5 Tips for Growing an Indoor Herb Garden

5 Tips for Growing an Indoor Herb Garden 5 Tips for Growing an Indoor Herb Garden

Guest post by Jennifer Riner of Zillow

Indoor herb gardens allow renters and homeowners who lack green thumbs to take a stab at horticulture. Consider it an entry-level form of gardening to open the doors for more advanced outdoor cultivation, if or when space allows. Not to mention, herbs are almost a necessity in the kitchen if you cook fresh food for yourself or your family regularly. Why buy dried versions of herbs you can pick fresh at home for free?… 

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Spring Quiche With Fresh Spinach, Shallots, Asparagus and Goat Cheese

This week I find myself in the land of perennial sunshine in Southern California visiting family while staying at my sister’s home; a haven in the countryside. Her home is chock full of memories and beautiful things she has collected over a lifetime. My big sis has been married to the same man for 40 years this August. It’s a joy to sit back and watch the interplay between the two of them, complete with finishing each others sentences. The current of love that runs between the two is quite evident.

Spring Quiche: Fresh spinach, shallots, goat cheese and roasted asparagus. The combination of fresh vegetables with a tangy salty bite of goat cheese is out of this world. I am ashamed to admit that in all this perpetual bliss, my thoughts do not wander to their wonderfully satisfying relationship for long, but scramble off to the garden, fruit orchard and chickens she has skillfully put together in her backyard. I did hold myself back for the first 15 minutes after I arrived to act somewhat interested in how everyone was and how life had been treating them, but inched my way to the backyard as quickly as decorum would allow. 

 Spring Quiche: Fresh spinach, shallots, goat cheese and roasted asparagus. The combination of fresh vegetables with a tangy salty bite of  goat cheese is out of this world. I was amazed to see peaches ripening on the trees, blueberries ripe for the picking, and tomatoes in full bloom. A whole food bloggers paradise. At home my trees are barely budding, and planting tomatoes still a distant dream. I feel like a kid in a candy store and am cooking with abandon. 

Spring Quiche: Fresh spinach, shallots, goat cheese and roasted asparagus. The combination of fresh vegetables with a tangy salty bite of goat cheese is out of this world. Today’s recipe is a Spring Quiche with fresh spinach, shallots, goat cheese and roasted asparagus. The combination of fresh vegetables with the salty bite and tang of goat cheese is marvelous. Sprinkle the Spring Quiche with a touch of fresh chopped dill before serving to add an additional layer of flavor; I guarantee it will be sure to leave you smiling!

Spring Quiche with Fresh Spinach, Shallots, Asparagus and Goat Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • Pate Brisee for single pie crust (see below for link to Recipe)
  • 1½ cups fresh spinach, chopped roughly
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 10 asparagus spears
  • 5 oz goat cheese, plus additional ounce for sprinkling on top of quiche
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus additional for seasoning asparagus
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning asparagus
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup milk (not non-fat)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large iron skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add shallots to pan and cook until softened and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Wipe skillet out with paper towel and set aside to cool.
  5. Crack eggs into medium sized bowl and whisk to blend.
  6. Add salt, pepper, hot sauce, cream and milk. Whisk to combine.
  7. Once skillet has cooled, press Pate Brisee into bottom of pan with edge of crust only slightly coming up side of pan.
  8. In layers, first spread spinach atop crust, followed by the shallots.
  9. Sprinkle goat cheese atop shallots (will not cover whole area, space out evenly)
  10. Pour egg mixture on top of layered vegetables and cheese and poke down spinach into egg mixture so that it is mostly covered.
  11. Place in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  12. In the meantime, place asparagus on baking sheet, add olive oil, a few sprinkles or sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper and place in the oven along with the quiche to roast(about 15 minutes). Remove from oven.
  13. Once quiche has cooked for 20 minutes, remove from oven, place asparagus on top of quiche and push down slightly to set in place. Sprinkle quiche with remaining ounce of goat cheese and return to oven until quiche is set in the middle and slightly browned around the edges(about 15 minutes).
  14. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped dill, cut and serve.

Pate Brisee recipe from Martha Stewart. Cut recipe in half or make full recipe and freeze half the dough for another time.

Spring Quiche with Fresh Spinach, Shallots, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Recipe shared with:

My Pinterventures: Merry Monday Linky Party

The Ultimate Linky: Pinterest Linky Party

Cherished Handmade Treasures: Creative  Corner Hop

Lou Lou Girls: Lou Lou Girls Linky Party

*Life is Fantasmic: Saturday Dishes

 

 

Home Style Potato Salad

Home Style Potato Salad

Home Style Potato Salad: Pure and Simple

Trader Joe’s recently moved into the neighborhood and I am beside myself excited. When I first moved to Boise several years ago, I loved everything about it. The mountains, rivers and streams are picture perfect and the city itself has a wonderful natural granola feel to it. I cannot deny, I fit right in.

Home Style Potato Salad: Pure and Simple Coming from California where traffic, congestion, and smog was the rule of the day, I only had a small inkling of how freeing living in such a place could be. I’m not saying that Boise is perfect, it has it faults just like most places do. For instance, the winters in the mountains where our home is located are cold and long. Spring, one of my favorite seasons, tends to be the shortest of all the seasons. We can go from 30 degrees to 80 degrees in only a few weeks, making spring planting difficult at best.

Home Style Potato Salad: Pure and Simple My biggest disappointment in Boise, however, by far, was in discovering the dismal fact the nearest Trader Joe’s was 400 miles away! I found other health food stores, and farmer’s markets galore, but it wasn’t the same. There is something about Trader Joe’s that resonates with me. I enjoy finding unique items there I would be hard pressed to find anywhere else, and the prices are affordable. So, when Trader Joe’s finally moved in to town, it was a really big deal. 

Home Style Potato Salad: Pure and Simple My latest find, Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend has quickly become my “go to” seasoning. I first tasted it on a spicy jalapeno coleslaw and I was instantly enamored. The slowly smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic and basil mixture adds an interesting character and depth of flavor to whatever I am cooking up. I couldn’t wait to try my hand at creating a potato salad to feature our incredible Idaho potatoes and this delicious spice…the results are amazing!

Home Style Potato Salad: Pure and Simple Home Style Potato Salad is a creamy delight. Idaho potatoes, fresh dill, pepperoncini and South African Smoke Seasoning Blendhelp to give a familiar yet uniquely flavorful fresh take on this all-time favorite.

Home Style Potato Salad
 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 Large Idaho white potatoes, cleaned, cut and quartered
  • 5 medium Idaho red potatoes, cleaned, cut and quartered
  • 5 fresh eggs, rinsed
  • ¼ cup pickled pepperoncini, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ medium white onion, finely diced
  • 1 dill pickle, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely diced
  • ½ cup mayonaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp dill pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp South African Smoke Seasoning, (may substitute 1½ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp garlic salt, ¼ tsp basil)
  • Fresh ground black pepper, a few grinds
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in large pan ,fill pan with water to cover potatoes,bring to a low boil on medium high heat.
  2. After potatoes have boiled for 10 minutes add eggs to pan.
  3. Cook potatoes until fork tender. (about 25 minutes total).
  4. Drain potatoes and eggs, and run cold water over them to cool and to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
  5. Remove skins from white potatoes, leaving red potato skins intact.Place potatoes in a bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Peel eggs immediately to facilitate easier removal of shells. Cover and refrigerate.
  7. Meanwhile, In a small bowl, stir together Mayonnaise, sour cream, dill pickle juice and seasonings. Chill.
  8. After potatoes have chilled, chop and place into large bowl.
  9. Add diced pepperoncini, celery, onions,dill pickle and fresh dill to potatoes. Lightly toss to mix.
  10. Pour dressing over potato mixture and mix well.
  11. Chop or slice eggs and lightly stir into potato salad.
  12. Chill salad for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend for best results (if you can stand to wait that long).

 Home Style Potato Salad shared with:

Yesterfood: Summer BBQ Party

Taming the Blue Box

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”-Virginia Woolf

I arrive home after a long 10 hour day of work and I am exhausted. It is all I can do to trudge my way up the stairs, drop whatever happens to be in my hands on the nearest surface, and flop down into my favorite chair. The last thing I want to do is to get back up again and make dinner.

Italian bread with garlic and parsley;A big bold rich Italian Tomato Sauce is not complete without a thick slice of crusty Italian Bread.  This is no mere suggestion, but a prerequisite at dinner tables everywhere.  How else is every drop of the flavorful sauce to be accounted for?

Some days I luck out. Tim will offer to cook dinner and I sing hallelujah, with a sigh of relief and don’t complain too much when out comes the blue box of macaroni and cheese.  I know it is not the healthiest, but exhaustion wins out and fast food has it’s day once again.

Taming the Blue Box - I arrive home after a long 10 hour day of work and I am exhausted. It is all I can do to trudge my way up the stairs, drop whatever happens to be in my hands on the nearest surface, and flop down into my favorite chair. The last thing I want to do is...

Fortunately this time of year my pantry is brimming full with color. Sauces, salsas, vegetables, jams and jellies are all lined up beautifully in rows.

Herbs, peppers, onions and garlic are dried, salted and mixed together in tasty concoctions. The Freezer holds cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, green beans, carrots and peppers all ready at a moments notice.

I am not sure who made the decision that a rich Italian sauce, brimming with pure food tomato flavor, tender melt in your mouth meatballs , fresh mushrooms and topped with parmesan cheese could only be placed atop spaghetti noodles. Fortunately, I didn't get the memo.  So my delicioso Italian Tomato Sauce with Meatballs is firmly fixed upon farfalle noodles. Pantry and freezer are stocked full, but if I don’t know how to put it all together, when exhaustion sets in, the blue box will be way too tempting. 

Chicken breasts seasoned to perfection, seared to seal in every ounce of juicy flavor. Paired with a savory blend of harvest grains which include Israeli style couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa.  Drizzled over all is a spicy, tart Tomatillo Verde Sauce.  Sweet Perfection.

Chicken, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes are a knockout combination, but the sauce is what makes all the difference.  Flavor assaults your senses from the moment that first forkful reaches your mouth and leaves you sheepishly looking around after the last bite, praying no one is watching so you can lick your plate clean.  Yep, it’s that good.

I have compiled a few quick and easy recipes (even Tim can master), to help tame the blue box syndrome. If you made my Italian Tomato Sauce, Tomatillo Verde Sauce, or Hot Pepper Sauce these recipes will put those sauces to good use. If not, you can use store bought. Keep in mind that salt content will most likely be higher in store bought sauces and cut down on the salt in the recipe accordingly.

Pasta With Italian Tomato Sauce and Meatballs

Chicken Tomatillo Verde and Harvest Grains

Chicken, Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes with Pasta

Italian Bread with Garlic and Parsley

This post shared with: Yesterfood: Treasure Box Tuesday