Friday, January 4, 2008

COMFORT AND JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know how sometimes people will ask you,"What is your favorite food?" Well, I get that question and am also asked a lot, "What's your favorite dish to cook?" Both questions are hard to answer if you love to cook like I do. I really cook for a couple of reasons......I love good tasting food.....I thoroughly enjoy the entire process of shopping for and preparing a meal for family and friends, and I find that I am really focused when I'm working with food. It's very Zen-like for me. I have a high level of confidence when I'm cooking and I get such a sense of accomplishment when I share a good tasting dish with folks. I do love the accolades! And the criticism? Well, you gotta take that too and hopefully learn from it. These past few years I have also realized that I am a person who likes to be in control of situations when I feel capable and qualified. Unfortunately that feeling of confidence and capability does not spill over into some other things in my life and I am wholly aware of when to step aside and let the pros take over. I hope this keeps me realistic and humble. I just do know what I do well and I wish that sense of purpose and satisfaction for everyone in their endeavours. I learn every time I pick up a cookbook or watch someone else prepare food. I really think that anyone can learn how to cook. It's just like anything else where some people have a knack for certain things. I grew up surrounded by women who were fabulous cooks. Just good ole plain food. Delicious dishes that made me want to learn how to give that to the people I love. Cooking is not just pots and pans and meat and taters....it's really a combination of a big dose of love (you gotta wanna!) and realistically, some skills that have to be developed and honed in order to be successful. Learning some basic cooking skills will carry anybody thru life. You gotta know what can go with what. You have to know how to season, and you better know there's a big difference between high heat and low heat. Lots goes on there in the middle. I'm not a great chef and I never claim to be, but I am a good cook and that's because I love what I do and I take pride in doing it the best way I know how. I study every day and sometimes the dog does eat my homework. I like to say that not every ball gets knocked out of the park, there have been many runs, drips and errors! (Just ask Gerald!) I think some folks are born with a talent and opportunity and mine happened to be cooking. Just like some people are born to be scholars, surgeons or scientists.........and they all gotta eat sometime!!!

Here's a great Quiche recipe that I got my friend Beverly. She came up with the original version. We served this at the little tea room she and I developed the menu for and it was a big hit. I added the mozzarella because I didn't have enough cheddar one day. The mozzarella gave it a real creamy texture. This is a great dish for any time of day or night. It makes a great easy and filling supper. I made this for brunch the morning after Christmas when the boys, their girlfriends and our grandson Logan was here. God Bless 'em...they are all good eaters and my cup "runneth over" that day!! comfortcook@gmail.com



CARPETBAGGER"S QUICHE

2 9 in. prepared pie crusts, thawed if frozen (store bought works great and I used the
boxed pre-rolled kind from the biscuit dough section)
1 Box frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained very well
1 small onion diced
1/4 cup (or more to taste) Bacon Bits (Please use Real bacon bits here)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 Extra large eggs
1 Large can evaporated milk
*Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (fresh ground makes a difference here)
A pinch of cayenne ( I think cayenne compliments cheese dishes; a pinch adds a
great background, not heat))

Preheat oven to 350. If using a pre-rolled pie crust, spray bottom of 9 inch pie pan.
1. Divide and sprinkle half the diced onions into each pie crust.
2. Follow with half the mushrooms over onions.
3. Add half the drained spinach layer over mushrooms and onions. (Spread evenly over top)
4. Top the spinach with the bacon bits
5. Sprinkle the mozzarella over entire layer

6.In a separate bowl, beat eggs and evaporated milk till well blended. Add salt (*remember bacon is salty and already in recipe) and both peppers, more black than cayenne.

7.Divide wet batter and pour evenly and gently into each crust. Top each quiche with the shredded cheddar ( and I do embellish here) and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. Quiche is done when sides are set and middle is still a bit spongy. To test, insert a butter knife and when it comes out clean, the quiche is ready. Do not over bake.
Cover with foil to keep warm or serve at room temperature with a big green salad and a crusty baquette or a loaf of warm bread. Softened butter (or margarine) with some honey mixed together is a great condiment to serve to spread on the bread.
Throw some fresh fruit in a bowl and you look like a pro and most importantly, it shows you care. "Comfort and Joy!"

TIP!!!!
To make one quiche, cut recipe in half, but use 4 whole eggs and 1 extra yolk. You can substitute any kind of cheese. For instance, Monterrey Jack and cheddar or pepper jack takes this dish south of the border. Add some chopped green chilies in addition to or in place of the mushrooms. Add ham, instead of bacon, green peppers, red peppers, steamed broccoli , chives.....play with it and make it your own. Just use the basic egg and milk mixture as your base.

1 comment:

Mule Shoe Farm said...

Yummm. What caught my eye was the comment about the cayenne adding background to the eggs. I have found this to be so true. After years of eating (and not enjoying) eggs with nothing added to them, I found that cayenne or chili pepper added just a little to the eggs really made them taste amazing. I also like my eggs with salsa - something that took me years to get the nerve to try.

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