Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cheesy Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

I had a few great ingredients in search of a recipe.

I had my "aha" moment when I spotted this recipe on Pinterest.

I played with the ingredients to use up the cheeses that I had on hand, as well as jumbo eggs instead of large ones. Also, my dish was deeper so I made more custard. This recipe involves lots of chopping and pre-roasting the squash, but it's worth it!


Step 1: Roast your spaghetti squash. I did this last night and I didn't photograph this part! Sorry :( I had to chase after an active toddler and just wanted to get this part done!

All you do is use a heavy chef's knife to split it lengthwise, turning the squash as necessary to get that even cut on both ends. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Sprinkle the cut sides with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and rub it all in. Place the squash halves, cut-side down, on a large baking dish. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until a knife pierces it easily. (Mine was huge and took this long to get tender. A small one may be done in 20 minutes.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use a fork to remove the flesh into tender strings. I stored mine in a quart-sized container with a lid and stashed it in the fridge until quiche-making time today.

Step 2: Assemble the ingredients.

I also added Monterey Jack cheese, nutmeg and Parmesan (not pictured).

Step 3. Chop asparagus, onion and garlic.

I snapped off the tough end of one asparagus stalk and used it as a guide for cutting the rest, like so:

Discard the tough ends, chop the tender pieces into 1" lengths and pile them into a bowl.

Mince the garlic and finely chop the onion.  Heat up 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet or wok.

Cook the onion  and garlic over medium heat until light brown and remove to a plate.

Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil and add your asparagus. Saute until it turns a lovely shade of emerald green.

Remove the cooked asparagus to a plate and allow to cool:

Step 4:  Mash 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash into a greased 9" deep pie dish, completely covering bottom and sides.

Step 5:  Assemble cheese and make custard.

The original recipe only called for 1 cup of shredded Swiss.  I only had sliced Swiss so I chopped it up.  I wanted more, so I added 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.

I took a photo of 6 eggs in the bowl because I underestimated how big those suckers were!  When I started making the custard, I decided to use 5 instead.  The original recipe called for salt and black pepper, but I love the French way of using white pepper instead of the black.  It's subtle and pleasantly musky and adds a lot of flavor to this dish.  I also added a dash of nutmeg because it's great in any custard, sweet or savory.

Time to assemble the masterpiece!

Asparagus first, then scatter onion and garlic over the top.

Pile on the cheeses.  

Pour the custard over the top, using your whisk or a fork to create nooks for the custard to seep through the layers.

Place the quiche on a baking sheet.  Bake in the middle of a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Cover with foil; reduce heat to 350.  Cook for another 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

I should be golden, puffy and full of melty cheese.  The bottom doesn't get crispy (it is made of squash, after all!)  It was yummy anyway.

Cheesy Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust
Inspired by Tasty Kitchen

1 large spaghetti squash, roasted (see above)
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
13 ounces fresh asparagus
1 cup shredded or finely chopped Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
5 jumbo eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus a pinch for seasoning asparagus
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg

Roast squash according to directions; cool completely or make the night before and refrigerate.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in nonstick skillet; add onion and garlic.  Saute over medium heat until lightly browned.  Remove to a plate.  

Snap tough ends of asparagus; chop tender parts into 1" pieces.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet.  Add asparagus and a big pinch of salt.  Saute until the asparagus is barely tender and turns emerald green.  Remove to a plate.

Assemble cheeses; set aside.

Make custard:   Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, white pepper and nutmeg.  Set aside.  
Grease a deep 9" pie dish; measure out 3 cups squash and press into bottom and sides of dish.  Layer in the asparagus, onions and garlic, all the cheese, and the custard.  Use your whisk or a fork to create nooks for the custard to seep into.

Place quiche on a baking sheet.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Cover with foil; reduce heat to 350.  Bake for 25 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on the counter for a few minutes, slice and savor!

Pin It

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Aunt Dorothy's Champagne Cake

This rich cake is impressive and easy to prepare.  It features a white cake flavored with champagne, which is then layered and frosted with French vanilla mousse and topped with chocolate shavings.  It is also fattening!  For special occasions only!

For the cake:

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist cake mix
Ingredients on back of box to prepare cake mix
1/4 cup champagne or prosecco to replace 1/4 cup water called for on box(I used Cupcake Prosecco.)

French Vanilla Mousse:

2 small boxes Jell-O instant French Vanilla pudding mix
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 1/2 tsps. good-quality vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream


1 bar (4 ozs.) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate, shaved with vegetable peeler

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add cake mix, ingredients called for on the back of the box and champagne.  Mix on low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds; increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes.

Divide batter into pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for amount of time called for on box, testing 5 minutes before to ensure overbaking.  Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Remove from pans.  Cool completely.

While cakes are cooling, prepare pudding part of mousse.  In another mixing bowl,  add both boxes of pudding and half-and-half.  Mix on high speed (with clean beaters, of course), until thick and smooth.  Chill in refrigerator until cakes are completely cool.

When cakes are ready, split each layer horizontally.  Set aside.  Prepare whipped cream.  Pour heavy cream and vanilla extract into  another mixing bowl. Whip with clean beaters on high speed until stiff.  Do NOT overbeat.  Fold cream into chilled pudding.  This is the filling and frosting.

Time to assemble!

Place one cake layer on plate; spread with a thick layer of mousse; repeat process, ending with top of cake cut-side down.  Frost top and sides.

Top cake with chocolate shavings.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.  The cake will stay fresh in refrigerator for 3 days.

Pin It

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Banana Yogurt Muffins with Cinnamon Chips

My husband and almost-two-year-old daughter LOVE banana muffins.  (Our oldest daughter despises bananas.  Oh well.  More for us!)

I've made the usual box mixed and plain ol' recipes that you can find anywhere over and over.  I wanted to switch it up...more spices, more protein.  I came across this recipe and tweaked it!  It was love at first bite!  Love the light texture and rich flavor!  I made 12 regular-sized muffins and 17 mini-muffins with this mixture.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt (increase to 1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons salted butter
3 large, overripe bananas
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon McCormick Imitation Vanilla Butter & Nut flavoring
2 large eggs
1 cup Hershey's Cinnamon Chips

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.  Add peeled bananas and mash away!  Whisk in both sugars, yogurt, flavorings and eggs until well combined.  Add dry mixture to this mixture and quickly combine with a wooden spoon.  Fold in cinnamon chips.

Spoon into greased and flour muffin tins, filling 3/4 full.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Mini muffins will take about 15 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!  These would freeze well.  Cool completely before bagging and storing at room temperature or freezer.

Pin It

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Caramel Latte Donuts

Fall is my favorite season.  I love the crisp air, changing leaves, sweaters and all things pumpkin!

I stumbled across this recipe while on Pinterest.  I had all the ingredients, so I put my infant in the swing and mixed these up as quickly as I could.



I loved the balance of flavors...the little pumpkin cakes were spiced just right, with a hint of coffee and irresistible pockets of melted caramel.  The caramel came in the form of Kraft Caramel Bits, which I just discovered at the grocery store.  This is a terrible picture, but anyway...

No more unwrapping and chopping caramels for recipes.  These nuggets of goodness are worth buying.

See them in there?

I highly recommend eating the doughnuts soon after baking.  If you have to store them, warm them for a few seconds in the microwave before consumption.  The caramel will be a bit chewy if you don't.

I changed the glaze a bit from the original recipe.  I used 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons boiling water.  


Pin It

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mom's Apple Bundt Cake With Butterscotch Glaze

My Mom has made this cake for as long as I can remember.

I love the caramelized, crunchy crust on the moist, cinnamon-y cake, the candy-like glaze and the juicy apples.

In the original recipe, Mom used 2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil.  I reduce the sugar slightly and eliminate 1/2 cup of oil.  I use 1/2 cup of applesauce instead.  It drives home the apple flavor and cuts a little of the fat.

For the cake:

1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large apples (Fuji or Golden Delicious), peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the glaze:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with Pam for Baking or Baker's Joy.  Make sure the tube part is sprayed as well.  Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and applesauce to a large mixing bowl.

Beat on medium speed for three minutes.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on medium speed just until blended.

Chop the apples and nuts.

Add them to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted one inch from the center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Invert a serving platter on top of the cake pan.  Flip the cake out onto the serving platter.  Set aside.

For the glaze, place the ingredients in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  (Nonstick would be ideal.  If you don't have a nonstick skillet, you will need to soak it in warm water later.)

Bring to a boil.  Boil for two minutes, reducing the heat slightly if needed. Stir it frequently.  Large bubbles will appear.

Carefully pour the butterscotch goodness over the cake.

Cool for a few minutes before cutting it.  The glaze will become crunchy and yummy.

The cake is great warm, room temperature or cold.  

Pin It

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Granola

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!  (Who comes up with these food holidays, anyway??)

This granola is quick to make, quick to bake and lasts for at least one week if stored in an airtight container.   The original recipe was printed in the January 2009 edition of Southern Living and calls for dry-roasted peanuts.  I also like to omit these and replace them with a mixture of cashews and pecans (as pictured below).   I also add a little cinnamon and vanilla.

3 cups uncooked regular oats (not instant)
1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts or nuts of your choice
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Greek vanilla yogurt and sliced bananans, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut and sesame seeds; set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add peanut butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup and salt.  Cook for three minutes or until smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat; stir in vanilla.

Pour the hot mixture over the oat mixture.  Stir to combine.  Spoon the granola onto a greased, aluminum foil-lined 17 X 12 inch jelly roll pan.  (I use parchment paper.)  Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden, stirring the mixture after ten minutes.   I keep a close eye on it so it won't burn.

If using foil, transfer the granola to a sheet of wax paper and cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes.  If using parchment, carefully lift the paper and granola off the jelly roll pan and place it on a cooling rack.

Transfer to an airtight container when completely cooled.  Serve with yogurt and bananas.

Makes 6 cups
Pin It

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes

We always do pancakes on Saturday morning.

This is what we had for breakfast today.  Use real maple syrup.  Always.

1 cup all-purpose flour (preferably Martha White)
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax meal (such as King Arthur)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 ounces applesauce (the contents of one snack cup!)

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vanilla, buttermilk and applesauce.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry and whisk until combined.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Very lightly grease the surface with butter.  Portion out the batter with an ice cream scoop.  Spread each scoop out just a bit.  Cook until the edges look dry.  Flip.  Cook through, flipping again if needed.

Serve piping hot with syrup.

Makes 8 pancakes.
Pin It


Related Posts with Thumbnails
A smiling face is half the meal. (Latvian proverb)