Friday, February 17, 2012

Recipe: Crustless Asparagus Quiche

Okay... I made this for myself a couple of years ago. Decided to re-make it with a few additions/modifications a couple of days ago.

I didn't like my additions, but I recall the ORIGINAL recipe was "To Die For" so I will re-post it here:

QT's Crust-less Asparagus Quiche

  • appx 1 to 1-1/2 cups of fresh asparagus, cut into 1" chunks
  • 6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 eggs (if you choose to use a crust, cut it back to 4 eggs)
  • 6 slices muenster cheese (chopped 'til it's like shredded)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 Tbs sour cream
  • Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • Nutmeg
  • French-fried crunchy onions
  1. Nuke the asparagus 'til al dente
  2. Beat the eggs, add the cream and a couple dashes of Lawry's
  3. Add the sour cream
  4. Fold in the "shredded" muenster cheese
  5. Put the asparagus and mushrooms (I think I might saute the shrooms, lightly, in olive oil - next time!) in a greased pie pan (or pre-baked pie-crust)
  6. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the top

Bake in a pre-heated 375* oven. About 10 minutes before it's done, add crunchy onions and nutmeg to the top and continue baking 'til the center is "set."

I cooked mine in the convection oven for appx 45 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving

Sorry - No pics this time around. But trust me when I say this recipe was delicious *and* beautiful!!!

(Belated) Road Triiiiiiip!!!!

Ya know, sometimes it kinda "loses something" if you're not timely about posting.

But - seein' as how I feel like I'm the ONLY reader (other than hubs), I s'pose it doesn't much matter, right?!!

(Actually, I do get about a hundred "hits" per week, so evidently somebody stumbles onto this blog - however inadvertently!!!)

Anyway... As promised, I will post the Big-Road-Trip-Recap and some Random Pics from said Road-Trip.

Warning: This is full-on "Rambling" so if that's not your thing, then just "Move along... Nothing to see here!"

Pre-Ramble-Ramblings: Many years ago, I purchased my Very First (and - come to think of it! - ONLY) Brand New Car. I think it was late-1990 and I had purchased a 1991 Geo Metro Convertible which looked like a Miata with a Thyroid Problem. BFF-S and I made a road-trip to So-Cal (to Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland) - without the benefit of a car stereo!!! - and we had "documented" our Adventure in a steno-pad notebook. Now, I'm pretty sure I still have that notebook buried someplace, but it was a hoot-and-a-half (in a "You had to be there" kinda way!!!). I definitely recall S's consternation when we started out our journey with a stop at 7-11 and my insistence on buying a Super-Big-Gulp Coke. And she was very diligent about logging ALL of our Rest-Stop Stops "Thanks to Nancy and her Super-Big-Gulp!"

It actually *was* a whole lot of fun and TONS of laughs.

Now add "Facebook" to the equation and our ability to update our friends' IN REAL TIME and, well, it's a guaranteed yuk-fest, right???

Welllllll... It would have been, had it not been for the fact that Facebook pushed-through some kind of upgrade and - FOR ONCE - it defaulted *everything* to totally private!!! Meaning: Every Gawddamned post and photo that I uploaded during that trip was visible to "ME ONLY." WTF???


Anyhooooo... Here's the Random Ramblings I originally captured for Friend-P's and my Big Road Trip Adventure:

We survived our Road Trip to San Diego. Friend-P and I piled into the Sebring and headed out at - what turned out to be - 8:30am (rather than the 7:00am I had originally projected). Fortunately, southbound traffic out of San-Jo isn't too bad...

So we headed down 101 South to 152 East (we're in Northern California, we don't preface our highways with "THE"). We took a short side-trip to Santa Nella so we could stop for breakfast at Pea Soup Andersen's (ignore the Buellton address, it's the same website for Santa Nella, too).

*Love* that place - don't ask me why! And yes, we had Pea Soup for breakfast!!! (Yes, it's on the menu as the "Traveler's Breakfast" - Pea Soup + 2 eggs + bacon, ham, or sausage + pancakes).

Annnnnnd! I got two jars of their "Gourmet Seasoning" (which I actually LOVE - and had almost run-out-of!)

Then we hopped on I-5 South for the arduous and none-too-exciting journey through the Central Valley, down to El Lay and beyond...

Now, had the conference been a week or two later, the Valley would have been simply stunning with all of the fruit and nut tree blossoms. But alas, it wasn't. It was pretty barren and pretty dull. And pretty stinky around Coalinga and Kettleman City (Massive Dairy Farms and Feedlots) (Quick! Switch the A/C to "Recirculate!!!").

I'll skip the play-by-play but - suffice it to say - P and I managed to keep ourselves entertained. "Look! A Porta-Potty Ranch!!!" as we passed a large lot full of - you guessed it - Porta-Potties!

And we discussed such deep, philosophical issues as "Is that a Porta-Potty RANCH? Or is it a FARM?" Same with the Pallet-Farm, and the Farm-Implement Ranch (I think we finally agreed that Porta-Potties and Farm Implements were handled by RANCHERS, but we never did agree on Pallets.).

And P was updating Facebook the entire time... Checking us in at the various "Rest Areas" and uploading pictures of mileage signs and other inane sightings...

Unfortunately, she missed her Photo-Op for "Pleasant Valley State Prison" (Not to worry, I caught it on the return trip!)

Anyway... According to Google Maps, the drive from San Jose to San Diego was supposed to have taken appx 7-1/2 hours. But Google, apparently, knows nothing about Los Angeles Friday Afternoon RUSH-HOUR Traffic (which, apparently, starts around noon and, well, NEVER ENDS!!!).

Now I piss and moan, quite a bit, about Bay Area traffic.

Uhhhh... NO!

There are, quite frankly, too goddamn many people down there! To be fair, P and I did switch-off with the driving, and I did avail myself of Cruise-Control when we were on "The Five" (Okay, we're in So-Cal now... Gotta talk like a local!), but after sitting in ALL OF THAT TRAFFIC on "The Four-Oh-Five," (and Thank GAWD P came along - at least we got to use the HOV Lane!!!), well, my ankle was starting to ache and my Jovial Mood was starting to wane, rather quickly!

All I could think was "There are people who DO this Every. Friggin.' Day!!!"

And... "THANK GAWD I telecommute!!!"

And that's all I'm gonna say about that. (Jeezus!!!)

Anyway, I got us through the worst of it. Then P took over, because - seriously - my right ankle really was starting to cramp-up!

...And, ironically, it wasn't THAT long ago that I had done a San Jose to San Diego AND BACK (Like, yes, ROUND-TRIP) trek in ONE DAY! (I suspect some speed-laws may have been broken!)

But I digress.................

So then we're on a toll-road - "The 73" (if you care!) - trying to avoid the snarl on "The 405" - and ultimately getting dumped back onto "The 5."

As we're driving along, it's starting to get dark. Hell, it IS dark! And what do I spy, up ahead? Some GIANT BOOBIES (complete with flashing red-light nipples!) (a la Carol Doda and the Condor Club in SanFran!). I immediately perked up and shouted out "BOOBIES!!!!"

"What the hell is THAT?" We both wondered aloud.

"Hmmm... Where are we?"

"San Onofre"

"I think, but I'm not sure... They might be NUKES!"

So I power up my phone (neither of us had functional car-chargers, by the way - "D'oh!")

And I Google "San Onofre Nuclear" and, lo and behold, not ONLY are the Giant Boobies a Nuclear Power Plant, but HEY!!! They're LEAKING!!! Yippeeeee!!!!

Yes, the first "hit" on Google was a news article about how some maintenance worker FELL INTO one of the water/cooling tanks and now there was a "small, but not dangerous leak."

"Oh Goodie!"

We looked at each other and asked simultaneously "Am I glowing???"

Thankfully, we weren't.

And you thought this was gonna be an uneventful trip, right?!!

During the return trip, P and I were more diligent with our "Check-In's" on Facebook (at least P's posts were showing up!). We had breakfast at The Sugar Shack in San Onofre (home of the San Onofre - but *not* glowing - omelette). P "checked-us-in" there, but *I* checked us in at "San Onofre Nuclear Boobies!" (Sucked that the post wasn't visible to anyone but me - but STILL - I thought it was hysterical that that came-up as a "check-in spot" on FB)...

And further north, I *did* catch my Photo-Op for Pleasant Valley State Prison (and even managed another "invisible check-in" on Facebook)...

Anyhoooooooo... It was a Super-Fun Weekend. And I got TONS of inspiration for new Ceramics Projects - which I will be attempting very soon...

Here are some random pics "from the road:"

Split-Pea Andersen's Breakfast Menu

Proof that you CAN have pea-soup for breakfast!!!

General Goofiness. P is on the left, and I am on the right!

My Simply Priceless Souvenir from the Adventure
a Squished Andersen's Pea Soup Penny!

Avenal Rest Area

Oxymoron, encountered at Avenal Rest Area!
(Can't blame the Super Big Gulp this time!!!)

INSANELY expensive gas
I insisted we stop *before* we got to The Grapevine...

Dinner and cocktails at Miguel's in Old Town San Diego
I can honestly say that was *the* spiciest Chile Relleno I have *ever* eaten
(they didn't remove the chili pepper seeds - OUCH!!!)

General Goofiness in Old Town.
P-modeling a coonskin cap!

Sugar-Shack in San Onofre
SUPER cool restaurant - BTW. Very Old School.
I wish we still had "joints" like this around!!!

Breakfast Menu - Wonder if it makes you "glow???"

Can't argue with that!!!

Random shot taken on I-5.
Flowery-fields of some sort. I like the "impressionistic" quality of this pic, actually!

A "Full-Service" Gas Station (so to speak!)

Happy Cows from California
This was a dairy farm - where I think the cows actually ARE happy
(unlike the feedlots in Coalinga where they're all knee-deep in sh*t and preparing for death)

Shot of I-5.
I think this is when we were coming down The Grapevine...

"Pleasant Valley State Prison!"
(Yes, I "checked-us-in" there!)

San Onofre Nuclear Boobies!
(actually, this is just ONE of the boobies)

San Onofre Nuclear Boobies (better picture - stolen from the internet)
TELL me those don't look like boobies!
(especially considering the flashing red nipples after dark!!!)

While at the Potter's Conference, we did a Pottery Exchange.
This is what I won (and I felt like a TOTAL Winner! Me = Happy!)

This is where the Ceramic Flip-Flop ended up.
Abso-freaking-lutely perfect in our bathroom!!!

Okay... I think that's MORE than enough Rambling for one day - Don't you agree???

I'm gonna head out to my studio and start some NEW projects................................

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recipe: Shepherd's Pie - Cheater's Style!

I hafta say... I honestly have no clue if anybody (other than my husband!) actually reads this blog and finds it useful.

"Oh, well!"

It's actually been semi-useful to me - at least whenever I wanna re-visit a prior "Culinary Masterpiece." (Even more useful - now that I've added the "Search" Gadget - HEYYY!)

Last night, I made my Scrump-dilly-icious Potato Leek Soup again (Yum!) with a few modifications (added 3 diced shallots, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of fresh, chopped mushrooms, and a cup of fresh, chopped spinach). It was slightly more greenish, in color, but it was most-definitely delicious! (and now we have leftovers in the freezer - Yay!!!).

And tonight I had a hankerin' for a Home-Cooked Meal - having just returned from my Road-Trip with P (more on that later - Post is in "Draft" form right now).

So I checked the freezer, and consulted the interwebs, and decided to make a Shepherd's Pie.

Here's where I started out: This one and This one

And this is what I ended up with (not sure if I can *truly* call it my own - but what the hell, right? Not like anybody cares!):

QT's Shepherd's Pie - Cheater's Style!

  • 1 lb ground beef or sirloin (I just used the cheap, fatty - excuse me - "73% lean" stuff)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh, minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas+carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • (or use whatever frozen veggies make you happy)
  • 1-2 Tbs Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 packet Beef "Flavor Boost" (by Swanson - or you could use 1/2 c beef broth, or dissolve a bouillon cube in 1/2 cup water. I really didn't want that much "liquid")
  • 1 can (~10 oz) Beef Gravy (Yes, this is the "Cheater Part" as is the...)
  • 1 package (~24 oz) pre-mashed potatoes from the frigerator section of the store
  • 1/8-1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning because it's pretty "savory")
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese (I used a Mexican Cheese Mix - Jack/Cheddar/Queso/Asadero)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400*F
  2. Begin browning the ground beef in a 10" skillet over medium high heat. Try to break up the burger into teeny chunks, if you can.
  3. Once the burger begins to brown, add the onions and garlic. Saute 'til translucent.
  4. Add the chopped mushrooms, sprinkle-in some seasoning and cook until the shrooms begin to brown.
  5. Drain the grease, then return to the skillet and lower heat to medium-low.
  6. Drizzle-in the Worchestershire sauce, to taste (it will help to deglaze the pan), then the Beef-Flavored whatever (if you're using broth, you may need to cook it down a bit)
  7. Dump-in the can of gravy and stir til well-mixed
  8. Add the frozen veggies. Continue to cook 'til the veggies are incorporated into the mix and heated through.
  9. Remove from heat and nuke the pre-made mashed 'taters per the package instructions.
  10. (I found the taters to be too bland so I added a bit more salt and some cream to "jazz it up" a bit)
  11. Dump the beef/veggie mixture into a 2-1/2 qt casserole. Sprinkle half the cheese on top of the beef mixture.
  12. Smear the mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture. Skritch it up with a fork so you have lots of peaks and valleys on top.
  13. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the taters
  14. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes at 400* til the cheese is melted and it's heated through...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quickie Recipe: Cranapple Chicken Salad (Yum!).

Okay, so today was pretty hectic what with packing... "Oh sh*t! I have no clean clothes!!" Okay LAUNDRY... Then packing... And working (Jeez, my clients were soooo demanding today! You'd think they paid me or somethin'!)... And hubs coming home for lunch... And more client demands... Then the maid showed up, which meant I had to go hide-out in The Shack...


And through it all: All I wanted was some LUNCH!

I swear this recipe should only take about 10 minutes to prepare - yet it ended up taking me four goddamn hours!!!

Anyway, enough bitching, here's the recipe:

QT's Cranapple Chicken Salad
Makes enough for maybe 6-8 sandwiches (maybe??)

  • Cold leftover Rotisserie Chicken (that I bought yesterday 'cuz I was too lazy to cook. Then I only ate the two drumsticks!)
  • 2 Tbs red onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, mediumly chopped
  • 2-3 generous Tbs of Cranapple Jam
  • 1 generous handful (maybe 1/3 cup?) dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 generous handful (again ~1/3 cup?) toasted sliced almonds (I used Almond Accents Original Flavor - but Honey-Roast might be good, too)
  • Buttload of mayonnaise (I didn't measure!)
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dry rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  1. Strip the usable meat off the leftover chicken. Toss the bones and skin (or better yet - throw 'em in a pot and make chicken stock. I was too pressed for time to deal with that today).
  2. Chop the chicken meat into small chunks (1/4-1/2").
  3. Mix in the chopped onion and celery.
  4. Add the dried seasonings.
  5. Plunk-in the cranberry-apple jam, dried cranberries and almonds.
  6. Mix everything up with a fork then start blorping the mayonnaise in.
  7. Keep blorping and mixing until it reaches a chicken-salady consistency.
  8. Put it in a container in the fridge for an hour or so - to let the flavors meld...
I actually made a sandwich out of mine, immediately (I was freaking starving!!) and it was delicious.

I just snacked on a little bit of it - after it had been in the fridge for awhile - and now it's even better!


Okay... I'm all packed and ready to go, first thing tomorrow morning. I think I'd better attempt to wind-down now and go to bed!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I ♥ The Bloggess ("Nothing to see here...")

Okay, so I am like, totally, behind-the-times and only recently discovered The Bloggess.

I honestly don't remember how I stumbled onto her blog (prob'ly linked from one of the other blogs I read regularly). I've only recently added her to my newsreader and she is... Well... Bizarre! I've been reading her more recent posts (like, in the last month) and decided I'd go back and read through her archives so I could "get to know her" better...

Have you ever spent, like, an entire weekend tuned-in to Netflix, watching, say, a "Hoarders" Marathon, and suddenly felt an overwhelming Urge to Purge your ENTIRE HOUSE?

And then ACTED on it???

Nahh, didn't think so.

Well, reading a years' worth of The Bloggess' posts is kinda like that. Except without the Goodwill Tax-Deductions (Hmph!).

I totally "get" her - which is kinda cool and extremely disconcerting all at the same time. It's almost like I want to "be" her - only without the need for Anxiety Meds... Or fear of squids... Or relentless obsessing over the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse... ya know?!

Seriously, she is hysterical. And whacked. And I think, maybe, she actually makes a *living* at writing (which I, obv, could never ever hope to do!).

(Although I *am* published!!! I even got paid (!) - a whopping $103.00(!) for a magazine to publish one of my Liveaboard web-pages, almost-verbatim!)

Oh, and The Bloggess seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on Twitter, so I'm "following" her there. I've had a Twitter Account for, like, forEVER - but I hardly ever Tweet.

But - Thanks to the Bloggess - I *just* discovered that you can actually "Tweet" pics directly from your Android to Twitter (Yes, I *am* a Total Tool!). And since I have, like, practically NO followers, that makes Twitter a better way to get my blog pics uploaded!

This way, when I'm making/blogging about - say - Beef Stew and want to post a pic on the blog, I can upload it to Twitter and only 17 Complete-And-Total-Strangers will be all "WTF - Why is she posting pictures of beef stew?"

Which is better than 100+ "Real People Who Actually Know Me" on Facebook thinking "WTF - Why is she posting pictures of beef stew?"

So The Bloggess has already SAVED ME from untold embarrassment! "Bless you O' Mighty Bloggess, Czar of Nothingness!"

Hell, at this rate, maybe I can become her Bestest Internet Stalker - EVAR! Hell, maybe I can even get her to block me (much like William Shatner). Oh, hope springs eternal!!!

* * * * *
So anyway, I think I've read, like, the first years' worth of her posts (and she links to other blogs/sites where she posts and I think my head would explode if I tried to read EVERYTHING she ever wrote) (so maybe I'm too lazy to be a TRUE Internet Stalker), and I felt momentarily inspired to blah-blah-blog something here.

So I did.

:::whew::: Glad I got *that* out of my system!

Anyway, not a whole helluva lot going on around here right now (hence the relative quiet). I did manage to get some half-way serious tree-pruning done (Pics, Commentary forthcoming... Or not!). And tonight, I think I want to brew up another batch of my Cranberry Apple Jam (which totally ROCKS and - ahem - I think we've eaten through most of my last batch :::gasp!:::). (And by "we" I mean "me" b/c Hubs isn't a Jamster. Hmph!)

And I'm planning a "Girls Gone Wild" weekend in San Diego. Me and Friend-P are piling into the Sebring, at zero-dark-thirty Friday Morning, and heading down for a Potter's Council Conference in SanDog. Maybe I'll blog while I'm there. Maybe not. Maybe we'll make a side-trip to Tijuana where we'll be abducted by Zombies. Who knows?

Anyway, this is just another rambling, meaningless post (so what else is new, right?!). Time to read through another months' worth of Bloggess Ramblings, then whip up a batch o' jam!

Party on!!!


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