Week 7 – Quiche Me – it’s Valentine’s Day

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I will be honest up front, this isn’t a totally new recipe to me. I have made it once before a long time ago. However, the week flew by and I needed a recipe. I decided to make Quiche for the family on Valentine’s Day and found this old recipe in my files. It is sooooo good. I actually wrote at the bottom of the recipe “Pass along – yummy.” I am sharing it with you this week. It truly is scrumptious. We devoured it. Actually, we ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture. I have the recipe though (Real Simple, January 2009).

I used one large onion instead of 2 medium onions. I had no parsley so I had no greens in it. I was going to add broccoli that I had in the refrigerator but I knew the kids wouldn’t eat it. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I decided to forgo greens. I added a 5th egg because I wanted more egg. Lastly, I used the cheese I had at home. It wasn’t Gruyère. I used 3/4 cup of Fontina and 1 1/4 cups of Quattro Formaggio from Trader Joe’s (picture of bag below). I highly recommend the Trader Joe’s cheese for Quiche. It’s fabulous. The kids suggested we add ham or bacon next time. I used a frozen pie crust I had in the freezer. You don’t need to thaw it, just pour the filling in and bake. Mine overflowed a bit onto the pan. Thankfully, I thought to put a cookie sheet with a lip underneath it.

I’m not sure how your family spends Valentine’s Day but since it’s normally on a school day, we have the tradition to celebrate at breakfast together. Today, we had strawberries, juice, Quiche, hot tea, and donuts. The kids got a few small gifts and of course, conversation hearts. However you celebrate, if you even celebrate, one thing to remember today is how much God loves you. I wrote my kids cards and said how much I love them. As I was writing, I was struck by how much more God loves them and me. It’s overwhelming. Although it may be a cliché verse (is that possible?), it says it best.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

The rainbow haired guy at the football and baseball games has it right. God loves us sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. We all have the ultimate Valentine if we choose to believe. Hoping you embrace His unconditional love today.

Dream Big!

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Week 6 – Stuffed Pasta

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Long week but I found time for a new recipe. Saturday night I made this for my family. Most of us liked it but decided it needed more seasoning. The recipe only called for garlic, salt and pepper. Not enough flavor. Also, I felt the ground beef tasted not only bland but a bit heavy. I always make a recipe as written the first time. Next time, I will add some seasoning and will use ground turkey. As you can see, another recipe with a lot of cheese. At least it added some flavor. In a pinch, I would make this with store-bought pasta sauce.

This was a fun recipe to make. I have never attempted homemade pasta sauce. I didn’t even know that large shell pasta existed to buy and stuff yourself. I found it inspirational to make. It had been a busy week and I enjoyed my hour in the kitchen preparing. I missed cooking “real” food this week. Lots of simple meals and a few frozen. Baseball, soccer, scouting, and other things filled our week. Having time to cook and prepare food fresh cleared my mind. I actually thought of other ways to stuff the shells to make them yummy. Maybe I will experiment with this recipe a bit. I am finding my cooking time is more refreshing that it has been in the past. These new recipes are a challenge but also a motivation. It is another busy week ahead but I will attempt to find something to add to the menu from scratch.

My encouragement to you this week is to find out what meals you prepare that relax you or inspire you. Make those regulars on your meal rotation. The time in the kitchen can be an escape from a busy week. I think I was more stressed making grilled cheese one night than the night I made the pasta. The main difference: I was not rushed to make the pasta. The grilled cheese night was make something quick, easy, and it needs to be ready 5 minutes ago. Those are not fun moments in the kitchen. This week I have one weeknight without a crazy schedule. I look forward to my kitchen time that day. On busy days, we need to eat. We do. On more relaxed days, we need to eat but we also get to savor the food and each other. Hoping for more of those days in our homes.

Here is my picture of my finished product and the recipe.

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Dream Big!

Week 3 – Three Cheese Baked Mac

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I have been looking for a good three cheese macaroni dish for some time now.  One of my kids ordered it at a restaurant and it was fabulous. After several failed attempts (including one made with cheese whiz from a jar), we found our recipe.  Week 3 is a success.  Yahoo.  It is an easy recipe. It is a yummy recipe.  It’s a new keeper in our home.  With 5 cups of cheese, it isn’t healthy. However, when Gouda, Swiss and sharp cheddar are combined, calories don’t matter.  We actually all decided diced ham would be tasty in here too.  So, I recommend it wholeheartedly, even though it isn’t heart healthy.

On a personal note, cooking for my family, although tiresome at times, is a joy.  I am not a great cook but I cook some good stuff.  We remodeled our kitchen several years ago and knocked out a wall to open up the kitchen to the living room. We also put a large workspace between the two rooms with a prep sink on the kitchen side and 3 stools on the living room side for my 3 kids. I can interact with them while doing my prep work. It is wonderful. I often include them in helping with a part of the meal.  Sharing the load, sharing conversation, and sharing life all happen before we even get to the dinner table.  Cooking is connecting.  Try Week 3 or a healthier option of your choice.  I encourage you to cook and connect.

On a side note, before my remodel, I had a long skinny galley style kitchen. I was completely cut off from the rest of the house.  If your kitchen is small, secluded, or just inconvenient for many people to be in there, I encourage you to ask one person to come help you each time you’re cooking.  It will allow connection and restore the joy of cooking.  If you are a lone cook because you prefer it done right, invite one person into your space and give them a task that isn’t crucial or just ask them to come sit while you cook.  The goal is connection not perfection.

Dream Big!

 

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