Foodie Friday: Quiche Lorraine

After a busy work day, it’s nice to come home and make something super easy but equally as delicious. For me, that go to meal is a quiche. It’s relatively simple to make and I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry and fridge. Plus the left overs are great for breakfast, lunch, or another dinner! Last night I made Quiche Lorraine which is always a hit with my husband…probably due to the 1/2 lb of BACON i put in it 🙂 This recipe comes from  Simplerecipes.com. Quiche Lorraine (photo)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe pie dough or a prepared frozen pie crust
  • 1/2 pound of bacon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste (we used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated gruyere
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives

METHOD

1a If you are making your own pie crust, roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch round. Place it in a 10-inch wide, 1 1/2-inch high tart pan, pressing the dough into the corners. Use a rolling pin to roll over the surface of the tart pan to cleanly cut off the excess dough from the edges. Freeze for at least half an hour before blind-baking. 1b Pre-bake the frozen crust (also called “blind” baking). Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the frozen crust with heavy duty aluminum foil or with parchment paper. Allow for a couple inches to extend beyond the sides of the tart or pie pan. Fill two-thirds with dry beans or other pie weights (I’ve heard copper pennies work well for this too). If you are using a pan with a removable bottom, place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to catch any spillage. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven, remove the pie weights (the easiest way to do this is to lift up the foil by the edges) and the foil. Using the tines of a fork, poke little holes all around the base of the crust. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and set aside. quiche-lorraine-1.jpgquiche-lorraine-2.jpg 2 Cook the bacon. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Arrange strips of bacon in a single layer on the bottom of the pan (you may need to work in batches or do two pans at once). Slowly cook the bacon, turning the strips over occasionally until they are nicely browned and much of the fat has rendered out. Lay the cooked strips of bacon on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. Pour fat out of the pan into a jar (not down the drain, unless you want to clog the pipes) for future use, or wait until it solidifies and discard in the trash. Chop the cooked bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces. 3 Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt, black pepper and chives and whisk a little more. Add the milk and cream and whisk vigorously to incorporate and introduce a little air into the mix – this keeps the texture of the quiche light and fluffy. Arrange the bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust. quiche-lorraine-3.jpgquiche-lorraine-4.jpg Whisk the egg-milk mixture hard again for a few seconds, then pour it gently into the pie crust. You want the bacon and cheese to be suspended in the mix, so you might need to gently stir it around just a little. You also want the chives, which will float, to be evenly arranged on top, so move them around with a spoon until you like where they are. 4 Put the quiche into the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. (If using pan with removable bottom, be sure to place a rimmed baking sheet underneath.) Check for doneness after 30 minutes by gently jiggling the quiche. It should still have just a little wiggle. (It will finish setting while it cools.) Cool on a wire rack. Eat at room temperature, cold (a quiche will keep for several days in the fridge), or reheated gently in a 200-degree oven.

Happy Cooking!

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Slaying the Beast– The beastly built in that is!

This weekend’s project was a win-win situation for both me and Mr. H— I got an item removed that was totally clashing with my design plans and Mr. H got to smash things!  What item did he destroy you ask? The oversized built-in in our family room which I’m happy to report is now a distant memory.

When we toured the house for the first time, we both knew that this was a piece that was way too large and taking up way too much space in the room. It was one of the first things we wanted to change to make the room feel more open. Just as a reminder, here’s what the unit looked like originally (photo taken from the real estate listing):

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Too much for the small corner!

So Mr. H went to work and bought the holy trinity of manly demolition tools:

1)Power Drill

2)Sledge Hammer

3)Crow Bar

(Enter Tim “the tool man” Taylor grunt here)

He came home with his chest puffed out and a bit more swagger with manly tools in hand ready to do some damage. After prepping the area (and by prepping the area I mean making sure his 55 inch tv was safely out of harm’s way) he took his first swing using the sledge-hammer. Now on HGTV, this is where a cabinet come crashing down or dry wall crumbles and someone triumphantly walks through their newly created hole. But in our case, NOTHING HAPPENED! The wood did not move. So my determined husband gave it another swing. Still nothing.

According to our neighbors, the unit was built by the original owners who were quite the DIYers. (They also hand-built the fireplace and landscaped the backyard, pond and waterfall.) These people must have intended for this piece to survive the apocalypse because whatever they used to build it was not making it easy to tear down.

Mr. H then decided that maybe this method wasn’t working and brought out the power drill to remove the shelves piece by piece which ended up being a much better plan.

Once the shelves were removed, he started in working on the frame with the crow bar prying it away from the wall, put in a bit more elbow grease, and then…. It was gone!

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Here are a few before and after shots:

Before….photo 2

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After!

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Now we just need to re-dry wall a few places and patch some spots.

So proud of my honey for tackling this! Well done Babe!

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Foodie Friday: Balsamic Braised Pork Chops

Summer is drawing to a close. Back to School commercials are on TV and  people are taking their last vacations before the weather cools down. Fall is by far my favorite season, so I would be lying if I didn’t say that I am antsy with anticipation for the autumn months.

For today’s Foodie Friday, I wanted to share one of my favorite meals to cook in the fall: Balsamic Braised Pork Chops. It does involve several steps to prepare, but this recipe is super delicious and the perfect meal to share with that special someone! This recipe comes from William Sonoma.

Balsamic Braised Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, each 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 bacon slices, diced
  • 1 red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. chicken demi-glace
  • Fresh rosemary leaves for garnish

Directions:

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork chops and sear, turning once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and partially cover the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, thyme and bacon. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the liquid is thickened and reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the broth and demi-glace and bring the sauce to a simmer.

Return the pork chops to the pan. Cook, uncovered, coating the chops with the sauce, for 10 to 12 minutes. Garnish with the rosemary leaves and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Happy Cooking!!

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