Fill it with Spinach:: Serve a Delicious Frittata or Quiche

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With Passover and Easter right around the corner, I thought this Spinach Ricotta Quiche would be a fabulous recipe for today’s blog post. Not only is this recipe something that you can easily bake ahead, but it’s also a beautiful presentation filled with vibrant colors for spring. Prepare it completely and then bake it at your destination, or pop it in the oven just before your guests arrive.

One note: if you don’t have time for making your own crust (which I highly recommend, but I know life happens), a frozen crust works just fine. Just check out the crust directions before you get started.

The beauty of this recipe is it works great for either a quiche OR a frittata. Simply leave off the crust for a frittata (and for Passover), or add the crust for a quiche. The result is delicious either way!

Spinach Ricotta Quiche
Serves 8

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Note: If you’re using store-bought crust, skip the directions for Pate Brisee. 

For Pate Brisee:

You will need:
– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 stick butter chilled and cut into cubes
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ to ½ cup ice water

To prepare:

Place flour, sugar, butter, and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a mixing blade. Mix on medium until small crumbs form, add ice water until the dough pulls together and away from the side of the bowl.

The dough should be a soft consistency.

Place dough in the fridge to rest.

For the Filling:

You will need:
– 6 eggs
– 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
– 4 cups of fresh spinach
– 1/4 sliced red onion
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup of cubed speck ham
– 1 cup cubed buffalo mozzerella
– 1 Pate Brisee (recipe below)

To prepare:

Whisk eggs in a large bowl, add ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt, set aside.

In a frying pan, add the speck ham and saute for 10 minutes until the ham becomes crispy. Pour off any excess fat and set aside.

In a saute pan, add olive oil and saute spinach and onion until spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes, set aside to cool.

Once the spinach is cooled, in batches squeeze the excess liquid in your hands into the sink. Place into the bowl of eggs and cheeses, add speck, and combine completely. Your filling should be green.

Roll out the Pate Brisee into a disk, and fit into a 9-inch quiche pan, add the filling. You may also blind bake the crust if you wish; it’s definitely an option.

Bake for 45-50 minutes in a 375 degree F oven.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

xx Annette

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Easy Flower Arranging

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While it might seem like a daunting task, arranging your own flowers can be simple yet stunning, and honestly, nothing gives me more pleasure than to arrange flowers for my own home or parties. If you follow a few easy steps, you’ll be arranging your own flowers in no time!

When beginning the design process, I start with what’s available at my local market (and even Trader Joe’s!), and I try to select a strong color theme like pink or even white. Selecting just one color flower, but choosing several varieties in that same color, is an easy way to pack a punch without a lot of thought. It honestly cuts way down on the stress, especially if you’re not quite ready for combining colors.

However, if you want to give it a go, follow these steps. For this arrangement, I selected a few colors that go well together like pink and lavender.

Step one: clean the bottom of the stems, and make a fresh cut.

Step two: place all the fillers in your container. For this arrangement, I’ve chosen a pitcher for my container, and Queen Anne’s Lace and Baby’s Breath as fillers. Pro tip: this pitcher from Ikea (one of my favs, as you know) is an ideal flower container!

Step three: add in your larger blooms. Here, that’s ranunculus and hyacinth. Be sure to work your way around the vase or pitcher. Either move around the table as you work, or spin your container to make sure your stems are even.

Step four: step back and fluff your arrangement as needed. Try to change the water every 2-3 days, and cut the stems on a diagonal every few days, too. This will keep your arrangement fresh and pretty!

xx Annette

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Easy Easter Dessert:: Chocolate Egg Cream

Baby Shower

This is a fun twist on a dessert: the chocolate egg cream (which ironically has no eggs in it!). If you’re in the South like we are, there’s a better than average chance your Easter might be a bit on the warm side. Cool off with this fun chocolate egg cream.

I love the idea of preparing each one ahead of time in their own glass milk bottles. Not only does it make serving a breeze, but it’s also a cute presentation. Add a fun straw for a little extra pizzazz. If you have the time, add flags that match your theme. In this case, we shot the recipe for a baby shower, but you could easily change the flags to feature each guest’s name instead.

Kids are bound to love this dessert, too. And with only a few ingredients, it’s the best sort of recipe for a crowd.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Chocolate Egg Cream
Makes 1 serving
You will need:

– 1/2 cup chilled milk *(almond milk is an option)
– 3 tablespoons dark chocolate syrup (Hershey’s syrup is great)
– 1/2 cup club soda

To prepare:

Mix the milk and syrup then top off with the club soda.

Photographs by: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Prop and food styling by: Me

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Spring recipe:: Asparagus quiche

Baby Shower

If you ask me, quiche is perfect anytime of day. It makes a lovely breakfast, especially for a crowd, but it also makes an incredible dinner. Serve it with a light salad for a complete meal.

This asparagus quiche recipe would be a great addition to any Easter menu, too. You can easily make it ahead of time and pop it into the oven before heading out the door or before people arrive! There’s nothing better that a simple dish that packs a lot of punch. Enjoy this seasonal spring dish!

Asparagus Quiche
Makes 1- 8″ round Quiche serves 8-10
For the filling you will need:

– 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus
– 8 eggs
– 1 cup shredded mozzarella
– 1 cup half and half
– 1/2 teaspoon salt


To prepare:

In a large bowl whisk eggs and cream and cheese and salt. Reserve 5 spears of asparagus for the top of the quiche. Cut the remainder into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the egg mixture. Combine and set aside make the crust.

For the crust you will need:

– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 stick of butter chilled and cut into 1/2 cubes
– 1/4 cup chilled water
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, place the flour and the butter and salt. Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, combine the butter and flour until it resembles pebble size crumbs. Next add water until mixture comes together into a ball. *(note you may need to add more water to combine)

Roll the ball of dough out on a floured board into a 10″ disk about 1/8 thick. Place into an 8 inch ceramic quiche pan. With a paring knife, cut the overhanging dough edge around the perimeter of the dish so there is a clean edge all the way around. Use the excess dough you cut off the edge to make the make the decorative scallop border. Use a 1 inch round scallop cutter, place the scallop rounds on the edge of the shell, over-lapping all the way around the outer edge.

Once you have finished the decorative edge, place the egg mixture into the shell. Add the reserved whole asparagus spears on top and place into the oven. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Photographs by: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Prop and food styling by: Me

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Make it Fresh for Spring from Staples :: A Woodsy Themed Baby Shower

Staples Welcome to a series of posts about how to best use the Staples Copy & Print  department of Staples Inc.

Over the next 6 weeks, I will be posting parties tips and easy ways to promote your small business with customized and branded products available at Staples Inc.  I will show you how to create themed parties for friends and family, plus how to incorporate fun party ideas for your customers to ring in spring. It’s really easy with the copy and print customized offerings on Staples Inc. website.

When I tucked into the Staples Inc. website to look for products to use for my baby shower, I was so excited to see the vast selection. One of the things that really struck me was that the graphics were so well done. I decided on a “woodsy themed baby shower” based on the sweet graphic depicted on this invitation.

Staples *Party tip :  I like to start with an invitation; it’s an easy way to pick the theme.

Then it was just a matter of buying items off of the Staples Inc. website that went along with this darling invitation. I ordered a banner with a foxy graphic. I used dragonfly print tissue paper to cover the table, and I used small pieces of log and moss with toy deer scattered about as the table decor. I cut quince branches from the yard for the centerpiece and scattered blossoms around the table .The setting for this baby shower was a woodsy wonderland.

Staples * Party tip :These craft paper tags from Staples Inc. worked great for the campfire mug take away gift for guests. *Note: one of my favorite hostess tips is to put together a little something for guests to take home. It’s a simple detail that goes a long way. How cute is this dragonfly paper?!

Staples * Party tip : Keep food simple and fun! I love the idea of milk and cookies. (*Look for my chocolate chip cookie recipe on the bottom of the post.) Use baby bottles and festive straws for guests to enjoy “milk and cookies.” Cheese and salami with breadsticks look like branches and logs in the woods. Food can be that simple, yet also be party-themed and whimsical.

Staples I had no idea Staples Inc. carries a huge variety of stuffed animals. These 2 cuties went beautifully with my theme and were a great gift to give to our mom-to-be. I love that idea!

Staples This cute wrapping paper and beautiful brown satin ribbon are also available through Staples Inc. Staples Inc. has a great selection of party products including balloons.

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1. Satin Ribbon 2. Gift Tag 3. Invite 4. Balloon 5. Tissue Paper  6. Wrapping Paper 7. Bunny 8. Fox 9. Banner

 Chocolate Chip Cookies
(*from my book Picture Perfect Parties)

You will need:
2 cups all purpose flour
– ½ cup whole wheat flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup softened butter
– ¾ cup sugar
– ¾ cup brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 large eggs
– 1 12 oz package of semi sweet chocolate morsels
– 1 cup chopped walnuts *optional

To prepare:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl place flours, salt and baking soda.

In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle blade, place sugars and butter, and vanilla, blend until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly, then add the flour mixture slowly until blended, stir in chocolate morsels, and walnuts if desired.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop rounded tablespoon of dough about 1 inch apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely repeat until all the dough is finished.

*Everything you will need is at Staples (in stores or order online at Staples.com with free delivery for rewards members or for orders over $49.99 (for non-members). This post is in partnership with Staples. All opinions are my own.

*Get 40% off large posters, banners, and lawn signs (other sizes also available on sale)
Offer valid 3/29-6/27/15
Link to design: http://www.staples.com/sbd/content/copyandprint/

*Get 50% off custom invitations and announcements
Offer valid 3/29-6/27/15
Coupon Code: Invite50
Link do design your cards: http://design.staples.com/cards/Category/Invitations

Photography by: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyen

 

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