Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Frittata

Merry Christmas to all!! I'm writing this from the hospital where I'm working the weekend. Yay. ;) I wanted to pick something yummy to share on this Christmas while I had a few minutes. I figured this frittata would be just the thing. It's full of pretty Christmas colors from the green of the pesto, to the red of the tomatoes. This visually festive frittata is be the perfect thing for your Christmas brunch!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Frittatas such as this are perfect for make ahead breakfasts, either on a sandwich, or just eaten on their own. You can eat them cold, warm or room temperature. You can also freeze them pretty well too. They tend to get just a bit watery when they thaw, but overall a nice option!

 
 

 

Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Frittata
I
ngredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 8-10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • Mozzarella or ricotta cheese

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a square 9x9-inch baking dish (or 10x7-inch rectangular baking dish which is what I used) with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. Set aside. 

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Evenly spoon the pesto over the eggs. Sprinkle the chopped tomatoes and the cheese over the eggs evenly. 

Transfer baking dish to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until just set in the center. Can eat hot, warm, or room temperature. 

Zucchini Slice with Bacon Sausage

We're going to continue on the zucchini theme for a little while yet. I for one am not yet ready to embrace all things pumpkin and spice. The trees are still green, the sun is still warm, and most importantly, it's still summer! I'm going to hang on to every last second as long as I can. Today I have for you another somewhat different way to use up some zucchini you might have hanging around; it's my take on the zucchini slice, something I'd never heard of before I stumbled across it over at The Clever Carrot. Apparently it's an Australian thing, but other than that I know nothing about it. If someone out there would like to enlighten me feel free! 

I thought the recipe looked intriguing, full of zucchini and eggs with a relatively little amount of flour, like a cross between a savory quick bread and a frittata. And that's really how it turned out! I'd say the texture was more like a frittata, but a little less egg-y due to the flour. It'd be a great thing to have on hand for a quick and filling breakfast, or a light lunch. Easy to whip together and open to endless variations. A fun late summer project, and a great way to use up some zucchini and eat well all at the same time!

The original recipe called for some bacon, but when I went to the butcher, my eye's were drawn to a new sausage that was in the case, bacon sausage!! I thought this would be a fun place to try it so I went with the sausage instead of the actual bacon. I also added some red pepper along with the onion and topped it with a wonderful dry sheep's milk cheese that I picked up at the farmer's market last week. Feta would be a wonderful substitute, or creamy goat cheese for that matter. I also used 100% whole wheat flour in mine, which is probably why my slice does not look as beautiful and light as the pictures at The Clever Carrot looked, but don't let that stop you from trying out this fun recipe. 

 
 

Zucchini Slice with Bacon Sausage
Adapted from The Clever Carrot
Ingredients

  • 3 cups grated zucchini, well drained
  • 1/4 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 bacon sausage, or alternatively 3 slices of bacon
  • 5 eggs
  • 2-3 tablespoons bacon fat
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Crumbled sheep or goat's milk cheese

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 F.Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper for easy removal. Coat with cooking spray (even when lined with parchment, the eggs can sometimes stick).

Using a box grater, shred the zucchini. Line a bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place the zucchini inside. Twist it up to close, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set the zucchini aside until ready to use.

In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the onion and red pepper until softened and just starting to take on some color, 10-15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large bowl. Add the bacon fat. Season with black pepper and whisk well to combine. Toss in the sautéed onion and pepper, and the reserved zucchini. Crumble in the cooked bacon sausage (or bacon).  Mix well to combine everything. 

To the bowl, add the flour and baking powder. Continue to mix until it looks like pancake batter. Pour into your lined baking pan. Sprinkle the sheep or goat cheese over the top.

Bake until the filling is set, about 40-50 minutes. The top and bottom should be deep golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking time for even browning.

Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Mini Spinach, Onion and Prosciutto Quiche

I love quiche. It is so versatile and delicious. Flaky, buttery crust filled with endless options. Veggies, meats, cheeses, herbs, or spices in any combination. You can really let your imagination go wild. I randomly had some leftover prosciutto and gruyere and decided that some mini quiche would be the perfect place to use it up. Along with a little diced onion an some spinach, it really was a wonderful combination. 

I just thought it would be fun to make some mini quiche, but this would be equally as good as a regular size quiche. Whatever you do, I highly recommend making your own pie dough. It really is so much better than anything you can get at the store. 

Spinach, Onion and Prosciutto Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and very well dried
  • A couple slices of prosciutto
  • 2 ounces Gruyere (or your favorite cheese)

Directions

In a small sauté pan with a little olive oil in it, cook the onion for a few minutes until it begins to soften and become translucent. Set aside. Mix together the eggs and milk, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Evenly divide the prosciutto, spinach, onions and cheese between the prepared tarts. Pour the custard into the individual tarts, being careful not to overfill. Bake the mini quiches for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the custard is just set. 

Pate Brisee

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two fork.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together with out being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still to crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

When ready to use, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Press gently into tart pans, making sure not to stretch the dough. Place pans in the freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes.

Remove tarts from freezer, and blind bake for 15-20 min at 375 degrees. Remove weights and bake about 5 minutes longer, until crust is lightly browned. 

Swiss Chard Quiche with Cheddar and Green Onion

Quiche is one of those things that I really like, but for whatever reason don't seem to make as often as I should. Not only is it delicious, but it is super versatile, you can really put whatever you want in it. This winter my sister and I signed up for a winter CSA. We've gotten the first 2 weeks now and we're loving it. It is so much fun to go pick up our bag of fresh veggies every week, wondering what we'll get and what we'll be able to make with it. This past week we got some Swiss chard which I have never actually worked with before, but now I know I like a lot! First I made a Swiss chard pizza with roasted garlic and mozzarella. It was a wonderful combination, something I'll be doing again. With the chard we had left, I whipped together a quiche with my healthy-ish whole wheat olive oil tart crust. It was the perfect light and delicious Sunday afternoon lunch, all I needed was a salad of fall greens on the side, yum!

Swiss Chard Quiche with Cheddar and Green Onion

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of Olive Oil Tart Crust
  • 2 cups half and half (or mixture of half and half and milk)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Directions

Blind bake the tart crust for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. 

While that is baking prepare the filling. In a large measuring cup or a large container with a pour spout, whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt, and cayenne pepper until well combined and set aside. 

Mince the garlic, thinly slice the green onions and roughly chop the Swiss chard. Heat a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions, garlic and chard. Cook until the chard is wilted and the onions and garlic are nice and fragrant. 

When you are ready to assemble the quiche, layer the chard mixture and cheese in the bottom of the tart shell. Stir the custard and pour it over the quiche mixture, fill in the pan to within 1/8 inch of the top of the pastry. Don't overfill, or the custard will run out of the crust during baking.

Bake the quiche for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the filing begin to puff up and the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. Place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the quiche from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Leftover may be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Tomato Tart

While it's not tomato season yet in Michigan, the farmers market is starting to have some very nice greenhouse tomatoes that are actually pretty good. I've picked up a few over the last couple weeks and have been quite happy with them, on sandwiches or salads. Over the winter I've forgotten how much I love having fresh tomatoes around, they are so useful and so delicious. They may not be fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun tomatoes, but I am happy with them for now, and they worked perfectly in this tomato tart.

This tart is basically just a pizza in a different form, and it was delicious. Spreading an entire head of roasted garlic on the crust is a brilliant start. Since I had mozzarella in the freezer, I used that instead of the Fontina which was called for. I would have loved to use Fontina, but the mozzarella was still very good. Fresh basil on top was the perfect finishing touch. I thought this tart was just wonderful, and I can't wait to make it again with my very own tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

Tomato Tart

From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • All purpose flour for dusting
  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brissee (recipe follows)
  • 3/4 cup grated Fontina or mozzarella (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe but firm tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • course salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 fresh basil leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the garlic on a piece of foil; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Fold the foil up around the garlic, sealing the edges, and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until golden brown and the tip of a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the clovees out of their skins and into a small bowl, mash with fork and set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 13 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit the dough into a 10 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, pressing into the edges. Using a rolling pin or a sharp paring knife, trim dough flush with the top edge of the tart pan; chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread roasted garlic evenly on the bottom of the chilled shell. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circular pattern on top of the cheese, working from the out edge toward the center. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake tart until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Thinly slice basil leaves lengthwise. Sprinkle tart with basil, and serve warm.

Pate Brisee

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two fork.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together with out being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still to crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic  wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Baked Egg "Muffins"

Now that I am super busy with school, it's a goal of mine to come up with recipes that I can make in large quantities and then freeze for a quick lunch or dinner during the week. Last weekend I looked in my fridge and found some leftover egg yolks that I didn't want to go to waste so I decided to bake them up in a muffin tin for some individual egg "muffins" that I can throw onto an english muffin along with some cheese and ham for a nice breakfast or lunch. Not fancy, but simple and delicious. It works for me!

There is no recipe with this, it is more of an idea. I just whisked together the egg yolks and a few whole eggs with a little milk, salt and pepper. Then just throw in whatever else you want; I did peppers and onions but cheese, or some type of meat would be delicious too. It's kind of like making scrambled eggs but instead of scrambling them in a frying pan, pour them into a (liberally) greased muffin tin and bake. Super easy and very versatile.

One word of caution; you don't want to fill up the muffin tins very full, about halfway is plenty. You can't tell from the pictures, but as they bake the egg really poofs up and you can have a mess on you hands if it all overflows. Once they come out of the oven they collapse and aren't nearly as tall, but mine looked almost like mini soufflés when they were fresh out of the oven.

I bake my little frittatas at 350 degrees for maybe 20-25 minutes. I didn't set a timer, but just kept my eyes on the oven and waited until they all looked set up. Just watch them to make sure they don't overbake. I threw the finished product into the freezer and have been eating them all week, yum!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

For my cousins bridal shower that I threw a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to serve quiche. It seemed like the perfect savory option for the brunch, a savory pastry to go along with all of the sweets! One possible problem with this was the fact that I haven't actually made quiche that often, if at all, I honestly can't remember. Although I am confident in my baking abilities and wasn't too concerned that they wouldn't turn out, I did want to give the quiche a test run before serving it to a large group of people. This broccoli cheddar quiche was my first attempt. It turned out delicious, and even though there were a few things I wanted to tweak before the big day, I definitely could have served this at the shower.

I really loved the custard filling in this quiche. It was silky and creamy, and not too eggy, perfect for filling the flaky and buttery crust. The crust however, didn't turn out quite like I wanted which I think was mostly my fault. To begin with, I think I probably added too much liquid to the dough, it wasn't as delicate as I wanted. I also didn't end up rolling the dough out thin enough so it was quite thick and didn't get a chance to cook all the way through. Despite these small problems, it still tasted buttery and yummy.

Another thing I learned on this trial was that I want to put the cheese in the crust first and not last. I didn't like how the cheddar formed a orange shell on top of the custard. I don't think it looks bad, but I just didn't like how it turned out. For the shower I went ahead and put the cheese on the crust first and it turned out much better.

For a first attempt I thought this turned out quite well. It gave me the confidence I needed to serve quiche at the shower. I ended up using a different crust recipe, one that had good reviews and sounded foolproof. I didn't want to worry about this crust turning out exactly like I wanted it to. I plan on trying this recipe again, but for myself first. I think it has the potential to be quite wonderful.

 Get your filling ready, I used lightly steamed brocoli and sautéed onions

And cheese of course!

Buttery, chilled dough, ready to be transformed

Start a rolling

Use those muscles

Grab a tart pan, or a pie plate (that's what I used

at the shower)

Gently lay your pastry dough on the pan

Lightly press the dough into the pan making

sure not to stretch it out

Cut off the excess dough

Ready for blind baking

Grab your pie weights, or beans, or rice, whatever

Bake it up until golden

Time to start filling,

onions first

Then broccoli

And top it off with the cheddar

Baked! 

Piping hot, it's still bubbling away

Remove from pan

Cut yourself a slice, yum!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
From: The Sweeter SIde of Amy's Bread

***I didn't actually measure the broccoli, onion or cheese when I made this quiche. The measurements below are a rough estimate of how much I used. Feel free to alter the amounts of these ingredients when making the quiche to fit your taste buds. 

Ingredients
Crust

  • 7/8 cup (200 grams) butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice and very cold
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons (52 grams) ice water

Custard Filling

  • 1 cup (240 grams) half and half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup lightly steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 medium onion, sautéed
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Directions
To form the crust, mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Rub the very cold, but not frozen, butter into the flour with your fingers or a pastry blender until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. If the butter starts to feel soft, freeze the mixture for 10 minutes before continuing. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and ice water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid. Use a fork to stir the ingredients together until they form a rough ball.

As the mass become more define, use you hands to press it gently together into a single mass of dough. There should not be any pockets of dry crumbs remaining. If needed, sprinkle with an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons of ice water. Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. Seal the wrap around the dough and flatten to make a round 3/4 inch thick disk. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

Remove the child pastry from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out eh dough to 1/8 of an inch thick. Remove the bottom of your tart pan and place the ring of the tart pan on a parchment lined sheet pan. Lay the pastry round on the pan and gently push it down into the pan, pressing the pastry firmly to the sides, making sure the bottom sits flat in the pan, with no curve where the sides and bottom meet. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.

Line the tart with parchment paper and spread the paper with pie weights, beans or rice, pressing down gently to be sure the paper is weighted firmly against the sides of the pastry shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the top edges of the pastry just begin to brown. Remove the paper and the weights, and return the tart to the oven. Continue baking for 5 minutes more, or until the shells are lightly browned and the bottoms begin to look a little dry instead of doughy. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, before adding the quiche filling.

While the crust bakes, make the custard filling. In a large measuring cup or a large container with a pour spout, whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt, and cayenne pepper until well combined and set aside. When you are ready to assemble the quiche, layer the onions, cheese and broccoli in the bottom of the tart shell. Place the baking sheet that is holding the tart into the oven. Stir the custard and pour it over the quiche mixture, fill in the pan to within 1/8 inch of the top of the pastry. Don't overfill, or the custard will run out of the crust during baking.

Bake the quiche for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the filing begin to puff up and the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. Place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the quiche from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Leftover may be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through. 

Bridal Brunch

I love parties, especially parties that involve good food, so when I had the opportunity to throw a bridal shower for my cousin, I knew that I would be spending a lot of time in the kitchen to prepare for it. Since I absolutely love baking and eating baked goods, I knew I wanted the shower to include brunch, because at what other time of day can you stuff yourself with baked goods and not feel guilty about it? I did manage to throw a few (slightly) more healthy options into the mix, but my the baked goods are still my favorite! Lara and I started preparing the food several days in advance, so on the morning of the shower all that was really left to do was bake up a few goodies. In the end, the shower went super well and I had a lot of fun with it, both preparing and hosting. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food (thank goodness!) and there was plenty for everyone. All in all, it turned out great; I can't wait to do it again!

Bridal Brunch Menu
Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
Sausage Gouda Quiche
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Mini Coffee Break Muffins
Vanilla Cream Scones
Chocolate Chip Scones
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Homemade Yogurt
Granola Bites
Fresh Fruit: Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Grapes
Drinks: Coffee, Water, Orange Juice

Favors:
Frosted Sugar Cookies

Here are just a few pictures of the shower and the shower prep

 Preparing the favors well in advance, the first day of decorating

 Monogrammed cookies for Bailey and Chris

 And some flowers, because I like flowers

Finished them off with a cute border

 Some close ups of the foods, here are the quiche

 This was my favorite, it was very cheesy, sorry if anyone doesn't like cheese as much as me!

 This was yummy too!

 Gotta have the homemade cinnamon rolls

 Mini muffins, for a quick bite

Yogurt and fruit

The whole spread

 With the bakers

The beautiful bride to be with a 

homemade cookbook from her favorite cousins :)

And don't forget a cookie when you leave!