+Anne Coleman

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Quiche Feast!

I've been making quiche for over 20 years (yes, I'm really that old) and it never gets boring. In fact, the combinations of fillings are limitless and I don't think I've ever had a quiche I didn't like. Now, if you have "real men" who won't eat quiche, call it something else ... Sausage and Egg Pie for example.

What you want to do is start with good ingredients. These pies were made with King Arthur flour (they're celebrating 225 years this year!) and Cabot cheeses. Two of the very finest you'll find. Make sure you par-bake your crust, and go slow - a rushed quiche will puff and crack and that's just not pretty at all. Use milk if you like, I used heavy cream this time. Cheese should be shredded as fine as possible for best results.

Here are two excellent examples of quiche that are sure to please just about everyone.

This is the beautiful crust I used for both quiche. Buttery and cheesy and flaky - it's a divine vessel for delicious fillings!

Cheesy Pie Crust
Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 sticks cold unsalted butter - cut into small cubes
1 cup shredded Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


Combine flour and salt in a bowl and set aside. 
Add butter, and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal 
Drizzle 1/4 cup water evenly over mixture. 
Work together until mixture just begins to hold together (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time,  Add cheese and combine well
Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or overnight if needed. 
Roll and bake as directed.

This is the correct chorizo for this recipe. Bulk chorizo will add a different texture.

Chorizo and Hatch Chile Quiche

This one if for the guys! Spicy and full of flavor, they won't know it's a quiche unless you tell them!

Chorizo and Hatch Chile Quiche
Makes one 9-inch quiche


6 large eggs
1 c heavy cream or milk

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 chorizo sausages diced

1 large hatch green chile, roasted, seeded and chopped (mine are from the Hatch Chile Store)
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 c shredded Cabot Monterey Jack Cheese
one 9-inch pie shell - I used a springform pan - see recipe for Cheesy Pie Crust.


1. Bake pie shell until lightly browned in a 400 degree F oven. Turn heat down to 350.
2.Cook chorizo in a small pan until browned. Drain well and pat on paper towels.
3. Blend eggs, cream and salt together until well combined. Place the chorizo, cilantro and chiles into the bottom of the pie shell. Top with cheese.
4. Pour the egg mixture over all. Bake until puffy and very lightly lightly browned and eggs are set, about 35-40 minutes.

5. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Quiche before baking

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Quiche

Cabot's Garlic and Herb Cheddar is so delicious in this! It adds just the right amount of herb and flavor.

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Quiche
Makes one 9" deep dish quiche


6 large eggs
1 c heavy cream or milk

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 fresh asparagus spears
4 oz smoked salmon- chopped
2 c grated Cabot Garlic and Herb Cheddar Cheese
one 9-inch pie shell - I used a fluted pan with a removable bottom - see recipe for Cheesy Pie Crust


1. Bake pie shell until lightly browned in a 400 degree F oven. Turn heat down to 350.

2. Cut asparagus spears into lengths that will fit in a pinwheel design in the pie pan - about 4-inches long. Chop remainder of spears into smaller sizes.
3. Blend eggs, cream and salt together until well combined. Place the salmon, asparagus cuts  and cheese into the bottom of the pie shell. Arrange longer asparagus lengths into a pinwheel design on top of the cheese. 

4. Pour the egg mixture over all. Bake until puffy and very lightly lightly browned and eggs are set, about 35-40 minutes.
5. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bento for Lunch

Bento is, very simply put, a Japanese lunchbox that's making waves across the U.S.. Traditionally made with rice, meat, poultry or fish and pickled or other cooked vegetables and often leftovers, bento can be as intricate or simple as you'd like. The bento I send always come back empty and the kids prefer them to the usual bagged lunch.

Bento boxes can be as simple or elaborate as the food they hold, from lacquered boxes with built-in dividers to reusable plastic containers available just about everywhere lately. It's important to keep moist foods separate from dry foods to decrease the risk of spoilage. Silicone muffin liners are ideal for keeping foods separate, but anything from dry lettuce leaves to waxed paper works as well.

While leftovers are perfect, any food that tastes as good chilled as it does hot will do. To keep foods cold until lunch time, small condiment packets like ketchup, mustard, mayo or relish, when frozen, are the perfect size ice-pack whether meant to be consumed or not.

Fill-ins help food keep its shape and stay put; some ideas for fill-ins are grape tomatoes, grapes, baby carrots, individually wrapped cheeses and dried fruit. Experiment with your and your kids' favorites and have fun with it, your kids, and you, will have the most envied lunches at school and work.

My bento,  range from very fancy to very simple. I'm sure there will be days where I'll do "fancy", but more often than not I'll use up leftovers from the night before in different ways. Let's face it, kids are suckers ... and I mean that in the nicest way. You can take a simple sandwich and cut it in a different shape and the kids will find that both fascinating and somehow tastier.

Here are some bento ideas to get you started.

Merida Bento
Merida Bento

  • Hard boiled egg for Merida's face. Use edible markers to draw features.
  • Thin carrot strips made with a vegetable peeler are Merida's hair.
  • Green, yellow and red peppers are cut to make Merida's bow and arrow.
  • Baby spinach leaves make Merida's cloak.
  • A small round of yellow pepper is her cloak pin.
  • Two meatballs stand in for mini haggis.
  • Mini vanilla wafers with bits of dried cranberry fixed with a dab of icing are Scottish sweet buns.
  • The background is seasoned rice, though mashed potatoes would work very well, too!

Halloween Bento
Halloween Bento

  • Frankenstein's monster is a large green pepper slice with cheese and black olive eyes. His mouth is red pepper and his "scars" are edible black marker. 
  • The bolts on the sides of his neck are yellow pepper and his hair is black olive slivers attached with cream cheese.
  • He is sitting on a bed of carrot peels.
  • The "fingers" are hot dogs cut in half with cheese nails.
  • The pumpkin is a mini cheese round colored on with edible marker.
  • The mummy is a mini cheese round with cheese strips for bandages and cheese eyes dotted with edible marker pupils.
  • The ghost sandwich is a sandwich made in the usual way and cut into a ghost shape. The eyes and mouth are black olive rounds.
  • The background is green leaf lettuce and broccoli florets are used to fill in gaps.

Monsters Inc. Bento
Monsters Inc. Bento

  •  Mike Wazowski is half a green apple turned upside-down. His eye is a round of hard-boiled egg with a black green apple iris and black olive pupil, held together with a dab of cream cheese. His teeth are cut from cheese and his mouth is black edible marker. Mike's horns are made from hard boiled egg whites.
  • Sully is rice dyed with blue food coloring. His smile, eyes, horns and nose are cut from hard boiled egg white. The nose is colored with edible marker as are his pupils.
  • Underneath Mike and Sully is green leaf lettuce. 
  • The background is baby carrots and red peppers with ranch dip.
  • Dessert is blueberry yogurt with granola topping.

Butterfly Bento
Butterfly Bento

  • The butterfly is made of a sandwich cut into a butterfly shape. The wings are decorated with cut outs of cheese and red pepper. The body is a red pepper strip.
  • Across the top is a wax covered mini cheese with the center cut out to resemble a flower with a red pepper middle. 
  • A deviled egg "tulip" is in the center.
  • The wax flower removed from the mini cheese wax is set on a clementine.
  • Baby carrots, black and green olives and strawberries are fill-ins and the background is green leaf lettuce.

All-American Bento
All-American Bento

This All-American bento is super fast and a real favorite with my kids. The sandwich roll is filled with Deviled Egg Salad and wrapped with waxed paper. The other munchies are, cereal mix, grape tomatoes, baby carrots and celery sticks, waxed wrapped cheese and red & green grapes.

This is like deviled eggs in a sandwich - traditional egg salad with a mustard kick.

Deviled Egg Salad
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 10 minutes
Serves: 4


4 large eggs - hard boiled
4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly snipped dill - optional


1. Remove yolks from eggs and set aside. Chop egg whites finely.
2. Combine yolks, mayo, mustard, paprika and dill. Mash with a fork until smooth.
3. Fold egg whites back into yolks and spread on bread or flour tortillas to make 4 sandwiches.

Americanized Bento
Americanized Bento
 This Americanized version of bento is emptied in no time flat. The usual sandwich is filled with an unusual spread and put together with cheese and peanut butter crackers, baby carrots, Ranch dip, a hard boiled egg, green olives and grape tomatoes.

Turkey or chicken bologna make this phony and the relish gives it an extra kick of flavor making it taste a bit like deviled ham salad.

Phony Baloney Sandwich Spread
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 5 minutes
Serves: 4


8 ounces turkey or chicken bologna - about 8 slices
4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons sweet relish


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well blended.
2. Spread on bread to make 4 sandwiches.

Indian Bento
Indian Bento
Indian spices were the inspiration for this bento filled with Mini Meat Samosas with Spiced Yogurt Dip, Spicy Chickpeas with Tomatoes, lentils with rice and cucumber sticks. A dry lettuce leaf keeps the saucy chickpeas separate from the rice and samosas and a small lidded container keeps the dip in place.

Chickpeas, red-ripe tomato and spices combine to make a very flavorful side dish that won't overwhelm any entree. Kosher salt has a more subtle flavor that really works with these spices and helps to pull the juices from the tomatoes.

Spicy Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 large tomato - seeded and diced
1 large green pepper - seeded and diced
1 cup yellow onion - finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt


1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and cook until fragrant - about 3 minutes.
2. Add chickpeas, tomato, spices and salt. Stir well and heat through. Serve.

Samosas are meat-filled turnovers popular in India. The usual filling is lamb, but ground beef is not only more readily available, but also more frugal. Served with a spiced yogurt dip, these are ideal for lunch or served as an appetizer.

Mini Meat Samosas and Spiced Yogurt Dip
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 40 minutes
Serves: Makes 30 turnovers


1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 medium yellow onion - chopped
1 clove garlic - minced
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves - finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh mint - finely chopped
10 egg roll wrappers
oil for frying


1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet and drain well. Remove and set aside.
2. Add oil to pan and cook onion until soft. Add ground beef back in to onion.
3. Stir in garlic, ginger, spices, salt, lemon juice, cilantro and mint. Heat through.
4. Cut egg roll wrappers into 3 even strips.
5. Place one teaspoon of meat filling onto one end of strip and fold over to form a triangle. Continue folding over and over to make a triangle shaped turnover. Place a small dab of water on the end of the strip and press down to seal.
6. Heat oil one inch of oil over medium to medium-low heat and fry turnovers in small batches until golden brown. 7. Drain well on paper toweling before serving.

Spiced Yogurt Dip

Combine 1 cup plain yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1 Tablespoon honey and salt to taste. Blend well and chill until serving time.

Mediterranean Bento
Mediterranean Bento
A Mediterranean-themed bento is packed with red pepper hummus, whole wheat pita wedges, Kalamata olives, red pepper strips, tabbouleh, rice-stuffed grape leaves and grape tomato fill-ins. Waxed muffin liners and small containers with lids keep the foods separate.

Red Pepper Hummus
Hands-On Time:
Ready In:
Serves: Makes 2 cups

2 cups cooked and drained garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup seeded and chopped red pepper
juice of 1 lemon or 4 Tablespoons

1. Toss everything into a blender and pulse until smooth.
2. Cover and chill until serving time.

Mexican Bento
Mexican Bento
This Mexican-inspired bento is filled with cheese quesadilla wedges, Spanish rice, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips and yellow pepper strips. A dry lettuce leaf helps to keep the rice separate from other foods and small containers with lids house the salsa and guacamole.

Making your own Spanish rice is so easy, you'll never go back to boxed again. You're also in control of just how spicy or mild to make it.

Spanish Rice
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add oil. Stir in onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
2. Stir in rice and add chicken broth slowly. Add salsa and chili powder and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to low and lid tightly. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Fresh salsa goes together quickly and the flavor is markedly different than the store-bought versions. Make it mild or hot by altering the amount of peppers added.

Fresh Salsa
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 3 cups

3 large ripe tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small white onion - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
chiles (as many as you like) stemmed, seeded and chopped (or 1 small can of chopped mild green chiles)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime - juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Sugar to taste if the tomatoes are acidic

1. Combine all and mix well.
2. Allow flavors to blend for at least 1 hr.
3. Taste for seasoning and serve at room temperature.
4. Refrigerate unused portion.

Smooth and creamy avocados get spiced up just right with onion, garlic and lime juice. Serve with tortillas chips, tacos or fajitas.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes 3 cups

2 ripe Haas avocados scooped out and mashed
1 medium onion chopped fine
5 scallions chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 jalepeno pepper - seeded and chopped fine (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime - juiced or 3 tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar or honey to taste, if needed

1. Combine all ingredients, except avocado, and blend well.
2. Mash avocado last to keep it from browning before adding to remaining ingredients.
3. Place plastic wrap directly on the guacamole to help keep browning to a minimum if storing before serving.

Here is some of the gear I have on-hand for lunch packing:

I already had several bento boxes from My Bento Meal and also a couple boxes with insulated covers from Pret a Paquet. I added two Bramli lunch kits, Rubbermaid Litterless juice boxes and Cool Gear ice packs for (hopefully) effortless lunch packing. 

Our insulated lunch bags came from Michaels for the girls and ALDI for the boys.
Don't miss my Garden Bento on the ShopRite Potluck Blog this month! 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Inspiralize the Spring with Tuttorosso Tomatoes

Light and Lemony Spiralized Veggie "Pasta" Salad
Light and Lemony Spiralized Veggie "Pasta" Salad

Springtime is time for lighter and fresher fare and there's no better and more fun way to incorporate fresh veggies into your diet than with a Spiralizer

Have you tried a spiral slicer yet? I have a small handheld gadget that should turn all my favorite veggies into spirals, but it hasn't worked so well for me. I purchased a fabulous Spiralizer (please do click to check it out!) and the difference is night and day - I mean, it's hard not to take every firm fresh veggie I have and run it through! This thing is sturdy and strong, easy to use and even easier to clean. There's no excuse not to eat your veggies when you have something this fun and simple to help.

The very best site for spiralizer recipes is Inspiralized, where Ali Maffucci conjures up the best and most delicious recipes using all sorts of spiralizing techniques - there's more to those 3 blades than you ever imaginedNot only is the website fabulous, Ali has also just published a cookbook of the same name filled with spiralized recipes you'll want to have on-hand. That's not all ... Ali has also developed her own spiralizer and right now until April 15th, Tuttorosso tomatoes is having a giveaway so you can win your very own Inspiralizer

Check out Tuttorosso Tomatoes on Facebook and ENTER TODAY for your chance to win one of 750 Tuttorosso aprons, one of 15 copies of Ali's cookbook, Inspiralized, one of 60 of Ali's custom Inspiralizers and a chance at the Grand Prize package that includes an Inspiralizer, a signed copy of Ali's cookbook, a Tuttorosso apron and a collection of kitchen gadgets all packed in a picnic basket. Great stuff!

Now for my own spiralized recipes featuring Tuttorosso tomatoes, a lovely light and refreshing "veggie pasta" salad perfect year-round, but especially delicious during the warmer months.

Light and Lemony Spiralized Veggie "Pasta" Salad
Serves 4
Ready in 20 minutes


1/2 medium yellow squash
1/2 medium zucchini squash
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic - minced
1/2 (28 ounce) can Tuttorosso Diced Tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley - chopped fine
Fresh cracked black pepper - several turns or about 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


1. Wash squash and spiralize with Blade B. Put into a medium bowl and salt well,
2. Drain tomatoes and save juice and half the tomatoes for another use. Drain beans and add to tomatoes.
3. Drain squashes well - the salt will leach some of the juices from them. Once drained toss gently with tomatoes and beans.
4. Add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, pepper and parsley and toss well.
5. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese.

*Please note I was given product from Tuttorosso tomatoes to help with this post. Any and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Not for the faint of heart or calorie conscious, this pasta is spicy and rich. The poblanos add heat and flavor while the Mexican crema cools things down at the same time. Topped with crunchy Panko crumbs, you'll go back to this mac and cheese again and again.

This recipe took so many tries to get exactly the way I wanted it. I think my testers got sick of eating so much mac and cheese in such a short period of time. The end result is perfection, though and so worth the time it took to get right.

Properly Roasted Poblanos

Roasted Poblanos in Plastic Wrap

Removing skin, seeds and ribs from poblanos.

Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 8-10


3 large poblano peppers
1 cup cilantro leaves
4 green onions, green and white parts chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided (1 teaspoon total for table salt)
1 cup Mexican sour cream (crema) or regular sour cream
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
4 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 pound penne pasta, cooked according to package directions until al dente


1. Heat oven broiler.
2. Place poblano chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning several times each, until skin is blackened all over. Alternatively, you can place them directly over a gas flame and turn often until the same is achieved.
3. Remove from oven and turn oven temp to 375 degrees F.
4. Place chiles immediately in plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes.
5. Remove charred skin from chiles as well as stem, seeds and ribs.
6. Place chiles in a blender along with green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, crema and evaporated milk. Puree until smooth.
7. Put hot pasta in a large bowl and add pepper jack cheese. Pour chile mixture over top and  blend until all pasta is well coated.
8. Pour pasta into a large greased casserole about 13x8 inches and 3 inches deep.
9. Blend Panko and butter together and top pasta.
10. Bake for 30 minutes until crumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Daniel East's Over-The-Top Tuna Pasta Salad

I've shared recipes of Dan's before, (see The Soup and Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup)  but this one takes the cake, I didn't have ONE child who didn't love this - me, too!

While I was putting it together I kept thinking, "This is too much ... this isn't enough" but I kept going and had watchful little eyes all the while; my 8 year-old was on the edge of her seat to try this. She would glance at the clock and back at me and then say, "It's not lunchtime, can we eat this when it's done?" Adorable.

Daniel East's Over-The-Top Tuna Pasta Salad
Daniel East's Over-The-Top Tuna Pasta Salad 

Regardless of what I thought when assembling it, this was absolutely perfect. The heat from the black pepper was there, but not too much, the dressing was divine and the garnish exactly right. Everyone who tried it fell in love. Give this a try and see what you think!

Daniel East's Over-The-Top Tuna Pasta Salad 

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients, but most are commonly found and help make this look as good as it tastes. 


1-  16oz box rotini pasta (regular or wheat)
2-  4.5oz cans of premium white tuna in water


1 c Hellman's mayonnaise
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice (fresh or bottled)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika 
1 tbsp ground black pepper 
1 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt 
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


¼ c sliced toasted unsalted almonds
¼ c diced red onion
¼ c shredded carrots
¼ c chopped yellow bell pepper
½ c shredded/chopped fresh baby spinach 
¼ c diced ripe tomato
¼ c chopped broccoli 
1 tsp chopped oregano (1/2 tsp dry OK too)
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
½ c shaved Parmesan cheese (fresh preferred but grated is OK too)

Cook, drain and cool the pasta. Set aside.
Drain the tuna and break apart with a fork; then, add to pasta.
Add garnishes to pasta and toss to incorporate.
Combine mayonnaise, olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, and dry spices in a small bowl. Blend well.
Pour dressing over all and toss gently until evenly distributed.
Chill for 20-30 min and serve. 


©2015 Daniel M. East. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.