Easter is coming and I am pulling out all my best tricks to make the prettiest non-carrot-cake treat yet.Read More
At this point (many Easters ago) my siblings and I would have begged my mother to her breaking point and gone into full egg-stuffing mode.
We used to have quite the grandiose egg hunts on my family's humble two acres, and once the eggs were pulled out of the barn loft and the candy bought, we would not stop pestering my mother for the task of stuffing them. We would take solemn vows against eating the candy while stuffing, but our thrill in the job was by no means dimmed. My sister and I grabbed our favorite colors - hers purple and mine chartreuse - leaving the unwanted eggs for our compliant younger brother.
I took pride in matching the candy to the eggs and we would excitedly make "bonus eggs" that contained just shy of the number of jelly beans that would keep the egg from closing.
Easter was always joyous, but not because of the new dresses, or the thrilling hunts, or my grandmother's succulent, glazed hams, but because our parents never let us forget that those traditions were just that - traditions, and we were going to church that morning to celebrate something far greater.
Earlier this week, I shared the recipe for this quiche and suggested it as a possible Easter morning option.
Today, on this very fine Wednesday, I am giving you the perfect spring drink to serve alongside it!
Up until last week, I had never made any form of agua fresca before, but when I saw the ridiculously simple ingredient list, I decided I had no excuse.
So, what is agua fresca? Well it is a little more than its translation would suggest. I mean, that would be a little boring.
Agua frescas are water-based, non-alcoholic drinks that have been flavored with fruits and/or herbs and sweetened lightly.
I have a very strong sense that you will be seeing quite a few of them this year so you may want to find your blender. Now that I know the simplicity there is nothing stopping me from spiking every glass of water with some herbaceous fusion.
This particular recipe called for cucumbers, pineapple, and mint. I added a dose of fresh lime for a bit more acidity.
I have recently realized that I prefer drinking cucumbers over eating them. Their flavor is so refreshing.
Let's pause to acknowledge the world's most adorable paper straws. The pom-pom tails make my heart skip a beat. I'm squealing as I type this.
This lovely spring tonic can be made the night before you plan to serve it and refrigerated. The flavors will actually improve and meld as it sits.
Simple, fruity, and perfectly refreshing. This is the ideal pairing for your hearty breakfast quiche, and a great way to pave the way for all those cadbury eggs.
Cucumber Pineapple Agua Fresca
serves 8 / recipe from Over Easy (slightly adapted)
- 3 cups fresh pineapple cubes
- 1/2 english cucumber, sliced
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 cups filtered water
In the base of your blender combine pineapple, cucumber, mint, lime, sugar, and 2 cups of the water. Blend on high until very smooth. The mixture will be quite thick.
Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in the remaining water. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This will give the flavors a chance to bloom and meld.
Give the agua fresca a good stir before dispensing. Serve over ice with cute straws and maybe a sprig of mint if you're feeling it. Enjoy!
Oh I have been waiting for this day.
This brunch book is beautifully put together. It is intuitive, instructional, and just really fun. I love it and I know you will love it, and nobody is paying me to say that.
Many of its golden recipes strike the comfy weekend balance between ease and effort. When brunching, or breakfasting, on the weekends we have a bit more time for frills, but do not wish to feel like we are working. This recipe is a perfect example of the book's approachable balance. While we have to do some chopping and sautéing, we are going to let the supermarket handle the pastry side of things for us.
It took me several trips of reading and skimming through this book to decide which of the many eye-catching and hunger-igniting recipes I would tackle first. For whatever reason, my eye kept returning to this Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche.
It's odd that I would turn down donuts for eggs, and even more peculiar that I would choose quiche when truly, up until now, I had only liked two of the quiches I had had in my life.
Nonetheless, I bought and trimmed the broccoli, grated the cheese, and cracked the eggs.
Side note: Trimming the broccoli is fun because you get to make teeny tiny florets and they are adorable. I started giggling thinking about them being tiny trees and then my mind went to Bob Ross (who I have only recently discovered) and "happy little trees," and I giggled more. No one else was home, just me giggling at my broccoli. Simple pleasures, folks.
The liquid side of this quiche is super simple, consisting of eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and of course, half and half. With all that broccoli we can justify some extra cream.
While Joy called for good old regula' cheddar, I went with a sharp white cheddar because I will always pick white cheddar over the orange stuff, and because I cannot seem to completely follow a recipe these days.
Now for the vegetables!
We have to talk about the crust for a moment. You know I am a homemade puff pastry girl all the way, but I bought the frozen stuff for this quiche and I'll tell you why.
First, this is an endeavor in balance. We are taking time to chop and sauté and whisk, but very few of us wish to make puff pastry on a weekend morning. Secondly, homemade puff pastry would almost be wasted here, because while those lovely, buttery layers are going to give us perfectly crisp edges, the greater part of the pastry will form the bottom crust and will have no chance to puff at all. So, that is why I will heartily agree to pre-made puff for this recipe.
Did I mention how delicious those puffy, crispy, buttery edges are? I'm never making quiche with pie crust again.
Now Monday may not be the best day to whip out this savory bake, but there does happen to be a lovely holiday just around the corner and this quiche would love to be invited to your pre-church breakfast or served alongside your spring greens salad for lunch.
I made this quiche several hours ahead of time and reheated it just slightly before serving and it was perfection. Feel free to bake it up the night before for a quick breakfast or brunch the next morning.
I have enjoyed it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this point, and it was delicious every time. It is likely my favorite quiche because it is hearty without being too rich, and the puff pastry crust gives it that extra something that has kept me coming back for more. I really cannot wait for you to try it.
Oh, you are wondering about that drink? Coming soon...*wink wink.*
Broccoli & White Cheddar Quiche
recipe from Over Easy (slightly adapted) / yields 6-8 servings
- 1 sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed*
- all-purpose flour, for rolling
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
- 3 heaping cups bite-sized broccoli florets
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
*While thawing the pastry is necessary for shaping it, you do not want it to be warm enough to melt the layers of butter. It should be just barely pliable, but still very cold when you roll it out.
Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and gently unfold the puff pastry. Carefully roll out the pastry, increasing the length and width by roughly an inch on each side. Transfer the pastry to a 9-inch pie plate and gently press the pastry into the pan, rolling over the edges as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent and have just started to brown on the edges. Add the broccoli to the pan and toss gently. Cook for about three minutes. The broccoli should still be bright green in color but slightly softened. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam the vegetables for about 2 minutes, until tender, but crisp. Uncover and remove from heat. Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature; about 20 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; whisk until smooth. Gently stir in the grated cheddar and then add the cooled vegetables. Pour into the prepared pastry crust and smooth the top of the mixture with a spatula.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the quiche is puffy and firm and the crust is golden brown. Allow the quiche to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Personally, I enjoyed this quiche most when it was warm, but it may be served at room temperature or cold. If you are not going to consume all of this quiche at once, just cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!!