I have been on a bit of a baking and cooking kick as of late, and I think it’s due mainly to this bizarre weather that Colorado has experienced during the past few weeks. This cold snap may be getting to me – I refuse to think that it actually snowed on Sunday and Monday. Luckily everything melted off yesterday, and it’s climbing into the 60s today (okay, it’s going be 60 degrees, semantics…). But given this odd shift in the weather, I have had more time inside, planning meals and finding some good new recipes and revisiting great old ones.
Sunday was Mother’s Day, but given my newfound role as a puppy mom, the hubs decided to rise early and prepare waffles with strawberries. It was the perfect way to start the day. We spent much of it playing with our pup, going to the gym (thanks a lot May snowstorm!), catching up on our favorite shows (“Game of Thrones” and “Mad Men” really make Sunday nights amazing), and concocting cocktails and making a lovely fish dinner. Robbie grilled (in the snow!) halibut with a Cuban rub and I prepared my all-time favorite salmon recipe, grilled salmon with a lime butter sauce. We prepared sweet potato fries (with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of sea salt) as a side. So good, I tell you, so good.
I had sent the hubs a recipe earlier in the week for a drink I wanted to try. I found a recipe for a fresh strawberry margarita on the Anthropologie blog, and decided this would be my beverage for Puppy Mom day, regardless of the snow. It’s definitely worth it, not too sweet, and full of fresh ingredients. I learned early on that fresh orange juice makes a world of difference in margaritas, and that is proven true in this awesome libation.
Fresh Strawberry Margarita
2 oz. strawberry puree (see below)
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. Cointreau
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Sugar/Salt for the rim
Lime slices and additional strawberries for garnish
Combine one pound of hulled strawberries and the juice of two oranges (preferably Valencia oranges) in a blender. Blend until very smooth and strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Store the puree in a tightly-lidded jar in the refrigerator.
If you only want to make enough puree for one drink, combine ¼ pound of strawberries with the juice of half an orange. This should equal the 2 ounces needed for the cocktail.
First, prepare your glassware: With a slice of lime, wet the rim and dip into a plate of sugar (the recipe calls for salt, but it made the drink a bit too savory, so next time I will make it with sugar), and fill the glass with ice. Then, in a cocktail shaker, combine the strawberry puree, tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the salt-rimmed glasses and serve with a lime wedge and a fresh strawberry with the stem removed.
If you need additional sweetness, add a touch of simple syrup or agave. Drink up and enjoy!
This week I made my tried and true spinach and bacon quiche, which is always a favorite given the prospect of leftovers. It doesn’t involve too many ingredients, can be used as a base for other fillers, and always turns out perfectly. I initially took the recipe from Kraft, but I tweaked it to mix up the cheese and add sautéed mushrooms for additional flavor. I know you’ll like it!
Spinach, Bacon and Mushroom Quiche
1 ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.) or homemade pie crust (see my recipe below)
2 – 2 ½ cups grated cheese of your choice (I use sharp white cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere, and Parmesan)
2 Tbsp. flour
1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, cooked, well drained
1 cup skim milk
2 eggs, beaten
3 – 4 slices of cooked bacon, chopped into ½ inch pieces
½ pint of sautéed mushrooms of your choice, or small can of canned mushrooms drained
½ tsp. salt (or less, depending on the saltiness of the cheese you add)
A dash of pepper
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie crust and flute or fork the edges. Toss the cheese with flour in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and disperse evenly. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired. Bake for one hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve for breakfast, brunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Pie Crust Recipe
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
What are your go to recipes? Any fun alternatives for margarita mix-ins? What did you do for Mother’s Day? Am I crazy for celebrating Puppy Mommy Day – my pup is my fur-child after all?