Quiche

Recently, I’ve been seeing several posts for different quiche recipes on the blogs that I follow, so I decided to make one.  Tim and I love to have a big breakfast/brunch on days off so I knew this would be perfect and very filling.  Since he usually sleeps in several hours later than me, I could prepare it and have it ready to serve when he woke up.

I adapted this recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  No big surprise there, most of my recipes are inspired by her!  I did change the filling based on what I had on hand though.

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Quiche

Ingredients:

1/2 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
7 eggs (I used 5)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup sour cream)
2 cups grated Swiss cheese (I used 1 cup Romano and 1/2 cup pepper jack)
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 pound thick cut peppered bacon (I used about 8 slices)
1 stick butter (I omitted)
1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, very thinly sliced (I used 1)
2 boxes white mushrooms, washed and sliced (I used 1 can)
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (I omitted)
Optional: fresh parsley, fresh chives (I used dried)

I added 1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped

Directions:

In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Crumble and set aside. Pour out excess grease but don’t clean the pan (I drained all but 1 tablespoon of grease).
Add onions and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and green peppers and cook for a few more minutes.  Salt mixture to taste.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Roll out pie crust and press into deep dish tart pan. (May also use 2 standard pie crusts for this recipe.) I used a regular pie dish.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk and sour cream. Add grated cheese, salt and pepper, and set aside.
With a slotted spoon, add mushroom mixture into egg/milk mixture. Stir together. Add bacon and stir.
Add parsley or chives, if desired.
Pour into pie crust and press to submerge ingredients.
Cover loosely with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Bake for slightly longer if quiche is overly jiggly.
Remove from oven and allow to set for ten minutes before serving. Remove quiche from pan and slice into wedges.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Truffle Pie

This is a very rich and decadent dessert that we really enjoyed. I saved this recipe a couple of years ago and never got around to making it. So when I found myself with a open box of chocolate squares plus one whole box I knew my opportunity had arrived! This is a very easy recipe with just 5 ingredients but it could certainly pass as a fancy dessert made to impress.  One addition I will make in the future is a pinch of salt..for some reason I think it really needs it to balance the rich chocolate and sweetness.

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Chocolate Truffle Pie (adapted from Baker’s Chocolate)

Ingredients

1-1/4 pkg. (10 squares) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup fresh whipped cream or Cool Whip – optional
pinch of salt
Directions

Heat oven to 325°F. Microwave chocolate and cream in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until completely melted. Cool slightly.
Whisk in eggs, sugar and flour and salt. Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate. I used a 9″ round cake pan.
Bake 35 min. or until edge of pie is puffed but center is still slightly soft. Rotate pan half way through baking to ensure even baking. I forgot to do this and ended up with a lopsided pie. Serve with dusting of powdered sugar and/or a dollup of whipped cream.

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Granola Bars

Granola bars are something that my husband and I are big fans of. He takes two of them to work for a snack everyday and I like to grab one to eat in the car on my way to work or at my desk once I get to work.

Well, our favorite store brand changed their product so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start making them myself. The prices at the store were increasing anyway and the bars kept getting smaller and smaller. So, by making them myself, I can control the size and quality of ingredients. I don’t think we will buy them from the store ever again.

So far I have tried three different recipes (all listed below). We have enjoyed them all and I will definitely make them all again for variety. But I have a few other recipes saved as well, so I’ll be trying them in the near future to continue our quest for a favorite.

The first was the hubs favorite. It is full of dried fruit and has a nice chewy texture.

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Homemade Granola Bars (recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa, as seen on Pennies on a Platter)

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates – I used 1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots – I used 1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8 x 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper. (I used a glass 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish.)

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

The next recipe is much softer, almost cookie like. It was probably my favorite.

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Chewy Granola Bars (as seen on Delicious Melicious)

Ingredients:
3 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. rice crispies
1 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. melted butter
1 mashed banana
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. Dark Chocolate M&M’s –I used mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. raisins – I used golden raisins
1/2 c. slivered almonds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease or spray a 9 x 13 pan.
In large bowl, mix everything except the chocolate, raisins and nuts. Add those after the oatmeal mixture is well mixed.
Press into pan. Bake for 18-22 min, until golden brown. Cool 10 min, slice. Cool completely before removing from pan.

The third recipe is most like what I was buying at the store, so I’m sure I will make it frequently. An added bonus is that it doesn’t need baked…perfect for summer, when I try to not use my oven as much.

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars (adapted from Stephanie Cooks)

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Fiber One cereal
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds or peanuts (I used almonds)

I added about 1/3 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional) – I used mini chocolate chips but I think peanut butter chips would be perfect too

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the cereal, oats and nuts and wheat germ. Set aside.

Combine the brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, salt, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture, stirring quickly (as sugar mixture cools it hardens quickly). Immediately press mixture into the prepared pan using the back of a large spatula. Lightly press chocolate chips into top of bars (if using). Refrigerate for about 1 hour, then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.