Friday, April 26, 2013

Mushroom-Spinach Quiche

I was scrolling through my Pinterest boards, and I came across this this recipe I had pinned awhile back from Erin Chase of $5 Dinners fame. 

This had such a "fresh" taste, chock full of sauteed spinach and mushrooms. My only complaint was that I couldn't really taste the feta, which was a disappointment. I think the mozzarella cheese on top masked the tangy flavor I was looking for, so I suggest leaving it off...or maybe reducing the amount. I know, it's strange to say, cut back on the cheese, because it makes everything better...but if you want the feta to shine, I would do just that.

I have eaten this for dinner...for breakfast...for lunch this week. I love how versatile quiche is.

Printable recipe

6 ounces fresh spinach leaves
8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
6 eggs
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Saute spinach in a little bit of olive oil until wilted and transfer to a colander. In same pan, saute mushrooms in a little more olive oil until browned and add to spinach in colander.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the crumbled feta.

Place crust into greased pie plate. Add the mushrooms and spinach, and then pour the egg-feta mixture over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over the top and cook for 5-10 additional minutes or until cheese has melted and edges of crust are brown.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

Monday nights, in particular, are now more difficult for me, so I decided to use my kitchen as a much-needed distraction. I cranked up the music and put together these sliders that I had seen from What's Cookin' Chicago?

I feel about Hawaiian sweet rolls the way I do about crescent can put virtually anything in them and it's going to be a winner.

These were, as you can imagine, delicious...but I think they could have been even more so. I think I used too much sauce, even though I didn't pile it on, because it seeped into the bread and made the sandwiches soggy. I think these would be better if you heated the sauce up separately and served on the side as a dip. 

That said, though, it sounds like it's strictly a matter of opinion, since the two guys at work who split the leftovers declared them "perfect" and told me not to change a thing. Go figure.

What really makes these special is the topping...if it's possible to improve the flavor of Hawaiian rolls (and I didn't think it was), it's with this scrumptious sauce.

Printable recipe

Pizza sauce
1 package (12-count) Hawaiian sweet rolls
Pepperoni slices
Shredded mozzarella cheese

4 tablespoons butter, melted
Italian seasoning
Worcestershire sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese

Spread pizza sauce onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place 2-3 slices of pepperoni and some shredded cheese inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them close together into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. 
In a small bowl, combine melted butter with a few shakes each of Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and cheese. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches, just enough to cover the tops; let sandwiches sit for 10 minutes to absorb the butter and seasonings.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oven Tacos

Let's take another American classic and stick it in the oven, shall we? Once ordinary dish is transformed just by baking it! I saw this on one of my favorite blogs, Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour. and knew it would be a hit.

The meat mixture makes far more than the five tacos I actually cooked. I didn't use all of the meat to fill additional tacos because a) it was just the two of us and b) I knew these wouldn't work as leftovers. I saved the extra meat, and we used it for taco salads later in the week.

I recommend using the flat-bottomed taco shells. They're more sturdy and they're thicker, which means they're less likely to get soggy from the filling.

I topped mine only with pickled jalapeno slices, but the add-ons are endless...salsa, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Printable recipe

2 pounds ground beef
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 16-ounce can refried beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Taco shells

Brown and drain beef and return to skillet. 

Add chiles, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook for a few minutes or until the mixture thickens up.

Spoon the mixture into the bottom of your taco shells and arrange in a baking dish. 

Top the tacos with cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Add additional toppings of your choice.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oven Hot Dogs

What's better than a plain ol' chili-cheese dog? A baked chili-cheese dog, of course. This version will make the original pale in comparison.

I've seen this recipe on several blogs, but I had pinned the one from Alyssa B. Young's site. I'm not a big fan of mayonnaise, but everything I've seen points to this ingredient as being the "something special" to the recipe, so spread the buns generously. (I took a deep breath and went way beyond my comfort zone with the amount I used.)

I halved the recipe since it was just the two of us, but this would be a great way to feed a group. I left off the sweet relish and diced onions for personal preferences, but feel free to pile those on, as well. prepared to eat these with a knife and fork! 

Printable recipe

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1 can of chili
cheddar cheese
Line inside of hot dog buns with mayonnaise. Add mustard. Fill with hot dogs and place into a 13×9″ baking pan.
Top hot dogs with chili and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Hiatus boyfriend of two years passed away unexpectedly six weeks ago today. I have been paralyzed by grief. It has been unlike anything I have ever known.

Patrick was such an absolute joy to cook for, and, every day, I would send him dinner options from Pinterest for him to choose what he wanted me to make. He was a great sous chef, handing me what I needed and cleaning up as I went along.

Afterwards, as I stared into my fully stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer, I thought to myself, "I will never cook again."

And then I remembered. Cooking is therapeutic for me. It sustained me through my divorce, when I made 100 recipes from Southern Living in a year as a distraction and blogged about it to keep me accountable.

And it will help again.

I have a few recipes to post from before he died, and I have vowed to return to my kitchen, which brings me so much pleasure, and cook again. He would want this.

I am back.