RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Black Olives

Grilled Chicken Breasts and Tomato Mix Bruschetta

We had a nice break in weather yesterday afternoon and T decided he would grill chicken breasts.  It has been weeks since our last barbecue.   I put the chicken breasts to marinate before he changed his mind.  First I crushed some garlic and in a zip lock bag I put some olive oil, the crushed garlic, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a mix of herbs: oregano, sage, and a little parsley.  A couple of shakes of smoked paprika and mixed it up and added the chicken breasts.

I decided it was time we could use some of our cherry tomatoes that I had frozen last summer.  I have been saving what was left of them for exclusive uses… celebrating that spring is springing and that we had some sun and would be having a grilled meal seemed special enough.  I would use a third of them and hideaway the rest for a couple of other exceptional meals for their use.

T cut up the veggies for the bruschetta: red and yellow cherry tomatoes, red onion, green and black onions.  While he was busy chopping I cut the French Bread down the middle and put some butter on to melt adding a small clove of well minced garlic and some fresh dried parsley to the butter.  Once the butter had melted and had simmered just a bit I spread it on half of the bread.  T was through with the veggies about the same time.  We misted the veggies with just a little olive oil and sprinkled some seasoning on them (basically the same mix as I had just put in the marinade for the chicken.) 

While I was broiling the bread and veggies… I decided to throw together a quick apple salad… T was getting the grill ready.  I waited until the chicken on the grill was about finished to add the broiled veggies to the bread and topped it off with some shredded Apple Smoked Gruyère Cheese.  About the time he was coming in with the grilled chicken breasts, that smelled like heaven I put the bruschetta under the broiler to melt the cheese some, just to add a little color.

The meal took no time at all to come together and it was delicious.  All the blends from grilled chicken, the seasonings and the wonderful little tomatoes, crusty bread were a wonderful blend of flavors and textures that we both enjoyed immensely.  The leftovers would be really good tomorrow….

Taken last summer by one of my deck gardens

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Taco Pizza

First I have an update to my last post… Hummingbirds!  I was stating that the Rufus Hummingbirds were late in arriving this year.  While I was having my first morning cup of tea I was watching the feeder and a bright little male Rufus Hummingbird arrived and shortly after he was followed by a female Rufus Hummingbird.  They made repeated trips to the feeder all morning.  It has been a long haul for them coming all the way from South America.  It sure was good to see them!  Before long we will have lots of hummers… the Anna Hummingbirds were not too happy with the new arrivals… but they will get use to them pretty quick.  I will give them a few days to get use to the area again and get settled in before I start pointing my camera in their direction!

Now for the pizza… When my children were young Friday night was usually reserved as  Pizza night.  They loved pizza, and Taco Pizza was their favorite, mine too.  I do not know why we have not had taco pizza in a very long time… I cannot even remember the last time we had it!  T says he has never had Taco Pizza and I have been with him for fourteen years! 

I have to admit at this point in time I have a little secret that I do not tell too many people.  I like Taco Bell Taco Sauce.  Not much else at Taco Bell makes me want to eat there, but I do like their sauce.  I noticed at Amazon the other day when I was looking for some things I needed to buy they had Taco Bell Taco Sauce by the bottle, you had to buy two, but hey… maybe I will make Taco Pizza more than once every fourteen years!

While there I decided to see if they sell Santa Fe Instant dried beans… Santa Fe Bean Company makes the best instant dried beans and has a variety of beans including black beans, pinto beans, southwestern style beans and I think there is one more.  I was introduced to the dried beans several years ago and they are delicious.  The store we usually shop at quit stocking them, we have not said anything… maybe if we spoke up they would restock… but I now know where I can buy the instant dried beans!  I could not make any better beans from scratch!   I do not normally go with instant anything but the taste and texture of these beans is incredible.  They are so good and Amazon did sell them (and at a better price)… you had to buy at least eight packages… but that was okay I love these beans, they are that good, I would give them a high hummingbird score!  They make a nice side dish with so many different meals.

The pizza dough was from Central Market; they have ready-made pizza and sell their dough too!  It is very easy to use and makes it so much quicker to make your own pizza.   There are many good recipes out there for making pizza dough if you want to make your own.  Besides when you are basically for the time being a one-armed person… you take all the help you can get! Once I have the dough spread onto the pan I spread the dough with a layer of the Santa Fe beans I have already made per package directions (you can use canned refried beans or make your own they do not have to be instant beans.)   I spread half of the pizza with seasoned cooked ground turkey meat (when cooking I added some onions and when cooked I add some taco seasoning, chopped fresh parsley and then mixed well.)  Next you will spread on some Mozzarella Cheese.  Bake in 475˚ oven, placing rack on the lowest position for 9-14 minutes… when the crust is golden brown it is done.  Watch it carefully, you do not want to over-cook and let it get dried out!

Once you have your pizza out of the oven you cover with thin sliced avocados, some thin sliced lettuce, thin sliced red onions, and diced tomatoes, then throw on a few black olives.  I put some sour cream and taco sauce into squeeze bottles and put the finishing touches on the pizza.  It was now ready to eat.

T said the pizza was really good and would like to have it again… I do not know why it took me so many years to revisit one of my favorite pizzas; it was delicious and full of flavor… excellent to the last bite ….

Making a good dent!

 

 

Mushroom~Pepper~Spinach Quiche

©….RaeDi 2011
 

 

 

 

 

There are some days when even this cook does not want to put too much effort into cooking dinner.   With my new kidney diet we cannot order a pizza and KFC is definitely out, I did not eat KFC anyway so no big lost for me.  I decided to see what I had in the freezer that would be quick and easy.    I had some frozen pastry dough that I needed to use so a quick decision was made to make Quiche.  This is the same pastry dough I use for some of my small tarts.  I will include the Pastry Dough Recipe below.    I had some veggies that needed to be used and there was a little Smoked Gruyère Cheese I should use too; it worked out well and it was the quick dinner just that I wanted.   

A bonus with the refrig all cleared out I can clean my refrig tomorrow, tackling the inside, outside and even below (dust bunnies here I come.)  And it is not spring yet, it is not often that I get ahead of myself these days.

Once the pastry dough was thawed out I rolled it out to about ¼ inch thick and placed in my tart pan.  I lined the pastry shell with parchment paper and filled it with baking weights or you can use dried beans or rice.  I baked it for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.  I removed the weights and paper and set aside.  I then prepared the Quiche filling.

You can adjust this recipe for a smaller Quiche or even if you want to make a couple of 4~6” tarts.  If you choose to do smaller, cut the veggies a little smaller to adjust to the size of pan you are using too. 

 

Filling:

Oven temp 375 degrees for the Quiche

1~2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 medium onion sliced ¼”
  • 2 small cloves of garlic well diced
  • Full ¼ cup sliced Porcini Mushrooms’
  • About two cups of spinach stems removed
  • Full ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • Two eggs
  • 1 ½  cups Egg Beaters
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ½ ~ ¾ cup  shredded Smoked Gruyère Cheese  (it does not have to be smoked or you can use whatever kind of cheese you like or no cheese at all, I like cottage cheese in mine at times)
  • One long thin Red Pepper, cut into ¼ “ slices
  • Enough Cherry Tomatoes halved to cover top of egg custard
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika

Put 1~2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan and preheat.    Place onions in pan and sauté for just a few minutes, add the garlic, keep stirring, when it becomes very fragrant add the mushrooms, you will sauté each for just a few minutes.  Then add the spinach and mix well.  Take the pan off heat and stir until it just starts to cook, it will look a little wilted.  I prefer that it have a nice crunch still.   Put in a dish so the spinach does not keep cooking from heat of pan.    It will cook just enough more in the Quiche to where it still has a little crunch and the color is perfect.    

In a bowl beat the two eggs well and then add the egg beaters whipping it with a whisk, add the cream, whisk thoroughly.  Then stir in the onions, garlic, spinach, and mushrooms.  Add the black olives.  Add the salt and ground black pepper to taste and stir just until everything is incorporated.  Spread the shredded cheese in the bottom of the tart shell and pour the mixture over cheese in the tart shell.  Place the sliced peppers on top and put the cherry tomatoes around all the peppers and sprinkled a little smoked paprika on the top of the tart. Put the whole thing in the oven (375 degrees for 30~40 minutes.)  I have a convection oven and it cooks faster than a normal over so I start watching it at about 30 minutes or so, the top will be golden in color and the center should be set.   

I used a 10 by 1.5 inch tart pan, if your tart pan is smaller or larger you will need to adapt the amount of egg and cream you use to be the amount for you tart pan. 

We had some left over Sage~Cheddar Whole Wheat Angel Biscuits’ from the night before and I fixed a nice tossed salad to go with the Quiche and biscuits’.  I too had a little sour cream left in refrig so used it up too; with a dollop on top of the Quiche it was perfect.   I will get the angel biscuits’ recipe posted soon.

Tonight’s dinner was light, delicious and easy.  Good thing, I will need that extra energy in the morning when I tackle the refrig and those dust bunnies.  I feel pretty good I have used up almost everything that was left in the refrig, with no waste.  Like Mom always said waste not want not.    She would be proud.  Spring is just around the corner and I will have a head start….

 

Pastry Dough:

Ingredients:

     Pastry:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons ice-cold water

Directions:

Pastry:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F   (I preheat when I am starting to roll out the pastry for the tarts)

Place flour, sugar and butter in food processor.  Pulse until pastry is coarse crumbs, pea size is good.  Add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water and pulse until dough comes together, you can add a little more water as needed until the dough comes together.

Pat the dough into disk shape and put into Ziploc bag and refrigerate for thirty minutes or so or until you need.   Any leftover pastry can be kept, frozen for up to 1 month. 

I divide the dough by how I am using it, if it for a tart or pie or pie with top or small tarts.    Roll out pastry to the thickness of ¼ inch.  Line the tart pan (with removable bases) or tart or pie pan with the pastry.   Once pastry is in place I take my rolling pen and roll over the top of the tart pan to cut off excess pastry.  Line the pastry shells with parchment paper and fill with baking weights or you can use dried beans or rice.

Bake 10 minutes.  Remove pastry shells from oven.  Remove the weights and paper and set aside.  Fill with filling and put top on if using then continue to bake for time recipe states….

 

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