QUICHE LORRAINE

 

2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts

3/ 4 cup Durkee French Fried onions

1 lb. package bacon, cooked crispy

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half and half

9 eggs

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon margarine, softened

 

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  1. Oven 425 degrees
  2. Cook bacon until crispy. Drain well on dish lined with paper towels. When bacon is completely cooled, cut into small pieces. Place bacon pieces in a bowl.
  3. Pierce piecrusts with a fork sporadically around sides and bottom of crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
  4. Spread softened margarine in the bottom and sides of the cooled piecrusts with a pastry brush.
  5. In the bacon bowl, add the French fried onions and 1 cup of Swiss cheese. Toss and mix together. Split the mixture between the two piecrusts evenly.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with half and half and 1/ 2 cup of the heavy cream. Pour egg mixture over bacon/onion/Swiss cheese mixture in piecrusts. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Swiss cheese over the top of each quiche.
  7. Pour the other 1/ 2 cup of heavy cream over the cheese on both quiches.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
  9. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
  10. ENJOY – Bacon, Onions and Swiss Cheese together, Oh my!

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, “Nick tells Gatsby, “You can’t repeat the past,” and Gatsby replies, “Why of course you can.”

No truer words were spoken that reflected a recent trip down memory lane with my closest friends, Linda and Julianne from high school.

Linda, Julianne and I reconnected here in New York this summer. It was a planned “girls” long weekend.   The girls would be staying at my home for a few nights.  We would be very busy during the daytime, so, I decided to prepare dishes ahead of time to serve.  This Quiche Lorraine was served for breakfast but it goes great as a lunch dish served with salad on the side.  Either way, your friends will love it as much as mine did!

Julianne lives in New Mexico, Linda in Connecticut and I in New York. We decided to be tourists in New York City by going on a tour bus and boat ride around Manhattan. As luck would have it, or should I say unluckily, all our pre-made plans got changed.   The tour bus and boat ride fell through. Here we were stranded just a few blocks from the Staten Island Ferry. The Staten Island Ferry is FREE. One of the best attractions New York City has to offer. Turns out that this is the second time Linda, Julianne and I went on the Staten Island Ferry together. The first time was our high school senior prom. Tradition in those days for prom night was to end the evening, early morning with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry and then home, which we did.

When I was preparing for Linda and Julianne to stay at my home, I went searching for pictures from high school of the three of us together. Lo and behold I found one of those old photo booth pictures that came on a strip of four, of the three of us on during our senior day trip to Rye Playland.  The night before Julianne was to leave to return to New Mexico, we decided to go back to Rye Playland. We were determined to recreate our photo booth memory. Sure enough, Playland still had a photo booth, which we squeezed into to recreate our moment in time.

Can you repeat the past? Yes, you can with a lot of laughs and good friends that are up for anything. The way I see it, it was fun in the first place, and repeating those moments again can only be better and even more memorable the second time around!

Julianne and Linda, thanks for the memories, then and now,

 

Then and Now

Steak and Potato Pie

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Steak And Potato Pie

  • Difficulty: medium
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DSC04624
4 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 / 2 onion, chopped
1/ 4 to 1/ 2 cup flour
1 cup beef broth
1 cup half and half

2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts, room temperature
2 top pie crusts, room temperature

1 1/ 2 cups cooked steak, cubed
3 to 4 baked potatoes, cooled, peeled and cubed
Salt and pepper

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon half and half

1. Oven 450 degrees
2. In a medium pot, add butter or margarine and onions. Sauté onions until tender.
3. In the meantime, in a bowl, toss the steak and potato cubes. Add salt and pepper and toss again. Place the bottom pie crusts on a large cookie sheet. Fill both bottom pie crusts evenly with the steak and potato mixture. Set aside.
4. Going back to the pot of onions and butter, under a low / medium flame, with a wooden spoon, add flour and make a roué. Gradually add the beef broth to thicken the sauce. As it thickens, gradually add the half and half to the sauce. Continuously, keep stirring until you have a smooth white sauce.
5. Pour the white sauce into the piecrusts, over the steak and potato mixture.
6. Place the top pie crusts onto each pie. Pinch the sides and vent the top pie crusts with the point of a sharp knife with a few stabs all over.
7. Mix the egg yolk and half and half together. Brush the entire top of the two piecrusts, with the egg wash.
8. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
9. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
Optional – Put whatever add ins you want into your pie, example – steamed broccoli, green
pepper, or substitute the onion with scallion, etc. Make it your own.
10. ENJOY – Steak and Potato Pie, tastes good today, but tastes even better tomorrow!

©  This recipe courtesy of Somebodys-Mom.com


Meat and potatoes men are what this pie is all about. The best thing about this recipe is that this is a meal made from leftovers. The plan: make extra steak and baked potatoes for dinner one night so that you’ll have enough leftover to prepare steak and potato pie the next night. While you’re at it, consider making even more so you can bake 2 pies, one for dinner and the other for the freezer!

My son and his roommate lived in a small 1 bedroom cottage on campus during his freshman year of college. I was told by college personnel not to purchase a meal plan because my son had a kitchen in his cottage. So, we brought our son to school with a large amount of food from the price club warehouse. While steak and shrimp were not part of this care package, we did bring tons of pasta, drink mixes, cereals, frozen meatballs and hamburgers, crackers and various junk foods of his choice. This sustained him for quite a while. Then he started to really miss my home cooking. For his birthday in November, I told him I would make food for him to take back after Thanksgiving. Anything he wanted, he could have, and he was craving steak and potato pie. My son, Tom, loved meat and potatoes. These were some his favorite foods, so I made 3 pies for him. He ate one at home before he even went back to school! I told him to share the remaining 2 pies with his friends, but I can’t swear that they got any of the bounty. Every time Tom came home after that, I had to make steak and potato pies just for him.

When Tom was back home after graduation, his appetite was as hardy as ever, and my food bill was bigger than ever. One time I took out a pie from the freezer and left instructions to put it in the oven before I came home from work. Tom and the rest of the family were really looking forward to that steak and potato pie for dinner that night. I walked in the door from work, starving. The kitchen smelled delicious, but it wasn’t steak and potato pie, it was apple pie instead! Talk about disappointment. I had never labeled the pie and just assumed it was steak and potato pie when I defrosted it. Luckily, I was forgiven, because my apple pie was equally delicious!

When life gives you apple pie, instead of steak and potato, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream!

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR QUICHE

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Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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DSC042681 head of broccoli florets
2 9-inch deep dish piecrusts
1 1/ 2 cup Durkee French Fried onions
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
8 extra large eggs
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon margarine, softened

1. Oven 425 degrees. Punch fork holes on bottom and sides of piecrusts. Bake 10 minutes. Take out piecrusts and set aside to cool.
2. Spread softened or melted margarine in the bottom of the piecrusts with pastry brush.
3. Cut broccoli up into bite size pieces. Steam broccoli florets. Place broccoli on paper towel after steaming. In a large bowl, place broccoli florets, French fried onions and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Toss and mix together. Split the broccoli mixture between the two piecrusts evenly.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with milk. Pour mixture over broccoli mixture in piecrusts. Sprinkle 1/ 2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top of each quiche.
5. Pour 1/2 cup of half and half evenly over the cheddar cheese on each quiche.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 35-45 minutes longer.
7. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
8. ENJOY – Quiche and Brunch go together like icing on a cake!

 ©  This recipe courtesy of Somebodys-Mom.com 

Every Sunday I cook. Sunday left overs are perfect for work week lunches. My daughter, Mia, and I bring our lunch to work a majority of the time. Every office now-a-days has a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, etc. Some even have mini kitchens available for employees to encourage brown bagging lunches. When employees bring lunch, they usually eat at their desks which means less time away from the office.

Quiche of any kind is Mia’s favorite choice for brown bagged lunch. I never make one quiche at a time. I prepare two. One can be frozen or used for lunch for work. Salads also make great lunches. My Sunday dinner will always have a huge salad. Leftover chicken or steak cubed and added to a salad makes for a heartier lunch. Throw in some leftover steamed asparagus or broccoli and it is almost a complete meal.

Sunday dinner is really all about what are we bringing to lunch on Monday and Tuesday. There is nothing better on a Monday morning, rushing for work, knowing that your lunch is packed and ready to go!

ARTICHOKE PIE

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2 9-inch deep dish pie crusts
2 cans whole artichoke hearts in water, drained
6 ounces heavy cream
6 ounces half and half
10 eggs
1/ 2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
12 ounce package Quattro Formaggio – Trader Giotto’s
(Asigago, Parmesan, Fontina and Provolone cheeses)

1. Oven 375 degrees.
2. In the bottom and sides of the pie crusts, poke holes with a fork then place in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
3. Lower oven to 350 degrees.
4. After draining all water from artichokes, chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces, place in a bowl. Add about 6 ounces of the shredded cheese combo mix to the bowl and toss cheese and artichokes till mixed well. Split the artichoke/ cheese mixture between the two pie crusts evenly.
5. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with half and half and 3 ounces of heavy cream. Add nutmeg and cornstarch to eggs and continue beat until well blended. Pour egg mixture over tossed artichokes and cheese. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese on top of each pie.
6. Pour remaining heavy cream over the shredded cheese on both pies.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 300 degrees and continue cooking for 1 hour longer.
8. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
9. ENJOY – The more the merrier, when it comes to cheeses!

I love me some artichokes and this pie is nothing but artichokes. And of course cheese, plenty of cheese.

My friend, Regina, made this pie for a Saturday girlfriend luncheon. We all raved about it. The next week I made it but I really wanted to use the cheeses she had in her recipe. That meant a trip to Trader Joe’s for their special blend of grated cheeses. Why buy four separate cheeses when I could get them all in one package.

Regina used more artichokes in her original recipe than I did in mine, but I had only two cans in the house when I made it and it was plenty. When cooking, baking, creating in the kitchen, there is nothing more annoying than to be out of an ingredient. So, I alter the recipe, substitute an ingredient, or go without. Depending on what ingredient is missing at the time. If it is really essential to the dish, I will put everything aside and run to the store and get it, or ask my husband or daughter to pick it up for me. Cooking is experimenting and sometimes those experiments turn out better the second time around. This artichoke pie is one of those experiments where I felt it came out a winner. At least my husband thought so, because he loved this pie. If he’s happy, then I am happy. On to the next experiment, I mean recipe!

TURKEY POT PIE

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4 pie crusts (2 top and 2 deep dish bottom)
1 1/ 2 cups turkey, cubed
1/ 2 cup cooked peas
1/ 2 cup cooked carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/ 2 cup flour
1 cup turkey / chicken broth
1 cup half and half
Salt and pepper

1 egg yolk
2 tablespoon half and half

1. Prepare bottom pie crusts, place on a cookie sheet.
2. Oven to 450 degrees.
3. In a bowl add cooled carrots, peas and cubed turkey, sprinkle with salt and
pepper. Toss together till mixed well. Place into pie crusts, filling a
little more than half way. (Don’t over fill piecrusts.)
4. In a medium pot, melt butter, sauté chopped onions and celery, cook till
tender.
5. Add flour to sauté buttered onions. With a wooden spoon blend in flour
quickly. Pour in turkey or chicken broth slowly into the flour mixture under
a low/medium flame, constantly stirring. As the sauce thickens, slowly add
the half and half, continuously stirring. Continue stirring until the sauce
is well blended. The sauce will be smooth, but light. (It thickens as it
bakes, so don’t make the sauce too thick in the pot.)
6. Pour sauce over the turkey mixture in the piecrusts, filling almost to the rim
of the piecrust.
7. Place top piecrusts over the pies, pinching the dough around the edges. With
a knife, make slits over the top piecrusts. Take your egg yolk and half and
half, mix together and with a pastry brush, brush the top piecrusts.
8. Bake for 15 minutes on high oven temp. Lower oven to 350 degrees and continue
cooking for 30 to 35 minutes more. After removing pies from the oven, let
them sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve hot.
9. ENJOY – Homemade Pot Pie, there is nothing better!

Thanksgiving has one turkey on one day, but that one turkey keeps on giving for many days more. There are so many ways to use up leftover turkey, besides the traditional turkey sandwich the next day. I always make my turkey pot pies after Thanksgiving. There is nothing like a piece of homemade turkey pot pie for dinner on a cold winter evening to warm one’s heart! What else warms one’s heart? How about heat for starters! I was out of power for almost two weeks and I really missed having heat in the house.

This Hurricane Sandy that hit us on the east coast gave us a run for our money; lives, homes and power were lost. I was one of the lucky ones; I only lost power. But others were not so lucky. Homes, cars and the possessions of one’s lifetime destroyed. Possessions such as videos of your children, your mother’s china, photos of your family, etc., the irreplaceable items of a person, all gone in an instant.

But here we are at Thanksgiving time, grateful and thankful for what we have. Our family tradition is that each person says what they are thankful for after we say grace. This year I think it may be more meaningful than ever. I know what I will be saying when my turn comes: I will start by saying how thankful I am for right here and now, this very moment. Every minute of every day is a gift and I try to always remember that. I am grateful for those still in our life and able to share our table. And to all my family and friends, I thank you for being a part of my life, my memories and my future to come. Happy Thanksgiving.

Pasta Primavera Pie

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4 cups of Pasta Primavera, leftover
6 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cubed
8 eggs
salt and pepper

1. Oven 400 degrees.
2. In a pie dish, (I used a glass Pyrex pie plate) grease bottom with olive oil, lightly.
3. In one bowl, toss your leftover pasta with cubed mozzarella cheese. Place tossed pasta and mozzarella
into pie plate.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add salt and pepper to eggs to taste. Pour beaten eggs
over pasta and place pie plate on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the center of the oven.
Bake pie for 35 minutes. Check by putting a butter knife in the center of pie. If clean, pie should
be done. If wet, bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let pie stand for 10 minutes before cutting into
wedges. Serves 8.
5. Enjoy – What leftover? I don’t see any leftover!

Welcome to my latest creation: Pasta Primavera Pie. This little brainstorm was born out of the desire for something new as well as the desire to use leftovers. For guidance, I referred to my spaghetti pie recipe, another gem that will find it’s way to you via a future posting.

I so appreciate that my husband, Tom, is a good cook. The best thing about his cooking is that he will make dinner if he gets home before me. Lately, he has been making dinner more nights than I. Adjusting to cooking for two people instead of a family of five has been a bit challenging for both of us, so leftovers frequently appear in my fridge. The good news is that they are great life/timesavers for those of us who have to bring lunch to the workplace. However, who gets excited about eating the same dish 3 days in a row? Not wanting to toss out food, we need to reinvent that leftover.

So, my Pasta Primavera Pie began with my Tom’s delicious pasta primavera for dinner the other night. It contained fresh broccoli, zucchini and carrots, sautéed in olive oil with garlic and tossed over angel hair pasta. There were about 4 or 5 cups of pasta leftover, and then the challenge to reinvent began. Pasta is pasta, I thought to myself. Why not make a pasta primavera pie, the same way I make my spaghetti pie. I added 2 more ingredients, and bingo, a new leftover arose from the ashes!

This dish is great for vegetarians too, served as a main dish or as a side dish. I am always trying to think of more exciting veggie dishes, and now I created another one. The other night I had dinner with my friend, Mela, and together we had my Pasta Primavera Pie, with a side of salad and rolls. It got the big thumbs up!

Remember when cooking, think outside the (pasta) box, and have some fun.

ICE CREAM PIE

1 graham cracker crust
2 pints ice cream, different flavors
1 bottle magic shell chocolate fudge
1 container cool whip
sprinkles

1. The day before, take the ice cream out of the freezer and put on
the counter to soften.
2. From one container, scoop the soften ice cream into the graham
cracker crust, gently cover the bottom half of the piecrust.
3. On top of the 1st layer of ice cream, squeeze out the chocolate
fudge magic shell coating to cover the entire pie of ice cream.
4. Then add your second flavor of soften ice cream on top of the magic
shell coating. The ice cream may be a bit higher than the crust.
At this point cover the pie and freeze overnight.
5. Just before serving, remove pie from the freezer, and decorate the
top with cool whip, using a decorating bag, and garnish with
sprinkles. Serve immediately.
6. Enjoy – The best NO-BAKE dessert!

My mother and her sisters were like peas in a pod. Back in the day it was quite common for relatives to live together; and there we were, my aunt, uncle and their kids sharing a two family house. Another aunt and uncle lived 10 blocks away. We did everything together, and the beauty of it was that I felt as if I had three mothers and three fathers. When I married and had kids I lived 30 miles away instead of 30 blocks, but home is where the heart is, and I kept in close contact with my mom, her sisters and their families. In fact, my home became party central as I hosted most family and holiday celebrations.

Fast forward to today, and I am the mom, the grandma, and the aunt. My home seemed to grow smaller as my family grew larger; however, my dining table would always magically accommodate whoever showed up at the door. But there came a time when even my magical table could hold no more, forcing me to begin hosting two parties a year in order to entertain all my relatives. In February or March, I have my sister-in-laws and their husbands for a formal sit down dinner. Come June, I host a nieces and nephews party on my deck, which now includes their expanding families!

No one lives downstairs or a few blocks away anymore, so we can’t see each other as often. I so enjoyed having my aunts and uncles close by while growing up that I wanted to create a similar relationship with my nieces and nephews.

This year it rained. We survived anyway with the kids downstairs playing in the basement and the adults in the living room. There’s always room for those you love.

The true hit of the party this year was my ice cream pie. I bought ice pops for the kids and baked brownies, but it was the ice cream pie that everyone loved. Ignoring the misty, miserable rain, we sat on the deck talking, laughing and enjoying my ice cream pie. When you try this recipe, I bet you’d happily eat it come rain or shine!