Tagged: cheddar

Quiche Me!

winter is coming?

It really is just that kind of day. Cold, snowy, and not even halfway through the week yet. Apparently it’s supposed to be, literally, 5 degrees for the next few days. I am so not prepared for that. People keep telling me that, with pregnancy, comes being hot all the time. Well, folks, I’m two days shy of the halfway point and I am waiting for it to hit me. NOTHIN!! I’m always freezing. *sigh*

Oh well, at least bacon always makes me feel better! OOOOOOO!!! And cheese, too, let’s not forget about cheese!!

bacon, broccoli, and cheddar quiche

One day soon, I may share a recipe with you guys that DOESN’T have bacon in it. Today is not that day. Today, I’m actually re-sharing a recipe with you.  Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Quiche! Noms! I first made this quiche on a snowy day in college. Of all of my “standard” recipes that I make fairly regularly, this is one of Johnny’s favorites!!

It’s really simple to make, because I use store-bought pie crust. Go ahead and judge me if you want, but I’ll be eating my quiche waaaaaay faster than you’ll be eating yours. 😉

All things considered, this quiche isn’t all too unhealthy, either, and we all know by now that makes me jump for joy! Also, for all you other preggers out there you can take solace in knowing that broccoli is loaded with folate, calcium, and vitamin C!! So mangia!

I have a few tips for keeping your quiche delicious, using the real ingredients that make it so perfect, while still keeping it on the lighter side!

  1. Use a ratio of half whole eggs and half egg whites: You still get the perfect yellow of the egg yolks throughout your quiche without all of the extra cholesterol with even more protein from bulking it out with egg whites!
  2. Don’t use cream: Use low-fat milk instead. I pretty much only ever have skim milk on hand. It’s all Johnny and I drink. I promise this quiche is still fluffy and rich with no cream at all!
  3. Layer your ingredients: This is key! Start with a layer of bacon on the bottom, that way even though you only use 4 slices (per quiche) when it’s crumbled up and covers the bottom of your pan you are guaranteed to have bacon in every bite and it will hit your taste-buds immediately! Then add all of the broccoli, which is also delicious, just ya know…not bacon. Pour your egg mixture in next. The last layer is the cheese on top. Rather than mix in copious amount of delicious cheese (which I’m certainly not always opposed to), just sprinkle a handful on top. The cheese gets melty and beautifully browned on top. Eating with your eyes is a real thing, ya know. You see the cheese on top and you know that means there is cheese in it (even though it’s just on top! tricky!) I promise you will be satisfied!

quiche

Bacon, Broccoli, and Cheddar Quiche

  • 2 frozen, ready-made pie crust (thawed)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 bag steam-able frozen broccoli prepared to package directions
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 .

Prick the bottom of your pie crusts all over with a fork (to prevent bubbles from forming during cooking) and place in the oven for about five minutes, just until you begin to smell it. Remove and set aside.

Place the chopped bacon into a large frying pan. Cook over medium high heat until brown and crispy, about seven minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, spices until it forms a smooth mixture.

Place your pie crusts onto a large cookie sheet (this makes transferring two quiches from the oven at the same time much easier).

Add the bacon to the bottom of your pie shells, followed by the broccoli. Pour half of the egg mixture into each the reserved pie crusts. Top each with 1/4 cup of cheese.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the cheese on top is melted and brown.

Let cool about 15 minutes before serving.

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Yum! Don’t you just love getting a serving of veggies in at breakfast time?!

Maybe that’s just me??

Let’s try that again, then.

Yum, don’t you just love quiche!

 

slice o'quicheWhat’s your favorite type of quiche??

Better yet…what’s your favorite BRUNCH  food?!

Do you have any tricks for making foods that are typically unhealthy healthier?

Get Loaded

Howdy ya’ll!

Happy Tuesday!

Is it frrrrrrreeeeeeezing by you?? I can’t tell you how many screenshots of thermometer apps I’ve seen on Facebook today. We all know it’s 2 degrees out. I found it hard to believe that so many schools and businesses shut down today. So…. it’s a cold day instead of a snow day? Meh, whatevs! It’s probably only 7 degrees in my office (but that’s every day). Gosh, do I sound kind like a grump or what?! I guess I’m just jelly because I would have enjoyed a cold day, too. *sigh* In honor of these sub-zero (well…almost) temperatures today, I decided the best solution is to get loaded (baked potato soup)!!

Whhhatttt?!

Gosh. I know, I’m hilarious.

But seriously.

This Loaded Baked Potato Soup is awesome and pretttttttty foolproof. It’s even more foolproof if you have an immersion blender (thanks, Mom) but is still quite simple with a potato masher or regular blender. This soup is so think and rich that you’d never guess it’s actually quite lite!! I leave the skins on my potatoes, because that’s where all of the good stuff (ya know, nutrients and the like) are! If you don’t care for them, feel free to peel your potatoes. The topppings are what make this soup extra fun (if you read my recent chili post you know how I feel about toppings!) – I use bacon, cheddar, and green onions. If you dig sour cream – throw some of that on here, too. I’ve added steamed broccoli on top before, but I was fresh out when I made this last night. I’ve also added some frozen sweet potato chunks to the mix in the past, too. It makes the soup look extra cheddar cheesy without adding the extra cheese!. I didn’t have any of those last night either. But this soup is delicious no matter how you make it! Stay warm!

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 5 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 1 28oz containter of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8oz block of nefchatel or reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Toppings: Cooked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Green Onion, Sour Cream, Steamed Broccoli, or Whatever Else You Fancy!

Add the potatoes and the chicken broth to a large pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and mashable.

Remove the soup from the heat. Add the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic, salt, and pepper. With your weapon of choice (mine was my immersion blender) carefully puree your soup until all of the ingredients are combined to your desired consistency. I prefer this soup to be creamy, but if you want to leave in some chunks go ahead!

Return the soup to medium heat. Add the milk and stir well to incorporate.

Serve immediately with whatever toppings you like!
baked potato soup

Quincy was like “Daaaaad, is there any bacon left?!” He’s too cute sometimes! Quincy smells bacon

Ridiculous, Cheesy, Perfection

I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!!

I had a fabulous Pre-Christmas weekend with my family (I’ll recap it after today’s recipes!!) But  good heavens, I can’t wait to get home tomorrow, hunker down with some Wonton Soup and Sesame Chicken from our favorite Chinese take-out place, snuggle up on the couch, and watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town!! We will also be exchanging gifts with my husband’s family – which they do on Christmas Eve. I will also shamelessly prepare a big pan of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies to enjoy.  This is the way I’ve spent every Christmas Even for quite some time now and it’s traditions like these that I love and I think make the holidays so special?? What do you and your family do on Christmas Eve? What is your FAVORITE holiday tradition?  

Now last week I promised I would share a recipe with you that, I’m telling you, is the epitome of ridiculous, cheesy, perfection.  To cut through the richness of this AMAZING mac & cheese, I served it with a light kale and pomegranate salad. This salad is pretty fabulous, too, I can’t lie to you. It’d be great as a meal all on it’s on with a nice piece of bread to go with it. It’d also be great with a little crumbled feta or goat cheese in the mix. However, I didn’t think 6 cheeses were necessary on the evening I prepared this! I will share that recipe below, too!!

macandsalad

 

5 Cheese Pancetta Mac & Cheese

  • 2 lbs cavatappi pasta, or pasta of your choice
  • 1 lb white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 8 oz diced pancetta
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg

Begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high  heat in a large pot or sauce pan. Add the pancetta and onion and saute until the pancetta is crisp and the onions begin to soften and caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining butter and flour and stir well to combine. Let the flour mixture cook for about 3 minutes, until the flour begins to brown. Slowly whisk in the 2 cups of milk and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the cream cheese cubes and continue to whisk until the cream cheese melts into the mixture.

Combine the remaining cheeses in a large bowl, and reserve 1/2 cup for topping.

Add the remaining cheeses to the cream cheese mixture and whisk very well until all of the cheese is melted. This sauce will be on the thicker side.  Keep whisking.  Add the black pepper and nutmeg. Whisk a bit more.

Drain the pasta just shy of al dente and add it directly to the cheese sauce. Fold the pasta into the cheese sauce and transfer it to a large baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and place in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and brown.

Let sit for about 5 minutes before digging in!!

macandcheese

 

Kale and Pomegranate Salad

For the Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced fine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar or a container with a tight fitting lid. Make sure the lid is secure and shake, shake, shake until everything is combined! Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.

For the Salad

  • 2 cups kale leaves, cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 large pear, sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine all of the ingredients in  a large salad bowl. Toss well to combine and add as much dressing as you like! This salad is safe to make an hour or two ahead of time, as kale is sturdy enough to hold up to the dressing!!

kalesalad

 

If you make either of these recipes, please let me know how the come out for you!!!

Now onto my weekend recap!!! We spent Friday night in NYC with Bill and Susan and had a fabulous Italian Dinner at Daniela on 8th Avenue. The muscles were amazing and I ate my fill of them and sopped up the ridiculous creamy tomato broth with the hot, fresh bread they provided. Susan and I went splitsies on Penne al la Vodka, which was perfect – and a linguine dish in a garlic white wine sauce with calamari, muscles, and clams. You couldn’t pick a favorite!!

Of course we stopped by the tree in Rockefeller Center!! The weather was a bit warmer than we anticipated, so there was no snow on the ground. It was lovely to walk around and not freeze, though!!

Here is my obligatory photo with the hubs by the tree!! It’s so pretty. I love it so much.

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Saturday, we met up with some of my extended family for dinner at the Palisades Mall and had a fabulous time!! Here are some photos of the action!

Me & My Papa Bear
I always have the worst eyes in pictures!!! But here I am with my Dad!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's Susan and I being pretty and wearing adorable scarves!!
Here’s Susan and I being pretty and wearing adorable scarves!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I photo bomed their picture with Uncle Santa!
I photo bombed Bill and Susan’s picture with Uncle Santa…muhuhaha!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, Chris, Johnny, Uncle Bob, & Sarah
Here I am with my little brother Chris, Johnny, my little sister Sarah, and my Uncle Bob (Santa!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wonderful time was had by all!!! We exchanges cookies and wine (among other gifts) and enjoyed our holiday time together!!

Sunday morning Susan and I met up with our great friend Desirae for breakfast at my most favorite diner. I finally met Desirae’s boyfriend and we discussed our little buns in the oven! I’m afraid I have no photos of that to share, but it’s all good.

Johnny and I ended our weekend meeting up with Melinda and Kyle and our friend Sue, her husband Matt, and their little man Juddah, who is probably the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen!!

Finally, woo this has been a marathon post, I’d like to wish my mother and her best friend Debbie BOTH a very happy birthday!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA & DEBBIE!! 

That’s all for now, folks!!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

XX/OO