Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Happy almost momma's day to all the wonderful momma's out there! Sadly, I won't be with my mom this year since we took off so much time for the wedding, but if I were home I would definitely treat her with these spring veggie mini quiches for brunch! For starters, how freaking cute are they?! Everything tastes better when it's mini in my opinion. These guys are loaded with all kinds of spring veggies. Walking around Portland I have been so inspired lately -The farmer's markets are bursting with beautiful fruits and veggies and everything is so vibrant right now. I wanted peas, scallions, spring mushrooms, radish's and fresh herbs to be the highlight of these. What better vessel for all of this spring egg-y deliciousness than a flaky buttery crust! These are super easy to make, especially if you use store bought pie dough, and you can even make them ahead of time to make preparing brunch a breeze. And of course, don't forget the mimosa's! All the mom's out there deserve a little R&R 🥂 

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Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Ingredients

- 6 mini pie pans (or tartlet pans, but you might have some extra egg mixture leftover)
- 1 (14.1 ounce) package of refrigerated pie dough (we use Trader Joe's!) 
- 1 bunch of scallions chopped, reserving some of the green tops for garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 8 oz of mushrooms (any variation you prefer!) 
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk or half and half
- Garnishes: Fresh parsley, chopped scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and snap peas (quickly blanched and sliced exposing the inner peas)  

what to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. First rub a little butter on each pie or tart pan that you're using. Then, rolling our your thawed pie crust, lay your pie pan or tart form down and cut around it leaving a little extra room. Flip over and press the dough evenly around the pan, and crimping along the sides as you go. 

  3. Place all of the quiche crusts on a large baking sheet and bake the crust in the preheated oven until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes or so and then remove them from the oven. The tops will continue baking after you pour the eggs in, so don't let them get too dark! 

  4. Heat a skillet over medium- high heat until hot before adding in mushrooms. Let them cook down until seared and brown all over before seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from the pan onto a plate. In the same skillet sautĂ© the scallions in a tablespoon of olive oil for a minute over medium heat before adding 2 cloves of minced garlic. Remove from heat. 

  5. Whisk all 6 eggs and milk in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper before gently mixing in the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Turn down oven to 350 degrees. Pour egg mixture into pre-baked quiche crusts and continue baking until egg mixture is set, about 10-15 minutes. 

  6. While the mini-quiches are baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Quickly blanch the snap peas for 1-minute and then move them into a bowl of ice water. Gently halve the peas with a paring knife once they are cool to expose the inner peas. Drizzle them with a little olive oil. 

  7. Remove the quiches from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley, green scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and the halved snap peas. 

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Our Go-to Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie + Homemade Magic Shell!

Helloooo! We meet again! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was uneventful/eventful if that's a thing? My weekend consisted of:

- Thomas and I sleeping in every morning past 9:30 which was heaven on earth after what seemed like the longest week ever. 
- We watched too many Friends episodes then I would like to admit and we watched Blood Diamond (have you seen it?! SO GOOD), SPLIT (which was weird but fascinating), and I may or may not have made him watch the first Sex in the City movie for like 10 minutes until I turned it off because I knew how mean/torturous I was being. 
- Besides countless hours on the couch doing nothing, I was also productive somewhere in there! I made homemade sweet potato gnocchi for the first time for you guys that's coming to the blog this week as well as a insanely good egg-in-a-hole breakfast skillet that fulfills all of your carbacious desires. 

Now it's back to Monday and I wanted to share our go-to smoothie recipe with you. I'm not kidding when I say that IT'S SO GOOD. I honestly feel like it's a treat every time I drink it AND it has all-natural healthy ingredients. We drink this in the morning heading to work, as an after-workout snack, or an after dinner dessert by adding chocolate and making it more of a ice-cream consistency.

One miracle I discovered this weekend is HOMEMADE MAGIC SHELL!!! All of my childhood dreams have come true! Did anyone else use to squeeze magic shell in their mouth when your parents weren't looking? No - Just me? Well I have found a slightly healthy version to jazz up your smoothies, frozen yogurt, or ice-cream at home. Scroll down to get the magic!

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:
- 1 frozen banana ( I freeze all of my bananas as soon as they get too brown to eat)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (we use this no-stir crunchy peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup of almond milk (add more or less depending on the consistency you're going for) 
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- Toppings: Sliced banana, cocoa nibs, homemade magic shell
 

What to do

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth! 
    Note: If you want an ice-cream consistency for dessert, we freeze almond milk in ice-cube trays. 

Homemade Magic Shell

For 1/2 cup of chocolate shell, you'll need: 
- 1 cup good quality chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil

What to do

  1. Add the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl or container along with the coconut oil.

  2. Microwave, in 30 second intervals, until completely melted.

  3. Pour it over ice cream and watch the magic happen (allow 30 seconds before you try to crack it.

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Coconut Curry Shakshuka

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone is having a great October so far! Sorry I've been a little absent the last week or so - I feel like it's been so go-go-go lately. Two weekends ago we went to Black Butte, which is about 3 hours outside of Portland, and had the best couple of days with friends. We stayed in the cutest cabin, went on a snowy hike, and simply had the best little getaway getting to disconnect for a bit. This past weekend was spent wedding planning and researching our honeymoon in Bali! Please share if you guys have any suggestions on things to do/general travel tips in Bali. We are thinking of staying 1 week in an Airbnb and then splurging our final week in a pool villa at a resort!

On Sunday, I also had the pleasure of meeting a group of Portland bloggers and we all brunched at Tusk together. It was so great and if you haven't been to Tusk you have to get your booty there! The pistachio gooey butter cake is pure heaven and I could literally swim in the hummus if that was possible. 

Miraculously it's Monday again... I know right? Such a pity the weekend has to end - but I'm powering through my Monday with this Coconut Curry Shakshuka. I know I've told you this before, but Thomas and I make our normal shakshuka almost weekly. It's such an easy, comforting, healthy meal to make any-time of the week. For this recipe I spice it up with curry powder, bell pepper and a little jalapeño to give it a kick! If you don't like it as spicy, take out the jalapeño, but it definitely becomes milder after is simmers for a bit. Get yourself some naan, pita, crusty bread, or any type of carbalicious vehicle to sop up all of that spicy, coconut-y, tomato-y scrumptiousness. 

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Coconut Curry Shakshuka 


Ingredients
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Â˝ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste ( I love the squeeze tube from Trader Joe's)
- 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1can full-fat coconut milk
- 6 eggs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro or parsley for topping

What to do

  1. In a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the bell pepper,  onion, and jalapeño, and a pinch of salt and saute until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, paprika, and ginger, another pinch of salt, a few turns of black pepper, and saute for a minute or two until fragrant.  Add the sugar/honey, tomato paste, tomatoes, and coconut milk; stir to combine; and simmer until the sauce thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Crack the eggs and slide them into the sauce, distributing them around the pan. Gently spoon some of the tomato sauce over some of the egg whites to keep them from drying out. Cover and cook until the eggs are completely set, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Season with a last sprinkle of salt and pepper and top with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley. Serve with naan, pita, or crusty bread. 

Enjoy!

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Bacon & Mushroom Quiche + Radicchio Salad

One of my favorite things is getting up in the morning and sharing a cup of coffee with my mom at the kitchen table. It's one of the things I miss the most living in Portland away from home. There's something so cozy about waking up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing, the crackle of bacon sizzling on the stove, and sitting down with your momma and talking about anything and everything. My mom has always been a morning person. She would rip open the curtains when we were kids and start singing "rise and shine" to get us up for school. It was torture lol. I look back now nostalgically on those early morning wake up calls and know that I will do the same thing to my children :) 

I wish more than anything I could hop on a plane and head to Florida to celebrate my mom for Mother's Day. If I could, I would get up Sunday morning and brew her favorite coffee and make her this bacon & mushroom quiche for brunch with radicchio salad on the side. Quiche is a dish that's quick and easy to make, that way you can pop it in the oven and enjoy your morning.

Since Thomas has me on a Jarlsberg kick right now, I added a generous amount of Jarlsberg cheese along with crispy bacon, lots of sautĂ©ed shallots and mushrooms, and fresh thyme leaves. Radicchio salad is also my new obsession. After I had the radicchio salad at Tasty & Alder during our staycation, I've been making our own version at home. It's the perfect amount of crispness and crunchiness to go alongside the quiche. 

I hope all of the momma's out there have an amazing Mother's Day! 

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Bacon & Mushroom Quiche 

Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-8 oz of thick cut bacon cut into bite size pieces
-  8 oz of sliced mushrooms
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- Fresh thyme
- 8 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) half & half
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) Gruyère, finely grated
- prepared pie crust ( or make this homemade recipe by All Recipes) 

What to do
Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium-high heat until bacon pieces are crispy. Remove bacon and reserve bacon fat. In the same saucepan, cook mushrooms, shallots, and thyme sprigs in the bacon fat until mushrooms are golden brown. Pluck out thyme, and transfer mushroom mixture to a medium bowl; set aside.

Place rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. PurĂ©e eggs in a blender on medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add half-and-half, salt, and nutmeg. Beat on medium-low until custard is smooth, about 15 seconds. Mix in mushroom mixture, cooked bacon bits, and a little more thyme removed from the stem. Once incorporated, fold in gruyère cheese. 

Place crust In a 9-inch glass pie plate, and pour egg custard on top. Beat one egg and brush the edges of the crust with egg wash. Bake quiche until edges are set but center slightly wobbles, 45-60 minutes (it will continue to set after baking). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool a little before slicing. 
Note: depending if you do a homemade crust or by a pre-packaged crust, baking instructions may vary. 

Do Ahead: Quiche can be baked 1 day ahead. Tightly wrap and chill. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Radicchio Salad 

Ingredients
- 2 medium heads of radicchio
- Manchego or parmesan cheese, finely grated (use as much as you fancy! We use a lot!) 
- 1 lemon
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil 

What to do
1) Remove any wilted outer leaves from the radicchio. Quarter the heads, and remove the stem. Halve each quarter lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2 to 3 chunks so pieces are bite-sized. Transfer radicchio to the basket of a salad spinner or wash will cold water and dry well and set aside. 
2) Half lemon in half and juice all of the lemon into a bowl, add minced garlic clove, salt, black pepper and honey. Whisk mayonnaise into the mixture until smooth. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust with salt, honey, pepper, or lemon juice as desired. 
3) Toss radicchio with  dressing and add in manchego or parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt or pepper if needed. Fresh baked breadcrumbs would be amazing in this as well!

Asparagus & Poached Egg Toasts with Hollandaise

The first time I ever made breakfast for Thomas I made Eggs Benedict. I think I acted like it was my specialty, but in actuality it was the first time I had ever made it and I just wanted to seem cool. I was nervous as hell lol. I mean dropping a raw egg into water hoping it comes out looking pretty and whipping eggs yolks into a glorious sauce is not a joke. From my recollection I think it turned out pretty darn good! And I impressed him which is always a bonus ;)

Traditional Eggs Benedict calls for Canadian bacon and an English muffin. But I prefer to keep it simple with crunchy asparagus, a runny poached egg, creamy hollandaise perched on a good piece of toast. It's the PERFECT way to start a weekend morning or afternoon for that matter. We've even made this for dinner before! There's nothing better than finding a sunny spot by the window, strong coffee in hand, and diving into a tasty breakfast like this one. 


Asparagus & Poached Egg Toasts with Hollandaise
Hollandaise recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 4 large eggs (for poaching)
- a dash of vinegar for poaching the eggs
- 4 egg yolks (for hollandaise) 
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- pinch of salt
- Good piece of bread for toast! We love sourdough but anything will do.
- chives for garnishing

(Note- These recipes are always for two people, so if you're feeding more just double accordingly)

what to do

1) If the asparagus are big stalks then I like to blanch them first. If they are small then you can just sauté them right away. To blanch the asparagus, trim the stalks before putting them into a pot of boiling salted water. Let them boil only 2-3 minutes before draining and placing in an ice bath. If you want to skip the ice bath that's fine, and just put them straight in a hot skillet with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until they are slightly golden and then remove from heat.
2) To poach the eggs: Make sure your eggs are really fresh. Add a small dash of vinegar to a pot of steadily simmering water. Crack eggs individually into a ramekin or cup. Create a gentle whirlpool with a spoon in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip the egg into the water. Leave to cook for three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, cutting off any wispy edges using the edge of the spoon. Drain onto kitchen paper – nobody wants eggy poaching water making their toast soggy!
3) For the hollandaise: vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume.
4) Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.
5) Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in salt.
6) Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.
7) Toast your bread and then place your asparagus, poached eggs, hollandaise on top, and garnish with snipped fresh chives. 

Happy brunching friends :)

Weekend in Carlton // Esther's Granola

Tucked away in the Willamette Valley in Oregon lies the quaint little town of Carlton. Depending on the time of year, in the short one-hour drive for Portland, you'll find yourself passing anything from lavender and tulip farms, fruit orchards, fields of berries, and of course world renowned pinot noir vineyards. The Willamette Valley has a long history of producing some of the best pinots in the world second to Burgundy. Tbh, although I like to think I have a exquisite tastebuds, you can give me a glass of anything that has been fermenting in barrels and I'll be a happy girl. I say that but once I tried a great Oregon Pinot Noir I didn't want to go back to Two Buck Chuck! (living a stones throw from Trader Joe's makes that difficult )

Once you're getting close to Carlton you'll really start getting into vacay mode, and it's just far enough away from the city to feel like the perfect weekend getaway. Thomas planned this trip as a gift last year and it has been one of the most memorable weekends that we've had so far in Oregon. I have been a huge fan of Airbnb since we first tried it in Copenhagen two years ago and then in Seattle. For our Carlton trip, Thomas chose the sweetest little house for us to stay in. If you're not familiar with Airbnb, you can either rent an entire house or apartment to yourself (preferred), or you can just rent out a room within someone's house. Although I was skeptical at first to stay in someone's house with them, it ended up being an incredible experience. Esther had just lost her husband a few months prior and wanted companionship and a little extra money to help out with their farm so she decided to start doing Airbnb. After we were first greeted by Geese and free-range chickens in the yard, we met Esther at the door and she showed us our quaint room overlooking her orchards and garden. 

We then then proceeded to spend the first day wine tasting at Anne Amie Vineyards, which I should mention was a 5 minute walk from Esther's. (double bonus points for Thomas for finding a winery and airbnb in walking distance :) ) Anne Amie was a perfect start to the day with a $15 wine tasting and of course we had to have a charcuterie board for a quick snack before we headed into town.

After we were fuzzy headed and full of brie and salami from Anne Amie, we headed to downtown to wine-bar hop along the strip. The "strip" does have 22 tasting rooms which is impressive but don't be fooled - It's no Las Vegas and that's exactly why I like it. After several hours of hanging with locals at tasting counters we found ourselves in a little gem called The Horse Radish. We boogied down to jazzy country and oldies and were most definitely the youngest two by about 40 years and that's perfectly alright with me. 

We ended with a relaxing dinner at CuvĂ©e which is the cutest little French bistro in town. We got back around 10:30 that night, with purple teeth and wide grins, and found Esther in the kitchen cleaning up from the day's work and preparing snacks for the morning. We stayed up what felt like hours talking about life, reminding me the beauty of traveling to new places and meeting new people- even if it is only an hour from home. 

In the morning we woke up to quiche, fresh eggs, tomatoes from her garden, and the most amazing homemade granola I've ever had. It was the perfect ending to our stay on the farm. With a copy of Esther's granola recipe in tow we said our goodbyes and made our way back to Portland.  Every-time I pull out that honey-stained piece of paper it puts a little smile on my face and makes me think of Esher. Scroll-down for her recipe and a link to her listing on Airbnb!

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Here is the listing if you want to stay at Esther's farm and spend a weekend in wine country!



Esther's Granola
(Original recipe uses 20 cups of oats! you can tell Esther feeds a crowd. I cut this down a lot, and I also can never find wheat germ or soy granules, so the recipe below is a little modified) 
ingredients
-5 cups of oats
- 1/2 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup pecans
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I used pumpkin seeds)
-1/2 cup coconut flakes
-1/2 cup powdered milk (I use powdered coconut milk) 

Heat following ingredients in pan until incorporated and heated through.
-1/2 cup of honey
-1/2 cup of coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt

what to do
-Preheat oven to 250-275 degrees (130-140 c)
- In a large bowl mix oats, peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and powdered milk and stir
-pour in honey mixture and stir until combined
-spread out in an even layer on a cookie sheet (use two sheets if needed) and bake until golden brown about 20-25 minutes. Stir at the halfway mark to prevent burning. 
-Let cool and then top with your favorite fruit, or just eat it as a snack on the go!

Eggs en Cocotte

I've only just begun practicing my hand at French cooking. I'm no Julia child, but I do know one thing...If I have to spend the rest of my days practicing the craft by eating butter-smeared baguette, dipping the crusty parts in slow-simmered boeuf bourguignon, sipping CĂ´tes du RhĂ´ne, and eating Ă©clair's with cream that's been whipped into submission than I will be the happiest little dame there ever was. 

I'll never forget my first meal in Paris. My fellow study abroader's and I thought we were instantly distinguished and sophisticated the second our feet hit French soil, so for our first meal we weren't going to put up with eating cheap "touristy" food. We wandered down a little cobblestone alleyway, just like you would imagine in a movie, and came up to La Butte Aux Piafs. The cutest little restaurant that you ever did see. We ate escargot on top of warm baguette, lamb shanks that practically melted in your mouth, and we polished it off with crème brĂ»lĂ©e. After that night we quickly realized that our wallets couldn't handle our stomach's desires. But for those three short blissful hours sitting in that restaurant, you probably never saw a brood quite as fat and happy as us. You can read more about it in this post!

I yearn for the day Thomas and I can travel back to France together. I picture lounging on a airy balcony looking over the French Riviera, eating so much cheese and drinking more wine than our little hearts could ever desire. Or sitting outside at a bistro in Paris sipping on espresso's and swooning over pain au chocolat's. At least that's the way I picture it in my head...but until that day I will happily keep practicing the art of French cooking out of our kitchen in whatever part of the world we are in. 

Eggs en cocotte. Let me tell you about this little dish of heaven. "En cocotte" means to steam in a small dish or ramekin! How cute is that?! Eggs are a huge part of French Cuisine. Chef Jacques Pepin actually judges up-and-comers on how well they can make an omelette! 
Shallots, mushrooms, and spinach sautéed with butter and garlic and then reduced down with cream makes up the base of this dreamy breakfast. If you're like us, you'll want to keep the yolks oh-so-runny and soak up every drop with toasted baguette. Feelin' French yet?

Eggs en Cocotte
serves 2
ingredients
- 8 oz (227 g) of mushrooms, sliced (whichever variety you prefer)
-1 tablespoon of butter
-1 shallot, finely chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 big handfuls of spinach
-1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
-4 large eggs
-fresh grated parmesan
-salt & pepper to taste
-Toasted sliced baguette

what to do
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 celsius) 
2)Heat up a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Wait until the pan is hot before adding the mushrooms. Let them cook without stirring too often until they are brown and have sweat out a majority of their water. Do not add the butter until after the mushrooms have browned!
3) Turn the heat down to medium and add a tablespoon of butter to the browned mushrooms. Add the shallots and cook down until softened, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook just until fragrant. 
4) Add in your handfuls of spinach and drizzle with a little olive oil and sautĂ© until they wilt down a little. Pour in the cream and reduce the mixture down until most of the liquid has evaporated and the cream has thickened. 
5) In individual ramekins or oven-proof dishes, scoop the mushroom mixture into each. Top each dish with two large eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper and grated cheese. 
6) Place ramekins in a baking dish and transfer to oven. Carefully pour enough boiling water into baking dish to submerge ramekins 3/4 of the way. Bake eggs en cocotte until whites are just set and yolks are still jiggly, about 12-15 minutes depending on how runny you like your yolks! 
7) Slice baguette and brush slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toast under the broiler until golden brown.  

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Linking up this week with Buns in my Oven for What's Cookin' Wednesday!