Ham, Swiss, and Spinach Quiche from America's Favorite Food Cookbook

Guys, I totally get it. I’m a child of the sixties so I’ve seen it all.

I was just a kid, but yes, I remember the look on your face as you grew your hair long, put on hip-hugging bell-bottoms and wore fringe. The sixties were a brutal time for you.

Of course, it’s not like the seventies made things any better. Just as you thought men were allowed to go back to button-fly jeans and t-shirts, the man’s man star quarterback of the Jets, Broadway Joe, flashed across your television screens in a pair of nylons. Much as you’d like to forget about that, the memory is burned forever in that cerebral cortex of yours, isn’t it.

Even worse, the late seventies delivered disco. Disco brought back the tight pants, heralded shirts unbuttoned to the navel and, thanks to John Travolta, hair spray. How could you deal with it?

The hair thing continued into the eighties too, right? Big hair bands. You can blame that brand spankin’ new cable channel, MTV for the poofy guy-hair thing, but, I’m sorry, the mullet is all on you.

Maybe the shorter hair in front came into style because it’s around the eighties that guys really started to get into . . . wait for it . . . jewelry. It started with an earring. A simple earring worn ‘on the other side.’ Remember that?

Remember WHAM? Uh huh.

Twenty-five years later that one little earring has gotten a little out of control, hasn’t it? It’s like it was on a breeding program. Joe Namath may have worn pantyhose, but I’ve seen running backs with diamond studs in their ears bigger than the Queen’s crown jewels. I’ve seen football players and their pro basketball counterparts at a press conference after a big ‘man game’ with more bling hanging from their necks than Madonna in ‘Like a Virgin.’

So yeah, I guess the times and fashions have been tough for you. When viewed in that light, I can see why you’d need to take a stand somewhere. It makes total sense that you’d grab the standard and let go the battle cry;

‘Real men don’t eat quiche.’

Or, maybe not.

The Process

Remember the whole men and quiche thing from the mid-80’s? Every woman rolled their eyes and every man refused to eat it, even though he didn’t have a clue as to what it was. It’s such a silly thing because what’s not to like about eggs, cheese, and other good stuff (usually bacon) baked in a flaky pie shell?

This quiche is pretty basic and no, it doesn’t include bacon, opting for ham instead. The recipe calls for a pre-made pie crust, but I chose to make my own.

The filling is super easy, especially since the ‘solid’ ingredients; spinach, ham and cheese; get layered in the shell first, then the egg mixture is poured over them.

The instructions call for the quiche to bake for forty minutes, which was not enough for my quiche. The center didn’t set up completely until I hit the 50 minute mark.

The Verdict

Hubby and I both liked this as far as basic quiche goes and Hubby had two pieces.  It’s a great canvas on which to build. Anything that you’d consider putting in an omelet can be added to a quiche.

Dudette wasn’t a fan. I hate to admit it, but her gag reflex kicked in and we had to let her not finish her piece or things would have gotten real messy at the table. It wasn’t the flavor that got to her though; it was the texture. Quiche does have a unique mouth-feel and her mouth didn’t like the feel.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

To pump the flavor up a bit, I’d sauté onions in a skillet first to get them caramelized, then remove them and add the spinach to the skillet to wilt them. I would also add a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a little Dijon mustard.

Ham, Swiss, and Spinach Quiche from America's Favorite Food Cookbook
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach, chopped
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 9-inch frozen pie crust
  • ¼ pound sliced ham, chopped
  • 1½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place it in oven and preheat to 375°F. Mist a medium skillet with cooking spray and warm it over medium heat. Cook spinach, stirring often, until wilted. Remove spinach to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry.
  2. Combine eggs, half-andhalf and salt in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed. Arrange spinach on bottom of pie crust. Scatter ham over spinach. Sprinkle cheese over ham. Pour egg mixture into shell.
  3. Place quiche on baking sheet and bake until filling is set and crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, slice into wedges, and serve hot.

 

 

Smoked Turkey-Lentil Soup from America's Favorite Food Cookbook

Every night when Dudette’s pumpkin-hour hits, we all sit on her bed and have prayer time before tucking her in. It’s a time when we think of people who are hurting or sick, but it’s also a time when we talk to God about the things for which we are grateful.

We thank Him for good days at school, free cake Mondays at Dewey’s bakery, the sunshine, rain, family, food on the table, that we’re able to walk, talk and see; all things that we don’t want to ever take for granted. We want to make sure that Dudette understands that those things are gifts, gifts that some doesn’t have.

Maybe that’s why I’m not ready to let go of Thanksgiving just yet. My Christmas decorations are still tucked away in storage and there’s no tree standing in the corner.

Other than the insane overeating, Thanksgiving is all about good things. The word itself proclaims an attitude of giving and thankfulness. We gather together and sit around a table, breaking bread, sharing company and community.

No, I’m not ready to leave the warm glow of the Thanksgiving table for the harsh lights of the crowded department stores, the cheap commercialization of the most important birthday in the history of the world, or the endless stream of songs like  ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ just yet. I’m going to wait until the calendar turns to December.

And until there is no turkey left in the refrigerator.

The Process

This recipes comes from MyRecipes.com’s ‘America’s Favorite Foods’ cookbook and was originally published in Cooking Light’s ‘Fresh Food Fast’ cookbook.

Because it’s made in the slow cooker, there’s not much to tell you about prep. It’s a simple matter of dumping everything in the insert and turning it on.

However, I will tell you that one of the things I like about the cookbook is the suggestions that are included with the recipes. While this may not seem necessary for those who are able to adapt a recipe on the fly, it’s great for those who want a little nudge in the right direction.

We didn’t smoke our Thanksgiving turkey so I substituted a regular roasted turkey leg in place of the smoked version. I did use vegetable broth, but opted to make my own instead of buying it. It’s a simple process and you can find my recipe by clicking this link: Vegetable Stock.

I also didn’t have a bag of pre-chopped celery, onion and bell peppers since I’m perfectly capable of chopping that stuff myself, so I did just that; chopped the three vegetables myself.

The Verdict

I was cringing a little as I ladled the soup into the bowls. I love lentil anything, but I know Hubby is iffy on the little legumes. Dudette; well, Dudette is Dudette. Any number of factors can turn her favor in one direction or the other.

In this case, however, there was lentil love all over. The soup was a huge hit and once again, my family of three proved that serving sizes are relative. We took a soup meant for eight people and barely fed three with it. It’s delicious.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

We all added salt to our bowls so I’ll go ahead and add in a teaspoon or so to the pot next time I make this. I’ll probably also add some hot sauce just before serving to give it a kick and will use skinless chicken thighs since turkey won’t be on the table again for a while.

Smoked Turkey-Lentil Soup from America's Favorite Food Cookbook
 
Prep time
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from MyRecipe.com's America's Favorite Foods Cookbook
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 (8-ounce) smoked turkey leg
  • 6 cups organic vegetable broth
  • ½ pound dried lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8-ounce) container refrigerated prechopped celery, onion, and bell pepper mix
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Plain fat-free Greek yogurt (optional)
  • Oregano sprigs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place first 6 ingredients in a 3- to 4-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until lentils are tender and turkey falls off the bone.
  2. Remove turkey leg from cooker. Remove and discard skin. Shred meat; return to cooker, discarding bone. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with yogurt and oregano sprigs, if desired.