Basic Quiche

Bonjour, ma cher!

This is how my grandmother almost always begins a voicemail. Just imagine it spoken in a way where “bonjour” is “bonjouuuuuuuuur” and “ma cher” has a long “eeeee” sound on the end of it and the woman saying it is wearing cashmere and hot pink lipstick. It’s quirky and adorable and *so* Patricia. She loves everything French: French food, French fashion, French interior design. All of it. She firmly believes she can speak French and moved to Paris for a year to study at the Sorbonne when she was 70.

My grandmother loved to cook anything and everything that had way too many steps. If a recipe didn’t have many steps, she’d add some. But her food was always delicious. (I’m speaking in past tense because she just doesn’t cook anymore, which is really a tragedy.)

This quiche recipe is an homage to her, since she is Very Picky About Quiche. And quiche is, well, very French. We made this very often growing up and my mom developed this recipe. It’s where I started getting really into making pie crust. I’ll give you the basic recipe here with some of my favorite add-ins, but you can really add anything you want.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 C milk
  • handful of grated parmesan
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 patties of breakfast sausage OR  handful of bulk sausage
  • 1/2 of 1 leek, finely sliced
  • grated cheddar cheese, about 1 C

Pie Crust:

  • 1 C flour
  • heaping 1/3 C shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • very cold/ice water

Preheat the oven to 350.

Filling:

Mix the eggs, milk, parmesan, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Brown the sausage until it’s crispy. Make sure you chop it up in the pan into at least bit-sized pieces, if not smaller. Scrape into a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb some of the drippings.

Slice the leek thinly – leeks are most beautiful this way, as they end up as a beautiful transparent circle of light green. NB: make sure you wash them thoroughly and peel some of the top layers off, as dirt inevitable gets really jammed in there and no one wants that kind of crunch in their quiche. Set aside.

Crust:

In a large bowl combine the flour, shortening, and salt. Combine them using a pastry tool or a fork until it resembles a really course kinda chunky flour. SLOWLY add in a TINY bit of cold water and keep mixing. You want to add *just* enough cold water that the dough starts to form a ball. Once it’s at that stage, STOP with the water and use your hands.

Work the dough quickly into a ball. Place it on a well-floured countertop and start rolling it out. Personally, I love the rolling pins that are just one giant stick that gradually taper at the ends, so you never end up with lines in your dough from the edge of the rolling pin. If you’re in a jam and you don’t have a rolling pin, a bottle of wine works fairly well. If it’s chilled wine, though, best of luck. Make sure you flour the rolling pin/wine bottle, so it doesn’t stick to your dough. As I roll mine out, I flip the circle of dough so that both sides are well-floured and so that it doesn’t stick to the countertop. Once it’s rolled out to where it’s about 1/8″ thick, fold it into quarters.

Place the dough into your pie dish and unfold it. Smooth out any creases & fill any holes. Roll the edge of the dough under itself along the edge of your pie dish and crimp it/decorate it in anyway that really gets you going.

Fill the pie shell with the sausage and leeks then pour the egg mixture over it. Sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese and ever so gently place it in the oven. Bake it until it smells like breakfast and the middle of the quiche has stopped jiggling. Usually the cheese also gets a little brown and crispy on top, which is just delightful.

Serves: *technically* 6, but, like, who doesn’t want an entire quarter of a quiche?

NB: a word of warning before adding tomatoes into quiche – make sure they’re deseeded and roasted otherwise the water content in them will ruin the texture of your quiche. The same goes for spinach, except please don’t roast spinach. Just cook it down and drain it and squeeze it with paper towel or cheesecloth.

Bon appetite and egészségedre!

Hannah

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Friday Faves: Simmers & Sales

Everything and everyone is all about those sales right now. While neither of us is a Black Friday fanatic, we are hoping to take advantage of a few sales to snag some things we’ve had our eyes on.


Essie: “I love to take advantage of Artifact Uprising’s Cyber Monday sale and get our yearly photo book printed. It’s also a great time to have photo calendars and other photo gifts printed for Christmas gifts. I may also check on L.L. Bean’s sale because I just love their stuff and have had my eye on a couple things for a while now.”


Hannah: “I’ve never really been a Black Friday kinda gal, but once I got into the kitchen, I just can’t ignore the amazing sales on large appliances. A friend of mine got a KitchenAid mixer for $150. $150! I’ll also be lurking on llbean.com hoping that their nice down vest goes on sale for my husband.”


Whether you plan on braving the lines and hoards of people in stores or look forward to grabbing a few marked down gifts online this weekend, may we suggest you try a simmer pot to make your whole home smell amazing? It’s the perfect way to use up fruits that aren’t looking so yummy anymore, while giving your house an artisanal scent. We threw together a delicious recipe for one, but we also encourage you to experiment with your own.

  • Ingredients
    • semi full pot of water
    • Lemons, halved or quartered
    • Cranberries
    • Rosemary sprig or two
    • Dash of Cinnamon
    • Sprinkle of Nutmeg
    • Pinch of Cloves
  • Directions: Simmer everything on low heat. Add more water as it cooks off.

But you could try any combinations of these: oranges, grapefruit, tangerine, lime, cinnamon stick, anise seed, whole cloves, apples, vanilla, ginger, and evergreen twigs. It’s such a low risk activity that you could really throw any fruit or spice in the pot and just test it out. No harm if it doesn’t work out.

Dressed Up Turkey Sandwich

With turkey day tomorrow, I just had to share one of my all time favorite sandwiches. I really hope your turkey is so huge you’ll have leftovers for weeks and weeks. When you have that many leftovers you get sick of the same flavors over and over again. In case that happens here’s the perfect change up.

Brie and Apples. They’re like flavor soulmates. When you add balsamic glaze, a bite of onion, and some mild turkey, avocado, and naan, it’s like the two started a family, dressed all the kids in their Sunday best, and everyone gets along. Exactly the sort of thing you want around the holidays.

Once you know how much you love these flavors together, it’s easy to switch them up and incorporate them into a salad, wrap, omelette or anything else you might dream up.

Give it a try and thank me later.


  • Ingredients:
    • 2 pieces naan bread
    • 1 cup shredded turkey (or 8 slices deli turkey)
    • 1 sweet apple, sliced
    • 4 oz brie cheese, sliced
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • 2-4 green onions, chopped
    • 1 cup spinach
    • dried cranberries
    • balsamic glaze
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to broil.
    2. Lay naan flat on a cookie sheet. Stack turkey, apple and brie (in that order) on one half of each bread.
    3. Toast in the oven until brie is melty and naan is warm.
    4. Pile avocado, green onions, spinach, and dried cranberries on top of brie.
    5. Drizzle balsamic glaze over it all, then fold second half of naan over the toppings. Nom.
  • Alternative: Dressed Up Turkey Salad
    1. Chop and warm turkey, apple and brie on cookie sheet.
    2. Pile on top of a bowl of greens along with the rest of the ingredients.
    3. Use balsamic glaze or a balsamic dressing to dress.

Simple Baked Oatmeal

You know in the early mornings when you really want something that’s kinda sweet to go with your hot coffee, but you just don’t want all the sugar that goes along with pancakes or cinnamon buns or what-have-you? Here’s your new go-to recipe. It’s super easy, you can make it ahead of time, and it keeps fairly well (if there’s any left). I’ve also recently learned that it’s great for nursing moms. So, here you go, mom-friends! Just for you!

Ingredients:

  • 2 C oats
  • 1 C milk (you can substitute almond milk)
  • 1/3 C coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3-ish C chunky applesauce
  • 2 Tbls canola or vegetable oil
  • handful and a half chopped pecans

Before you go and roll your eyes at my coconut sugar, hear me out. EVEN IF it has no special health benefits, the taste has me doing praise hands all day long. There’s a nutty richness to this sugar that just isn’t around with regular white cane sugar. It has more dimension than just sweet and I love that; it plays with the flavors of the apple sauce and the pecans in just the right way. You could probably use maple sugar here too, but that just seems so crazy expensive when you’re putting it in something with so many other ingredients. If you’re gonna use maple, LET IT SHINE LET IT SHINE LET IT SHINE.

Ok, ok. On to directions. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a glass baking dish. You can use an 7×11 or an 8×8. I use the 7×11 because that’s what I have at my Airbnb.

In a mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients except the pecans. If you wanna be fancy and whip your eggs together before you add them, go you, but we’re not fancy here. Make sure everything is well-mixed and there are no pockets of egg whites leftover. Pour into your greased baking dish and sprinkle chopped pecans over the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes. You want the edges to be crunchy and brown and for it not to move when you wobble the glass dish inside the oven (a little like you’d do with a quiche). It should also start smelling reeeeeeally good all up in your kitchen.

It’s one of my very favorite things to be up and at it before everyone else in the family and for them to come down to a warm, dimly lit kitchen that smells like cinnamon and coffee. I try to do this in our studio apartment, but the racket that I make getting our coffee made with the horrible whistling tea kettle and my clumsiness with glass jars wakes up my husband. Ah, well.

NB: there are SO many delicious variations you can do with this. I’m already thinking about adding some leftover cranberry sauce to it along with a little applesauce to see what it’s like! #livefast #dieyoung #what

Serves: 4-5

Egészségedre!

Hannah

 

 

Spoicy Italian Sausage + Orzo

The other day as I was perusing Instagram stories for the 592,094,701-th time that day, one of my fave mom ‘grammers posted about her healthy lunch with orzo and greens and I don’t even remember what else. It looked amazing, but she kept apologizing for talking about food and giving us a demo. NEVER APOLOGIZE. We all want to know how and what you moms feed yourselves. (Lookin’ at you, Sarah Hart)

When I got to Trader Joe’s yesterday and spotted the orzo I got all *praise hands emoji* and super-inspired.

And thus was this recipe was born. It’s currently in the running for my husband’s favorite dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. spoicy* Italian sausage (all I had was pre-cooked, so I diced it up. I would have much preferred raw spicy Italian sausage, so that’s how I’m writing this recipe.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini (all you people who grow your own zucchini, medium does NOT mean the size of your entire arm, even though I know that’s your medium-sized zucchini)
  • 2 C raw spinach (can you tell I’m desperately trying to add more veg into my recipes?)
  • 1 ½ C chopped artichoke hearts (if you don’t like these as much as I do, you can pare it down, but DON’T.)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (a real lemon, not the juice in the bottle, y’all.)
  • 3 C cooked orzo (save some of the pasta water!)
  • 1 C grated fresh parmagiano

*spoicy was a typo we accidentally used once in college and I just like it better than the original. Say it out loud. You won’t regret it.

Add the raw Italian sausage to a heated pan and cook it halfway. Make sure your pan is large enough so the meal has room to grow. A sauté pan with tall sides would be ideal, but since we live in an Airbnb, I used an extra-big frying pan that was in our kitchen. At halfway, the sausage should still be pink with a little bit of browning. At this point add the chopped zucchini and a generous salting. Cook until the sausage is completely cooked and the zucchini is tender.

Add the spinach and cover the pan until it’s wilted. If you don’t have a pan with a lid, use the line cook’s trick and cover it with a cookie sheet. Add a little water if it needs more steam in there. This will also help cook the zucchini.

Stir in the chopped artichoke hearts. This adds that delightful acidity that recipes like this always need. Squeeze in half the lemon juice.

Add cooked orzo. NB: DO NOT over-cook the orzo, otherwise this ends up being a tasteless mush of gluten glue and no one likes that.

Add fresh parmigiano and a little of the pasta water that you saved because you’re a Nice Person who knows how Pasta likes to be treated. Stir. Squeeze the rest of the lemon juice over it. Voila!

Serves: 2-ish

Next time I make this, I’d like to add some roasted cherry tomatoes and a little feta. I’ll add a note to the bottom of this post if I like it.

Egészségedre!

Hannah

Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is by far my favorite season. It marks the end of summer and summer clothes (I’d rather be a burrito of knitted things than in a swimsuit any day), it marks the beginning of the school year, and it’s full of the incredible magic of the world around us changing. The fall colors, the sweaters, the coffee, the chilly mornings and evenings, the crickets singing at noon, the harvest season, Thanksgiving . . . ALL OF IT. I LOVE ALL OF IT.

My mom homeschooled us from K-6 grade and she made the fall a time of complete joy. We loved school because it meant new books, Ticonderoga pencils, and learning about Ancient Egypt for the 235th time (kidding, but I have to put this in here for my mom and friend Celia). We raked leaves with my dad, making them into a leaf ‘n’ tarp burrito that he drove over to a nearby ditch. We hiked Bradbury “Mountain” (a beautiful hill nearby). We put pieces of paper over leaves and scribbled with the flat side of a pencil until the shape of the leaf showed up. My mom bought 3 pumpkins, one for each of us kids, and set them on the stoop in the front of the house (she still does this). The traditions go on and on and I love every single one of them.

One of the best things about fall, though, was mom’s fall recipe collection that came back out after its summer hibernation. This pumpkin bread/muffin recipe is from my grandmother originally and it’s one she used as a “tea bread” (she’s reeeally into high tea and scones and bone china and all that).

Since my husband and I live in California right now, I’m forcing fall on us in every way from turning up the A/C until we have to wear sweaters to making pumpkin everything.

Ingredients:

  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 C veg oil
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg

Mix it all in a big bowl. This batter keeps for a couple days, so you can make it the night before and have fresh muffins in the morning! When I was single and working full-time, I would make a batch of this batter and put it in the fridge. I’d get out my miniature cast-iron crock and make one giant muffin every morning for breakfast and this amount of batter lasted probably a week or so.

 

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
aww suh cute, past hannah.

Sprinkle raw, chopped pecans or almonds on the top of each muffin for an extra, nutty crunch. They’re best served warm with butter.

 

Serves: well, how many muffins do you eat?

Egészségedre!

Hannah

Oatmeal Pancakes: A Love Song

Delicious! Gluten free! Coconut sugar!

Did that entice you? I hope so, because I CANNOT get enough of these cakes. I’ve always been a sucker for oatmeal pancakes ever since my mom made them for special occasions growing up. They’re dense, nutty, and hold on to that maple syrup for dear life. If you leave them for long enough (not likely) they’ll even get all crunchy as the maple syrup crystalizes on them.

Have I mentioned that they’re my favorite?

I’m not a fluffy pancake person and never have been. I like them thin and more like Magyar palacsinta (trans: Hungarian crêpes) than American pancakes à la IHOP or Denny’s. NB: this is not my mom’s recipe. I lost hers in the depths of my disorganization so I modified Martha Stewart’s Basic Pancake Recipe, which you can find here. It’s a delightfully simple recipe. I’ve made a few modifications, since Oats Are Better and I’m really into cutting out refined sugars. I’m still not sure if coconut sugar is a refined sugar, since The Internet is very vague on that topic, but I’m gonna say it’s not.

Ingredients:

  • 1 C oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbls canola oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

So few ingredients!

Because we’re using oats here, I put them in the blender/food processer/Magic Bullet®. Pulse them until they resemble a very coarse flour.

Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix with a spoon or spatula or what-have-you. (yes, it’s really easy). Then wait for about 5-10 minutes. Give the oats some time to soak up some of the moisture and the mixture to get thick and sticky, as it makes better pancakes.

Use a ¼ C measuring cup to pour each cake onto a buttered, heated skillet. Don’t cook them at too high of a temperature, as they’ll burn on the outside and be raw inside. That being said, these pancakes carry less of a threat of being raw in the middle since they are so thin. Add in anything you like, such as chocolate chips, sliced banana, or roasted nuts.

We eat ours with peanut butter and jelly or pure maple syrup.

🍂 🍁 For a delicious fall version, use regular flour and add ¼ C pumpkin and only 1 Tbls canola oil. Add ½ tsp cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, & a pinch of cloves. 🍂 🍁

Serves: 2 (or 1 if you’re me and a total animal when it comes to pancakes)

Egészségedre!

Hannah