Kale & Bacon Quiche with Hash Brown Crust

So I only planted 3 kale plants this year thinking that would be a good amount for 2 people and maybe share some…but wow, those 3 have really gone all out this summer and I have found myself looking for ways to use it all up.

Enter this Kale & Bacon Quiche with Hash Brown Crust.  I happened to have all the ingredients and it looked really good so thought I’d give it a try.  And hooray! Success! We ate it as dinner and then had leftovers for breakfast.  It was great both times.
Kale and Bacon Quiche

Kale & Bacon Quiche with Hash Brown Crust
from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients
3 c frozen hash browns, thawed
3 T butter, melted and slightly cooled
salt and pepper
1/4 lb bacon, chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 c chopped kale
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 eggs
1 c milk
1 c shredded gruyere cheese (see “My Comments” for what I used)

What To Do
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Press hash browns between 3-4 paper towels to remove excess moisture. Add hash browns to a 9″ pie pan with melted butter, salt, and pepper, then mix and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hash browns are golden brown around the edges. Remove then set aside and turn oven down to 350ºF.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then discard bacon grease.

Add extra virgin olive oil to skillet then add onions and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 more seconds. Set mixture aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add shredded cheese, cooked bacon, and mixture then stir to combine. Pour mixture over hash brown crust then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is light brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

My Comments
For the hash browns, I used southern style – the kind that looks like little cubes.  Iowa Girl Eats used the stringy looking kind.

For the cheese, I used part cheddar and part mozzarella.

I did not press the thawed hash browns between paper towels but did dab them a little before mixing them with the melted butter.

I measured out 2 cups of PACKED chopped kale, meaning I stuffed as much into the measuring cup as I could.  It cooks down a lot.

I happened to have some bacon that Matt had previously cooked but if I had to cook the bacon, I would just leave some of the grease and cook the onions/kale/garlic in it rather than put in olive oil.  That’s just me, though.

Some Photos Along the Way
Kale and Bacon Quiche

Kale and Bacon Quiche

Kale and Bacon Quiche

Kale and Bacon Quiche

Kale and Bacon Quiche

Kale and Bacon Quiche

I bet it would be fun to make miniature versions of this too in a muffin tin.  It’d be great for brunch or any little gathering.  I love using hash browns as the crust and what a great idea if you have someone with gluten issues.

I hope your week is off to a great start! If life gives you kale this week, I hope you make quiche! 🙂

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Orange Chocolate Chunk Bread

Happy weekend, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I had a long week and am ready for some R&R.  But what good is R&R without something yummy to munch on?

 

IMG_2734 (640x427) with text

 

Mmmm…bread! And not just any bread.  Orange Chocolate Chunk Bread!! This is easy and quick to whip up (no mixer required) and your house will smell wonderful (like a spa!) while it’s baking!

 

Orange Chocolate Chunk Bread

 

Orange Chocolate Chunk Bread
from My Baking Addiction
makes 1 loaf

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a glass loaf pan with non stick spray and set aside.

In a large large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, baking powder and ground ginger. In a second bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, milk and orange zest. Pour wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Toss dark chocolate chunks with remaining 2 tablespoons of flour then gently fold them into batter.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow bread to cool completely before removing from the pan. Slice and serve!

My Comments
I doubled the recipe to make 2 loaves.

FUN – I got to use my microplane grater/zester, one of my favorite handy kitchen gadgets!

When digging out my dark chocolate chips, I found a Lindt Excellence Intense Orange Dark Chocolate Bar so chopped it up.  It wasn’t quite enough so I used dark chocolate chips for the rest.

My batter was rather thin so I didn’t really see the need to “gently” fold in the chocolate.  And, even though I tossed the chocolate with flour, the majority of the chocolate sunk to the bottom of the bread anyway.  I was kinda disappointed in that so next time I might sprinkle the chocolate chunks on top of the bread batter or pour half the batter in the pan then sprinkle with some chocolate then add the remaining batter and put the rest on top.

I highly recommend lining your bread pans with parchment paper (spray the paper with non-stick spray) because I had a little trouble getting the baked loaves out of the pan because some chocolate chunks got stuck to the bottom of the pan.

My loaves took 75 minutes to bake.

 

Orange Chocolate Chunk Bread

 

This bread tastes great and I love how you can see the orange zest throughout.  Orange and Chocolate go great together, just like Rest and Relaxation!

Have a great weekend!

 

Artichoke-Spinach Strata

I love the combination of artichokes and spinach in a warm creamy dip (with hot crisp tortilla chips to dip in it) so when I saw this strata recipe, I wanted to give it a try.  I had never made a strata before, unless you count the Holiday Brunch Casserole I shared with you a while back.  Come to think of it, what makes a strata a strata? Hold on….

…okay…from our good friend, Wikipedia:

Strata or stratta is a family of layered casserole dishes in American cuisine.

The most common modern variant is a brunch dish, similar to a quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs and cheese. It may also include meat or vegetables. The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling in order to produce layers (strata). It was popularized in the 1984 Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.[1]

Other recipes merely require that the ingredients are mixed together, like a savory bread pudding. A beaten egg mixture is then poured over the ingredients. The dish requires a rest of anywhere between one hour and overnight before it is baked.  It is served warm.

Okay, so maybe I have made a strata before!

Well, here’s one I’d like to share with you.  It’s delicious.  There’s no meat, but I don’t think you’ll miss it.  I love meat and I loved this dish.  Don’t be scared by the somewhat long list of ingredients…it’s not hard to put together, I promise!

 

Artichoke-Spinach Strata

 

Artichoke-Spinach Strata
from the Pillsbury Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook
serves 8

Ingredients
2 t olive or vegetable oil
1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced (1 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (14 oz) quartered artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped (1.5 cups)
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
8 cups cubed (1-inch) rustic round bread (about 1 lb)
1.5 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or whatever you like)
6 eggs
2.5 c milk
1/2 t ground mustard
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese

What To Do
In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in artichokes and spinach; set aside.

Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread cubes in dish. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly over bread cubes; sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.

In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper with wire whisk until blended; pour evenly over bread, vegetables and cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Heat oven to 350°F. Bake covered 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

My Comments
I put my garlic cloves through my garlic mincer.  So much fun!

This does take some time so make sure you don’t start making it at 5pm for dinner that night…even though you read the directions several times before getting started…not that I have experience with this…

 

Artichoke Spinach Strata

 

So yes, I made this with the intention of eating it for dinner but as Wiki says, it’s good for brunch too.  I ate leftovers for breakfast and it was great.  It’s pretty hearty and would be great to make for when you have company…or have company so you can make it.  Either way, this strata is super.  And I hope you have a super weekend!

Spiced Eggnog Muffins with Streusel Topping

Mmmm…I love a nice warm mug of eggnog and I enjoyed my first one of the season the other day.  It’s so rich and creamy and delicious! I know a lot of people don’t like eggnog, and if that’s you, please keep reading! These Spiced Eggnog Muffins with Streusel Topping are wonderful and I know for a fact that someone I know that does not like drinking eggnog likes eating these muffins.  They are perfect for Christmas morning or anytime eggnog is available at the store.  Too bad it’s a seasonal item, but I guess it wouldn’t be such a special treat if it were available all year round.

 

Spiced Eggnog Muffins with Streusel Topping

 

Spiced Eggnog Muffins with Streusel Topping
from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles
makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
Muffins
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 c eggnog
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted and cooled (that’s 1 stick)
2 t pure vanilla extract

Streusel Topping
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/8 t kosher salt
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

What To Do
Muffins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 12 regular size muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine eggs, eggnog, butter, and vanilla. Add mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be a bit lumpy. Divide batter between prepared muffin cups.

Streusel Topping

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Using a rigid pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over muffin batter.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve warm.

My Comments
For the streusel topping, I just used my fingers to cut the butter into the mixture.  I think it’s much easier, faster, and makes a better crumb.

If you want,  you can also make this as a loaf of bread.  That’s what I did this year and the recipe made one loaf of bread and I used almost all of the streusel topping.  I baked it at 350°F for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean.

 

YUM! I really hope you give these muffins a try.  Don’t forget a good cup of cheer to go with!

Blueberry Muffins

Tomorrow is National Blueberry Muffin Day so I thought I’d share my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.  These are great!

 

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins
from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
coarse white sparkling sugar for garnish (optional)

What To Do
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with papers, and grease the papers.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a hand-held or stand mixer, until light, fluffy, and almost white in color. Start the mixer at low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, then gradually increase speed to medium-high until the desired color and texture are reached.

Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the vanilla and sour cream or yogurt, and mix until incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth. It will be thick.

Fold in the berries by hand.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, using a heaping 1/4-cup for each. Sprinkle with regular granulated or coarse white sugar, if desired.

Bake the muffins for 18 to 24 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a rack.

My Comments
I never grease my muffin papers.

I love blueberry season and these muffins are berry-licious.  Happy Blueberry Muffin Day tomorrow!