Category Archives: Edibles

In which I make quiche

So last Sunday (not yesterday, a week ago) I decided to make a quiche. Weirdly, I’d never made one before. I remember in the ’80s, they were a trendy thing for a while, a fancy-pants food item that people would make for potlucks and such. They were the kind of thing you’d sneak a piece of off the buffet table while the grown-ups were in the living room guffawing at something. I thought they were delicious. And then they fell out of favor. Kind of like the spinach dip in a loaf of round bread (delicious & clever!) that always appeared on those same buffet tables. Partly, of course, because they are neither low-fat nor low-carb, but also, I think because the foods we thought were oh, so sophisticated back in the day now seem kind of quaint.

Anyway, quiche is basically an egg pie or a frittata with a crust. I didn’t really use a recipe, but I consulted Simply Recipes for baking times and temperatures. The basic strategy is to pre-bake the pie crust, fill it with whatever you’re putting in it, pour the beaten eggs over top, and bake. Easy!

Quiche

Quiche

A form of stillness

[C]ooking is about being in relationship: to the ingredients, to the space I am occupying, to the people I am cooking for, to the life-force that enables this nourishment to happen. When I’m in relationship in this way, I’m also engaged in a form of stillness, … in a state of non-being. Or to put it another way, I’m participating in something deeper and more significant to my life than tending to my ego’s restlessness and dissatisfaction.

Dana Velden

I love Dana Velden’s Weekend Meditations at The Kitchn.

Spicy Potatoes & Fish

I didn’t take a photo. Too busy eating. Will have to make again 🙂

Spicy Potatoes

So, the secret to crispy on the outside, soft on the inside oven-fries or homefries or hashbrowns or what have you, is pre-cooking the potatoes. Chop the raw potatoes into the shape/size you want then either: microwave or parboil them. The length of time will depend on the size of the potato pieces. I don’t use the microwave for much (mostly defrosting & reheating some kinds of leftovers), but it does work well for precooking potatoes w/o creating extra mess or worrying about overcooking them. Essentially you want your potatoes to be pokeable with a fork, but still firm (not mushy/falling apart).

For this recipe, I chopped two medium-size Yukon Golds into ~1/2-inch square cubes.

While potatoes are precooking, make the spice mix:
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
zest of 1/2 a lime
sea salt
…or you know, whatever you like.

Toss potatoes with 1/4 cup coconut milk. Once coated, sprinkle with spice mix and toss until the spices are evenly distributed. Drizzle with olive oil and toss one more time. Place on oven-proof dish or baking sheet. Bake for 45 min @ 350F, tossing once or twice during baking time.

Perfection! Crispy, spicy, delicious!

Fish

Once the potatoes are baking, prepare the fish. Place fresh cod on parchment or foil. Smear with red curry paste, drizzle with juice & zest of 1/2 lime and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Wrap into a packet. Let sit until there is 10-15 minutes of cooking time left on the potatoes, then place in oven, and continue baking both fish & potatoes for the remaining time.

ETA 12.01.09: Photo!

Spicy Fish & Potatoes

Macaroni & Cheese

This week at TC, our Daily Writing Thread (which is actually a weekly thread with daily updates) somehow digressed into a discussion of mac & cheese. Which got me wondering if I’d ever posted my recipe. I searched and it doesn’t look like it, so here it is:

Macaroni & Cheese

3½ cups macaroni
¼ cup butter
3 tbsp flour
¼ tsp salt
1¾ cups skim milk
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
2½ cups old cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups for cheesy mix, ½ cup for topping)
1 cup bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Boil macaroni for 7 minutes; drain.
  3. While macaroni is cooking, stir together butter, flour, salt, milk, 2 cups cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a large bowl. (It’ll be lumpy/imperfectly combined. Don’t worry about it. The next step will take care of it.)
  4. Add macaroni and stir with wooden spoon until butter and cheese are melted and cheesy mix is completely blended.
  5. Pour into 7×11 baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe adapted from The Absolute Beginner’s Cookbook.

By request: Pizza!

Pizza

Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp honey to 1 cup hot (tap, not boiling) water. Stir. Sprinkle 1 tbsp yeast over the water mixture and let sit 5 minutes, until yeast is foamy.

Meanwhile, mix 1/2 tsp salt with 2 cups flour.

Stir yeast mixture briskly, add to flour, combine to form dough. Knead dough 8-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary.

Rub dough with olive oil, place in bowl, and cover. Let rise in warm place for ~1 hour. Punch dough down and shape into circle.

Sprinkle pizza pan (the kind with holes) with cornmeal. Place dough on pan. Add toppings.

Place pizza in cold oven on bottom rack and bake at 500°F for ~20 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese is melted.

22: The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair

Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen blog is one of my favorite food blogs and so I picked up her cookbook.

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook has a nice design. It’s hardcover (with a dust jacket even; that might be overkill for a cookbook ;-)). Every recipe is illustrated with a photo of the finished dish. This makes for good inspirational browsing—perfect coffee table material.

It opens flat and stays open, which is nice if you’re actually using it to refer to while cooking. Wouldn’t want to get sticky fingerprints on these pages. (Always the dilemma with a shiny cookbook—who wants to sully the pages with cooking debris? Solution: pull up the recipe on the blog and sully your laptop instead! hah!)

Aside: all these food bloggers who take amazing photos make me long for better light so I could take better food photos. But alas. I will just have to do the best I can with my crappy light situation.

The book strikes a good balance between personality and practicality. Recipes range from appetizers to dessert and everything in between. I especially liked that there was a sauce section, as well as various sauces/marinades included throughout. I don’t have any qualms throwing together ingredients on my own, but some guidance in the saucy area is always welcome, since the right sauce can shift a dish from ok to awesome.

Inspired to make a few things I hadn’t thought of attempting before, like potstickers and spring rolls. On the other hand, I may also have to make the food court sweet & sour chicken, just because lol! 🙂

ETA: I did make the sweet & sour chicken, since I had pretty much all the ingredients on hand and it used up some of the ketchup that’s been languishing in my fridge. It really did mimic the flavors of the “classic” dish, but the sauce was too sweet for my liking. If I made it again, I’d cut back on the sweet and add more sour/salty/spicy flavors. Especially spicy! It was crying out for some heat. (ymmv, of course!)

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Confetti Cake

I always have confetti cake on my birthday (which, yes, was a while ago, but I just got around to uploading photos).

The “frosting” is whipped cream folded with coconut and crushed pineapple.

Confetti Cake

Lately, it’s been hard to find actual confetti cake in a box. But fortunately, it’s easy to diy a confetti cake with plain angel food cake plus sprinkles.

Confetti Cake

Frittata

Frittata

I haven’t had a recipe post in a while, so here goes.

I made this up as I went along and it was totally inspired by leftovers / what we had on hand (the best kind of recipe!).

  • oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bag spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 russet potato, very thinly sliced
  • feta
  • 2 cups egg whites
  • 4 eggs
  • parmesan
  • oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat oil in an oven-safe pan (I used a 12″ skillet). Add onion and saute until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk egg whites, whole eggs, parmesan, oregano, salt & pepper together.

Add spinach to onions and toss until spinach is wilted. Lay potatoes in pan and cook until translucent (if the potatoes are sliced thinly enough, this should just take a few minutes).

Crumble feta into pan and pour in egg mixture.

Bake for 20-25 min @ 350°.

Red Red Wine

So first there was this:

Catena Malbec

which I picked up to try on a whim before I realized Malbecs are trendy right now. Regardless! Yum, yum.

And then there was this:

Golden Beaver Winery

wherein we went to the winery because of the name. (Beavers rock!) This was my favorite of the ones we tasted.

Most recently, there was this:

Twisted Tree Six Vines

which The Villa Rosa in Penticton has as a wine-by-the-glass. It was a bit spendy for one glass, but I’m so glad I went for it. I could tell this one was going to be awesome before I even tasted it because it just smelled that good.