesteak sandwich with grilled onions, red bell peppers, American cheese, lettuce and tomato. Side of onion rings. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Let’s start out with some nice steak rolls.

Use some nice steak rolls for your cheese steak sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Use some nice steak rolls for your cheese steak sandwich (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Split them open and toast them under the broiler.

Split open the steak rolls and toast them under the broiler (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Split open the steak rolls and toast them under the broiler (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Slice some mushrooms and onions. You can add bell pepper and omit the mushrooms and/or onions. It’s all about what you like!

Slice some mushrooms and onion (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Slice some mushrooms and onion (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Saute the mushrooms and onions in a non-stick skillet with a bit of canola oil until the vegetables are soft and slightly caramelized. Don’t use too much oil, or your sandwich filling will be too greasy. Remove the mushrooms and onions from the pan and set aside to keep warm.

Saute the onions and mushrooms until the vegetables are soft (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Saute the onions and mushrooms until the vegetables are soft (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

I like to use a good sliced steak for this recipe. Whole Foods Market carries the Homestyle Meals brand of healthy all natural antibiotic-free sliced steaks. Homestyle Meals brand is a part of the Lou’s Naturals family which also includes Wellshire brand. Chop up the steaks.

Start with some all-natural thinly sliced beef steaks (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Start with some all-natural thinly sliced beef steaks (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Saute the steaks in the same non-stick pan until they are browned and cooked through.

Chop the steaks and saute them until browned (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chop the steaks and saute them until browned (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The beef steaks are sauteed and ready for the mushroom onion mixture to be added (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The beef steaks are sauteed and ready for the mushroom onion mixture to be added (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Optional Red Bell Pepper added to the steak filling (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Optional Red Bell Pepper added to the steak filling (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add the mushrooms and onions back to the pan, and warm through. Separate the meat mixture into two parts. Then add your favorite melty cheese on top of each and let it melt to perfection. I used white American cheese on my half, and Swiss cheese on my husband’s half. You definitely want a melty cheese. I don’t care for Cheese Whiz myself although you are welcome to use it.

Melt the cheeses on top of the beef onion mushroom mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Melt the cheeses on top of the beef onion mushroom mixture (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

You can also use yellow American cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

You can also use yellow American cheese (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Spread some mayonnaise on the toasted steak rolls. Carefully remove the meat and cheese mixture to the toasted steak rolls.

Carefully place the beef mixture on the toasted bun (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Carefully place the beef mixture on the toasted bun (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Gooey yellow American Cheese tops the steak (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Gooey yellow American Cheese tops the steak (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some fixin’s such as shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.

Shredded lettuce and sliced ripe tomato (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Shredded lettuce and sliced ripe tomato (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add lettuce and tomato to the cheese steak sandwiches (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add lettuce and tomato to the cheese steak sandwiches (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Add some crispy onion rings or french fries.

Gooey Cheese Steak Sandwich with Fixin's and a Side of Onion Rings (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Gooey Cheese Steak Sandwich with Fixin’s and a Side of Onion Rings (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Slice the sandwich in half, and serve!

The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich with Onion Rings (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich with Onion Rings (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

The Gooiest Cheesiest Cheese Steak Sandwich

Ingredients:

2 steak rolls
1 T canola oil
1/2 red onion, sliced
5 mushroom caps, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
4 – 6 thinly sliced steaks, chopped
4 slices white American cheese (or use your favorite melty cheese)
2 T mayonnaise
1 c shredded lettuce
8 – 10 slices ripe tomato

Method:

1. Preheat oven broiler.
2. Split and toast steak rolls.
3. In a non-stick pan over medium heat, warm the canola oil. Saute the onions and mushrooms (and optional bell pepper) until soft and slightly caramelized. Remove the mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
4. In the same non-stick pan, quickly saute the chopped steaks over medium heat until browned and cooked through.
5. Return the onion mushroom mixture to the pan with the steaks. Stir and warm through.
6. Melt the American cheese slices on top of the steak mixture.
7. Spread the mayo on the toasted steak rolls.
8. When the cheese is melted, carefully move the steak and cheese mixture to the steak rolls.
9. Top with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.
10. Cut the sandwiches in half, and serve!

Serves 2 hungry diners. Offer with french fries or onion rings, or a healthy mixed green salad on the side.

Variations: Use the chicken steaks made for cheese steak sandwiches for a lighter version. Substitute Cheese Whiz for the American cheese slices. Use your favorite melty cheese instead. Add whatever condiments that you like.

Gooey cheesesteak sandwich with onion rings -- a favorite indulgence!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Gooey cheesesteak sandwich with onion rings — a favorite indulgence! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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