Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cook Needs A Foot Rub

The workload this week has been hectic, to say the least.  Of course, much of it is self-imposed.  I enter registrations for medical programs and I like to get all of the ones submitted each day entered that same day. It's kind of an anal thing with me - I just don't like to open up the program in the morning and see a bunch that were submitted the day before that I have to get done before I can even start on the current day.  I'm a little strict with myself that way.  They keep asking me if I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I'm just stubborn enough to say no, no - I've got it, no problem.  And then I cry a little bit and pound down a Diet Coke.
Today was a little bit better, so I thought that I would cook a dinner that was a little more involved tonight. It's a recipe from Williams Sonoma: Savory Skillet Pie.  You can get the recipe right off of their website.

This is not my quiche - this is Williams Sonoma's... the crust should look like this.  
But mine was just as tasty and almost as pretty

 I'd made it once before, and I remembered that it was a little bit involved.  A lot of chopping.  A lot of steps.  But I'd forgotten that when I made it before, my husband was home and was being my sous chef.  Tonight I was on my own.  L had texted me that he would be about an hour late - that means he was going to have a 2 hour commute because of bad traffic.  So I thought I had plenty of time.
I mixed up the cornmeal pastry dough and chilled it.  While that was happening, I diced an onion, and sliced a red pepper.  My daughter called so I had a little chat with her.  She is doing really well with her little children's necklace business.  I will have a couple of her necklaces soon for a giveaway - I'm just trying to decide on which ones.  So all of you with little girls or little granddaughters, start to get very excited because these are really REALLY cute.  But I digress.
When I'd made the pastry dough, I remembered that last time there was not quite enough because my cast iron skillet is kind of big.  So I made about a recipe and a half.  Everything seemed fine.  It rolled out easily and I had plenty.  I was even able to crimp the edges like in the picture.  I was so proud.  So cocky.  I pricked the sides and bottom and put it in to bake.
When I checked on it after about 5 minutes I was horrified.  Apparently I'd put in too much butter ( I admit I am not a great pastry chef) and my lovely crimping had collapsed and was kind of melting down the side of the pan.  I pulled it out of the oven and tried to use a wooden spoon to push it back up.  So not pretty anymore.  But it was working, even if it wasn't beautiful.
While that finished baking, I cut the kernels off of two ears of corn.  Oh - and before that I fried up some bacon.  The crust finished baking, and while that was cooling, I sauteed the onions, pepper strips and corn in the bacon fat.  It was supposed to be in 1 T of bacon fat, but I got a little bit lazy and didn't exactly measure.  I think there was too much bacon fat because it was a little bit liquidish.  Oh well...  Added some string beans and sauteed some more.  Pour all of that in a bowl.  Husband called in the middle of all of that and I answered and kind of yelled "What?  I'm a little busy here!"  (Phone calls are the devil when you're in the middle of cooking hell)
Grab the chard out of the fridge.  Dang - I'd forgotten to wash it, so I started running water over it.  No time to dry it.  Cut it quickly into strips and threw it in the pan to wilt it.  Done.  Throw it in with the other veggies.
Beat 3 eggs with 1 1/4 C half and half.  Ran out of half and half and had to use some heavy cream instead.  Don't be like me.  Salt and pepper.  Crumble bacon into it.  Add 1 C shredded cheddar cheese.  Maybe a little bit more - I am a slothful measure-er.  Stir into veggie mixture.  Dump everything into the crust and bake for 35 minutes.
And this is when my husband walked in the door.  The kitchen looked like I'd been cooking non stop for days, and there was a fine film of flour in the air.  More than a fine film on my black yoga pants, and a mild dusting on my face.  I looked hot, I tell you.  You may kiss the cook.
And after baking for 35 minutes...Hmmm... still watery.  Bake for 10 more minutes.  Long story short, it ended up baking an extra 25 minutes - probably because of the water clinging to the chard and the extra bacon fat I hadn't measured.  But no harm done in the end.  The cornmeal crust was crunchy and the filling was savory and cheesy and creamy.  So. Good.  Now that it's all over and the kitchen (which was a total train wreck I might add) is cleaned up, I can feel warm and fuzzy about this recipe again.  Plus, we are only two people and it will feed 8.  And quiche is like lasagna - it only gets better the second/third time around.  Good thing too, because I don't know if I'll be up to making something new tomorrow night.  Cook needs a night off.


  1. Karen, I understand, I really REALLY so do, that it is not nice to laugh at your misery. but i did. Sister you could have been playing back almost any night in my kitchen as of late. See, I'm not in there as often as I used to be and I get all flustered and lost in what used to be familiar territory. So break out the wine glasses and here's a toast to you and your Williams Sonoma Savory Skillet Pie.

    Foot rub to be provided hopefully by L!


  2. Reading about your cooking experience reminded me once again why I do not enjoy culinary activities. But you pulled it off!


  3. Oh, I was there with you through all of that! It really does sond delicious, despite all you went through. I am going to check out the Williams Sonoma site for that recipe, too!

  4. Such industry. Yet, it looks as if you executed it flawlessly. Sometimes the best results come from arduous endeavors. It's like my weekend last week had a film of despondency, sagging spirits, not enough kindness to improve the flavor, but the result this week is something much different ~ xox Alexandra

  5. My daughter always says, "Did you follow the recipe or is that a 'made-up' recipe."

    meaning......I don't do well with measuring when I cook.

    Your post made me smile this morning :)

  6. I'm always changing up the recipe and my hubby says I have to use every pot, pan, cooking utensil and ingredient in the house! So I sympathize with you...sounds like you pulled it off though..good job,now go get that foot rub!

  7. Dang that looks and sounds good! Jilda is a great cook. I'm going to look for that recipe.

  8. I'm all about having a crying fit and then pounding down a can of diet coke! :) You make me smile. I would have loved some of that quiche. sounds divine.

  9. May your day and joy be as lovely as the morning way over here on the other side ~ xox Alexandra

  10. I loved your writing on this! Very descriptive and I felt I was right there in your kitchen with you.... flour floating in the air. Honestly that quiche looks wonderful!


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