The Perfect Quiche.

Every time I made quiche it turned out runny. The eggs were solid, but when you cut into it, whatever liquid I had used would run out. The pie plate always had a thin layer of liquid covering the bottom after the quiche was finished. I didn’t want to add flour because I was (and still am) trying to limit my grain intake and potato starch didn’t seem to be helping. Then I discovered heavy cream. The perfect ratio of heavy cream to broth to get a quiche that doesn’t pee a little when you tickle it.

I want to take a minute to apologize to those of you out there who are vegetarian or avoiding dairy. You could try cashew cream, or coconut cream to use instead of heavy cream but you have to make sure the consistency is super similar to heavy cream. Vegetarians, you could use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, but your quiche won’t be quite as rich.

Another excellent trick is melting some Parmesan cheese on the bottom of the pie dish before baking your quiche. I don’t usually put a crust on mine but I’m sure melting the cheese would make a quiche with a crust even more delicious.

As per usual, this recipe is from a recipe book but I’ve made some substitutions, additions and subtractions. As for veggies, the possibilities are endless. I’ve made this with chopped asparagus and broccoli (including the broccoli stem). It would be good with tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. The world is your oyster.

Cheese Quiche

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
5 eggs
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bone broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cover the bottom of the pie dish with Parmesan.
  3. Combine the cream, broth, eggs, salt, pepper and any add-ins.
  4. Bake the Parmesan until melted, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pie dish and turn the oven to 350°.
  6. Put the cheddar in the pie dish and then pour the egg mixture over top. You will have extra egg mixture; I usually make mini-quiche with it.
  7. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Since the extra egg mixture has no cheese in it (and usually no add-ins because they tend to float) I like to eat it as leftovers with ketchup smeared all over the top. It’s like a ketchup and egg pie. Yum.

Can You Soak Something too Long?

Well, I had a post all lined up for today about making sprouted almond butter. What I had forgotten is that almonds sourced from the U.S. are not raw regardless of what the packaging says. They linked a salmonella case back to raw almonds -which is something that happens far far less than salmonella being linked back to contaminated meat- and they said, “thou shalt pasteurize your almonds!” And almond farmers complied. You can still source truly raw almonds directly from the farmers, or overseas, but anything on your store shelf is treated in some way and cannot sprout. Not to mention the ridiculous price difference. I can’t afford to buy truly raw almonds.

Ho hum.

So I spent a bunch of effort trying to sprout the almonds before I remembered this. I sat there, staring at my almonds (which had started smelling a bit like weed) wondering what I was doing wrong. It wasn’t until I googled it to see if I had messed it up somehow that I realized what had gone wrong.

I had effectively ruined two pounds of almonds. Almonds are not cheap, so I was determined to see if I could salvage them. I washed them all very thoroughly and popped them in my dehydrator. They dehydrated for a little more than 24 hours. Then I roasted them. They still taste weird, so I don’t think I’ll be using them for almond butter. I might just bury them in the garden.

I did this to quinoa two days prior as well. I made the mistake of leaving the successfully sprouted quinoa in a bowl on the counter overnight. When I dumped it out on the tray for drying I noticed that the bottom of the bowl was bubbly and some of the sprouts were really long. Not only that, but it smelled like I had just lit up a joint. I’m totally serious. I have no idea why, but soaking things too long makes them smell like weed. If I had to guess at it, I would say that there’s some kind of mold or something to blame. However, you can’t wash it off.

So if you find that your nuts or seeds smell like cannabis, you’ll have to toss them. I haven’t found a way to successfully salvage them. I tried drying the quinoa but my house just smelled like I was a pothead.

“Morning” Sickness

As my husband says: my eggo is preggo! The new little one is due in December, right around Christmas. So that should be fun.

This picture is taken in my kitchen because snark. I like to poke fun at the people who use the phrase “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” to imply that religion that prohibits birth control is super oppressive to women.

So today I thought I’d write about what helped me deal with my “morning” sickness. The term morning sickness is really a misnomer. It’s not fair to tell people who’ve never been pregnant about morning sickness as if it only happens in the morning. I felt pretty duped during my first pregnancy because I was sick all the time. I never threw up because of it, but I was pretty miserable.

So here are some things that can help:

Magnesium. You can get a supplement, or use a magnesium oil. I found that the oil worked better for me because the supplement was too much for my body. As a side note, magnesium also helps with period cramps. So if you’re period is usually painful you might consider trying a magnesium supplement or oil before you even get pregnant.

L-5-MTHF. While I was doing Live Blood Analysis to help with my health problems we noticed that I was consistently folate deficient. I was taking a good B-complex with folate in it so I tried a form of methylated folate in case I had the MTHFR gene mutation. Basically the mutation prevents your body from producing the enzyme you need to properly assimilate folate. This helped me a lot. I went to Grand Junction for a few days and I didn’t bring this with me. I felt miserable. When I got back home I started taking it again and I felt much better.

Ginger water kefir. To make this you just brew the water kefir normally and add about a teaspoon of dried ginger root to the second ferment. I sipped this slowly and it served as a great pick-me-up.

Water. Staying hydrated is really important when you’re pregnant. I kept a glass of water in the bathroom so I could drink some every time I got up to pee. I still do this. It kept away the worst of the morning part, because I felt worse before I ate anything in the morning.

Whole milk. Drinking a glass of milk before I went to bed was another thing that helped me. I’ve read that milk helps stabilize your blood sugar and I’ve also read that morning sickness is mostly a blood sugar issue (hence the advice of eating saltines before you get out of bed).

Raw milk cheese. I snacked on cheese, but anything with protein probably helps for the same reason milk helps: blood sugar balancing.

Exercise. This one is harder because you’re feeling miserable, but taking a walk outside or doing a little gardening really does help you feel better.

Enzymes. This helps with morning sickness and pregnancy poop. Your digestive system slows down during pregnancy, so it’s a good idea to lend it a helping hand.

That’s about it. Do you have any tricks to stave off morning sickness?

Icelandic Yogurt.

IMG_0665Icelandic yogurt, otherwise known as Skyr, is amazing. I stumbled upon it at target more than a year ago. I was a hungry mama (and I was still getting really cranky when I got hungry then) so we stopped at Target and I ran in while hubby stayed in the car with the sleeping baby. I found the yogurt section and the Siggi’s was on sale so I picked up a blueberry one. Oh. My. Gosh. It was like eating ice cream, only thicker and creamier.IMG_20150602_092457

If you’re familiar with the Siggi’s brand, it’s expensive even when it’s on sale. I thought about it and I decided that someone on the internet must know how to make Icelandic Skyr and I found a recipe. I was pretty excited, except that it called for rennet (Skyr is technically cheese) and I had no idea where to get rennet. My awesome friend gave me a small bottle she had and wasn’t using and I promptly bought a half gallon of milk to try my luck at making Skyr. I was successful, so I made it for months because it’s so amazing. And then I stopped for some reason or other, I don’t remember why.

IMG_20150603_094933Recently my amazing sister-in-law went on a road-trip to visit the same friend that gave me the rennet. She asked me to pick up her raw milk while they were gone. Hubby and I aren’t big milk drinkers and neither of us really likes raw milk (no matter how hard I try to like it, I just can’t drink it) so I made yogurt out of half of it twice. The first batch was a direct-set (single use) yogurt starter I got from Cultures for Health. I didn’t have a yogurt maker, so the first attempt failed horribly. The second attempt turned into yogurt but it wasn’t raw because the whole half gallon had gotten left out overnight so I heated it just in case. My cheese thermometer wasn’t calibrated correctly so I actually ended up boiling the milk on accident. This yogurt tasted like I had started with sour milk (probably because I had) so I’m using it for baking. It made a phenomenal gluten free french yogurt cake that tasted exactly like lemon pound cake.IMG_20150603_095211

Anyway, I made the second batch into Skyr. I have tried with raw milk before and I had zero success with only heating the milk to 110°F so I had to heat it to the full 190°F which is a bit disappointing but it still tastes better than starting with pasteurized milk.

Icelandic Cream Skyr

You’ll need:
Stainless steel pot with a lid
Metal spoon
A reliable thermometer
Beach towelIMG_20150603_095328
Muslin or cheesecloth
A strainer
Two empty bowls
Half gallon whole milk
3-4 drops rennet
2 tablespoons Siggi’s yogurt
Pint heavy cream
Hand mixer, stand mixer or spoon

To make the Skyr:

  1. Pour the milk into your pot and heat it slowly to 190°F-195°F stirring occasionally without scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scalding.IMG_0662
  2. Allow the milk to cool to 110°F and stir in the Siggi’s and rennet.
  3. Put the lid on the pot, wrap it up in a towel (helps maintain a warm temperature) and stick it in a warm place for 12-16 hours. I put mine in the oven.
  4. Remove the pot from the towel. The milk should have turned solid and there should be some whey on top (yellowish liquid). If this hasn’t happened something went wrong. You might try leaving it a little longer just in case.
  5. Place your muslin or cheesecloth over your strainer placed on top of an empty bowl.
  6. Cut squares into the yogurt and slowly pour everything into the muslin/cheesecloth.
  7. Fold the muslin/cheesecloth over the top and stick the whole thing in the refrigerator. Leave it to drain for 8-12 hours depending on the consistency you’d like and how much you like the flavor of whey.
  8. Transfer the yogurt from the muslin/cheesecloth into an empty bowl and store the whey in the refrigerator in a  sealed container. It will last up to 6 months.IMG_0663
  9. Whip in the whipping cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer until you get a good consistency. Keep in mind that the yogurt will settle and kind of thicken in the fridge, so make it a little less thick than you normally like your yogurt. You can also use a regular spoon to stir in the cream, but I like the way the yogurt gets fluffy when I whip it.

This yogurt is good without anything in it, but adding a touch of maple syrup makes it even better. The possibilities are endless! Plain yogurt is like a blank canvas.