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Spinach Mushroom Quiche

10 Jan

 

Since pie crusts come 2 in a package, I had 1 crust I left from when I made Sweet Potato Pie at Thanksgiving time.  I wanted to come up with a way to use some of the spinach I got in this week’s Bountiful Baskets, so I decided a quiche would be perfect.  I’ve made quiche a lot of different ways, but also wanted to use up some ingredients in my fridge, so I used parts of a few different recipes I’ve used in the past.  This is a great, versatile dish.  If you feel like adding meat, add in some cooked crumbled bacon, or cooked diced ham.  If you would like to make this gluten-free or don’t like pie crust, omit the crust, lightly grease a deep dish pie pan, and pour filling directly into the pan.  The amount of cook time should remain the same, but you may want to check it earlier just in case.

 

Spinach Mushroom Quiche
Serves 6

What you need:

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced mushrooms
2 cups chopped spinach
4 eggs
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 9 in refrigerated pie crust

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large skillet, melt butter.  Add onions and cook until soft and translucent.  Add mushrooms and spinach, cook until mushrooms soften and spinach is wilted.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat eggs.  Stir in cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and spices.  Add the spinach mixture and stir.

Place pie crust in a 9 in deep dish pie pan.  Pour in the filling.  Place in preheated oven and cook for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Macaroni and Cheese

23 Dec

 

My sister first had this at a friend’s house for dinner and found the recipe online for it.  She has made it for us every time we come for a visit, and it’s so delicious.  It’s a little different from a traditional cheddar macaroni and cheese; it uses white cheddar and romano cheeses.  Tonight, we had it with peas and Avanti’s bread.  For those of you not familiar with Avanti’s bread, it’s from a restaurant in Central Illinois that is a sweet bread and is very good.  I may see if I can find a recipe for it some day.  Anyway, back to the macaroni and cheese, it’s a recipe from Martha Stewart Living.  It is a little time consuming to make, but well worth it in the end.

 

Martha Stewart Macaroni and Cheese

What you need:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 6 slices good white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

How to make it:

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.

While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside.

Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.  Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.

Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie

19 Dec

 

My Papou (Greek for grandfather) first made this for me many years ago, and I enjoyed it so much, I had to make sure I got the recipe for it. When we get zucchini, this is one of the first things I make with it.  It’s like a quiche, but there is not a whole lot of eggs in it like a quiche, but there is plenty of cheese.  The crescent roll crust is perfect and gives it a nice buttery flavor too.

 

Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie
Serves 6

What you need:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 cups thinly sliced, unpeeled zucchini
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
8 oz can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tsp dijon mustard, optional

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease or spray a 9″ deep dish pie dish.

In a medium skillet, melt butter or margarine.  Add zucchini and onion, and cook until tender.  Stir in seasonings and remove from heat.  In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and cheese.  Stir in zucchini mixture.

Separate crescent roll dough into the 8 triangles.  Press into the pie dish, covering bottom and sides (see picture below).

 

If using, spread the crust with mustard.  Pour the zucchini/egg mixture evenly pie dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  If crust starts to become too brown while baking, cover the sides with foil.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Cut into 6 wedges.

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

3 Dec

When I saw the broccoli in my Bountiful Baskets this morning, I knew exactly what I wanted to make, Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup.  We’ve had a cold snap in the weather here, and it’s been cloudy and gloomy.  Perfect weather for making soup!  This recipe I got from Lori at My Kinda Rain, which she had gotten from CDKitchen.com.  I did it slightly different, I did not put mine through the blender because I like chunky soup.  I just made sure that I chopped the onion, carrots, and broccoli to smaller sizes.  It’s a nice thick soup, enough that it can be a meal on its own.  It was perfect and well liked by everyone except my oldest daughter, but that’s because she’s not a fan of cheese.  I wish we had some bread bowls to serve this in, but I made some crescent rolls to eat with it instead.

Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
Serves 4 

What you need:

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups (approx 1/2 lb) fresh broccoli, chopped finely
1 cup carrots, julienned (I cut baby carrots into fourths lengthwise)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

How to make it:

Saute onion in the 1 tablespoon of butter.  Set aside.

In a large stock pot, melt 1/4 cup butter.  Mix in the flour using a whisk, forming a thick paste, and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes (this is called making a roux, for future reference).  Slowly add the milk , stirring constantly with the whisk.  Add the broth, still whisking the whole time.  Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the onions, broccoli, carrots, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender, about 20-25 minutes.  The soup should be thickened by now.  (If desired, pour into the blender in batches and puree. Return to pot.)

Add the shredded cheese; stir until well blended while cooking over low heat.  Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Slow Cooker Spinach, Lentil & Tortellini Soup

22 Nov

 

This is one of my favorite soups to make.  I got the recipe from the Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, a cookbook I bought when I first got my slow cooker a few years ago.  I was secretly wishing for spinach from Bountiful Baskets, and this week, that wish was fulfilled!  And it’s pretty chilly here today, so perfect weather for eating and making soup.  The original recipe calls for ham and for chicken broth, but I make it without the ham and you can switch to vegetable broth to make this a meatless meal!  I think it tastes great without the ham, but you may choose to add it in.  Mine also looks less soup-like in the picture above because I used a larger family size package of tortellini, because that’s what my girls like the most.

Slow Cooker Spinach, Lentil, and Tortellini Soup

1/2 cup dry lentils
2 cups coarsely shredded carrots (I used the julienne blades on my mandolin slicer)
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces chopped cooked ham or Canadian style bacon, optional
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp snipped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 1/2 Tbsp snipped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 9-oz pkg refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 bunch fresh spinach, slightly torn

1. Rinse lentils and drain. Place lentils in a slow cooker. Add the carrots, onion, ham or bacon (if using), garlic, dried basil and thyme (if using), and pepper. Pour broth and water over all.

2. Cover; cook on low heat setting for 6 1/2 – 7 hours or on high heat setting for 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 hours. If using the low heat setting, turn to high heat setting. Stir in tortellini. Cover and cook 30 minutes more. To serve, stir in spinach and, if using, the fresh basil and thyme.

I also like to put some shredded mozzarella cheese on my serving.

Fennel Carrot Soup & 7-Up Biscuits

12 Oct

When I picked up my Bountiful Basket from my friend’s house last weekend, she gave me her fennel.  I’ve seen it before, and I think even had gotten in a basket before, but didn’t get a chance to figure out what to do with it until it had gone bad.  I went in search of a recipe and found this Fennel Carrot Soup, plus I had carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples already on hand to make this.  The recipe only calls for fennel seeds, but I added in the fennel bulb I had as well as the seeds.  If you have never used a fennel bulb, there is an informative video here on different ways to cut the bulb.  I chose to dice mine.

Then, I had found an interesting biscuit recipe on Pinterest called 7-Up biscuits.  I had attempted to make them a couple of nights ago, but didn’t pay attention to the amount of 7-Up to add and put in too much.  Tonight went much better.

Overall, the soup was ok and the biscuits were excellent.  I’m not sure what it was about the soup, it was good, but not fantastic.  I think it was too much carrot or maybe too bland.  I chose not to use curry as called for in the original recipe, putting in garlic instead.   Or maybe I was tasting more fennel and didn’t like it.  I also think I might have added too much lemon juice.  I don’t know.  The biscuits were very good, very light and fluffy.  Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as the Pinterest picture, but the taste was great.

So, here is how I made the soup and the biscuits.

Fennel Carrot Soup

What you need:

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 pound carrots, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium apple, peeled and cubed
5 1/2 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons uncooked long grain rice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

How to make it:

In a large saucepan, saute fennel seed and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add the fennel bulb, carrots, sweet potato and apple; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, bouillon cubes, rice, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice and vegetables are very tender.

Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Discard bay leaf. In a blender or food processor, process soup in batches until pureed. Return to saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.

7-Up Biscuits

What you need:

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Cut sour cream into biscuit mix.  If you have never cut dough, there is a handy tool called a pastry cutter or dough blender.  I do not have one of these, so I did the best I could with a fork.

Add 7-Up and mix in well.  You may find the dough to be sticky, if so, add more Bisquick or flour (about 1 tablespoon) until you can better work with it.  Don’t worry, even if the dough is sticky, they still bake fine.

Sprinkle flour on board or table and pat dough out to the shape of an 8×8 pan.  Cut dough into 9 squares.  Pour all but 1 Tbsp of the melted butter in an 8×8 pan.  Place cut biscuits in pan.

7-Up Biscuits in pan before baking

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Brush the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter over hot biscuits.

Finished 7-Up biscuits

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

8 Oct

Sorry for the short hiatus in posting, it’s been a weird week, so I haven’t gotten as much cooking in and haven’t been in our normal routine.  Anyway, it really cooled off here today (finally), so it was a soup for dinner kind of night.  My husband loves potato soup, I had potatoes I needed to get used up, so potato soup is was.  I originally was going along with this recipe, but forgot to get cream cheese while I was out, plus, my husband isn’t big on bacon in his soup, so I ended up with something a little different.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

8 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup diced onion
6 cups water and 6 chicken bouillon cubes (or use 6 cups chicken broth)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 tsp dried dill weed

Mix water and soup in the slow cooker.  Add in bouillon cubes, potatoes, onion, and dill weed and stir.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.  If you want a thicker soup, slightly mash the potatoes before serving.

I mashed the potatoes just a little to make it still chunky.  One time I completely mashed the potatoes and it was more like mashed potatoes than soup, so to keep it more soup-like, I like the potatoes less mashed.

*As an alternative to the can of cream of chicken soup, you can use 2 Tbsp melted butter, 2 Tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 cups of milk, half and half, or light cream.  Be sure to stir that well with the water/broth before adding the other ingredients.

**If you want to keep the chicken out completely, use the above substitute for the cream of chicken soup and use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken bouillon, or six cups of vegetable broth instead of the bouillon and water.

Spinach Manicotti

15 Sep

I still had some spinach left, and I had intended to make spinach artichoke dip, but used some of the ingredients I had on hand for that to make last night’s Radish Dip.  I had wanted to make Stuffed Shells, but the store only had 1 box of shells that was beat up.  The manicotti was right next to it on the shelf, so I decided to make it inside.  The process and end result is pretty much the same, plus, my family really likes manicotti.  Here is how I made it tonight.

Manicotti

1 box manicotti noodles
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 jar of pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook manicotti according to directions on box.  Drain and cool on a piece of aluminum foil.  Meanwhile, beat eggs in a medium bowl.  Stir in the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, garlic, spinach, basil, and oregano.  Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce into a 13 x 9 baking dish, or enough to make sure to cover the entire bottom of the dish.  Fill manicotti with the mixture and place in the dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the filled manicotti, then sprinkle the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted.

This didn’t last long in my house tonight!

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