It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when quiche was all the rage. That time was the 1970’s, and any hostess worth her salt had to serve quiche… quiche Lorraine. Of course, I love a quiche Lorraine, but it doesn’t quite stack up to a grain-free quiche filled with roasted pumpkin, caramelized onions, and local grass-fed blue cheese.
Coming from a family of French immigrants, quiche was a regular occurrence. My grandmother made one with leeks and ham that was my absolute favorite, and my aunt’s came in at a close second.
I love making quiche, tarts, frittatas, and other savory custards. My husband says he knew he liked me from the start, but he knew he loved me as soon as he ate my quiche (nope, not a euphemism).
While the quiches I grew up with skewed towards the traditional, mine often feature seasonal veggies and local cheeses. I love a roasted red pepper and feta quiche or spicy roasted tomato quiche with jalapeño and cilantro. This grain free quiche is packed with caramelized onion, roasted pumpkin, blue cheese, and sage and it smacks of fall in the best possible way.
When I had to stop eating gluten, tart dough was the first recipe I worked on at great length. My gluten”full” pastry crust was truly outstanding, and I worked hard to figure out the right blend and techniques for gluten free dough. Last Christmas, I even made gluten free puff pastry!… get the recipe
In my Californian naïveté, I assumed that the great chili debate was simply a question of “to bean, or not to bean”. Apparently, I was wrong. Feelings run deep and they run hot over the “right” kind of chili powder, whether or not tomatoes can be added, to use ground meat or stew cuts, and don’t even get folks started on where chili actually originated.
Growing up, chili was one of the few things that came out of a can. My mother, being from France, wasn’t what you’d call skilled in the art of southwestern cooking. My dad, well he just wasn’t real skilled at cooking at all (except for the world’s best scrambled eggs, burgers, steaks, and potatoes). I can’t say where or when I first ate chili, but I know I’ve loved it since I was a small girl. The other kids ordered French toast or Belgian Waffles at our local breakfast spot (hey hey, Millbrae Pancake House). Me, I never strayed from my favorite breakfast, Chili Corn Pancakes.
I first started making chili when I became a vegetarian at 16. Spicy black bean chili was a major staple of my diet. It usually consisted of canned black beans, fresh tomatoes, chiles, onions, and spices. I still love black bean chili, though my recipe has evolved over the years to be a tad more complex.
My first taste of Texas style chili was in 2002 during a road trip to eastern Colorado. The savory spicy meat bomb was … get the recipe
Little did I know, when Maggy Keet of Three Many Cooks. invited me on a trip to Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery, that I would meet some of the loveliest people I know. One of those folks was Jess Goldman Foung of Sodium Girl. Jess and I sat across from one another at my favorite Thai Restaurant, Lers Ros, but Jess wasn’t eating. You see, Jess was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004 and the disease attacked her kidneys. She was supposed to be on dialysis for the rest of her days, but with healthy lifestyle changes, Jess is living it up, to her heart (and kidney’s) content. Eating almost no sodium at all, Jess still manages to make gorgeous and tasty food.
Jess’s fantastic cookbook Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook was released today! When she asked me to participate in a sodium-free recipe rally, I was all over it. Joshua and I eat a pretty clean diet and since we don’t eat processed foods, neither of us has a huge taste for the salty stuff. That being said, I do use a variety of sea salts and natural mineral-rich salt in my cooking. It’s an easy crutch to just add a bit of salt to perk up the flavor of a dish. Was I up for the challenge? Of course, I’m up for it- I decided to push myself and makeover one of my favorite guilty pleasures. Buffalo Chicken- and not just lower sodium, I’m going … get the recipe
Maggy and I are both getting a little sweaty in the heat of Becky’s Salt Lake City Kitchen. The tomatoes are roasting, the olives have been pulsed into garlicky, briny, tapenades, and Becky is snapping away as Maggy and I work the dough for our two tomato tarts.
It started as an idea to highlight summer’s best seasonal ingredient (the tomato, duh!), a way for a few food-blogging girl friends to make lunch together, and then Becky (of The Vintage Mixer fame) had to go suggesting we turn this thing into a competition. Friends/Judges were called, lines were drawn in the sand, and the tomato tart-off was invented.
With the competition heating up, Maggy and I worked feverishly, tasting each component of our tomato tarts. A little salt here, a smidge more vinegar there. I kept my eye on her making sure she wasn’t bribing the judge when I turned my back. I mean, I wouldn’t put anything past her. She may be adorable, but that girl is one fierce competitor. Luckily Becky was monitoring both of us- who can say whether I may have winked once or twice at our friendly judge, Mike, if she hadn’t been keeping tabs.
Maggy’s tart crust was blind baking and the smell of butter wafted its golden scent from the oven. Sealing the empty shell with an egg wash prevented the dreaded soggy bottom and readied the crust for a glorious creamy chevre interior. When I snuck a taste of the … get the recipe
Last weekend, was one of the most joy-filled, sweet, beautiful, energetic, weekends I’ve had in a good long while. Thanks in no small part to Miss Maggy Keet of Three Many Cooks who organized a trip to Redwood Hill Farm with friends old and new. I’m feeling full of life (and goat cheese). I won’t talk too much, just yet, about my trip to the farm or the ADORABLE baby goats because, well, it’s day three of Cinco De Mayo Week and we have recipes to get to, right?
So far, we’ve had Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa which was (of course) gluten free, vegan, and lactose free. Yesterday, we did DIY homemade lox with a Latin kick. I’m not exaggerating when I say they are the best lox ever and I’m never buying lox again unless it’s a lox emergency. I’ve been known to have those.
Today’s recipe is inspired by my weekend; it’s a smoked goat cheddar quesadilla with shitake mushrooms and wilted spinach with green garlic and cilantro crema. Here’s where the inspiration comes in: I fell in love with Redwood Hill Farm’s smoked goat cheddar. I have rarely loved a smoked cheese this much- I often find them unpleasantly chewy. Also I was inspired by my people, this is a dish that is vegetarian, gluten free, and lactose free, I also didn’t add any salt after a conversation with my new friend Jess of Sodium Girl (the cutest ever) about how spinach can be salty. Shauna of Gluten … get the recipe
I know you hear this from an awful lot of girls (and boys), but I have to say it anyway. I am in love with you. But, California, before you dismiss me as just another of your millions of admirers or, worse yet. one of those interloping social climbers, please hear me out.
While many are seduced by your Hollywood glamour or your Silicon Valley connections, don’t worry, California, I know that’s not what makes you tick. I am rather attracted to your curves and those sheer… cliffs you’ve got going on but how can you blame me? I’m only human? You sure have a fabulous way with food and wine, and these things I definitely find appealing.
There are certain things that drive me wild, California, like when you seem to spring into your full bloom while everyone else is still half asleep. How you’re simply radiant and glowing and every hill, mountain, stream, and tiny flower reflects that brilliant glow. How when you’re grey and misty, that misty fog seems expansive and enveloping all at once.
I love that in all the years I’ve known you, I still haven’t gotten to know you all the way. I’ve seen your highest peaks and your lowest valleys (take this as you will), but I have so much more to explore. Others have given up on you, California, saying it’s too hard to be with you. There’s no denying, you’re one expensive love affair to maintain, but I am … get the recipe