Tag Archives: Quiche

Meal Planning!

22 Jul

I really like to cook and I love to bake but sometimes dinner is hard. You know, when you’re driving home from work thinking “What am I going to make for dinner?” and the easiest thing is just stop off and pick something up. I never seem to have the groceries I want on hand or the energy to even make a decision about what I want. Last January one of my New Year’s goals was to start planning my meals and it made a huge difference. For about two weeks. I knew what I was going to have for dinner that week, went grocery shopping ahead of time, everything was perfect. Except for the meal planning part. When I sat down on Saturday morning I could never think of what meals I wanted and ended up rotating through the same seven or so.

Well, I’m trying something new this year. Totally inspired by Decor and the Dog’s Meal Planning Tips I made a list of 30 meals – things I’ve served for beer dinners, tried and true family favorites, a few randoms like breakfast for dinner and grilled cheese and tomato soup. Then, I made magnets that listed each of my 30 options. (I also included a “Dinner Out” and “Try a New Recipe” magnets to mix things up.)

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Next, I wrote each recipe out on an individual card, listing the perishable vs. non-perishable ingredients separately. Each recipe got it’s own number, too, on both the magnet and card. That way, I can easily look up the ingredients for each meal and make a grocery list.

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The idea is that the 30 magnets will go into my cute retro flower jar and on Saturday morning I can pull out 4-6 meals (depending on what the upcoming week looks like) and voila! meal planning done!

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I made a frame to contain my magnets on the fridge. I like Decor and the Dog’s suggestion of not assigning a particular meal to a particular night so there’s flexibility. Next up, a trip to Costco to stock up on some of the non-perishables!

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Meals I included:

  1. Vegetarian Chili
  2. Tortilla Soup
  3. Black Bean Sliders
  4. Lentil Soup
  5. Potato Soup
  6. Mini Tamale Pie
  7. Shrimp Creole
  8. Taco Casserole
  9. Spinach Manicotti
  10. Veggie Pasta Bake
  11. Fried Rice
  12. Enchiladas
  13. Lasagna
  14. Baked Macaroni & Cheese
  15. Stuffed Potatoes
  16. Stuffed Bell Peppers
  17. Quiche
  18. Potato Galette
  19. Baked Veggies & Rice
  20. Southwestern Egg Rolls
  21. Quinoa Patties
  22. Pizza
  23. Spaghetti or Ravioli
  24. New!
  25. Dinner out!
  26. Grilled cheese & tomato soup
  27. Breakfast for dinner
  28. Black Bean Empanadas
  29. Spaghetti Squash Casserole
  30. Shrimp Fettuccine & Asparagus
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Quiche Co-Op Cook’s Challenge

19 Feb

My local Co-Op posted their first “Cook’s Challenge” on Valentine’s Day and I decided to give it a whirl. The challenge was for quiche – imaginary bonus points for making the crust yourself! I actually consider myself a fairly decent quiche maker already. Personally I love that you can throw basically anything in there with some cheese and eggs and it tastes delish. Usually I just toss ingredients together when I bake a quiche so this time I actually (mostly) followed the Co-Op’s “How To” guide and got some pretty good results.

I decided to make the crust the night before because 1) I already had the butter out for another cooking project and 2) I knew I’d never make the crust on a weeknight. First I cut the butter into small chunks. Oh sweet, sweet butter.

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Then I blended it with the flour and salt with my pastry cutter. I like my pastry cutter – I think it beats my mom’s technique of two butter knives, but I definitely dream of a food processor someday.

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After the butter was mixed in with the flour I added a few tablespoons of water until a dough formed. And let’s be honest – the dough doesn’t magically form the way recipes say. I got my hands in there and smushed that buttery-flour together. (See my new spatula? Purple! It’s the small things in life…)

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I planned on using the dough the next day so I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge.

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I’m sorry Co-Op, your dough recipe was good but I prefer this one. Maybe it was because I prepared it ahead of time, but it was hard to roll out and didn’t really stick together.

I did manage to get the dough rolled out though.

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And fit cutely into the pie pan.

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But….I forgot that it would shrink down when I baked it so it was less of a pie crust and more of a pie bottom. Whatever – it worked!

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For fillings I decided to go with zucchini and bell pepper. I had planned on mushrooms but the friend I was sharing dinner with isn’t a fan so I actually stopped at the Co-Op on the way home from work to get the peppers!

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Saute!

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Next, the best part. Layer the cheese on the bottom (I went with swiss this time, although often I just use whatever I have in the fridge) and add the veggie mix.

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Then, pour the egg and milk mixture on top.

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IMG_7792I was going to pair this with New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Trippel, a totally delicious beer with crisp spices, but my friend and I drank the beer while the quiche was cooking instead. Oops.

It was kind of a lot of prep for an after-work, weeknight dinner but with the good company (thanks Katy!), good beer, and good food at the end, it was worth it!

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Also, leftover pie crust….cinnamon-sugary dessert! (And yes, the corner is missing. Dessert got done before dinner so we just had to sample it!)

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Davis Co-Op’s Quiche Recipe (Original recipe here)

Everything you’ll need:

For the crust-

  • 3/4 cups cold butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 Tablespoons very cold water (stick it in the freezer!)

For the quiche-

  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup veggies (you choose!)
  • 1 cup grated cheese (you choose!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

For the crust-

  1.  Cut the butter into small pieces and combine with the flour & salt.
  2. Use a pastry cutter, two knives, or a food processor to cut the butter into the flour. You’ll still have chunks of butter visible, but the more you cut the smaller they’ll be. (If you don’t have a pastry cutter, two butter knives work fine – literally, making a cutting or slicing motion in the mixture. You’ll feel silly because you’re not actually “cutting” anything but it works.)
  3. Add 4 Tablespoons of cold water and mix until the dough starts to stick together. Add extra water as needed.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and mush together a bit more.
  5. Roll the dough out into a circle that’s about 2-1/2 inches bigger than the top of your pie plate. The less you have to handle and roll out your dough the better. Then, put your pie plate upside down on your dough and cut around it, about 2 inches away from the rim.
  6. Put your pie crust in the pan and bake for about 7 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the quiche-

  1. Saute the onion and veggies until tender.
  2. Sprinkle the shredded cheese onto the prepared and baked pie crust. Add the veggie mixture on top.
  3. Mix together the eggs and milk in a separate bowl, season to taste, then pour over the cheese/veggie mix.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes until golden and just set. Let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving.