7.24.2009

Quiche in Every Way


This week I found myself with 36 eggs in the fridge that need to be used up before we head for the beach and other places. They're left over from my "cake hell week" when I created and decorated enough cake for over 300 people. Hmm . . . eggs . . . definitely no more cakes . . . quiche?!

I have the best and easiest quiche recipe from my college roommate and dear friend Lea. Ever since she made it for our going-away party in 2003 when we left Austin, I've taken her simple recipe and made it a gazillion different ways, and it's always good! So if you too have a surplus of eggs, here's a great way to use them up. The recipe only calls for 2 eggs, but I make enough quiche filling to fill up 2-3 pie crusts at a time. You can freeze them too.

Lea's Famous Quiche

1 unbaked deep-dish pie shell
1/2 lb. ground beef or sausage (Lea likes the Sage sausage)
1/2 cup mayonnaise NOT Miracle Whip
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups Cheese (Cheddar and Swiss OR Cheddar and Jack, the latter Lea's and my favorite)
Dash of Pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion (Lea says optional, she doesn't usually include for breakfast quiche)
  1. Brown meat and onions. Drain grease.
  2. Blend next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cornstarch and mayo first, then eggs and milk.
  3. Stir in meat, cheese and pepper.
  4. Turn into the pie shell. Bake 350 to 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes, until top begins to brown.
  5. For 2 quiches, just double the recipe.
So the recipe, as is, is pretty excellent. However, a few years ago we hosted a vegetarian Thanksgiving at our house, and I wanted to have a veggie dish that would also have some protein in it. So I substituted the meat with some veggies and came up with this option:

Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

In place of the meat in Lea's Famous Quiche recipe, add:
  • 2-3 Tbsp. julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • a couple of handfuls of chopped fresh spinach leaves
I also included the optional chopped onions. This recipe was awesome, if I do say so myself, and a nice addition to the Thanksgiving table.

When I've made it again, for just our family and no vegetarians, I've included cooked, diced chicken breast meat. Or you could also throw in diced leftovers from yesterday's roasted chicken dinner.

Southwestern Quiche

This is a generic name for adding some spice to the recipe.
In place of the beef or sausage in Lea's Famous Quiche, add:

1 small can of chopped green chilies (drained)
about 1/2 cup corn kernels
about 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (any color)
cooked, diced chicken breast meat OR diced ham OR crumbled bacon (optional)

I include the optional chopped onions as well. You could also substitute jalapeno jack cheese for the milder cheddar/Swiss/jack cheeses. Serve quiche slices with salsa if desired.

I have yet to try a seafood variation on this recipe, but might venture into that soon. Maybe with lots of fresh dill? I'll have to play around with that. That's the best part about creating your own recipes, the taste-testing!

Photo from Google Images

7.23.2009

Eggs-ellent Entertainment



Another one of those posts stuck in the limbo of my blog drafts inbox . . . some cutesy photos of the gals Easter egg hunting this past Spring! And amazingly, Dylan is not in the photos and I am!

7.22.2009

Adaptation

What a difference a week makes! It's been just over a week since Thalia's big accident, and it was certainly a week of ups and downs. Thalia was in pain for the first couple of days after having the bones set, which was to be expected. She basically cried all day for two days, poor thing, with little relief from the pain meds. But visits from friends definitely cheered her up as did the cards, emails and gifts that arrived for her (thanks to everyone who took the time to do this!). She spent Tuesday and Wednesday icing down and elevating her arm while watching show after show on Disney Channel.

The first couple of days were also painful for Mom! Thalia needed assistance with going to the bathroom, washing hands, getting dressed and basically anything else that involved her hands. I hadn't spoon-fed Thalia since she was a toddler, so that was a surreal experience. The crying and complaining about pain and boredom also wore on my nerves, sad as it was.

By Saturday, however, she was able to sit in a restaurant and use a fork with her other hand to eat salad! And she had figured out how take herself to the potty--hooray! This process was helped along by dressing her in loose dresses only so she wouldn't have to deal with buttons, snaps or zippers. Big huge thanks to Thalia's godmother, Amy, and her godsister, Kendall, for quickly sending us a week's worth of spaghetti-strap and halter-top dresses to wear! Because there was no way that big fat cast was going to fit through hardly anything in her closet!

Furthermore, we figured out a way to bathe her with the challenge of the non-waterproof cast. Dylan installed a hand-held shower in the girls' bathroom which made it a little easier to get her squeaky clean. (Although the hand-held thing is still a bit unwieldy and we're trying to do every-other-day showers if possible. Thank God for that press-n-seal stuff). She can "kind of" wash her good hand at the sink but still requires help with the soap, plus we're using hand sanitizer on her injured hand as much as possible.

Yesterday, Thalia finally ventured out without the sling, finally getting used to the heft of the cast. Thalia also managed to open the car door and buckle her seat belt all by herself by using her good arm and her teeth to help out! She is particularly proud of this. She also uses her one good hand to play with her hand-held Nintendo DS, which is rather impressive. But perhaps the sign that she was really adapting to her situation was when I discovered that she had climbed a stool to reach board games with her good arm on the highest shelf in the playroom . . . healthy self-confidence or just sheer craziness?!

So things are kind of back to normal at our house. She's still sad that her sister goes to camp every morning and she does not. She's trying to keep an open mind about it all, but still goes to bed each night wishing she had her "normal" hand back. We're constantly trying to set up playdates and she's enjoyed having friends over already. It's not the summer we planned or expected, but life is funny like that.

We're visiting the doctor once a week for follow-up and x-rays, and during yesterday's visit he said the bones were healing nicely. The spacers were removed from the cast which was tightened up and covered with yet another layer of blue fiberglass material (now the cast is even heavier!). We're keeping our fingers crossed that the doctor will ok a shorter, water-proof cast before we leave for our trip next month. But if he doesn't, we'll still make the most of our days at the beach. With lots of plastic wrap around her arm.

The Blue Cast Girls
Thalia and a friend from school who also broke her arm this summer; together they make up a healthy set of arms and hands!



Sympathetic Casting
Thalia's playdate sports her own cast and sling, made with the material from Thalia's splint, and some foam and yarn!

7.14.2009

And Summer Abruptly Ends

Yesterday morning, Thalia was at a summer camp field trip at the roller skating rink. She was skating along very nicely until a big boy slammed into her. The kid, by the way, didn't even stop or apologize (jerk!). Thalia fell hard and was taken by ambulance to the ER where Dylan and I met her. I was the last to find out about all of this as I had accidentally left my cell phone on the charger at home before I left to run a bunch of errands, but the camp staff was able to get a hold of Dylan quickly.

One of her counselors rode with her in the ambulance to Methodist Children's ER where it was determined that she broke her right wrist in 2 places. After a few hours in the ER, we went to see the pediatric orthopedic physician who said she would need to have her wrist fixed up and cast in the hospital under anaesthesia. So back we went to Methodist Hospital to have her admitted and prepped for the procedure. Having her "asleep" allowed the doctor to manipulate the bones exactly where they need to be to heal properly. It was a thankfully short procedure and she is now sporting a lovely powder blue cast that is unfortunately not waterproof. No overnight stay required and we got home around 9 pm after side trips to the pharmacy and HEB for soup and popsicles. What a day!

She was in alot of pain today and a brave little trooper overall,
having ridden the ambulance without either of her parents and endured alot of poking and prodding and bad-tasting medicine from a bunch of strangers. Thalia was completely worn out after 13 hours without food or even water and all the time spent hurry up-waiting at the hospital and doctor's office. We're quite relieved that it was only her wrist as it could have been much worse.

Anyway, Thalia will not be returning to camp or tennis for the rest of the summer as she is not allowed physical activity or swimming for 8 weeks. Basically, she can't do anything that requires two hands just now. So we've canceled camp, tennis and swim lessons and shelved some of our summer plans that involved water or being outside for a long time. (That cast is heavy and hot!) She's feeling very sad about "summer" being cut short rather suddenly and is looking forward to some "quiet" playdates.

Ironically, she broke bones in the same arm in which she broke her elbow exactly 4 years ago. It's also ironic that Thalia has gotten so much better at roller skating over the past few months and enjoyed practicing with her own white and pink skates! It was great to see her confidence growing every time she went to the skating rink. Here's a pic of our skating diva being wheeled out of the hospital last night:

Finally . . . headed for home! (And my teddy bear's arm has a cast too!)