Things I can't stop talking about: 3/11/19

Brunch—This may be one of my favorite meals. Photo by Rachel Cuthbert Photgraphy

Brunch—This may be one of my favorite meals. Photo by Rachel Cuthbert Photgraphy

Here’s a very “recipe heavy” list of things I can’t stop talking about. Clearly the end of winter, beginning of Lent is a good time for cooking.

One. Brunch with friends. I realize this is something I discuss often, but it’s because I believe that shared meals are a fundamental part of relationships—whether with friends or family. Recently I gathered with a few friends for a birthday celebration. I brought a crustless bacon, mushroom, and onion quiche.

REcipe & Photo from Epicurious , PHoto by Romulo Yanes. Delicious!

REcipe & Photo from Epicurious, PHoto by Romulo Yanes. Delicious!

I’ve been looking for a good crustless quiche recipe and was pleased when I happened upon this Epicurious recipe.  Like many comments suggested, I added a 5th egg.  Also, I did not have heavy cream on hand so I used whole milk and half/half.  I also added 3/4 cup of crumbled bacon & I used a mix of gruyere and cheddar cheese that I had in the fridge.  I love a recipe where I can improvise a bit.  

Two. Paczki: Ahh, Fat Tuesday, thank you for giving us an excuse to eat fried dough filled with creamy, sweet deliciousness. 

And for the first time ever, I made my own and I’m sold. I used this recipe (it made about 4 1/2 dozen small Paczki). It wasn’t difficult as much as time consuming. I started the dough around 3 p.m., and we were frying them by 8 p.m. at night. I also made dinner in between, so there was a time lapse. I suggest making it a family affair. My husband fried the donuts, I took them out and drained them, and my mom rolled them in powdered sugar and filled them. We made custard, lemon filling, and raspberry preserve Paczki.

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Three. This quick homemade mac-n-cheese recipe. You cook the pasta in the water & milk and then add cheese. Brilliant! And literally took less than 30 minutes. My husband shredded the cheese so that was a huge help. Also, the blogger recommends not using pre-shredded cheese because it’s coated to keep it from clumping in the bag. Totally agree. Finally, if you want to take it to the next level, I suggest using a quality cheddar. A family favorite is the white, extra sharp from Cabot cheese. You can buy it in large blocks at Walmart and Costco. I also added a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce based on a recommendation. Definitely adds to the flavor!

My old school system for filing recipes. Three ring binder, Masking Tape & Sharpie.

My old school system for filing recipes. Three ring binder, Masking Tape & Sharpie.

Four. This is a bit of rabbit trail, but… printing recipes. For longer than I would like to admit, our printer was broken. Seriously, why didn’t we replace it?  I was always looking up recipes online and cooking via my phone or computer. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of online recipes. They are amazingly convenient, and I find all the comments & feedback helpful.  

However, I do not love reading/cooking from them. My screen saver always turns on, then inevitably my screen gets dirty, and soon enough I forget where I found  my “favorite” recipe.  I also like writing cooking notes on my recipes. Needless to say, I was delighted when my MIL gifted me with a new printer.  I love quickly printing a recipe and adding it to my recipe binder.

Finally, here’s my very rudimentary system for storing recipes.  I don’t have the patience for label printers, so a sharpie and masking tape it is! 

I always love hearing favorite weeknight recipes and people organize recipes, so please share.

It All Begins at the Dining Table

It All Begins at the Dining Table

I’m not particularly trendy or cutting edge with my cooking, my approach to feeding people is—keep the kitchen stocked with good food & your doors open.  If you feed them, they will come. : ) Sometimes it’s fancy feasting, but most of the time it’s simply an open invitation to come and sit, have a cup of coffee, a biscotti (or whatever I can pull together), and chat about life. 

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