Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Brunch Recipes and The World According to Bella

Asparagus Spinach Quiche
Cook's notes: I started with a basic recipe from Midwest Living April 2014 and went from there. I substituted white cheddar for the yellow cheddar cheese. This quiche makes a great vegetarian meal for dinner and makes 2 small quiches.

  • 1 package Pillsbury rolled refrigerated pie crusts (2 in a box)
  • 1 tsp. each dried parsley, mustard and basil
  • 1/2 cup torn baby spinach leaves
  • 6 oz. asparagus spears cut in 2 inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup half and half
  • Dijon mustard
  • Let pie crust stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place each pie crust in a pie pan, crimp edges.
  • Line pastry shell with 2 sheets of foil (blind baking) overlap the foil so edges will extend over the pie pan.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, remove foil and bake 3 minutes more. 
  • Mix in a blender eggs, cream, half and half and spices.
  • Bring salted water to a boil, add asparagus, boil 1 minute and drain.    
  • Brush bottom crust with Dijon mustard.
  • Divide the cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese between both pie pans.
  • Divide the onion, torn spinach leaves and chopped asparagus spears between two pans
  • Tear foil strips and place around the outside edges of each pan to avoid overbrowning.
  • Divide filling and slowly pour into prepared pie pans.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce to 300 degrees and bake 30 minutes more.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  • Freeze the extra cooled quiche.

Scrambled Eggs Mexican Style Tortilla Cups 
Cook's notes: This recipe comes from Land O Lakes. I was lucky to find these tortilla cups also known as taco shells in the bakery section of the store. They were perfect for this recipe. Be sure to inquire when out grocery shopping.
  • Tortilla Cups
  • 2 TB. melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or white cheddar cheese
  • Heat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in bowl. Place 6 (10-ounce) custard cups onto 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan.
  • Brush both sides of each tortilla with melted garlic butter. Carefully fit tortillas into custard cups. Bake 10-12 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned.
  • Combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in blender and combine until well mixed.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling; add onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat 3-4 minutes or until crisply tender. Stir in broccoli florets.
  • Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet. Continue cooking, gently lifting and stirring slightly with spatula to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath, 4-6 minutes or until almost set. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded cheese; continue cooking 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Fill each baked tortilla cup with 2/3 cup egg mixture. Sprinkle each cup with remaining cheese. 
Eggs Benedict with Maltaise Sauce
Cook's notes: What's Maltaise Sauce, you ask? It's just Hollandaise sauce with a bit of orange zest and juice added. But you wouldn't believe how that bit of zing transforms this brunch standard. Maltaise Sauce is a wonderful addition to a fish dish. 
Cooking Tip: A quick Maltaise Sauce is to substitute a purchased Hollandaise sauce for the Maltaise sauce. Use a .9-oz. package of Hollandaise sauce mix. Prepare the mix according to package directions, substituting 2 tablespoons of the milk with orange juice and stirring 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange zest into the sauce at the end.
Maltaise Sauce
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Blood Orange or 1 regular orange to equal 1/2 zest and 2 TB. orange juice
  • 8 TB. melted butter
  • 1 TB. water 
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Eggs Benedict
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 English muffins, split
  • 4 (3-inch diameter) slices Canadian-style bacon (2 ounces)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh chives 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap Canadian bacon in foil and warm in oven for 20 minutes.  
Maltaise Sauce
  • Put the yolks, water and lemon juice into the top of a double boiler, placing it over simmering water. Or you may improvise and put the mixture into a heat-proof mixing bowl, placing the bowl in a basin of barely simmering water.
  • Start beating the mixture with a whisk until it is light colored and fluffy. Gradually add the butter, beating rapidly with the whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat in the orange juice and orange rind and cook until thickened. Remove from heat.
Eggs Benedict: 
  • Poach or fry eggs. 
  • Toast muffins and on each muffin half place; a slice of Canadian bacon, egg and drizzle with Maltaise sauce. 
  • Sprinkle with additional pepper and chopped chives. 


The World According to Bella 
On The Road
I should have known something was going on when Mrs. S said we were taking our final walk through the desert path 

to her favorite coffee shop.  

The day was getting real hot. I was happy she remembered to bring my portable water dish. 

Was I ever surprised when we returned to find all our stuff lined up to go.
I was sure this was a sign we were FINALLY going home. I'm sure my buddies have forgotten me I've been gone so long. And I just heard a report it was 91 today! Really too hot for me even though I've shed my winter coat. 
Sadly my hopes were dashed, when Mrs. S told me we were just switching locations to a different state. I sure hope the next place is cooler. I'm beginning to wonder when I'll get home. 
Love, Bella

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