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Puff Pastry Quiche with Spinach and Cheese

February 27, 2017

There are many great things about this recipe. First, you get to use puff pastry, which is flaky and buttery. Then you get to make quiche that is portable and easily customized, which makes this perfect for brunch or households where tastes vary. You can always mix up the egg base and set out a “filling bar” so hungry diners can choose-their-own meal adventure.

This recipe will give you a dozen muffin-sized quiches and a dozen mini quiches. You will likely have some extra filling mixture at the end too, which is perfect for making a quick egg scramble!

You will need:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 c fat-free half and half
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed with the extra water squeezed out
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 c shredded cheese (I used a cheddar-jack blend)
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed according to the directions

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Set a regular and a mini-sized muffin tin on the counter to the side. Lightly grease the tins.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together with the half and half, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, salt, and red pepper flakes until light and airy.
  3. Stir in the spinach, onion and cheese (or whatever fillings you want…be creative!).
  4. Set aside.
  5. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and cut into 9 pieces (3×3). Gently stretch each piece slightly and press each piece into a regular sized muffin tin well.
  6. Unfold the second piece of puff pastry. Cut one-third of it into 3 pieces; these should be roughly equal in size to what you just cut. Gently stretch each piece slightly and press each piece into a regular muffin tin well.
  7. At this point you should have a dozen regular-sized muffin tin wells lined with puff pastry. The next step will line a dozen mini-sized muffin tin wells.
  8. Cut the remaining puff pastry into 12 pieces (3×4). Gently stretch each piece slightly and press into the mini muffin tin wells.
  9. Pour a little water into any unused mini muffin tin wells to protect them while baking.
  10. Gently spoon the egg mixture into each lined muffin tin well. The egg will rise a little, so you do not need to fill it to the top of the well. I recommend filling to about 2/3 full.
  11. Bake until the egg center is not wet/jiggly in the middle and the puff pastry is golden. It will take about 12-17 minutes for the mini quiches and another 5 or so for the regular muffin-sized ones. Check frequently near the end.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing. Finish cooling on a wire rack until they are cool enough to eat.

20170225 Puff Quiche 02.JPG

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread

February 13, 2017

This sweet treat is a crowd pleaser. I baked it as a thank you for some coworkers, and the whole loaf was almost gone in the first few minutes.

You will need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c cranberries, fresh or frozen

20170110-cranberry-bread-02

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9×5 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the cream cheese and sugar.
  3. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix in the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Mix in the flour just until combined.
  6. Gently fold in the cranberries.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden and a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before flipping out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
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Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

January 30, 2017

I made these for a new year’s brunch; they were quick to bake the day prior and tasted great. I love the pumpkin and warming spices. I am also a huge fan of tart cranberries. I had some leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving that I’d frozen. You could use them whole, but I decided to chop them up slightly in the food processor.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T + 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 c old-fashioned oats

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin tray with paper liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of melted butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  3. Stir in the eggs and pumpkin puree, whisking until smooth.
  4. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the cloves, and the baking soda.
  5. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spoon batter into the muffin cups until each one is about 3/4 of the way full.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the 5 tablespoons room temperature butter with the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the tablespoon of cinnamon, and the oats.
  9. Crumble the topping on each of the muffins. Gently press into the top.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.

20170101-pumpkin-cranberry-muffin-01

 

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Sloppy Joe Casserole

January 23, 2017

This is lighter version of a sloppy joe casserole: I substituted spaghetti squash for noodles or potato and then swapped ground turkey for the ground beef. It is also excellent as leftovers!

You will need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 4 T tomato paste
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese (we used colby jack)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an edged baking sheet with foil. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  3. Place the two halves face-down on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Add the ground turkey and saute until crumbled and starting to brown.
  6. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, dry mustard and chili powder. Saute for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and water. Allow to simmer and reduce by half.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  9. After removing the spaghetti squash from the oven, scrape the inside with a fork to form the noodles.
  10. Transfer the squash noodles to the prepared baking dish.
  11. Mix in the sloppy joe mixture.
  12. Stir in the cheese.
  13. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

20170101-squash-sloppy-joe-01

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Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken

January 16, 2017

I’ve mentioned that I love buffalo chicken before. With the business of work and wanting more time to play with baby R when we are home, D and I are testing a variety of easy-to-assemble dinners. This buffalo chicken is sooooooo tasty, and I loved being able to throw everything into the crock pot or slow cooker. It will look like you have too much liquid at the end. However, once you shred the chicken and stir it back in, the chicken will soak up all the yumminess. We served the chicken on top of baked sweet potatoes with some Greek Yogurt Ranch sauce and chopped scallions.

You will need:

  • 1/3 c hot sauce, generous
  • 2 T butter or your favorite oil
  • 1 T coconut aminos*
  • 1/2 t dried garlic powder
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

20170103-buffalo-chicken-02

Then you will…

  1. In a small saucepot, heat everything over medium heat (but the chicken and onion) until warmed through. Remove from heat.
  2. Place the chicken and onion in the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the sauce on top.
  4. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks.
  6. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and mix with the sauce.
  7. Serve!

*Coconut aminos is an alternative to soy sauce that is vegan, gluten-free, low sodium and low glycemic. It’s made from the aged sap of coconut blossoms and can be found in most major grocery stores (often near the soy sauces).

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Greek Yogurt Ranch

January 8, 2017

Not everyone likes ranch, but if you do, try out this recipe. It can be used as a dip or a sauce, and it tastes even better if you let it sit overnight.

20170103-greek-ranch

You will need:

  • 1 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 1/2 t dried dill
  • 1/2 t dried garlic powder
  • 3/4 t dried onion powder
  • 1/2 t dried chives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Mix everything together in a small bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.

Note: if you want a thinner dip/sauce, slowly mix in milkĀ  until you reach the desired consistency.

 

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Asian Beef and Cabbage with Noodles

December 7, 2016

20161107-asian-cabbage-beef-02

This dinner is easy to mix together and tastes every better as leftovers. You could substitute chicken, pork or tofu for the beef. Whatever sounds yummiest to you!

You will need:

  • 1/2 c low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 T sambal oeleck or other chili paste/sauce (like sriracha)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 lb skirt steak, sliced thin against the grain
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz of your favorite Asian noodles (we used udon, but rice noodles would be great too)
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 bag (~14 oz) chopped cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 1/3 c chopped scallions

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, sambal oeleck, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
  2. Pat the steak dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the noodles according to their direction. Drain.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat.
  5. Add the beef and allow to sear on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side max.
  6. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
  7. Heat the remaining olive oil and then add the cabbage and scallions. Saute for 2 minutes, or until starting to wilt.
  8. Add the noodles and saute for another minute before adding the sauce.
  9. Allow the sauce to cook down for another 4-5 minutes, before return the beef and its juices to the pan.
  10. Once everything is warmed through, serve hot!
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