Food

Artichoke and Cheese Quiche

Quiche! For dinner? Yes! I don’t know if that actually is kosher, but I love eggs, cheese, and artichokes… and I figured this would be a yummy quick meal. This turned out SO well, and was a delicious left-over as well. It came from a recipe on Health.com. The recipe originally called for egg substitute but instead I did a combination of eggs and egg whites until I had 1 cup of beaten eggs. Depending on the size of the eggs you use – you might want to adjust accordingly.

IMG_3254

Artichoke Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 eggs and 3 egg whites mixed (1 cup of eggs)
  • 1 tsp dried dillweed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • cooking spray
  • 1 (15-oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (you can use fat-free milk)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine rice, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup eggs, dillweed, salt, and garlic; press into a 9-inch pieplate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.
  3. Arrange artichoke quarters on bottom of rice crust; sprinkle remaining cheese. Combine eggs, milk, green onions, mustard and pepper. Pour egg mixture over rice and artichokes.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until eggs have set.
  5. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into wedges!
Advertisements
Food

Italian Fries

I really love potatoes. Any kind of potatoes. Someone told me that potatoes were good for weight loss. But I am not sure if these potatoes count considering that you add a whole lot of butter, evoo, and cheese!

IMG_2996

 

I made these with Jessi in Chicago, and a few times here as well. The trick is to make sure all of the potatoes are cut evenly, otherwise they cook at different speeds and you end up with a few cheesy mashed potatoes and a few burnt shoestring fries. Once you get the balance though… they are MAGICAL. Super cheesy, delicious, and amazing.

Italian Fries (from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium/large russet potatoes sliced into 1/3 inch fry-strips soaked in cold water for at least 45 minutes (I use less potatoes than Martha – higher cheese ratio!)
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T dried italian herbs
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, freshly chopped
  • 4 T salted butter cut into cubes
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towel. Spread 1 T of olive oil on each of 2 rimmed greased baking sheets (I use Crisco spray) and spread out potatoes. Martha says to overlapping is okay – but I like to lay them out flat.
  3. Sprinkle herbs evenly over potatoes. Spread LOTS of cheese and parsley all over the top. If it looks like you need some more cheese – add it. You cannot have too much cheese – ever.
  4. Drizzle remaining 2 T of olive oil over cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans evenly.
  5. Bake until potatoes are golden brown. (45-50 minutes) Rotate pans every fifteen minutes to ensure even cooking.
  6. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all of the delicious cheese crisped on top!
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

These can be reheated in the oven the next day and are JUST as good. Just make sure to remember to re-spray the aluminum foil with some cooking spray – otherwise the cheese gets stuck to the pan. Enjoy these – they are DELICIOUS!

Home, Life

San Diego!

After a month of living the vacation-life in sunny San Diego, I figured it was only fair to reflect on our journey out here and all of the things I love about my new So-Cal existence.

We left Chicago on a VERY cold and slightly snowy December morning. (After of course hitting up Ann Sathers for the last resident brunch).

Our first stop was in St. Louis (5 hrs) where we got to catch up with some of Charlie’s college friends. The car was LOADED with stuff, so we were a little nervous about street parking, but we got a spot right in front of the apartment. The next morning we headed to Oklahoma City! (7 hrs) Walter started getting the hang of travel…

IMG_2836

However, he did NOT like getting left in the car during our lunch stops…

IMG_2850

But he really liked hotel wall mirrors…

IMG_2841

After OKC we headed to Albuquerque (8 hrs). I had fond memories of Albuquerque from a conference my Dad went to when we were little chillins’. Mostly the Ihop. But Charlie wasn’t as excited about a Chocolate Chip Pancake platter, so we found breakfast elsewhere. We did however stumble upon a Prix Fixe winery for New Years Eve! We thought we were going to end up in some sort of Applebees of sorts. But the meal ended up being really nice. (And Walter slept some more).

IMG_2861

After Albuquerque we headed to Tucson (6.5 hrs) where we stayed with Charlie’s wonderful cousins. We were definitely getting a little restless – and even more excited to get into our apartment and sleep in the same bed for more than one night! Charlie was the man and drove the ENTIRE time. I’ve been cursed with the Johnson-woman-snooze, which means if a motor is on… I get sleepy. After Tucson we began our final descent into San Diego (6 hrs). Charlie insisted that we doing something So-Cal, so we had In & Out for lunch!

IMG_2863

Yeah, it’s worth the hype. Also, there is a secret menu!! You can also ask for your fries extra crispy, which I haven’t tried yet – but I’m looking for any excuse to visit again.

After our delicious lunch we drove a couple more hours and arrived in San Diego!! We met with our apartment manager (we did the entire rental online!!) and saw our apartment for the first time. We were so relieved to see that 1) it was a real apartment and 2) it was really nice! It’s about a third the size of our Chicago apartment, but luckily we like each other a lot.

Charlie and I then set out to Ikea to furnish our apartment. We sold almost all of our furniture in Chicago, so we had some cash to spend at Ikea. We had visited Ikea in Chicago to plan out what we wanted, and I had used this nifty floor plan tool on Pottery Barn’s website to plan it.

floor plan

The only trick was that our apartment was the opposite way. But we managed and besides feeling like everything was backwards at first, it turned out perfectly. (More pictures to come once I finally find the right pillows and buy shams.)

We were at Ikea for a fantastic three hours, and loaded everything up to be delivered! They didn’t have our couch in stock so we had to go back a few days later to re-order it. Here is how happy Charlie was to be at Ikea at 9 pm after driving almost six hours…

IMG_2869

We then got home and collapsed onto our oh-so-comfy floor, and slept.

The trip to San Diego was absolutely amazing, I am so happy that Charlie drove most of the time (okay the whole time). It was really fun to see the scenery, especially between Tucson and San Diego. The only thing I didn’t expect was that it was so cold down south!! I packed for San Diego weather, but it was snowing and cold the whole time. Luckily, Charlie plans better than I do – so I got dibs on his winter jacket.

Things I love about San Diego!!

  1. The weather is amazing. Like so amazing. People apologize when its colder than 67 degrees.
  2. Our apartment is really nice, and is in an amazing location. We have three grocery stores and running trails all within a mile.
  3. There is always something to do! In Chicago there was always something to do as well, but it was cold 70% of the time. Here, even when it’s “cold” it is still a perfect day for the zoo, the park, or the USS Midway museum.
  4. Everyone has dogs. And I want to play with all of them. A puppy is definitely on my summer wish list.
  5. The farmer’s market downtown. And it is year round (see #1).
  6. My sweet high school friend Whitney is also a recent transplant, so we’ve been navigating the San Diego neighborhoods together!
  7. My parents were kind enough to help out and buy my Aunt’s amazing car. (It’s a ’95 Audi convertible, and I feel like Barbie’s best friend Skipper). It has been a blast to enjoy #1 with the top down!

Things I could live without…

  1. The gas is over $4.00… and that’s the cheapest gas in a ten mile radius.
  2. It is far from my Mommy and Daddy, and I miss them. (Though my mom came and visited for a week at the end of January!)
  3. I miss my friends! I’ve made some friends here, and I know that when I start work I will meet even more people… but I miss being able to call up my girlfriends for a quick drink or coffee. Luckily we have gchat and FaceTime.

More posts on beautiful San Diego to come!