Crustless Quiche

This is another recipe adapted from Diane Phillips’ Perfect Party Food and can be made in greased muffin tins for individual servings instead of the pie tin; in this case bake for only 25 minutes.

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 shakes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 scallions (white and green), finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. beef chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Stir in the scallions, chorizo, and cheese until blended.
Do-ahead: At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 10 inch pie pan with nonstick spray.
3. Pour quiche batter into pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the quiche has puffed up above the rim of the baking dish, 40-50 minutes.
At this point, you can let cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to 6 weeks. Defrost and bring to room temperature. Reheat in 350 F oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

Micro-Steamed Hoisin Salmon and Vegetables

For all that I love having long, slow cooked meals that fill the house with their delicious aroma and welcome us home after work or play, it’s also nice to have some recipes that can be thrown together somewhat quickly without any prep ahead of time. These are the recipes that need to be really easy and tasty and tempting for the moments where we want to eat something homemade but feel lazy and the takeout menu starts sounding like a good idea.

I thought this recipe (adapted from Anne Byrn’s The Dinner Doctor) sounded perfect for addressing that kind of need; it’s healthy, claims to have 10 minutes of prep and only 6 minutes of actual cooking time. Who needs 30 minute meals when you could be done in half that time?  In reality, the prep took a bit longer than promised, but the results were worth it. Sharper knives (or getting the butcher or fishmonger to slice the fish for me) would have shortened my prep a LOT and probably resulted in a prettier looking final dish since mine looked a bit mangled. Luckily, the flavors were great and it was a nice change from our regular routine. We served the dish with steamed quinoa and rice (a 50/50 mix).


  • 1 lb salmon, 1.5 inches thick (could also use grouper or other fish fillets)
  • 8 oz fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (would have been even better diced)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots or pre-shredded carrots
  • 4 scallions, both white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 T hoisin sauce
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar (we added more to our rice/quinoa)


  1. Cut the salmon into 1 inch wide strips and place in 2-quart microwave safe dish. Top with sugar snap peas, carrots, ginger, and scallions.
  2. Pour the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar into a small bowl and stir until well combined. Drizzle over fish and vegetables.
  3. Cover dish loosely or top with plastic wrap (peel back one corner if using plastic wrap to allow steam to escape).
  4. Cook on high in microwave until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp-tender, 6 minutes. Stop every 2 minutes to gently stir and reposition the fish so that the outside pieces are moved to the inside. Microwaves vary in power; you may need to add another minute for the fish and vegetable to cook through. We ended up adding 30 seconds.
  5. Serve!

    Looks messy, smells wonderful, tastes great!

    Looks messy, smells wonderful, tastes great!

Pesto and Tomato Frittata

Researching recipes to prepare for a birthday brunch for our two year old (can it seriously already be time for a second birthday party?), I wanted something easy, accessible, and preferably something that I could make ahead so I had less to stress over the day of the party, especially since we planned to host the party at a local park. Since we wouldn’t have access to electricity while at the park, I couldn’t use the crockpot (which I usually do whenever I have a party and don’t want to be cooking right up until the guests arrive). Luckily, I found some good ideas in Diane Phillips’ Perfect Party Food. The self-proclaimed “Diva of Do-Ahead” offers a lot of interesting ideas and recipes in the thick book, but unfortunately I have to return it to the library before I get to try out very many of them. I’ll update with pictures when I test out the recipes.


  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan


1. Coat a 10 inch round baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until blended. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella, the pesto, and the tomatoes. Pour into prepared dish and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

(At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight)

3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the frittata until  puffed, golden and set in the center, 35-40 minutes.

At this point you can let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Serve the frittata cold or at room temperature, or reheat covered with foil in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes.

Best Ever Artichoke Dip

A friend brought this dip over to our Halloween party.  While her husband tried to warn us away from the dish, claiming it tasted horrible, we all tried a little just to be polite.  Then we went back for seconds, thirds, etc.  He then admitted that he called the dish “Crack Dip” because it was so horribly addictive.

When I found out rather last minute that i needed to bring a couple dishes to a friend’s Thanksgiving meal, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit.  It proved horribly addictive, and even better, has a little of the fat/calories shaved off so maybe you won’t even feel guilty afterwards.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup lite mayo

2 cans artichokes (drained, rinsed, and chopped)

1.5 cups shredded parmesan

3 cups shredded mozzarella (I used the skim version)

3 cloves garlic, minced

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 2 quart dish.  I used a quick spray of Pam.

Step 2: Mix all ingredients well and then dump into the greased dish.

Step 3: Bake until hot and bubbley (35-45 minutes).  Serve with crackers, toasted bread rounds, or veggies.

Easy Appetizer

Getting ready for my annual pumpkin carving party, I suddenly realized that the guest list had grown quite a bit larger than it was when we first started the tradition.  A little panicked for easy food ideas to keep everyone content while they hack away at their artistic gourds, I decided to fall back on an old favorite, an appetizer that you have to try to appreciate (trust me, it looks weird but tastes great!).

Get a block of cream cheese.  Yes a block, not a spreadable tub.  Low-fat or non-fat varieties will taste fine and help you feel less guilty.  Unwrap the block and put it on a plate.

Top it with a hefty pour of cocktail sauce or sweet chili sauce.

Serve with toasted bread rounds (they hold up well even with soggy toppings) or crackers.

Ta-da!  Instant appetizer with only three necessary ingredients.  Every time I’ve served it, it gets devoured even by initially dubious eaters.  I don’t suggest you use the cocktail sauce iff you don’t like cocktail sauce to start with though, it’s not going to change the flavor that much.  Consider chutney.  If you’re looking to upgrade this, consider tossing some cooked mini-shrimp on top of the sauce covering the cream cheese for a truly decadent but easy appetizer.