Tonight’s entry is brought to you by the word “improvisation.” Inspired by a recipe I found while going through The Kitchn for perfectly portioned frittatas, I took my mom’s recipe for quiche and made a hybrid of the two recipes to create…ta-da! Quiche cupcakes! Well, really you can call anything you bake in a cupcake tin a “cupcake”…it’s just giving it a cute name, really. I mean you can call them mini-quiches if you want, it still tastes the same.
Instead of using the muenster and cheddar combination my mom uses in her recipe, I used grated parmesan as called for in the recipe from The Kitchn. Instead of a prosciutto “cup” to line the cupcake tin, I bought ready-made Pillsbury pie crust and used one of my glasses (funny enough, with all the baking that I do, I don’t own any cookie cutters, and so had to improvise) to cut circles that I pressed into the molds of the cupcake tin. I worried a little that my circles did not reach all the way to the top edge of each mold when pressed, but figured whatever, I’ll risk it — if it’s a disaster, it’s a disaster and I’ll learn from it. For the filling, I used the “batter” from my mom’s quiche recipe — eggs, sour cream and heavy cream with salt and pepper. I felt that her tried-and-true recipe would hold better than the one from the other recipe which was basically just eggs and skim milk. After whisking the liquids together, I threw in some bacon, sun dried tomatoes, onions, the parmesan cheese I grated, and some dried chopped basil, whisked a little more and scooped the filling using a 1/4 cup measuring cup and filled each cup to just the top.
To decide which recipe’s cooking instructions I would follow, I figured it would be more logical to follow my mom’s recipe’s cooking instructions since I was using a pie crust bottom and her batter recipe. As far as cooking time, my gut told me to go with 20 minutes and so I listened. I was pretty much right. I just kept checking for done-ness as I got closer to the 20-minute mark. I ended up lowering the temperature of the oven to about 375 for the last 5 minutes and turned off the oven and let it sit for a few minutes in the heat before taking them out. And when I took them out…
They certainly looked good, but I wasn’t sure if they would live up to their appearance. And fortunately, they did. I had them with some of my leftover spinach from last night and it was definitely a satisfying dinner. It was surprisingly easy to take them out of the pan — I had visions of crumbling pie crust and eggs sticking to the sides, but fortunately, my fears did not materialize. My instincts were also correct about using the eggs, sour cream and heavy cream combination, as the resulting product ended up having a lot of body and a not-too-stiff and not-too-runny consistency.
The inside was warm and gooey, and when I took the first bite, I was relieved to find that I didn’t add too much of the cheese or bacon or any of the salty ingredients. I was afraid that it would look perfect but taste far from it. The kitchen gods were definitely with me on this one. There’s definitely something to be said for trusting your instincts. Sometimes when you know it, you just know it. These would also make excellent brunch fare.
Speaking of instincts, a friend called me tonight and told me she just got engaged. Somehow I feel like this ties in to my day of wedding signs
and that I was having that kind of a day for a reason — to foreshadow the news I heard tonight. “Foreshadow” sounds so ominous, but the news was far from it. I couldn’t be happier for her. Maybe she’ll ask me to do her wedding or engagement party cupcakes. Or, I could rearrange my logic and say that her engagement is yet another sign for…I’m not sure what. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Or not. Either way, my job is to go about my business, not to decipher the code.
Spoke to my mom on the phone tonight and she expressed concern about all the baking and cooking I’ve been doing. One thing about your mom being able to read your blog is that she knows that you are slacking on going to the gym (which, I told her, would happen around this time of year anyway because it’s getting cooler and I am getting lazier and it’s not at all because I’m cooking more), and being a great cook herself, she knows that ingredients cost money (well it doesn’t really take a great cook or even a genius to tell you that), and the more I cook, the more I spend money on ingredients… The more I spend money, the less I save…And you see where I’m going. But in my defense, in the long-run, cooking comes out cheaper because you get more bang for your buck with leftovers. For $21 (including tip for the delivery guy), I could either order sushi for one meal or I could buy a bunch of groceries and use the things I buy to create several dishes for several meals. Anyway, she knows this. It’s only now that I’m starting out that I end up having to buy ingredients because I am still building up to have a “well-stocked” kitchen. But maybe the baking can slow down a little bit. I mean, baking three times a week can be a little much. Maybe just once a week…Besides, I don’t want to bore you guys with just baking. Who wants to hear about cookies and cupcakes all the time? Well, some of you might, but I say variety is the spice of life…
It’s actually ironic that my frequent baking and cooking hasn’t led me to lose control and eat heaping servings of food. On the contrary, I exercise more restraint as far as serving sizes because I know that too much of the good stuff could send your weight skyrocketing and your overall health and fitness declining. But I can’t not eat these things, so I have to find a middle ground. Eat it, but don’t eat too much of it. I don’t know how you can deprive yourself of good food…to me that’s just insanity!
Anyway, I think I will finally finish Julie & Julia and go to sleep. Maybe I’ll get enough sleep and have enough energy for the gym tomorrow.