Quiche Lorraine

Someday I hope to have my own backyard chickens, but right now that isn't possible where we live. However, we are lucky enough to know people who do have chickens, and this week we were given two dozen fresh 'homegrown' eggs.

Eggs are so versatile and nutritious, and though the local, soy-free eggs we buy are rather expensive, they are cheaper than many other foods, so we try to have them quite often. One of those ways is in a quiche.

There are so many varieties of quiche, and maybe it's just the bacon, but I usually fall back on Quiche Lorraine. Hot for dinner, or cold the next day in my lunch, it's one of my favorites.

Quiche Lorraine

Pastry for 9 inch pie crust
8-10 slices bacon (depending on size - or even more if you like), diced and fried until crisp
4 oz shredded Swiss Cheese
1/2 minced onion
4 eggs
2 cups cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkled bacon, onion and cheese in pastry lined pan. Beat eggs until uniform yellow, then add cream and salt.

Pour into pie pan. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and continue baking 30-40 minutes, or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Peppermint Bark Cookies

I discovered this recipe a few years ago, and it's become one of our favorite cookies this time of year. Like many of my recipes, though, I don't remember where it came from.

Peppermint Bark Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup  brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup peppermint bark, chopped into chip sized pieces

Cream the butter and sugars together for about two minutes or until light and fluffy
Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder and add to butter mixture
Fold in the peppermint bark chips.
Drop by  spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees,  10-12 minutes. Cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. 

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Broccoli Soup

This is one of our favorite soups, especially with our home-grown broccoli. It's also good with cheddar cheese.

Broccoli Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2  cups broccoli, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onions and broccoli and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.

Stir in thyme and flour and cook for a few minutes. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft.

Blend to desired consistency. Stir in cream and heat through.