I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend full of delicious grilled food, ice cold drinks, some time by the pool and most of all a much needed rest (even if the actual Memorial Day is today). I, for one, tried to fit all those into my Monday and since I'd actually crossed a lot of todo's off my list on Saturday and Sunday, I felt zero guilt about doing nothing all day long. Relaxing felt almost as good as actually getting things done. And this is exactly how "I'll tell you more tomorrow" has turned into "Oops, it's been a week!". But don't worry, I didn't forget and since there's still so much more to tell about my Camp Blogaway trip, here you go, without any further ado:
I can't believe I wrote an entire post about camp without introducing you to the woman behind it all, our Fearless Leader: Patti Londre. A nationally recognized food PR and marketing expert, she writes a blog called Worth The Whisk, manages a marketing firm and I'm sure a dozen other things in addition to organizing this yearly camping event, and still find time to travel the globe. She kept the entire event running smoothly and on time, practically unheard of feat, considering how many people were there.
Did you know that the Food Network is now making it's own wine? Well they are and it's called "Entwine". Luckily they're not doing it on their own. They partnered with Wente Vineyards, who know a thing or two about wine, and now have several varieties on the market. I won't say that it's the best wine to ever cross my lips but it good for every day drinking. We got to try several varieties thanks to their very generous spokesperson:
We also had an incredibly funny, but also incredibly helpful session where Denise Vivaldo, the author of the incredible book called The Food Stylist's Handbook, went through dozens of images that bloggers submitted in order to get some feedback on why they didn't get accepted into the many food porn sites we all love so much for the traffic they generate. (That's her on the right there.) She had many great suggestions on what to look for, how to make pictures better and what just doesn't work. Yes, I did send a picture in that was torn to shreds with perfectly logical criticism. No, I'm not going to tell you which one. One of the funniest comments she had was about how nothing that seems casual and random in pictures ever really is, and how much deliberate work and attention every detail requires. "Random only works for sex in the 80s".
The lovely ladies of the Mango National Board came and brought crates of sweet, perfectly ripe mangoes for us. They even did a demonstration on how to cut the mangoes as well as use them in recipes. And on top of all that, a few days after I got home, yet more mangoes showed up on my doorstep (recipe with said mangoes coming soon).
When it was finally time to say goodbye, as part of the last minute giveaways for even more swag, a prize was given to one special guest who was the most active participant in all of camp, helping out wherever needed and making friends at every turn. That lucky recipient, Mimi Avocado, received the coveted prize, the golden pinecone. With that camp was over a rounds of goodbye and stay-in-touch ensued while people slowly collected their things and filed out the doors, still trying to wrap their brains around all the information that has been presented over the two short days at camp.
Back at home, I'm still deeply entrenched in the "Spring Clean my Entire Life" project. My freezer is finally organized and has room for the upcoming summer and my pantry is slowly beginning to follow suit. Asparagus is finally fresh and affordable, not to mention everywhere, so this quiche should easily fit into your weekend brunch or weekday dinner repertoire. It's simple and delicious and easily adaptable to whatever veggies/cheese you want to use.
Cheddar, Bacon and Asparagus Quiche
The recipe is a combination of a bunch of different recipes I found online combined into one, so I'm going to call it mine.
1 batch of pate brisee, I used the recipe from Joy of Baking
5 or 6 slices of bacon, chopped (let's be honest, you're going to add more because you're going to eat some)
1 onion, diced
half a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp salt
couple of turns of the pepper grinder
1 tsp garlic powder (I know, I add it to everything)
1. Preheat oven to 375F with a baking sheet set on the lowest rack.
2. On a lightly floured surface roll out the chilled pate brisse dough into a 11" circle. Transfer the dough into a 9" quiche or tart pan with a removable bottom, making sure there are no air pockets trapped under it, and run a rolling pin over the top to trim excess dough flush with the rim. Pop the pan into the freezer for at least 20 minutes while you assemble the filling.
3. Stir fry the chopped bacon until just crisp, then remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel lined bowl, and drain most the grease from the pan, leaving about a tablespoonful. Throw the chopped onion into the pan and stir fry until it's translucent. Toss in the asparagus and stir fry for another minute or two until it's just tender and bright green. Remove the pan off the heat and stir the bacon back in. Set aside to cool.
4. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until well combined then add cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, whisking until well mixed.
5. Bake the crust, unfilled, for about 10 minutes. You don't want it fully done, just to get a little bit of color. Once the bottom doesn't look wet, take it out. Stir the cheese into the veggie mixture and spread it on the bottom of the tart. Carefully pour the egg mixture on top and carefully transfer the quiche onto the heated baking sheet in the oven.
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the very middle is no longer "wiggly" when gently shaken. If the quiche is not yet done and its getting too brown, cover it lightly with a piece of foil for last part of baking. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool and set before serving, and garnish with baby greens or chives. Enjoy!