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Quiche: It’s what’s for breakfast

Asparagus and cherry tomato quiche | The Lush's Blush blog
Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Quiche
I bought a really big bag of asparagus at Trader Joes the other day. You ever notice that asparagus is one of those things typically served in smaller portions? We’d eaten it sauteed and in a pasta dish and I was in the market for some other venue for the last of the asparagus. I also had some lovely cherry tomatoes my neighbor Zehra gave me.

Sunday mornings are pretty much the only time my husband and I get to enjoy breakfast together and he is usually in charge of the menu. I typically request cheesy eggs and biscuits and gravy. That’s pretty hard to beat, in my mind, but I thought I would give quiche a try as a way to use up some of my fresh produce.

Though Morgan deemed it “not a very manly breakfast” he did eat two servings. I ate three. Needless to say, we enjoyed it. So here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try!

Kitsey’s Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Quiche

Ingredients

  • 10 – 12 asparagus spears, chopped into bite sized pieces (don’t forget to snap off the ends first.)
  • 10 – 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade (I used about 5 large leaves)
  • 1 frozen pie crust

Directions

If you’re going to get fancy and make your own pie crust, feel free. Otherwise, lay one out of the freezer so it can thaw while you turn on the oven at 350 degrees to preheat. Cook chopped bacon until fat is rendered and it’s just beginning to get crisp then remove from pan. Drain off most of the grease, but leave about a tablespoon in the pan. Saute chopped onion until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and saute just for a minute then remove from pan. Toss chopped asparagus into hot pan and saute for about a minute then remove. Place pie crust into pan and top with halved cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Put cooked bacon on top of the tomatoes. Whisk together eggs and milk, season liberally with salt, cracked black pepper and basil. Add in cooked onions, garlic and asparagus. Pour egg mixture into piecrust. Top with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

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Cooking

Zucchini, zucchini, zucchini!

zucchini bread | The Lush's Blush blog
Homemade zucchini bread

Garden season is here at last and we’ve got tons of zucchini and yellow squash coming in. I’m on a mission to incorporate these fresh veggies into as many meals as possible.

So far, we’ve had zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, chicken stir fry with zucchini and squash, fried squash, pasta Primavera, zucchini risotto and a concoction I put together with the left over stir fry rice which included sauteed zucchini, squash and onions, a can of black beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies and cheddar cheese. It was very tasty.

The zucchini fritters were Morgan’s creation and they were delicious. We served them with a London Broil we coated in a dry rub and seared on the grill.

Morgan’s Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

• One large zucchini, grated

• 1/4 of an onion, finely minced

• 2 eggs, beaten

• about 2/3 cup flour

• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Grate zucchini into a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let sit for about 10-15 min. Then put the grated zucchini in cheese cloth or a kitchen towel that you don’t mind turning green, and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Place grated and drained zucchini into a large mixing bowl. Add to the bowl two eggs beaten, onion, flour, salt and pepper. You may need more or less flour depending on how loose the mixture is. Mix every thing together then spoon into a preheated nonstick pan with a couple table spoons of butter melted in it. Cook until golden brown on first side then flip and flatten with a spatula. Once they are brown on both sides they are done. Season with a little extra salt and pepper immediately after removing from the pan.

London broil and zucchini fritters | The Lush's Blush blog
London broil and zucchini fritters

 

 

Country fried steak | The Lush's Blush blog
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Luckiest girl in the world

Country fried steak | The Lush's Blush blogI often tell my husband that I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have him in my life. He usually smirks and says that he’s sure there are other girls who are luckier than I. I used to say, yeah, maybe Kate Middleton. She is awfully lucky.

Last week, however, I changed my mind about even that. My husband made the most delicious country fried steak, creamed potatoes, and garlic green beans. It was a classic country dinner. I bet that Kate Middleton’s never even had it before. And so, therefore, I have concluded that I am, indeed, the luckiest girl in the world.

The funny think about my intense love of this meal is that country fried steak has never been one of my favorite dishes. I was either super hungry that night or Morgan did something extra special to the steak because I gobbled it all up and went back for more.

The recipe, he said, is very simple. He dredged the cube steak in flour seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder and fried it up. Using some reserved seasoned flour, he made a delicious gravy, which we ate on slices of bread after all the steak was gone.

The green beans he sauteed in olive oil with lots of minced garlic. He cooked the garlic just to the point of it being crispy, but not overcooked. It was so good!

Lettuce and onions | The Lush's Blush blog
Cooking, Gardening

Lettuce and onions

Lettuce and onions | The Lush's Blush blog
Lettuce and onions, also known as a wilted salad.

If I say “lettuce and onions” that likely means the start of a salad, or maybe toppings for a burger to most people. Where I’m from in Yadkin County, NC, it means something a little bit different. This time of year, in the early spring, lettuce and onions is a special treat.

When that early lovely light green lettuce and spring onions come in the garden, Yadkin County folks pick them and serve them sprinkled with a little salt and pepper, vinegar and piping hot oil poured on top. It seems like such a simple thing, but there is something about this dish that just tastes like springtime and it is so delicious. Some folks choose to use bacon grease to create this wilted salad.

I did a quick survey of some friends near and far and sure enough, those from outside the Yadkin County area just thought lettuce and onions are burger toppings. My Yadkin County friends were quick to answer though on how to prepare lettuce and onions as described above.

We typically serve lettuce and onions with pinto beans and cornbread. I remember my Mamma making this when I was little. It was always one of her very favorite meals. She’d always shoo me out of the kitchen when she was heating up the oil in the cast iron skillet. She didn’t want me anywhere near the hot oil though she wasn’t afraid of it herself. I think maybe that’s when I really felt like a true adult myself, is the first time I made lettuce and onions my own self. There is something so satisfying about the sound of that hot oil as it sizzles on the lettuce.

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Aunt Grace’s Lemon Pound Cake

Easter Dinner | The Lush's Blush blog
Easter Dinner
We had a wonderful Easter dinner a few Sundays ago. We prepared all the traditional southern favorites, ham, green beans corn, creamed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, ambrosia salad and pound cake for dessert.

As a kid I don’t remember thinking pound cake was all that special. It didn’t have fancy icing, maybe a glaze, but sometimes not even that.

Now that I’m an adult, or so they tell me, pound cake is one of my favorite desserts. No, it may not be fancy and I actually don’t even put a glaze on mine, but there’s something about it that just tastes like home.

The recipe I always make was given to my Mamma by her Aunt Grace. Both Mamma and Aunt Grace are no longer on this earth with us in body, but I sense their spirits always. And especially when I make this cake.

Great Aunt Grace’s Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Crisco
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp lemon flavoring

Directions

Cream sugar and Crisco together. Add eggs one at a time. Add salt and baking powder to flour and sift together. Add flour mixture and milk to batter, alternating between the two and mixing until combined. Add flavoring. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Lemon Pound Cake | The Lush's Blush blog
Aunt Grace’s Lemon Pound Cake
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Cooking

Cookbook Review: Man Made Meals

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BBQ Pork Burgers from the Man Made Cookbook

My husband’s birthday was last month and I got him a copy of Steven Raichlen’s cookbook called Man Made Meals. Truthfully this was a pretty self-serving present for me to give my husband as I will benefit greatly from it when I get to eat all the yummy stuff he makes.

We have already enjoyed two delicious recipes from the book. The first recipe Morgan tried was the BBQ Pork Burgers. Instead of using ground beef, these burgers are made from ground pork and bacon, topped with slaw and BBQ sauce. Morgan also made homemade sweet potato fries to accompany the burgers. It was delicious. Did I mention there’s bacon in it??? Yum!

This morning for breakfast, Morgan whipped up the drop biscuit recipe from Man Made Meals, to accompany our bacon gravy and cheesy scrambled eggs. Another big hit!

If you have a man (or anyone in your life) who enjoys cooking, I would highly recommend this book. It has tons of great recipes and tips on cooking and prepping techniques.

A lot of the “man” type cookbooks I’ve come across seem more geared toward men who don’t like to cook or know to cook. While this book does have plenty of tips on basic food prep, it also has some pretty advanced meals. I would definitely recommend this book for the person who really likes to cook.

the
Drop biscuits from the Man Made Cookbook
Tomato Gravy | The Lush's Blush blog
Cooking

Valentine’s and snow day breakfasts

Be my Valentine | The Lush's Blush blog
Valentine’s Dinner at 21 and Main

Over the weekend, my husband treated me to a wonderful gourmet steak dinner for Valentine’s Day. It was delicious. On Sunday morning, he fixed french toast. I really am a lucky gal!

On Monday morning, we got snow so I worked from home and got what I consider to be an even more special treat. I do love a fancy steak dinner, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes something as simple as good ol’ biscuits and gravy just warms the heart.

I always thought my Mamma made the very best biscuits and gravy, but my husband sure makes good gravy, too. Bacon gravy used to be my favorite, but my sweetie also makes pretty good sausage gravy. He serves it up with biscuits and scrambled eggs with cheese. I’ve never been much of an egg-eater, but I love the way my husband makes them.

Valentine's Day french toast | The Lush's Blush blog

A few years ago my husband turned me on to a different kind of gravy that his family in West Virginia makes, tomato gravy. We had been dating about a year or two when Morgan took me up to West Virginia and Pennsylvania to meet some of his family.

Snow day | The Lush's Blush blog
Snow Day

I jokingly asked if his kinfolk in West Virginia were going to make me eat squirrel. He said, of course, they wouldn’t make me eat anything I didn’t want to, but if I wanted to try squirrel, they could probably whip some up. I declined that offer, though Morgan insists if I ever tried squirrel gravy I’d probably like it.

As we were talking about gravy and such, Morgan asked me if I liked tomato gravy. Now, growing up, we often served fresh sliced tomatoes with breakfast and I thought maybe that’s what he meant. It was a favorite thing my Mamma and I liked to do. When tomatoes are fresh from the garden, those big luscious ones, you put a big slice, sprinkled with a little salt, on your plate right next to your bacon gravy. The secret is to get a forkful of biscuit and gravy along with a bite of the fresh tomato. But no, this is not what my husband meant by tomato gravy. What he was referring to is an actual gravy made from home-canned tomatoes, and let me tell you, it is delicious.

Biscuits and bacon gravy | The Lush's Blush blog
Biscuits and gravy

Probably one of the most amazing things I ever saw in my life was watching Morgan’s uncle make the biggest, fluffiest, cat head biscuits you ever saw, and he made them using only one hand. He had had shoulder surgery and one arm was in a sling, but he went right on making biscuits. They served them up with the tomato gravy. One of our wedding gifts from Uncle Jerry was a jar of home-canned tomatoes. Now, that’s a special gift indeed.

We made the tomato gravy a few months ago and it was so yummy. Morgan’s cousin Shelly says you can make tomato gravy using store bought tomatoes, if you don’t have access to home-canned tomatoes.

Tomato Gravy | The Lush's Blush blog
Tomato Gravy

If you like tomatoes, this is definitely a recipe to try. It’s very simple. Pour your tomatoes into a pot over medium heat and begin to warm. Fry up some bacon and remove bacon from pan. Pour the bacon grease into the tomatoes. Then make a slurry using equal parts flour and water. Add the slurry to the tomato mixture and stir well to combine. Keep stirring until it thickens up into the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve it over biscuits or toast.

Do you have a favorite breakfast food? Tell me all about it in the comments section!