Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Mommy-Radar Was Off...

I just should have known it was coming. You always hear these stories of kids coming home from school and waiting until bedtime to tell Mom that they need 2 dozen of something to bring to school. I just never expected that mom was going to be me someday. Although in all fairness, Abigail did tell me before bedtime, but what she wanted me to make was sugar cookies. Rolled out and cut into little ghosty shapes, then frosted and decorated. Sugar cookies require chilling time, and overall are not the quickest cookie on the block. A few days ago I had thought about asking Abigail if she needed a treat for Halloween at school, and for some reason I didn't. I rationalized that really, this whole deal was my fault, and if my daughter wanted iced and decorated ghosty sugar cookies, I was going to be the good mom and make them for her.

So I flipped open my trusty Joy of Cooking and set about making the Rich Rolled Sugar Cookies that my mom had tweaked several years ago for maximum sugar-cookie goodness. After they baked up, I made a very simple vanilla icing and iced my little ghosties with white icing, giving them some creepy blue eyeballs and orange sanding sugar. Overall, I think they turned out pretty cute. Of course they're tasty, and I think they'll be a hit in the classroom.

Rich Rolled Sugar Cookies
adapted from Joy of Cooking

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Beat the butter on sugar on medium speed until fluffy and well blended. Add the egg, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the flour. Stir until blended and smooth.

Divide the dough in half, roll into a ball, and flatten somewhat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

After chilling, roll out the cookie dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured counter or cutting board. Cut out cookies and carefully transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Re-roll the cookie dough as many times as necessary to use up the dough, chilling when not using.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or to desired doneness (as brown around the edges as you'd like them). Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, let sit for about 30 seconds before removing the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

If desired, you can sprinkle the cookies with colored sugars or sprinkles before baking. Otherwise ice and decorate after completely cooling. Makes about 4-dozen cookies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One of Those Days...

We all have them. We carefully plan what we'll be making for dinner. We make sure we have all the necessary ingredients on hand, check the recipes a few times, and wait for the clock to tell us it's time to prepare dinner. By the time you start cooking, you're literally dreaming about that pot of soup and the bread sticks to dunk in it. You're daydreaming about watching your husband swoon with each spoonful, and watching your children dunk their bread sticks with delight.

Sadly, it was not to be. Don't ask what happened, please don't, because I truly cannot tell you. Suffice it to say, the baked potato soup which we all know and love had something amiss about it tonight. I swear, it was like eating paste, and just not good. And the bread sticks! I must have completely lost count of the cups of flour, because they tasted like water. Sprinkled with sesame seeds. Doesn't that just sound...yummy... lucky for Andy, he ate after the kids and I, so I did take the time to add a whole lot more seasoning, but it still didn't help much, in my opinion.

And to think I was just going to take the afternoon to relax and make pancakes for dinner. Hopefully tonight's meatloaf will fare a bit better, although I'll be rethinking the mashed potatoes...after last night's potato paste, I just don't know if I can find it in me...

In other things, I realized yesterday that I forgot to share our big news! Andy has a new job! He's taken a job with a company that does year-round work, which is fantastic for us! There's loads of opportunity for him as well, so we're looking forward to seeing what lies ahead for him with work. Today is his first day, actually, so I can't wait to hear how the first day went at the end of the day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Nice and Simple Chicken Marinade

Two weeks ago I posted how I made a few "once a month cooking" meals to put in the freezer and put to the test. Well, it was time to test a few of them and see how they fared. Abigail had a sleepover, so I thought that would be a good time to test the chicken wings I'd thrown in a marinade. I pulled them out of the freezer to thaw overnight, and the whole next day until it was time to cook. I popped them in the oven and baked them at 350º for about an hour. The wings got a nice caramel-brown color and smelled great cooking. I was excited to try them, I mean, Lime and Honey Marinade for Chicken just plain sounds great. I was not going to be disappointed. The wings were very flavorful- tangy from the limes, sweet from the honey, we really liked them. In fact, Zander went to town on them, so that right there is the seal of approval.

The only concern I have about them is that they aren't exactly a budget-friendly item. You would think they would be, but at least where I live, honey is not the most inexpensive grocery item. 8 ounces of honey in one chicken marinade is quite a bit. They were plenty sweet, so I would suggest cutting that amount in half- I think it would be plenty. I would also suggest baking the chicken IN the marinade to get as much flavor in the wings as possible. I tossed the marinade, and I think it would have made a great glaze for the chicken. Overall, I like the wings, and we'll be doing them again.

I also thought I would report back on the homemade pizza I'd tossed in the freezer. That worked remarkably well. I had assembled my pizza in it's completely raw state and flash froze it, wrapping it well with foil. We popped it into the oven froze at 425ºF and about 35 minutes later we had homemade pizza without the work. However. The crust was a bit soft, and by the time the crust had firmed up enough to even eat the pizza, the toppings were very brown. So the next time we do a frozen homemade pizza (and there will be a next time) I am going to pre-bake the crust. I'll let the crust cool, then top, then freeze. I think that will produce a much better quality homemade pizza. I'm just so excited to figure out that I can make homemade frozen pizzas. How cool is that?

Lime and Honey Marinade for Chicken
12 pieces of chicken (I used 18 wings)
3 large limes -- juice and zest of
8 ounces liquid honey
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove -- crushed (optional)

Combine lime juice, lime zest, honey, ginger, and garlic in a large Ziploc bag.

Add chicken and combine well.

Squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze.

Remove from freezer the night before serving and defrost all day in the fridge; chicken will marinate as it defrosts.

Transfer chicken to a roasting pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (40-45 minutes for bone-in chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Keep an eye on it towards the end as the marinade can get a bit dark in spots. Flip the chicken over if necessary to keep the browning even.

You can also cook this chicken on the BBQ/grill if desired

Saturday, October 27, 2007

These should really be called Blondies

It was a little bit cool in my house yesterday, just enough to offer a slight chill. And purely on principle, I refuse to turn on the heat before November 1st. Which works perfectly fine, because then I just bake something. Turning on the oven for an hour or so takes off that cool edge nicely and makes it quite comfortable here. So baking it was. I was going through my ever-growing "to-try" list, looking for something to bake where I had all the required ingredients on hand. I stopped when I came to a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies. I read the ingredients twice, and what amazed me was that there was no butter, and only 1 tablespoon of oil. It made a small pan, and I had everything on hand, so I went to work.

The batter came together quickly, although it was quite thick. I should also add that I was generous with the peanut butter. The recipe called for 1/4 cup of peanut butter, and I used a generous 1/4 cup- probably as much as 2 extra tablespoons. I also debated adding more of the mini chocolate chips, but thought I'd try the recipe as written.

After they'd cooled enough,we dug in, and the kids and I both enjoyed them immensely. I was instantly sad that they made such a small pan of brownies. The flavor is a combination of peanut butter and butterscotch, and the texture is excellent, nicely chewy. Andy thought there could be more chocolate chips, and I think I agree. In fact I'd either up them or get rid of them, because as is, they add little more than color. I had to track down the recipe source for this one, because of course I didn't note that on the recipe before. I was a little surprised to find this was a Cooking Light recipe from 2000. Not that Cooking Light doesn't do good desserts, but that I'd missed this recipe for so long. The reviews on the website are very mixed for this recipe, so keep that in mind if you try it out. We like them and will be making them again, many people online thought they were lacking flavor, but I did add that extra peanut butter, so maybe that's the difference?

So here's the recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies. Although they really should be called blondies, because they're really not a brownie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies
from Cooking Light magazine, June 2000

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Coat bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pan)

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour, chocolate chips, soda and salt in a bowl.

4. Combine sugars, and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stir until well blended. Add flour mixture stirring just until blended. Spread batter in bottom of pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out almost clean.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wait...There's Still Something Growing...

...in my garden! I haven't talked about the garden since it pretty much tanked, but there are a few treasures still in there. I have some brussels sprouts going that I'm really waiting for it to hard frost a few more times before they'll be ready. I have just a few small beets that survived the fall planting, and I have last night's addition to dinner:Turnips! I happen to be one of those strange people who enjoy eating turnips, especially raw and sliced like an apple. The first time I tried growing turnips was in Mom's garden. We planted them in the late spring with everything else. Turns out that's not the time to plant turnips. When they grow in the heat of summer they get spicy and bitter, and they bolt to seed quickly. Oh, we planted so many turnips then, and mostly they just went to waste. This time I planted turnips in August and I've been very patient with them. The few heat spells we had slowed them down a bit, but for the most part, they've been slowly growing, and I figured it had frosted just enough times to sweeten them up.

I picked a handful last night and was not disappointed. They are almost as sweet as an apple. Delightful to eat raw, but I wanted to do something with them for dinner. I searched and hunted and really didn't find too many recipes for turnips, and many of the ones I did find were for mashed turnips. I didn't want to mash them, so that was out. I decided to create my own, and sliced the turnips up for a version of Turnip Gratin. I'm afraid there's no recipe, but on the off-chance that someone else is looking for something to do with turnips, here is my method.

I began with an olive oil bechamel. You can read my detailed post about bechamel here if you need to know how to make a bechamel. To the bechamel I added about 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, and a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg, salt and plenty of black pepper. While this simmered on the stove, I sliced my turnips into slices and sprayed a baking dish with Pam. Then I layered the slices into the pan- nothing fancy, just evenly. I poured the bechamel over the top of the turnips, rapping the dish to get the bechamel to surround all the turnips, and then I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top. This baked and bubbled in a 350ºF oven for about an hour, and then I let it rest for about 10 minutes before diving in.

It was pretty good, the thyme and nutmeg were perfect with the sweet turnips, and I daresay that the next time I may add some apple slices to the turnips. Strange as that may sound, I think it would pair perfectly. Overall though I was very pleased with the turnip gratin and I'm looking forward to figuring out what to do with the remaining turnips.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Quicker Caramel

I think I've posted about my caramel before. In the past it's brought me angst as I became familiar with my electric stove and the pots I had available to me. I've never really had a set recipe that I used every time, but the one that I drift to most often can be found in my trusty Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook. It's a basic caramel, and it's never done me wrong in terms of flavor. While we were sitting around last weekend, I decided I wanted to make caramel apples for the kids from some of our orchard apples. So I pulled out the cookbook, checked the ingredients, and determined that I didn't have the requisite cream. I was going to have to head to the store first, but a quick glance through the recipe presented a shortcut version using sweetened condensed milk instead of the cream.

I was game. I had a can of condensed milk, plus the recipe said the caramel would be done in about 20 minutes, instead of nearly an hour. I prepped four apples, using chopsticks for the stick and I chopped up some honey roasted peanuts for dipping the bottoms in. In no time I had four caramel apples, and a big glob of leftover caramel. I lined a pan with foil and dumped the caramel in, figuring I could save it for another time.

The apples were delicious, and I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of them. They were a fantastic Saturday afternoon treat. But this post is really about the caramel. That quick caramel was delightful. After the block of leftover had cooled, Andy and I cut off a small piece to eat plain and were surprised at how delicious it was. It's a slightly soft caramel, as I took it off the heat the second it hit temperature. The sweetened condensed milk almost adds a dulce de leche note to the caramel. They're fantastic. So since then I've been lobbing off a few pieces here and there to wrap in wax paper and enjoy as an occasional treat. In fact, we so enjoy the flavor, that I don't see any reason to make the full-blown version for Christmas treats this year. This would also be the perfect caramel to drizzle over pecans for turtles, it blends beautifully with nuts. These Quick Caramels are worth every second to make, and much easier than the traditional version.

Quick Caramels
1 cup butter
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Butter foil, and set aside.

In a heavy 3 qt saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add brown sugar, condensed milk, and corn syrup, mix well. Cook and stir over medium high heat to boiling. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat to 248F or firm ball stage. (10 to 15 minutes)

Remove the saucepan from the heat; remove thermometer. Stir in vanilla. Immediately pour caramel mixture into the prepared pan. When firm, use the foil to lift it out of the pan. Use a buttered knife to cut into 1 inch squares. Wrap each caramel in waxed paper. Makes about 2 pounds.

To dip Caramel apples: Wash and dry 14 to 16 small tart apples; remove stems. Insert a wooden stick into the stem end of each apple.

Prepare as above, except do not pour caramel into prepared pan. Working quickly, dip each apple into hot caramel, turning to coat. If desired, dip bottoms of apples into 1 cup chopped nuts. Set on a buttered baking sheet; chill if desired.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Playing with Pumpkin

It's been a pumpkin filled week here in my kitchen. I've had several pie pumpkins to cook up and mash and put in the freezer for future use. And of course, I couldn't cook up that pumpkin without doing a little something with it first. First I made those Spiced Pumpkin Waffles the other day for dinner. Boy were they good, and I even blogged about them over at Kids Cuisine this morning. I had one cup extra of pumpkin from that though, and needed to do something with it. I decided that pumpkin bread would be the ticket, and as luck would have it, it was recommended to me to try the pumpkin bread recipe in King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking book.

I was completely skeptical about this bread being good. I'm just not a fan of the flavor of whole wheat. I use it, but when I make bread I use some whole wheat and some white flour to balance the flavor. But I decided it was worth a try and began combining ingredients. It's a fairly straightforward quick bread, just calling for whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I did make one change which I would do again in a second. The recipe called for a stick of butter, and I decided that I wanted to use some canola oil instead. I'd never just swapped the two before, but I really didn't see why I couldn't. I swapped it evenly, 1/2 cup of oil for the butter, and then decided on Craisins for my add-in with the nuts.

The bread is very good. At first bite, you can taste that this bread is made with wheat flour, but then the warm spices and pumpkin flavor take over, and tastes great. And actually, I made this bread without the vanilla, because I didn't realize I was out, and I suspect had I added the vanilla, that slightly wheaten taste would completely disappear. So this bread is a winner. With the whole grains, nuts, cranberries, and heart-healthy oil, this Pumpkin Bread is actually quite healthy in terms of a quick bread. In fact, I need to go slice off a piece or two for breakfast this morning.
Pumpkin Bread
from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

2 cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (9 1/2 ozs) canned pumpkin (I used fresh, cooked and mashed)
3/4 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.

Cream together the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. beat in the eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients, mixing until evenly moistened. Stir in nuts and raisins, cranberries, or chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove the bread from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run a table knife around the edges of the pan to make sure the bread isn't sticking, turn it out of the pan and place it on the rack to finish cooling completely before slicing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Cinnamon Rolls I Didn't Make

But I did get to eat them.

A friend of mine took the time the other day to make Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls. And lucky me, I got one of the pans of rolls. I'd been meaning to make them myself, but in order to do so, I need seven pans to put them in. Yes- you read that right, seven pans. I suppose I could cut the recipe in half, but then what fun would that be? I imagine that these cinnamon rolls would freeze very well without the frosting on, but I'll never know, because we inhaled them. They were exactly the way I like a cinnamon roll. Sweet and gooey, and a little chewy. My friend doesn't like them so much, she prefers her cinnamon rolls to be less sweet, more like a cinnamon biscuit than a sweet roll. These are sweet and decadent. I suspect I have your interest now, and if that's the case, be sure to head on over to The Pioneer Woman Cooks. And if you haven't visited her site before, this is the time to do so. She blogs about her recipes step by step- and this week she's beginning a Thanksgiving dinner, perfect for any beginner, so check it out.

If step by step blogging is your thing, and something you like to read, you should also take a stop over at Smitten Kitchen. Her Pumpkin Bread Pudding could not be more timely, as I still have some pumpkins to bake up, and I'm surely eyeing up that recipe.

Have you ever been curious how a vegan eats? How do they get they're protein, and how do they go out to dinner? Then head on over to Happy Vegetable. Emily takes vegan eating and simplifies it so anyone can understand it. I know I've learned a thing or two about a vegan diet, and she does it without being preachy and in-your-face. I've been enjoying what I read there.

Or maybe you're in the mood to check out a blog with some international flair? Then head on over to Viet World Kitchen for tons of everything you ever wanted to know about Vietnamese cookery. I could probably spend weeks over there poring over her tips and recipes, learning how to cook amazing Vietnamese.

And finally today, a link to another great international flair blog, Fun and Food. Mansi Desai has a fantastic blog where she cooks a little bit of everything- but really, you have to check out her Indian recipes. If only I could reach in through the screen and take a bite...

Have you seen a new-to-you food blog lately? Or maybe just have a recommendation for one not on my blogroll? Leave it in the comments section for me, I'm always looking for great new blogs to spend time perusing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Menu Plan Change :-)

The problem with making a menu plan is sticking to it. I think I've gotten pretty good at my menu planning, but sometimes what you had planned to make, and what you want to make are two different things. This can be a bad thing when the desired dinner means a trip to the grocery store and added expense for the week. Those changes I don't make too often.

Then there's the menu change because you have something else on hand, and it just is too good to pass up an opportunity. Take today for example. I have white chicken enchiladas on the menu, to be made with chicken leftover from last night. But today I am cooking pumpkin. Pie pumpkins to be exact. Saturday Andy took the kids to the farm stand to pick up pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, and brought home five pie pumpkins for me. That's a lot of pumpkin! So today I am roasting the pumpkin in the oven to be mashed and frozen for future use. And as I'm roasting this wonderful pumpkin an idea came to me, and well, since I have everything on hand, tonight's dinner has changed to Spiced Pumpkin Waffles. The enchiladas then will be bumped to Tuesday, and the pork roast will be bumped off completely to another week. That's okay, since the ingredients for that are frozen pork and canned sauerkraut- nothing that will go bad over time.

So here are tonight's Spiced Pumpkin Waffles. You can check out the original recipe, as well as reviews, here on Recipezaar. (And for additional fun today, be sure and check out The Recipe Trove. I had some fun playing around over there this morning.)

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter -- melted and cooled

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl.

In a second bowl, add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and butter; beat well.

Gently fold in the flour mixture.

Cook according to your waffle iron directions.

They come out a nice deep, golden brown.

This Week's Menu Plan

**Welcome to those of you tuning in from the Seymour area! I hope you'll poke around and visit for awhile and then come back and visit some more! I post regularly at least 5 days a week, so come back often for delicious foodie updates. If you're looking for a recipe, be sure and check out my Recipe Trove where I have over 260 recipes to date stored online.

I'll be back later today with a recipe if I get to it. I've been laid up for a few days with a horrific migraine, and feel much better today, but I do have a bit of catching up to do around the house. But I thought this morning I would simply post this week's dinner plan and perhaps spur on some inspiration.

Monday: White Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Yellow Rice

Tuesday: Crock Pot Pork Roast with Sauerkraut and Applesauce

Wednesday: Cheddar Chicken Chowder, Buttermilk-Oatmeal Bread

Thursday: Lime and Honey Chicken Wings, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Friday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Roasted Turnips, Pickles

Saturday: Breakfast

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Weekend Extra: Once A Month Cooking

Do you do this? Or are you at least familiar with it? I've been interested in the concept of Once A Month Cooking for a long time now. It fascinates me. The idea is that you do one big cooking session over a long day or weekend and put enough meals in the freezer to get you through a month of not having to cook again. That big cooking day is huge, you spend the day cooking up a dozen different entrees or so, so that you have variety. And you do one big grocery shop prior to that, so you also save money in the long run by not having to do a major grocery shop every week- you just need to pick up staples like milk and such.

Like I said, the concept fascinates me. Is it practical for me? Not totally. I love to cook, so cooking once for a long period of time doesn't sound very fun to me. But what I do love is the idea of having meals in the freezer for every once in a while. Or to share with someone who needs it. Or to have someone unexpectedly drop in and be able to invite them to dinner because I know I have something in the freezer that I can add to the meal. I already do this sometimes, like when I make soup or chili and freeze the extra for another day, but I'm talking about more than soup. Even if it's as much as making a double portion of the meal that night and putting it in the freezer, that can be beneficial down the road.

So yesterday I did a micro-mini OAMC session. I prepared the ingredients for two separate recipes, specifically to put them in the freezer. It felt a little strange, but I was almost giddy the whole time doing it. I started with a simple chicken marinade. Lime and Honey Marinade for Chicken was incredibly quick to put together. A simple stir of ingredients, and then I split the marinade between two freezer bags. Then I took a jumbo package of chicken wings and divided them between the freezer bags as well. I squeezed out as much air as possible, and then tossed them in the freezer. When it comes time to make the wings, I'll let them thaw overnight and then bake them after thawing. Super simple, and I love the combination of lime juice and honey, so I'm looking forward to trying those out. Two dinners- check.

The second recipe I made really intrigued me the first time I saw it. Mexican Stuffed Shells sounded like a fun twist on stuffed shells, which we all enjoy. We also enjoy Mexican flavors, so I was really hopeful these shells would be as tasty as the sounded. The ingredients came together quickly. I'll share the original recipe for Mexican Stuffed Shells, but I have to tell you, I changed quite a bit, and didn't really document it. My problems started with the taco seasoning I used- it was salty and much too spicy. So I needed to thin it out, and rather than adding more ground beef, I opted to add a can of pink beans. Then as long as I was adding that, I thought a can of corn would be a nice addition as well. By then the heat was tamed and the salt called into check, so I could stuff my shells and finish assembling. By adding all those extras, I stretched my filling and ended up with 3 pans of stuffed shells! That was one pan more than I expected! So I wrapped two of them up nicely, labelled them and put them in the freezer. The third I thought we'd try for dinner to see if we even liked it. Two more freezer dinners- Check.

Then to go with those stuffed shells, I had already planned to make homemade pizza for dinner. When I make pizza dough, my recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so since we weren't going to need two pizzas...well, I decided to try my hand at making a frozen pizza. And why not? You can buy frozen pizza, why can't I make one from scratch? I also happen to have a large round pizza pan that I don't use very often, so I could use that to freeze the pizza with. So I assembled two pizzas, popped one in the oven with the shells, and wrapped the other one nicely and put that in the freezer. One more freezer dinner-check.

All told, yesterday I put five dinners into the freezer for another time. For just a few hours of work, I now have an entire work week's worth of food ready to go. We did try the shells last night with the pizza, and we all really enjoyed them with a dollop of sour cream. It was a fun way to eat the shells, and I thought the flavors were nice without being overwhelming. They will be repeated- and may even be company worthy sometime. Rounded off with a salad, it would be a great company dinner.

I see the appeal of Once A Month Cooking. It felt really good to tuck those meals into the freezer for another day. And I really didn't spend much extra at the grocery store- maybe an extra few bucks for the chicken wings. I think the key is to keep the freezing components on hand. Like gallon size freezer bags, and foil casserole dishes with heavy duty foil for wrapping. A sharpie marker and labels are also helpful, so you know what you're freezing, and you can write your thawing/reheating ingredients right on the package. I think as long as you know that what you're cooking freezes, and you have the accessories on hand, you could be well on your way to streamlining the make-ahead process. I also see great potential for lending a helping hand with meals this way. Imagine someone having a new baby, and instead of racking your brain, trying to figure out how to help, you walk to your freezer and pull out half a dozen meals already made and labelled!

While Once A Month Cooking, in concept, is not entirely for me, it has a whole lot of merit in my book, and you'll likely see a little more freezer cooking here at Tummy Treasure. In addition, over at the Recipe Trove, I'll be sure to notate recipes that freeze well and include reheating instructions if applicable. There's also a new category as well for OAMC there, hopefully I'll get more in there soon.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chicken and Dumplings- Step by Step

Today's recipe is one I found recently on Recipezaar. (I seem to be spending a bit of time there lately!) I will never forget the first time I had the proverbial chicken and dumplings. To me, the mere name of the dish brings thoughts of home cooking and deliciousness to the forefront. Yet I was 20-something years old, and I'd never had it. I was chaperoning an overnight high-school field trip, and this particular night the group decided to go to Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was a cold and blustery October day, and comfort seemed the ticket. I promptly ordered the chicken and dumplings, it just sounded so good, and I normally love Cracker Barrel, so I was looking forward to my meal. And then it came. The other chaperon with me had ordered the same thing, and we both looked at it, and looked at each other, incredulous that this was really chicken and dumplings. It was like paste. There were chunks of chicken, and very thick egg noodles, and a gravy of sorts to hold it all together. And it really wasn't very good. It looked like paste and tasted like glue. I was so disappointed.

Fast forward to the present. I have in my freezer a large hen that we bought from a farmer that needs to be stewed. It's larger than a normal chicken, and will be tough to eat if it's not slowly cooked and coaxed into tenderness. Chicken and Dumplings-the correct way, seemed perfect to me. So here we have Chicken and Dumplings, step by step, as I actually had my camera handy, and thought to take pictures of the process. The resulting product was very good- not quite what I expected, but overall I'm pleased with it and thought it worth sharing. Warning- this post could get a little long today. If you'd like to just get to the recipe, check it out in the Recipe Trove.

Here we have the first step. This is my chicken, nicely browned in my large saute pan. I am using half of my large hen, as it will be more than enough chicken for my family. Even though the recipe doesn't say to, I did sprinkle my chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and I used 1/2 butter, 1/2 olive oil to brown in. You want this golden brown crispy color. In the photo above, I've already removed the chicken and put it in a casserole dish for the oven. When I saw how cramped it was though, I moved the chicken to a 9x13 pyrex dish instead.


This is the sauteing vegetables and herbs. This is one of those times I wish I could transfer scent to you. The second this hit the hot pan, an amazing aroma permeated the room. I think the addition of celery leaves as an herb is a bit of genius and is where most of that gorgeous scent comes from. In addition to celery leaves, we also have carrots, onions, garlic, an celery pieces. This sauteed for about 5 minutes- or until the vegetables started to brown a bit.


Then you remove the carrots from the saute pan and surround the chicken with them. I loved the look of the large carrot pieces, and you can see that this would have never all fit in that round casserole dish either. If you're wondering which chicken parts I'm using, there's a thigh, a leg, a wing, and a breast cut into two large pieces. As I mentioned, this is a big chicken.

After removing the carrots, flour is added to the pan, followed by chicken broth. To the chicken broth, sugar, salt, dried basil, and bay leaves have been added. This needs to be stirred constantly until it starts bubbling, and then it thickens very nicely. Once it bubbles, you can add your peas or corn (Or both). I opted for a can of corn this time. This is where you pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and carrots waiting on the side. But at the last minute I made a judgement call and decided to pull the meat off the chicken bones to make it easier to serve and eat.



And here it is all combined together in the pan. Have I mentioned how much chicken is on this rather large hen? If you have an opportunity to buy a farm-fresh chicken, do it! Don't even hesitate. We paid about $8.00 for one chicken. This one chicken was portioned into three freezer bags-ideally for two chicken dinners, and then the third one is the back and bones to be turned into stock at some point. But this half of a hen for the chicken and dumplings was a lot of meat! I could have cooked this in two smaller pans and tucked one into the freezer for another time. As it is, I've been munching on it for lunch for a few days. Anyway...

And here, finally, is the final product. The dumplings came together very quickly and I dolloped them all over the top of the chicken stew. In the end, it seemed a little more like a rustic chicken pot pie to me than what I expected of chicken and dumplings, but overall,we all enjoyed it. It was a complete meal in one, and I thought the flavor was right where it should be. Maybe a little too much black pepper for our taste, but the combination of dumplings and chicken stew were perfectly proportioned, and it is a keeper for sure. It also re-heated perfectly, as I'd cooked it early in the day on Wednesday, popped it in the fridge, and then Andy warmed it back up while we were at ballet class. I am certain that this could be frozen as well after the dumplings have been fully cooked.

Since this post got a little long today, rather than posting the recipe here, I'll just direct you to my saved version here in the Recipe Trove. TGIF!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm An Auntie Again! Indian Food Love and Meatloaf Day!

Yesterday morning my new niece was born!! Welcome to the world Coralea Ann! Her big sister is beyond excited. My daughter, who is well aware of equality in 2nd grade, is very excited to have another girl in the family, so the girl babies outnumber the boy babies. I'm looking forward to seeing her later today.

In other news...

This past Sunday for Sunday Company Dinner, a friend took charge of dinner and made some Indian food for us all to indulge in. She made homemade naan and a chicken curry which she said was very simple- coconut milk, curry paste, chicken, vegetables, and cilantro to name a few of the ingredients. It was quite good, as was the naan accompanying it! For my part of the meal, I was in charge of making the Raita, a condiment or salad served with Indian food. I took the time to toast up some cumin seeds for this batch, and I swear, this was the best raita I'd ever made. It really was good, I doubt I'll ever make a plain version again, because Raita with Onion and Tomato took it to a whole new level. Topped with a little dollop of my homemade Pear Chutney, and we were good to go.

Fast forward to Monday. I had planned to attempt chicken and dumplings for dinner, but had forgotten to thaw the chicken overnight. So I improvised and chose to make some Mini Cheddar Meatloaves, which is one of my kids favorite dinners. I could make this once a week and they'd be happy. I don't have big meat-eaters, but these Mini Cheddar Meatloaves entice them to clean their plates. And even though I think I'm too late to join the round-up, if you're looking for other meatloaves of inspiration, check out the meatloaf round-up to be posted later today over at Serious Eats, in honor of National Meatloaf Appreciation Day.

I'm not done talking about Monday yet. I needed something to accompany that meatloaf. I'd settled on some simple buttered egg noodles, but a different side plagued me. Then I saw the leftover container of raita in the fridge, and I knew I had to use that somehow. I looked through a few cookbooks, checked a few websites, and ultimately decided to attempt to make a Lentil Dal. A simple lentil Indian dish, I knew it would be perfect topped with the raita and chutney. I'd make good use of leftovers as well as try something new. And well, it was Indian cuisine, how could it be bad? The dal was brainless. I put a bunch of stuff into the pot and let it cook, it was that easy. The only thing I left off was the lime juice and cilantro at the end. And that was only because I forgot about it. The Lentil Dal was fantastic, and there was just enough left for me for a quick lunch the next day as well. It was a touch on the warm side, so if you're adverse to heat, reduce the red pepper flakes a touch. Overall though, a definite keeper, I'll be making that again.

Lentil Dal

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onions -- chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger -- peeled, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric -- ground
1/2 teaspoon red peppers -- crushed
4 cloves garlic -- minced
2 cups cauliflower florets -- chopped
2 cups tomatoes -- chopped
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup dried lentils
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro -- minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups cooked basmati rice or long grain rice -- cooked

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (onions through garlic); saute 2 minutes.

Add cauliflower and tomato; saute 1 minute. Stir in water and lentils; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Serve 1 cup lentil mixture with 1 cup rice.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Need A New Thanksgiving Pie?

Then this is your lucky day, because I have just the pie for you. After the day of making the crème anglais, I had 6 egg whites that I was determined to use at least some of them. Initially I was thinking that I could always make some meringue cookies or something similar. Then I realized that I had never made a meringue pie, and this was the perfect opportunity, so I spent a little time on Recipezaar looking for a meringue pie that used on-hand ingredients. What I didn't expect was how awesome this Cranberry Meringue Pie was going to be. Yes, you read that right, cranberry. Why I'd never heard of this before, I have no idea, but the pie was simple enough to put together.

I began by pre-baking my pie crust. Note to self: get some pie weights. Thank goodness the meringue covered up my horrible free-baked slumping crust. Then as my crust cooled I made the filling, which was easier than it sounded. I basically simmered cranberries with apple juice and sugar until the berries popped. Then this was pressed through a sieve to eliminate the skins and seeds from the berries. To the pressed juice, cornstarch and ginger were added and then the whole thing was cooked until very thick. This was the bottom layer of the pie, and a gorgeous ruby red. The meringue came together just as easily. What intrigued me about this meringue was the addition of lime zest, and it took a lot for me not to sample the meringue before baking. This was spread over the filling, from crust edge to crust edge, and then baked until golden.

The pie is a winner. The tart cranberry is balanced perfectly by the sweet meringue- and the lime zest in the meringue is pure genius. For my first meringue pie, it didn't turn out half bad. I have been thinking that next time I may add just a touch more sugar to the filling. It was a little too tart for Abigail, and she loves cranberries, so I'd love for her to be able to enjoy the pie. I'd also eliminate the ginger, it kind of muddied up the flavor a little- a little orange zest would probably be an excellent addition as well. I should probably also mention that I e-mailed the original poster over on Zaar for her source for the recipe, and she just wasn't sure where it originally came from. An Internet search has not produced the same pie either, and she thought it was from an Agricultural document of some kind. Anyway. Here is the recipe for Cranberry Meringue Pie as written, make changes to suit your tastes, but overall, this one is sure to be a winner for you.

Cranberry Meringue Pie
1 pie crusts -- (9 inch) baked
2 packages fresh cranberries -- (12 ounce)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cranberry-apple juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh ginger -- grated
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
MERINGUE
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lime rind -- finely grated

Combine cranberries, one cup of sugar, cran-apple juice and salt in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat; stirring occasionally, until cranberries "pop".

Pour the cranberries through a mesh strainer and discard skins/solids.

Return the drained mix to the saucepan and add the cornstarch and water.

Stir well over medium-high heat and then add ginger.

Bring this mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat after 2 minutes and add the butter and vanilla, mixing well.

Pour this mixture into your pre-baked pie crust.

Prepare your meringue by beating the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until they become foamy. Add the 1/3 cup of sugar a teaspoonful at a time until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved (about 4 minutes).

Add the lime rind and beat slowly until just blended.

Cover the cranberry mixture with the meringue and sealing to the edge of the pie crust.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until meringue is a light golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Merits of a Good Sturdy Cookbook

A few weeks ago I found myself in the position of needing to make a dessert at the last minute. I didn't have a whole lot of the fixings for making a decadent dessert, but I did have a chocolate fudge cake mix. So I grabbed the cake mix, beat it up, and then dumped in a package of frozen raspberries before pouring it into my bundt pan. Only after the cake was in the oven did I peek in the pantry and realize that I didn't have any powdered sugar to make a quick icing. I could do a cooked icing...but that wasn't what I wanted. And I didn't have enough chocolate chips to make a quick chocolate glaze either. What to do, what to do. I reach for a cookbook that never turns me down, The Joy Of Cooking.

This book is so beat up, but it never, ever fails me. If I want to learn how to do a simple cooking technique, this is the book I turn to first. The directions are always clear, and often there are illustrations showing me what to do. In this case, I turned to the section on Dessert Sauces, and decided to make a Crème Anglais. A simple dessert sauce that chefs worldwide use to decorate plates was going to be the crowning glory of my doctored cake mix. I paused for a second when I saw the 6 egg yolks called for, but I decided to go for it anyways.

The first step was to beat the egg yolks and sugar until foamy, and while I settled in for a long haul (thinking egg whites or whipped cream) it came together in seconds. It didn't take very long at all before I was moving on to step two and heating up my milk. For my milk choice, I simply went with the 1% milk I had in the fridge. While I knew cream would have been great, I didn't have any so low-fat milk it was. I heated the milk up until bubbles began forming around the edges, and then slowly, very slowly, streamed the hot milk into the egg yolks, whisking like a madman. This mixture went back into the pan to cook to 170ºF and just like that, I had Crème Anglais after I added some vanilla. The whole process took less than 20 minutes, and the sauce was delicious. It made the perfect sauce for my cake, and I was now in possession of a new technique. That's priceless, and was possible thanks to my trusty beat up Joy of Cooking.

Crème Anglais
from Joy of Cooking

Whisk together in a medium bowl until slightly thickened:
6 large egg yolks
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
Pour into a medium, heavy saucepan:
2 cups whole milk, 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup light or heavy cream or 2 cups half & half
(Really, even low-fat milk works here)
Cook, stirring, over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg yolks and sugar. Return this mixture to the saucepan. Rinse out and dry the mixing bowl, then set a fine-mesh sieve over the top. Place the saucepan over low heat. Using a heatproof spatula or a wooden spoon, stir the sauce gently but constantly, sweeping the entire pan bottom and reaching into the corners. As soon as the sauce is slightly thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir for 2 minutes to complete the cooking. The sauce should be the consistency of heavy cream and register around 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer. Pour the sauce through the sieve and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent a skin from forming. Stir in:
2 teaspoons vanilla
Serve warm or cold. If chilling, let the sauce become completely cold before covering, as condensation will cause it to thin. The sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, set the container of sauce in water heated to 165ºF and stir until warmed through.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Buddy, The Buddy, Oh I Love The Buddy...

Fans of Veggie Tales will recognize today's title post as a slight change on Mr. Nezzer's bunny song. And while my kids and I are Veggie Tale fans, today I'm not singing about the bunny, rather, a recipe from Eating Well magazine called Hamburger Buddy. I made this over a week ago, but put the recipe on hold for breakfast week, and now I can't wait to talk about it. I posted about it on Kid's Cuisine too because it deserves an award for being a Sneaky Mom Dinner.

This was in the latest issue of Eating Well magazine and was described as a homemade version of a Hamburger Helper. I loved the idea. While we don't eat "The Helper" ourselves, once upon a time we did. We would try the latest flavors, cook them up and be disappointed, because it really just tasted like the box next to it, and you just knew they weren't that nutritious. After looking over EW's recipe for Hamburger Buddy, I decided it was well worth the try. And here's why- it's recipes like this that we need more of. In a world of convenience cooking and drive thru's, we need homemade food-for-you food that is similar to something out of a box. I think if someone who was used to the helper in a box tried this recipe, they'd be amazed with the flavor it packs!

Because it does. It packs flavor. In our case, a little too much, simply because I used the 3 cloves of garlic called for, and I had massive cloves of garlic. I should have used just 2, but threw them all in anyways. What was interesting about this recipe is the vegetables. The carrots and mushrooms are put in a food processor and pulverized before adding to the browned ground beef. Going into the pot, the ground mushrooms and carrots actually looked like more ground beef going in-other than the tiny flecks of orange from the carrot, you'd never know they were in there. Simmered in the pot with noodles, seasonings, and broth, this is a one-pot meal. It was similar in flavor to a stroganoff- but here's the best part. My mushroom hating daughter ate it. Which confirmed to me that it isn't the flavor of mushrooms that she's adverse to. Zander didn't eat much of it, but it was new to him, and he is still in a stage of deconstruction. He picked out most of the noodles and tried to wipe them off with his fork before eating them. Overall though, it's a keeper, and I'll be spending some time playing around with it as well, adding other herbs and other veggies as well.

So without further ado, here is Eating Well's version of Hamburger Buddy.
Hamburger Buddy
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounces white mushrooms, large ones cut in half
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (2 cups)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish

1. Fit a food processor with the steel blade attachment. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.

2. Cook beef in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or chives), if desired.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Conclusion of Breakfast Week

I hope everyone reading this week has enjoyed breakfast week as much as I have. It's been a great reminder for me that breakfast is much more than a bowl of cereal or a toaster waffle. It's also been a great reminder that breakfast doesn't just have to be for breakfast. In addition, I've dug a little deeper into breakfast dishes that freeze well, and I'm looking forward to putting those into practice for unexpected brunch company, or simply a Saturday morning breakfast without the work.

So first up this morning is a recipe I haven't tried, but I will tell you...it looks amazing! In a rare moment this week, I watched the tail end of a Barefoot Contessa episode, and she made these amazing looking Herbed Baked Eggs. They looked decadent and delicious, and I knew I'd be sharing them here.

Herbed Baked Eggs
Recipe By :Ina Garten

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
6 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toasted French bread or brioche -- for serving

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)

Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.

This next recipe is something I never would have thought to try if someone hadn't brought some to my house. One of our friends brought cooked bacon one night to our weekly dinners, and I admit that at first I was puzzled by that plate of bacon. And then I tried it. It had been baked in brown sugar and was the most amazing bacon I'd ever eaten! So while I'm certain this isn't quite the recipe he used, this is the one I like, because it also adds a dose of heat to the sweet. By all means, leave the cayenne out of this recipe for Brown Sugar Pepper Bacon, but do try the bacon, you'll love it.

Brown Sugar Pepper Bacon
1 lb lean bacon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- (1/2 to 2)
1/4 teaspoon powdered chipotle pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay bacon on paper and sprinkle generously with optional black pepper, chipotle pepper and brown sugar.

Bake 10 minutes then drain fat from pan.

Bake 5 more minutes or until it's as crisp as you like.

So we've go eggs this morning, bacon, and I think we also need some potatoes, for a truly traditional breakfast plate. And I have to tell you, my absolute favorite way to eat potatoes in the morning is in the form of Hash Browns. And for me, it's the shredded kind that makes it's way to my plate. But have you ever been out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and had their hash brown casserole? Yeah, now that's some good stuff, and I happen to have a similar recipe which I call MOB Potatoes, simply because it makes enough to feed a mob.

MOB Potatoes
1 2 pound package frozen hash browns, thawed
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup*
1 pint reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup melted butter, divided
2 cups crushed corn flakes

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, soup, sour cream, onion, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Mix well. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine corn flakes and remaining melted butter. Mix well and sprinkle over the top of the hash brown mixture.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Makes about 12 good size servings.

* You can use other "cream of" soups if you desire. Celery and mushroom work particularly well.

And finally today, what would breakfast be without a beverage of some kind. Normally, I'm a coffee girl, occasionally accented by a cup of juice, but mostly, it's coffee. But this recipe is for something completely different. A few months back I received a box of Rice Dreams brand Horchata from my swap partner. It was incredible. A drink made from rice milk, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, and it was just delicious and refreshing. Perfect for any occasion. Sad for me, I haven't been able to find this pre-made Horchata anywhere around me, so I had to search out a recipe to make it myself. It takes some thinking ahead, but it's completely worth it.

Horchata
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups skinless almonds
1 inch cinnamon bark
8 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Wash and drain the rice.

Using a spice grinder (an electric coffee grinder works well too), grind the rice until fine; combine with the almonds and cinnamon bark.

Add 3 1/2 cups water and let sit overnight, covered.

Blend rice mixture until smooth using a blender.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water and continue blending.

Add sugar and vanilla extract.

Strain horchata into a bowl first using a metal strainer and then a double layer of cheesecloth; finish with up to an additional 2 cups of water until it achieves a milky consistency.

Serve cold or over ice.

Well, thanks for sticking around for Breakfast Week! It's been fun and I hope you've found lots of great ideas here at Tummy Treasure. I know I've had some great reminders, and I'm determined to concentrate my efforts on making breakfast more often.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Breakfast From a Friend

Do you know what the best breakfast is? The one you don't cook yourself. Breakfast is probably my favorite meal to go out for. I don't know if that's because it's actually pretty difficult to wreck breakfast foods or what, but I love going out to breakfast. Almost as good as going out for breakfast is having it brought to you. We have some close friends that we get together with once a week every week. These are the friends that introduced us to Indian food- bless their souls! Once this year we did a breakfast night, and this Cheesy Leek Casserole was what my friend brought. Oh my gosh, eggs and buttery leeks truly belong together, we all had a difficult time backing away from the casserole dish once we were finished eating. I suspect this would reheat rather nicely in the microwave as well.

Cheesy Leek Casserole
3 leeks
1/2 medium onion
2 green onions
2 Cups milk
8 large eggs
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning
6 to 8 slices French bread -- cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

Saute the leeks, onion, and green onions in 2 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat.

In a large bowl combine milk, eggs, mustard powder and Fox Point. Whisk together well. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Add sauteed vegetables to the eggs, along with the cubed bread and shredded cheese. Add enough bread cubes to soak up most of the eggs. It should be “juicy”, but not soupy. Spread the egg mixture into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350° for approx. 1 hour.

This next recipe is one that my friend shared when I had an abundance of eggs and I was looking for something to do with them. I'd never heard of Eggs Goldenrod, but I threw it together, and I daresay, it came in a close second to me to biscuits and gravy, it's really very good.

Eggs Goldenrod
6 hard-boiled eggs
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 slices bread toasted

I. Melt butter, add flour and stir until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Add milk very slowly stirring as you add Continue to stir and cook over a low heat. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken.
2. Add salt and pepper to mixture and set aside.
3. Peel boiled (or steamed, which works even better) eggs and chop. Add them to the white sauce.
4. Toast bread and slice it diagonally.
5. Arrange the bread slices on a plate and pour the sauce over the toast.
6. Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika (the sweet Hungarian kind not the hot Spanish, unless you like that).

Then there's this last recipe, which is proof that great minds do think alike. I made something similar to this last week for dinner one night. Everyone loved it, and I even wrote about it for Kids Cuisine, it was that good. Our variation had apples and brown sugar in it as well, but this Dutch/German Oven Puff Pancake is all that AND a bag of chips. In fact, I have a vague memory of going out to breakfast with my family when I was young, and my Mom ordering something similar at a restaurant and it coming out all huge and puffy and completely filled with a luscious fruit salad. I wonder if that's an accurate memory...

This puff pancake is one of our favorites! We serve it with maple syrup but, fruit on top is always a nice touch!

Dutch/German Oven Puff Pancake
6 eggs
1 cup skim milk
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Beat eggs until well aerated Add milk and beat again Add salt and flour and beat on low, just until blended.
3. Meanwhile, put butter into a 9 x 13 baking dish, or two round cake pans, or two large cast iron skillets and place in the preheated oven to melt the butter and heat the pan(s). Tip pans to spread butter evenly.
4. Pour batter into the warm pan(s) and place In the oven Bake for 15 minutes.

I have just one more recipe for you this morning. It's kind of a bonus from my friend. She made this absolutely decadent Cinnamon Cream Syrup to accompany my Overnight French Toast one week. This syrup is amazing, and much easier to put together than you would think.

Cinnamon Cream Syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon -- (1/2 to 3/4)
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Combine the first four ingredients and bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Cook and stir for 1 minute. Cool for 5 minutes and stir in the evaporated milk.

The syrup keeps well in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for weeks. To reheat, warm slowly or it will overcook and become stringy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Breakfast Around The World!

A week about breakfast just wouldn't be complete without some International flair added to it! After all, everyone eats breakfast. So this morning I have a little bit of breakfast from several different places, and trust me when I say I had to force myself to stop. I have four recipes to share this morning, but it easily could have been twenty-four. Breakfast around the world is exotic and delicious and is making me very hungry this morning.

First up, we visit the Emerald Isle known as Ireland. Well known for their potatoes in Ireland, among many, many other things. This exotic Irish Potato Omelet is just a little bit different from the addition of mashed potatoes. It's delightful, and for an extra treat, be sure and sprinkle on some lovely Irish Cheddar Cheese.

Irish Potato Omelet
4 large eggs -- whites and yolks separated
1 large potato -- cooked and mashed
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh chives -- chopped
2 teaspoons butter
salt and pepper

Separate the eggs and beat the yolks. Add, the mashed potato to the yolks, mixing thoroughly. Add the lemon juice, chives, and salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the potato mixture.

Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet or omelet pan over low-medium heat. Cook the omelet until golden (3-5 minutes), then run under the broiler to finish and puff the omelet.

Serve immediately.

And before we completely leave this region of the world, I thought a stop in Great Britain would be necessary as well, particularly in the region of Wales and their wonderful Welsh Rarebit. This recipe has dozens of different variations. My mom's rarebit is completely different- and I suspect came from her mom. Her rarebit has an addition of a tomato sauce poured over the cheese- comfort food for sure. But this version is also delicious and well worth the effort to make the cheese sauce.

Welsh Rarebit
4 slices dense -- hearty brown bread
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
5 tablespoons dark ale (NOT beer)
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper -- to taste

Preheat a broiler.

Toast the bread slices in a toaster to golden brown.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cheddar and the dark ale.

When the cheese melts, add the butter, Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and the cayenne, and whisk together until smoothly melted and combined, 1-2 minutes.

Cut each piece of toast in half, diagonally, and arrange on a pie plate.

Pour the cheese mixture over the toasts so they are covered completely.

Place the platter under the broiler and broil until the cheese bubbles and starts to scorch in places, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the broiler and serve piping hot.

Now we're going to head to one of my favorite countries to dine in, India. I know very few people who've tried Indian food and don't immediately become addicted. There's something warming and comforting about most Indian Cuisine, and breakfast is no exception. Eggs in particular seem to be made for the spice blends in India, so these Curried Poached Eggs should be no surprise here. Usually I see hard-cooked eggs in a tomato curry sauce, so these eggs are a delightful surprise. You can serve them on toast, as suggested here, but they would be amazing served over a bowl of dal or wrapped up in some hot fresh naan with one of the many Indian pickles.

Curried Poached Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 eggs
4 slices thick crisp buttered toast

Fill medium saucepan with about 3 inches of water.

Stir in coriander, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

Break one egg into a small dish.

Gently slip egg into water.

Repeat with remaining eggs.

Cook in barely simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain well.

Serve immediately on crisp buttered toast.

And finally, a stop a little closer to home for a take on my favorite breakfast- Huevos Rancheros. we have a local restaurant that makes the best Huevos Rancheros I've ever had (Kary's if you're reading this locally!). The combination of tortillas and eggs and salsa and beans is nothing short of amazing- and they do it right. The thing about Huevos Rancheros is that when you cook it for a small crowd, it gets a little tedious and annoying, so this Huevos Rancheros Hotdish makes it accessible for six people at a time- with only one moment of assembly for the cook. You could likely multiply this by as many people as you want, just increase accordingly. I like it with a side of beans and sour cream- and I also leave off the olives. But feel free to adjust this to suit your tastes.

Huevos Rancheros Hotdish
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green peppers
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon flour
2 cans tomatoes -- (16 ounce) drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup white wine
6 eggs
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/4 cup ripe olives -- sliced (optional)

Saute onion, green pepper and garlic in olive oil.

Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Add next 7 ingredients and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Pour sauce into a 9x13 baking dish.

Make 6 indentations in the sauce and break an egg into each, gently.

Sprinkle with cheese and olives.

Bake at 350 degrees F.

for 15 minutes or until eggs are set.

Serve immediately.

So far during breakfast week I've shared 14 recipes in one week! There are still two more days to be had here. I wonder what I'll be sharing next! Come back to find out, and don't forget, you have a little more time to submit your breakfast favorites to me at tummytreasureATgmailDOTcom. I'd love to see your favorite recipes!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Doctor Knows Best

Who better to turn to than an almost-physician for great breakfast recipes! With harried hours and on-calls, I imagine breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a great way to go. Claire from Cooking Is Medicine sent in four of her favorites to share this week. And okay, I'm definitely hungry now for all of them!

The first recipe from Claire this morning is for one of her Daddy's Specialties- Pancakes. I completely agree with her assessment that pre-made mix pancakes can't even begin to compare with the homemade version. I also love the idea of making the pancakes with buttermilk, and then adding just a dash of vanilla. I bet that vanilla puts the pancakes into awesome territory. Thank goodness Claire was there to save her roommate and friends from pancake-mix disaster.

I'm also beginning to think that Claire's Daddy has some kind of gift when it comes to preparing breakfast. I'm sure it was wonderful to wake up every Saturday morning to homemade pancakes from Dad, and then to have him branch out and do waffles to- I would have been in heaven. There's nothing like a good waffle- with all those perfectly square holes just waiting to fill with syrup or jam or sugar. I may just be pulling out the waffle iron today, because Daddy's Waffles look fantastic!

Daddy’s Waffles
¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 T sugar
1 egg, separated
2 T oil
½ cup milk
¼ tsp vanilla

Preheat waffle iron. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Combine liquids in a smaller bowl. If you want fluffier waffles, separate the egg and whip the egg whites separately while you put the yolk in with the wet ingredients. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. If you separated the egg, fold in the egg whites after mixing the dry and wet ingredients. Follow waffle iron instructions for cooking time. Daddy cooks ours about 3 minutes 30 seconds. Enjoy with your favorite topping: syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, fruit, jam.

Claire also frequently can be found whipping up many varieties of muffin on her blog. I adore muffins and don't make them near often enough. These blueberry muffins are pretty different from other muffin recipes I've seen. They're slightly flat- so they look more like a cross between muffin tops and biscuits. This recipe was enough to bring both of Claire's parents out of lurkdom to comment on how wonderful they are- so I'll take that as a high recommendation!

Blueberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles a crumbly mixture. Combine egg and buttermilk. Stir into the dry mixture. Blend in blueberries.
Dump onto floured surface and knead 4-5 times. Roll or pat to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter. Place of a baking stone or sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and drizzle with a glaze if desired.

And then we have the Christmas tradition that Claire grew up with- her family's Breakfast Casserole. How could this not be delicious- eggs, sausage, bread, cheese, all baked up together. It looks really good and I bet it smells fantastic baking up in the oven on Christmas morning-or any other morning for that matter. Thanks Claire for all the awesome breakfast recipes today! They all look so comforting and delicious, I think I need to go find that waffle iron now...

Breakfast Casserole
1 lb. sausage
6 slices bread, cubed
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

Brown sausage and drain. In a 13X9 casserole layer cubed bread, sausage, and cheese. Combine eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over bread, sausage, and cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 40 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Cozy Bowl of Porridge


I grew up on porridge. Hot cereal in the morning was an economical way to feed five hungry children before school without breaking the bank every week. It also was much easier on The Mom than being a short order cook and serving up whatever everyone really preferred. And the "fancy" breakfast food like pancakes and french toast were reserved for dinners to stretch the grocery budget to it's max. So it was the many forms of porridge for us every morning before school. Most often it was oatmeal- sometimes flavored with apples or raisins. Sometimes though it was Cream of Wheat (my personal favorite) or Malt-O-Meal- both the plain and chocolate variations. I also clearly recall The Mom making a breakfast porridge once out of rice and we were all so excited to be eating something different...

As a result, I love porridge in all it's forms. (Well, now I do, then not so much.)It's comfort to me. When I am under the weather, the first thing I reach for is a bowl of oatmeal. A close second being a bowl of Cream of Wheat with plain buttered toast. And while oatmeal is my hands-down favorite, there are so many different forms of breakfast porridge, that I could probably eat a different one every day of the year and still have tons left to try out. Porridge can essentially be made with any grain- oats, barley, quinoa, millet, and polenta to name a few. Some forms of porridge cook slowly on the stove, some cook in the microwave, and still others cook overnight in their own special way. So today's trio of recipes is dedicated to hot steaming bowls of porridge. But before I get to that, an honorable mention needs to go out to recipes in the Recipe Trove that I also love, Baked Quinoa, and Oatmeal with Pineapple & Golden Raisins. Both delicious- be sure to check them out too.

First up, is a recipe you are going to LOVE. It's for a homemade oatmeal mix. So much better for you than those pre-portioned flavored oatmeals, but with the convenience of the preservative laden packets. Switch up the fruit to whatever you have on hand- I'm partial to dried blueberries or snipped apricots myself. Fruity Homemade Oatmeal Mix is quick to toss together, and quick to cook on a hurried morning.

Fruity Homemade Oatmeal Mix

6 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup dried apples or other dried fruit
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar -- packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT
8 cups water -- 1/2 cup per serving

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients.
Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
Yield 8 cups total.
To prepare oatmeal: Shake mix well and measure out 1/2 cup oatmeal into bowl, add 1/2 cup water, and microwave for 3 minutes.
Or on a stove top, in a saucepan, bring water to a boil; slowly stir in 1/2 cup mix.
Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat.
Cover and let stand for 1 minute or until oatmeal reaches desired consistency.
Source:
"from Light & Tasty magazine"

This next recipe is a completely different spin on a bowl of oatmeal. Muesli is traditionally a Swiss breakfast dish that "cooks" overnight in the fridge. I think that most often it is eaten cold straight out of the fridge. The oatmeal softens overnight in the milk, creating a very creamy and delicious bowl of breakfast. No worries though, if you prefer your porridge hot, a quick zap in the microwave can turn a bowl of Muesli into exactly what you're looking for. And once again, you can vary the additions to whatever you have on hand.

Muesli
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 apple -- peeled and grated
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans
1 cup low-fat yogurt (any flavor you would like, I prefer vanilla)

Combine oats, milk and honey and leave soaking in the refrigerator overnight.
Next morning, add the grated apple, hazelnuts and yogurt.

And finally this morning a porridge collection would not be complete without a variation of my Southern favorite-grits. I love grits! While my favorite way to eat them is with a little cheese and a fried egg, grits are also delicious with the addition of a few sweets. These Sweet Breakfast Grits are sure to charm you into loving grits if you don't already do so.

Sweet Breakfast Grits
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup quick-cooking grits
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
sliced fresh peaches, nectarines, strawberries, diced apples, or whole berries

Combine the milk, grits, honey, and salt in a saucepan.
Heat the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Once the mixture has reached boiling, lower the heat to simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes or until nicely thickened.
Serve warm, topped with fruit.

Monday, October 8, 2007

It's Breakfast Week!

Welcome to a week of breakfast features here at Tummy Treasure. I love breakfast, and I thought it was high time to do some blogging about breakfast. In thinking about this week's blog posting, I was thinking about all the breakfasts I enjoy, and I wondered if there is a blogger out there doing just breakfast. I haven't found one yet, but if someone knows of one, please share, I'd love to check it out. Of course, while looking for breakfast blogs, I found so many more new-to-me food blogs, so watch for updates to the blog roll in the days to come. So many great food blogs, so little time. :-)

So for today's breakfast post, I thought I'd share a trio of recipes. Three recipes that are all slight variations of the breakfast delight known as quiche. Quiche gets a bad rap for being pretentious and snobby, when really it's so simple to make, and as an added bonus-it freezes very well. The key to quiche is in the eggs and milk, the proportions must be just right- the perfect blend of egg and milk or cream to make the eggs custard like- and not like baked eggs. In addition, quiche is one of the few things that I will willingly purchase pie crust for. I don't know why that is, but I prefer my quiche in a pre-made crust. Either refrigerated or frozen works just fine here. And the fillings are limited only by imagination.

There's the traditional Quiche Lorraine, made with Swiss cheese and ham. I've also seen some variations that include spinach as well, but my recipe is just the ham and cheese. And mustard. You must add dry mustard to the eggs as well- without the mustard you just have quiche. But with the mustard you have Quiche Lorraine. Slightly nutty from the cheese, slightly salty from the ham, it's the epitome of perfect quiche. Be sure to note the freezing instructions- it works beautifully, you'd never know this puppy came out of a freezer!

Quiche Lorraine
1 1/2 cups grated natural Swiss cheese
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked ham
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 unbaked pie shell -- (9 inch)

1.Preheat Oven to 375ºF.
2.Combine the cheese and flour and sprinkle into the pie shell.
3.Spread the ham evenly over this.
4.Combine the eggs, milk, salt and mustard.
5.Beat until smooth and pour evenly over the cheese and ham.
6.Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the custard is set.
7.Serve warm, garnished with chopped parsley.
8.To freeze: Prepare recipe through step 5. Wrap well with saran wrap and then foil. Freeze.
9.To serve: Thaw in fridge overnight. Bake as directed.

But perhaps you're in the mood for a more manly version of Quiche Lorraine? I submit to you the humble Rochester Quiche. I pulled this recipe of Recipezaar quite some time ago when I was looking for something a little different. Instead of ham we have bacon, and instead of milk we use a richer half & half. Mushrooms and onions are sauteed in bacon fat before adding to the quiche, and a tiny scattering of bleu cheese really brings it all together. This one I haven't tried freezing, but I don't see why it wouldn't work the same as the Quiche Lorraine.

Rochester Quiche
1 deep dish pie shell -- prebaked
6 slices bacon
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup onions -- chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons blue cheese -- crumbled
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese -- shredded
Preheat oven 425F degrees.

In skillet fry bacon til crispy, drain on paper towel.
Remove most fat from skillet then saute' mushrooms and onions til browned.
In bowl combine eggs, half and half, pepper.
Crumble bacon onto bottom of prepared pie shell.
Then add the onions and mushrooms.
Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese over all.
Top with the grated Swiss cheese.
Place your pie plate onto a baking sheet to catch drips and to aid in moving quiche to the oven.
Pour egg mixture carefully over contents.
Bake at 425' for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350' bake another 20-25 minutes til center is set and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

And finally today, a third recipe for a different quiche- Cheese and Sausage Quiche. I like this one for several reasons. The first is because of the sausage. You can use any kind of sausage you like, and by changing the sausage, you completely change the quiche. While standard breakfast sausage is awesome, you could easily use Italian sausage for a fun twist, or Polish sausage for yet another flavor. Let your sausage guide you. The second thing I like about this quiche is the evaporated milk instead of cream. You can use a reduced fat evaporated milk to lower the fat content while maintaining the richness evaporated milk contributes. This one also freezes well, but you do need to watch the bake time- I've had this one take longer, I suspect because of the moisture content of the peppers.

Cheese and Sausage Quiche
1 lb ground sausage
1 sliced onion
1/3 cup green peppers -- chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon flour
2 beaten eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 unbaked pie shell

Brown the sausage and remove to a mixing bowl. Remove most of the sausage drippings from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan.
Place sliced onion in drippings from sausage and cook until onions are translucent.
Mix browned sausage and cheese with green pepper. Add flour and mix until coated with flour.
Place in unbaked pie shell.
Place onions on top of of sausage mixture.
Combine eggs, evaporated milk, parsley, pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic powder. Mix well.
Carefully, pour egg/milk mixture evenly into the pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until quiche is set
Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

And finally, to me the best thing about quiche is that it is a fantastic make-ahead dish. It microwaves with little to no loss of integrity, so you can bake it up on the weekend when you have time, and serve yourself slices of quiche all week long for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Someone who may be into once a month cooking could assembly line several quiches in a row up to the point of baking and freeze them. It wouldn't take much to line up 3 or 4 pie shells and fill them up with ingredients. Impressive enough for company, cozy enough for a breakfast for two. Quiche, it's a great thing!