Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Kitchen Sink Quiche

I have a kitchen sink and I’m not afraid to use it! Ok, so, I use my sink every day, but that doesn’t mean I actually eat it! But since my concoction kind of seemed to contain nearly every veggie in my fridge, why not call it what it is, right? I love my veggies! In fact, I have no idea what has happened to me, but as I’ve grown up, and become a grown up, my tastes have changed quite a lot. I love steamed broccoli. Straight. No chaser. Steamed asparagus. A tiny bit of butter. Grilled vegetables, raw vegetables. Red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers. Even jalapenos on occasion if they’re in something like salsa and have been seeded. Can’t take too much heat.  I even like trying new ones that are kind of off the wall. Example: purple carrots. Yep. Seriously. I was at the grocery and saw them, they still had the tops on them and everything. They weren’t big, maybe as big around as my finger and 6-8″ long. Hmmm, ok, what the heck, right? I try to eat the rainbow as often as I can. I was kind of afraid, to be honest. I mean what if they tasted like horseradish? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy horseradish, on roast or prime rib. But to take a big bite of a hunk of horseradish? Um, no. I like my nose just the way it is, thank you very much. I’ll try most things, except beets. And brussels sprouts. And I suppose that makes me a, well, a vegetable-ist. I do discriminate against certain veggies, I’m sorry to say. Don’t hate me for it.

Last week, I found fresh asparagus for $1.29/lb. That is crazy cheap! Ok, now what can I do? I have a few recipes that use asparagus, and we had some steamed recently. Oooh! I know, I’ll make a quiche for hubby. He loves the veggies too, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve made a quiche, so it’ll be a nice treat for us on the weekend. Holy cow! It was incredible! I just kind of threw it together and crossed my fingers. I am convinced it was the crossed fingers that made it the BEST EVER! So next time you make a quiche, don’t forget that step, the crossing of the fingers.

Doesn't look like a kitchen sink, or taste like one either! Yum!

Kitchen Sink Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust

6 eggs

1/2C 2% milk

1/2 lb fresh asparagus

1/2 medium onion chopped

1/2C Each chopped red, yellow, green pepper

1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained

2 to 3 cloves garlic (or more if you want to)

4 to 6 oz Italian shredded cheese w/seasoning

1 tsp kosher salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Unroll pie crust in greased 9″ pie plate and set aside.

2. In a skillet, saute peppers, onions & garlic (pressed w/garlic press)  until crisp tender. Set aside & allow to cool.

3. Wash &** trim woody ends off of asparagus. In a large lidded skillet/sauce pan, steam asparagus in 1/2 to 1″ of water,  for 2 to 3 min, or until crisp tender. Remove from heat & allow to cool. Cut into 1″ pieces.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs & milk. Add in cheese, salt, mushrooms, veggies after cooling to the point they’re just warm to the touch. If you put them in and they’re still hot, they’ll start to cook the eggs (you don’t want that).

5. Pour all of this into the prepared pie dish, place in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 min, or until eggs are set in the center. Allow to cool 5 min-ish, slice and serve, and take all the compliments headed your way!

***If you have never trimmed asparagus, it’s really easy and will break off all by itself at the right point. I know you may want to use all of it b/c it’s not cheap, but unless you enjoy eating wood, I recommend doing this prior to steaming. Hold a piece of asparagus, one hand directly on the cut end. Hold in your other hand a few inches up from the cut end and just do a quick snapping motion. The end will snap right off where the woody part ends and the good part starts. You don’t waste any unnecessarily. (I’m a tightwad & I hate wasting good food, so this is great, rather than guessing and using a knife, not knowing if you’re getting all of the hard stuff or chopping some of the good parts.)

If you are using an 8″ pie plate, you could probably cut the number of eggs down. I started with 4 eggs and because of all the veggies I had in it, I added a couple more eggs. I wanted it to be quiche, not just a little bit of egg w/alot of veggies.

Also, if you don’t have red/yellow peppers (b/c they’re normally pretty darn expensive) green would be just fine.

If you shred your own cheese, rather than taking the easy way out like I did, you could just add 1 tsp of Italian seasoning and get the same effect.

Enjoy! YummY!

Gotta go, time to eat! See ya later!

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New: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Before you ask, yes, I posted a similar recipe last year, but this one turned out much better, hence the ‘New’ at the beginning! I’m loving my slow cooker these days. Running wild and crazy trying to keep up with two kids at different schools and different calendars. Plus soccer and soon there will be basketball in the mix as well. I try to keep several slow cooker recipes handy. This is a new fave. Oh, sorry, no pics for this one either, it didn’t last long and I didn’t think about it til all that was left was dirty dishes. And, well, those aren’t very attractive!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1-2 lb stew meat in chunks

2 celery stalks sliced

1 medium onion chopped

2 carrots peeled and sliced

2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed

1C frozen mixed vegetables

1 can beef broth

12oz V8

1 can tomato sauce

1/4 C red wine

2 tbsp Worcestershire

5 to 6 whole peeled garlic cloves

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper

1. Put all ingredients, except frozen vegetables, in large slow cooker. Cook on high 7-8 hours.

2. 30 min to 1hr before you are ready to eat, add in the frozen veggies.

***Hint: when I made this, I didn’t parboil the potatoes and carrots and after 4hrs on high and 3 on low, the potatoes and carrots  were still not completely cooked and a bit on the crunchy side. You could cook it on a lower temp if you parboil the potatoes & carrots for 5 to 10 min before putting them in the slow cooker.

To parboil you place the veggies you are cooking in boiling water and cook them for a short time, they’re not cooked, but only beginning the cooking process, then you finish the cooking process in whatever your method is for the recipe, slow cooker, oven, etc.

I will definitely parboil next time around.

This recipe is more liquid than my first, which makes me like it a bit more. Maybe I should call it ‘Stoup’. If you want to thicken it up, you can mix 2tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp cold water and add it to the stew 30 min prior to eating.

Remove the bay leaves, ladle into bowl and enjoy with some crusty bread or biscuits. YUM!

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Omelets to Go

My husband’s breakfast of choice is coffee. sound familiar? Well, stop it right there. You have to eat something. How else are you going to get your day started right? What? no time? I’m so glad you found my page, I’m going to take care of that for you right now. No, no applause, really, just throw money. This is an amazingly simple and completely customizable recipe. What’s better, it freezes well, and reheats well. Would I lie to you? Read it first, then try them and tell me how awesome they are! Sorry, I don’t have pics for you, I haven’t made them in a while, but had a request from a friend.

Omelets to Go

12 eggs beaten

1/2 C dry bread crumbs

3 tbsp butter melted

1-1/2 C chopped deli ham

1/4 C shredded cheese-cheddar/jack/Kojak/swiss whatever you have or like

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt

 

1. beat eggs in a large mixing bowl.

2. add all other ingredients and stir until well blended

3. fill greased muffin pan 3/4 full

4. bake @ 375 15 to 20 minutes, or until knife inserted at the center comes out clean.

 

These refrigerate/freeze/reheat really well. I have made a double batch, and put the extras in Ziploc/glad-type reusable plastic containers and freeze them. I put four in a container and when I’m ready, I put them in the fridge to thaw over night. Then to reheat, 30 sec each does the trick! They are fabulous.

Optional add-ins: spinach, garlic, sautéed onions & peppers, mushrooms, bacon, whatever you have on hand or what you like. They are really wonderful. I will let you know, being the person I am, I try to cut out as much fat and calories as I can, but I promise you if you don’t put the butter in this, they come out dry and very flat.

enjoy, you can thank me later!

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Blueberry Muffins, With a Twist

Blueberry muffins have always been a favorite of mine. Until today, they’ve always come out of a box. The blueberries were in a tin and tiny and pitiful looking.  They were passable, but all I knew, besides bakery muffins.  I’m happy to share with you this recipe, they are delicious, and…..healthy! Not to mention, they go together really easily.

These are not grandma's blueberry muffins!

Blueberry Muffins With a Twist

1-1/4 C all-purpose flour

1 C quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 C packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1C plain, nonfat yogurt

4 tbsp butter, melted

1 C fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

1 C chopped walnuts (optional)

1 tbsp flax meal (optional)

1. Pre heat oven to 400F. Grease regular muffin pan or use cupcake liners

2. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, including nuts

3. In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, egg, and butter.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just blended. Fold in blueberries.

5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan 5 mins, remove to rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 dozen muffins.

I will say these are very delicious and not too sweet. Very hearty. I love the walnuts, they give another texture to the muffins. I added the flax meal for a couple of reasons: the fiber will help them stick with you a bit longer, as well as adding some essential fatty acids that we don’t seem to get enough of. I just made some today and I’m telling you, these are the B-O-M-B! My only complaint is they don’t yield enough, only a dozen!

Are you hungry yet??

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Adventures with Mac N Cheese

After being snowed in for a week now, I think I’ve made nearly every single comfort food in my recipe box. Except this one. I have never attempted home made mac n cheese. My kids have always been perfectly content with the blue box kind. I of course, jazz it up a bit w/extra cheese, but it’s still powdered cheese stuff that’s the base. Last night I made goulash, the easy version-spaghetti sauce w/elbow macaroni, hardly worth noting, except that I had quite a bit of cooked macaroni leftover and didn’t want to throw it out. Fast forward to today. I open the fridge, see the pasta and a light bulb comes on, *DING*, and yes, light bulbs do make that noise, didn’t you know? I scoured the internet for a recipe and kind of used one and added a few of my own things. As usual. So, here’s what I did.

1-1/2 to 2 C uncooked macaroni

3 tbsp flour

5 tbsp butter, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1-1/2 C 2% milk

4 oz shredded kojack cheese

2 oz-ish processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

3 tbsp plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375F

Cook pasta according to pkg instructions. Drain.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Add flour, salt and pepper and stir well. Gradually add in milk and stir well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until just thickened. Add cheeses and stir until melted.

Add cooked pasta to pot with cheese sauce and mix well.

Pour into 2qt greased baking dish.

Melt last 1tbsp butter and mix with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over mac n cheese and bake uncovered for 30 min, or until heated thru and crust is golden brown.

Oh man, this is so good, but I’ll tell you now, it’s really rich, so beware!

I promise, I’ll post a pic later!

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Oh man. This was so delicious and so easy, I had to share. It was perfect for this cold weather we’ve been having.  And I didn’t have to mess with it all day long, what could be better?

YUMMMMMM

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat

1 medium onion chopped

4 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 to 5 carrots peeled and sliced

1 bag (12oz) frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, green beans)

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)

2 bay leaves

1/4 C dry red wine

5 tbsp beef broth

2 C water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1. brown stew meat and onion in a skillet. Drain.

2. Parboil fresh potatoes and carrots until partially cooked. Drain.

3. microwave frozen vegetables according to pkg directions.

4. In 4 qt slow cooker, place all ingredients and stir to blend. Cook on high for 7 hrs, then turn to low until meat is tender and all veggies are cooked. Remove bay leaves. Serve with crusty bread or biscuits.

Wanna bite? Come on over!

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Tex-Mex Chicken Chowder

OMG! Once again, I read it wrong and it turned out ah-maz-ing! Sorry my friends, I don’t have a pic to share, it was gone too quickly and I thought if it too late! Sooooo good!

Tex-Mex Chicken Chowder

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast chopped

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies

1 C salsa verde/green enchilada sauce

1 each chopped green, red, and yellow bell peppers

1 medium onion chopped

3C water

2C frozen corn

2 to 3 fresh cloves of garlic chopped or pressed

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp salt

1C (8oz) reduced fat sour cream

1/2C (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1. in a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook chicken, peppers, garlic and onion in oil until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in water, corn, rice, green chilies, green salsa, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until rice is tender.

2. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and cheese until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips and chives if desired.

So good, and reheats well. My husband wants me to use a Poblano pepper next time I make this. It would add a different flavor.  If  you like Tex-Mex food, you will so love a nice hot bowl of this on a cold day! Enjoy!

If you want to cut some of the calories, feel free to omit the cheese and use fat free sour cream.

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Happy Accident Italian Stew

Also known as “I cant’ read a recipe’ stew! I found a recipe for what they called ‘Italian Chili’ in a magazine. It sounded delish, I bought the ingredients, thought I knew what I was doing and started cooking. After I was beyond the point of no return, I realized that I had totally messed up the recipe, but didn’t want to waste the food, so I just carried on with what I thought would be good. I took some things from that original recipe and added others and ended up with something that my whole family raves about. It’s easily doubled and will feed a crowd. It’s hearty and flavorful and freezes well, all requirements in my kitchen. Serve it with some crusty bread and your family and friends will think you’re a genius!

Italian Stew

1lb ground beef

1lb ground Italian sausage

3 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)

1 can beef broth

2 cans tomato sauce 8oz each

1 fresh zucchini cubed

1 C chopped red pepper (or whatever color you have readily available)

1C fresh sliced mushrooms

2 stalks celery chopped

3 carrots peeled and sliced

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp Italian seasoning mix

3 to 4 (or more!) cloves garlic

1tbsp salt

1 C chopped onion

1C water

1/2C dittalini (tiny tube noodles)

1. Cook ground beef and Italian sausage with onion and garlic until browned. Drain.

2. In a large pot, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, seasoning, meat mixture and all veggies EXCEPT ZUCCHINI,  cook on medium heat until stew is bubbling. Simmer on low/med heat covered for 2 hours.

3. 20 to 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add the zucchini (if you add it too early, it will be completely mush when you’re ready to eat).

4. in a small pan, bring 3C water to a boil and add the dittalini, cook until only partially done. Drain and add to the stew, it will finish cooking in the pot with everything else.

5. Serve with crusty bread and a nice dark red wine! A wonderful meal on a cold winter evening.

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