Heat Wave Cooking

I don’t mean that I have some fancy schmancy “Heat Wave” or confectioner’s oven or anything.  I am referring to the unbearable heat that Southern California has been experiencing this Summer and into now October!  We’ve had record highs and unusual humid days like the South.  I can’t begin to know for sure how prayers work, but my affinity for the South might have been heard a bit too loudly?!

So in the middle of this heat, I was asked to co-host a baby shower for a dear friend. Three others and myself split up duties of décor, food, games, etc. We managed to plan the entire party via text, which was a first for all of us. Some days, you came back to your phone with 20 messages, but you got the gist of the conversation and knew it was all coming together.  I can’t take credit for anything but the crust-less quiches and having talented friends!  Thanks to my co-hosts Amy, Nancy and Sharon!

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After some discussion, we decided on brunch menu items and I offered to make crust-less quiches. I asked my pal, Debi to help me. She often is the Ethel to my Lucy antics. (Although she has red hair, so we should really think of her as the Lucy!)

On a 100 degree night in Pasadena, we sweat and cooked up the party food in my small bungalow with a window air conditioning unit in the living room. I should add that Debi doesn’t even like eggs. I am really lucky to have friends like Debi in my life. She’s proven it on more than one occasion!

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I decided to make four different quiche-ish dishes. 1. Carmelized onions, prosciutto, gruyere cheese 2. Veggies 3. Spinach, tomatoes, and 4. Meat lovers

Each crust-less quiche is made essentially the same, we used about 8 to 12 eggs depending on the size of the dish that we were baking it in. We whipped eggs with some milk to lighten the eggs and to make sure they were fluffy and well mixed.

IMG_2210We prepped the ingredients for each dish first by roasting the veggies, cooking the sausages and bacon. Nothing like frying up some bacon when your kitchen feels like 400 degrees.

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Oven was set at about 375 degrees. To be honest, we probably didn’t even need to put the food in the oven. It probably would have cooked just fine in the kitchen air.

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You can layer any ingredient of your liking in these quiches. I prefer to roast or cook the ingredients first. The flavor tends to come out more and not just get lost in the eggs plus it’s a good idea to make sure any meat is fully cooked before you bake the quiche.  We also prepped and chopped bite size ingredient pieces so that lady party goers wouldn’t have a long piece of spinach to chew or chomp on a giant piece of eggplant.

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They bake about 15 to 20 mins depending on the size and the amount of layered ingredients. I always stick a fork or a skewer in the middle to make sure they come out clean.  Notice my special cooling racks…we had chairs and stools all over the place to hold dishes cause I don’t have adequate counter space in my 1920’s bungalow kitchen.

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We baked these the night before the party and they definitely would have been better fresh right out of the oven and not re-heated. Nobody seemed to complain though, so let’s just call this a win especially for having not lost a friend in the process or spontaneously combusting from our own body heat.

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Now!  Somebody else have a baby, get married or celebrate something special!  I’ve cooled off and I’m ready to get planning and cooking!