christmas quiche

caramelized onion and mushroom quiche

quiche is one of my favorite foods for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. it’s the perfect food in my opinion; eggs for protein, usually a veggie or two, the creamy cheese and flaky crust just compliment each other so well. my family does not agree. emmett (2 year old) won’t touch an egg, and ryan (husband) says “he’s not a quiche guy.” they had frozen pizza for dinner. whatever, more for me. traditionally my mom makes quiche and creamed chipped beef for breakfast on christmas morning. we’ll leave the chipped beef for another time, but coming up on christmas i had to get my quiche fix since we won’t be spending it in maryland. this is my mom’s recipe with my fillings. hope you enjoy, let me know in the comments! 🙂

ingredients
crust

1 cup all purpose flour
1 stick of cold unsalted butter
4 oz cold cream cheese

filling

1 medium sized sweet onion
8 oz white button or baby bella mushrooms
5 large eggs
2 tbsp butter (separated)
2 tbsp olive oil (separated)
1/2 cup milk – 2 percent or whole
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-6 oz grated cheese of choice – i used a shredded blend i already had but this would be amazing with fontina or gruyere as well
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pinch of salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard

instructions

the crust is the easiest part and can be made ahead of time and even frozen if needed. cut up one stick of cold, unsalted butter into small pieces and add to a medium sized bowl along with the flour and cold cream cheese. the cream cheese should also be cut into pieces. work the mixture together with your hands until everything is completely combined and comes together into a ball of dough. form it into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold. i ended up sticking mine in the freezer for a few minutes because i didn’t make it far enough in advance, and that’s fine too.

the oven will need to be preheated to 375 degrees, but you can do this at any point since the onions and mushrooms will take a little while, and can be made in advance. i did my onions in the morning, and then had to do naptime with kiddos before finishing the rest :). the first step of the filling is caramelizing the onions, which can take around 20-25 minutes. peel and thinly slice the onion, then heat a skillet or dutch oven to low heat, and add one tablespoon of the butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. cook the onions over low heat, stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes until they are a deep golden brown and almost falling apart. as the onions are cooking you can go ahead and slice up the mushrooms. set the onions aside and add the second tablespoon of butter and olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they have released most of their liquid, about 7-8 minutes. add the thyme to the mushrooms and cook for about 2 more minutes.

whisk together the eggs, milk, mayonnaise, pinch of salt, pepper, and ground mustard. then fold in the onions, mushrooms and cheese.

lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the pie crust, then place it into a pie plate or oven safe pan. do whatever your heart desires with the edges of the crust. i’m obviously not talented with pie crusts as you can tell by my rustic style… this crust is really forgiving and if it rips you can just mush it back together. then pour the quiche mixture into the crust, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. remove the foil and bake for 15-20 more minutes, until it is just set. let the quiche cool for at least10 minutes, then slice and serve!

easy weeknight pasta dish pt. 2

mushroom artichoke pasta

my mom whips up this super easy and quick pasta all the time and i’m completely obsessed with it. i’m also obsessed with artichokes so maybe that’s why. probably not toddler approved by most kids standards but for some reason my child loves mushrooms, artichokes, and broccoli (weirdest foods for a toddler to like). hope you enjoy!

ingredients

1/2 lb linguini or linguini fini
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small to medium onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
8 oz baby bella or white mushrooms
6 oz chopped artichoke hearts – mine were from ALDI, i love this store!
6-8 italian style whole peeled tomatoes – my favorite are Cento
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons white sugar
optional: fresh basil for garnish

instructions

put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. finely chop the onions, mince the garlic (or don’t, if you’re lazy like me and like to use pre-minced garlic from a jar), and chop the mushrooms into bite sized pieces. chop up the artichokes and set them aside. heat a large high sided skillet or dutch oven to medium heat, add the butter and olive oil, and then saute the onions until they start to become translucent. add the mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and the italian seasoning, and keep cooking the mixture until the mushrooms start to release some of their liquid. add the artichokes and white wine and simmer until it reduces by about half. the water should be boiling by now, so cook the pasta according to package directions. then take the tomatoes and SQUISH THEM into the pot. you could totally chop them up but squishing them is just so much more fun. add 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar to taste. i tend to like my pasta sauce a little sweeter. simmer the sauce until the pasta finishes cooking, then drain the pasta and add it directly into the sauce. finish by tossing everything together and garnish with fresh basil if desired.

hope you love this and let me know what you think if you try it! 🙂

pure comfort

chicken and dumplings – toddler approved!

this is what comes to mind when i think of comfort food. chicken and dumplings just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and best eaten in cold weather… despite living in southern california, it does get down to the 40s at night in the winter! we’ve all had a tough year, with the added stress of covid on someone who already struggles with anxiety, plus my husband being deployed, traveling across the country with a toddler and a baby, and california being on fire… i was really looking forward to the warmth and comfort of the holidays. emmett and josie both love this dish, and it’s one i’ll be making a lot this winter. hope you enjoy it as much as we do 🙂

ingredients

2 large chicken breasts
6 cups broth or stock – i used homemade turkey stock from thanksgiving, but as the queen would say, store bought is fine 😉
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 an onion
1 clove minced garlic
4-5 carrots – my kids both love carrots so i always add extra
2 stalks celery
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

dumplings
i used this recipe from allrecipes.com, and it was amazing. i’m firmly on team drop dumplings although my mom would strongly disagree. the only thing i did differently was melt the butter (recipe calls for margarine, but i don’t keep margarine around so butter it is) instead of cutting it in because i didn’t pay attention to the instructions. i also doubled it. you’ll need:
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk

instructions

this recipe is so easy. start by cooking the chicken however your heart desires, then shred it. i was being super lazy and actually threw them in the instant pot completely frozen with some chicken broth on manual for 15 minutes. dice up the onions, carrots and celery, and sauté them with the butter and olive oil on medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven until the onions start to become translucent. then add in the garlic, thyme, sage, parsley, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and continue cooking for about 2 more minutes. add your shredded chicken, white wine, stock or broth, and can of cream of mushroom. bring this to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. at this time also taste for salt and pepper, and season as needed. meanwhile, make up your dumplings. whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. add in the melted butter and milk, and mix until just combined. drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into the simmering soup (make them as big as you like!). simmer over low heat, partially covered for 30 minutes.

perfect pastries

savory mushroom and leek hand pies

clearly i’m on a mushroom kick… these savory hand pies are great as an app or paired with a salad or veg for a meal. fresh thyme and sage pair so well with the mushrooms and leeks. these would also be great with a little grated fontina or gruyere, but we didn’t have any cheese sitting around and they still turned out amazing. plus, they’re vegetarian! enjoy!

ingredients

8 oz white button mushrooms
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms
2 leeks – white and light green parts only
1 cup white wine – i’ve been loving this prophecy sauv blanc
1 cup vegetable broth – i used better than boullion… so flavorful
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves stripped off the stem
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil, separated
2 tbsp flour
*1 tsp sugar (if you use a sweeter wine, you may not need to add, but the wine i used was very dry so this helped offset the acidity)
salt & pepper to taste
2 packages frozen puff pastry dough
1 egg + 1 tbsp cold water for egg wash

instructions

start by slicing the leeks thinly, and placing them in a large bowl of cold water to rinse. you’ll want to separate all the layers to make sure there is no sand. remove them from the water and place on a sheet pan or plate with a paper towel to dry. cut all the mushrooms in a small dice, then heat a large skillet or dutch oven to medium heat, add the butter and olive oil and saute the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated and they start to brown. remove mushrooms and place in a separate bowl. add additional tablespoon of olive oil and add the leeks to the pan. saute over medium heat until they soften, about 5-6 minutes. add the mushrooms back in, along with the chopped sage, thyme, garlic, and pepper. cook this mixture together for about 2-3 minutes, or until you can smell the garlic. sprinkle the two tablespoons of flour over this mixture and continue to cook until the flour is absorbed, and at this point add the wine and vegetable broth. add your sugar, and salt to taste. bring this to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.

let the filling cool completely, and as it cools it will continue to thicken and reduce. while the filling is cooling you can thaw out the puff pastry according to the directions on the package. to bake the pastries, preheat your oven to 400. whisk the egg with one tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. on a floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry and slice the square into four smaller squares. put about 2-3 tablespoons of filling (depending on how big your squares are) onto half the puff pastry square, leaving space on the edge to seal it. use your finger to put a little egg wash around the edge, fold it over to make a triangle and crimp the edges with a fork. brush the egg wash over the top of the pastries, and then use a paring knife to cut a small slit in the top to vent. bake them for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. this recipe will make about 15-16 large hand pies, so definitely halve it if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd.


socal heat wave – instant pot butter chicken

instant pot butter chicken served with jasmine rice

Instant pot butter chicken with jasmine rice.

if you haven’t heard, socal is on the tail end of a massive heatwave, and we don’t have ac. no… we are not ok. hence i’ve been using the instant pot a ton, since i can’t stand over the stove or have the oven heating up the house any more. adapted this butter chicken recipe from cafe delites for the instant pot, changed a few things around and it turned out amazing. this sauce is what dreams are made of. disclaimer, i did still use the stove to brown off the chicken since i really don’t love the saute setting on the instant pot. also, i typically would never do this but i realized last minute that i didn’t have any onions so i substituted with dried minced onion. it turned out so well, i’d make it again that way.

marinade for chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of most fat (depending on how many people you’re feeding. I only had four thighs, but there is so much extra sauce you could definitely do 6).
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
*splash of white wine for deglazing the pan after browning

sauce

14 oz crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
*parsley or cilantro to garnish, if desired

instructions

make the marinade for the chicken by whisking together the greek yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, paprika, chili powder, turmeric, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. add chicken thighs and coat them all. cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight if you have time. start the sauce right in the instant pot by adding the crushed tomatoes, minced onion, grated fresh ginger, cumin, garam masala, coriander, chili powder, salt, and sugar. basically everything except the cream and butter. save these for later. simmer the sauce on the low saute setting while browning the chicken. heat a heavy bottomed pan (dutch oven or cast iron skillet) to medium-high. melt butter and add olive oil. brown the chicken in batches for about 3-4 minutes on each side, just to get a nice brown color. it will finish cooking in the instant pot. as they finish, add them to the sauce in the instant pot. once finished browning all chicken, add a splash of white wine to the pan and deglaze it using a wooden spoon (scrape all the brown bits off the bottom) then add all this flavor goodness into the instant pot as well. Set on manual for 12 minutes. allow to naturally vent for at least ten minutes before releasing valve. remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. add sauce to a blender, and blend until uniform. add back into the instant pot and stir in the heavy cream and butter, and add the chicken back into the sauce. serve over steamed basmati or jasmine rice, and garnish with parsley or cilantro if you like it!

instant pot strikes again… socal heat wave

instant pot butter chicken

if you haven’t heard, socal is on the tail end of a massive heatwave, and we don’t have ac. no… we are not ok. hence i’ve been using the instant pot a ton, since i can’t stand over the stove or have the oven heating up the house any more. adapted this butter chicken recipe from cafe delites for the instant pot, changed a few things around and it turned out amazing. this sauce is what dreams are made of. disclaimer, i did still use the stove to brown off the chicken since i really don’t love the saute setting on the instant pot. also, i typically would never do this but i realized last minute that i didn’t have any onions so i substituted with dried minced onion. it turned out so well, i’d make it again that way. stay tuned for vegetarian version!

marinade for chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of most fat (depending on how many people you’re feeding. I only had four thighs, but there is so much extra sauce you could definitely do 6).
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
*splash of white wine for deglazing the pan after browning

sauce

14 oz crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
*parsley or cilantro to garnish, if desired

instructions

make the marinade for the chicken by whisking together the greek yogurt, garlic, ginger, garam masala, cumin, paprika, chili powder, turmeric, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. add chicken thighs and coat them all. cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight if you have time. start the sauce right in the instant pot by adding the crushed tomatoes, minced onion, grated fresh ginger, cumin, garam masala, coriander, chili powder, salt, and sugar. basically everything except the cream and butter. save these for later. simmer the sauce on the low saute setting while browning the chicken. heat a heavy bottomed pan (dutch oven or cast iron skillet) to medium-high. melt butter and add olive oil. brown the chicken in batches for about 3-4 minutes on each side, just to get a nice brown color. it will finish cooking in the instant pot. as they finish, add them to the sauce in the instant pot. once finished browning all chicken, add a splash of white wine to the pan and deglaze it using a wooden spoon (scrape all the brown bits off the bottom) then add all this flavor goodness into the instant pot as well. Set on manual for 12 minutes. allow to naturally vent for at least ten minutes before releasing valve. remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. add sauce to a blender, and blend until uniform. add back into the instant pot and stir in the heavy cream and butter, and add the chicken back into the sauce. serve over steamed basmati or jasmine rice, and garnish with parsley or cilantro if you like it!