I’m always intrigued as to what makes a quiche top notch—which in general, mine are not. But after playing around with a number of recipes, I came up with one that hit the mark; and I think the secret really is the number of eggs—more than I’ve generally used. The rich, creamy cheese custard with a crunchy crust is a winner. With a nice Caesar salad and crusty bread, it makes for a delicious lunch, especially during these nippy days of Fall!
Here at the Convent we love to give attention to birthdays, be they big or little. Last week I had a very BIG one (85!) and it was celebrated in a very big way, especially featuring an abundance of beautiful spring flowers and fabulous food — two of my main passions.
The day was launched with an outstanding brunch including many of the old favorites I’d used over the years for guests, retreats and special events. This Swiss Omelet Roll was a specialty that brought back many memories, and made for much meaningful conversation as we re-lived the occasions when it was served.
Twenty six of our community young people who belong to our WinterPercussion Ensemble just returned from two intense tech weeks of preparation for the final competition they will be participating in in Dayton, Ohio in April. They have been practicing and working hard towards this starting last fall. When they rehearse, they use up enormous amounts of energy and work up huge appetites.
Two sisters went with them to cook and keep them properly fed. The meals are hearty and nourishing, starting with breakfast which needs to be full of protein. This ham and egg dish is one of their favorites. I like to believe that their excellent performance and high ratings are, in part, due to this most excellent breakfast.
Many people like to also serve this for lunch and or for a light supper with a salad or vegetable accompanying it.
Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.
Next week we start harvesting apples. How the year zips right along, from planting to harvest to seed again. We haven’t quite finished dealing with the pears yet, but we are getting there. Many more jars of chutney, and maybe some cordial to warm us in the winter months. I wanted to try the pear chutney in my favorite hot ham and cheese sandwich, so I made up some bread dough, slathered in some of our homemade mustard and a good dollop of the pear chutney, baked it until the cheese was oozing out the sides and it was quite good! Served with a nice bowl of butternut squash soup, who could ask for more on these nippy fall days?
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Hot Ham and Cheese Pockets with Mustard and Chutney
I think the biggest event of this past week (well, maybe not, but it seems that way…) was the visitation of the wild turkey. I was talking with a friend in one of the offices and she suddenly jumped up and said “there’s a wild turkey!” and ran out the door. He appeared in the entryway to our common, and proceeded to climb up onto the guest house patio, as if he belonged there. What a handsome fellow! I had never seen one close up, and it was a real treat to see him strutting back and forth, admiring himself in the windows.
For a recent brunch type reception, I was asked to come up with a mini egg dish that was similar to quiche, but not heavy. We tried a number of things, and discovered a delicious breakfast option. We tried it first in pastry, which is nice, but then switched it to a ham cup and…oh my!!! Here they are in a breakfast-sized form, which we made for a retreat this past weekend, but you can also do them mini-size, which are delightful for a brunch reception!
By the time you read this, you have enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebration. I hope for all it was a special, blessed time, with lots of good fellowship and food! I am a nibbler on Thanksgiving — I never want to not have room for dessert at the end of the day. Actually, I think I could be happy with just turkey sandwiches on white bread with lots of Hellmann’s mayo and some cranberry chutney for my Thanksgiving meal. Another one of my most favorite sandwiches of the season is a ham, cheddar cheese, and apple carrot chutney on multi-grain bread. (Or bulkie rolls or white bread for that matter.) It makes a really good slider, too. You just pile it all together and put in the oven for about 15 minutes. This sandwich pairs well with Butternut Squash Soup.