Quiche me and make me happy! {Recipe}

quiche-1

I don’t remember exactly when I fell in love with quiche, but we’ve had a great relationship ever since. After using my tried and true recipe for nearly 6 years, I discovered that it’s MUCH better and even easier to make with fresh spinach. There has never been a time that I’ve made this that someone hasn’t asked me for the recipe. A lot of quiche recipes I’ve found turn out watery and gross, but this one is perfect.

You can quiche me at any time of day and make me happy!

Sarah Caroline’s Quiche [adapted from a  FoodNetwork recipe]
4 eggs
1 C. half-and-half
½ C. light mayonnaise
2 T. flour
1/3 C. minced onions (or some onion powder)
Dash of Salt
Dash of Garlic Powder
Dash of Black Pepper
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 C. fresh spinach, chopped
1 (9”) deep-dish unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350o. Chop spinach and distribute evenly on the bottom of your unbaked pie crust. Hand whip eggs, half-and-half, mayonnaise, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and any extras you want to include. Pour on top of spinach. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.

Themes & Variations
You can add just about anything to a quiche. I’m usually a plain Jane kind of gal and don’t usually like to mess with a recipe if it tastes fine just the way it is–but at Christmas, I add red and yellow bell pepper for an extra pop of color and flavor. You can always switch out the type of cheese to change it up a little, too!

If you find a delicious variation, please let me know! 🙂

quiche-plated

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Of Foley Forks & Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars {Recipe}

Once upon a time, there was an odd looking vintage kitchen utensil in our top kitchen drawer. It had a weathered wooden handle and short, bent, scoop-shaped tines. This apparatus had been in this drawer as long as I could remember and always looked like it was about time for it to go; however, in an interesting twist of fate, this antique gadget outlived two 21st century KitchenAid whisks.

Towards the end of September, after one or two band competitions have taken place and pumpkins have marched into my office, I feel strongly compelled to begin making all my pumpkin recipes. This year I’ve added a new one to my repertoire thanks to…drumroll, please…Pinterest. (I know you’re shocked.)

So I got my can of pumpkin out and all my favorite fall spices, the bowl, the measuring cups…you know the whole nine yards (equivalent to 14.4 8-to-5 steps in case you were wondering), and was incredibly disappointed when my mom informed me that our whisk had moved on to glory. My initial Plan B was to stir the flour/sugar mixture for my Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars with a fork, but then my mom pulled the odd looking vintage kitchen utensil from our top kitchen drawer and said, “We have this thing if you want to use it instead.”
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With a look of “really? but what do I have to lose?“, I grabbed the odd looking vintage kitchen utensil and started to stir. It was amazing how well this little gadget helped integrate the sugars so quickly (just like a good colorguard pass-through in a closer). I was hooked! And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it also allowed me to both scoop up the crumbly crust and press it into the bottom of the baking dish without getting my hands all messy.

I had to know more about this gadget. All I knew was it was my grandmother’s (or maybe even great-grandmother’s?!)and it had been around forever, but a closer look as I was stirring revealed that it was a FOLEY FORK MPLS, which was introduced by Foley Manufacturing in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the Great Depression. Apparently original Foley Forks are highly collectible items and after tonight, I could certainly see why.

I’m sorry to report that Foley Manufacturing no longer exists and it seems that no one has been able to reproduce the coveted Foley Fork to the caliber of the original. There are Granny Forks and replicas and even Fantastic Food Forks, but for now, I’m going to keep my eyes peeled at yard sales and antique stores for true Foley Forks to use as gifts and a backup.

Heaven help if our Foley Fork ever joins our whisks in glory. IMG_2216

P.S.–Those Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars? Delish. And I’ll also let you know that they leave the PERFECT amount of pumpkin to make a couple of my favorite pumpkin coffee drinks! {PSL + PS frapp}

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Almond Roca {Recipe}

Almond Roca is one of our Christmas traditions.  Originally introduced to us by my Aunt Lee Ann Sewell, both sides of my family have fallen in love with this delicious candy.  It’s Papa’s favorite.

Almond Roca

2 sticks butter minus 2 T.
3 T. water
1 C. sugar
1 (6 oz.) package sliced almonds
1 (7 oz.) Hershey plain milk chocolate bar, broken in pieces
1 jar peanut butter (not to add, but for reference!)

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up.  Spread almonds evenly over foil.  Toast almonds by placing under broiler for 2-3 minutes or until light brown (watch carefully so they don’t burn).  Place butter, water, and sugar in a heavy iron skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the color of peanut butter (about 10-15 minutes).  Pour over almonds and spread gently so almonds are covered.  Place Hershey bar pieces over hot mixture.  When chocolate begins to melt, spread evenly over mixture.  Cool completely.  Break into pieces.  Can be placed in refrigerator for chocolate to set more quickly.

Absolutely will not work if it’s raining.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but seriously…don’t even try it!

And…if you can’t use butter, we’ve discovered this works well with “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” baking sticks.

Almond Roca

 

Peanut Butter Balls {Recipe}

Kerry Peanut Butter Balls

Buckeyes, peanut butter balls, chocolate-covered protein. Whatever you want to call them, they’ve always been my favorite Christmas candy. Every Christmas that we’ve visited my grandparents in South Carolina, my Mema has had a tin full of peanut butter balls resting in carefully layered wax paper waiting for us in the fridge. They are the perfect pop of holiday happiness in your mouth.

Recently, I learned that my friend Kerry had never eaten a peanut butter ball. I decided to remedy this pitiful situation by teaching her how to make them. Give a girl a peanut butter ball and make her happy for a moment. Teach a girl to make peanut butter balls and make her happy every Christmas for the rest of her life.

 

Peanut Butter Balls (I ain’t a Buckeye–I’m from the South.)
adapted from JoyofBaking.com

Filling:
2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, room temperature (we used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! baking sticks)
2-1/2 C. confectioners sugar

Coating:
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (we used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips)
1/2 block paraffin wax

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Mix the peanut butter, butter, and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until it has the consistency of a stiff dough.

Roll the dough into 1″ round balls and place on the cookie sheet. If you’re patient, refrigerate until firm (several hours or even overnight). Or if you’re impatient like us, place the cookie sheet in the freezer and freeze until firm (about an hour).

Melt the chocolate and paraffin wax in a double boiler (or make-shift double boiler). Dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Toothpicks or skewers are really handy during this part of the shindig. Use your creative liberties here–you can either dip the whole ball in chocolate or leave the top quarter undipped to make the traditional “buckeye.” Place dipped balls back on the baking sheet. Once you’ve dipped all the balls in chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set (about 15-20 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Makes about 60 pieces.

Peanut Butter Balls Buckeyes

Chicken Fried Rice. Yum. {Recipe}

I really need to start being careful about pictures I post of my food on Facebook. It always leads to someone asking for the recipe. haha! This one was no different. The only problem is, a lot of times my mom just throws things together and then doesn’t remember exactly how she does it. We’ve tried to recapture this one. I hope it works!

Chicken Fried Rice
One of those fail-proof one-skillet dinners that will fill you up and make you all happy inside.

1½ C. dry rice + 3 C. water
3 carrots, peeled & diced
½ large onion, diced (or green onion)
2-3 C. shredded cabbage
4 T. sesame oil
4 T. soy sauce
1 packet “I forgot the brand name” fried rice seasoning mix
(No worries. We later found out it was “Sunbird”)
1 lb. chicken tenders, cooked and shredded

Cook rice in steamer or boil on the stove. Remove from pan and place in shallow glass dish. Refrigerate until cool.

Spray wok or large skillet with cooking spray. Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in wok or skillet. Stir-fry carrots, onion, and cabbage for 3-4 minutes. Push to sides. Add 2 more tablespoons sesame oil, stir fry the rice, mix the vegetables in, add the seasoning packet and soy sauce. Mix well. Add chicken and stir well. Eat.

Easily serves 4, maybe more.

Easy Delicious Dinner, Compliments of Pinterest {recipe}

Pinterest has become one of my favorite sites to explore in the late evening. For those unfamiliar with the site, I will let the trustworthy Wikipedia describe it for you, “Pinterest is a vision board-styled social photo sharing website where users can create and manage theme-based image collections.” I’m a very visual person, so the way Pinterest is set up really appeals to me.

Some of my favorite things to “repin” on Pinterest are recipes. So far, the people I follow have excellent taste and many of these recipes have not only gained a repin from me, but they have won a place in my ever-growing recipe collection…and my very heart.

So, Tuesday night’s easy-peasy-yet-so-delicious dinner is brought to you compliments of my Pinterest.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken (originally from here)
One of my old standby recipes is Italian Chicken, which is very similar to this recipe but involves a lot of butter. This recipe is just as tasty…and a little more forgiving. 

1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder. Moisten chicken breasts with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Roasted Broccoli (adapted from Rachael Ray)
My family typically likes to roast all kinds of vegetables and I can’t believe we had never tried to roast broccoli until tonight. Definitely a keeper!
1 head broccoli, cut into pieces all the way through the stem
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Liberally drizzle olive oil over broccoli, add garlic, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Transfer to oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until broccoli is nice and crispy on the ends and a little brown.
Buttered Cavatappi
Don’t be intimidated by the fancy name. It’s just pasta cooked al dente in salted water with some butter (we use Promise) on the top. 
Passion Green Iced Tea
To wash it all down, I spiced up some Green Tea by adding one Tazo Passion iced tea bag to the mix.
small pot of boiled water
2 family sized green tea bags
1 Tazo Passion tea bag
Steep in boiled water for about 5 minutes…you know the drill.

Oh, and I HAVE to add a picture so I can pin this to my board, right?!

Crummy iPhone picture ftw.

Beef Stew + Cornbread {Recipe}

Fall in the Wainright kitchen is always exciting. We always inaugurate the first signs of cold weather with a pot of chili. And we eat chili probably a little too often during the colder months of the year. But beef stew is also one of our favorites! It’s one of those foods that warms not just your body, but the depths of your very soul. Soak in these rich flavors this season and stay warm!

Beef Stew
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.

3 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
2 lbs. stew beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C. beef stock (or 4 C. water + 4 beef bouillon cubes)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. ketchup
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 carrots, sliced
4 new potatoes, diced

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat in two batches, setting aside on a plate when brown. Cut pieces in half. Set aside.

Add diced onions to the pot. Stir and cook for two or three minutes until softened, then add garlic for another minute. Pour in beef stock, then add Worcestershire, ketchup, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Add carrots and potatoes, then cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Mexican Cornbread
This kicked-up cornbread recipe is originally from Esther Gilpin, a dear saint we went to church with years ago at Ashland Avenue. She is a faithful student and teacher of the Word and her sweet smile is always sure to light up a room! She can always be found serving in some form or another.

2 ½ C. cornmeal mix
¾ C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 ½ C. buttermilk
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 chopped green or red bell pepper
1 (12 oz.) can whole kernel corn
4 oz. package shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together with a fork or spoon.  Place in a 9×13” baking dish.  Bake at 350o for 30 minutes.