Tired of Cooking Dinner: Bacon and Cheese Quiche
I'm tired of cooking. Are you? We've probably been making breakfast, lunch, and dinner for weeks now, many of us, with no meals out, no takeout, no respite. We may be tired of cooking, but we, and the people who live with us, do want to eat. So what to do? Well, we eat a lot of leftovers at my house. After a point, though, I have to actually make something, so that something will be left over. Yes, there are shortages of items at the store--flour, sugar, yeast, and now meat, especially. Fortunately, I've been able to "make do," unlike many people who are hurting. So, really, I shouldn't be complaining. What I should be doing is making, and offering you, a dish that is easy to prepare, doesn't require strange ingredients that you don't have on hand, and that will ease the "Tired of Cooking Night" blues.
So, here it is: Bacon and Cheese Quiche. The recipe is a favorite of mine that I posted a couple of years ago, along with one for baked tomatoes. The quiche requires no crust, so it's fairly fuss-free. You can fix the tomatoes in five minutes, and the tomatoes can cook in the oven along with the quiche. If you'd like some sort of bread with your dinner, how about chocolate buns? They contain little fat and added sugar, so they won't send you or your children into a sugar high. The buns also are great to use up the mushy bananas that have lingered too long, uneaten, in your fruit bowl. The recipes, together, make a great, easy to fix dinner that won't break the bank or your patience, hopefully. And if you choose to have a little ice cream for dessert along with a second chocolate bun, who am I to judge?
No Crust Bacon and Cheese Quiche -- Serves 6+
3-4 tablespoons of bacon crumbles
2 tablespoons of minced dried onions
1 cup of shredded cheese, divided (use your favorite--Swiss, Cheddar, Colby-Jack, Gouda, etc.)
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of minced dried chives
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a large pie or quiche pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles on the bottom of the pie dish and then sprinkle on the minced dried onions and 1/2 cup of the cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk well. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and chives and whisk just until the mixture is fairly smooth (don't worry if there are a few lumps, you don't want to over whisk). Pour the egg mixture into the pie dish on top of the bacon/onions/cheese. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the quiche. Bake the quiche for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and puffed. Let the quiche cool a few minutes before serving it (it will deflate).
Baked Tomatoes -- Serves 4
These baked tomatoes are incredibly easy and quite tasty. Think of them as "pizza tomatoes."
4 large tomatoes, halved at their equators (i.e., in the middle, not top to bottom)
1-2 teaspoons of Italian herbs
1-2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of bread crumbs (preferably Italian or Panko)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a small baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (or line the sheet with foil and spray the foil). Slice small pieces off the non-cut sides of the tomato halves (just enough so they stay flat and don't wander all over your baking sheet or hop off into the bottom of the oven), and place the halves, large cut side up, onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle some of the herbs onto each of the tomatoes. Divide the grated Parmesan cheese among the tomato halves, then sprinkle each half with some of the bread crumbs. Bake the tomatoes for about 30 minutes or until softened and the topping has browned.
Chocolate Buns -- Makes 10-12
These aren't the most visually appealing buns (stay tuned for your kids comments about what they look like), but the buns taste good for low-fat, low-sugar offerings. You can dust the tops of the unbaked buns with a little raw sugar for nicer looking buns and a little crunch on the top (and more sugar!). Adding chocolate chips will add to the richness of the buns (and taste good!), but I find the walnuts are enough, and I don't really miss the chocolate chips (okay, I do, but you don't need them in everything!). The reason to flatten the buns a little is so they will fit in the toaster later in the week. These little buns are great in the mornings or for a quick snack.
3 medium-large bananas
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/3 cup of sugar
1 cup of white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of quick oats
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips (optional)
2 tablespoons of raw (turbinado) sugar or a little confectioner's sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mash the bananas (I use a potato masher). Add the eggs, oil, and sugar and stir the ingredients well with a wooden spoon until everything is quite mixed. Add the white whole wheat flour, oats, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir them into the banana mixture until just mixed in and no streaks remain. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips, if you're using them. Spoon golf ball-sized scoops of batter out onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 10-12 equal-sized mounds and flatten the mounds slightly. If you'd like, you can sprinkle the tops of the buns with a little raw sugar. Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes until puffed and barely firm to the touch. If you didn't sprinkle the buns with raw sugar, you can dust them with a tiny bit of confectioner's sugar to decorate them. Or just eat them "as is."