Friday, April 29, 2016

Vegetable and Goat Cheese Quiche

A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant where I ordered a delicious Vegetable with Goat Cheese Quiche. I thought it was amazing so I tried multiple times to recreate this tasty quiche. I think I have finally succeeded. When I ordered this quiche in the restaurant it was the first time I had eaten a quiche with goat cheese. It made for a much creamier consistency and I dearly loved that consistency.

"Vegetable and Goat Cheese Quiche"

1 store bought pastry pie dough or if you prefer make your own, blind baked in a pie dish
2 Tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
4 ounces Portobello mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces plain goat cheese at room temperature
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
3 eggs, room temperature
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium pear tomatoes, sliced and placed on paper towels

Preheat your oven to 375*

In a sauté pan add the butter, melt and then add the vegetables. Saute until slightly cooked but tender. Place the vegetables in the blind baked pie pastry shell.

Mix together the eggs, half n half, heavy cream, parsley, chives and thyme. Crumble up goat cheese into mixture and whisk vigorously . There will still be lumps of goat cheese but it is important to incorporate them as much as possible.

Pour into the pastry shell, top with sliced tomatoes and bake for about 30 minutes. It should not be jiggly in the middle. Test with a cake tester to make sure it is done in the middle.
An important note: I always buy goat cheese in a block. I find it to have better taste rather than goat cheese already crumbled.

It is important to assemble all of your ingredients before beginning.
I always use this fluted pie plate and to make things simple I use a premade pie crust. If I was trying to impress some guests I would make my own crust but for everyday use I find a premade pie crust works just as well.
The veggies are ready to go in.
Be careful not to over cook the veggies. You just want them slightly cooked just so they emit their flavors. They will cook in the oven also.
After adding your cream mixture top with the tomatoes. You can also add in some ham to the cream mixture as I did with this particular quiche.

It comes out of the oven lightly browned and a meal just by itself.
I added a small side salad and it made for a light but filling dinner. You have several vegetables and your protein as well. I can't think of a lighter dinner but yet delicious.
The addition of a glass of white wine rounds dinner out nicely.

A Cooks Note: I always keep in my oven an oven thermometer. I have a fairly new Wolf but I have found that when you preheat an oven it is almost never to the desired temperature. An oven thermometer is a "good thing". Even with my fairly new Wolf, the ding goes off and it is not up to the expected temperature. Try an oven thermometer if you don't already. You will be surprised.

I am linking this post to Foodie Friday.

Have a good weekend everyone, Carolyn

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Fabulous New Book

Recently I saw on a blog I follow information about a new book, "Patina Farm". The blog I follow is also an excellent read just so you know, For the Love of a House. I immediately tried to find this book at local book stores since I already have the authors first book, "Patina Style" and I knew the new book would be as equally well done.

Brooke Giannetti is a shop owner, writer of a design blog, Velvet and Linen and an interior decorator. Her husband Steve Giannetti is an architect and co-author of this book. The two of them left their home in Santa Monica to build their dream home in Ojai, CA. The result is an amazing relaxed elegance of their modern European-inspired Patina Farm.

I found Patina Farm to be an amazing inspiration. It just isn't a simple how to decorating book but so much more. I was taken back with so many garden elements utilized in their home. Actually, after thumbing through for the first time I wanted to find more garden elements to use inside my own home.
I was so anxious to incorporate more garden elements in my own decorating that I bought this little concrete piece to sit a candle on finessing with a little moss underneath the candle. Now, I am not one to have a neutral color scheme in my home. I use lots of color because that's what makes me happy but what I took from this book is how important simple garden elements can impact the interior decorating of a home. I will be on the look out for more garden elements to incorporate in my home and garden. Where I found this little piece (candle holder) is a local shop, Purple Martin Outpost and they carry many concrete architectural elements, old garden gates and also have a charming gift shop. I told them about the Giannetti's book and told them it would fit right in at their shop.

I have a tremendous appreciation for those who find JOY in neutral interior design color schemes but it just isn't me but this book has so much more. The garden areas are amazing and I am a gardener. Brooke recently posted on instagram a photo of her Eden climbing rose. I now have that same rose in my cart at White Flower Farm since I have been unable to find it in my own area. I live in zone 8 and I have to believe that if it grows well in CA then it should do well in our area. I have been soooooooo inspired by Brooke's blog, her instagram photos and her books.

I am a lover of antiques as well and this book mixes antiques with a somewhat contemporary design element that is absolutely lovely. I believe anyone buying this book can take away many elements that can be incorporated into their own style. Another appeal of this book is the beautiful detailed photos. It is as Joan has written, For the Love of a House, pure "magic" and it truly is that and more.
Take a look at this book, it is a "keeper" and thank you to the Giannetti's for sharing their beautiful home, it is absolutely fabulous.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Feathering My Nest with Orchids

It's a beautiful Spring day with morning temperatures around 50* and our high this afternoon will be 82* with no humidity. That is extremely pleasant for our part of the world, North Florida. Our high humidity and intense heat will arrive soon. I will fully enjoy this weather as long as I can with early morning coffee and reading on my patio or screened porch and the afternoons on my covered front porch sipping wine or a cocktail. Doesn't get any better than that.

This past weekend I was out of town on a girls trip. We went to Biloxi Mississippi to see a concert, Gladys Knight. Wow did she put on a terrific performance and a good time was had by all. While gone though I missed one of my favorite things, our Orchid Show which I haven't missed in years.  Much to my delight I came home and found several of my own orchids beginning to bloom and I want to share my "finds".
This one seemed perfect to sit at the end of my kitchen island that I pass a hundred times a day.

This one sits out on the patio. The plant I have had so long and it has gotten so big I don't even have a pretty container that will hold it to bring it inside. In the meantime it is enjoying where it is. I only have one bloom on it right now but there are surely more to come.

I almost always have at least one orchid in my family room.
It too likes where it is, a very sunny location. This one has been there for at least three months and has given me bloom after bloom.

And this is what I placed on my screened porch to enjoy while dining al fresco. I can also enjoy this from my kitchen as well when the door from my kitchen is open. Actually, the door to my porch is full length glass so while in the kitchen I can admire it all the time.
Coming home to all these beauty's made up for the fact that I missed our annual Orchid Show.
Now no girls trip is complete without some good ole "retail therapy" as we all know. I had gotten some inside info about a little town near Biloxi called Ocean Springs. What a wonderful suggestion from a dear friend. We discovered this fabulous shop called Hillyer House. They have artistic jewelry, handmade pottery, creative glass and it also was an art gallery. They feature 400 artists with an exciting collection of original watercolors, oils and mixed media. It was the most incredible shop, one of those places where you wanted one of everything. Wellllllllllllll, this is what came home with me.


This was a handmade piece of glass artwork made by Annie Morhauser who is an American artist and has work as part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. My photo doesn't do it justice but I felt this was a unique piece to place an orchid in, covering it with green moss and sitting on my dining room table. This will make a beautiful centerpiece and I can also use it for flower arrangements. I also found the candles in the same color, how lucky was that?

There were sooooooooo many beautiful pieces in this shop/museum that it was hard to make a decision. The truth is I may be calling them back and have them ship me two other pieces that I have decided I can't live without. Ooops.

I am linking this post to Met Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch.

I hope each of you are enjoying a beautiful Monday.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque

This morning in our area there is a slight chill in the air. This after several days of rain hanging around for much too long and temperatures getting up to the low 80's. We've had a little sunshine here and there and hopefully the cloud cover will move along. The morning chill makes me craving one of my all time favorite soups, Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque.

This is, of course, comfort food and it comes from one of my favorite Junior League cookbooks, Come On In. This is from the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi and I have found this to be one of their best books. They have published several over the years but this particular one was first published in 1991 and it is full of excellent recipes that have endured the test of time.
 When I think of comfort food this recipe always comes to mind and is so easy to prepare. Prepping everything is a must.
Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque
Serves 6-8

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 lb. fresh broccoli, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
8 oz. Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, shredded

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter, add flour, and cook several minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and gradually blend in stock, then bring mixture to a boil while stirring. Add broccoli, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, 8 minutes. Blend cream and egg. Gradually blend several tablespoons of soup into egg mixture, then add egg mixture to soup and cook, stirring until thickened. Blend in cheese. Can be served hot or cold.


This soup is easy to make and soooooooooo yummy.

The Jarlsberg gives this soup an amazing flavor not to mention that I dearly love Jarlsberg. What's not to like?
A yummy and delicious soup especially if you are looking for a comforting meal for either lunch or dinner. With a lovely salad of fresh baby greens it will make for a delicious dinner.
I also made a note to add in some red bell pepper, chopped the next time I prepare this recipe. I think it would add an awesome flavor to it too.

I often add a drizzle of Black Truffle Oil over any cream soup. I find that it just puts the soup right over the top IMO.
This book is an excellent book so if you should come across it you will not be disappointed in the book. It is one of my "Go To" cookbooks often. I am linking this post to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm. Click HERE to see other wonderful recipes shared.
Have a great day.