Clean out the fridge quiche

Quiche is always an option at our house.  We are never at a loss for eggs and I actually love recipes that allow me to burn through a dozen at a time.

Usually when I make quiche it ends up being one of those “clean out the fridge” kind of recipes.  What little bits of leftovers sound good together?

Tonight a small serving of leftover collards and bacon were plumped up with some sauteed onions, spinach and more bacon.  It is my philosophy that you cannot go wrong with more bacon.

Clean Out the Fridge Quiche – The Bacon Onion Collard Version

Get 2 Pie crusts, either already in the a shell or the rolled up kind you can put in your own plate.  I never make my own pie crust.  My dinners are always too “on the fly.”

Crack 12 eggs.  See working through our abundance.

Pour 2 cups of milk into the eggs.  Honestly, I didn’t measure this because well I rarely measure anything unless I’m baking but 2 cups sounds about right.  Go ahead and add salt, pepper, paprika and garlic as you like to the egg and milk mixture.

Cut five strips of bacon into one inch pieces and saute them with about half a cup of chopped onions.  When your bacon is nice and crispy and the onions are soft, add the left over collards to warm.  Grab a handful of fresh spinach and give it a rough chop the add this to the greens just to wilt them.

Divide the bacon and greens mixture between the 2 pie shells then split the milk and egg mixture filling each about half way or until even.

Bake at 400F until puffy and golden brown, give or take 25 minutes.

This was a much welcomed meal that my family dug into after a busy day of work, school and sports practice before embarking on the nightly tasks of finishing History Day projects.

I hope you enjoy it.  Remember cooking is fun and improvisational.  How else do you think people come up with their own special recipes that everyone asks for for years to come.

Lifting my spirits

*Rock Town Distillery invited a few Arkansas Women Bloggers to participate in a free tour and tasting. I was given a free bottle of my choosing from their product line, but all opinions expressed in this post are my very own.*

Last week I grabbed Cyndi and blew this popsicle stand of a town Conway. We headed for the Rock. It had been a crazy week. Ok maybe a crazy two weeks. I was tired, easily frustrated and still hanging on the tale end of a cold. I had been looking forward to this evening all week.

As part of an Arkansas Women Bloggers event we joined some other AWB cohorts in a tour of Arkansas’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, Rock Town Distillery.

This place being very true to its name is not only an All-Arkansas company but a national & international award winning distiller of spirits. And only in their third year.

We arrived earlier than the tour time so while we primped in the car we called the distillery.

Could we possibly come in early?

The answer was a resounding YES that the bar was waiting for us. Remember it had been a tough week. HALLELUJAH!

Josh was waiting for us behind the tasting bar. I ordered up a Fuzzy Lightning or maybe it was called a Lightning Navel. As you can tell it was the Arkansas Lightning version of Fuzzy Navel. Using their peach flavored moonshine instead of the the traditional schnaps made the drink much lighter and not as syrupy sweet.

I also tried the Hot Doctor (which I nicknamed McDreamy) made from Dr. Pepper and their Lightning Hot Cinnamon Moonshine.

Josh was highly entertaining and as the rest of our tour made it in we got the meet the founder Phil Brandon and his wife Diana.

They have truly made it their passion to create a great product from the Natural State. If they can get the ingredient or element from Arkansas they will.

The tour was nothing short of an excellent lesson in history, science, and craft.

Prohibition and fermentation and everything from barrel making to unique facility designed by Phil (who just happened to be an engineer in his pre-distiller life). I really want to take the kids back for the tour. Phoebe is doing her history day project on Prohibition so I really feel like its very necessary 😉

I loved the smell of everything in there. The scent of the whiskey aging in oak barrels and the amazing aroma of rye fermenting in the next room made me wish I could pull up a chair and table and order up a steak dinner. It also made me really miss when Ben would make a batch of beer. I came directly home and have been encouraging him to start this again. Or maybe I’ll just take it up.

I left the distillery with my choice of a bottle of the Lightning Hot Cinnamon Moonshine. I had holiday drinks on the brain. I was initially planning on adding it to some apple cider but when I didn’t have any at the house I made a substitution. What is more festive at this time of year than the cranberry?

I encourage you to seek out and find any of the Arkansas Lightning or Brandon’s products. Rock Town Distillery is not only dedicated to supporting Arkansas but to handcrafted principles as well. And they are just good people.

Irish cream- Southern style

There’s a slight chill in the night air.  Just perfect for nights around the fire pit counting the stars as they come out and watching the coals pulsing in the dark.  These are the nights for warm drinks.  Apple Cider.  Hot Chocolate.  Steaming Coffee. 
These are the nights I wish I would quit forgetting to buy that bottle of Irish Cream.  So yesterday afternoon I decided that I could probably come up with my own recipe.  We did have bourbon at the house left over from my latest drunk jelly.  Bourbon is whiskey.  Irish Cream is made with Irish whiskey, right?
So I compiled a few different recipes and came up with a quick and easy recipe that I like to call Southern Cream.

Southern Cream Recipe

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup or the small carton of heavy cream (or light cream or half and half)
2 tbsps instant coffee crystals
2 tbsps chocolate syrup
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1-2 cups of Bourbon (you can make the call here)
Most of the recipes recommended putting all of the ingredients into a blender.  Seeing as I have no blender I poured everything into a large Mason jar.  I figured I could just tighten the lid down good and shake it for all it was worth.  And it’s in its own storage container too.  No blender to clean.  
Southern Cream is great in your coffee, hot chocolate, poured over ice cream, or in a glass with some ice cubes.  I’m sure it’s also delightful as seen pictured in this pin from Pinterest that’s making all the rounds. 

Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker

I guess you could say I get a little Willie Wonka in the kitchen when it comes to making jams and jellies.  OH I followed the rules in the beginning.  Straight up recipes from that long folded up piece of paper in the Sure-Jel box or from my Ball Blue Book of Canning.  But that got boring and I quickly started mixing my fruits.  Just whatever odds and ends were left over from previous recipes that I had squirreled back into the fridge.  Those jellies were some of the tastiest.  The mixing of flavors were always a surprise because each batch came out slightly different depending on the what was added.  I was just good stuff!

Then one day I was running low on plum juice and happened to spy a bottle of red wine with a cup or so left.  Wine comes from fruit right.  Grapes right.  You can make jelly from grapes why not add that in.  Plum Drunk Jelly is the fastest moving jelly in our house.  And just like that my fascination with drunk jellies was born.

Last week I had the canning itch.  I needed to stand over a steamy pot of  hot, bubbling fruit and sugar and then put a lid on it!  I had bought a good deal of Arkansas peaches on a trip to Harp’s the week or so before and stuck them into the extra fridge.  There they sat quite preserved yet forgotten.  So when the need to get jamming struck me I grabbed them.

The juice was running to my elbows as I pealed and chopped so I new this was going to be a good jam.  And since I was highlighting a very traditional Southern fruit why not add in a very traditional Southern spirit.  Bourbon!

I cannot tell you how perfect this pairing is.  If you’ve never enjoyed a drink, dish or dessert showcasing these two then you are missing out.  As with most combination of fruit and liquor, the flavors intensify each other.

I haven’t come up with a good name for this jellied cocktail yet but the one thing you can definitely call it is good!

Confession: I ate that whole bowl by itself with a spoon! That good!