Mr. C’s Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust

Quiche-y Keen! Mr. C’s Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust Breakfast & Main I make a pretty good Quiche Lorraine, but this is my absolute favorite quiche and so easy to make!  This dish is our go-to recipe for brunch and, as it is even better the next day, it gets bonus points for being able to be made ahead.  Except for holidays, after my mom turned 45, she stopped cooking.  My stepfather, Mr. C, stepped up to the plate and took over cooking duties, usually barbecuing.  He did, however, have a few delicious specialties.  One of those is his Southwestern Quiche with Cayenne Pepper Crust.  (Tom note: In the photo on the right of Mr. C, he reminds me … Read more…

Oatmeal Walnut Bars with Blood Orange Jam and Apricot

Crumble Bars Two Ways (Part Two) Oatmeal Walnut Bars with Blood Orange Jam and Apricot As promised in my earlier post for the Raspberry Habanero Jam Crumble Bars, here is the recipe for Blood Orange Jam, Apricot, Oatmeal, and Walnut Bars lightly adapted from Giada De Laurentis’ Apricot Oat Bar recipe. I thought the toasted walnuts and oatmeal crumble was total comfort food, and the amazing Bourbon Blood Orange jam from Laura Ann’s Jams with the addition of dried apricots, really kicked it up a notch.  You can easily substitute any flavor jam or preserves you have on hand, just use a good quality one or otherwise it may be too sweet.  This recipe is easy to put together and … Read more…

Raspberry Habanero Jam Crumble Bars

Crumble Bars Two Ways (Part One) Raspberry Habanero Jam Crumble Bars Dolce  Tom has been obsessed with jam lately … specifically with Laura Ann’s Jams and particularly with her Raspberry Habanero and Bourbon Blood Orange jams.  We have been going through peanut butter and jam sandwiches as if we had teenagers in the house.  Tom is also adding the Raspberry Habanero jam to his steak marinade and we have even spread those jams on grilled fontina cheese sandwiches.  Yum! We were introduced to this jam by our friends, Tyler and Sayda, who are currently traveling the United States with their kids and two dogs in a motorhome (a really big motorhome).  There was no room for the jam, so Sayda … Read more…

Roasted Sweet Potato, Poblano, Avocado & Black Bean Tacos

Healthy Tacos Roasted Sweet Potato, Poblano, Avocado & Black Bean Tacos Main Course So our January and February plan to diet during those months did not materialize.  But now it’s almost March, and we’re starting over. Despite being a gentleman of a certain age, Tom has a list (short) of foods he doesn’t like, and for some reason, sweet potatoes are on that list.  He refused even to taste them.  This recipe sounded great to me, so Tom agreed to have a teeny, tiny bite.  And he loved it!  Have you ever wondered (like me) what the difference is between yams and sweet potatoes?  Here is a link to a good explanation from The Spruce Eats:  “Many times the names … Read more…

Butterscotch Pots de Crème with Bourbon Whipped Cream & Toffee Bits

Crunchy Delight in Every Bite Butterscotch Pots de Crème with Bourbon Whipped Cream & Toffee Bits Dessert: There are some holidays when it is easier to stay at home and cook.  In my opinion, Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays.  I made this recipe from Betty Rosbottom’s Soup Nights (my favorite soup chef!) for Christmas Eve.  It is make-ahead (which I love) and it was fabulous.  So much so, I decided to make this for Valentine’s Day.  The recipe serves six which ensures there will be leftovers.  Rich, creamy butterscotch deliciousness topped with a dollop of Bourbon Whipped Cream and a pinch of crumbled toffee bits.  Yum…. Skor candy bars make an excellent toffee topping although Almond Roca or … Read more…

Tiffany’s Cream Cheese & Cheddar Cheese Toast (and Dip!)

The Cheesiest! Tiffany’s Cream Cheese & Cheddar Cheese Toast (and Dip!) Appetizer: Ok, here is probably the easiest recipe I have ever posted, courtesy of my sister-in-law, Tiffany.  We have been making this recipe for years, um, decades, and it never fails to please.  I have also used this as a stuffing for mushrooms (brush mushroom caps with olive oil, fill and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted). Or, you can even just bake the cheese spread in a small skillet or oven proof dish until bubbling and use crostinis or sturdy crackers as a dipper.  (Bake uncovered at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling, let cool before serving.)  If not serving … Read more…

Ham, Cheese & Potato Soup

Amy’s Soup Ham, Cheese & Potato Soup Appetizer or Main As some of you may know, I lost my mom earlier this year.  A few days after Christmas, she had a heart attack.  I flew up to take care of her and made a pot of soup with her left-over Christmas Honey Baked Ham.  Using Yukon Gold potatoes with lots of Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese it made for a comforting, make you feel better, pot of soup.  We had a big, steaming bowl for my belated birthday.  (Editor’s Note: Amy had no dietary restrictions).  I made this again recently at home, hoping that it really was as delicious as I remembered.  I would have hated for my mom’s last meal … Read more…

Apple Cider Bundt Cake with Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze

Sweet Breakfast Treat Apple Cider Bundt Cake with Apple Cinnamon Glaze Breakfast: When I was growing up, my Nana made cinnamon rolls every year for breakfast on Christmas morning.  They were terrific.  I asked about the recipe once, and she replied, “Sissy, that is what they make bakeries for!”  At this point, I had shown no interest in baking, so I’m not sure if she thought it would be beyond my skill set or if she was just tired of getting up before the crack of dawn to make cinnamon rolls. Because Tom and I host Christmas Eve dinner, we have always left the Christmas day festivities to his sister.   Tom’s sister, Deanna, passed away earlier this year leaving … Read more…

Pignoli Cookies with Orange and Rosemary

Taste of Italy Cookies Pignoli (Pine Nut) Cookies with Orange and Rosemary As indicated by the last couple of recipes here in Mai Tai Tracy’s Kitchen, our recent trip to Italy has inspired me to cook Italian!   My absolute favorite cookie on our first trip to Italy in 2001 was the pignoli (pine nut) cookies we had in Siena.  I could live on those cookies, but I had forgotten about them over the years until I tasted them again at our B&B in Orta San Giulio.  Upon returning home, I came across a recipe in the 2009 issue of Better Homes & Gardens Ultimate Italian that was ridiculously easy with only four ingredients.  The recipe reminds me of my favorite … Read more…

Italian Blue Goat Cheese Risotto and Xocopili Chocolate

Remarkable Risotto Risotto with Italian Blue Goat Cheese and Xocopili Chocolate Category: Appetizer or Main Dish We saved one of our best meals for last on our 2018 Italian trip.  On our final night in Orta San Giulio, we enjoyed a stupendous risotto made with blue goat cheese, candied walnuts and shaved Xocopili chocolate (Risotto all’erborinato di capra della Val Vigezzo, cioccolato Xocopili e noci caramellate).  Wow! That was that good risotto!  We stayed at the incredible Bed & Breakfast Al Dom on the shores of Orta San Giulio with a private garden at the edge of the lake and views across to the L’Osola del Silenzio (Island of Silence).  Below is our little Al Dom “picnic area.”     … Read more…