As some of you might have already noticed I'm obsessed with soups! I think they're the perfect comfort food for the cold weather and, even so, I love to cook them year round taking advantage of the different vegetables that are in season.
With tomato soup I think there is a hate/love relationship - either you love it or hate it. I LOVE it! My son also craves for a bowl, once in a while, and now I got the husband on board too! I found this roasted tomato soup when I was wondering around Facebook and it was on the Jamie Oliver page, from another English cook. I found the recipe so simple and the end result so irresistibly yummy that i decided to try it out. It turned out perfect! Creamy, with a deep flavor from the roasted tomatoes and with a freshness from the fresh basil that keeps it fragrant until the last spoonful. The sweet, sticky textures of the tomatoes works wonders in making up a smooth cream.
I'm sharing it so you can also try it out. I love visiting pages from professional Chefs and cooks in search of new ideas or combos that I can apply to my own cooking experiences. It's such an enriching way of trying out new flavors and ingredients which is one of the main things that I love about cooking.
1 - Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2 - Wash the tomatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut them in half and arrange them on a baking tray, cut side up. Add the tomato stems for extra flavor.
3 - Drizzle the tomatoes with the olive oil and season with a bit of coarse salt. Not too much, you can fix this later on. Add the garlic bulb, cut in half. Roast the tomatoes in the oven, for about 30 minutes.
4 - Remove the tomatoes out of the oven and transfer everything to a big pot, removing the tomato stems and the thyme sprigs. Squeeze the garlic out of the peel and add it to the tomatoes in the pot. Add the bone broth (I used the Bare Bones bone broth with tomatoes and spice) and cook, in medium heat, for about 30 minutes. This extra cooking time allows for the soup to develop a deep flavor and makes it even more flavorful.
5 - After this time the liquid must have reduced a bit and the soup should be thicker. Add a bunch of fresh basil, according to your liking, and blend the soup with an immersion blender. If the soup is too thick just add some more extra broth or vegetable stock until you reach the desired consistency.
6 - Cook again for another 30 minutes and enjoy this delicious warm soup on a cold winter day.
I loved the taste and texture of this soup and will be cooking this again and again over the next winter months.
There's nothing like a really hot bowl of soup on a snowy day, right?
Christmas is a special family time and, as usual, it involves food and old traditions that get passed on from different generations. Back in Portugal we have a very rich culinary traditional, not only on the holidays but all year round. Our cook books go back hundreds of years and are filled with wonderful and tasty recipes of meat, fish and sweet treats. The baking art has been around for so long that it has evolved and followed the modern trends - you can find the most different breads, from the traditional (Mafra bread, Saloio bread, Portuguese rolls) to the most up to date versions of bread, with seeds, chia or whatever new trendy ingredient you can find.
The pastry and baking heritage is particularly strong when it comes to Christmas specific items. It's unimaginable a Christmas without Filhós or Coscoroes (depending on the region of Portugal you're in), Broas de mel, Sonhos (fried dough with a sugar and cinnamon coating) or Bolo-rei. There is also a different version of this cake, the Queen-cake, that doesn't have the sugary fruits, just the raisins and nuts. I do prefer that version but I wanted to represent the most traditional version which is the one I baked.
I used a recipe from a Portuguese blog, by Leonor de Sousa Bastos. It's an amazing blog dedicated to pastry and it really makes you hungry just by looking at the pictures! those are taken by photographer Miguel Coelho. I'd be more than happy if you would visit and take a look around the delicacies that Leonor shares with her readers. You can access the blog here. I adjusted some thing from the original recipe but kept the main recipe in the core ingredients.
1 - Get all your ingredients measured and lined up so you can get the recipe going smoothly.
2 - Dissolve the yeast in the slightly warm milk and add the flour. These are the first three ingredients on the list. Mix well to get the yeast dissolved and cover with some plastic wrap. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes so the mix will double its size and creates some bubbles on the surface.
3 - In the meantime, mix the raisins with the Port wine to get the flavor developing.
4 - Use the mixer to beat the sugar with the butter, the orange, the lemon zest and the vanilla extract until the mixture get bubbly and whitish. Add the egg ad beat a bit more.
5 - Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add the first mix with the yeast, in the batter that you just prepared. Mix everything at a medium speed and add the remaining flour, bit by bit. Add the raisins with the wine and continue to mix the dough for about 25 minutes. Add some more flour if the dough seems to sticky.
6 - Add the nuts and the sugary fruits and mix just to get them evenly distributed throughout the dough. That the dough out of the mixer bowl and turn it into a ball. Place it on a bowl, dust it with flour and let the dough rise fr about an hour, an hour and a half. The time necessary for it to double in size.
I did add extra nuts regarding the original recipe but I do LOVE nuts and the more the merrier! Be sure to reserve some of the fruits and nuts to decorate the cake before baking it in the oven. The amount will depend on the size of the cake after rising but a good amount is best! Don't save them, use all you can!
7 - Take the dough out of the bowl, press it and wok it a bit and turn it into a round shape with a whole in the middle. If necessary place a heat resistant cup, upside down in the middle of the dough so the whole won't close while the cake is baking.
8 - Place the dough on a baking sheet and wait for another hour, hour and a half so it doubles in size again.
9 - Brush the top of the cake with the egg yolk and sprinkle some more sugary fruit and nuts on top of the cake, pressing them onto the dough, in order for them to stick well. Bake the cake in a 360 F oven until its golden and fragrant.
The cake didn't rise as I was expecting it to, probably due to the different conditions here. Altitude has a lot of influence on baking and rising dough but I'm not sure if that was the reason. Either way the taste was perfect and the cake was really soft.
I froze the cake, well wrapped in parchment paper and aluminum foil and had it it the oven right the next day to serve to my family, warm, right of the oven. It turned out great and it's also really tasty just warmed up a bit on the microwave.
It's usually served up for Christmas so I served it on a Christmas serving plate.
It's always a pleasure to share traditional Portuguese recipes, here on the blog, and I'd love to know if someone has tried this before. Let me know how it turned out!
We all know how full and busy our days can get, right? Having children in school ages implies school activities, sports, play dates and all the time we have to spend doing all of that, we end up having to rush up dinner and get something fast on the table. I like to cook and, luckily, I've been having enough time to plan our family meals and do all of the grocery shopping and prep which also saves me a lot of time and stress!
I'm thinking about looking for a part-time job for next year and getting right on track with a cooking routine that will help me get there smoothly is key.
There are a lot of people who may feel overwhelmed and end up feeling frustrated about not getting balanced and nutritious meals on the table by the end of the day. For these families a meal delivery service is the answer and here, in Scotch Plains, we have that through Perfectly Portioned.
The service was created by Rebecca and Joe. Rebecca has a background training in health and fitness coaching with a nutritional component that makes it easier for her to come up with balanced and nutritious meals. Joe is a Chef and is currently working as a general manager at a local restaurant. The idea of coming up with a meal delivery service came around about a year ago - with the cooking skills and the nutritional knowledge they decided to go for a structured system. The menu is very diverse and offers meat, fish and seafood choices, as well as a breakfast option and several side dishes.
There is also the option of mentioning any restrictions that the person making the order may have in order to make sure that everything cooked is according to the information given. All of this can be specifically organized for someone - if your goal is to loose weight, then Rebecca will guide you in recommending the specific meals, according to your own preferences, to achieve your goals. A personal program will be set and the team will work with you to get you where you need to be, nutrition and weight wise. Another situation is going organic and asking for meals cooked just with organic ingredients - just place your suggestion and the team will go through it with you.
There is also room for suggestions and new additions to the menu according to what people start ordering. There have been several dishes that were added to the menu due to the fact that clients where asking for them, specifically, even though they were not on the menu. I think that's all about a costumer based business: listening to the costumers and letting them in, helping to grow and diversify the offer, in this case, the items on the menu.
The service is currently available in Scotch Plains, Westfield, Clark, Fanwood, Cranford and surrounding areas. It serves about 9 families/week and the orders must be made by the end of the week - Joe preps and cooks the meals on Sunday and delivers them on Mondays. There is a possibility of leaving a cooler out, in case the person won't be home, and the order will be left inside the cooler to guarantee that it stays fresh until the time the client gets home.
As for the price, the entrees are $15 each and $10 for any additional ones. For children, the portions are smaller and come at $5 each. So, for a family of four, two adults and two children, a full meal will come at $35. If you decide to give it a try there is a New Year's special discount - get $15 off any order of $80 or more.
Rebecca and Joe were kind enough to sample me two meals so I could try the food. I chose two dinner options: brushetta chicken and chile herb salmon, with two sides: rosemary potatoes and sauteed mushrooms.
When I got the food I was really impressed with the packaging. Everything was tightly sealed and labeled so there was no issue in figuring out if the order was right because everything was pretty well organized.
I decided to have one of the meals for dinner and leave the other one for lunch, the next day. I started with the salmon, which was perfectly cooked! I do love fish and cook a lot of it but sometimes people tend to overcook salmon. This was right on point, perfect, moist and super tasty. I loved the spicy seasoning and the portion size was pretty good. I couldn't finish all of it but was glad to have some leftovers! The rosemary potatoes were also really good, with the flavor from the herbs coming out really fragrant.
A delicious salmon dinner and some leftovers for the next day! Really impressed with the fish.
The brushetta chicken was very fresh and the tomato salsa added a great kick, with the onions bursting with flavor. I decided to have it on a wrap, together with the sauteed mushrooms, and it turned out to be a perfect light lunch for a cool fall day. Once again the seasoning was great, lots of flavor and the texture was juicy. I also ended up having enough to make 2 wrap meals which is a fairly good price for a good quality meal.
I was pretty happy with the food. Great taste, great cooking and delicious texture which makes me think about ordering, whenever I don't feel like cooking at all!
The order form can be found here and be sure to mention any restriction or special requests. Rebecca and Joe will me more than happy to help you with your choices and nutritional needs. Just make sure to order by the end of the week so you can get your meals delivered by Monday.
As a side note, all the meals are already fully cooked, except for the baked zitti which has to be cooked in the oven for about 30 minutes when you decide to have it ready. Although this information is not on the form, Perfectly Portioned also does catering services and is available for Christmas and New Year parties. Be sure to give them a call and get some information on their catering menus.
I'll leave the information about the current menu so you can take a look and decided if you want to try the service out. There's an option for everyone and, even if you don't see something you were looking for, give Rebecca a call (973-9513535) and she'll take your requests under consideration and will sure manage to make it happen!
I hope you had a good time going through this blog post and I'll be more than happy if you decide to try the Perfectly Portioned meal delivery service. It's another local business that counts on the community for support and encouragement.
As for me, I'll keep sharing our local businesses in the hopes of helping out in a way that I can and love to do.
I'm all about salads, even in the cold weather. I use vegetables a lot and roasting them is a great way to enhance their flavor and get them a softer texture - add them to some leafy greens and you have a pretty healthy and tasty salad.
Beets are always the kind of root vegetable that people either love or hate. I love them and usually boil them in hot water for about 20 minutes until tender and add them to whatever protein I'm cooking, serving them as a side dish, seasoned with olive or avocado oil, salt, freshly ground pepper and balsamic glaze. These is a great and simple side dish and the glaze, as opposed to the simple balsamic vinegar gives it a thick consistency which works great with the earthy flavor of the beets!
This time I was in the mood of roasting vegetables so i decided to whip up this tasty salad.
1 - Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2 - Peel the beets, slice them in medium thickness slices and arrange them on a baking sheet so they won't overlap. It's better to do this wearing some plastic disposable gloves if you don't want your hands turning purple, from the beets!
3 - Peel and dice the red onions in big chunks and add them to the beets. Season with the salt, freshly ground pepper, fresh thyme and garlic powder.
4 - Give it a swirl, mixing everything together in order to spread the seasoning all over the vegetables. Add the avocado oil and the balsamic glaze and roast the beets in the oven for about 35 minutes. With this cooking time they'll be crunchy, just like I like them. If you want them softer cook them for an additional 10-15 minutes.
5 - Turn the heat off and take the vegetables out of the oven.
6 - Assemble the salad on a serving plate: lay the arugula leaves on the bottom, add the roasted vegetables (don't forget to remove any big thyme sprigs) and give it a toss to get some seasoning from the beets on the arugula too.
7 - Add some crumbled goat cheese and the walnuts on top of the salad and drizzle some extra balsamic glaze on top as a finishing touch.
Lovely and tasty! This was perfect for a cold snow day in new Jersey.
Have you tried winter salads yet? I'd love to know all about it in the comments. Don't be shy and share you favorite ingredients!
Is there a more fun food holiday tradition than baking cookies with the kids?! I guess not!
My kids love cookies and I usually buy some packages of the "usual suspects", like Oreos, ChipsAhoy and our beloved Maria cookies. Back in Portugal, Maria cookies are always a success and kids are used to eating them since they are toddlers. Although the pre-packages cookies are, indeed, convenient we also like to bake our own cookies once in a while.
Chocolate chip cookies are a must but for the holiday season I think butter cookies are the best! They are crunchy, sweet, flaky and simply delicious! I have to control myself and the kids to not eat a whole batch of butter cookies at once! The recipe I used is the most simple ever and I can't even remember where I got it from...probably just browsing on the internet trying to find something sweet, easy to make and fast to get on the plate!
1 - Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2 - Cream the butter and the sugar on the mixer, until the mixture is pretty fluffy. Add the flour and mix well.
3 - Roll the dough in a log form and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes just for the dough to harden a bit.
4 - Roll the dough on a working surface sprinkled with flour and work the dough, pressing it and rolling it with a rolling pin. Cut the cookies in the preferred shapes - we used Christmas cookie cutters, which the kids absolutely adore!
5 - Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes and let them cool on a baking rack so they get crunchy and flaky.
You can also decorate the cookies with icing if you feel like it or if your kids like it but we prefer the cookies plain and golden, just like the ones in the picture. I always try to make sure that we have, at least, two cookies of the same shape so the kids won't get into a fight over the cookies! If you've got kids you know how it goes, right?!
As you can see, this is a pretty easy recipe and I guarantee that you'll get some happy guests if you serve them up some of these cute treats. Who can resist a sweet lovely reindeer, like this one?
I've been trying out some recipes for the holiday season and I'm so excited to be sharing this recipe with you! I love puff pastry because it really is one of the most versatile ingredients you can use - you can use it to make sweet treats, savory appetizers or delicious pot pies, like the ones I did last week. here. For appetizers I've been thinking about these pesto and bacon roll ups that I'll be trying out next week and, if they turn out perfect, I'll be sure to post them on the blog and social channels so you'll be able to try the recipe yourself.
This time I was thinking Brie and nuts and the fact that I had some fig preserve with Earl Grey, from Rare Birds preserves sitting around in my fridge, I decided to incorporate it on the recipe too and it was the perfect addition!
Salty, flaky pastry, nutty and lightly sweet, this was a total success on the appetizer front!
1 - Get the puff pastry on a working surface, like a wooden board and, if necessary, mark the round shape and cut it so that it will be your puff pastry crown base.
At this point it is ideal that you transfer the puff pastry, with some parchment paper on the bottom, to the baking sheet so it doesn't loose its shape, in case you decide to do this step later. I forgot to do this and it was way more complicated afterwards!
2 - Mark the inner circle and the triangles of pastry that you will need to make the crown. If necessary scroll down to the last pictures so you can get the idea of what I'm talking about.
3 - Distribute the fig preserve, evenly, on the borders of the bigger circle.
I'm in LOVE with these preserves! They are certainly unique and they've got a unique texture and smoothness that makes you want to try them all at once. Please, look them up and try them, if you haven't already done it!
4 - Distribute the Brie, cut in small wedges, by the border of the puff pasty, like shown in the picture.
5 - After getting the cheese on board, sprinkle some of the crushed walnuts on top of the cheese and fold the sharp end of each puff pastry triangle and folded it inside in order to create a pocket to keep the cheese inside. Use a bit of water to get the bits of pastry to glue to one another.
6 - Brush the puff pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle some extra walnuts on top and between each segment.
7 - Bake the puff pastry crown at 400 F for about 25 minutes, or until the puff pastry turns golden.
This was so delicious that I wanted to eat almost half of it as son as I took it off the oven! Seriously!!!
I tried one piece and I decided to freeze the rest of it, in two separate foil packs. I was having people over the next week and that would be the perfect appetizer. After serving it I guarantee you that it was an utter success and everyone enjoyed it. I should have made it bigger!
I'll be serving this again and I'll try different combinations of cheese and preserves to get different flavor combos going on! Let me know if you try this in your home!
As usual, I found out about this catering service, from Fanwood, through the community Facebook page. The power of social networks is undeniable and, if that can have negative consequences, it can also have great advantage like promoting small and local businesses. Just from walking around Scotch Plains I would have never know that Savory Selections was a thing but this way I did, and I'm so glad I found it!
On a first contact I talked to Felton Jones, which is the co-owner alongside his wife Jill. They immediately offered to sample me a meal that they would prepare and, of course, I said yes! I love cooking but I also love to try other people's cooking and it's so good to be out of the kitchen once in a while, getting to know new and different ways to cook familiar ingredients. We set up a day and time and there was Felton, delivering me my meal.
First let me tell you a bit about this nice couple that decided to make their catering services available to our community. Jill and Felton are married and they have a son and both have full time jobs! Combining that with the catering service is a challenge that they took, in the hopes of embracing the passion for cooking and making a supplementary source of income out of it. It certainly is a challenge that they take on fearlessly! They have to rent a kitchen space every time there's a catering service happening or if there is some recipe testing going on. Looking for a permanent solution is Jill's focus now so the business an flourish and expand even more.
One of the reasons I try to get these local businesses out there is because we all know the big companies and service providers. We see their adds, we hear about them through friends and family but, as a community, we have a duty which is support our own local people, our local businesses so we can empower them and let them be known and wanted. They sure are needed because a service has to have a heart - anyone can sell something once, the hard thing is to keep something going and making it a truly rewarding life experience.
I got a tray of garlic shrimp, with rice and green beans. It was simply delicious, extremely well seasoned and cooked to perfection. Everyone knows that you can't cook shrimp too much or it will turn to rubber and these were just perfect! I like my food well seasoned and flavorful and, sometimes, when I go to a restaurant and order something I was really eager to have, it turns out to be a disappointment because there's no flavor, no seasoning, no life! I've got the message on the catering service, for sure - you'll get lots of flavor and home made style food. Cooking is something that anyone can do but cooking with soul is a thing reserved to those who really are passionate about turning ingredients into something amazing and memorable!
I was pretty happy with the delivery and the presentation was really carefully thought off. Nothing spilled, everything in perfect order and, look at that, I even got a dessert beautifully packaged and decorated with a bow.
One of the things I first notice about any service is the attention given to details. That really shows the commitment that those people are putting into their business and I really appreciated the gesture. The dessert was a mouthwatering, still warm, peach cobbler! Oh, my! My kids devoured it and I was able to save some for me and my husband for the next day, just because I was serving and doing some portion control. Otherwise, it would have been all gone! It was creamy, smooth, sweet and with the right amount of crunchiness on the topping.
I'm guessing I'll have to try these at home because now my son is always talking about the cobbler! The recipe Jill uses was her mother's and, once again, that just gives food a whole different meaning and value - traditions and values can be passed with recipes and the flavors that are familiar to us are something that we love to share, just like Jill does with her cooking.
I just noticed that I started with the dessert description before talking about the entree but, really, it was super yummy and I had to share it with you!
The shrimp was really well presented and the sides were a good complement. The rice was tasty, with the peppers and the seasoning and the green beans gave it a lightness that went really well with the garlicky shrimp. Something with a smoother taste and texture is the ideal pairing for a bold flavored protein dish, like the shrimp. We really enjoyed trying out the food and we got 3 meals out of this, which was pretty good.
Savory Selections has a very wide range of dishes that you can choose from, and there is a dish for everyone, I'm sure. There are two options, in terms of size of the orders:
Just to give you an idea of what you can get delivered, if you ever decide to use their services, you can choose from the following items:
There are also several vegetable dishes, cold salads and appetizers that can be ordered and, of course, any special request is always attended. If you have any food restriction be sure to let the owners know and they will provide everything at your own taste.
I'll also leave you with the desserts, in case you became interested in the peach cobbler!
The catering service provided by Savory Selections also includes food preparation, delivery and set up. Servers are also available upon request and you can hire Jill and Felton's services for events up to 100 guests. In this case, the price per person will be based on menu selection.
Once again, the owners are always receptive to any suggestions you may have and are glad to adjust their service to your own needs. If you have something that you would like to have at your party or reception ad it's not on the menu it's just a matter of talking it through with Jill and Felton and they will do everything to comply with your needs.
I had the most enjoyable evening talking to Jill and getting to know a bit more about Savory Selections Catering. Two girls talking about food, cooking and what makes them happy is the most amazing end of a weekday for me. I hope you try the services whenever you need this kind of catering solution, I truly recommend it and hope that it'll be around for many decades to come!
I love comfort food!
Flavors and ingredients that take us back to a really cozy and familiar feeling that just make us happy all day long. I've been wanting to try this recipe of onion soup for a while, but since the kids don't like it I had to wait for a day when the hubby would be at home so, he too, could enjoy this amazingly superb soup!
This really should be called "onion banquet" since it's so rich and full of flavor! When I cooked it I had nothing else prepared for us, because it is a truly hearty bowl of food and you really don't need anything else. The warm broth, the creamy and sugary onions and the cheesy bread on top are all you need to be satisfied for a long time, believe me!
I used the Bare Bones tomato and spice bone broth which gave the onion soup a body of nutrients and collagen that are a plus, when you're trying to get something more of your meals rather then flavor. Collagen and everything that bone broth contains is essential to our bodies and if we can help it by consuming more of it, so be it.
I've become a fan of bone broth and from now on there's no going back!
You can find it, here, on amazon: (affiliate link):
1 - Melt the butter in a pan and add the onions, peeled and sliced in medium sized slices. I cooked this soup on the Instapot and for that step I used the ''sautee" function. Season the onions with salt, freshly ground pepper, onion powder and thyme. I cooked the onions until I could see some brown color on the bottom of the pot. That's some flavorful stuff!
2 - Add the Bare Bones bone broth, the water and the vegetable stock (in my case, I added turkey stock). Close the lid and set the Instapot on the "pressure cooking" mode for 20 minutes.
3 - When the cooking time comes to an end let the steam vent naturally but with the Instapot turned on. This will give your onion soup an extra boost of flavor, due to the extra cooking time.
4 - Preheat the oven at 400 F. Brush some baguette slices with olive oil, season with some garlic powder and cover with mozzarella cheese. Take these to the broiler for a couple of minutes, literally! Keep in mind that the broiler is super hot and an extra minute can get you extra burnt baguette!
5 - Serve the soup in a big bowl with the cheesy baguette slices.
It's a super easy soup to cook and it has just simple ingredients that we usually have around the house. Using the pressure cooker or Instapot will save you time and trouble and you can get a comfort meal with no effort at all with a very low cost.
Do you like onion soup? Let me know about it!
I love quiches and I think they are a great dish because you can also add or remove any ingredient that you find in a recipe like this to please everyone! It's a very versatile dish which allows you to adapt it to whatever guests you're having if you're cooking it for a get together.
This time I decided to skip the crust and cut on the calories and extra fat! We just had Thanksgiving and Christmas is at the door so we've got to cut back a bit to be able to indulge on our favorite treats when the time comes. As usual, I'm all about balance!
I used, mainly, winter vegetables to make it colorful and nutritious and I tried to make it pretty too, after all, you eat with our eyes, right? All I had to do was prep the veggies, roast them in the oven, transfer them to a quick mold and cover it with the liquid ingredients - simple as that!
I find it pretty comforting to have 4 or 5 recipes that I can cook up pretty quickly without having to take a long time doing it. I do love cooking but when days get busy with school, house chores and sports, dishes like this can be life savers!
1 - Preheat the oven at 400 F.
2 - Prep the vegetables: peel and dice the onions and garlic, trim the asparagus. Wash the peppers, take of the stem and seeds and slice them. Do the same to the mushrooms. Wash the kale and pat it dry with a paper towel.
3 - Arrange all the vegetables, except the kale, on a baking sheet and season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and avocado oil. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes and add the kale after this time, cooking for an additional 10 minutes.
4 - Remove the vegetables from the oven and turn it off.
5 - Prepare the liquid ingredients: in a bowl put together the milk, the cream and the eggs. Mix everything together and add the mozzarella cheese. Get all the vegetables in the bowl and then put the mix on a quiche mold, lined with parchment paper to prevent any spilling.
6 - Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the top gets a beautiful golden color like the one on the photo. When the quiche is done turn off the oven and take it from the heat. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
7 - Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy!
Those golden bits are delicious and the fact that the quiche doesn't have a crust makes it a very light dish. It's a perfect recipe for the last days of the week when we have to go through the fridge cleaning to take advantage of every little bit of fine ingredients we may still have there! It can also be made with meat, tuna, salmon, everything that you may want to put in there will be tasty, for sure. There are no rights or wrongs!
So, if you were looking for something lighter to make up for the holiday splurge give this recipe a try and let me know what you added or removed from the original ingredients. People usually say "don't play with food" but I think that cooking is precisely that, playing with ingredients and seasonings in order to find the best combinations out there!
This week I'm going to tell you all about a local business, based in North Plainfield, that's all about getting fresh and local produce straight from the farm to your doorstep. I met Justin Walden after knowing about his produce delivery service, through Facebook,.
A few years ago, Justin started thinking about sharing his love of baking, through a self established business. He created the Olde Souls Farms baking business ans started with cheesecakes which are his specialty. He later broadened his array of sweet products and has now over 30 different items that you can order and get delivered to your home.
Having young children, like me, and having a passion for cooking, just like me, Justin was always concerned about the quality of the products and the produce he used to feed his family. He decided to start growing some of his own produce and, later on, he started working with some local farms, buying produce in bulk and offering the delivery system that he has now.
To give you an idea of what baked goods you can get from Justin, I'll leave you just a few examples of some of the products - maybe you're needing some of these for a get together and this will be a perfect solution to have everything done with no work at all!
Cheesecakes ($6-$40) :
Cakes ($28-$32) :
Pies ($12-$22) :
Besides all this you can also choose from a variety of toppings (chocolate, coconut-lime and apple cider, just to mention a few!) and pick your favorite preserve from a wide range of flavors, from peach butter to blackberry jam and orange/lemon marmalade.
As for the produce delivery service I decided to give it a try and Justin was king enough to offer me a discount. I choose the big basket, since we're a family of 4 who loves fresh produce. You wouldn't believe the amount of produce we go through just in one week! I'm proud to have children that were always acostumed to having fruit and veggies at every meal but I always have to run to the market a couple of times a week to get everyone satisfied!
This was the produce I got:
As soon as I saw the produce I noticed that they were really fresh and I loved my son's comment, specifically about the carrots, it was funny! He asked me: "why are the carrots dirty?" and I told him that they had just come straight from the farm and that was the way to know that things were picked fresh, since there was still some dirt on them. That's another great thing about local produce - being able to teach our kids where the food comes from and teach them early to have healthy eating habits and exposing them to every possible kind of vegetables and fruits out there. There are so many things that you can find locally, as opposed to just going to the supermarket!
I decided to make onion soup as soon as I saw those beautiful big onions and I'll be publishing the recipe next week. It turned out super delicious and cozy, just like a warm bowl of onion soup should make you fell like!
I wasn't sure about the mustard greens but I've got it figured it out now. I'll be trying a pasta dish with sauteed sausage, some pasta, the mustard greens and peppers. With some pepper flakes and fresh garlic it shall be cooked next week and I'll let you know all the details on a future blog post.
The carrots have made their way into some chicken soup and will also be used to cook some carrot and kale soup by the end of the week. Can't get enough of carrots, can we? My kids love chicken rice with carrots and peas and, until they say they've had enough, I'll just keep cooking it!
As for fruit we got some great tasting apples that we've been devouring! "An apple away keeps the doctor away", that's what my kids have learned by now!
I really liked the products that I got. The only issue with us is that, being fruit lovers, that wasn't enough variety to last us all week and I had to supplement it with a trip to the farmers market to get some extra bananas, clementines, berries and pears!
I love to know that we can get local produce, from local farmers and help our community by doing so. We always have the supermarkets at hand but if we can, even just once in a while, help our own community I think that's the way to go.
Justin offers three box sizes, according to the size of your family or the amount you need, each week - small ($22), medium ($28) and large ($35). There is also the option to buy a subscription for the service, which will get you some savings over the month. The payment is made in full at the beginning of the month and you'll get your weekly deliver with a discount price.
For any questions feel free to call Justin, from Olde Soul Farms 551-655-9594 or, if you prefer, you can also send an email to Jnjartist@aol.com
I hope you became interested enough to know a bit more about the service and that you'll keep supporting local businesses. I'm always interested in getting to know our entrepreneurs, so feel free to send me an email with any recommendation that you may have about a business or a person that you would like to see featured on the blog!
The holidays are coming, so think big and shop local!