Sunday, January 13, 2013

Amazing spinach and bacon quiche

I love school holidays.
Despite the kids' fights, and the tears, and far too much TV, I love that in the past couple of weeks I've had time to indulge in some of the things I most love - the garden, a spot of reading, and a little bit of retail therapy.
Yesterday we picked about 3kg of tomatoes (of various colours, shapes and sizes) from our garden.
Now, if you're anything like me, and detest those poor excuses for tomatoes that they try to sell us at the supermarket and greengrocer, then you'd know I was quite literally in heaven.
We spent the afternoon making a batch of pasta sauce (onions, garlic, tomatoes, fresh basil and oregano, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar) and then bottled it for later use.
(Photography by Alice - age 6)

About 4 o'clock I was feeling a bit peckish, so I ducked down to the shops for a loaf of organic sourdough. It took me all of 10 minutes to slice it, toast it, rub on some fresh garlic (from the farm) and top it in diced tomatoes, basil from the garden, salt, pepper and oil. And it was the best tasting bruschetta I've ever had (yes, I was even compelled to share it on Facebook).

For dinner, we cooked a lamb mince bolognese-type dish with meat from the farm, some leftover chorizo and capsicum from the garden. The kids thought it was awesome.
Today, after another day of sunshine, we harvested another kilo of tomatoes - gorgeous yellow and red cherry tomatoes, romas and a beautiful round variety of which I wish I could remember the name!
We delivered two paper bags full to the neighbours and then I set to work on tonight's dinner... which kind of brings me to the point of this post!
I made a delicious quiche. And it went something like this:

Spinach, bacon, caramalised onion and roasted tomato quiche

Start by roasting your cherry tomatoes in a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. You want them soft and golden, without being burnt.
Blind bake some frozen shortcrust pastry according to the manufacturer's directions.
Roughly chop about two or three rashers of bacon and fry them off in a pan. Remove.
Now, I used the same pan for this but you could use a clean one. Slice two red onions and pop them into your pan with a small knob of butter, stirring until translucent. Add a small amount of water, to soften the onions, and cook until almost dry. Stir in a splash of balsamic vinegar and two teaspoons of brown sugar. What you want to end up with is a relish-type consistency. When they're done, set them aside.
Rinse and chop three stalks of silverbeet (or baby spinach, if you prefer) and with some water still on the leaves, pop it inside a sealed freezer bag in the microwave for about 45 seconds, to wilt.
Dice up about half a block of feta cheese.
Whisk four or five eggs with about half a cup of cream (I used the Philadelphia Cream for Cooking) and a splash of milk. Add salt, and pepper.
Once your tomatoes are done, and your pastry, it's time to assemble.
Spread your caramalised onion over the base, then fill the quiche dish with spinach, bacon, tomatoes and feta. Pour over your egg and cream mixture. Grate a little parmesan cheese over the top and pop it in a 180 degree oven until your egg mix has set and the top is golden.
Serve with a garden salad.

Mine was washed down with a nice Barossa red wine (my first drink since New Year's Eve!). And no, I don't have photos, because everyone was in too much of a hurry to eat! Needless to say though, it was amazing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Lucy!

My second baby Lucy celebrates her birthday on December 30 and it's always been such a difficult time of year for hosting parties!
This year though, for her 4th birthday, we decided to invite some special little friends for a New Year's Day 'Lemonade and Lollipops' party.
And oh what fun we had!

Thanks to super-cousin Eliza for the face painting, Bloom Designs Online for the invitations and printables, The Little Big Company for the drinks dispenser and lovely lollipops and Occasion by Design for the buckets and other bits and pieces.