Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Thursday, February 23, 2012

crustless quiche

here is a great recipe for crustless vegetable quiche which was spectacular and delicious.

eliminating the crust on this recipe allows the quiche to be baked for a much shorter time.  after i tried this recipe, i think i am going to switch to this style of individual quiche, which could be used for a breakfast, brunch or even a light dinner.  actually, the options are endless depending on the vegetables used along with the cheese selection.

for this recipe, which i adapted from another one found in Martha's magazine, i used 2 baking dishes with an 8 ounce/1 cup capacity.  most of my ramekins are much smaller, so i opted to use these baking dishes.  they worked perfectly. 

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  spray the baking dishes with canola oil.  choose the vegetables for the quiche.  i had a small amount of frozen broccoli heads and some asparagus tips that i used this week for these quiches.  i microwaved them for 2 minutes to heat and soften.  to the vegetables, i added 3 eggs, 1/4 cup half and half, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  next, i stirred in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and combined.

place the baking dishes on a small baking sheet and ladle the broccoli mixture into the dishes.  place in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.

serve the quiche with fresh fruit or along side a garden salad.  this is a wonderful recipe that can be adapted in many ways.

incorporated into the mixture could be bacon, sausage, ham, green or red pepper, sauteed mushrooms, or onion.

a variety or cheese could be used as well, such as Swiss, Gruyere, fontina, or even pepper jack cheese.  this is a very durable recipe that is going to become one of my new "go-to" offerings.  Martha's recipe was for four servings, so i altered the ingredients to make two quiche.  so, if you need more for a party, double the ingredients.

here are the quiche ready to go into the oven.  the amount of ingredients was just perfect for these dishes.

lemon shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta

from coastal living magazine comes this easy pasta dish to make with shrimp and lemon. i adapted this recipe a bit right from the start, since it suggested serving the shrimp on linguine.  the angel hair pasta was very light and made for an easy fast quick meal.  angel hair pasta takes 3 minutes maximum to prepare.

to start the dish, cook the pasta according to package directions.

at the same time, heat one tablespoon oil in nonstick skillet on medium high heat.  add 1 chopped white onion and minced garlic to taste, about 1 teaspoon.  cook to soften the onion and then add 1/2 bag of 26-30 count cleaned shrimp to cook.  season with dried crushed red pepper to taste and chopped parsley.  as the shrimp is cooked, add the cooked pasta and stir.  add in 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest and 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice.  salt to taste.  toss to incorporate ingredients.  serve immediately.

this shrimp dish was tasty and bright from the fresh lemon.  i used some tomato angel hair pasta along with the traditional and the flavor was amazing. the crushed red pepper is essential and just a light sprinkle is all that is needed to really give the dish a nice sparkle.

rustic bread

over the years, i have clipped and saved hundreds of recipes from magazines and other books. i have a file of these recipes that i enjoy looking through and often selecting one or many for menu planning for the week.

here is a recipe that i had saved from country living magazine from last year, and decided to try it out a couple of weeks ago.  it is a rustic bread, meaning that is doesn't have a neat shape, and is baked on a sheet pan.  it is almost like a focaccia bread used for dipping in extra virgin olive oil.  it is chewy and dense and quite tasty.  this bread must be used within a couple of days or it will become hard.  it can be used for croutons after serving once or twice.

to make the bread, heat 1 cup of water, 2/3 cup of whole milk, and 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar over medium heat until 90 degrees.  i used a thermometer.  remove from the heat and stir in 1 ounce of fresh active yeast until dissolved.

next, in a large bowl, combine 5 cups bread flour with 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt.  pour into the bowl, the warm yeast mixture, and mix together using your hands.  it will become a soft sticky dough.  add more flour to form into a nice ball that can be kneaded for 5 minutes.  place dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a towel, allowing to rise for about 1 hour. 

after rising, punch dough down and form into a 10 by 7 rectangle about 2 inches thick.  place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with the towel again, and allow to rise for 1 hour more.

preheat the oven to 400 degrees, press fingerprints into the top of the dough, and add fresh or dried rosemary to the top of the loaf.  sprinkle with more coarse sea salt.  bake until golden and hollow for about 30 minutes. 

this is a fun easy bread to make and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or along with soup and salad.

stuffed zucchini

i am always searching for new ways to offer zucchini as a side dish.  here is a great recipe for stuffed zucchini which takes less than one hour to prepare and bake.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  using a spoon or melon scoop, remove the center of the zucchini to form a canoe.  i used two zucchini for our family, but this recipe may be increased to feed a larger group.

par boil the zucchini for about 5-8 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your vegetables.

remove from the pot and place in a ceramic baking dish.  meanwhile, in a skillet, heat one chopped white onion and some chopped mushrooms with a small amount of olive oil.  cook until softened. 

mix these ingredients with a shredded cheese of your choice such as: mozzarella, Gruyere, or Swiss. mix along with shredded Parmesan and a small amount of panko breadcrumbs.

stuff the zucchini and bake until the top is lightly browned and cheese is melted.  this will take approximately 20 minutes.

stuffed zucchini are a wonderful side dish served with grilled chicken, fish, or even pasta dishes.  other options for this dish would include adding chopped grape or cherry tomatoes or diced red, yellow or green peppers.