Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spinach and Tomato Quiche

Well, hello. What a wet evening it's turning out to be, for both my Northern and Southern friends! As most of you know, I've been under the weather lately with Mono, so I have been neglecting my housekeeping and not cooking as elaborate of meals lately. BUT...my lazy, groggy state has also forced me to be more creative with what I have as not to have to go grocery shopping, so I've been creating some new recipes. This one is based off of a Broccoli Quiche recipe I found on Allrecipes.com, using the ingredients I happened to have. It is ah-mazing.

Be safe in this weather y'all!


Spinach and Tomato Quiche
-adapted from Broccoli Quiche recipe on Allrecipes.com

4 red potatoes, peeled or unpeeled (I kept the peels on)
2 cups fresh, heated spinach leaves
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, heat spinach. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3.Mash the potatoes with milk and salt. Brush a deep 9 inch pie dish with olive oil and press the potatoes in. Brush with remaining olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
4.Arrange onions, tomato, spinach and cheese in the potato crust. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over tomatoes, spinach, onions and cheese.
5.Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until slightly puffed and cooked throughout. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chocolate S'More Cupcakes

Oh my goodness, girls. These are the best cupcakes for...one week a month. But seriously, for anytime. Guys, you'll love 'em, too. Tyler ate about five at once. I looked in my baking cabinet tonight as I was craving something chocolatey, and found some Marshmallows, other various ingredients, and chocolate frosting. The original idea was to make some type of chocolate cupcakes with store bought chocolate frosting, but one quick entry into Google changed my little chocolate-craving mind rather quickly.

I found a recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Icing. I didn't have the large Marshmallows, just the small, so I adapted the recipe a bit to make it a lighter, crispier Marshmallow topping, similar to the top of a S'More. You can feel free to make a thicker, softer icing like the recipe calls for, or more of a crunch like I did. Either way, your sweet tooth will be satisfied. Trust me, I'm an expert. ;)



Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting-adapted from Martha Stewart Kids Magazine, found on Not Without Salt blog

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cups dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

3/4 cup buttermilk (or make your own – 3/4 cup milk to 2 1/2 teaspoons acid such as lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar...I did this using bottled lemon juice)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350*. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners for a total of 24 cupcakes. Set this aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together cocoa, flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

Fill cupcake pans about 1/3 full. Bake until the tops of the cupcake spring back when gently pressed. This should take about 15-20 minutes.

Top with either a store-bought or homemade marshmallow then pop back into the oven for 3-5 minutes until marshmallow is soft. Remove from the oven then press down gently creating a perfect snow-white cap. (I used mini-Marshmallows and pressed them initially gently into the top of the cupcake, put them back into the oven for 3 minutes, then took a spoon and gently pressed down to smooth out the marshallows into more of a topping. Then I broiled them for about another minute or two and ate immediately.)

A Lifetime of Love

Hello friends and family!

I hope you are all settling into the "after holidays" slow down time. My life has actually seemed to speed up the past few weeks, but these type of changes always make me think and reflect on my life, which in turn, makes me want to write.

I don't usually share any of what I write just for fun as it is generally just my way of venting or expressing myself privately, but I wanted to share this little poem as I wrote it for my wonderful husband. And really, what better way to let him know I'm thinking of him than publically? :)

Hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend.


You know that couple? The one we saw at the grocery store today? The one we helped to put their cart away? The couple with the canes, the ones who walked so slow, the pair we hurried past on our way to go? Well if you don’t remember them, maybe this will jog your brain. What about the pair we saw in the far left lane? The ones we yelled at for their driving, slow and rather scary, you “old farts” we mouthed as we passed, and on we carried.

Okay so that was hours ago, but what about tonight? Did you see the couple behind us, the one in the dim light? I heard him whisper to his wife, “my darling I won’t leave you” and she sobbed back “I know it dear, but only if you knew”. “What is it love, we’ve made it now, for sixty-seven years, we’ve seen it all, we’ve done it all, in fact for us, three cheers!” “Not now, my dear the news is bad, the doctor called today, the cancer’s back, it’s worse this time, it hasn’t gone away.”

And in that moment, at that time, just one booth away, sat a young married couple with a group of friends, laughing and chatting away. The old man caught the eye of the girl so young and fresh and healthy, and in her eyes he saw his wife, and realized he was wealthy. For as he watched this bright young pair, that’s us to which I refer, his mind kept racing back and forth, but all he could see was her. He knew what this meant, it meant less time, less time to kiss his bride. Less time to hold her, to brush her hair, to have her by his side. But as he watched the couple beside him, he realized one thing he knew, he wouldn’t start over, not ever again, he wouldn’t trade old for new.

We’ve been so arrogant, been so crude, I think we’ve had the wrong attitude. Growing old is a pain, but it’s also a gift, for each day I have with you I’d never switch. So when we’re 90 and driving insanely, I hope you’ll remember, and remember this plainly. That I love you truly, I thank God each day, that it’s you I have walked with each step of the way. And someday we’ll see a new bride-to-be, and just smile and think, “man it’s good to be me”.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

Hey guys! Just wanted to stop by with a quick recipe. I tried this one tonight, and it turned out really well. I don't cook with pork often, but decided to try something different, and pork chops were on great sale today.

Anyway, try these babies and I promise, you'll thank me. :)

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
-Giada De Laurentis for Food Network

2 large eggs
1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving
Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year is a Fresh Year

Happy New Year to my friends and family. I hope you are all having a wonderful, relaxing weekend with loved ones. I'm not huge on making New Year's resolutions for myself, because honestly, I think pretty much daily (overanalyzer that I am) about what I could/should/would change about myself. BUT...I am a big believer in a fresh start and positive thinking. So with that said, here are some things I'd like to focus on even more than regular this year:

Learning the importance of moderation in everything
Working out more consistently
Getting lost in a moment or two and stop overanalyzing everything
Saving money for a house
Learning to better balance work, home, and school
Learning to listen more attentively to my family and friends, just like I would a client
Attending church more regularly
And as always, live, love, and eat.