100% Homemade Spinach Quiche

A few weeks ago my mom, who is gluten free and had been craving quiche for months, ordered five bags of gluten-free pie crust mix online. When it came in the mail, she was so excited to have quiche for the first time in five years, that I knew I had to get cooking right away. So, I spent the entire next Saturday making her two quiches and a lemon pie with gluten free crust.

When scouring the internet for recipes, I found a quiche recipe online with steller reviews and decided to get cooking. The recipe called for an entire half-cup of butter, and before I realized the amount of butter 1/2 a cup was, I had already put it in the quiche. Unfortunately the quiche came out a little too buttery and wet for my mom’s taste, so I knew that I would have to try again. On the second try, I only added two tablespoons of butter, used fresh spinach, and added a little bit more salt and was pleased to find that the quiche tasted perfect! I would highly reccomend using as many fresh ingrediants as possible. The fresher the better!!!

ENJOY! oh… and here are a couple link to some good gluten free pie crusts…

1. https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Rabbit-Gluten-Pastry-16-4-Ounce/dp/B007SM715K/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496112570&sr=8-8&keywords=gluten%2Bfree%2Bpie%2Bcrust%2Bmix&th=1

2. https://www.amazon.com/Glutino-Gluten-Free-Pantry-16-Ounce/dp/B000EVIDVI/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496112617&sr=8-3&keywords=gluten+free+pie+crust+mix

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    • I would reccomend substituting for 10oz of microwaved fresh spinach for fresher ingredients.
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
  • 8 ounce shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
    • For a recipe for a pie crust see below.
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk (skim milk for low-fat option))
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Non-Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe (NyTimes Cooking Recipe)

  • 145 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter (1/4 pound), cut in 1/8-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Directions

  1. Put flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Add butter and quickly cut it into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add ice water and mix briefly, about 30 seconds, to form a soft dough. Remove dough, shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring to cool room temperature before rolling.
  3. To roll, lightly flour dough and counter. Roll out gradually, periodically letting dough rest for a moment before continuing. This makes rolling easier and will keep dough from shrinking back during baking.
  4. Roll dough to a thin round approximately 13 inches in diameter, then trim to make a 12-inch circle (refrigerate and save trimmings for patching). Lay dough loosely into a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, letting it relax a bit. Fold overlap back inside to make a double thickness, then press firmly against the pan so the finished edge is slightly higher than the pan. Refrigerate or freeze for an hour before pre-baking.

Love,

Ally

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow

So it seems like the cooking-debate of the year is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. Is this dish called Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallow or Yams and Marshmallow? According to my husband, Google, the yams you see in Grocery stores are usually not TRUE yams, which are native to Asia and Africa and are found in international markets or abroad. The yams in grocery stores are simply a firmer form of the regular sweet potato, with extremely subtle differences in the flavors. Interesting, right?

I’m not exactly sure what to say about this dish except for that it was by far the best dish of the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone at my Thanksgiving meal got second helpings of the dish and at one point told me how delicious it was. I know many people are impartial to the idea of marshmallows over sweet potatoes, but this dish was absolutely incredible. While it is very sweet, every single ingredient works to perfectly combine the flavors of the central ingrediants.

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INGREDIENTS

4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

3 cups miniature marshmallows

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.
  3. Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown. (about 3 minutes).

Love,

Ally

Homemade Classic Turkey Stuffing

There is no better time for someone who enjoys cooking to cook than November and December. From Thanksgiving dinner, to peppermint cookies to Hanukkah latkes to New Years Eve appetizers, there is such a large variety of things you can cook and bake during these winter months. Due to my holiday spirit and enthusiasm, I have decided that I am going to, until the end of the holiday season, continue to bake only winter and holiday related recipes.

Staying in the realm of classic holiday dishes, I ultimately decided that this week I was in the mood to make some classic Thanksgiving stuffing. Although this recipe seems, at first glance, to have nothing about it that differs from store bought stuffing packs, the vitality of freshly cut bread in stuffing is evident after making this recipe. The fresh bread makes the dish taste much fresher and the rest of the ingredients more flavorful. Although stuffing has always been one of my favorite holiday dishes, making it from scratch is always extraordinarily better.

This stuffing was fresh out of the oven when we ate it and would be perfectly complimented by any other Thanksgiving dish (OF COURSE!!) and some homemade turkey gravy. Happy December!!!!

 

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Ingredients

3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
9 cups white or sour dough bread cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Lay the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, or until slightly crispy.

2 Meanwhile, melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove Dutch oven from the heat.

3.  Gently toss the toasted bread with the celery mixture and the remaining ingredients, using spoon, until bread cubes are evenly coated.

4. Use to stuff one 10- to 12-pound turkey. Or to bake stuffing separately, grease 3-quart casserole or rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.

4. Place stuffing in casserole or baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

Love,
Ally

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

Being completely honest, I have never actually helped make a thanksgiving dinner before. It seems that I am always either going to someone else’s house who already has the dinner ready, eating out or staying at a relative’s house who wants to make the dinner themselves. But this year, I travelled to my grandmother’s home Arizona for Thanksgiving and insisted on making a few dishes. I ultimately decided on making cranberry sauce, stuffing from scratch, gravy and sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I couldn’t have been prouder of the dishes that I made (except for the gravy which was a total disaster hahaha) and all three dishes were the first to go!

I have never really been a fan of cranberry sauce and decided to make it simply due to holiday tradition. Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than I ever imagined and only after eating it did I realized that the reason why I never liked cranberry sauce was because it was always from a jar or can. This recipe is the traditional, simple cranberry sauce, but ended up tasting so smooth flavorful and fruity. The lemon definitely adds a different aspect of flavor that the cranberry sauce lacks.

In advance, this recipe is very sweet and tastes more like a fruit-based, dessert-like side than a savory dish. If you want to tone the sweetness down a little, simply add less sugar.

ENJOY!

 

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Ingredients

1 cup sugar

12 oz bag fresh cranberry

1 tsp of lemon zest

2 tbsp water

Directions
1. Empty the cranberries into a saucepan and transfer 1/2 cup of them to a seperate small bowl.

2. Add sugar, lemon zest and water to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries become soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 12 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the 1/2 cup of reserved cranberries. Add more sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cool to room temperature before serving.

Love,

Ally

Fall Chicken and Pumpkin Soup

I’m sure that a pattern of “pumpkin” is starting to reveal itself on my blog this year. Pumpkin, being a vital element to the fall spirit, is obviously one of my favorite things right now; not only in cooking and baking. My soap is pumpkin scented, we have pumpkin pie and cinnamon flavored candles all over the place, and my dad just bought pumpkin almond milk and pumpkin Cheerios.

This A-M-A-Z-I-N-G soup is the epitome of the perfect pumpkin dish. It is extremely unique and my dad claimed “its the first dish I can say is better than my Halloween chile!!” (which is a compliment that I never thought I’d here him  say). The flavor of the pumpkin in subtle enough that it doesn’t overshadow the other flavors and ingredients but strong enough to make the soup very warming and interesting. The spices added to the soup give it a sort-of strong eccentric flavor that its very unique. After helping ourselves to our second helping of the soup, despite being full, we decided that this recipe is going to become a fall regular. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!!!

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

5 cups chicken broth

1 large chicken breast (3/4 lb.)

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin pureé

1 (15 oz.) can black beans

½ cup frozen corn kernels

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 Tbsp cumin

½ tsp salt

½ bunch fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add both to a large soup pot along with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent (3-5 min.)
  2. Add the chicken breast (whole) and chicken broth. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the pot to simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the pot does not stop simmering after turning down the heat. If it does, increase the heat slightly until it is gently simmering.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken breast from the broth and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the pot.
  4. Add the pumpkin purée and stir until the it has mixed into the broth.
  5. Take one or two chipotle peppers from the can (one pepper for a milder soup, two for a spicier soup) and mince them. Add the minced peppers and about a teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can to the soup.
  6. Rinse the black beans and add them to the soup, along with the frozen corn kernels and cumin. Allow the soup to come up to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more to allow the flavors to blend.
  7. Taste the soup and add about ½ teaspoon of salt if desired. Roughly chop the cilantro and stir it into the soup just before serving.

Love,

Ally

I give an immense amount of credit to Budget Bites, for this flavorful and incredible soup (http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/08/chicken-pumpkin-soup/)

Tomato-Potato Salad with Olive Oil Vinaigrette

So I have a newfound love for picnics. Well, more like the idea of a picnic. Although I live near Washington Square Park, picnicking in New York City isn’t exactly the easiest and most common thing to do. Nevertheless, I love picnic foods and the idea of hanging out with your family and/or friends outside all day. My new adoration of picnicking has lead me to search for some really cute salads and summer dishes. I found this simple potato-vinaigrette salad recipe yesterday and immediately ran down the street, grabbed the ingredients, ran home and made it. I had planned to head over to the park with my parents for a summer picnic, but as predicted, that never happened and we enjoyed this tasteful salad in the comfort of our air conditioned apartment.

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Ingredients
2 pounds small Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes
Kosher salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup pitted nicoise olives
2 stalks celery, diced, plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped celery leaves
2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot; cover with water by 2 inches. Season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes; let cool 15 to 20 minutes.

3.Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl; stir in the olives and diced celery.

4. Cut the potatoes into quarters and transfer to a shallow bowl. Scatter the tomatoes over the potatoes, then drizzle with the vinaigrette.

5. Scatter the celery leaves, basil and chives over the salad and season with salt and pepper.

(Courtesy of Food Network Mag.)

Love,

Ally

Classic Bruschetta 

I made Bruschetta last night with my uncle and it was so amazing. It’s been one of my favorite appetizers for a really long time and I thought that it would be good to have on my site. I used a bunch of cherry tomatoes instead of large tomatoes because we didn’t have any, and it still tasted great!

 


INGREDIENTS

8 plum tomatoes, diced

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 loaf French bread, toasted

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, basil and garlic together. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Serve on toasted bread slices.

Classic Deviled Eggs!

Throwback to a month ago when I made this classic recipe for my 97 year old great-grandmother (Oma) and some family friends. I think she ended up eating the equivalent of 4 eggs! I think it gave her a big flashback to when she used to feed her children them. This recipe is simple, but absolutely delicious.

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Ingredients
6 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Paprika

Directions

  1. Hard boil the eggs.See below for instructions:
    Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there’s 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute. 
  2. Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. To cool down warm eggs, place in a bowl of cold water after peeling.
  3. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and place in a medium bowl and place the egg white halves on a serving plate.
  4. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Make sure that there aren’t any clumps of yolk.
  5. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper to the yolks, and mix well.
  6. Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. I think that using a spoon gives the deviled eggs an awesome look. But if you want them neat, feel free to use a piping or plastic bag and pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites.
  7. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.