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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Arugula and Parmesan Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Super simple salad that you can make to accompany any meal. The lemon vinaigrette is bright and tasty and meshes well with many other main dishes. I paired it with a burger and potatoes to put a little green on the plate.  I used pre-shredded Parmesan cheese but you can certainly take a block of the cheese and carve thin slices off for a bolder flavor.

This salad is such a simple flavor that you can actually use as a topping on a sandwich or burger as well. A great trick when serving a salad is to make sure that the lettuce portion is chilled in the refrigerator right before you toss all together.

Salads are great way to add a little layer to your meal and a great way to experiment on flavors. Take a cobb salad, who would think of adding all those flavors together and yet they work. Hove fun with salads, you might surprise yourself.

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MEAL PLAN

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Turkey and Black Bean Burgers

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Who doesn’t like a good burger and who says that a good burger can’t be made out of turkey?  This was a very easy and yet very delicious recipe that you can make ahead of time and then cook up when you are ready to serve.  The burger is so tasty that my husband and I ate them without bread, since we are on a low carb diet, but I served my daughter in a delicious Sara Lee Artesano bun.

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I chose to cook these on the stove top and not the BBQ because I love the crust that it makes and more so the crust when the cheese gets crispy from dripping down the burger. Turkey meat is actually not that expensive so you can make these burgers for about 8 people for about $20 (meat, cheese and buns).  Since only 3 of us ate, I still have 5 burger left for tomorrow.

MEAL PLAN

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Spinach and Cheddar, Crustless Quiche

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Quiches have always been a crowd pleaser and I love to experiment with the flavors. They are also extremely easy to put together so you can make a few different flavors to ensure that all taste buds are accounted for.

By definition a quiche is a baked flan or tart with a savory filling thickened with eggs. As long as you get the right mixture, you too can create your own flavors. Try some out and share with me your recipes.

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MUST HAVE PRODUCTS
These products are staples in my kitchen. The pie pans are great for always and now for the holidays they will come in handy. The spatulas are amazing and this I use for anything and everything, check them out.
9 inch Pie Pans
Silicone Spatula Spoons 

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Guava and Cream Cheese Ice Cream

Guava and Cream Cheese Ice CreamSo this is the recipe that I feel took me over the top in creations and is one of the first inserts to my Cookbook –  Buy Cookbook Here

A very popular dessert in Cuba is too serve casacaras de guayava con queso crema en galletas cubana (guava shells with cream cheese on Cuban crackers). It sounds different, but it is delicious! It has that really sweet with some salty and definitely creamy flavor. So if you decide not to attempt this recipe, you should give the true dessert a whirl.

So after I created the recipe, I entered it into a Paula Deen contest for Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I didn’t win, but I keep telling myself it’s because I did not follow the rule that the recipe had to take under 30 minutes ; ). There are certain people that have attempted to create this recipe in Miami, FL after me, but I can assure you, this recipe is #1. Try it out and you tell me…

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 4-6 PEOPLE

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ¾ cups of sugar (extra fine)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of guava marmalade (I use Conchita)
  • 4 ½ guava shell (small dice) (I use Conchita)

HOW TO MAKE IT…

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients, except the guava shells and blend together
  2. Place the frozen tub on the ice cream maker and turn on
  3. While the machine is running, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and let run for about 30 minutes until ice cream thickens
  4. After 20 minutes, add the diced guava shells to the mixture and let mix for the last 10 minutes
  5. Pour all the ice cream into a freezer safe container and place in freezer for about an hour

 

Neptune Salad

Neptune Salad_book.JPGI hope everyone had a great Holiday… My holiday was amazing as I spent it with my family.  My Noche Buena beans were a hit and there were hardly any left overs. Now that the New Year is approaching I am getting back into a routine so that I can start the new year right. I have been working out and eating well, no more cheating on desserts.

Yesterday I received an email from my publishing company asking me for a replacement of a photo for the cookbook so I decided to make the recipe for lunch. The recipe in the cookbook is a little different from this one that I am going to give you guys today, but this one is very delicious also. There are so many ways that you can make this recipe different by adding and replacing ingredients that you prefer.  This is also a great recipe to have and serve as an appetizer, in a sandwich or send to lunch for the kids.  You can make in advance also for the next day.


Ingredients:
*Imitation crab meat – 12 ounces, small dice
*Shrimp – medium, cooked, cleaned and deveined, small dice
*Red onion – 1/4 cup, small dice
*Cucumber – 1/2 cup, small dice, peeled
*Hass avocado – 1 whole, medium dice
*Cilantro – 2 tablespoons
*Lemon juice – 1/2 lemon juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
*Avocado mayo – (1/2 an avocado creamed)
*Kosher salt – 2 teaspoons
*Pepper – 1 teaspoon
*Celery seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Mix the crab, shrimp, onion and cucumber in a bowl and add the avocado mayo (all of it) and mix well.
  • Add the salt, pepper, celery seeds, cilantro, lemon juice and mix again.
  • Add the avocado and the cilantro and mix one last time (folding in the ingredients to not mush the avocado).

Tips: Serve with crackers or just eat with a spoon/fork. You can also serve with celery or place in a pita pocket.