Tag Archives: Potluck

Spinach Artichoke Quiche

3 Mar

I love me a good quiche. Generally people give me a hard time about eating things at inappropriate times, like pasta for breakfast and whatnot. And while I generally feel like those people can build a bridge and get over it (what is this, Alyson, 1998?), it’s also nice sometimes to just not have my culinary choices questioned. (But I mean, really people, why are you limiting yourselves!?)

The thing about quiche is that it’s totally an anytime food. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner — no one cares. Eat it whenever! I guess most people would put it in a breakfast or brunch category by default, and I’m even okay with that, because quiche doesn’t taste like a breakfast food. It’s not too sweet like waffles and it’s not too heavy like eggs and sausage. It’s just perfect, breakfast or not.

Spinach Artichoke Quiche

And it’s customizable! You can put anything you want in a quiche! Everyone wins! And it’s really hard to mess up a quiche, y’all. Like, grab a recipe, dump a bunch of cheese in there, and you’re good. Take it to any sort of potluck and it’s great to share, no matter what time of day and no matter how fancy the event. People will be so impressed with a quiche.

Okay, I might have just convinced myself in the process of writing this that quiche is the best dish ever. This may not look like the best thing ever, but I assure you, this spinach artichoke quiche is amazing. Cheesy, spinachy, artichokey. Yum. And I used the same crust as the one for my super amazing to-die-for tomato pie. Next potluck, try this one. You won’t regret it.

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Spinach Artichoke Quiche

Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4″ cubes
3 tablespoons cold water

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands, kind of like kneading, until all ingredients are incorporated. Shape dough into a ball.

Flour your working surface and turn out dough with a floured rolling pin, making a large circle. Transfer crust to a pie pan and press evenly into the dish.

Bake the pie crust for about 8-10 minutes.

Quiche: 

1 tablespoon butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
6 ounces (1 bag) fresh spinach
7 ounces (a little more than 1/2 the can) canned artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups half & half
3/4 cup cheese of your choice, grated (I used colby jack. Mozzarella, asiago, or white cheddar would be delicious!)
1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add garlic and onion. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted.

Add chopped artichokes and seasonings. Stir well and remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, scramble the eggs. Add the half & half and cheese, and mix well. Once cooled, add the spinach and artichoke mixture, and mix well.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until set.

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Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Hungry Happenings
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderfully Creative Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove

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Summer Pasta Salad

24 Jun

It’s officially summer time! And with the summer solstice, it certainly got dang hot in North Carolina. And muggy. And gross. I’m sweaty all the time. But just for the record, this is NOT a complaint. I most certainly prefer this weather to anything below 60 degrees. Though we’ll see if I’m willing to negotiate that number come July. It’s maxed out at 90 so far, so I may change my mind once it gets into the triple digits.

I went to my nephew’s 6th birthday party on Saturday, which meant hot dogs and pasta salad and cake and ice cream. Yum. That night, I was heading to a potluck for a friend’s housewarming party, and I hadn’t any ideas. But the pasta salad was good inspiration, and I decided to make my own.

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My mom and sister make a very simple, classic pasta salad: noodles, olives, and feta cheese, all held together with Italian salad dressing. I expanded on the idea by adding a bunch of veggies I had in the fridge from our CSA delivery. I left out the olives though: disgusting.

When you make this, there are only two basic things to know:

Girard's

1) Use Girard’s Italian dressing. For reals, it’s the best. And don’t put it on until within an hour or so of serving it. If you put it on too far in advance, the pasta will soak up the dressing, and you’ll have to add more to get more flavor, which is just wasteful, both of the delicious dressing and of calories. If you need to make it in advance, just put everything together except the dressing, and add that when you’re ready. Easy peasy.

2) My family’s basic ratio is a pound of pasta to a bottle of dressing. I cut it to about 3/4 of the bottle, but go with what works for you. As long as you keep that ratio, you can then add whatever fresh, raw veggies you want.

Oh, here’s another tip! Let the pasta air-dry a little bit before you mix everything together. If there’s too much water, the oil-based dressing won’t stick. (But if the pasta is too dry, it will absorb all the oil and flavor.)

The cool thing about this dish is its versatility. You can add whatever veggies you and your family like, so it’s completely and easily customizable. And it can easily serve as a side to hot dogs and burgers OR as a cold main dish, perfect for a hot summer night. Add some beans — edamame would be awesome! — and it would be an even better main course.

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Summer Pasta Salad

1 lb pasta, preferably rotini or bowtie (farfalle)
1 bottle Girard’s Italian dressing
feta cheese, crumbled
1 zucchini, diced and quartered
1 yellow squash, diced and quartered
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 handful grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Boil the pasta to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Chop the vegetables. Place pasta and veggies in a large bowl. Pour in the dressing. Add crumbled feta cheese, to taste.

Toss and serve.

Note: For a vegan dish, omit the feta. For gluten-free, substitute rice-based or other gluten-free pasta for the rotini.

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Market Yourself Monday from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Anything and Everything Blog Hop from My Thrifty Chic
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Link Party Wednesday from Lil’ Luna
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog
Link Party Thursday from Somewhat Simple