Christmas Quiche

quicheWe are baking Christmas breads and Christmas cookies, so when I made this quiche a couple of nights ago, I dubbed it “Christmas Quiche.” Joe says it is my best effort for quiche so far, and I make alot of different ones, so this one is a keeper.  I have an old cookbook from The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. One day I noticed a quiche recipe in it titled Quiche with Character.  I like recipe names that catch my eye, so modeled this recipe after that one. Adding chilies, green onions and olives with pimiento makes both appearance and flavor festive – a Christmas quiche!

Christmas Quiche

Pie  Crust for 9 inch pie (I used Pillsbury refrigerated crusts)

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexcian 4 Cheese blend ( Cheddar, monterey jack, asadero, queso quesadilla)

4 strips thick cut bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled into small pieces

2 chopped green onions, including green tops

1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

3 large eggs

1 cup half -and-half

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon salt

4-5 drops Tobasco

1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained

1/3 cup sliced green olives stuffed with pimiento

Line pie plate with crust and chill.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread shredded cheese over bottom of pie shell.  Sprinkle with Creole Seasoning.

Add crumbled bacon.

Beat eggs and add cream, half and half, salt, Tabasco, chlies, olives, and green onions. Pour over cheese and bacon. Bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.




Pumpkin Bread


I first learned to bake pumpkin bread in 1966 when we moved in our first house and I learned how wonderful neighbors can be!  Amon and Lucille White lived next door. I believe this recipe came from Lucille, although it was very popular among others on South Little John Circle.  For many years I baked it as we did then – in three/1 pound coffee cans, so the loaves were lovely and round and sliced beautifully. Of course, then 1 pound coffee cans became smaller than 1 pound, and baking in any kind of can became questionable so now I make this in 2 loaf pans.   This is guaranteed to make your kitchen smell like Christmas.

IMG_1392Pumpkin Nut Bread

3 eggs

3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can pureed pumpkin

1 cup oil (original recipe called for Mazola)

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon soda

1 cup chopped nuts

Grease loaf pans and fill half full (1966 in 3 one pound coffee cans) and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until done.  Turn upside down on rack when removed from oven and let cool before removing from pan.

Gingerbread House, Now and Then


Gingerbread House Cake, 2012


Gingerbread House, 1973

Almost 40 years ago, in this picture our sons Benjamin, Jeremy, and Sean admire one of the first gingerbread houses I ever made.  They did help!  We didn’t know that many years later, Sean’s 10 year old daughter would be baking and I would be helping her!

Skye and I enjoyed making a wonderful gingerbread house cake this year.  A simple dusting of “snow” was all the decoration needed and this cake is definitely a joy to eat. Nordic Ware has a collection of these pans, which range from this size down so you could make a whole gingerbread village!  We used the gingerbread recipe that came on the Nordic Ware cake pan label, but any 9 cup bundt cake recipe will work.  Next time we will use a recipe that includes dark brown sugar and/or dark molasses so the cake will be a darker color.  This recipe from the February 2000 issue of Gourmet Magazine uses both, as well as dark beer.  I seldom post a recipe I haven’t tried, but maybe this is one we can try out together.  Let me know what you think.  If you don’t have the house cake pan, use a traditional bundt pan.

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread Cake
by Claudia Fleming
Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY
1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Special equipment:
a 10-inch (10- to 12-cup) bundt pan

unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream.

Gingerbread is better if made a day ahead. It will keep 3 days, covered, at room temperature.

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Christmas Making and Baking


Many of the things I am making and baking in my kitchen just a little over a week before Christmas will include Meyer lemons.  Our little tree’s branches,  bent over to the ground with fruit, seemed to breathe a sigh of relief as we harvested lemon after lemon, a few at a time for weeks, until freezing temperatures last week led us to finish the job.  The basket here is what remains after we have given away several bags, so I have pulled out my list of 101 things to do with a Meyer lemon list and  we are happily enjoying these golden, juicy jewels before we freeze the rest of them whole.

I have posted previous recipes using the Meyers, but this morning I made an untried one:  Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones.  I cut the scones with my grandmother’s old tin biscuit cutter, which made the whole process feel like I was including her in our Christmas baking.  The recipe will surely make the keepers file, so this is what I share today.  More to come, most certainly!


   Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Scones                            Yield: Makes 16

2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons; preferably Meyer)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tablespoons additional if using fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries or dried cherries
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 400°F. and line a large baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

Remove the zest from lemons.  Reserve lemons for another use.

In a food processor pulse flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and zest until mixture resembles coarse meal and transfer to a large bowl. If no food processor is available, simply cut in the butter and dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by passing two knives across each other until the mixture is the right appearance.  Add the dried cranberries.

In another small bowl lightly beat egg and yolk and stir in cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.

On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round (about 8 inches in diameter) and with a 2-inch round cutter or rim of a glass dipped in flour cut out  rounds, bunching scraps as necessary. Arrange rounds about 1 inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until  golden. Scones keep 1 day or frozen 1 week.

When I began my first blog, Mappings for this Morning, I wrote about many of the recipes that have been part of our Christmas kitchen.  I include a link to that post.  Is there a recipe there you would like to see on Kitchen Keepers?  Let me know in a comment!