Learning to cook … one kid at a time

A Little Taste of Erie January 5, 2011

Filed under: "Fast Food" — gastromami @ 8:22 pm


Well, the holidays are over.


We are exhausted.






And, while I had big plans to post on my holiday cookies, Reny’s birthday meal and my “stock the empty freezer” week, a little boys much more complicated than I ever expected stocking took up, well, pretty much all of my time.

(FYI – baby #2’s stocking kit is in the mail and WILL be done before his/her arrival in April!)

(oh, and post-FYI, if you would like one done for your child, be smart like my cousin Sara and ask me to do it now, before you are even pregnant!)





Anyway ….

I spent about a week in Erie (and Indiana) for Christmas and a family wedding before heading back to Philadelphia to celebrate 1.1.11 with my grandparents, parents, and sister Tricia.  We had a New Year’s Eve of fondue, champagne, great wine brought back from a recent trip to Napa, fireworks on the roof, and a little Mummer’s Parade action!  On the 2nd we headed to Longwood Gardens for their Christmas display – a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  Interestingly enough, I began my Christmas season with a trip to Longwood the weekend after Thanksgiving and ended it with a second visit.  My Erie family headed back west while my own exhausted family headed back home to Philadelphia.

Fireworks from our rooftop

Longwood Gardens




While the whole Christmas/New Year season was full of fun, family, lack of sleep and meltdowns, (on the part of Mommy, Ren was fine!) there was one thing I did not do in Erie – which, along with a carmelo latte from Romolos, is a must:

Visit Pie in the Sky for an Eggplant Sandwich


So, I grabbed an eggplant at Wegmans on Monday, and tonight, attempted to recreate one of my favorite sandwiches.


I brushed 1/2-inch thick slices of eggplant with olive oil on each side and placed them on a foil lined baking sheet.

Quarter and de-seed a red bell pepper, placing them skin side up on the baking sheet

Roast, under a pre=heated broiler, for 4-5 minutes, flip the eggplant (not the peppers!), and roast an additional 5 minutes.

Remove eggplant.

Continue roasting the peppers until the skin blackens.

Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a ziploc bag.

Seal the bag and let rest for 15 minutes.

(my camera battery died here – sorry for the lack of pictures!)


While the vegetables were roasting, I mixed up some goat cheese with dried herbs (basil, oregano, black pepper – basic Italian seasonings)  You could also use herbed goat cheese or spread a little pesto on the toasted bread!




After the vegetables were done roasting, I brushed some ciabatta bread with olive oil and toasted in the broiler, 1 minute on each side – careful, watch to make sure the bread doesn’t burn!


Remove the peppers from the sealed bag – the skin should now easily peel off!



Sandwich Construction:

Toasted Bread

Spread with herbed goat cheese

Roasted Eggplant Slices

Roasted Red Peppers

Some fresh ground black pepper


Bread (with more goat cheese if you would like!)


** Pie in the Sky also adds kalamata olives – I forgot to grab some!  Won’t forget next time for my olive-loving son!




Since I was drawing my inspiration from Pie in the Sky, I had to pair my sandwich with a little “souped-up” soup ….

Tomato with a little extra basil and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese!





2 Responses to “A Little Taste of Erie”

  1. mary ann Says:

    Well since u offered and if u are up to it, you can do a baby stocking for me too…well for my unborn child…and no we are not pregnant.

  2. Alina Alfonso Says:

    Thank you Gretchen for these posts. You are making it possible for us to feel as if we are part of our grandson’s daily life! You are a wonderful mother and for that, I thank you! Lots of love. Alina
    PS: I’m going to make the eggplant sandwiches – I love them too!

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