Category: Family


I try to make a breakfast/brunch every Sunday.  A busy schedule led to frozen breakfast sandwiches on BOGO.  Today, I felt inspired to use the pie crusts that had sitting in the fridge for too long, and the diced ham I bought on BOGO for the corn chowder, which ended up having the leftover chicken or turkey or whatever in it instead.  I bought berries intending to make a berry salad.  There’s some endive from our salad the other night.  Lots of Banh Mi style veggies still.  Setting everything out and letting everyone visit the table like a salad bar/buffet was great!  It looked kind of nice, too.

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The quiche were asparagus ham or spinach ham.  Both used tofutti cream cheese substitute and vegan mozzarella shreds, for a healthier take.

2 pie shells (I like to buy Immaculate brand, but any will do).  These will be baked before filling at 375 for 10 minutes, or as directed on the packaging.  Pierce them with a fork to prevent lifting and cracking.  Turn oven down to 320 when you take the crusts out.  The quiche cook at a lower temperature.

Filling:

8 eggs

1 container tofutti cream cheese substitute

4 Tbsp. butter

1 package mozzarella shred vegan cheese

2 (8 oz) packages diced ham, drained and dried

1 can spinach, well drained (ideally overnight)

1 can cut asparagus, drained

  1.  Place drained asparagus in one bowl and the spinach in another.
  2. Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in ham and cook and caramelize a little  to richen the flavor.
  3. In the meantime, you can crack four eggs over each bowl of vegetables.

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  1. Stir in cream cheese and melt over low heat, stirring regularly.
  2. Spread half of the cream cheese ham mixture into each baked pie crust.
  3. Whisk eggs and veggies.  Add in mozzarella shreds and pour over ham mixture.

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  1. Bake at 320 for about 45 minutes.   They never seem completely set because of the cream cheese, but they are done when they don’t jiggle.

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Sunday morning, I helped out by watching my 5 and 2 year old grandsons while their parents went off to work.  Their other grandma, Tina,  lives there, and treats them to homemade fare regularly.  She’s the one who deserves Grandmother of the Year for all she does.

The boys wanted Mickey waffles, and luckily, their mom had some shake and pour pancake mix on hand.  However, never being one to use just water with any mix, I added an egg, some vanilla, sour cream, and (don’t laugh) coffee creamer.  It makes for fluffier waffles, and beats straight mix.  Grandma Tina had strawberries and whipped cream on hand, so they had the option of a strawberry shortcake Mickey waffle, or simply Mickey with maple syrup.  Yummmmm.

Mickey waffle

I introduced them to the movie “Matilda” and they loved it.  We all love to hate the nasty Miss Trunchbull, right?!?  We all love Miss Honey too.  They were glued to the screen (eating PB&J for lunch).  Hard to believe it’s a movie from 22 years ago.  It really holds up well.  We had it on VHS when my kids were little.

Matilda

Being the food-obsessed person that I am, I offered to prepare the ground meat my daughter had in the fridge.  It’s always harder to work with someone else’s ingredients, but by the time I left, they had precooked meatballs that were in a baking dish with doctored up marina, ready to throw in the oven.  I also prepared cooked taco meat (with instructions of how to make burritos like I make) and meatballs for a night when they wanted Asian inspired teriyaki meatballs.

They just had to cook some spaghetti and garlic toast to accompany the meatballs when they got home.

Sunday dinner

Saturday, being my day off lends itself to being a day to clean, meal plan, and shop.  Some weeks it feels like a chore and others, I remember to count my blessings and enjoy the journey this life is.

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It is always surprising when inspiration comes unexpected sources.  I learned this week of the passing of a first cousin with whom I had lost touch years ago.  Tommy was twelve years older than me, lived 1,200 miles away, and his father, Tom, and my mother, Grace, who were siblings, had a falling out fifty years ago.  I do recall, however, being at my Uncle Tom’s bedside while he was in the VA hospital during his last days, so I am hopeful that my mom and her brother made some sort of peace.  I also have a vivid and emotional memory of the night my cousin flew out of Greater Pittsburgh Airport to go fight in Vietnam.  Chronology is not my strong suit, but I was probably about 8 or 9 years old.  Seeing his mother Jane, his father, and sisters, Sally and Kathi, cry on that rooftop observation deck, the feelings surrounding it all, still brings a lump to my throat.

AirportPgh. Post Gazette archives photo

I have been friends with Kathi on Facebook for a while, and she let me know of his passing.  Since then, I have friended his son, Thomas, who also lost his mother about a year ago.  It made me realize that we all race through life and miss opportunities for connection daily.   At dinner last night with some incredible ladies I am fortunate to call friends, one of them counseled the other to walk slower.  I realized she could be talking to each and every one of us.  Rita even went so far as to say “God gave you a friend with a cane” and I had an aha moment.  It shouldn’t take a death or an injury to slow us down and remind us to live in the moment, but it does.

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As I sat outside and looked over a beautiful garden on a breezy, perfect weather day, I was seeing things as if for the first time.  Although I’m not much of a photographer (yet) I snapped some shots of the garden my surrogate son, Daniel, grows, and the yard that my son, Austin, keeps beautiful.  I hope they can inspire some of you out there to slow down and see the wonder of the world around you.

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There is whimsy.

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There is life.

There is love.

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There is the beauty of this world that is just waiting to be appreciated.

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Somehow the rest of my day just got a whole lot more opportunity and a lot less chore.

 

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