Fourth of July Frolics

Take one sassy slice of quiche…

add Albondigas (Mexican-style meatballs ala Ally’s Kitchen)…

plate ’em up (patriotically, if you’re so inclined) and ENJOY!

Many thanks to those past & present who gave us the freedom to do so, xo.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Last night we kicked off the weekend with an outdoor gathering on our neighbors’ deck — the first time we’d “partied” since the pandemic started. Social distancing, storytelling, and smiling resulted, not to mention satisfied bellies. Besides quiche and mini-meatballs, our hostess served a swoon-worthy penne pasta with grilled chicken drenched in a vodka cream tomato sauce. Can we say holiday happiness?

The Man Of Few Words only lasted an hour, having forewarned me his bedtime was 7:00 o’clock. (He’s on “trucker time” never mind holiday weekends or invitations.)

I stayed until 10:00!

What a treat to visit with neighbors once again, watch fireworks around the lake, and sip a cocktail or two with friends. After I walked home I bid TMOFW a silent “goodnight kiss” and sat on our deck to watch more fireworks, fireflies, and an almost-full moon for another hour. Blessings!

This morning told a different story…

Our fishing trip at the crack of dawn (never mind what time I went to bed…) was cancelled by unexpected/unpredicted thunderstorms. Lightning flashed, thunder rumbled, and waves/whitecaps kicked up, thus preventing us from reeling in potential lunkers. (Oh well!) We needed the rain.

Plan B: We enjoyed coffee on the deck between lightning bolts, I made him breakfast (bacon, eggs, & fried potatoes), put the finishing touches on my prelude for tomorrow morning’s church service (SO blessed to “work” from home), and weeded the railroad ties by our driveway. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Speaking of “rolling with it”…

Here’s the recipe for my quiche. It was gone faster than a lightning bolt.

Kim’s Quiche Lorraine

1 (9″) unbaked pie shell (see recipe below)

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

1 c. grated Swiss cheese

4 eggs, beaten

2 c. half & half (light cream)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Dash of hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot or Louisiana)

Freshly grated nutmeg (garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange crumbled bacon and Swiss cheese in an unbaked pie shell.

Beat eggs, half & half, and seasonings; pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Bake for 30 more minutes and do the “jiggle” test. You’ll “see” when it’s set; if in doubt, insert a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.

My Tried and True (with FAB reviews) Pie Crust

1-1/3 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. Crisco (plain, not butter-flavored)

2 Tbsp. cold milk

Stir together flour and salt. Cut in Crisco with two butter knives until pea-sized crumbs form. Continue with a pastry blender until small crumbs form. Sprinkle milk over the top; blend with a fork until the pastry forms a ball.

NOTE: You may have to add more (or less) milk depending on the humidity — your hands are the best judge. Don’t be afraid to squish it together with your fingers! I frequently abandon the fork and rely on the “hands-on” method.

Form the dough into a disk, place between two sheets of waxed paper (no clean up — easy peasy!), and roll into a circle. The thickness will depend on what you’re baking — thinner for quiche; thicker for a meat pie/pierogie.

Peel off top side of waxed paper and center crust over pie plate. “Ease” it into the plate, trim the excess crust with a paring knife, and crimp edges. Proceed per the recipe above. (Double recipe for a two-crust pie.)

FYI, the leftover pie crust trimmings make fabulous “pie crust cookies” spinkled with a lil’ sugar and cinnamon, or cobbler topping or mini-pies.

What a wonderful weekend it’s been so far! Wishing you the same. Be safe and share when you can.

Oops… the next monsoon is about to start (this one was predicted) so I better hit “publish” before my internet shuts down. Take care.

Enjoying socializing, cooking, writing, and baking again,

~ Kim

11 thoughts on “Fourth of July Frolics

  1. Kim, it sounds like a lovely holiday weekend despite the rain. I do think this whole pandemic has made me appreciate the smaller things in life. I have pinned your recipe for quiche, my favorite bakery in town is closed right now and it was my favorite brunch dish. And ditto another commenter, I have always been terrified of pie crust.

    There used to be a ‘pie shop’ in Oakland that sold squares of leftover pie crust, baked crisp. They made lovely croutons.

  2. Kim! I’m so doing your pie crust! You know, I haven’t made a good pie crust ever. That’s why I use refrigerated. July 4 sounds like it was a shindig! And I know your crowd lived everything. Lucky neighbors!! πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

    • Thanks, Ally! Believe it or not, that recipe was a “gift” for my first bridal shower (can we say FOUR DECADES AGO?) that I’ve tweaked over the years. I’ve seen many recipes and variations since then — use cold water, vinegar, butter, yada yada — but this one bakes up beautifully every time. I’m also partial to the wax paper… the dough can be “drier” (and thus flakier) than other recipes. Ignore the crumbs as long as the middle sticks together! You’ll get the “feel” of it in no time! (And don’t be afraid to “patch” as needed.)

      I don’t bother with pie weights (or beans or whatever) for pre-baked shells either. Simplly line the pie plate, prick well with a fork, and bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. (Cool thoroughly on a rack and and fill later.) For two-crust pies, start at a higher temp — 400 for 15 minutes to “set” the crust, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 30-45 minutes to finish the “innards.” :) NOTE: I often pre-cook my fillings — apple, peach, cherry, etc. — so the time varies. You “know” how that works! :) Best baking wishes, xo!!!

      • P.S. Thanks for the shout out on your FB page re: the Albondigas! I forgot to mention I left out the corn (at Russ’s request), but everybody RAVED about their “texture.” Easiest oven meatball EVER — no browning, no mess, “one pan” success!!! Thank you, xo.

  3. Glad it was a fun time. And good food is so important! Your quiche looks fabulous. We have certainly had crazy weather in Oklahoma. We were driving back from OKC on Thursday and it went from 98 degrees down to 80, and then back up again, in 1.5 hours!

    • I hear ya, Mimi! Right now the dark cloud overhead is either going to blow over, rain on us, or drop a tornado. (Such fun!) Good food helps “weather” Oklahoma’s unpredictability. :) Glad you’re safe & well, xo.

  4. Thank you Kim for the recipe. This I will try. Sounds good πŸ‘ we got some needed rain this morning also. Enjoying the day!!

    • Jacqueline, so nice to “see” you! I’m a few days behind on my replies due to intermittent rain, but what a Godsend it was! Glad to hear you got some, too. I hope the quiche recipe works well for you — I’ve been making it for over 40 years and it always turns out. Folks seem to like it, too: :)
      Funny note on my original recipe: “This is a great basic quiche that you can vary by using different fillings and cheeses: Cheddar with chopped ham, Muenster with mushrooms, or small amounts of all of the above — just be sure to leave room for the egg mixture!” I’ve had to make more than one “mini-quiche” with the extra pie crust & egg mix to avoid overflow! xo

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