I think it’s high time I gave you a Pacific Northwest weather update, because we’re all a bit confused and discombobulated up in this little corner of the world. Where did Summer go and what’s with this rather small, fresh-feeling number on the thermometer all of a sudden? Summer fled overnight like the von Trapp family escaping Austria. Fall roared in like a gay pride parade – loud, proud and in a blaze of glorious color. Poof! In a flash, Summer was out and Fall was in; and with it came the rain. I didn’t realize quite how much I had missed aqua-planing down the I-90. Driving home has been quite a rush most nights this week.
Seattle feels like we’ve had a long, cold shower – refreshing, cleansing, rehydrating. I’ve put my thoroughly over-worked hose and lawn-sprinklers to bed for the winter, dug out my foot-duvets from the depths of my closet, and flipped the switch on the thermostat. I’m settling in for a good few months of dark mornings, gusty winds, my beloved LL Bean thermal jacket, and steaming bowls of soup. I’m up for it.
While Mother Nature was pulling a fast switcheroo on us, I’ve been trying to figure out what you need most in the *SANE recipe department, so that I can help you in your quest for *SANEity. Here’s what my little Facebook Poll revealed. I’ve hyperlinked to the recipes already posted that fit the bill.
- You need breakfasts – quick breakfasts that are not smoothies; and breakfasts that don’t involve eggs.
- You need desserts – healthy desserts.
- You need more ways to eat more veggies. Also see here.
- You need lunches – quick, portable lunches. Also see here.
- You need snacks – plus snacks with protein that do not involve nuts or seeds.
- You need things that crunch.
- You need seafood dishes.
- You need dairy-free dishes.
- You need bread.
So last weekend, I headed into the Marmalade HQ kitchen and made a big old mess; several times I’ll have you know. My dish-washer can vouch for me. So can Cindy. Cindy showed up on Sunday to haul away two chairs that we both decided would be a better match for her house than mine. She made the mistake of plonking herself down at my kitchen table, and then saying, “No”, when I asked her if she’d had lunch. She unwittingly became an Official Smarter Science of Slim Taste Tester as I rolled out one dish after another for her to stab a fork or spoon into.
I am relieved to report that Cindy said she’s coming over every weekend now. I took that as a sign that she enjoyed the grub. Either that or she thinks I need cooking lessons. The rate at which she slurped the Leek and Cauliflower down, I think it was the former.
You can see the results of my labors here. There’s lunches, seafood, veggies, breakfast and dessert. Yesterday I added another lunch and another breakfast. I’m getting there, people! You make me want to cook all day long.
Aside from soup, which is always a great portable lunch option, I came up with something that has been rocking my world all week long – Leek and Mushroom Quiche Cups. Portable breakfast, portable lunch, portable snack. Oh so *SANE, oh so tasty. These darling little pillows of *SANEity have merrily saved my a** most every day this week. If you ever come over to my house you will always find a stash in my ‘fridge now.
You will need to invest in some of these, if you don’t already have some. Or these would be cool too – more like quiche squares – more manly, more lunchy. You will use them a million times, I am certain; because these quiche cups are just a perfect piece of *SANEity for any time of day. My silicone cups are already coming up for a Service Award, and I’ve only had them 10 days.
In the morning, as you dash out the door, grab 3 or 4 of these and a bowl of *SANE soup (lots more soups coming soon!) and you’ll be set with one scrumptiously *SANE lunch to get you through the grizzliest of afternoons. Add a little cup of this and you’ll be so happy you’ll wonder how – or why – you ever forced one of those sandwich things down your gullet at lunchtime before.
- 3 oz. / 85g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 4 oz. / 110g leeks, sliced thinly and slices cut in half crossways
- 2 oz / 55g sharp Cheddar, grated
- 12 eggs
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Ground pepper
- ¼ cup / 2 fl oz. heavy cream (keeps them moist in the ‘fridge)
- Place 12 silicone cups in a muffin pan.
- In a bowl, mix leeks, mushrooms and cheese well.
- Divide veggie cheese mix evenly between the 12 silicone cups.
- Place eggs, sage, pepper and heavy cream in the bowl and whisk very well to make sure the eggs are completely broken up.
- Pour egg mixture into a measuring jug (or other container with a pouring lip) and then carefully fill each silicone cup. The cups should be almost full.
- Carefully place the muffin pan into the center of the oven, pre-heated to 375 degrees F.
- Bake for 30 minutes until the quiche cups are risen, puffy and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and carefully tip each quiche cup out of the silicone cups.
- Eat immediately or, if making in advance, allow to cool completely before packing in a storage container and placing in the ‘fridge.