Move Over Key Lime Pie!! Guest Blog

Woo hoo! It’s been an awesome week so far and I have another fun thing to share.

The lovely Bernadette of the famed Rants From My Crazy Kitchen asked me to do a guest post on her foodie blog. How dang cool! So I did something super easy that even I can make. I think a 6 year old could make it. Actually, it would be quite the fun recipe to do with a little one who is just learning how to make stuff in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure even 2 squirrels and a blind bunny could team up and make it.

Guest Blog on Rants from My Crazy Kitchen

This recipe is from Mom (what a shock!) and she made it for me on my birthday earlier this month. It is soooooo yummy and refreshing, but you’ll have to get the scoop over at Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.

Here’s a sneak preview of the yumminess:

Birthday Lime Pie for Bernadette's Blog

Enjoy!

Ready! Set! Quiche!

.

Yes, quiche is for REAL MEN too! :)

Real men eat quiche

NO COMMENT!
I’m gonna be a good girl for a change. :)

To be quite honest, I’d never before had quiche that I liked. The crust was always soggy and the eggs were always runny. EWWWW!!!

And then I met the hubby. You know that meeting him has done nothing but murder every diet I’ve ever been on. But how can one NOT eat all the delicious food he makes? Especially now that we have chickens in the backyard. We have eggs coming out the wazoo–gotta do something with ‘em.

So here, my wonderful friends, is a recipe straight out of our cookbook, Darn Good Eats. It’s Grant’s own version of Quiche Lorraine, but it is a zillion times more delectable than any Quiche Lorraine I’ve ever had. ENJOY!

Can’t Say No To It Quiche

Yeah, I know, that’s a weird name for a recipe. But this ain’t your grandma’s Quiche Lorraine. This has goodies added into it which will take you to a new level of nirvana.  I just told the hubby, as I am currently chewing on a mouthful of this delicious concoction, that I’m going to kill him so that he can’t have any more of it and I get the rest. I’m only half kidding.

Just so you know, I’m fully aware that the picture of the quiche looks like some crazy, snub-nosed face staring at you with its creepy tomato eyes. I tried several angles but it always looked like a face. There was no escape. So yes, the quiche is eyeballing you!

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients:

  • 9-inch refrigerated pie shell (get it in the refrigerated cookie section at the grocery store)
  • 6 – 8 slices of thick bacon
  • 1/2 of a large red onion, sliced into super-thin rings
  • 3½ tablespoons of butter
  • 4 small eggs or 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups of heavy whipping cream (or you can use half whole milk and half whipping cream to cut back on the fat content)
  • 3/4  – 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 large tomato, cut into thin slices and then quarter the slices
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • A dash or slightly more of freshly ground nutmeg (buy whole nutmeg and then shave the nutmeg with a super sharp, non-serrated knife—don’t use a mortar and pestle)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 °F.
  2. Slice the uncooked bacon into one-inch pieces.
  3. Simmer the bacon in a quart of boiling water (a simmering boil, not a rapid boil) for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the bacon and dry it using a paper towel.
  5. Brown the bacon in a large frying pan until it’s just on the cusp of crispy, but not too crunchy.
  6. Once it’s browned, remove the bacon and dry it on paper towels to remove as much excess grease as possible (save the bacon grease in the pan for other recipes, you won’t need it for this recipe).
  7. Slice the red onion into thin rings—as thin as you can slice it.
  8. Put 1½ tablespoons of butter in the pan (after you’ve removed the bacon grease), add the onion and sauté on medium-high for about a minute, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the onions start to caramelize. Periodically stir the onions as they cook. You want the onions cooked past the point where they are translucent but before they are too brown and burning around the edges.
  9. While the onions are cooking, or before cooking the bacon, prepare the pie crust.
  10. Use either a glass pie dish or non-stick metal pie dish.
  11. Roll the pie crust over the pie dish and push it down into the bottom and along the edges. Make sure to either push the crust down very well or use pie weights to keep the pie crust from getting a big bubble in it as it bakes. Ours didn’t, but we wanted to make sure you were prepared, just in case.
  12. Flute the top edges of the pie crust (just pinch it) to give it the look of grandma’s homemade pies. You want to the pie crust to end up being slightly higher than the pie dish because when you pre-bake it, it will shrink and you don’t want the pie crust ending up lower than the quiche filling.
  13. Bake the pie crust on 450 °F for 9 – 10 minutes on the middle rack in the oven. You do not want the pie crust to brown yet; you’re essentially baking it about halfway done.
  14. Take the pie crust out of the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.
  15. Reduce the oven heat to 375 °F.
  16. Once the pie crust is cool, layer the bottom of it with the bacon.
  17. Evenly spoon the caramelized onions over the bacon.
  18. In a medium-sized bowl, add the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and hand whisk until well blended.
  19. Add 3/4 to 1 cup of Gruyere into the bowl with the egg mix and stir.
  20. Evenly pour the egg and cheese mix into the crust, making sure to pour it carefully as you don’t want it to get between the crust and the pie dish.
  21. If it looks like you have more egg mix than you have space for in the dish, before the mix gets to the top of the crust, pull the cheese out of the mix and add that into the pie dish, then throw away the rest of the egg mix.
  22. Evenly space the tomato slices on top of the egg mix.
  23. Dice 2 tablespoons of cold butter into pea-sized cubes. Sprinkle the butter evenly on top of the tomatoes and cook on the middle-upper rack for 30 – 35 minutes on 375 °F. Look for your pie crust to be a golden brown. It’s okay if the top of the quiche is a little bit juicy looking as it will congeal as it cools down.
  24. Once you pull it out of the oven, let it cool for at least 15 minutes so that it can be sliced without turning into a river of goo. It’s better once it has had time to set.

Anyone who has ever said “Real men don’t eat quiche” hasn’t had this quiche before. I’m quite sure I’m not the only person, male or female, who’s willing to serve time in prison to keep everyone else in the house away from this quiche so that it’s mine all mine!

image from: www.freerepublic.com

Mmmmmm…food…

Howdy everyone! I’m so thankful it’s Friday I could weep like a sad kitten! sad kitten

Since it is hot as friggin’ hell out here in Arizona (someone kill me) I thought since I’m staying inside (never to leave the house again until November) that I’d do two things.

  1. Give you a lip-smacking, damn good recipe from my cookbook.
  2. Give you a link to vote for Rants From My Crazy Kitchen as being one of the top 25 Foodie Moms. You’ll remember her not only from her awesome blog, but she contributed two delicious recipes to the cookbook. Yummy drool drool! Click HERE to vote for her and her awesome blog. I’m sure she will be very thankful you took the time. :)

RECIPE TIME!!!

Okay, so you guys know that I’m a cookbook writer that HATES HATES HATES to cook. Yeah, I know. I’m a whacko. Anyway, I’m going to give you a recipe for one of THE BEST desserts you can ever make and I kid you not, a blind hamster could make it–it’s THAT easy! It’s the perfect cake to take to a BBQ. It’s the perfect cake to take to bed and eat with your hands until you pass out (at least you are already laying down–less likely to get injured).

This recipe is good for a few reasons:

  1. It’s cheap to make.
  2. It’s easy as hell to make and takes about 4 minutes to throw together.
  3. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want a second helping.
  4. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t want a third helping.

I’m going to give you the recipe straight from the book, little story and all (each recipe has its own story because I talk too damn much!). :) I hope you love it! Oh, and GO VOTE for Rants!! She’s awesome and I’d love to see her make it into the top 25 Foodie Moms again this year. :)

Dump Cake

Let me say that on their own, I don’t like many of the ingredients in this cake. The first time my mom made it and handed me a piece I thought to myself, “GROSS! Cherries and pineapple? Vomit. Must. Keep. Smile. On. Face. While. Gagging.” Then I took a bite. Then I took another. Then I took 20 more and ended up eating 3 pieces of it. Somehow, all the flavors come together into this conglomeration of co-mingled delights in a way that I never would have expected. Of course, anything with a stick and a half of butter is bound to be delicious. Besides which, it truly is the single most easy homemade cake you will ever make. Ever. Period.

Below is Mom’s recipe from 1978. Thank goodness that she saves everything. I sure know who I get my pack rat tendencies from.

 dump cake

The list of yum yums:

  • One 18- to 20-ounce can of cherry pie filling—the extra cherry kind if possible
  • 1 – 1½ sticks of butter
  • One 20-ounce can of un-drained pineapple rings
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix

 Dumping it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 glass dish.
  3. Place a single layer of pineapple rings on the bottom of the dish and pour the juice over the pineapple.
  4. Pour the can of cherry pie filling on top of the pineapple and spread so the cherries are distributed evenly.
  5. Pour the dry yellow cake mix over the pineapple and cherries and level it out. Don’t mash the cake mix, just gently level it out and make sure it’s evenly dispersed.
  6. The take a stick or stick and a half of butter, slice it into 1/8-inch thick slices and put it over the entire cake top about an inch apart.
  7. Bake at 350 °F for about an hour or until the top is crispy brown.

I can’t even begin to describe how tasty this cake is. And seriously, have you ever read an easier cake recipe? It’s even easier than boxed cake. I would serve this cake to a chef. A president. A Nobel Prize winner. There is no shame in serving this cake to anyone and everyone. It may have taken you 3 minutes to make it, but no one would ever guess that in a million years. It is absolutely fantastic.

Enjoy everyone! Have a fantastic weekend! :) Luv ya!

Prepare to weep for the yumminess!

Tzatziki time!!

I am, at this very moment, stuffing my happy face with mounds and mounds of tzatziki. This is THE best batch the hubby has ever made. Drool!!! I figured since I’m slobbering all over the place that I’d give you the recipe too. You can also find this in my cookbook, Darn Good Eats. Mmmm….

Here’s the recipe as it appears in the cookbook:

Oh, do I love this. I love this so much that the plate in the picture got an extra special placemat upon which to sit. Tzatziki is royalty in this house and deserves to be treated as such.

Just so you know, this is not your everyday tzatziki. No sirreebob! This recipe has evolved through many variations and has ended up like no other tzatziki on earth. It’s got some weird ingredients that you wouldn’t expect to find in it (I actually frowned when Grant first told me what he put in it, thinking it would be inedible) but it is incredibly delicious. And, it’s crazy healthy. So you can eat and eat and eat and not feel the slightest bit of guilt.

Mmmmm...tzatziki

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of plain Greek yogurt (get the low fat one to keep it healthy or get the nothing-but-fat one to make it extra creamy. I actually prefer the texture of the low fat yogurt).
  • 2 large, peeled cucumbers
  • Approximately 1 teaspoon of finely chopped dry mint from the spice section at the store (sounds gross, right??). If you use fresh mint, use a tablespoon.
  • 1 rounded tablespoon of finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 – 1½ tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (I like WAY more than this, but it’s better to start slow and add more if you need it)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed, minced or cut up very small (I personally like slightly more than 4 cloves)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel the cucumbers.
  2. Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise and then cut the quarters lengthwise again.
  3. Take the knife and slice the seeds off the top of each strip of cucumber (you won’t use the seeds in the recipe).
  4. Cut the eights lengthwise a couple more times so you have 16 – 32 long, skinny, deseeded strips of cucumber.
  5. Cut the cucumber strips into tiny pieces.
  6. Put the cucumber into a bowl.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
  8. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
  9. Serve with warmed pita bread.

You can also serve it on a pita smothered in gyro fixings. We buy gyro meat at the store (we have to go to a fancy schmancy store to find it) and cook it up like bacon. Then chuck a bunch of sliced tomato and red onion on it, add the tzatziki sauce, wrap it all up in a warm pita and you have one heck of a scrumptious meal.

One rather special element of this tzatziki is that we don’t puree it. Just about everywhere you go the tzatziki is smooth. Well, I don’t want it smooth. I like it with tiny cucumber chunks. To me, it’s more substantial that way. It’s not just a dip; it feels like you are eating an actual meal.

Feel free to puree the recipe I’ve just given you, but you will be breaking the tzatziki rules and I’m afraid we just can’t have that. Kidding! If you are unsure about the cucumber chunks, take half of the recipe and puree it and then do a taste test and compare it to the chunky version. Or puree half of it and mix it together with the un-pureed half. That way it’s just a little chunky. I’m gonna bet that you like the chunkier one better. It is one of the freshest tasting foods you’ll ever eat.

dragon breath

ENJOY!!

STOP THE PRESSES!!!

Check out this awesome blog from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen! She’s going to have some of her awesome recipes in my new cookbook coming out at the end of October.

:)

STOP THE PRESSES!!!.