Jenn’s “I don’t know what the hell I am doing quiche”

…or as I have to call it for my husband to eat it: Manly egg, bacon, and potato pie. He walked into the kitchen as I was making it, looking dubiously at me as I cooked.

“Coffee?” he asked.

“Nope,” I answered. “It’s not personal…I just got sidetracked by this *gestures*.”

“No coffee is always personal. What are you making?”

“A manly egg, bacon, and potato pie.”

He nodded and left the kitchen.

The only quiche I have eaten in my life came from a grocery store, and it was way better than it had any right being. The kids even loved it. So, as I was sitting on the couch this morning with my girl, watching the 239th Sesame Street of the morning, I had a flash of inspiration: I have a pie crust in the freezer! It might be a little freezer burnt, but I like to live dangerously.

So I have no idea if this will work…let’s be adventurous.

Ingredients

  • five eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup sour cream
  • some grated cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • blind baked pie crust
  • 3 strips of pepper bacon
  • whatever was leftover in the bag of frozen hashbrowns, browned in a skillet
  • half of a diced onion, sauteed in bacon fat

Method

Blind bake pie crust. Mix eggs, sour cream, and milk, and throw whatever cheese you have in there, too. Salt and pepper.

Brown bacon. Crumble. Saute onion. Set aside. Brown hashbrowns.

Throw everything into pie crust. Bake at 400 for 15 and at 350 for 30. Hope for the best.

In the meantime, tell her to get out of my onions!

raw onion.jpg

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Cooking with Annabel: French toast sausage roll ups

I love cooking. If there was a hierarchy of enjoyable activities, my list would have these tied for number one:

  1.  cooking
  2.  being kissed by my baby
  3. cuddling with the older kids
  4. having an “aha!” moment in the classroom
  5. Playing with the kids 

These moments catch my breath and make me realize why I was put on this small, rocky planet.

So, you’d think that I might want to combine some of these activities to make even BETTER activities? Cooking with the kids seems to be a natural fit, right? Well, wrong. When I had kids and became an insta-mom via marriage, I stopped cooking for pleasure and started cooking out of necessity.  And I struggled with that.  Cooking was no longer a selfish, me-time activity. I tried cooking my normal food for the one and four year old and you know what? They hated it. I went from home made everything to FINE! Here’s mac and cheese!  It was a rocky transition. But slowly, slowly, slowly, I taught those kiddos how to eat like humans.  Now I can throw some blue cheese in a salad or have chicken and waffles with a honeyed sriracha sauce and they literally want to lick the plate.  I am proud of them and me for getting this far.  So why haven’t I cooked with the kids more? Part of me still wanted it to be my own, selfish time.  Annabel needs to learn to cook, and so will Henry eventually, but I didn’t want to share my time. But slowly slowly, that has changed as well.  Annabel won’t be cooking every meal with me, but I am going to set aside two nights a week for her and I to cook together.  And I am so excited for that.

Our first true cooking adventure was this week and Annabel and I made sausage french toast roll ups.  They were so freaking delicious.  If you like sweet and salty flavors in your breakfast line-up, then please try these. They are kid friendly, adult friendly, and quite addicting.  Here are the details:

Ingredients/Method:

  1.  You need some bread. Any kind of bread.
  2. You need some breakfast sausage links. Cook them completely.
  3. You need your basic french toast custard. Eggs, milk, vanilla, pinch of salt, cinnamon, whisked.
  4. Roll out your bread slices.  Make them thinner. How much thinner? I don’t know. I didn’t measure.  I also cut off the crusts so that my sausage would roll up nicely into the bread slice.
  5. Roll your sausages up in your bread slices.
  6. Dunk your rolled sausages into the egg mixture.
  7. Fry em up. Roll em around to get all sides browned.
  8. Top with syrup. I could eat these every day.

 

Annabel cooking

 

Huevos Rancheros, an exercise in commitment

Making huevos rancheros during the hottest part of the day, in the hottest room of the house, isn’t for the faint of heart. Or for the brightest person. Or for a person who doesn’t love sweat dripping and pooling in uncomfortable places. But it is for the stubborn person who wants to make something special and different from the normal dinner rotation for her family.  Stubborn, I am.  Committed to a plan even when the sweat torrents? Absolutely.

Huevos rancheros is one of those dishes I love to eat a bit more than I love to make, which might explain why I haven’t made it in awhile. Or why I might have completely forgotten it existed.  It’s one of those dishes that turns me into a short order cook, and that is not my favorite feeling, especially when it’s uncomfortably hot and I just want to eat without having to cook anything. It requires that you fry eggs to order, as well as tortillas, but if you’re up for the challenge, here we go…

Ingredients:

  • corn tortillas
  • shredded cheese of your preference
  • eggs for frying
  • red potatoes
  • This amazing red sauce
  • refried beans
  • oil/butter for frying
  • seasonings
  • cilantro

Method:

Dice up your potatoes into uniform cubes. Maybe 1 inch dice? You are going to parboil them until they are knife tender, and if you made uniform cuts, the potatoes will cook at the same rate, which is important.

Parboil potatoes in salted water.

Making the amazing red sauce. Make lots of it.  Freeze what you don’t use.  It’s easily one of the best sauces I have ever made.Keep it warming while you get the rest of the meal together.

Once the potatoes are soft-ish, drain them well.  Throw them into a hot skillet ( I prepped mine with lots of bacon grease), and season generously. I used cumin, onion and garlic powder, seasoned salt, and mexican oregano. Fry the homefries until they are crispy and completely soft on the inside.

homefries

Once sauce is done, potatoes are mostly done, heat up your refried beans, and fry your corn tortillas to your desired crispiness.

Keep them warm in the oven in a dish towel.

Fry however many eggs you will need. I like mine over easy.

Each huevos rancheros serving is one tortilla, layered with beans, cheese, potatoes, sauce, a fried egg, more sauce, and cilantro.

Here is the finished product.

huevosrancheros

This recipe can be changed up several different ways. You could change up the sauce, leave out the potatoes, change the potatoes to sweet potatoes, add sausage…the important thing is that you have some beans and an egg with an amazing sauce on a tortilla. The rest is up to you.