Lessons Learned… in the Kitchen

Quiche Lorraine

Hard to believe at my ripe old age of twenty-four, I still am learning lessons. ….. I sincerely hope that even though you are only reading this and you may have never met me before, you detected strong sarcasm in that first sentence!… But anyhow, I really am learning lessons. And I guess it’s a cliche-woman-thing but I learned a couple in the kitchen last night and this morning. (Side note: it is really weird when either I or other people refer to me as a woman. Serious question ladies out there, at what age did you begin to see yourself as a woman vs. a girl?)

Back to these lessons though. You shouldn’t leave your baking until after dark. For the following reasons this is so very true:

  1. Baking is a precise dance to be performed. At least more so than most other cooking methods. When it’s dark outside, for me at least, my brain is usually not operating at full-capacity. I tend to already be forgetful so take that and deprive of sleep and add in a million other things on my mind and you can only imagine how little I remember.
  2. This is the most important point I can make! Beings that it is either after 10 at night or before 7 in the morning, you are extremely limited on the lifelines that you can call. Luckily for me, I have my Aunt Diane that is pretty much a 24-hour cooking helpline. I honestly don’t think there is anyone else I would dare to call or text during these hours.
  3. Whether it’s the AM- or PM-kind-of-dark, you probably are missing some sort of ingredient. For example, last night, I was getting after a banana bread recipe. After some work, which will be discussed in the next point, I was about to add in my flour and baking soda to complete the batter when I realized my pantry was void of baking soda. For some strange, strange reason I have 2 full cans of baking powder and two full cans of cornstarch. But luckily, on this occasion I realized what I was missing before it was already in the oven.

    Fun Fact: If you are out of baking soda, you can use baking powder in its place if you take the amount needed of baking soda and multiply by 3. So for this recipe, 2 tsp. of baking soda was called for so I used 6 tsp. of baking powder. Your welcome I’m giving you that math for free!

    On the other hand you could also make the mistake of forgetting an ingredient until it was too late. Take this morning for example. I was making a Quiche Lorraine using the bacon and onions I needed to get rid of. Everything was going great, that is until about 10 minutes after I had put the quiche in the oven, it dawned on me that I failed to add the 2 tbsp. of flour to the egg mixture. Of course after 10 minutes in the oven, it was too late to be added but thankfully, it still set and turned out pretty darn delicious.
  4. Another thing you may realize when your brain isn’t fully functioning: you don’t have an electric mixer and that whisking by hand takes at least 3 times as long! Not to mention the effort! FYI banana bread batter is a bit challenging to whisk, I recommend the two-punch knockout between a spatula and whisk.
  5. Lastly, on a list that is forever growing but has to come to an end at some point, you question your ability to wake up to alarms. I stayed awake the whole time last night during the banana bread’s baking process. I know better than to trust myself to wake up. There is honestly no such thing as napping in the evening time for me.

In the end my luck prevailed and all of my goodies turned out edible ;) In total, I brought banana bread, quiche and cinnamon ice cream to work. It may seem like overkill, but when you love your co-workers and more importantly need to clean out your fridge, I tend to become generous with the food! Enjoy the recipes below courtesy of various family members and myself. And most importantly, be careful baking after dark!

Banana Bread  (Diane Mangold)

Banana Bread

2 c. mashed bananas
1 c. butter, softened (I used 1 c. butter flavored shortening… because it’s what I had!)
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda (…or 6 tsp. baking powder!)
2 ¼ c. flour

Mix together and bake @ 350° F for 50-55 minutes. Yep it’s that easy.

Quiche Lorraine (an adapted Quiche recipe from Teresa Tschirhart)

12 oz. bacon, diced and fried but not blackened!
½ – ¾ c. onion, chopped finely
½ c. milk
½ c. mayonnaise or plain yogurt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. flour
Pie Crust

Quiche LorraineDepending on how “Betty Crocker” you want to get, you can make your own pie crust or travel on down to your local HEB and pick up one of their ready made doughs. I used the HEB brand and was quite pleased, other than my lack of pie edge decorating skills. Let it sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before putting into pie dish. Once it is more pliable, work into pie dish with care. This should be pretty self-explanatory but for those that like visual demos, there is actually a YouTube video to show you how!

Fry bacon in a skillet. Or you could bake your bacon and crumble into the bottom of the pie shell. Add the finely chopped onion over the bacon. In another bowl, mix together the milk, mayo, eggs and flour, as well as any salt or pepper you’d like to add. Pour into the unbaked pie shell over the bacon and onions.

Place pie dish into a preheated oven at 350° F for 45 minutes. This recipe is pretty easy to transition through ingredients, looking back I realized this morning I was totally in la-la land because I also forgot the mayo, but it’s such a good recipe that it still works out!

And my ice cream recipe, you’ll just have to wait for. It deserves it’s very own post!

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