Spinach Quiche and Giveaway #2

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I had just put my pie crust in the oven to prebake for a spinach quiche when my friend Gina texted me and said, “Look what we’re having for brunch – broccoli and turkey sausage quiche.”

I’m cracking up because my plans for the blog and my quiche looked a little something like this.

Gina and I have been doing things together for a loooooong time so it didn’t surprise me that we were thinking alike today.  We weave together, cook together, travel together, and even made our beaded serving piece together.

This is what we looked like when we first started doing things together back in high school.  We were the Headland Highlanders. Gina was a Highland dancer and I was a majorette and we both played the flute and piccolo.  I was 16 here and Gina was 15.

We have always shared a lot of interests (except being on the Math Team) so after seeing Gina’s expert quiche with flowers on top, I decided I need to up my game a little. I couldn’t just leave mine without embellishment now. No way!  Those Math Team girls are always showing off….

After much consideration I came up with a perfect design.  Gina has had a monogram machine for years and is the one who monograms everything for me so I decided to honor her mad skills by monogramming my quiche.

F S  for Frankly Southern.  What do you think?

My mother and I took the quiche to the deck and enjoyed this unseasonably warm weather. My deck chairs that I received for my birthday a few years ago did not weather well so I have been repainting them black.  I like them better and hopefully they will resist the moisture with the 12 cans of spray paint I put on them. My apologies to the ozone.

We had a delicious day outside from both the food and weather.  Chupa agrees. He’s such a funny dog and he keeps me in smiles.

Here is the recipe for the quiche and then keep reading for Giveaway #2 from Frankly Southern.

Spinach Quiche with Whole Wheat Crust

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

6-7 tablespoons ice water

Mix together the flours and salt.  Cut in the shortening to the flours until the mixture is pea sized. Add the water one tablespoon at a time tossing with a fork.  Stop adding water when mixture starts to hold together.  Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness.  Place in deep dish pie pan.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup diced onion

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

pinch ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup shredded cheese (use your favorite)

After the crust is baked, lower oven heat to 325 degrees.  In a strainer, begin draining spinach.  In a small pan, cook onion in butter until soft and translucent. Allow to cool slightly.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, nutmeg, and pepper.  Add the onions, cheese, and drained spinach.  Mix until evenly incorporated.  Pour into pie shell and bake for 50-55 minutes or until custard is set and top is lightly golden.

Frankly Southern Giveaway #2

Gina and I and our friend group made beaded servers on one of our lake trips together. I have made several since then and today I made another for YOU!

So my next giveaway is this beaded server.  I will select a winner from my subscribers on Tuesday, February 21st at 3:00 p.m Eastern time.

 

Good Luck!  I hope you win!

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Nineteen Trips Around the Sun

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Davis successfully came skidding around the sun one more time and reached his 19th birthday!  Happy birthday to a creative, sweet, funny, smart guy!  Lots of love to my little Doodlebug!

We first met for dinner at LaParilla in Rome. Mikayla joined the frolic.  My attempts to chronicle the evening were met with this….

and this…

Finally, after a bit of yelling and wrangling I got this…

and this…

As I have mentioned before, I have YET to get a nice photo of Davis and Olivia in NINETEEN  STINKIN’ YEARS.  You can see why.

I ordered a cake from Honeymoon Bakery in Rome, GA.  They are very creative and accommodating for any kind of celebratory wishes.  Davis and his friends often play Dungeons and Dragons so I ordered a dragon cake.  I love how it turned out.

I ended the evening showing everyone my new FranklySouthern business cards.  This is what Olivia put on her Snapchat Story.   Ever the creative writer, Olivia likes to narrate.  When she was little she would narrate her own life and many years later it continues.  One time when she was about 4 years old I wouldn’t let her do something she wanted to do so she looked over her shoulder at me as she went to her room and remarked, “Sadly walking away.”

It was a fun and joyful evening.  Happy Birthday, Davis!  Now, subscribe to my blog!

p.s.  I sent the trio above to Publix to buy drinks while I picked up the cake.  I gave them $10.00.  They showed up back at the dorm having purchased a small pack of generic water, a “magic worm” toy, fake mustaches, and some teabags.  Go look back at the first cake picture of Davis.  You will see his fake mustache stuck to the cake box. Insert eye-rolling here.  00   Remind me not to send them to sell the family cow.  I will end up with some magic beans for sure.

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Savory Supper Grits and Butterless Biscuits

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Tonight I made an “interesting” dinner of grits, baked beans, biscuits,  a fresh pear, and radishes.  I personally thought the dinner items complemented each other but in actuality I guess they probably didn’t.  One of the perks of living alone is that it doesn’t matter what you eat.  Or when you eat or where you it.  It just doesn’t matter.  You don’t get complaints, stares, or grumblings from spouses or offsprings.  You can eat all yellow food or all proteins.  It just doesn’t matter.  You can eat salad for breakfast or snacks for lunch or grits for dinner.  Complete freedom from reproach.

I started out making the savory grits and then other foods just kept appealing to me so I added them to the plate.  Soon I  had a Thursday night Julie Feast.  The grits recipe and the biscuit recipe were new to me and I enjoyed them both.  The biscuits were incredibly easy because you don’t use butter or shortening.  The only fat in the biscuit is from whipping cream.  Stir it up, bake, and eat.

I have been working on a birthday present for Davis because his birthday is Saturday. I’m making on of those t-shirt quilts.  So Davis if you’re reading this, I am sad to report that IT’S NOT DONE!!!!  I hate being late with gifts but this one is taking way longer than I thought.  About 5 years longer than I thought.  I sincerely wanted to finish for this birthday and hand it to him on the day but a work-in-progress photo will have to do.

The last few days I have been working on the quilt, in addition to weaving and spinning. My homemaking skills abound.  I find it funny how originally these skills were for the frugal homemaker to master in order to spin thread and weave and sew her own clothes. Nowadays these are just hobbies and it costs big bucks to be “frugal”.

Well, time to go but I thought I would check in tonight since I missed the last two nights on the blog due to my crafty endeavors.  Tomorrow we celebrate Davis’ birthday.  I ordered an interesting cake so I hope to get good photos of it to show the decorations I wanted. See you tomorrow with the details.

 

Savory Supper Grits

4 cups water

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits (I used yellow corn grits tonight)

1 cup (4-ounces) shredded shart Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Bring water, garlic and salt to a boil in a medium, heavy saucepan.  Gradually whisk in grits.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20- 25 minutes or until thick, stirring often.  Remove pan from heat, and stir in cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Gradually stir in beaten eggs to grits mixture and pour into a 9X9-inch pan coated with shortening.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set.

 

Whipping Cream Biscuits

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the whipping cream.  Stir just until the dough is well blended.  Drop onto a baking sheet into 12 mounds.  Bake in center of oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until cooked through and tops of biscuits are lightly browned.

 

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Pear Salad and Spinning

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I tried my hand a spinning yesterday.  It looks like I tried my feet instead of my hands because my thread was so uneven.  Our lovely teacher Melody said that my clumpy yarn is called Artisan Yarn and it’s okay to be uneven. She’s very gracious.

I love it whether it’s Artisanal or Awful.  It’s my first attempt.  You always have a fondness and forgiveness for your first of a new skill.  And, you have to hang on to it so you can see how far you progress over time. I’m thinking it can only get better from here, although honestly even if I never get better, I loved it.  I enjoy learning new things.

My mom and my SIL Diane were also learning how to spin.  We had three different types of drop spindles.  Mine was a trindle drop spindle, Diane’s was a supported spindle, and my mom’s was called a spindolyn.  In 3 hours we each spun about enough yarn to make a bandaid. Hats off to the true pioneer women of yesteryear.

I will continue to practice my spinning.  I enjoy the weaving I’ve been doing and I think it will be even better when I can incorporate some homespun yarn into it.

After class we came back to the house and I showed Diane how to make a zippered pouch.  She made this one to match her sporty blue purse.

Finally, after all that concentration, footwork (LOL) and brainwork, we sat down to a Pear Salad.  It was really easy to make and very refreshing.  Do you like my Gracious Living cheese roses?  I came up with that little garnish idea.  I let the slices of Havarti cheese warm a little on the counter in the deli package, rolled one up, and sliced it into thirds.  I turned out the edges a little to look like flowers.  Enchanting, I know.  Perhaps I will make some more for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.  A dozen cheese roses!

Pear Salad

2 apples (I used Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, and sliced

2 pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 heads butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (I used dilled Havarti instead)

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2  tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon grated onion

1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Toss apples and pears with lemon juice, drain.  Arrange lettuce on 6 salad plates; top with apples, pears and cheese.  Combine remaining ingredients except walnuts in a blender and  blend till smooth and sugar is dissolved. (You can also just shake in a jar if you don’t have a blender.) Drizzle salad with dressing; sprinkle with walnuts.   Serves 6.

Back to practicing my spinning.  When I see Rumpelstiltskin’s face in my window, I’ll know things aren’t going well, but for now, I’m doing just fine.

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Giveaway Winner

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The winner of the hand-woven, hand-sewn zippered pouch is…..

Brenda Scruggs

I’ve got the pink/blue cloth and the green/tan cloth.  I can do credit card size or 10X6-inch size.  Leave me a comment with your preferences.

Congratulations! And thanks for being a reader and subscriber!

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Beet Fail

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Sad to say my dehydrated beet salvage did not work.  To get you up to speed, I bought an organic beet two days ago.  I tried to dehydrate it to make crispy beet chips.  They were teeth-breakingly tough.

Then, I read a recipe where they dehydrated vegetables and chopped them up to make a crunch salad topping.

So I put all of the dried vegetables together.

And I chopped them in a blender.

It looks like potpourri but it’s not.  Although the ingredients of this vegetable potpourri are completely edible they are actually completely inedible.  Again,  you would break a tooth if you chomped down on this.  So I whirled it around some more thinking I would make a powdered seasoning to spark up a salad.

The results?  It did not taste good at all and the texture turned to sticky mush when you ate it.

I will call this Beet Fail.

But wait…what if I put the powder in hot water to be used as a dehydrated soup mix???? That could work.  Realistically though I would imagine it would taste best if starving in an apocalypse. You can see I don’t hold out much hope for my creation.

Tune in at 5:00 tonight for my zippered pouch giveaway.  This is very exciting to me.  I have never had a giveaway on the blog and it is fun!  Definitely something to do more of in the future.

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Beet Update, Giveaway Update, and Casserole Dish Etching

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My dried beets tasted great (see yesterday’s post) except they were a little too tough for snacking.  I am not deterred.  I read a recipe this summer that I have been wanting to try so my beets will be a great start to the preparations.  The recipe is for a salad topping of dried and crushed vegetables.  I loaded the dehydrator today with some carrots, onions, garlic, and zucchini.  I’m going to dry them, chop them in the food processor, and add some sunflower seeds and other goodies to make a salad shake topping. You will have to stay tuned one more day to see the outcome.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will have a drawing for a hand-woven, hand-sewn zippered pouch from my weaving lessons.  Subscribe to the blog by tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. to be included in the drawing. I will let the winner choose the size of the bag and I have two choices for the fabric. Good luck!

I don’t know about you, but I am often asked to bring food for a snack table at work and I often try to use this as an opportunity to try out  a new recipe.  Anonymity on a carry-in table has its benefits.  If the food tastes good I can claim it and reap the compliments. If the new recipe I tried tastes bad, I can act like I agree and tell people to avoid that dish (with an appropriate yuck face) because it’s awful.  One tip is to always bring your food in a disposable container.  That way if it’s bad, your name isn’t plastered all over the dish.

Would I ever do anything that underhanded and dastardly.  You bet I would.  School is a dog eat dog world and only the toughest can survive.  I remember one year when I was teaching at a middle school, we had a particularly grumpy cafeteria lady.  At that time, I was still drinking iced tea (I don’t anymore), and my teaching partner and I would often walk back to our room with our plastic tea glasses in hand to finish our beverage leisurely in class (like there’s anything leisure about middle school.)  Well, this little habit made the cafeteria lady CRAZY.  She wanted those glasses back in the cafeteria so she could run them through the steamy Hobart each and every day so they could stick together in wet stacks to be pried apart and used again the next day.

Of course we did not always comply and every so often we would even take a cafeteria tray back to our rooms and eat in our classrooms.  Twenty minutes of near silence was golden. When we returned to the cafeteria and turned in our trays, we were met with increasing glares.

We soon became afraid of the GCL (grumpy cafeteria lady) and so we would wimp out and send our trays or cups back to the cafeteria by way of students, who were always excited to escape from any classroom.  Soon, the GCL started asking whose dishes these were and the terrified student who had come from my partner’s room naturally said my teaching partner’s name.  When the student reported the horrifying ordeal of the tray delivery, it of course cracked me up because I was able to escape the GCL’s wrath in easy fashion. Brilliant!

The moral of this story…always pull a random student from the hall or from someone else’s class to do your dirty work.  Your reputation will remain intact and you will be allowed to live to eat the “delicious” cafeteria food another day.

Today, however, I have made an kitchen craft that precludes me from pulling these little shenanigans at the goody table, in the cafeteria, or elsewhere.  I made an etched casserole dish with my name on the bottom.  Perfect for potlucks when you are confident in your recipe and don’t mind telling the world of your culinary prowess. Bad, if you care to hide your identity.

This craft is super easy other than having to be careful with the etching cream for the glass.  The cream is highly caustic and toxic.  WEAR GLOVES AND A MASK.

First, make or order a reverse stencil of what you want to say on your casserole.  I ordered mine on Etsy from the seller ARTISAN GLASS STENCILS.  The lady’s name is Mary (tell them FranklySouthern sent you) and she is lightning fast getting your stencils to you.  My stencil was about $7.00 but she has a variety of stencils and price points.

 Next, purchase a glass casserole dish (Walmart about $5.00) and some etching cream (Michael’s about $8 to $40 depending on the size of the jar.  Use your coupons!).

Place your stencil on the bottom of the casserole dish and peel off the backing.  Use blue painter’s tape to tape off the sides and edges of the casserole dish so you don’t accidentally get etching cream anywhere but on the stencil openings.

Put on your gloves and mask and use a popsicle stick to spread on an even layer of etching cream.  Set a timer every 10 minutes and swirl  the etching cream around a bit on the casserole dish.  The crystals in the cream can etch unevenly if you don’t keep moving them around.  After 45 minutes scrape the cream back into the jar. Rinse the dish with cold water and you have a personalized casserole masterpiece.

See you tomorrow when I reveal my salad toppings and the winner of the  woven zippered pouch!

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This is Why I Don’t Garden

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I planted pansies this year thinking I might beautify my property and give it the ever so important curb appeal.  I planted them in deck baskets with coconut hair…

I put them in pots.

And I put them in hanging planters. A feast for the eye at many levels.

My curb appeal lasted about two weeks.  Hope you drove by in the last 14 days.  My pots now look like this.

And this….

You can even see the hoof prints on either side of the flowers in the photo above as the hungry, hungry hippo or whatever it was positioned himself perfectly over the flowers to nip and chew at the best angle.

Sometimes I move plants to my deck but then the squirrels just end up thanking me because they don’t have to fight off the deer or armadillos.  I guess I’ll go back to my old policy of POP – Plant Only Perennials and skip the curb appeal.

And speaking of gardens, I bought an organic beet today after school.  I read online of the joys of dehydrated beets, so I thought I would give it a go.

I’ll let you know how they taste tomorrow after they are completely dehydrated.  To me, beets have an “earthy” taste and by that I mean that to me they taste like dirt, so I’m figuring I may end up with crispy dirt chips when they are completely dehydrated.  Not sure even butter will salvage them like it does when they are boiled or steamed.  I’ve had beet “potato” chips and they are pretty tasty so I will hold my evaluation until I eat the dehydrated ones tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a nutritious snack.

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Weaving and a Subscriber Giveaway

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I’m not ready to start a weaving cottage industry but I am having fun making zippy little purses out of the cloth I have been weaving in my class.  I am fortunate to have a weaving teacher living in my neighborhood.  Once a week I have been weaving wonderful masterpieces of cloth.  (Or at least I think they’re masterpieces because I made them.)   I am still fascinated at turning string or yarn into a piece of fabric.  Sunday I’m going to go to a spinning class so I will really be “making” my own fabric after I learn that skill.  Next I’ll be raising sheep in my back yard for the fiber.

My first piece was the shades of green cloth shown here.  I ended up making about a  12 feet long piece of fabric.  It is approximately 10 inches wide.  The pink and blue piece is one that I made last week.  It is only about 3 feet long.

I have mostly been making these little zippered purses with my fabric.  These are credit card sized (or Ghirardelli Chocolate Square sized).

I have also made some a little bigger.  They are make-up sized ( or giant candy bar sized).  Now, I really don’t only eat candy so I’m pretty sure they are carrot sized, too but I’ll probably save these for the nonsalad option for things like contact solution or eye shadows.

All in all, I have made 23 little bags of various sizes and various patterns.

I started a new one tonight of copper and teal with a splash of pink and chartreuse.

The Saori style of weaving is meant to be messy, bumpy and fun.  It is an expression of yourself at the moment.  No rules.  No stress.  No mistakes.

Here is a piece Olivia made.

My friend Gina has been joining me for the class.

Her piece is loud and fun with string, and fringe, and all kinds of extras.

I have an extra zippy little bag here so I thought it would be fun to pass it along to a subscriber this week.  So, everyone who has subscribed to the blog by Friday, February 10th at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time will be placed in a drawing for one of my hand-woven, hand-sewn bags.  They are lined, lumpy, bumpy, and an expression of my creative process in class.  You can use them for chocolate or carrots – no rules!

Good luck!

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Garlic Herb Spread

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I had one last package of cream cheese remaining from Sam’s Club. I bought a rather large box of them around New Years and most were turned into experimental cheese cakes by the ManCave Dwellers downstairs.  Olivia led the band of boys in creating cheesecakes such as Peach Cobbler Cheesecake and Red Velvet Cheesecake.  Their creativity in baking put my Rice Krispie Treats to shame.

Tonight I pondered what I should do with this one last little 8-ounce bar of goodness.  I ran across a recipe for a Garlic Herb Spread and thought it would be perfect with my rather large box of crackers I also purchased at Sam’s Club.  I made a few alterations to the recipe and tonight you will see the outcome.  And if you lived in my home, you would smell the outcome.  Zowie, my garlic was pungent.  There will be no fear of vampires tonight.  One whiff of my breath will send them back to the crypt or wherever they come from.

I like the spread a lot but I would definitely urge you to add your garlic a little at a time and taste test along the way.  I don’t want to add a bunch more ingredients to tone down the garlic but I also don’t want to have to set out warning flares just because I decided to walk through a room with my mouth open.  The recipe was very good, just too strong for me. I liked the texture of the butter with the cream cheese and I especially liked the taste when paired with the sesame crackers.  The two tastes complemented each other quite well in spite of the strong garlic. 

Garlic Herb Spread

1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, softened

1 small clove garlic, minced  (I used a very large one and it was too much!)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine cream cheese and butter in a food processor or in a bowl with a mixer.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add the seasonings and blend well.  Refrigerate up to one week. Great on crackers, hot pasta, or as a spread for breads. Freezes well for up to two months.

Now off to brush my teeth, gums, tongue and tonsils and anything else I can reach.  I do not want to taste garlic all night.  Tomorrow night is weaving night.  In my post tomorrow, I will show you some of the items I have made with the cloth I have created. Spiffy!

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