Posts made in December 12th, 2012

mini christmas quiche

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Posted on Dec 12, 2012 in Food

Mini Christmas Quiche

I try not to do a lot of re-posting of recipes on BTHR. Not only is it boring for you guys, but it’s a total snore for me, too. I have so many new ideas that I want to try out!

But every now and again, there is a recipe that I’ve done previously (usually from my first few months of blogging) that I think really deserves an update. The only thing that was worse than my photography skills from back then was my recipe writing. And there are certain recipes from those days that are such family favorites, I feel like I need to do them justice with a new, shiny post.

I’m looking at you, mini quiche.

I make these quiche every Christmas for our family Christmas party (hence the name). And usually a few more times during the year for various pitch-ins and potlucks. These quiche never disappoint and there is rarely any leftover on the buffet. They are rich, flavorful and crazy adorable. Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike love them. And they are totally adaptable—switch out the cheeses, leave out the spinach, add some ham. Whatever you want!

Basically, these quiche rock. Which is why, that sad sack of a post from two years ago just doesn’t seem like quite enough fanfare for these guys.

But quite possibly the best part of these quiche is that they can be made ahead and frozen for weeks or even months—although ours never last that long. I can make a giant batch at the beginning of December, stash them in a freezer bag and then pop a dozen or so out at a time for various parties and but-I-don’t-want-to-cook dinners. They reheat nicely in the microwave or in bulk in a 400° oven.

I’m not totally passing off an old recipe. In the past two years, I have tweaked the recipe a bit to be even more delicious-y-er. The big two changes— caramelized onions and homemade pie crust—take little effort but make a huge flavor difference. When I first wrote that post, I was terrified to make pie crust, but since, I’ve mastered the easy process and realized that it is totally worth the extra 10 minutes of effort. Homemade pie crust=amazing.

Of course, if you aren’t a fan of all-things-mini like I am, you can turn this particular quiche recipe into a full-size guy. Just half the pie crust part (it takes more crust to make the mini quiche) and put it all into a pie pan. Then bake at 350° until the middle is set.

Mini Christmas Quiche

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: About 60 mini quiche

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Ingredients

For the Pie Crust
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (or any combo of white and wheat)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes and frozen
  • 8-10 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 16 ounces chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1-16 ounce can of sliced mushrooms
  • 6 ounces herbed feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray each of the cups of a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. To prepare pie crust, pulse together flour, sugar, and salt until well-mixed. Add in butter and pulse until butter is cut into pea-sized (and smaller) pieces. Pulse in water, 2-3 tablespoons at a time until mixture stays together when squeezed in your hand. Dump mixture onto a well-floured surface, form into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and stash in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed dutch oven or skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add in red pepper flakes and garlic and cook until garlic is tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in onion and cook until garlic is translucent, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add in honey and simmer onions until they turn brown and very soft—about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, spinach, feta, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese and stir until well-mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until pale and bubbly. Set aside.
  6. Remove one of the pie crust discs from the fridge and roll out on a well-floured surface until about 1/8″ thick. Using a biscuit cutter or drinking glass rim, cut out small pie crust circles. Place one circle in each of the cups of the prepared muffin tin—pressing in to form around cup.
  7. To fill each up, put about 1 teaspoon of the spinach mixture in each of the cups, then carefully spoon about 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture over top. Top each mini quiche with a little bit of the remaining cheddar cheese. Repeat until all cups are full.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pie crust is browned and the egg is set. Repeat process with remaining crust and filling.
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Do you have a go-to pitch-in recipe? Care to share?

 

what i ate wednesday: brown baggin’ it

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Posted on Dec 12, 2012 in Food

First things first, today is a mighty huge day for my dearest, Gretchen. Today her book, Terra is released! Please, please, please go out there and buy a copy! Go support an independent author! I am so proud of her. And the book, friggin’ rocks, kids. And my name is in it twice. TWICE. Not that this is about me or anything… YAY, GRETCH!

Alright, onto WIAW.

I thought it might be fun to change it up a bit for WIAW this week and instead of showing you my at home eats, show you what I packed for “lunch” on one of my commuting days last week. I put the quotation marks because, technically, it’s a heck of a lot more than lunch. On commuting days (if you don’t remember, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we commute about 90 minutes one way for work), we leave the house a little after 5am and don’t usually get back until a little after 7pm—so we pack a lot of food. The only meal you won’t find in these photos is dinner, which is something that I usually just throw in the slow cooker right before we head out. Onto my packed “lunch”…

  1. This is a pretty standard breakfast for us: turkey and egg cups (I’ll make up a dozen and eat on them all week—so good); Greek yogurt with some frozen berries, honey and pistachios; and some piece of fruit—this time a clementine. Plus coffee on the drive in! I think I’d be dead in a ditch somewhere if it wasn’t for my morning coffee while I drive us to work.
  2. We’re big fans of canned fish for lunches. We alternate between canned tuna (mixed with some hummus and salsa) and canned salmon. It’s great because it takes almost no time to mix up and packs in plenty of protein, which is really important to keep Craig movin’ at his manual labor job. Sometimes we’ll pack leftovers, but lots of times we save leftovers for no-cook night (Friday!). Along with the tuna, we have some crackers, a whole tasting plate of veggies with hummus, an apple, plus something for lunch dessert. A sea salt chocolate caramel, this time around. We always pack a little something sweet.
  3. Oh, the mighty snack! So, super-dooper important to keeping us happy during commuting days. We pack lots of snacks and spread them out throughout the day. I usually don’t snack much in the morning, but snack late in the afternoon (around 4pm-ish) and during the drive home (around 6pm-ish). If I don’t, it’s cranky/headachey/hangry central. Which is no fun to be in the car with for over an hour. Snacks this time around were: packet of almond butter, LARABAR, hard-boiled egg, mixed nuts and raisins, dates, Babybel and a jar of cottage cheese with pineapple and pomegranate. We also usually pack a second thermos of coffee. I drink mine right after lunch.


What’s a normal packed lunch for you? What are your favorite foods to pack?