Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pesto Parmesan Quiche

This started as a concoction that I wasn't sure would work out, but it did...oh yes, it did! I've made other quiches before and they always turn out OK...but this...THIS was the creamiest, cheesiest perfect quiche. Make this as soon as culinarily possible!

Pesto Parmesan Quiche

1 9" deep dish pie crust (mine was frozen)
6 eggs, beaten (6 was almost too much...I might try 4 or 5 next time, FYI)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 T prepared basil pesto
Salt & pepper
1 T olive oil
1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 t italian seasoning
1/2 C mozzarella cheese
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1/2 C shredded chicken (optional, but this was our dinner so I wanted a little more substance)

1. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat slightly. Transfer to blender. Add heavy cream, pesto, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth. It should be a delicious seafoam green.

2. In a small saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil. When the oil is heated, add onions, grated garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, italian seasoning, salt & pepper. Saute until onions are translucent.

3. In a 9" pie crust (do not thaw it), add the onion mixture, chicken, and cheeses.

4. Pour the egg mixture over everything and stir around to evenly distribute the yummy contents.

5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes in a 375 degree oven until it is set and no longer jiggles like your thighs will after you eat this quiche.

6. Let sit for about 5 minutes before you cut into it's gooey goodness. Serve warm.

Appetizer Menu

Last month I had a Mary Kay & Cookie Exchange party for my dear friend Carla. It was a lot of fun to combine the two events into one. We had a small crowd, which was good for my small condo; I ran out of space to display everyone's cookies! Traditionally at a cookie exchange, you don't actually eat the cookies - you just pick them out and take them home. So, for this party I wanted to make some appetizers for us to nibble on!

I made Sweet & Sour Meatballs, Carla made a spinach & artichoke dip (I don't have her recipe but I'll see if she'll let me put it on here!), I made a tomato & feta dip (recipe below) and finally, Fruit Bruschetta (recipe below) for dessert. It was really good and just enough to fill us up.

Tomato & Feta Dip

This couldn't be easier or more flexible. My friend Natalie gave me this recipe and I love it.

1 loaf french bread, cut into pieces
1 jar of tomato/spaghetti sauce (make it easy on yourself and buy prepared sauce - I usually buy Hunts Spaghetti sauce for this)
1 container of feta cheese, crumbled

Combine sauce and feta in a small sauce pan and heat up over medium heat. Serve warm with bread pieces to dip!

Fruit Bruschetta (from -- check out the recipe page for pictures)

This was a huge hit. Everyone loved it and it was so easy and fun to make and it looks beautiful when it's all plated. Use any combination of fruit that you love. I don't care for bananas and didn't have kiwi, so I used strawberries and they were good all by themselves. It might be cool to use different flavors of yogurt, too. Vanilla was tasty though! **Watch the bread when you put the oven on broil - I definitely burned some of these and had to throw them out because I got preoccupied!

1 loaf of French bread (sliced into 16, ½ inch thick slices)
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
4 kiwi fruit (peeled and chopped)
2 bananas (diced into small cubes)
10 large strawberries (diced)
2 tablespoons orange juice
3-4 tablespoons vanilla yogurt
Honey (for drizzling)

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the bread slices on a large baking sheet. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Brush toast slices with butter on one side.
Step 2: Combine 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of sugar and sprinkle with mixture evenly over the buttered side of the toast. Broil in a preheated broiler for 30 seconds or until tops are bubbling. Remove and allow them to cool.
Step 3: In a bowl toss fruit with orange juice and remaining cinnamon and sugar. Spread yogurt on the top of each piece of top, top with fruit and drizzle with honey.(Makes 16 Bruschetta)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

I made this the other night for my parents and my Dad actually said it was one of the top 3 favorite meals that I've made for them! Wow! I got this from Tasty Kitchen, which is one of my favorite cooking sites. It's recipes that people submit and they're approved by the Pioneer Woman herself (read her blog - it is hilarious and delicious!).

My Notes: I made this recipe exactly as it said and it really was delicious and super easy. I love my crock pot! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (from

2 pounds Stew Meat
2 cans Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream Of Mushroom Soup
½ cups Chopped Onion
1 clove Chopped Garlic
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 package Onion Soup Mix
½ cups Water
1 bag Egg Noodles
4 ounces, weight Softened Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Sour Cream

1. In crock pot, add the meat, soups, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion soup mix, and water.
2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
3. Prepare egg noodles per package.
4. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream just before serving. Mix in egg noodles.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Salmon with Tomato Salsa, Quinoa & Crunchy Noodle Salad

I felt pretty impressive after I made this meal the other night. Like a gourmet chef. I saw Giada De Laurentiis make this on the Food Network and loved it. I'm always looking for ways to make salmon because my husband isn't a huge fan of fish. Luckily he likes salmon pretty well so when it's on sale, I stock up and freeze it for a rainy day. This recipe is adapted from Giada's recipe because I didn't have all the ingredients.

My Notes: When you get salmon at the grocery store, ask the fish monger to cut off the skin on the bottom. It helps take off a little bit of fat and removing the skin will make a nice caramelization on both sides of the fish. Never heard of agave nectar? Neither had I till recently when my sister-in-law introduced it to our family. It's an organic, all-natural sweetener - a great alternative to sugar & honey. You can pretty much find it anywhere now. If you can't, then use honey...either one is fine! I served this with quinoa (very healthy, look for it on the rice aisle) and Crunchy Noodle Salad (recipe coming soon!).

Salmon with Tomato Salsa, Quinoa & Crunchy Noodle Salad

For salsa:
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
  • 1 lemon - use zest & juice

Combine all ingredients in small bowl, mix together and set aside.


  • Small amount of canola or vegetable oil for grill or saute pan
  • 2-4 center cut salmon fillets, skinned
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat grill or saute pan over medium-medium high heat. Drizzle some oil in the pan. Brush both sides of salmon with agave nectar & season with salt & pepper. Grill/saute till the fish is cooked through and remove to a plate. Spoon salsa over the fish.