July 2010 archive

Cakery Friday: Mini Asparagus and Gruyere Quiches

Ok, so it might not be a sweet dessert, but quiches are definitely a pastry item. Due to an overwhelming amount of baking for Cakery {stay tuned for a very big announcement} this week, I opted for a savory Cakery Friday recipe. These mini quiches are adorable and delicious {and best of all, really not difficult}!



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I separated out the ingredients for the Pata Brisee {aka, Pie dough} from the filling. So, gather all of the pate brisee ingredients:



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Place 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 stick of chilled, cubed, unsalted butter into food processor. Process until ingredients resemble coarse meal {about 8 to 10 seconds}.



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With machine running, slowly pour in approximately 1/4 cup of ice water in a slow, steady stream. Pulse until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.



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Gather all of the ingredients for the filling:



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Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Place 1 bunch of pencil asparagus {with the ends trimmed off} into the water and allow to boil for 2 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Drain and set aside.



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In a medium size bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk and a dash of salt and pepper. Set aside.



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Grate 3 ounces of Gruyere cheese.



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On a lightly floured surface roll out pate brisee to slightly over an 1/8 of an inch thick. Use a 2 3/4-inch round cutter to cut 12 rounds. Fit rounds into a 12-cup nonstick mini muffin tin. {If pate brisee becomes too soft to work with just pop it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes}.



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Divide half of the Gruyere evenly between each of the lined cups.



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Fill each cup with the milk mixture.



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Top each with 2-4 pieces of asparagus {I cut mine into small pieces}. And garnish with the remaining Gruyere.



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Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cups are golden brown and bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature.



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For a printer-friendly version of this recipe click here: Mini Asparagus and Gruyere Quiches

Happy Baking!

xoxo,

Ali

Collections Couture

A few weeks ago I came across a great post of the Belle Maison blog about collections. What makes a great collection? Is it because the item is so cool and innovative? I think these photos will prove not.



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I love to collect things. As a child, I collected tea cups, porcelain dolls, cabbage patch kids and barbies. In my adolescent years I collected Absolut ads {which I am still determined to do something totally outrageous with–I have hundreds of them}, shot glasses from every city I visited {an airport memento} and tiny boxes. Lately, I’ve been collecting matches, wine corks, vintage love stamps, and every single issue of Martha Stewart Living & Martha Stewart Weddings {don’t judge me, you know you’d love that collection too}.

My parents collect sand from every beach they’ve visited. They store in little glass vials which labeedl with a description. Cole is working on his own collection of every single thing ever made that says “Ravens” on it {but don’t get me started on how much I love that collection}.

This post inspires me to believe that the most random collection can become the most unique and stunning display.

Happy collecting.

xoxo,

Niki

Nutella is Naughty



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Lately, I have rediscovered my immense and unending love for nutella {and you thought I was sticking to my 101 summer salads pledge, hah}.

When I saw this Strawberry Nutella Tart with a Graham Cracker Crust on Bitchin’ Camero last week I almost ran to Publix. {Ok, so I merely drove myself and walked shamefully into Publix to buy another jar of Nutella}.

Trust me–this dessert is a cinch {but your waist definitely won’t be when you are through devouring it}.

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

7 oz. Nutella (half a standard jar)
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbsp. coarse sugar, such as demerara

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a pie plate. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. When evenly combined, transfer the contents to a pie plate and press onto the bottom and sides of the dish. Bake for 12 minutes or until the shell is crisp. Remove from oven and let cool completely (about 30 – 45 minutes).

After it’s cooled, gently spread the Nutella in an even layer. Arrange the strawberry slices in consecutive circles on top of the Nutella. When you’re just about to serve, dust the top of the pie with the coarse sugar.

Makes about 8 servings.

xoxo,

Niki



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