List of Kitchen Essentials: How to Stock Your First Kitchen!

In our home the Kitchen is the “heartbeat” of our home. It is the room in the house that is most used and loved. We cook healthy meals for our family, have fun trying new and old recipes and, of course, you always have to taste test! This is the main reason why knowing how to set up a working kitchen is essential. If you would like to save time and money, the right essential tools are necessary.

As you know it is exciting to set up your first kitchen. There are literally hundreds, even thousands, of very exciting and enticing baking and cooking utensils, pots and pans, and then not to mention all the frilly items that you think you need to set up your first kitchen. Whether you have opened your first cookbook or watched your first cooking show, you have probably seen all the lovely dozens of utensils, tableware, pots and pans and frilly items that they use. While yes, all these brand name products look great on TV, let’s get realistic ~~ your budget probably says otherwise. After all, this is your first Kitchen. Don’t get me wrong if you can afford to buy those expensive items, but most of the time the “knock-offs and/or used items” are just as good, if not better. I prefer vintage items that I have found at garage sales and/or resales shops. These vintage kitchen items are truly wonderful treasures because they were made a lot hardier than today’s “fashion” classics, and most of the items I have found are in mint condition for a 1/3 of the price!

So as you set up your new “user-friendly kitchen” remember you really don’t need those fancy gadgets! But what you do need to make fun, easy and delicious meals, are a few simple kitchen staples and essentials!

So here is what you need to know in “Kitchen 101!”

Basic Flatware and Eating Dishes

To me this is the most essential and first step that you need to take care of when setting up your kitchen. Of course, I am assuming that you have purchased all your needed appliances: refrigerator, stove, sink, dishwasher (not a necessity), etc. After all the appliances are purchased the next step is choosing your basic flatware and eating dishes, i.e., flatware, plates, bowls, ramekins, glassware, tea and coffee mugs. After all you have to eat and you have to have something to eat on and eat with.

When choosing your flatware and tableware patterns you might be overwhelmed at first because there are literally thousands of patterns to choose from. You can either go to your local department and/or kitchen store to purchase these items or you can choose to do what I did. I did not want that same mundane pattern for each of my family members. So for the first couple of days we ate off of Dixie plates (paper plates) and that gave me time to go and search at my local unique antique stores, thrift stores, second hand stores, yard sales, garage sales and estate sales in my area. So that is exactly what I did. I was very surprised to find at my local antique store that the collection of unique vintage and mint condition plates, bowls, glassware, mug and tea ware and even ramekins were priced anywhere from $.50 to $2.00 dollars apiece. To me this was perfect for our needs as well as being able to find some very unique patterns that suited each of our personalities the best. And what a lovely table does it make. I was also able to find almost brand new Oneida flatware at an estate sale that was also reasonably priced. I saved myself quite a bit of money and had a great time choosing each unique plate and flatware! I must say my family was happy to their “own” plate also.

POTS and PANS

The next core set of items for any great working kitchen are: pots and pans! I know what you thinking… big money going out on these items. Well, I am here to tell you after over17+ years of being a housewife and going through many a variety of pots and pans, my newest purchases are here to stay! Lodge Cast Iron! After dumping dollar after dollar into the “non-stick surface” pots and pans, I say “keep them” and how they wear off into your food. Do you really want eggs with a non-stick surface, black speckles in them? After all, who even knows what that coating is really made of? So yes, for me it is cast iron for the rest of my life. I made my first purchase at Target no less for my Seasoned Lodge 15-1/4″diameter by 2-1/4″ depth Double Handled Skillet and let me tell you, I use it literally for everything from frying eggs to making homemade spaghetti sauce! What I love the most is whatever you cook in it makes each meal taste even more delicious! I have heard that some of the greatest chefs and cooks in the world swear by cast iron and I am right there with them! Best of all the cleaning care for them is fast and easy and they literally will last you a lifetime. To me they are the best investment for the money. These are the pieces I would recommend purchasing first to get you started (you can always add more unique pieces as your budget allows). They are as follows:

  • 12″ cast iron Skillet (with lid)
  • 15 to 18″ cast iron Skillet (with lid)
  • 4 and 8 – quart Saucepans with covers (I would recommend stainless steel/cast iron)
  • 6″ or 8″ cast iron skillet (great for making gourmet omelets, even small deserts)
  • And of course, a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, Roasting Pan and/or Stock Pot (with lid)

You will find that you will be very happy with these first investments and it will even enhance your cooking so in return you will enjoy being in the kitchen more!

BAKEWARE

Even if you are not a baker, you will definitely need some pans that can go into the oven. So when you are first stocking your kitchen bake ware section you want to start with a sheet pan (sometimes this is called a “jelly roll” and/or “cookie sheet). Once again I would choose either cast iron or vintage aluminum. I am fortunate enough to have inherited my grandmother’s aluminum and vintage bake ware. Once again save yourself some money and look at your favorite antique store, garage sale, yard sale and/or local thrift store.

I believe the first purchases that you should make regarding bake ware should be:

  • Jelly Roll pan (usually measures 15″x10″x1″up to 18″x13″x1″)
  • Aluminum Pizza Pan (15″)
  • 2 – 9″ round cake pans
  • 9″ x 13″ baking pan
  • 9″x 5″ loaf pan
  • 9″ pie pan
  • 12 cup muffin tin
  • Metal cooling rack; and
  • 2 cookie sheets

Believe me you will not just use your Jelly Roll pan and Cookie sheet pans for only cookies and pastries, but rather they make great trays for oven-roasting vegetables and meats. This is why you should look for sturdy pans that are solid and do not bend easily. Also, FYI sturdier pans distribute heat more evenly than lighter pans.

Baking pans whether glass or stainless steel that has a 2″ or 3″ height to their sides makes great casserole and lasagna dishes. You will even be able to bake brownies, breads, and cakes in them.

A muffin pan when greased well makes great bite size quiche. These are great for a kid’s breakfast before school or on your way to work.

Then once again as your budget allows you might want to add the following to your collection of bake ware:

  • Mini Loaf Pans;
  • Shaped Loaf Pans;
  • Fancy Cake Pans (hearts, holiday shapes, flower pans, etc.)
  • Porcelain or ceramic casserole dishes;
  • Cookie Cutters;
  • A Bread Machine;

And many, many more baking gadgets!

General Utensils

Kitchen stores have many whole walls just devoted to dozens and dozens of different types of cooking utensils. But as a new cook setting up her kitchen I would purchase a crock (even a ceramic planter works great for a utensil crock). Again, these may be purchased at garden centers, retail stores, garage sales, antique stores, and/or resale shoppes. I would say the basic utensils you will be in need of to start with are:

  • A good set Wooden (or bamboo) spoons;
  • A Wooden (or bamboo) spatula;
  • A Ladle (great for serving soups, stews, chili, spaghetti sauce, etc.);
  • Stainless Steel Tongs (for frying bacon, turning meat, tossing pasta while it is boiling and serving pasta also, tossing a salad, etc.);

Once again, after much experience in the kitchen I have found the wooden or bamboo utensils are just the ultimate of choice. They work very well with cast iron also. You can also purchase spatulas in wooden and/or bamboo. They are low priced and low maintenance as all you need to do is hand wash and dry well.

As your kitchen grows, here are a few other utensils to consider:

  • Lasagna Spatula (Pampered Chef has a great one);
  • A Pasta Fork to separate pasta and to keep it from sticking;
  • A Slotted Spoon;
  • Small, Medium and Large Wooden Spatulas;
  • Small and Large Stainless Steel Whisks;
  • Pie Server;
  • Cake Cutter and Server;
  • Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter

Electric Appliances

The only major appliance that you will need to create delicious and heartwarming meals is an oven with a stovetop, but many other electric appliances will make cooking and baking a lot easier for you. A microwave is convenient for just reheating food and popping microwave popcorn, so I believe that this not really a necessity and you can get around it with a stovetop oven.

Most new homes and/or apartments come with microwaves already installed so you might want to consider purchasing this at a later date.

As your kitchen and budget grows, here are a few more convenient appliances you might like:

  • Food Processor: To me a food processor can be a huge timesaver! You can use it to quickly chop large quantities of vegetables, fruits and even make homemade bread crumbs in it. Most food processors come with specialized discs that make grate cheese a breeze and evenly slicing vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, etc.
  • A Blender: Using a blender to make pureed sauces, smoothies, and milkshakes can save you tons of times and trips to the nearest ice cream store.
  • Toaster: You can always toast bread in the oven or in a dry frying pan, but a toaster is definitely lower maintenance.
  • Toaster Oven: This is a great appliance and huge time saver for cooking frozen pizzas, toasting a lot of bread at once, and reheating things safely. I personally would recommend this over a microwave!
  • Electric mixer: A must have! You can purchase these as hand-held and/or as standing devices. But an electric mixer is a must have for speeding up baked goods, beating eggs for quiche, mashing potatoes and much, much more. This is an invaluable asset when you plan on baking frequently.
  • Bread Machine: another invaluable asset these days. I literally have used mine almost every day for the past 17+ years and it is still going strong. Mine even makes jam. So when we get our harvest of ripe fruits in I am able to make my homemade preserves. Delicious! I even make my homemade pizza dough recipe in it!

Miscellaneous Kitchen Items

In preparation of just about any meal, you will definitely need knives and cutting board. When shopping for knives do make sure to buy the highest of quality! Even though you are putting out the money now, in the long run it will last a lifetime.

Knives:

  • A knife made of high carbon stainless steel for chopping;
  • 3 or 4″ paring knife
  • A serrated knife for cutting bread and other items
  • 8″ or 10″ chef’s knife

A cutting board, even though the wooden ones look fancier on the countertop, a plastic and/or tempered glass board is easier to clean (is dishwasher safe) and is more versatile. Also you can save yourself some moohla by purchasing this at any dollar store.

  • Colander and Sieves:A colander is a must-have for any kitchen. You can use a strainer for draining pasta, canned beans, rinsing vegetables, fruit and more. Nested varying size sieves, in stainless steel) work as flour sifters too).
  • Mixing bowls:A basic set of three mixing bowls is another must-have for any kitchen. They can be used for baking, mixing, serving, tossing salads, serving side dishes and garage bowls as you are preparing your meal. Some mixing bowls come with lids and serve a dual purpose for storage. I do not prefer these and my mixing bowls are a nestled set of vintage Pyrex that I have found along my journey.
  • Plastic storage containers and Ziploc Bags: Both of these items come in hand for storing any item you can think of. Containers are great for leftovers. Zip Storage bags are great for anything you want to store and/or freeze. With all the different sizes these are a necessity in my kitchen and they also help with portion control!

I pick my fresh vegetables from the garden, come in and dice and slice them and into the storage bags they go to either use for dinner that evening and/or freeze for future use. Snack size bags can be your best friend if you have children that love to snack and it keeps them on portion control!

  • Dish towels: To me a dish towel makes a kitchen your own unique place. With so many to choose from you are bound to be able to show off some flair or theme in your kitchen as well as dry things more quickly.
  • Measuring cups: These are a must start in any kitchen. I would start with glass Pyrex glass measuring cups! You can use these also for dry measure too! Not only great for measuring they are great for sauces, dressings, dips, measuring flour, sugar and even more! These are a necessity! A must!
  • Measuring spoons: Another treasure in your kitchen. These spoons come in plastic and/or metal. I prefer metal. They are very useful in measuring out very small quantities of both liquid and dry ingredients. Measuring spoons come in a set of different sizes. When purchasing, make sure that the spoons you choose include: a quarter- teaspoon (1/4 tsp.); a half-teaspoon (1/2 tsp.); a teaspoon (1 tsp.), and a tablespoon (1 Tbsp.).

In closing ~ setting up your new kitchen does not have to cost you a fortune. I would begin by asking family members and friends if they have any extra kitchen items that you might be able to start out with. If not, look for sales and if that doesn’t work – REMEMBER: shop garage sales, estate sales, antique shops, thrift stores, and goodwill and resale shoppes in your area!

If you decide to purchase your items new then I would definitely shop the sale papers. The best stores to start at are: Kohl’s, Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls.

Remember: buy on sale or with a coupon!

Happy Hunting for your treasures!

Karina Struven



Source by Karina Struven

A Beginners Guide to Wine

For the novice wine drinker, entering into the world of the grape and vine can be a daunting experience as there is just so much to take on board and so much to learn to gain an appreciation of this wonderful and complex world. To make this task less daunting and overwhelming though, I have compiled some of the basics below which should give you a good basic knowledge of what it is all about. When you have a guide to refer to it can make the whole experience a lot richer and more enjoyable.

Starting with some of the basics, it may surprise you to learn some of the following. All wine is made from 2 main ingredients, namely, grapes and yeast. When it comes to taste this will be influenced by all the different types of soils, climates and aging processes that the wine goes through. There is also an interesting difference between white and red in that white wine is made from grapes that have had their skins removed and red wine is made from grapes where they leave the skins on. Although people associate a particular grape with a wine the truth is that many wines are actually made from a blend of grapes.

When you are trying to understand anything new it can always help to break things down into categories to make it easier to take in the new knowledge that you are dealing with and this can also help when it comes to wine. Wine can basically be divided into 6 different types of wine which includes red, sparkling, soleras, white and pink wines. Although most people believe that wine improves with age this applies to most red but this does not apply to white wines.

Because wine is generally consumed with food it can really help to understand what wine will compliment what type of food so you can get a basic understanding of what will work and what will not at your own dinner table or at any social occasion that you are organising.

White wines for instance should be served chilled and will go best with fish, shell fish, poultry, ham and cold salads, whereas rose wines are also best served chilled and go really well with cold buffets, ham, quiche and cold cuts.

Knowing a little about wine itself and more importantly what goes well with what dish can really help you when you are picking a bottle for an occasion and it can also be a lot of fun and a lifelong learning experience.



Source by Steve B Boston

Golden Oldies Party Ideas to Relive the Good Old Days

If you like the golden oldies theme, you’re probably an adult. It’s fun and easy to have a golden oldies celebration. Pick your era but don’t worry about mixing them up. Think back to the good old days when music was about lyrics and simple tunes, movies were romantic and funny, and the life was sweet and unhurried. You can have a swinging sixties party or just let your guests decide on a time period between the twenties and the sixties that they liked best.

Golden oldies décor should be plastic and colorful since that was the rage of the time. The sixties were all about rounded and curvy furniture and art pieces so pull out your mom or grandma’s old stuff. Lava lamps were the rage in the 70’s so if you can get your hands on one or two of these they’ll add to the atmosphere. A lot of stuff in your parent’s attic is probably just the thing you need. Let your guests dress in tights and bold prints or Doris Day dresses. Hair can be done long and bobbed like the Beatles or gelled and wavy like Errol Flynn. For women, pile long hair high on your head or wear short hair smooth and put on a polka dot hair band.

Have plenty of golden oldies soundtracks and display your eight track if you have one. Round colorful plastic bowls full of popcorn and snacks should be placed around the room. Make sure there is a dance-floor as well, so your guest can bust out moves to all their old favorites.

Food can be simple but bring elements in from the days of the golden oldies – offer your guests soda pops or floats, which are basically colas with ice cream in them in a tall glass. 70’s staples such as quiche and fondue will also go down well with guests.

Having a ‘Golden Oldies’ party is a great way to reminisce about times gone by. The ideas above are only starting point – throw a few more into the mix and your party will be memorable.



Source by Gail Leino

Tarragon: A Favourite of French Chefs

Long a favourite of French chefs, the herb Artemisia dracunculus, known as French tarragon or dragon herb is an essential ingredient in Béarnaise sauce, tarragon vinegar, and certain Dijon mustards. A perennial herb, tarragon grows 2 – 4 feet (60 – 120 cm) and has dark, shiny, narrow grey-green leaves about 3 inches (8 cm) long with smooth edges. Tarragon produces tiny yellow flowers and has stems that are ridged, round, branching, and light green. Tarragon is rich in Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and potassium, and has a mild anise flavour in its leaves.

Although it is not the easiest of herbs to grow, tarragon can be grown in containers. Plant into a pot 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter or larger. Purchase plants from your greenhouse, garden catalogue, or propagate by cuttings or root division. Do not purchase seeds, as they are generally sterile. If potting up outdoor plants for indoor use, plant by mid-summer. The plants should be exposed to cold, at least 4° C (39° F) for a month before bringing inside, as the plants require a period of dormancy.

Tarragon grows best in full sun although it will tolerate filtered sun. This plant likes warm, dry, well-drained, light soils. Do not overwater as tarragon is susceptible to root rot in soggy soil. Indoors, tarragon requires 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. Place in an eastern or southern exposure and turn plants frequently to ensure all sides receive equal light. If growing under fluorescents, hang lights 6 inches (15 cm) above plants and leave on 14 hours a day.

In the garden, tarragon is a good companion to all plants. In the kitchen, tarragon is something very special and particularly good for flavouring vinegar. To make tarragon vinegar, place a large sprig in a sterilized bottle or glass jar, bring white wine vinegar to a boil and pour in enough to cover. Seal and store away from light. In addition to the above, other uses for tarragon include: hollandaise sauce, tartar sauce, vinaigrettes, seafood salads, dressings for tossed green salads, tomato soup, chicken broth, seafood cocktails, scrambled eggs, omelettes, spinach and mushroom dishes, meat dishes, fish, veal, poultry, mustard sauces, and quiche. Add a few leaves of tarragon to the boiling water of spinach, tomatoes, peas, cauliflower, and cabbage to enhance their flavour. When steaming vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, peas, and summer squash, season them with tarragon butter. To make tarragon butter, mix together 2 tbsp. (30 mL) butter to 1 tsp. (5 mL) finely chopped tarragon, 1 tsp. (5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sea salt to taste. This butter can be stored in the freezer.

Use tarragon sparingly as it has a flavour that diffuses quickly through dishes. Add the leaves when your dish is just about ready to serve as tarragon takes but a few minutes of cooking time. Tarragon can be stored fresh in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, frozen in ice cubes trays, or preserved in white wine vinegar or oil and packed in sealed, sterilized jars. Tarragon can also be dried in a warm, well-ventilated place. Strip the leaves from the stems before storing. Dried leaves should be kept in a cool, preferably dark place in airtight containers.



Source by Gwen Stewart

Home-Made Gluten Free Biscuit Mix for Quick, Easy Meals and Home Food Storage

“Gluten Free Biscuit Mix” is my latest short-term emergency food discovery, and I am bursting to tell you about it. This recipe was inspired by the Betty Crocker recipe site. They have long offered Bisquick, and now have a gluten- free version of it, so I believe they re-worked all the old “Impossibly-Easy” Bisquick creations that I loved back in the late 70’s, when I was a young mother with small kids and a busy schedule.

The recipes are made by putting your meat and vegetables, or your apples or peaches, into a pie pan, and pouring a sauce of Bisquick and milk, eggs, and seasonings over it, and sprinkle on cheese or cinnamon and sugar over it. It then cooks into quiche like casseroles, pies, and other tasty things. It forms its own top crust almost like magic. The Betty Crocker recipe site has many wonderful choices.

I make my own Bisquick mix from a recipe by Bette Hagman. She is my favorite author on the topic of Gluten-Free Cooking, and has been a wonderful pioneer on this topic for over 40 years. Bette has developed a wide range of simple effective ways to live gluten-free, among them by creating many basic mixes to keep on hand to shorten preparation time for good, low-cost, home cooked meals. I recently discovered ‘Biscuit Mix’, from her book, “Living Well Without Wheat, The Gluten-Free Gourmet, Revised Edition”, from the year 2000, which was a while ago. I have seen versions of this recipe on the back of several Gluten-Free products recently, so I know that I am not the only one who likes this recipe, though I want to share my version.

“BETTE’S BISCUIT MIX” 3 cups Rice Flour 4 Tablespoons Baking Powder 1 Tablespoon Salt 2 cups Potato Starch Flour 1 Cup Powdered Buttermilk 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Shortening 1/3 cup sugar 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Makes 6 batches of biscuits.

TO MAKE BISCUITS: Add 1 beaten egg and ¼ cup water to 1 ¼ cups mix. Stir gently to moisten, roll out onto a rice-floured board and cut into biscuit shapes. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.

Nutrients per biscuit: Calories, 130, Fat 6 g, Carbohydrate 18 g,

Cholesterol 25 mg, Fiber 0, Protein 2 g.

TO TOP COOKED STEWS OR CHICKEN PIES: Add 1 beaten egg and 1/3 cup water to 1 ¼ cups mix. Stir to moisten and drop by spoonfuls on the hot stew or pie. Bake at about 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are done.

FOR MOST IMPOSSIBLY-EASY PIES: I just follow the directions from the Betty Crocker site, in the place of Bisquick.

Rice flour comes as white or brown, in 25 pound bags at places like Winco. You can also find it in bulk bins at health-food oriented stores, and in packages by Bob’s Red Mill. I usually just grind my own in my wheat grinder. I love Jasmine Rice, either white or brown, because when I cook Jasmine rice instead of grinding it, it stays moist and fresh longer, and smells wonderful when it cooks. It has always been fresh and clean, so the brown Jasmine rice does not need the pre-rinsing that is often valuable in other types of brown rice.

Here then are my variations to Bette’s Biscuit Mix. Instead of powered buttermilk, I use powdered coconut milk that I purchase in bulk on the internet from San Francisco Herb company. It stays fresh tasting for a long time. My body doesn’t handle milk products well. You could also try almond flour, or other milk substitutes or skip it altogether.

I use powdered butter from my long-term food storage cans instead of the shortening. It is much easier to mix in. I am using it from a very old, but recently opened can, that has held up beautifully over the years. I find #10 cans of powdered butter in many supermarkets and emergency supply outlets.

I also opened a can of powdered eggs, which I am trying to use up in mixes. It works well and makes the recipe even more instant. I use 6 tablespoons of powdered egg in the mix, which is 1/3 cup powdered egg. I increase the water for each batch by one or two tablespoons to compensate for more dry ingredients.

One batch almost fills up an empty #10 can, to keep on my shelf or I divide the mix into pint jars or pouches to seal them with my “Food Saver” which vacuum seals the food. This keeps the Biscuit Mix fresh for longer and I can add it to my longer term food storage collection.



Source by Cynthia S Wright

Plan A Coffee Klatch For Fellowship and Fun!

Recently a friend of mine threw an impromptu coffee klatch that was the best time I have had in a very long time! A coffee klatch is simply a casual social gathering for coffee and conversation. It has been a reason for friends and family to get together for years, while drinking delicious coffee and have great conversations! I am planning on throwing a coffee klatch next month and have thought a few fun ideas.

First, I am planning on having a variety of coffees to choose from – of course! I am going to utilize my espresso maker, my Keurig one cup coffee pot, and my favorite coffee vessel – the French press. I plan to have different regions of coffee as well as different roasting levels. My idea of the perfect party will include some light, medium and dark roasted coffees so everyone can have something they find delicious to the palate. I also plan to have very expensive roasts, such as Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain, in limited quantities for all the guests to sample.

To be served with all that delicious java, I’m planning quite a menu. I have decided to make a blueberry crumble cake, a variety of muffins, a couple different quiche, fruits, cheeses and an assortment of brunch type fare. I’m also going to serve candied bacon and other savory items for depth to the palate. This should be the perfect companion to the different roasts of rich coffee and serve to fill the belly with something other than just caffeine!

Another key factor to a great coffee klatch is making sure everyone has something to talk about! Some great ideas would be to set out a variety of hot topic books and magazines. Many people also enjoy to play a variety of games so I intend to have a couple chess and check boards out for those who wish to jump into a game with friends. Also, having a variety of music makes for a great time.

The key to a great party is making sure everyone has something to do, to eat and of course to drink! In addition to the coffee, I also plan to have pitchers of iced tea and lemon water. Sometimes when sampling different foods and fare, it is a good idea to serve other beverages in addition to the coffee. That way everyone has something to sip and nibble while enjoying good company, conversation and games!



Source by Christine Rankin

Pork Chop Recipes: Pork and Bacon Quiche

A quiche is an oven-baked dish in a pastry crust that has been made famous by the French cuisine. Ingredients for the quiche filling had been varied depending on the preferences and dietary requirements of those quiche lovers all over the world.

Generally like an open pie, quiche had been a favorite dish to be served during family gatherings and small parties. It is best served at lunch but is also a great complete meal for any time of the day.

In this quiche – pork chop recipe, we will prepare a complete home cooked meal with an extra side dish of delicious homemade potato fries. If you have any extra potato fries, you can add them to other pork chop recipes. What you’ll need:

Pork Chop and Bacon Quiche Ingredients:

2 slices cooked pork chop, cut into small cubes

12 bacon slices, crumbled

4 whole eggs

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon butter

2 cup heavy cream

¾ teaspoon salt

Homemade Potato Fries Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

¾ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

What to do:

Pork Chop and Bacon Quiche:

– Preheat your the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Spread crust into a pie or quiche dish.

– Using a cooking brush or spatula, spread butter evenly unto the crust.

– Fill the crust with cubed pork chops, bacon and cheese. Make sure that everything is combined and mixed well.

– Beat eggs with the rest of the quiche ingredients and pour into crust covering all of the meat.

– Bake for 15 minutes.

– Turn down the oven temperature setting to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 40 minutes longer.

– When cooked, take out from oven and allow it to cool down by letting it stand for about 10 minutes or so.

Homemade Potato Fries:

– Boil a large pot of water in high heat and add a teaspoon of salt.

– Add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes or until it is tender.

– Drain potatoes from water and leave it to cool down.

– Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

– Warm up a large skillet in medium heat.

– Put in a tablespoon of olive oil (leave the rest for later).

– Add onion and green pepper. Cook and stir often for about 2~3 minutes or until soft.

– Transfer to a plate and set aside.

– Pour remaining olive oil into the skillet and turn heat up to high heat.

– Add potato cubes and season with salt, paprika and black pepper.

– Stir occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are browned.

– Stir in the rest of the ingredients and cook for another minute.

Serve the Pork Chop and Bacon Quiche together with the Home made potato fries for the family to enjoy.



Source by Robby Duenner

Teaching, Kindness And Common Sense

I was sitting on the couch in the rental house in Albany, trying desperately to stay warm with a hot cup of tea and thinking about my little teaching gig last week. I had remembered the night before I was to teach three very excited girls how to make quiche, pie crust, cinnamon buns, and croissants. I was laying in bed and wondered if I’d be any good at it because historically I have a hard time explaining to people how to do things. I seriously started to wonder what the heck I was doing, why I thought I knew enough to be able to teach anyone how to make anything, after all, I am a culinary school drop-out. But the morning came as it is guaranteed to do, I put on my chef pants, grabbed my recipes, my croissant cutter, my courage and headed out the door. It was all going to be just fine; I was going to be just fine.

Turns out I was just fine, I managed to explain things well enough to those eager girls where they produced the loveliest quiche, cinnamon buns and even their first try at croissants ever, turn out great. It felt good and natural; it felt good to give some of myself to people who wanted some of my knowledge. I feel like I haven’t had a chance to practice much kindness lately, not because I have become unkind, I have just settled into my old hermit ways. But on the last day of teaching those classes, I was walking to my car and was approached by a homeless lady, and she was asking me for money.

I had seen this woman before in that same parking lot, sometimes she is alone and sometimes she has a small child with her in a stroller. I had given the last of my cash to another homeless man that very morning and had no money to give her, and I was heartbroken. I told her that I no cash left in my wallet, but I would buy her a sandwich at the coffee shop. She wasn’t interested in a sandwich. She was staying at a hotel with her little girl, who was not with her that day, and wanted to know if I would pay for her hotel room.

I asked her her name and where her hotel was figuring I would drive by there and just pay for a night or two. When she started to tell me where it was, I realized it was in a pretty sketchy part of town. If you know me at all you know I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and she must have read me in a second and said, “Maybe you can just drive me there” and that is where for the first time, I thought about what I was doing. You see, for a split second, I actually thought about putting her in my car, driving her to the sketchy part of town, paying for her room for a few nights and getting her and her daughter some food.

I’m so glad that my first thought is always to be kind and to think of unfortunate people first, but I’m also glad that this day, I stopped and thought for a minute. I remember the one time I was in Paris and got scammed out of $70.00, by being kind. I was angry, shocked and scared. So a second later I had another scenario playing out in my head and this one consisted of me driving her to the hotel, her asking me to see her daughter, her opening the door and some guy grabbing me, my purse being stolen and ended with me being chopping into tiny bits.

I ultimately told her I couldn’t help her, and I felt just awful. It was the first time someone asked me for money I didn’t give it to them, and I felt sad. In the end, my intentions were good, but my common sense won this time. Maybe it would have been just fine had her I taken her to the hotel, but there is that chance things wouldn’t have ended up like my Pollyanna’s head thought.

That day I had learned how to draw the line between compassion and fear, and as I walked back to my car, I remember a quote from Audrey Hepburn, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”. That day was one of the “helping yourself” days and acknowledging fear, and I felt OK getting in my car that afternoon.



Source by Gina DeNicola