Brie, Caramelized Onions & Asparagus Quiche

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It’s all about the Brie baby! This quiche recipe does disappoint in the flavor department and you can make it n advance and heat when ready. However, if you ask me, the best time to eat it is 30 minutes after you remove from the oven. This will ensure that the egg and cheese set a little but are still soft enough that you can cut through a little easier.

Quiches are a big thing in my house, like potatoes. I love that I can make so many different flavors in a pie shape and you really can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I will say though, they don’t last long at all in my house.

If you want to go the extra mile and make the crust, I applaud you, I, however, love the frozen ones and there are 2 per pack. You can leave them in the freezer until you are ready to make them and all you have to do is get the filling ready.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and while the oven preheats, you will start with the onions. In a medium non-stick saute pan, add the olive oil and onions and cook on medium-low until the onions are a golden brown color. If you want to start with a higher heat, by all means, but you will quickly want to lower the heat so they don’t burn. Once they are cooked to your liking, remove from the pan and set aside. Don’t clean the pan because you will reuse for the asparagus.

Remove the pie crust from the freezer and let sit for about 10 minutes. Poke a few holes at the bottom with a fork to make sure they don’t bubble up. Place in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, remove and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

While the pie crust is in the oven, Cut the tips of the asparagus off. The easiest way is to take one and start bending from both sides. When the spear snaps, that will be your base to cut the rest of the asparagus. After you cut the tips, cut the spears again either in half or in threes, depending on how large they are. I personally like them to be about 2 inches long each.

In the same non-stick pan on medium-high heat, add the rest of the oil and the asparagus and cook for about 2-3 minutes and then remove and layer the bottom of the pie.

In a  large bowl, add the eggs, salt, pepper, onion powder garlic powder, and dry oregano. Beat well so it looks like all the spices are incorporated. Don’t worry if the oregano floats to the top, right before you pour into the pie, you will beat them once more.

In a separate medium bowl, mix the asparagus, onion, and brie together. Feel free to cut the brie however you like. Since brie comes round or triangular, I usually will cut thin slices and then cut those in smaller pieces. Pour the onion, brie and asparagus mix inside the pie and spread throughout the pie as evenly as possible so each slice gets an even amount.

Pour the egg mixture on top, but remember to beat a little before. Place the pie on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Remember to let the quiche sit for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Happy Cooking!

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Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Yes, you read it right, Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. This recipe was inspired by my love of mixing popcorn and snow caps at the movies. Ever since I can remember, that is what I always ate, until the stopped selling snow caps. But I did not let that stop me; I would buy my pack at CVS and then sneak them into the theater ; ).

However, I am sure you are wondering why I would think to make this into ice cream. Well here is my story… in 2008 my husband and I went to San Francisco for my birthday and on the plane ride home, I sat next to a man that was telling me about his experience at French Laundry. After raving about the restaurant, he told us about the most original dessert he had eaten, popcorn ice cream. That stayed with me for quite some time until I created this recipe.

I not only have a passion for cooking the classics and make them my own, but I also love creating things that are out of the box, and this is one of those recipes.

Place a bag of “movie theater butter” popcorn in the microwave and follow the instructions. Pour the milk, cream, and sugar in a medium-size pot on medium-low heat until the sugar melts and then remove from the heat. Add all the popcorn to the milk mixture and let stand for 15 minutes. This will infuse the milk with the flavor of the popcorn.

Remove the popcorn with a skimmer and discard in the garbage (unless that looks appetizing to you – lol – have at it). Allow the milk mixture to cool completely in the refrigerator for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Once the cream has cooled, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker as it is running. I have the Cuisinart and it works well! If you have questions, leave me a comment and I will respond.

So with this ice cream maker, it takes about 30 minutes to double up in size and get thicker. Once it looks like it may start coming out of the machine is when you turn it off. With the machine off, pour the chocolate chips and then mix with a large spoon. At this point, the ice cream is soft enough to mix.

Once you have all the chips you want in there, then you want to transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. For best results, leave in the freezer overnight.

Be sure to make enough to share. Here at my house, this batch went in 2 days. ENJOY!

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Banana Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream

Banana bread is my staple recipe, so what better way to make them then as individual cupcakes.  When you make banana bread, it’s a little different because, you slice a piece and then you can add butter, cream cheese or honey. However, like a cupcake, you need a little somethin, somethin…I decided on honey, cinnamon buttercream. The frosting is so good, I need to create a few other recipes to add it to.

I am always experimenting with my banana bread recipe and while creating this one, I added poppy seeds. Well, needless to say, it was a great addition!

These are simple to make, but having ripe bananas are very important to the flavor and texture. You want the skin of the banana to be yellow with a few black specs. If there is a large bruising, don’t worry, just cut that part out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees before starting to prep the recipe. This always allows enough time for the oven to reach temperature, by the time you are done. 

Also, line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners to have those ready. You can also prep a 24-cup muffin pan if you want smaller cupcakes. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. You can use a hand mixer if you want or simply use a rubber spoon. 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Once everything is mixed together, add the poppy seeds and stir.

Scoop the batter into each individual liner using a scoop spoon; if you are using the 12-cup muffin pan, use a 5 cm scooper and if using the 24-cup muffin pan, use the 4 cm scooper.

Place in the oven and bake about 25 – 30 minutes for 12 or 24 cupcakes. I always start with a smaller amount of time and then test with a toothpick. If still not cooked through, I continue to cook in 5-minute intervals.

Remove cupcakes from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack and let cool completely (30 minutes to an hour). 

Pipe the buttercream frosting on each individual cupcake and ENJOY!

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Glazed Pineapple Cake

When I think of spring dessert, I think pineapple cake. Why? It is the perfect tropical dessert and since I’m Cuban, tropical is in my blood.

I always have canned fruits in my pantry because there is always some recipe I can create with them, pineapples are one of them.

Start by mixing the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, milk and eggs and beat well with a handheld mixer. You want to be able to see a figure eight on the mixture and it should look creamy.

Stir in the pineapple with a spoon until well incorporated (reserve the liquid of the pineapple for the glaze later).

In a separate bowl, you want to sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. I usually use a fine strainer if you don’t have a sifter and it does the job just fine.

Slowly mix the dry ingredients with the wet until everything is smooth and then pour into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze for the cake. Simply add the pineapple juice to the powdered sugar and mix. For a thicker glaze add more powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time).

With a toothpick check and see if the cake is ready. You will know when there is no residue left on the toothpick. If you don’t have a toothpick, you can use a knife and make a small incision.

You want to let the cake cool a little before you remove from the pan, about 15 to 20 minutes. With a knife or an icing spatula, simply go around the edges of the cake to separate from the wall of the pan.

Take a large plate and place over the pan and then flip over and the cake will pop out. If for some reason it is a little stuck, give it a soft pat until it pops out.

Let the cake cool before pouring on the glaze, another 15 – 30 minutes. I like to reserve some glaze to pour on each individual slice.

This goes great with a good, hot cup of coffee!

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Cinnamon Apple Chips

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These apple chips are a great way to crave your snacking craving. I started making these because I love apples and I love chips…so why not eat apple chips? I am always trying to make snacks that are healthy but delicious. This is just that snack.

These snacks have 2 ingredients and that’s it. You can make them ahead of time and store them in a sealed container to take to work or school.

The trick to making this great snack is patience. To get the apples to the perfect crunch, you need to cook them slow and low. I good idea is to bake as many as possible at the same time, without overlapping the apples.

You also want to make sure the apples are sliced thin, so using a mandolin is the perfect tool for this recipe. One apple can make you about 20 chips. You can also experiment with the type of apples and see if it changes the flavor or texture.

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Arroz Con Leche

This is a classic dessert in most Cuban restaurants and for a reason. If you have never tried this because you think rice should not be eaten as a dessert, you are missing out. This is a very tasty dessert and a little goes a long way. 

This dessert is rich and creamy, so the creamier the better. To start, you can use whatever rice grain you want, however, I like to use Valencia rice. It’s a smaller grain and I prefer that to the longer grained rice. 

Next is the milk. You can certainly use low-fat milk, but the consistency that this dessert deserves won’t be anywhere near what it should be. Try not to think about calories with this dessert. 

Your next option is a cinnamon stick or cinnamon powder. I have used both and the only difference is the color the dessert will have at the end. The cinnamon powder will give it a little dark color vs. the cinnamon stick will just give it a slightly darker tone. The flavor is still there! 

When you are cooking the rice, make sure to continue to stir the milk. You want to avoid the milk boiling over the pot. Not only does it make a mess, but the ratio will be off. If that happens, don’t worry, you can either add a little milk and voila. 

Once you have added the condensed milk, make sure to refrigerate the dessert in either individual serving cups or in a large container for at least 2 hours. Also, note that the arroz con leche will thicken more, so do not fret if it does not seem to be as thick as you want when you remove from the heat. 

SUGGESTIONS: Try making this dish for the holidays and surprise everyone with what may very well be their new favorite dessert. 

 

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Pouring the condensed milk into the Arroz Con Leche

Asparagus & Mushroom Omelete

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This is a quick, delicious and healthy meal I came up with one morning on the first week of my 30-day challenge. I actually used the left over asparagus from another meal, along with some portobello mushrooms that I had in the refrigerator. I try to always have egg whites and eggs for quick breakfast ideas like these.

There are so many ways to make an omelet tasty and I not only try to use fresh ingredients, I also use spices and herbs.  This recipe’s start herb is rosemary to kick of the holiday season flavors.

I chose to serve the omelet with arugula as that is what I had in the refrigerator. But I also really enjoy greens as a side for my breakfast. I simply added a mixture of 1 part lemon juice, 1 part olive oil and a pinch of salt over the arugula. It is a great combination, trust me.

TRY THESE PRODUCTS

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Baba Ghanoush

I am a huge fan of Middle Eastern Food and Baba Ghanoush is on the top of my list. Not only is it healthy, it’s vegetarian and most diets. It is a great dip and a great spread. You can serve it very similar as you would Hummus but with less carbohydrates.

Some people add flat leaf parsley to the dip witch adds a little freshness to it. However, I love to add pomegranate seeds as they add a little sweetness. The flavor of the eggplant and then the pomegranate seed popping with a little sweetness is amazing.

You can serve with crackers or veggies to use as a vessel. I like to serve with zucchini or cucumber chips. They are perfectly round like a cracker, have very little flavor so the dip shines through. Serve this recipe at your next dinner party, your guests will thank you!

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Pumpkin Waffles

Not many people can resist a waffle for breakfast. Unfortunately, most waffles are usually part of any diet. However, I’m here to tell you this pumpkin waffle recipe is! 

I started a 30-day Paleo challenge weeks ago and the item I miss the most is bread, so instead of cheating, I created this recipe. I did take a few other recipes and did a little experimenting and this is the final product. It is so good that I almost thought I was cheating.

This recipe made 3 large waffles and could have made 4 thinner waffles, so it depends on how much batter you pour into the waffle maker.  Since maple syrup and honey are just added sugar, I served them with a pineapple jam and a sweet potato butter that I make (recipes to come). You can also serve these waffles as a savory dish by removing the stevia. They can also be made as pancakes or mini blinis instead of a cracker.

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Waffle Iron 

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Waffle Batter
Pumpkin Waffle with Sweet Potato Butter and Pineapple Jam