Thanksgiving Leftovers Quiche.

quiche done

Thanksgiving is wonderful – full of food, family, gratitude….and leftovers. So many leftovers. No one wants to see all this delicious food go to waste, but after a few days of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and whatever else, you just can’t even pretend to want to eat it anymore.

If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s wasting food. I do everything I can to use up leftovers. I admit, there are things that occasionally wind up getting pushed to the back of the fridge, only to be discovered a few weeks later when the door is opened with a blaring “What’s that smell?!” But, alas, I do try.

We had a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers as usual. After two nights of eating them as-is with just a mere reheating, I wanted to think of something more creative to do with them. And suddenly, I did: a Thanksgiving Leftovers Quiche!

I’m sure I’m not the first person on the planet to think of this very idea, but I thought I’d share my version, in case there are others out there who have tired of turkey but can’t bear to toss it.

I started with a from scratch pie crust (10 oz AP flour, 7 oz shortening – cut in, 3 oz cold water with 1 tsp kosher salt dissolved in it) pre-baked at 375 for 10 minutes.

quiche crust

Where the magic happens.

Next, I threw in some leftovers. We had turkey, mushrooms and asparagus.

quiche filling

Insert your leftovers here.

Next, I shredded (ok, my husband did the actual shredding) some MontAmore cheese, and sprinkled it on top. By the way, MontAmore is my new favorite cheese. You need to try it. I don’t mess around when it comes to cheese.

quiche cheese

MontAmore = love.

Finally, I made a simple custard (3 eggs, 1 cup milk, a little bit of salt), and added that to the party.

quiche unbaked

Party in a crust.

Next, I baked it for about 40 minutes at 350.

quiche done

A quiche to build a dream on.

Finally, we ate it. And it was better than any Thanksgiving leftovers I’ve ever had before.

quiche eaten

Looks like Pac-Man, tastes like heaven.

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Pick a Pizza, Win a Prize!

You can never have too much pizza. At least, I can’t.

I know it’s cliché, but pizza really has been one of my favorite foods since I was like, born. Maybe because it’s just so versatile, that you really could never exhaust all of your potential pizza options in one lifetime. Maybe because it’s also as much fun to make as it is to eat. On the heels of our recent pizza-making team effort, my boyfriend and I decided to try our hands at another pizza variety. We used the same crust recipe and the same sauce recipe, but this time let the sauce cook for a few hours in the crock pot.  We also switched up the toppings, like you do, and for this one, went with pepperoni and mushrooms, and used a mix of Havarti and mild cheddar cheese.

waiting to bake.
waiting to bake.

Oh yeah – and this time we also rolled out the dough much thinner, and made two thin-crust pizzas, instead of one giant extra thick and puffy one. Having not one, but two crusts made it into a little friendly pizza-making competition. We each rolled a dough, and topped it individually, and baked them, one at a time.

Pizza #1:

Pizza 1.

which is which?

Pizza #2:
and whose is whose?

and whose is whose?

So….can you guess which one is mine? Pizza #1 or Pizza #2? First person to comment on the post with the right answer gets a free Small Indulgences cookbook!  And no guessing if you already know – that means you, Steve. 😉

Go Team Pizza!

pizza slice

I was off yesterday (I love having Monday off – just saying), so in between laundry, yoga, and cleaning, I decided to make pizza dough. I hadn’t make pizza at home in a long time – probably not since pastry school, I reckon. So I thought I’d give it whirl. I used my favorite recipe from bread making class (which was also my favorite class). I had all the ingredients on hand luckily, including dry yeast. So, I made the dough, and put it aside to let it proof for about an hour, while I (reluctantly) finished my chores. When I came back to check on it, it had risen rather nicely.

perfectly proofed.

perfectly proofed.

At this point, my boyfriend arrived home, and I shared with him the joy of the proofed pizza dough. We had a (slightly heated) debate about what to put on top, and it was at that point I realized I wasn’t very good at making sauce, while he apparently was. So, while he made the sauce, I rolled the dough onto the pizza stone.

just roll with it.

just roll with it.

We always have an assortment of cheese in the house, but we really didn’t have any traditional pizza topping cheese. We did have a whole wheel of mild cheddar. So, he shredded some up, we put it in the oven, and then hovered around, hoping for the best.

pretty as a pizza.

pretty as a pizza.

It looked real nice. That was a good start. But how would it taste? I let him do the honors of slicing it. We each took a piece, and proceeded to chow down.

a little slice of love.

a little slice of love.

We ate the entire thing – the two of us. Let’s just say the teamwork paid off. And all we had to do was add one extra ingredient that we always have around the house – love.

Next time, we’ll share it, I promise. 😉

 

 

Meatloaf Muffins: the journey from baking to cooking.

DSC_1073

I don’t cook.

I bake, yes  –  A LOT. But I just never got into cooking. Then one day a few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about cooking, and I decided that should change. Suddenly, I wanted to cook; and I’d never had any inkling of a desire to do it before. I started looking up recipes, and noticed that the things I most wanted to try were those meals that incorporated my baking skills – homemade pasta, meatloaf, baked eggplant, etc.  As I don’t yet own a pasta maker (this will soon be remedied), that was out for now. Shortly following this cooking epiphany, I stumbled across a meatloaf recipe. I figured it was a sign, and thus meatloaf would be my next challenge. I was discussing said meatloaf with a friend, explaining to her my reasons for selecting it (in addition to the sign from the universe),  one being that it was just like baking a loaf of bread, which I’ve done a thousand times. She then suggested that since I am only one person, I should try meatloaf muffins. This way, I could save some for future meals, and share some with others, if I so desired. I loved this idea! And so it was.

I started with an onion. I cried. A lot.

96 tears.

96 tears.

I then mixed all the ingredients in a large bowl. The recipe called for pepper. I wanted rosemary. I did what I wanted.

a loaf waiting to happen.

a loaf waiting to happen.

Next, I shaped it into a loaf, and then broke it down into muffin-sized lumps.

she's lump. she's lump. she's lump. she's in my head.

she’s lump. she’s lump. she’s lump. she’s in my head.

I baked them,  took them out 5 minutes early, topped them with shredded Gruyere, and baked them for 5 more minutes.

mini meats.

mini meats.

I removed them from the oven, and let them cool. I realized at this point that I did not yet understand the principles of baking meat and how it differed from baking a cake. When you bake a cake, it conforms to the size and shape of the pan it’s being baked in. Not meat – it retains the shape you make it. So I wound up with what looked more like meat boulders.  Next time, I’ll know better.

boulders of joy.

boulders of joy.

Now for the true test. I poured myself a glass of wine, and selected two meat boulders. They certainly smelled delicious, and honestly, looked rather delectable.

red wine and meat boulders: the perfect pairing.

red wine and meat boulders: the perfect pairing.

I put some extra barbecue sauce on the side for dipping, and dug in. I couldn’t believe it – success!! This was some good meatloaf! I put down the fork and called my mom. I had to share my cooking success story with someone who I knew would be proud.

And now, my friends, I’m hooked. Small Indulgences are not just for baking anymore. Here’s to new adventures!