When I lived in France, I was a missionary.  This means that I had no money, or very little.  We ate quiche a lot.  It was cheap and filling and good.  I have put many things in quiche - from hot dogs to fish.  Most of them were pretty good.  Except the fish quiche.  Seriously, don't do the fish.

This one is my favorite.

 I still can't make a decent pie crust, though.  I use Pillsbury refrigerated crust "scrolls". Not as good as my sister's, but good enough.

You can substitute the bacon for anything except fish.  Crab is good.  So is ham or chicken.  I add a little thyme with chicken.  Sometimes I add a little spinach to the quiche.  It's all good.


pastry for 1 9-inch one-crust pie
12 slices of bacon, crispy fried and diced
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded (about 4 ounces)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Put the pastry in a 9 inch pie pan.  (If you only have an 8 inch pan, reduce the amount of cream by 1/4 cup.)

Sprinkle the bacon, onion and cheese in the crust.

One or our chickens gives us double yolked eggs, the overachiever.  I am not sure of how to count it, so I count it as 1 egg.
Beat eggs slightly. Beat in the remaining ingredients.

Pour egg mixture into the pie plate.

Put the quiche on a foil-lined baking sheet (trust me, it overflows frequently) and place in the preheated oven.

Cook, uncovered, in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.  Cook, uncovered, until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean, about 30 minutes longer.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.


Vegetable Soup

I just got back from spending time with my sibs.  We don't see each other often enough since we live on each coast and one in the middle/west.  It was great!  It's amazing that any of us have kiddos old enough to get married, but that was the reason for the gathering.  Wonderful!

This soup really has no exact measurements or ingredients.  Yep, it's one of those.  Somehow, it always tastes great.  It is my kid sister's favorite soup.  I don't know if she ever made it, because she always lived close to Mom, but Mom is not there anymore.  She can do it.  So can you.  Don't worry about measurements or ingredients.  The only ones that are mandatory in our family are the tomatoes, cabbage and beef bouillon - but you could use vegetable broth if you want to go totally vegetarian.  Mom sometimes put a can of V-8 in it, too.

Here you go.  Just wing it.  It will be fine.

The cast.
Mom's Vegetable Soup

Beef soup bone
3-4 Tablespoons Better that bouillon beef flavor
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cups fresh tomatoes, diced OR 1 quart canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup corn (I use frozen)
1 cup peas
1 cup green beans
1/3 head of cabbage, sliced and diced
1 cup diced potatoes, I use red potatoes because they don't turn mushy
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 - 1/2 pound spaghetti, broken into 2-3 inch pieces

Put the soup bone in the pot.  Cover with water to the amount of soup you are aiming for.  It will boil down, but you are going to add enough stuff to bring it back up to the amount you want.

Boil the soup bone for about 20 minutes.  It is going to foam and look icky.  Don't worry.  Skim off the foam.  Add the bouillon.  Start with the lesser amount.  You can always add more later.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes.  Simmer for about 1/2 hour. 
Remove the soup bone.
 Taste it and add the salt and pepper and extra bouillon.

Add the rest of the veggies and the pasta.

Cook until the pasta and potatoes are done.
Check it again for the salt and pepper.

Enjoy the scent wafting from your kitchen and know that your family will be getting a healthy meal.


Macaroni and Blue Cheese

I know, I know.  I already have a post about mac and cheese.  It's good.  It's cheesy.  You should make it. http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2012/08/macaroni-and-cheese.html

But...this is mac and cheese with blue cheese!  That ingredient alone makes it - I don't know - fancy, elegant, refined.

This journey into the before uncharted territory (for me anyhow) of messing with perfectly good mac and cheese started very innocently.  I purchased a hunk of blue cheese from Costco. I only needed about 2 Tablespoons to make the baked pears (http://ahawker.blogspot.com/2012/11/roasted-pear-salad.html), so I didn't need this big hunk o' cheese, but it was such a good price and surely the kiddos would eat the rest.

Well, here is an interesting fact.  Kiddos that like just about anything don't necessarily snack on blue cheese just for fun.  I know.  It came as a surprise to me, too. *sigh*

Anyhow, I had this hunk of blue cheese.  Then a friend sent me a copy of a recipe for Chocolate Bread Pudding from a magazine. (That will be coming later after I play with it a little.)  On the same page was a partial recipe for Blue Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.


Here's what I did.

Macaroni and Blue Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni (or whatever you want to use)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 cup milk
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese
3-4 shakes of Tabasco (or your favorite pepper sauce)
1/2 cup fried onions (like French's), optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in milk and half and half.  Simmer until the milk thickens slightly, stirring frequently.

Add grated cheese and 1 cup of the blue cheese.  Stir until the cheese melts.  Add the Tabasco and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the pasta and sauce.  Stir it up.

Put the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle with the remaining blue cheese and the fried onions.

Bake at 350 degrees until the sauce begins to bubble, about 30 minutes.