Friday, July 3, 2009

Ugly is Beautiful

So I just found out that Canada Day was 2 days ago on July 1. I'm sad to admit that I don't actually know much about our neighbors up north. In fact, I've only entered Canada briefly when my parents got lost driving in NY many years back. But I do know a little more about music, and she's given us some great musicians! Just to name some of my favorites, there's Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, Leslie Feist (and the rest of Broken Social Scene), the band Stars, Emily Haines of Metric, and David Usher. I really encourage you to watch the music video above, which is for one of my favorite songs of David's. This guy is not only fantastically talented, but look at him! =p He's in his 40s but looks at least 10 years younger. Well happy belated Canada Day, everyone!

Other than being a music reference, the title of today's post is also applicable to the food I've made recently: broccoli quiche and sopapilla cheesecake bars. They won't win any beauty pageants, but were fairly tasty in my mouth!

This quiche is part of my latest effort to make more boyfriend-friendly food. You see, I've eaten mostly vegetarian (plus seafood) since middle school whereas Patrick was raised on a dairy and meat-laden diet. While I've no desire to impose my food preferences on him or vice versa, these combined with irregular work schedules mean that we've rarely eaten together though we've lived together almost a year. Making heartier dishes like quiche, lasagna, etc. will hopefully lure him to the dinner table when I do make it home, so we can be all domesticated-like ^_^. This broccoli quiche was delicious in flavor but very soft and eggy in texture (probably because the cookbook recipe is a variation of the original quiche Lorraine that didn't use cheese or onions). I'd add 1/2 C more cheese and more vegetables if I made it again.

Broccoli Quiche [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks: 5,000 Ingenious Kitchen Hints, Secrets, Shortcuts, and Solutions

*My comments in italics

1 prebaked pie crust *I used storebought (the horror! =p) but want to try homemade soon
3 large eggs *I used a very small portion of an egg white to seal the crust
1 C total of milk, half-and-half, or cream *I used 1/4 C cream and 3/4 C milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
a few pinches of cayenne powder to taste
1 C broccoli florets*I'll increase this if I make this again
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tsp olive oil *I used basil infused olive oil because that's what I had
1 C shredded cheddar or similar cheese, divided *I already increased this from the original recipe and will even more if I make this again
1/2 tsp paprika

Prebaking the Crust
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. You can prepare other components while you're waiting for it to heat up. Once the oven's ready, prebake your crust for 18-20 minutes. You can line the crust with foil and fill it with pie weights or dried rice/beans for prebaking, but I was lazy and just pressed down the bubbles with a fork afterward. While the crust is warm, glaze it with some egg white to prevent the filling from making it soggy. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Preparing the Filling
Steam or microwave the broccoli with some water under tender. Drain, coarsely chop, and spread in the bottom of the crust. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Scatter this over the broccoli. Sprinkle 3/4 C of the shredded cheese over the broccoli.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk/cream, salt, black pepper, and cayenne powder (optional). Pour this custard mixture into the crust. Sprinkle paprika on top and bake for 40-50 minutes until slightly puffy and a knife tip inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Mine looks wrinkly because I let the crescent dough get too soft and thus difficult to unroll

That same night, I also made these Sopapilla Cheesecake bars, adapted from a Recipezaar recipe. I'm posting the link because I mostly stuck to the recipe. The only changes I made were to decrease the sugar in the filling by 1/4 C and to cut the melted butter in half. It took closer to 45-50 minutes for mine to bake through. My oven thermometer is pretty new, so I don't think that's the problem. This recipe uses store-bought crescent dough, which I admit annoys me a little since I'd rather my baking be from scratch. Nevertheless it tastes great for such minimal effort and my coworkers gobbled it up!

Last but not least, I want to thank my mom for the lovely roses she gave me on my birthday. They're still so pretty. In spite of a stressful week with at the office and lots of late work nights to come, I'm trying to appreciate the little pleasures in life...


  1. Oh I just realized that there was more to this post! Oops. I was wondering where the sopapilla cheesecake pictures were! I've never heard of sopapilla. Sounds delicious though.

  2. Thanks! It might've been my fault -- I posted a draft then updated with the full thing. Several other bloggers have posted about the same recipe. Here's one with better pics of the process ( Sopapillas are apparently deep-fried pastries that can be served with cinnamon and sugar (

  3. Wow the cheesecake bars sound interesting! That recipe looks great!


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu