Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Quiche

mmmm quiche.

This was inspired by a flip through Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, which includes a caramelized onion variation in the quiche section.

lots o' onion

You will need:
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cups (about 4 smallish) onions, thinly sliced
  • .5-1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 standard 8" pie crust (I used a prefab)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used whole, cream or reduced fat also works)
  • a few ounces goat cheese
  • nutmeg
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

fully cooked
  1. heat butter in heavy pan until melted, add onions and saute slowly over medium to low heat until caramelized. this step may take up to 1/2 and hour. with my super-crappy electric stove I had to turn the heat between low and medium often, making sure the onions were still cooking, but not browning too fast and getting crunchy, when almost done stir in the thyme. The onion should reduce to about 1.5 cups total
  2. meanwhile par-bake the pie crust at 375 for 5-10 minutes, until golden-brown, then reduce oven to 325
  3. in large bowl gently beat together eggs, milk, a pinch fresh grated nutmeg and cayenne pepper. add salt & pepper to your preference
  4. gently spread some of the onions over the crust, pour in egg mixture, and distribute remaining onions evenly. crumble goat cheese over the top.
  5. bake at 325 until quiche is set, somewhere around 30 minutes. if it still looks loose bake longer, checking after each additional 5-7 minutes
  6. you can broil it for a minute or two at the end to give the top a nice golden top

dinner, with a guest appearance by spicy carrot-cauliflower soup


With the pre-made crust this is a really low-attention hands-off meal I'd even made on a work night.

I didn't add any salt originally, and the eggs definitely needed it to help them stand up to the sweet onion.

The goat cheese kind melded in too well, next time I'd use more.


Slow Cooked Beef

You could probably never tell it from this blog, but we actually eat vegetarian most of the time. I was a vegetarian for 13 years (even vegan for a few of those) but have been eating meat again for almost four (oh-my-god-time-goes-fast) years.

Most of my vegetarian recipes seem so second nature to me I don't bother to write them down, but I'll start trying to get more of those up.

There are certain times of the month when, I'm feeling a bit, um, anemic, that I Constantly. Crave. Cow.

For those occasions there's this recipe (served here as sandwiches, but probably excellent over egg noodles or spaetzle)

ready to spend hours alone

Slow-Cooked Beef, serves 6 adapted from the pioneer woman:

You will need:
  • chuck roast, about 1.5 lbs (grass-fed local please)
  • large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups beef broth +/or chicken broth, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced in thirds lengthwise
  • 10-20 pepperoncini peppers, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini brine
  • 2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • tabasco sauce
  • tamari or soy sauce

sauteed onions, browning beef
  1. in dutch oven, heat butter and saute onion until browned
  2. put in roast and brown on both sides
  3. sprinkle roast with seasoning, garlic and 1/2 the pepperoncinis, then add brine & broth to level with top of beef
  4. cover and simmer on stove-top one hour, preheat oven to 275- 300 degrees
  5. transfer dutch oven to oven and cook 3-4 hours more check periodically to make sure broth hasn't completely evaporated due to your negligence in getting dutch oven lid back on straight, add more broth as needed.
  6. Once meat is very very tender remove it from oven and carefully pull it entirely apart using two forks.
  7. add remaining pepperoncinis, give it a good stir, then add dashes of tabasco and tamari to taste
  8. return covered dutch oven to stove-top and simmer until ready to serve. Alternately, you can refrigerate it at this point then gently reheat the next day when you're ready to eat (what I did)

left over rolls salvaged as new tops
  1. toast buttered french rolls under the broiler and top 1/2 with beef mixture (squeeze it out with a slotted spoon so the rolls don't get too soggy)
  2. top meat side with swiss or provolone cheese and return to the broiler until cheese melts*
  3. close sandwich, plate, serve with the beef juices in small bowls and a giant helping of vegetables to balance it out
  4. fail to get a single picture that makes a delicious meal look appetizing
  5. share, eat, enjoy
This could easily be adapted for a slow cooker; Just saute the onions and brown the beef before throwing it all in the cooker.

all eaten up

*monitor the broiling sandwiches very closely, or don't make this when you're having friends over for dinner. For the life of me I can NOT broil anything when we have company; this was the second time I've smoked friends out the house when something only needed a "few more seconds" under the boiler. At least the food didn't burst into flames, this time.


Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

I found this recipe over on Poppytalk via Everybody Likes Sandwiches, and knew I must have them.

Unfortunately, I have terrible terrible cookie baking skills.

Luckily, my husband has fantastic cookie baking skills. And a sweet tooth. And a sweet heart.

So I got to eat delicious butterscotch oatmeal cookies just days after learning of their existence; I highly suggest you do the same.


We got 36 decent-sized cookies out of this (well, 34 after sampling the dough.) Use a heaping tablespoon for each cookie.

I wasn't sure about the coconut in this recipe, but you can hardly taste it, and it adds a pleasant chewiness to the oatmeal. Of course I like coconut, if you don't, try just adding a bit more oats or substituting with pecans.

Don't be too stingy with the salt on top. We used some home-harvested red sea salt from a dried lake in Idaho (or something, the story was rambling) and the contrast with the sweet really enhances the cookie.

Have these with strong coffee for a delicious, if not so healthy, breakfast.


Recipe credit to Poppytalk/Everbody Likes Sandwiches:

(adapted from The Canadian Baker)
1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar

1/4 c milk

1 t vanilla

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 c oats

1 1/2 c butterscotch chips

1/2 c flaked unsweetened coconut

flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and the 1st salt measurement in a medium bowl.

2. In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in milk and vanilla until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add in oats, butterscotch chips and coconut until incorporated.

3. Spoon up a large tablespoon of dough and drop it onto a cookie sheet leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie. Slightly press down on each lump to slightly flatten and sprinkle a flake or two of salt on each cookie. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.


Spicy Carrot Cauliflower Soup

soup spoon

I love soup.

Soup is one of the first things I remember my mom showing me how to make. Soup can be light or hearty, cool or warm, require constant attention or be a pot you ignore for hours at a time- in other words, I can manage to scrape together a decent soup no matter what mood I'm in.

sad wilting cauliflower octopus

Due to bad planning and tragic events we've been out of town for the last three weekends plus, which means a HUGE pile-up of sad-looking vegetables from the CSA box. I started out thinking I'd make the soup I first learned from my mom- vegetable with dumplings -but as I tend to, I got a tad distracted and changed my plans along the way, ending up with this delicious sweet-spicy soup instead.

attempting to keep track
  • 1 tbsp oil (more if needed)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red curry (paste or powder)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1.5 tsp curry powder (yellow kind)
  • 1 dried chili, torn up
  • .5 tsp whole black pepper corns
  • 4 cups carrots, chopped
  • 4 cups cauliflower, chopped (I used a combination of the flower and the greens, well-aware that using the greens would ruin the vivid orange of my soup)
  • 4 cups yam, chopped (I never skin my veggies, just scrub well, feel free to do whatever)
  • 8 cups broth (go for veggie to make this a vegan/vegetarian soup)

before blending

  1. in a large stock pot heat your oil, add onion and saute over medium-low heat until you finally stop crying from the chopping, or the onion is translucent/beginning to brown. then add the garlic and spices and cook several minutes more. (if you're me, choose spices by going through the spice-cabinet while onions are sauteing, realizing you've got a few things from the last time you made Indian that should probably be used before all their flavor is gone)
  2. if needed, add a bit more oil then the cauliflower, cook until most of the cabbage smell has dissipated
  3. add carrots and cook until slightly soft, stirring every few minutes. add yams and cook a bit more, trying to get some of each ingredient browned for flavor.
  4. add broth to cover vegetables, cover, and leave simmering until everything is tender/cooked the hell out of, depending on your schedule
  5. either leave soup whole or blend with immersion blender
  6. serve with a dollop of plain yogurt (unless you're making a vegan version of course) and a sprinkle of dill weed

almost gone

We ate the soup with buttered toast and kale chips, which never made it out of the kitchen...

This recipe makes somewhere around 10 bowls worth (the vegetables really shrink.) The black pepper adds a surprising amount of spice that is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the carrots and yams, I'll definitely make this one again.


a belated new year

This lunar new year, and valentine's day, I wish everyone the ability to find love that lasts a life-time; whether with another person, art, nature or the everyday astounding-ness of life.


sea soup

makes two very large bowls with a bit left over, could work for three.
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups chopped dino kale (or other winter greens)
  • 5 radishes, sliced thick
  • 1 tsp dashi no moto or fish bullion (can be found in the ethnic aisle of many grocers)
  • 2 cups any broth (I had beef on hand so used it, but mushroom would be great)
  • 4 cups chopped bok choy
  • extra water
  • 1 egg per person
  • miso paste
  • small block tofu, chopped
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • furikake

  1. heat oil in a large pot and saute onion 'til translucent
  2. add kale, then radishes and saute until slightly wilted
  3. sprinkle in dashi no moto and and broth
  4. stir well, then close lid and simmer until kale is very tender
  5. meanwhile, add 1.5 tbsp of miso paste to each person's bowl, take a bit of liquid from the soup and thin the miso, so it will easily incorporate with the soup later
  6. add a scant 1/4 cup rice and equal share of the tofu (no more than 1/4 cup) to each bowl with thinned miso
  7. add bok choy to simmering soup, if needed add water to just cover greens, and return to simmer
  8. make a slight nest for each each egg, crack in eggs and cover soup until eggs are poached to desired hardness, just a minute or two
  9. ladle egg, veggies and broth into bowls and season top generously with furikake, eat


Something I Love

I'm adverse to serials.

I usually won't watch a new television show until it's off the air--I hate having characters live in my head only to have them vanish with no conclusion; I get enough of that in life.*

I do read web-comics like people watch TV.

For just a year or so I've been reading Anders Loves Maria, it's a beautiful heart-wrenching comic that catches the frustrations and joy of love with fabulous muted art that evolves with the story--and last night the author concluded it.

It's also _really_ popular.

If you haven't already read it I highly recommend you do.

Here's a link to the archives: http://anderslovesmaria.reneengstrom.com/archives/

*with many qualifications and exceptions to any absolute


a moment of calm

Sorry for the radio silence lately, things have been hectic between work and home, and most of the meals have been simple--no fancy dinners attended or appetizers shared, and there are only so many variations on potato-leek soup anyone is interested in seeing.*
We had a great few days last weekend visiting relatives in Denver; I'm simultaneously travel exhausted and rejuvenated from temporarily escaping the grind.

*edit: so apparently I haven't actually posted a recipe for potato leek soup yet; I'll get on that.