Zucchini Quiche

Ingredients_Quiche

I’ve been eating this zucchini quiche as long as I can remember. With a large extended family, our gathering’s are no simple affair. Food is always in abundance and everything is homemade from some of my favorite family chefs. This recipe comes from my mom’s Aunt Jerry, and has been passed down from generation to generation. So, Aunt Jerry, at 87 years young, I highly doubt that you are reading my blog or even know what a blog is, and you likely prefer using a cookbook over a computer for cooking (can’t blame you), but thank you! This post is in tribute to you, a beautiful lady with a great sense of humor, and one divine quiche.

Ingredients Needed

  • 3 cups of shredded jack and cheddar cheese ( 1 ½ cups of each)
  • 3 cups of thinly sliced zucchini (3 medium-sized zucchini’s)
  • 6-8 mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of bisquick
  • ½ cup of finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp of italian parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp basil
  • dash of oregano
  • dash of pepper

Step 1 – Slice your vegetables

Cut_veggies

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You want to slice your mushrooms and zucchini thin. I cut my mushrooms by hand, but use my KitchenAid slicing attachment for the zucchini. This creates even zucchini slices (about the thickness of a dime), and saves on time, but it’s not required. By hand works just as good. Next, finely chop your onion. Fun tidbit – I recently learned that if your eyes are sensitive to onions, which mine are, then stick your tongue out when chopping. I know it sounds funny, and you may feel and look a bit silly, but try it. It worked for me!

Step 2 – Mix everything in one bowl

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While this recipe has many ingredients, once you’ve done your chopping the rest is easy. Toss all your sliced veggies in a large bowl. Measure out all remaining ingredients, except the eggs, and combine in one bowl. Finally, crack all six eggs in a separate bowl. Beat them lightly before adding them to your mixture. Note – I used fresh italian parsley, but dry would work just fine.

Step 3 – Pour your mixture into a 9×13 baking dish that has been coated with butter

Before_baking

Step 4 – Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top

Final_quiche

Cut_Quiche

This zucchini quiche is so versatile. I recently served it as a side dish with dinner, but it would be perfect for a Sunday morning brunch, or cut into bite size pieces as an appetizer. Be sure you allow the quiche to set up for at least 20 minutes before serving. It’s also a great recipe to make ahead and reheat for your guests. I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does. Cook with love, eat well, and laugh often!

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon

Jack

Ever since I went to the Danville Farmers Market, and saw baskets of ripe beautiful strawberries, I’ve been craving good ol’ fashion strawberry shortcake. So, while Audrey was at school, Jack and I decided to whip up the shortcakes. Why reinvent the wheel when it’s already been perfected. Not to mention, I’ve tried many shortcake recipe’s, so I had to share this one. The shortcake recipe used was created by the amazing and super talented, Joy the Baker. If you don’t follow her blog, please do! She makes the most amazing baked goods and I’m obsessed with her. As for the strawberry and whipped cream topping, I decided to zest it up a bit and incorporate some lovely lemon.

Joy the Baker Shortcake Recipe Here

Strawberry Mixture

  • 1 ½ pounds of strawberries
  • 2-3 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon

Whipped Topping

  • 1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 heaping tbsp of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp of grated lemon zest

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pre_cook

final_shortcakes

 I think Joy would be proud! Golden, flaky, and moist!

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You may want more or less lemon, so taste as you go. I like the brightness and citrus flavor lemon brings to the strawberries. It’s best to let these marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Final_whip

If you like your whipped cream on the sweet side then you can add more sugar, again taste as you go.

Final_strawberrycake

Nothing screams summer like strawberry shortcake, wait..it’s March! Oh well! We love this dessert anytime of the year. I’ve tried many shortcake recipe’s and I promise this one won’t let you down! Happy weekend all!

Eggplant Parmesan

Rainy weather calls for comfort food, and today I’m sharing one of my family favorites. What I love most about eggplant parmesan is that it feels like you are eating something rich and luxurious with all its delicious layers, but it’s really not all that hard to make. Bonus – vegetarians will love this recipe as well! So let’s get to it.

Eggplant_Parm_Ingredients

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 medium to large-sized eggplant
  • 2-3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup of seasoned italian breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese – fresh or from can
  • 1- 25 ounce jar of marinara sauce
  • 1-2 mozzarella balls ( I often use 1 ½)
  • dried oregano
  • olive oil for frying

Step 1 – Slice your eggplant about 1/4 inch thick

Slicing_Eggplant

Step 2 – Slice your mozzarella cheese

Cheese

Your slices will vary in shape and size which is fine. It’s more important to keep the thickness consistent as best as you can. It helps everything cook evenly.

Step 3 – Dredge your eggplant

Eggplant_dip

Start with 2 eggs, cracked and beaten in a bowl (you can add the third egg later if needed). Dip your eggplant slices in the egg wash.

Eggplant_breadcrumbs

Then, coat both sides of the eggplant with the italian breadcrumbs. Shake off excess crumbs and lay slices on a dish or cutting board. You don’t have to dredge all the eggplant slices before beginning Step 3, which is frying. However, it helps to have your initial batch of 4-5 slices ready to go. Once your first batch is frying, you can proceed with the rest of your dredging.

Step 4 – Frying your eggplant layersFrying

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Place dredged eggplant in skillet and fry each side to a golden brown. About 2 minutes per side. Remove eggplant slices and transfer to a dish lined with paper towels. Continue frying all the eggplant slices. Keep your olive oil handy, because you will need to add additional olive oil so that the eggplant doesn’t burn. I often wipe my pan clean after a few rounds of frying, and add fresh olive oil. Note – you can stack the eggplant slices on top of each other, just be sure to add paper towels in between each layer so that some of the excess oil is soaked up.

Step 5 – Layering your dish – I use a 9×13 rectangle or oval dish similar in size.

Layering_1This is the fun part, and often when I let the kids help me. First layer with the fried eggplant slices. You do not need to cover every inch of the dish. Second, sprinkle with parmesan and then lightly with the dried oregano. Dried spices are stronger than fresh, so you don’t need as much. It’s about 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano for each layer.

Layering_2

Next, layer with slices of mozzarella cheese. I like to put a chunk of cheese on each eggplant slice. Finally, layer with the marinara sauce. Begin the process all over again. Eggplant, parmesan, oregano, mozzarella, and marinara.

Final_layers

Depending on the size of your eggplant, you will have 3-4 layers. As you can see the layers aren’t completely covered with cheese or sauce. You want enough to bind it all, but not so much that you lose the texture of each layer. Be sure to spread the sauce well. I spread the sauce around a bit more than the picture above shows.

Step 5 – Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

In_the_oven

Remove from oven and let cool for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

FInal_eggplantWhat’s not to love about thin layers of seasoned (good for you) eggplant oozing with cheese and sauce. To keep it classic Italian, serve your eggplant parmesan with salad and fresh bread! Bon Appetit and wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

4th of July Jello Cake

Happy 4th of July! If you are looking for a fun and festive dessert for Independence Day then look no further. I promise this recipe is easy and will please everyone from Grandma to your 1-year-old. Grab your boxed cake, yep.. this is not from scratch, and whip up your 4th of July Jello Cake now and enjoy tonight!

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Ingredients Needed:

Betty Crocker White Cake Mix (or any brand you prefer)

1/3 cup Canola Oil

3 egg whites

1 1/4 cups water

6oz Cherry Jello Mix (raspberry or strawberry would work too)

2 cups boiling water

Cool Whip

Strawberries

Blueberries

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Step 1. Make your cake following box instructions.

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Don’t forget to separate your egg whites.

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Bake cake.

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Step 2. Poke Cake

Allow cake to completely cool after baking. Using a utility fork, pierce cake all the way through. Do this to the entire cake making marks about 1/2 inch a part.

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Step 3 – Mix jello packet

Using a glass measuring cup, boil 2 cups of water for 4 minutes in microwave. Remove from microwave and dissolve entire jello packet in hot water.

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Step 4 – Ladle mixture

Starting from one side of the cake ladle small amounts of jello mixture into the holes you made throughout the cake. Even though it seems like a lot, be sure to use all 2 cups of mixture. You will ladle over the entire cake twice ensuring all of the holes are well saturated.

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Once you are finished spooning the jello mixture, it will look like the above. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

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Step 4 – Make your American Flag.

This is the fun part for the kids. Layer your toppings. Cover the cake with cool whip (use the entire tub). Second, using about 1/2 cup of blueberries make a small rectangle in the upper left corner of your cake, this will represent your stars on the flag. Finally, thinly slice your strawberries and layer closely in rows, making your stripes. Audrey loved the final product and it was a good opportunity to talk about what our flag represents.

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Extra Note – When you slice the cake it is marbled on the inside. The great thing about this cake, is that you can use it for all sorts of holidays. Use lime jello, and make it for Saint Patty’s Day or keep it red for Valentine’s Day. Possibilities are endless, so have fun with it! Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July, full of food, fireworks, and family fun!

Weekend Breakfast Quiche

Good morning! Ok, it’s not yet the weekend, but maybe you shop in advance like me, so I wanted to share this in a timely manner. Recently, our family had another Saturday morning group playdate, and I wanted to bring my mom’s homemade zucchini quiche. The keyword here is wanted, because it was a great idea, but too time consuming. That being said, it is amazing…I’m talking butter and cream cheese in the homemade crust kind of goodness…so I will make it soon and share the family recipe. Instead, I decided to try Paula Deen’s Spinach and Bacon Quiche Recipe, which was a hit at the playdate. I’m a firm believer that you should always honor the chef and make the recipe as follows the first time, which is what I did. But, what I love the most about this recipe is it’s versatility and ease. I can’t wait to make this again using asparagus, ham, and swiss, or maybe spinach, feta, and tomato, topped with avocado…yumm. The possibilities are endless, but learn the steps below and you have an impressive yet easy weekend quiche in your recipe box.

Step 1 – Ingredients needed

Breakfast_Quiche_1

6 eggs

1 1/2 cups of cream

2 cups of baby spinach

1lb of bacon

1 1/2 cups of shredded swiss, but I used a swiss/gruyère blend from TJ’s ( only slight change to the recipe)

1 – (9 inch) refrigerated pie crust

Step 2 – Cook your bacon

Breakfast_Quiche_2

I bake mine on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. If you haven’t yet discovered bacon in the oven, please do! It’s so easy, and hassle free. I line my cookie sheet with foil for easy clean up. Another quick option would be to chop your bacon before you cook it, and then fry it up. I choose to bake my bacon and then chop it up.

Step 3 – Fill the pie dish

Breakfast_Quiche_5

Roll out pie crust on a 9 inch pie or tart dish. Follow with chopped spinach, bacon, and then cheese.

Step 4 – Blender time

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Mix eggs, cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Whip for a minute until mixed and a little fluffy. Keep in mind bacon is salty, so I don’t think you need much salt.

Step 5

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Pour egg mixture over spinach, bacon, and cheese mixture. Once you add the egg mixture, it will be filled to the top of the dish, but that is fine. Nothing will spill over while cooking.

Step 6 – Cook

Breakfast_Quiche_8

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. I was able to cover it with foil, then take it to the park, and it was still warm to serve. Enjoy and let me know if you come up with any cool combos to try for a weekend breakfast quiche.