Frightening Phyllo

I will never learn my lesson.

I will never learn to wait for food to cool off when it’s still about 300*, straight from the oven. Instead, I must try it that second.

This afternoon has me playing with phyllo dough after my mom bought a box with no real motive behind it, and after it’s been sitting in the freezer for months – she’s been begging me to do something with it. While waiting for my “real” phyllo dough dessert to cook – I played with a phyllo dough toaster strudel.

Actually, I didn’t realize I was essentially making a toaster strudel until after – I just wanted me some PB & J and since the phyllo dough was there and I wanted to convince myself I like phyllo dough (since, you know – I was making something with it and all) I figured why not?

Of course – anyone who’s had those slivers of chemically flakyness (a.k.a. toaster strudels) knows that fresh out of the toaster, the jam (or, more commonly known as HFCS mania) is really really hot and oozes right onto the tip of your tongue, scalding it and ruining your day.

That was me.

I am still feeling the pain.

To make matters worse, thirty minutes later I discovered my “birthday dinner dessert” was not any sort of dessert I wanted to share after a birthday dinner.

We were having my mom’s dinner tonight rather than last night because I had to work yesterday – and since she had to work all day today, it would be nice for her to come home with dinner all ready to dig in to. She is stubborn and said she didn’t want a cake or anything special. I almost made a peach crisp, but when I saw a recipe for “Apple and Dried Fruit Streudels” in a Moosewoods cookbook, it clicked.

Of course, I soon discovered how much of a pain phyllo dough is to work with. Not five minutes in to the project and I was having major regrets. I think something was wrong with the phyllo dough – or, more likely – I wasn’t working fast enough and it kept drying out, regardless of the olive oil I was rubbing it with.

I ended up stuffing them with a mixture of diced apple, chopped dried figs, and cinnamon. After multiple attempts to roll them up all pretty, I finally got them done, and skeptically awaited the outcome.

The filling is delicious – I mean, it’s just apples and figs – but they look kinda gross, and I don’t like the flakiness of the phyllo dough. However – they are excellent with some vanilla chobani. They won’t be wasted, but I knew I could do better for our birthday girl.

And so I made Moosewood’s Banana Bundt Cake. Recipe can be found here – but you should definitely buy the cookbook πŸ˜‰ My mom is pretty open to “how” I eat and is starting to enjoy a lot of my dinners.

But she is not a fan of whole wheat-y things like desserts. (Well, she doesn’t think she is. Little does she know that the super charge me cookies, branana muffins, and banana bread she’s been loving are whole wheat. Hmm…maybe she’s coming around?) So I knew for dessert I had to play it safe. My crazy mind wanted to add all sorts of things – nuts and dried fruit, especially – but I backed off. I’ve also really been wanting to bake something with that date sugar.

But today was not the day. I made it as-is. All purpose flour, sifting and everything. And if you’re looking for a basic, simple, yet still impressive cake recipe – give it a try!

And for what it’s worth, she actually really liked the apple-figΒ strudelsΒ and wanted me to bring the whole plate over instead of the little taste I gave her, hah.

Maybe I’ve had bananas on the brain, though – because they showed up this morning in waffle form.


  • 1/4 c. oats
  • scant 1 c. puffed rice
  • 1 T. ea: wheat bran, wheat germ, WW flour
  • baking soda


  • 1/2 a banana, mashed
  • 1/4 c. vanilla chobani
  • 1 T. milled flax
  • splash almond milk
  • splash peanut oil


I added peanut oil to the batter this morning because I’m all out of cooking spray and thought it might help keep them from sticking to the iron. They still wanted to stick to both sides, so I just let it sit a bit longer. I loved how they were really crispy and dark on the outside but still had some soft, chewy, banana-y goodness inside. I’ll have to burn them more often πŸ˜›

Iced coffee, I wuv woo.

It was so refreshing to step outside to a beautiful morning. It was sunny (granted – I slept until almost 8 today!) breezy and cool. I dined outside with Miss Kitty – why is it that animals always take the best seats?!

Look at my big hunk! If only Blue (far right) had his head to the side – they’d all look the same!

This is Jewel, Teddie’s girf. He’s her big, muscular boyf. What a cute couple.

Little does she know he wants every other girl in the barn, too.

“Hi guys!”

Teddie and I just had a quick-ish ride in the meadow today. A little more serious and less play than usual, but still fun. Just worked some more on suppling and collectiong than we have been. It was really, really windy though, which kept blowing these little flowering things all over. I think he kept getting them up his nose!

A broccoli bowl was gobbled up for lunch – broccoli, hummus, carrots, fried egg, toast. While browsing cookbooks to figure out what I was going to make for dessert.

Enter: afternoon phyllo-dough torture, cleaning the whole house head to toe (err…floor to ceiling?), banana cake baking, and horse cleaning.

And then, my mom’s chosen dinner.

Okay, actually – this isn’t my mom’s chosen dinner. I never match my socks (usually they’re white anyways), and at one point I looked down and realized I was going for a winter theme today. A christmas tree and lights on one – penguins and snowflakes for the other.

Hey, it works.

Yeah, dinner. Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf! Or, “that squiggly stuff,” if you’re my mom. Page 115 in the bible. (a.k.a. Veganomicon)

It starts by sauteeing onions and garlic in olive oil. I added red pepper, too. Then you add in tomato paste, spices like cumin, quinoa, and then your water and chickpeas.

And slowly simmer until they start to look like “little squigglies.”

In the book, it’s considered a side – but honestly, there’s no reason it can’t be a meal. It’s a complete protein!

I topped mine with some feta cheese, and a slice of bread afterwards.

A really, really simple dish – but so good! Make it.

And these pretty ladies haven’t shown their faces in these parts lately:

The one and only George-Porge.

So – we still have a ton of phyllo dough. What’s your fav phyllo dough recipe?

And any plans for the long weekend? My weekend actually isn’t long and I’m working on Monday – but I’m sure you’ll all enjoy it for me! πŸ˜›


Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

26 responses to “Frightening Phyllo

  1. Sounds like you and your mom had a great day together celebrating her birthday – you sure did cook a great meal for her!!!! The quinoa looks delicious – i love the Moosewood cookbook.
    Love all of the pictures in this post – especially Teddie!!! I can;t seem to get enough of how adorable he really is!!
    My mom cooks with phyllo every so often and every time it looks WAY too complicated!!!! Sorry but i have no suggestion on what to do with it!
    Have a great Sunday – the weather is going to be great!!!!! I hope to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine!!
    xoxo aimee

  2. I’ve never made anything with phyllo, but I had baklava in Greece and the horrendous amount of honey and sugar and walnuts between flaky phyllo layers was so amazing.

    No plans but to relax for the next two days and enjoy the last time I’ll probably be home until Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy your weekend even if you have to work. πŸ˜‰

  3. Phyllo is interesting. I am not much for flaky dough. However, I bet if you stuffed some broccoli and hummus in there, I would be loving it! I love spanikopita too, but there again, we are talking cheese and spinach. I am glad it tasted good in the end. I made two kinds of muffins today that both tasted good, but one was really ugly. Oh well, at least they were good to eat. Oh and Tony used to be the same way with whole wheat…I bet he would give anything right now to be eating whole wheat again! Have a great night Jessica!

  4. I haven’t ever heard of phyllo before haha! That cake looks good though πŸ™‚ I bought quinoa a couple days ago and my mom refers to it as ” those weird seeds you bought ” lol Teddie’s girf is soo cute! Looking at your photos makes me miss my animals 😦 Is that your dog? He or she has beautiful eyes, mine has blue eyes aswell.

    Have a good one πŸ™‚

  5. love love love love the pony pictures! they make me miss riding so much.
    that “squiggly stuff” looks absofreakinglutely delish! i must try that πŸ™‚

  6. Lovely picture of Teddie πŸ™‚ and his girlfriend’s precious! Quite the couple πŸ˜‰

    Remember those Uncrustables? I used to burn my tongue on scolding hot jelly with those all the time because I wouldnt have the patience to let them dethaw so they’d get nuked for a few seconds before hand. -_-

  7. teenagehealthfreak

    how sweet of you to make your mom dinner!!! i did that to…but i made her coconut cupcakes. all of your pictures are so pretty today! love the horse pictures…and the food pictures..that cutting board??? is really awesome!!! πŸ™‚ have a great weekend!

  8. woo moosewoods..that pilaf looks YUMMMMMM. and haha bout your socks, i do that sometimes! love the new layout!!! date sugar sounds awesome, I just bought Yacon syrup to try πŸ™‚ Want me to send you a baggy of peanut flour? send me your is inexpensive! and maybe I will throw in some peanut fig newtoons.

  9. hahah you’re mom makes me laugh so bad! squiggly stuff…! I hope she comes around the madly loving everything whole wheat! and that phyllo dough experience sounds crazy! Makes me kinda want to stray forever from mr.phyllo…

    ps: thx for being my inspiration for buying bulgur! I think I’m in wuv πŸ™‚

  10. moosewood cookbooks are the best arent they! i went to the bookstore and wanted to buy all 10 lol they have so many but all amazing recipes! those phylo pastries look amazing! ive never tried it before but now i want too (:
    sounds like you and mom had a fun day! eats look amazing as always, arent raspberries so delish! im obsessed especially since there fresh off the vine for me! i need to get to making those waffles, just bought puffet wheat today to prepare! ❀ everything looks awesome as always, puppy is so cute! i love taking picture of my pups, of course teddie is as handsome as always, amazing pics! have a great day ❀

  11. HBD to your mum! I’ve never worked with phyllo before but after reading about your frustrations with it, I don’t think I want to! Your lunch & dinner sound soo yummy. I made a chickpea & quinoa & bell pepper salad sorta like that a while ago and it was so good – I’m def making some variation of it again soon. And I never match my socks either!

  12. Happy Birthday to your mom. I love cooking for my mom on her special day, and I know that you enjoyed taking the time to plan her special meal. I’m sorry about the phyllo dough experience (your poor tongue! I’ve done that with a jam cookie before). But phyllo dough is very difficult to work with, and I don’t use it very often because of that. I hope you have a great day tomorrow love. And your pilaf looked delicious by the way!

  13. Michelle

    Hahah Teddie is such a playerrrrr!

    And I am so guilty of eating stuff before it cools off. I’m just too eager!

  14. Argh I hate phyllo pastry!! I’ve only worked with it 3 times – twice to make a butternut squash tart, and once to make apple and blackberry strudels. The pastry came out fine (I thhiiiink I brushed it with egg white? Pre-vegan) but it’s just such a skank texture! The banana bread looks good though πŸ™‚

    Haha – LOVE your socks! I have looooads of christmas socks which I wear all the time too :p

  15. I’ve never used phyllo dough…doesn’t struedel always look kind of messy and bleh, though? I’ve only had it once – authentic German! – and it was really good, but it wasn’t exactly pretty, as I remember it.

  16. I’ve never used phyllo dough, but I’ve honestly been wanting to try it out. Have you ever heard of spanakopita? (I think that’s how you spell it..) It’s a greek dish of spinach and feta cheese with phyllo pastry on the top… kind of like a casserole. I bet it would taste fabulous πŸ™‚

    On a side note, I pretty much lived off of toaster strudels when I was about ten years old. Haha! Wow that’s a looong time ago πŸ˜›

    ❀ Tat

  17. Nathalie

    Beautiful photos!!! And thanks for the inspiration on what to have for dinner tonight πŸ™‚

  18. I don’t really bake with phyllo dough too much, but my mom makes an amazing tomato and tapenade tarts recipe with it.

    You’re such a sweet daughter to make your mom a birthday dinner. πŸ˜€ Those apple strudels sound really good! I’m glad your mom liked them!

  19. I love phyllo dough, and my favorite thing to make with it is spanakopita. It doesn’t require any dough rolling so it’s pretty easy πŸ˜€ Your “toaster strudel” idea is genius though!

    Glad your mom enjoyed her birthday dinner! You’re so sweet to make her such a special meal.

  20. We have two packages of phyllo dough that I want to experiment with, but I’m worried about the stickiness factor. I’d like to make spanakopita with cottage cheese, spinach, and some herbs and spices, so we’ll see how that goes. Your toaster strudel looks good, but sorry about your tongue. 😦

  21. Never actually attempted making anything with phyllo dough, though I’ve heard phyllo pies are real winners. Sounds moderately challenging to work with, though…. Well in any case, good save with the banana bundt! Moosewood is such an awesome cookbook. The squiggly chickpea pilaf looks great too!

    Love your pics!!

  22. Oh I have only tried making something with phyllo dough once and it was a DISASTER and I’ve been put off ever since. I tried making cottage cheese and squash parcels and I thought they looked great and I stuck them in the oven to bake and when they came out the dough was all soggy and mushy. It was not good! I love Daniel’s idea of the baklava though…very yummy with all the honey and nuts!
    HAHA I LOVE the socks!! I have a collection of funky socks myself πŸ˜›
    And gosh Jess, your pictures are looking absolutely stunning..I am incredibly jealous!
    Oh and finally, thankyou SO much for your comment on my means more to me than you think.

  23. I keep burning myself too! I always want to try things right away. Even something like coffee–I want it ASAP and never wait. I will also never learn my lesson. SO funny that you are playing with Phyllo. I’ve had my eye on a few recipes using it and was about to buy it today! I hope you enjoy your long weekend!! Nora

  24. All the pictures are beautiful! Teddy looks handsome as ever. What a sweety. πŸ˜€

    I made that chickpea quinoa pilaf before, but it came out more “chili’ish”. I absolutely love the flavor though. You’re right, it’s simple but very worth making. πŸ˜€

    (p.s. I never learn my lesson about not eating something straight out of the oven either πŸ˜‰ )

  25. Phyllo dough reminds me of Top Chef!

    And Happy B-day to your wonderful Mama!

  26. Dee

    I am late but Happy Belated B-day to your Mom!

    I too am always burning my tongue. So painful. 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s