How This Started and My Hope For This Experiment

My Husband and I are both big fans of Jamie Oliver. For Christmas I bought him Jamie's cookbook "Jamie's 30 Minute Meals: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast". As I read the preface of his cookbook I was inspired by his ideas. He felt that he was spending too much time cooking during the busy week and doing too much clean up. So he decided that for the week night meals there needed to be something quick and still healthy and yummy. He and his team did a lot of work and made the "30 Minute Meals". He has explicit directions for step by step getting the meal done in 30 min. He tells you what to do first, second, and third so that you have all dishes going at the same time, instead of making it dish by dish. Since we aren't doing once a month cooking right now I was captured by this idea and dying to start trying. I have been spending way too much time in the kitchen during the week and can't wait to be able to prepare good meals fast. My husband was all for it since he loves to eat great food and has a very particular palette. He will be making some of the meals on weekends when he isn't working because, this is after all, his cookbook :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mixed Berry Trifle

Trifle is an interesting thing. It can be done in so many many ways and they are not all created equal. Some trifle's are made with cake mix and a box of pudding and some are made purely from fresh ingredients that just taste better. If you are temped ever to use a box just remember that it doesn't take that much more effort to make it a desert everyone will remember. This Mixed berry trifle is THAT GOOD. You will remember it and yes-do make enough for leftovers.

I used THIS RECIPE and only changed two things. Instead of using the orange juice and orange liquor I peeled three oranges and put them whole into my Vita-Mix and blended them until they were frothy. I measured out what I needed and my kids fought over the leftovers. It tasted like the Orange Julius's my mom used to make for us when we were kids. So much better than regular orange juice.

The second thing I changed was not by choice. If I could have found the mascarpone the recipe called for I would have happily used that, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get my hands on any around here and so I ended up using cream cheese instead. 
A little tip for using the cream cheese: make sure it is really soft before you use it. Leave in out on the counter until it is warmish. Then beat it in a mixer, scraping down the sides until it is really soft and will easily fold into the whipped cream. If it isn't soft enough, it will end up in lumps in the whipped cream instead of perfectly blended. But remember if you can get your hands on mascarpone use that instead and if not then the cream cheese is a great second.


We recently had an exciting and wonderful family event at our house when my son was baptized. I struggled to figure out what sort of food to feed everyone for luncheon afterwards. I wanted something yummy and comforting but also beautiful. Quiche seemed to fit the bill just perfectly. I ordered some new quiche pans for the project and since I like my quiche deep I decided on two 10" deep dish quiche pans. I read lots of reviews on different brands and some people seemed to think that non-stick was the way to go, while others seemed to prefer plain tin arguing that the non-stick wears off eventually and the tin lasts longer. So, I got one of each to test it out myself, and in 6 months I will let you know how things turn out :)

This quiche below is an Herb Quiche I adapted from a recipe my mother-in-law gave me. It has spinach, bacon, and cherry tomatoes with gouda and a hard vintage cheddar cheese. The recipe below is the one I started out with, but I used Gouda and vintage cheddar for the cheeses and added spinach and cherry tomatoes. And I made a homemade Pie Crust that was a 10" to fit my deep dish pans. I also had to 1.5 the recipe to fill up such a deep pan. 


1/3 LB cheese - about 1 3/4 C finely shredded (Jarlsburg, Muenster, Port de Salut, Fontina, natural Swiss Gruyere) ... I personally like Jarlsburg or Fontina
1/2 tsp Basil
1/4 tsp Marjoram, crushed
1 - 9 in frozen ready to bake pie crust (or fresh pie crust not pre-baked)
2 eggs
1 C heavy whipping cream
1/8 tsp pepper
(recipe calls for 1 tsp salt but I find it too salty so I leave out)
4 slices of bacon (optional)  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl combine cheese with spices. Sprinkle evenly in frozen pie crust. In small bowl, beat eggs, cream and (salt, if using) and pepper until well blended. Crumble cooked bacon on top of cheese. Pour liquid over top. Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Let set on counter at least 10 minutes before serving for eggs to set up.



The two quiche on the left are the Herbed Quiche and the two on the right are an Asparagus Leek Quiche that I adapted from here: Asparagus-leek-and-gruyere-quiche. Since I already had so much Gouda and Hard Vintage Cheddar cheese I just used those, but I suspect the gruyere would have been heavenly. 
One recipe of this wasn't enough to fill a 10" deep dish quiche pan either, so in the end I quickly added some more half and half,  a few more eggs, a few slices of cooked bacon broken up, and a handful of grape tomatoes sliced in half.
All in all the quiche were wonderful. The one thing I wish I could have done differently would be to have served them room temperature-warm. Because I made them all the day before they were cold out of the fridge and didn't have enough time to warm up to room temperature. But next weekend we have another big event coming up and I will get the chance to do this all over again and this time-they will NOT be cold.

I would love to know if you have a favorite quiche recipe so please share yours in the comments.