Fearless Fridays: Quiche

 Bacon Herb Quiche made in a peanut and fish free environment because I have allergies and have anaphylaxisTwo weeks ago J and I had no ideas for a Saturday lunch because of the lack of groceries in our house.  After opening all cupboards, freezers and the fridge we came to realize that we had enough to make a quiche! We had bacon…and fresh herbs!

Now, hear me out. I KNOW not everyone keeps a ball of pastry dough or a pre shaped crust in their freezer. (Seriously, why wouldn’t you!) But what people do have access to if they do not want to make their own dough is store bought crust.  I have also had success in making quiche that does not have a crust!I have also had success in making quiche that does not have a crust. Pouring directly into a baking dish gave me the same results as using a crust would. What a great gluten-free option! I think everyone should try and make their own crust though, even one time. Maybe a post should come shortly on that about pie dough.

Quiche is a great and easy recipe to make for a breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Quiche is a baked custard dish. It involves a ratio of eggs and dairy (milk or cream) plus any ingredient you choose to add to the recipe. Once you have the liquid proportion down that you enjoy most, the world is yours in your quiche! Just remember some tips about the milk, the higher the fat content…the creamier the consistency in your quiche. So if you are using skim milk the filling would be more watery than if you were to use a half and half cream at 6% which would result in a firmer and more well rounded flavour (fat is flavour!).

Bacon Herb Quiche made in a peanut and fish free environment because I have allergies and have anaphylaxisBacon and Fresh Herb Quiche 

I find a lot of recipes do not call for blind baking (pre-cooking) their crust.  For me personally, the added step of pre-cooking my crust yields a super crunchy crust that is never soggy.

I cup light cream (6%)
3 large eggs
¼  tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper (or fresh cracked black pepper)
4 strips of bacon chopped (cooked until fat is rendered but not yet crisp)
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives (or 1 tsp dried chives)
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1 tsp  fresh chopped thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
1/2 cup soft goat cheese

For a pre-baked 9” pie crust or greased baking dish.
If you are not pre baking a pie crust, add an extra 20-30 minutes of baking time to the recipe.

In a bowl, whisk eggs and cream together. Add salt, pepper and herbs.

Sprinkle over the bottom of the pie crust the bacon and half the cheese. Pour the filling over the crust and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until quiche has puffed up and the top is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Bacon Herb Quiche made in a peanut and fish free environment because I have allergies and have anaphylaxisOther flavour combinations!
Broccoli and Cheddar
Asparagus and Spinach with Smoked Gouda
Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese
Caramelized Onions with Thyme and Mozzarella
Mushroom and Bacon
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Salted Caramel Popcorn with Vanilla for the Win

Salty delicious treats such as caramel popcorn tend to not be made in a peanut free facility or come from a source that can be trusted. Popular major brands of caramel corn also love to add peanuts in the mix.

Why be deprived when you can make it at home yourself in a safe environment?

This salty sweet treat is easy, quick and inexpensive to make. So many people on the internet have given me not only the inspiration to make caramel popcorn but the tools to make it awesome!

Because of this blog I came across someone who had a success story due to Aimee’s recipe for Caramel Popcorn and a “Perfect Popcorn” recipe post from Elise. Now I had all the tools to be a success story too!  Thank you!

I also tried out this recipe from Anna Olson from the Food Network site which inspired me to add more salt. (Huge fan of salted caramels…)

I had no idea how easy it was to make this snack at home. I now have tried multiple recipes (now that I am addicted) including ones from Anna Olson (omitting the peanuts of course!!!!!) and Aimee’s blog (omitting the pecans of course!!!!)

Salted Caramel Popcorn with Vanilla

 This makes a lot of popcorn! When making it for the first time or if you are not sharing, I suggest making half the amount. It can also makes half the mess if you bake like me and love to spill! I enjoy to make it in a roasting pan because the high lip on the pan helps to contain popcorn when I toss it at any point.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt

Preheat oven to 250F. Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper or a silicon mat; set aside. Pop popcorn kernals in any way you desire (air popper, microwave, stovetop).  Transfer to a large stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Place in preheated oven to stay warm while you make the caramel.

Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until it comes to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees or five minutes exactly from the boiling point if you do not have a thermometer. (It is a risk but I have tried this method with success.)

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Pour into roasting pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and toss lightly.  Bake, stirring every 20 minutes for 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Popcorn can be stored in airtight containers up to 1 week.

It is important to use a good quality salt when sprinkling overtop the popcorn. It will give the finished popcorn a savoury mild flavour which will accent the caramel and popcorn instead of giving it a “salty “flavour. At this moment in my kitchen my finishing salt happens to be “Maldon Sea Salt” which I sprinkle over top once I have stirred in the caramel through the popcorn. The result is sparatic hits of deliciousness.

I LOVE caramel popcorn! A treat for all ages! If stored in an airtight container it will stay fresh for one week. This indulgent recipe is great for a trip, in a paper bag for goodie take home treats or in a glass jar with a scoop for a party. (Or DON’T make it and let me continue to make it for you for your birthday or Christmas!)

Simple and Fresh Salads for the Sumer

Four Salads

From top left to bottom right: Roasted Beets with Lemon and Fresh Herbs, Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Olive Oil, Coleslaw with Rice Wine Vinaigrette, Mango Salad with Orange Zest and Mint

Summer is coming and I am getting excited about all the local produce. Direct from farms to the Vancouver farmers market to my garden, these are all wonderful tools I am grateful to have access to. Waiting for the weather to be a bit hotter and drier, I am being patient and waiting carefully for seasonal fruits and vegetables I love.

When it comes to salads, I have to be a bit fussy with the ingredients because of my allergies and intolerances. Not only do I have to avoid putting seafood on top of greens or a sprinkle of toasted pecans, I have to avoid using many raw fruits and vegetables because of my oral allergies. Oral allergy syndrome is an immune system response to proteins found in one or more foods from the same pollen family. As an adult I developed oral allergy syndrome. It is always great to have more information about symptoms and how to prevent further discomfort when eating certain food groups.  For my case in particular, I have to avoid raw apple and pears, stone fruit such as peaches, pears, apricots and raw veggies like celery and carrots. I can eat them cooked, but I avoid and do not consume these particular types of produce.

This week I took a drive down to South East Marine Drive to visit the farms to see what was locally available. I walked away with a mix of local items such as green onions, baby bok choy and new potatoes.  But before I got started cooking up those inspiring and exciting ingredients, I had to tidy up my fridge! It was time for a fridge cleanup!

I was able to compose four light and fresh salads for dinner with my “fridge-clean up” routine. Keeping it simple, I was in and out of the kitchen in twenty minutes after making all four salads.

Coleslaw with Rice Wine Vinaigrette

¼ head of green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 carrot, grated and blanched in boiling water for one minute

2 green onions, thinly sliced

½ tsp celery seeds

Rice Wine Vinaigrette

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine cabbage, grated carrot, green onion and celery seeds in a bowl. In small bowl mix the olive oil, rice vinegar and pinch of sugar. Combine with sliced vegetables and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I found this article to be well researched with a great explanation oral allergies and food intolerances. Read more at: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Allergy+season+What+when+apples+bite/4602829/story.html#ixzz1PqrW45hI

What IS Worcestershire sauce?

Worcestershire sauce is a key ingredient that has anchovies in it. This secret hidden allergen can be found in many store bought salad dressings, marinades and barbeque sauce. Worcestershire sauce adds a huge punch of flavour (so I have been told) because it contains a concentrated blend of vinegar, sugar, anchovies, tamarind, garlic and other spices. You can also find it as a component in Caesar salads, hamburgers, and alcoholic beverages such as Caesar’s (Also note that Caesar’s contain Clamato juice which has clam juice as a key ingredient) or Bloody Mary’s.

  • Many people do not know that anchovies are in Worcesteshire sauce! So do not assume they know this information
  • Always check ingredients in any store bought dressing or sauce
  • I like to specifically ask “Does this contain Worcestershire sauce?” as well as “Does this contain fish or shellfish?”, because if it is something like a burger or other food, it may be seasoned with it. The first question assumes the cook or server knows the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce.

And then I found it. At my local grocery store. Yes…vegan Worcestershire sauce. You got it! It is an expensive little bottle, but a worthwhile purchase for the fridge.  I can see why people do love the stuff, and why a pantry should keep stock of it. And now my hubby, J, is addicted. I think he may have added it to some grilled chicken that he made last night and it was delicious.

Here is a link to the The Wizard’s line of sauces. The company also has a line which includes gluten free Worcestershire sauce. http://www.edwardandsons.com/thewizards_info.itml