Enjoying the Beauty of Becoming

It has been 374 days since my last blog post.  I have continued on with the writing program at SCAD, expanded the weekly meal program to more than 50 families, gotten engaged, gotten un-engaged, catered many fun social events including a Buckhead roof top social of 300 people, catered the most beautiful wedding, my strong beautiful daughter graduated from high school and my sweet Lauren May left G&H after almost three years to work at a great internship.  This has been a fun-filled and heart breaking year, to write the very least.    I have so missed sitting down and writing about it.

I went a little off course, again.  The roads that led to beautiful moments only lead to more roads with the journey that is never-ending.  I lost sight of what I wanted out of life.  I had gotten to a point where I felt angry and disgust for so much – politics, murder, bigotry, oppression, family dynamics, traffic, cancer, my own mistakes and even simpler things such as burnt toast.  These things are black in my soul that follow me unless I write about it.  I was putting so much pressure on myself to be the best mother, the best partner, the best personal chef and business owner, the best student, the best friend, the best daughter and sister.  I hated myself and this beautiful earth we live on.  I hated who I was trying to become, this little miss perfect.   Trying to be the woman everyone else wants me to be- gross.  Or at least what I thought they wanted me to be- even grosser.  She isn’t the woman I am destined to be, but I know her and I hate her more than anything.  My stomach hurts by writing the word hate- such a nasty word.  And, I’ll not kid myself, I was so far from perfect.  I fought with friends and family.  I snapped at annoying but, harmless business calls.   I screamed at the girls.  I continued to bury myself deeper out of sight so that when it was forced upon me to look at myself, I had no idea where or who I was anymore.  The humiliation of this person I had become is, well, excruciatingly painful.  Everyone seemed to know what I refuse to see.  I wonder if there is no wonder.

As we were catering this beautiful wedding back in May, only a few days after my own engagement ended, the question was asked if the yard had been sprayed for mosquitos and I thought for a brief moment of rolling around in the grass to see if I could be eaten and taken off by them.  This event turned out to be such a gift.  The universe will not let me go my own scared way. It was a peaceful union of two people who adored each other and they certainly aren’t perfect in everyone’s eyes but they are authentic and loving and so imperfectly perfect in my eyes.  I am so glad I got to be there to see their union and feed them well.  The positive energy and love was palpable.   Everything about it was the opposite of what I was living and that gave me the truth to start living differently.

Grief, as every emotion, is relative to whom is feeling it. My biggest loop in my head has been “it is my fault this is awful” and I have gone over and over how I could have changed the inevitable.  But, there is no way and god and everyone else knows I have tried.

Now I am trying to flow with the current that is the least resistant.  I have been known on occasion to believe I have to struggle like hell instead of just flow with the nature of things.  Haggard and disheveled, I kick and scream against my own current and for what?  To feel absolutely beaten down.  Everything is easier said than done.  So glad that my friends are not quitters and want to throw in the towel with me.  This does not mean that I don’t have to work hard to evolve.  As M. Scott Peck says love “requires the extension of ourselves, love is always either work or courage.  If an act is not one of work or courage, then it is not an act of love.” But as I start to let go, stop the struggling internally, have faith in myself again, it does feel easier to trust.  It feels so much easier and I think I may even be loving myself a little bit for it.

Where do I go when I feel I have hit the bottom?   I look up and kick like hell the glass ceiling to get out.  Through one tear (or three), one smile, one laugh, one friendly chat on the phone, one weekly meal, one delivery, one hors d’oeuvre, one dinner party, one movie night with the girls, I get up and brush my knees off.  Sometimes I surprise even myself.  Mosquitos would have been a long and painful death.

I have seen in some eyes that they wish I would stay down.  Or we see in some eyes, “you deserve what you get”.  Someone just recently told me I should get a “real job” instead of my “dream job.”  It’s funny, that was always his encouragement and why he is where he is in his own journey.  This job isn’t my dream, yet.  It is still forming and molding.  My children will not need me at home when I can live my dream job.  For now, it is my value.  I can live no other way without that.  There are people out there that do not want the best for others.  And those people, we have to ignore and let go.  I work like hell to have compassion for those who want to harm and hurt just to make themselves feel better or for their “justice”.  I must forgive them, move on, know that I am still loved, so loved and love those who want to be loved.  This is so difficult for me to do.  We can not make people like, love, understand or accept us. I have tried and so desired it but only getting hurt in the trying.  That is my struggle I must let go of.  Accepting that putting my eggs into a basket for it only to be thrown on the floor to break just hurts myself.  So, I choose not to do that.  I give my egg basket to those who want to handle them with care.  What a corny metaphor!  My professors would have a field day with that.  I am so grateful for those professors that encouraged me to keep going this last quarter.

As I went into a yoga class yesterday, my mantra was to love myself so that I can love others.  I said it over and over through deep breaths.  I felt it through my rib cages sucking in just a little more air to fill the cracks.  I could not help but notice and admire this woman who was fit, beautiful and graceful in her movements.  I quickly wished her love and went on about my practice, not wanting to wish myself to be her.  After class, I grabbed my things and noticed she was leaving in front of me.  I chuckled to myself because I noticed she looked like me but with blonde hair.  Then I noticed when she got into her car, it was the same as mine except a different color.  I smiled again at the universe showing me my mantra.  I drove around to leave when I passed her and noticed she was born in April, like me, from her tag.  I didn’t know this woman and who knows what her story is.  But I know me, and I want to really love and admire fully who I am, the dark and the light.  I could admire this strange woman and not even know her, but admiring myself has always seemed selfish.  This was a little moment of self-love to me.  I have always confused that  self-love was selfish but I do know if we don’t give any to ourselves we are empty.  And empty to give anything to anyone else.  I believe this is an epidemic amongst women, not just in me, that I would love to see gone, forever.  If anything, I will try my damnedest to not pass this on to my own daughters.   I will claw tooth and nail to omit it- really.

One of the biggest things that fills my heart, and I get to share it, is having dinner parties and writing.  I’ve known this but I wasn’t doing it.  So a couple of weeks ago I invited a couple of girlfriends over to sit on the front porch and have dinner.  I had forgotten how much I loved having people over.  I had forgotten how much I loved cooking for people.   My home isn’t big or extravagant.  Since I sold my house I think I have been holding back because it isn’t perfect.  In fact, my neighbor has put a couch out in our front yard that the city of ATL has yet to pick up over the last 3 weeks.  My neurosis are totally kicking in but allowing my imperfections to be seen at the front of the driveway is so much easier than hiding them under my pillow or worse, my heart.   I think the last time I blogged was the last time I had someone over for dinner.  My writing is also so imperfect but it is imperfectly me and that feels so good.

I made a most wonderful, healthy, summer salad with organics from the farmer’s market and grilled chicken breast for our dinner party.  This is my ultimate favorite food, fresh out of the garden.  Can’t you just taste the sweet sun ripening the tomatoes?  We sat outside with a citronella candle to keep any mosquitos from trying to take us away.  If I could encourage others to do one thing, the thing I wasn’t doing, is to do what you enjoy, do what you love and share that light.  Don’t put negative people in your life that want to squash that.  Enjoy moments with loved ones over a meal.  Go write.  Call me if you want to have that dinner but don’t have the time to cook! 😉 I will do that for you and love myself very much for giving you that moment.  Here we are full circle.  My wish is for you to enjoy this summer with friends, a good meal, and sweet peace of mind.

 

Summer Salad with Warm Shiitake Mushrooms and Lemon Mustard Dressing

 

For Salad

Red Leaf Lettuce

Radiccio

Canned Artichoke Hearts in water

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumber sliced

Shiitake Mushrooms

Grilled Chicken Breast or Grilled Shrimp

Goat Cheese

 

For Lemon Mustard Dressing

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup good olive oil

 

 

For salad: Sauté your shiitake mushrooms in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  After 3-5 minutes take of heat and allow to cool for a few moments.  Pile your other ingredients as big and high with all your veggies and protein that you desire.  Top with shiitake and goat cheese.

For Dressing:  Whisk everything but oil.  Then slowly, while whisking, add oil.  You can add as much or as little dressing as desired to your salad.  Toss, serve and enjoy.

 

This journey of life is far from over, ups and downs, over and under, but I am so glad I can share it with you.  Please feel free to send me your story so that together we can share it with those who may be looking for answers.  May your summer be a glorious one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Daddy’s Day Southern Fried Chicken

DSC_0237Well, I would say summer is officially here in the south.  My car thermometer registered 107.  Summertime also means Father’s Day to me.  I want to make my Dad’s favorite thing to eat and that is none other than Southern Fried Chicken.  My brother and I would tease my Dad for not leaving one piece of meat on the bone of his chicken.  He told us this story of why he couldn’t leave any meat on the bones.

During special occasions, all the family (my grandfather was one of 12 children) would come over for supper.  The adults would go first to get their plates.  They would get the larger pieces of chicken.  When it was finally time for the children to get their plates, the only chicken that was left was the wings and drumsticks.  This was during the depression and food was scarce.   They killed their own chickens and they grew their own vegetables.  Some of those habits of those who lived during that time do not die-hard.  My Dad doesn’t like to throw anything away and this story is 60 something years old.

I would branch out and say all of us have opinions based on what we grew up experiencing, good or bad.  Politically my Dad and I don’t always see eye to eye.  In fact, I think he may be absolutely wrong and bases his opinion from fear of an unknown.  There aren’t many people in the world that I love more than my father.  We can have different political views and still have a respect and love for one another that supersedes politics and power.  Sometimes we choose not to talk about it.  We have gotten down right “hot” with discussions over plates of fried chicken.  However, I know that discussing and connecting over meals eases tension and brings joy in our hearts no matter our differences.  If he would just pretends to listen and agree all is well!

I believe that all anyone wants is to be respectfully heard.  That may seem to simple but it seems to me to be the only place we can start.  At the end of a political season, these moments of laughter and togetherness will be what matters in times of differences.  I hope you too will enjoy my recipe of Southern Fried Chicken and it brings you the same joy and togetherness it brings to me, especially in the heat of the moment.  😉

Southern Fried Chicken

Ingredients

4 Chicken breasts

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1/2 cup canola

Directions

Soak your chicken breast in the buttermilk for at least an hour or overnight.  When ready to fry, mix your panko, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl so that you can dredge your breasts into the mixture making a thick coating.  The black pepper is a key ingredient.  If you feel up to it, add more!  After each breast has been coated, heat your oil in a cast iron skillet or fry pan.  When the oil is hot, add the breast making sure not to crowd them.  If you need to, do two batches.  Fry each side about 3-5 minutes watching to make sure the oil doesn’t get too hot and burn.  When your breast are browned, put in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Finish the chicken off in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.  Southern Fried Chicken is great with corn on the cob and watermelon or slice your chicken and put on a garden salad.  The  cooked chicken is great refrigerated and later packed in a cooler for picnics at the pool or amusement parks.

Happiest Father’s Day to all the Dads, enjoy and I wish you the happiest of summers!

 

 

 

 

 

Mo Cookies!

IMG_7761Happy Wednesday!  Boy, do I not feel like working on this blog right now.  I can think of 1000 other things I need to do.  But, I told you I would write out the Soft Ginger Cookie recipe.

Some promises are not easy for me to break.  Did I promise this?  I would have to go back and check my writing.  But I do know that I said I was going to do it.  When I say that I am going to do something, it is my language of love to do it.  Expectations can be so titillating or so, so disappointing.   Now, I don’t think if I didn’t get this blog out that you guys would cry (or notice).  But, I never know.  And I do not want to dishearten one soul.  😉

So, here goes!

Soft Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

pinch of kosher salt

3/4 cup butter (room temperature)

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup molasses

Raw Sugar for rolling over top (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Begin mixing your butter and sugar.  While is mixing add flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in another bowl.  (I didn’t have time to sift the flour today and the cookies came out just as divine.)  Set this aside after giving it a stir with a fork.  Go back to butter and sugar mixture and it should be pale and fluffy.  Add in egg, water, molasses.  When this is mixed, turn mixer down and add in flour mixture.  Shape dough in a ball and pat raw sugar on top or scoop out small half-dollar balls for baking.    Bake for 10 minutes, then cool for 5 min.  Freeze or refrigerate the dough for drop in guests!

My eyes feel heavy.  Whew, I am tired.  Looks like we are having Soft Ginger Cookies for dinner tonight.  Here’s to that!

 

 

 

To All the Momma’s Out There

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

I was wondering what I should write about this week.  And then I remembered.  It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday.  This time of year always brings with it a great many feelings.  Gratitude is one.  I am so grateful for my mom and to be a mother.

My poor mom had to put up with a wild child.  I was a free spirit who demanded attention (and possibly still does).  When I think about how tired I am, I think about all the mothers before me and around me.  I want to give a group hug to all the mothers out there.  Here’s to you!

My mom would always share this story about being in a Rose’s Department Store.  I began running away from her and she couldn’t catch me.  I was running around and around those circular clothes racks.  My mom asked a gentleman to grab hold of me so that she could catch me.  The gentleman told her “children will be children” and walked away.  I think she wanted to hurt that gentleman more than she wanted to hurt me at that moment.

My third little princess was a screamer.  She would scream at the top of her lungs when I told her no.  She would then throw herself onto the floor and it was always a real scene.  If her head could have spun around, it would have.  I swear I thought she was possessed.  My friends, to this day, will say “remember when Gabby used to have those fits?”  Uh, yeah, I lived them.  And gratitude comes to mind again… I am so glad she has outgrown them.

My grandmother, who is German, used to always make a wonderful german potato salad.  She has Alzheimer’s disease now and I am not really sure if she remembers me or her potato salad recipe.  Today I want to share a similar recipe to hers.  She used to put sweet pickles in her recipe, but I do not.  I never have liked those sweet pickles.  Granny’s mom died when she was three years old.  Gratitude comes to me again.  I am 39 years old, and I have gotten to share many years and memories with these wonderful women.

Southern Potato Salad

Ingredients

12 Medium Red Potatoes, boiled whole with skin on

5 Hard Boiled Eggs, diced

1 Medium Purple Onion, diced

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

3/4 cup of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

You will first medium dice your boiled potatoes.  You will know the potatoes are done when a fork goes through easily.  This takes about 10-15 minutes.  In a large bowl, mix potatoes, eggs, onion, mustard, mayo, parsley, salt and pepper.  If your salad looks a little dry, add a couple more tablespoons of the mayo.  It’s as easy as that.  In the summer, I love this side dish with a grilled hamburger and corn on the cob, just like my mother.

As I finish up, I am remembering those sweet chubby hands of all three of my girls when they were little. I am feeling gratitude again, for the memories of yesterday and those to come.  And most importantly, I am thankful for the honor of being a mother and for my own Momma.  I love you!

Cheer’s to every mother!  And a very happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

IMG_7103

Granny and Grandaddy with My Mom and Aunti Chrissy


Me, Mom, Allie and Em

Me, Mom, Allie and Em

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, So Graceful

Well, I have gracefully done it again.  As I peck away at my computer, cast around my right hand, I am feeling a little more optimistic than yesterday.  I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my right hand.  I cant even say I was having a wild and crazy night of table dancing.  No lifting, no cutting or chopping, no wrapping, no writing, no pony-tail making, no yoga, no stirring, no use with this right hand for 6 weeks.  As the Doctor says, I am lucky the bones didn’t shift.  If they do, I need surgery to pin them together. That sounds promising…

I have got to think outside of the box and I have to learn to ask for help.  I think I am pretty good with the first but terrible with the later.  I despise feeling like a burden on anyone.  And right now, this hand is burdening me.  I have had to think a lot of what I am grateful for… yes, the bones didn’t shift and I don’t have or know of anyone with Ebola.

Onward we march!

Lets work on the yummy biscuit recipe I brought back from France.  First of all, 100 grams is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon, so that isn’t correct on Petit Pavot Biscuit.  What is correct is that the cheese, flour and butter are equal measurements.

I used 2 egg yolks with 2 cups butter, 2 cups cake flour and 2 cups parmesan cheese and a tablespoon poppy seeds.  They are very flakey. The taste, however, is still just as delicious here in the states as it was in France. I may add another egg yolk to see if they will hold together a bit better.

IMG_5974

Since I am handicap at the moment, instead of mixing with my hands, I put the flour, frozen butter, and cheese in a food processor and blended until course.  I then blended in the egg yolk into the same bowl.  I laid it all out on a floured surface and pressed into a flat disk about an a half-inch thick.  I sprinkled the poppy seeds over the dough while pressing.  Lastly, I cookie cut out circles and baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.  These would be so good with bacon or ham pieces in them…just say’n.

Take very good care of yourselves and be careful until next time we chat!  It is dangerous out there!  Cheers!

 

Petit Pavot Biscuit

IMG_5670It is 2:30am here in France.  I can not tell if it is the late night petite café or the excitement I am having over the most glorious dinner that I have eaten.  We traveled about 30 minutes outside of Vaison-la-Romaine to a small town called St. Cecile Les Vignes.  After a couple of wrong turns my school mate from Patricia’s cooking class safely drove us to the wonderful restaurant Campange Vignes Gourmandises.

I would like to first say, a woman, who I believe is the chef’s wife, was the most kind French woman I have met thus far.  As we all know, my french is terrible.  Her English wasn’t perfect but she took the time to explain to me what she thought was the best thing on the menu when I asked her what she thought I should get.  I agreed with her choice and got the lamb for my main course.  It was by far the best and most perfectly cooked lamb I have ever put into my mouth.  I am still trying to figure out how exactly he made it so moist and also added those delicious roasted garlic and vegetables.  The kind woman said the lamb was from the region and I am sure that it played a role in the freshness that the meat gave.  It was divine.

What also struck me as devine were these perfect little, what I will call, Small Poppy Seed Biscuits.  They were brought out at the beginning of our meal with some olives.  These little biscuits where what I think all southerners are trying to perfect when we make biscuits.  They were the size of a quarter, they were moist with butter and sharp with parmesan cheese, and light with the right touch of kneading.  These same words rang true from last week’s eating while in California’s gardens.  Was I still in heaven?  I think so, just on the other side of heaven’s earth.

At the end of the meal, I couldn’t help myself.  I had to ask for the recipe and if not, could I have a bag of those little biscuits to take back to my apartment?  To my astonishment, the chef was obliged to give me the recipe.  He had no more biscuits, of course, for me to take home, because why would any be left?  They were that good.

I must share this with all of my devoted readers.  How can I keep something this good to myself?   I haven’t made them, as I am still traveling but how hard can it be?  Just remember to use fresh ingredients and the best butter and cheese that you can find.   I’ll let you know how mine comes out when I return.  When I do get this down, they will most definitely be on the menu!  

Ingredients

1oog parmesan

100g flour

100g salted butter

25g poppy seeds (could also use sesame seeds)

1 egg yolk

Directions

Mix the first four ingredients by hand and when incorporated, mix in your egg yolk.  Make little balls with the dough and place in an oven that has been preheated to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Simple and delicious just the way we like things.

At the end of the meal, I did ask for my petit café with dessert.  Note to self, the french do NOT take their coffee with dessert.  That comes afterwards, making yet another course.

Bon Appetit!

Gratitude and Comfort

DSC_0013

Grits with White Cheddar, Ham, and Jalapeño

There has been a shift in weather the last couple of days.  It is cooler, almost as if autumn is coming.  Changes in the weather can bring about different feelings.   Smells can bring on feelings.  Food and taste can bring a memory to us that was long forgotten.

Sometimes these memories and feelings are joyful, wonderful and all things good.  I get so excited with spring because warmer weather is coming after a cold winter.  At other times, it can be a trigger of anticipation and anxiety.  Sometimes, it can even bring on both positive and negative emotions.

I have felt peaceful and anxious, fearful and excited, stong and weak, grateful and selfish.  How can we feel so many different things at one time?   I don’t know but we do and it can come on as a tsunami.   School starts in less than a week.  Is summer really already over?

I had a party last weekend to celebrate 1 year of G&H being in business full-time.  I had no idea how fantastic owning a business would be but I had an intuition that said “do it”.  I am so grateful for all of my clients,  clients that have become close friends, old friends and new friends.  I am also grateful for the courage that I found to take this delightful and sometimes difficult journey.   I am grateful to those who have worked with me.  It can sometimes be too quiet in the kitchen.  I love shooting the shit and solving the worlds problems while chopping and dicing.  But most importantly, I want to thank those people who are so dear to my heart.  My Gabby Goose who just walk outside with her baby doll and came right up to me while I was typing away, to give me a kiss.  She knows I am working and to not bother me while I am writing so she doesn’t say a word.  She just kisses me to remind me she loves me, and what I am doing all of this for.  I am grateful for my older daughters who know me well enough to ask if I need help when they see me running around frantically to make sure every detail is perfect for a party.   Emma reminded me the other day that I was a good mom.  Those words coming from a 13 year old’s mouth makes you stop whatever it is you’re doing.  There is always room for improvement, which she has reminded me of, but not that day.  Allie, my oldest, who always laughs with me (or at me) when I get too serious.  It reminds me life is too short to take things too seriously.  I am grateful for my parents and brother who stand by me when things aren’t as easy as I would like them to be.  With every adventure, comes stumbling blocks.   My Dad loves telling the story of me touching a hot stove eye right after he told me not to do it because it was hot.  I do like to discover things on my own.  I am grateful for those few best girlfriends that like to enjoy wine, test my food, have belly laughs and maybe do a little venting.  I am super grateful for my best friend.  He knew right away that I was a creative and passionate person when we first met.  Passion can be a wonderful thing when life is going well, but challenging when things aren’t going the way I think they should.   At least, that is what he said.  🙂

I am so grateful for all of you.  You see things in me that I have yet to discover and it gives me such encouragement!  I have picked some awesome people to surround myself.  Thank you!

On that note, I would like to share a little comfort food recipe.  Grits are comfort food in the south. These aren’t the instant grits that are sold in super markets up north.  These are the stone ground corn grits that we are lucky enough to have in our southern markets.

Grits with White Cheddar, and Ham topped with Fresh Jalapeño Pepper

Ingredients

4 cups water

2 cups stone ground yellow or white corn grits

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick butter

1 cup shredded white sharp cheddar

1 cup chopped ham

salt and pepper

1 jalapeno ~seeded and diced

 

Directions

Begin by boiling your water.  When the water is boiling add a teaspoon of salt and your grits.  Stir occasionally to keep the grits from becoming clumpy or sticking to the bottom.  When the grits have absorbed all the water, add the heavy cream, butter, cheese and ham.   Once the cheese and butter have melted and are incorporated add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately and top with jalapeño.   If your grits become to thick, just add a little more cream or milk.

This is a great recipe for breakfast, brunch or dinner.   I hope it brings you great comfort no matter what feelings you may be feeling today.  And whatever those feelings are, I hope you know that you are loved.  I love you.  And thank YOU for reading my silly, serious, and sometimes savory words.  I am very grateful.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Egg White, Spinach, Mushroom and Gruyère Quiche

Egg White Quiche with Spinach Mushrooms and Gruyere

Egg White Quiche with Spinach Mushrooms and Gruyère

This month is already beaming with surprises.  I love this time of year so much!  There are celebrations everywhere.  Graduations, outdoor festivals, weddings, and bridal showers are all on the calendar for this month and I will be sure to share them with you.   Spring is in full bloom!

As I sit outside typing away, I feel a breeze that is just lightly brushing my skin and the sun is warming my core.  A day like today calls for brunch outdoors with friends and family.  I have the best Quiche recipe for you and your loved ones to enjoy.  It will not disappoint. This is easy to throw together, healthy for our bodies and your guests will love it.  It is delicious to they eyes and mouth.  Feel free to mix in different vegetables.  Just use the same egg and milk ratio.

This filling can be used for 8 smaller Quiche or one large Quiche.   I am using a store-bought pie dough.  There is a time and place for making pie shells but not today!  It is too beautiful outside to be stuck in the kitchen cooking all day.

Ingredients

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

1 small shallot minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

6 large egg whites

1/2 cup milk

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese plus extra for sprinkling on the top

1 Pie shell

 

Directions

Warm your olive oil in a saute pan and add the mushrooms and shallots.  Saute until the mushrooms are soft and then add the garlic and spinach.  Remove from the heat after a minute and the spinach is wilted.  Let this completely cool.  In a separate large bowl, mix your egg whites, milk, cup of Gruyère cheese and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.   Add your cooled mushroom and spinach mixture to the eggs.  Pour your filling into the pie shell or shells and sprinkle the top with your remaining cheese.  Bake the smaller Quiche for 20-25 minutes and the larger Quiche for 35-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked through but don’t overcook the eggs.

There really is no need to have a pie shell if you are looking to leave out a few extra calories.  You can cook the filling in a glass pie dish but it will not take as long!

Serve this with your favorite fruits and a mimosa.  Here is to more beautiful days to come and healthy eating.  Cheers!

 

Parties, Picnics, Sunshine, Oh My!

Pasta SaladIt is here!  This must be the last little cold snap we will have until fall.  Warm, wonderful sunshine is here!  Here is a fantastic recipe for you to use when you want to go out and enjoy this wonderful sunshine (even if only for a lunch break from the office).  This pasta is great for taking to the beach, to the pool, to a picnic, or sitting on the dock at the lake.  The reason~ it is delicious and light but it can be pulled out of the fridge and served at room temperature.

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives

1/2 cup chopped basil

1/2 cup olive oil

1 medium minced garlic

1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

1 16 ounce package pasta such as bow tie or penne

1 cup chopped cooked Chicken Breast or Tenders

crumbled feta cheese for topping

Directions

Mix first 5 ingredients in a large bowl and set aside for an hour to let flavors mix.  While flavors marinate, cook your pasta to al dente.  For a healthier option, use a whole wheat pasta.  Mix together cooked pasta, tomato/oil mixture, and your chicken pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.  Finish off with the crumble feta.

It doesn’t get easier than that!  With busy schedules, we need this quick recipe on hand!  It is also great for  last-minute entertaining or grilling.  You can omit the chicken and make it a side for your hamburgers on the grill.  The kids love it and so will you!  I could have an endless list of recipes with tomato and basil.  It screams sunshine!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter holiday and here’s to spring!  La Votre!

 

Pump the Brakes

Pasta with Tomato Basil Chicken and Feta

Pasta with Tomato Basil Chicken and Feta

I am a full speed kinda gal.  I get going on one thing, get pretty fixated and BOOM, realize I need to “pump the brakes”.  I really need a lesson on pumping as well.  It is usually a full on slam!

I have been focussing all my energies on getting my business up and running.  It has only been a little over a couple of months that I have been going full time with Grits and Honey.   In my irrational mind, I think I should be opening my 100th franchise.  In my realistic mind, I couldn’t be happier with what I have accomplished.  Companies  wanting to include me as a full time weekly vendor.  Clients wanting to me to cook for them personally twice a week.  I still have to pinch myself.  Me?  Don’t they know I do not have a clue and that I am just following my heart that doesn’t think.  I am a romantic.  It really is a strange concept.  I hope the bank will be so loving when I ask for that business loan.

So, in order to go enjoy lunch with a friend, I decided to make a simple meal of Pasta with fresh Tomato, Feta and Basil for the girls.   I made a little extra for them to take to lunch the following day.  This is also a favorite on the catering menu.   I like to add grilled chicken, kalamata olives or fresh grilled squash and zucchini.  This can be made in advance so if your lunch goes to two glasses of Pino you don’t have to sweat what is for dinner.  It is already done!

All you do is cook your pasta of choice.  Add fresh chopped tomato, fresh chopped basil, chop some grilled chicken, chop your olives, and mix it all together with extra virgin olive oil.  Sprinkle the top with crumbled feta and Viola!

I need reminding to enjoy life through the hectic day to day as mother and business owner.  We can all get smothered with stress.  I hope you will be reminded to take a moment and enjoy whatever it is that gives you peace.  Pump your brakes!