Happy New Year!
As we enter 2018, I’m sure many of you have reflected on the past year and thought about resolutions for the new year. That’s one of the things I love about this season. My birthday is in between Christmas and New Years, so I always look at this portion of the year as a time of rebirth, taking stock of the last year and setting goals for myself in the year to come. As part of this process, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the blog. I’ve thought about what I want to gain from it, is it something I want to continue working on, what are my expectations and goals surrounding it, does it make me happy? It’s been over two months since my last post and a lot of that is to do with the previous questions. My friends and family know that I like to give everything 110% and I also have a tendency to take on a lot of responsibilities. This past fall and winter was the first time I had stretched myself this thin in a long time (the last time was junior year of college). Somethings were in my control and others weren’t but I did not help myself by adding more to my work load. Working in the consulting world can be very feast or famine. This fall was feasting to the point that my whole team was feeling stressed out and overworked, on top of that I had recently taken over as treasurer of an industry society, I was trying to incorporate more fitness into my routine, I was travelling for work and fun and on top of that, I was panicking about the blog. What was the next recipe I was going to share, when was I going to cook that recipe and take pictures of it, if I took pictures, did they look perfect, what was I going to write about it!? Finally, it just got to be too much, so I took a step back.
In the world of food blogs, there are hundreds of gorgeous sites. I kept comparing myself to my favorite blogs: A Beautiful Plate, The Clever Carrot, and Half Baked Harvest and it was making me miserable. It was also unrealistic. All of these women have not only been working on their blogs for years but they are also bloggers full time. The break and the new year have given me a chance to look back on all the things I like about the blog. I absolutely love cooking and sharing my food and recipes with people, it’s a wonderful outlet for my photography, and it allows me to share my adventures with those I love. So, I’ve decided to continue the blog with no goals or agenda for the number of posts per month or the number likes per post or followers. I hope you enjoy Kneading Adventure as I continue this journey.
Below is one of my favorite recipes, Bacon and Leek Quiche. I’ve categorized it as a breakfast/brunch recipe but this really can be eaten for any meal. Paired with a green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette and a glass of white wine, it makes the perfect dinner. This recipe is a delicious combination of a buttery, flaky crust and a creamy egg custard. The best part about quiche is the flavor combinations are endless. You can use the crust and custard recipe below and add any cheeses, vegetables or meat you want.
Bacon and Leek Quiche
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45-60 minutes
Yields: 1 Quiche
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water
½ pound thickly sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
3 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup milk
Sprinkle of nutmeg
Preparing the pastry: In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add in the cold, cubed butter. Pulse until the butter is incorporated and the butter is no smaller than pea-sized. This can also be done by hand with two butter knifes or a pastry blender. Add the ice water to the mixture. Combine until the dough holds together. Remove the dough to a clean surface and shape with your hands into a disk. Chill the dough for a minimum of 10 minutes, preferably 30 minutes. The dough can also be prepared up to two days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.
Blind bake the pastry: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll the dough into a 9-10” inch tart pan or pie plate. Line the tart dough with aluminum foil (shiny side facing up), allowing it to extend past the sides at least an inch or two. Fill with pie weights or baking beans. Blind-bake the dough for 12 minutes; then remove the foil and weights, and bake the dough, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until the dough is baked through and appears dry. Set aside on a cooling rack while you prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Assemble and bake: In a large pan over medium heat, cook the diced bacon. When the bacon is cooked, remove it to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pour off the bacon fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add the sliced leeks and sauté until they are wilted. Scatter the bacon and leeks on the bottom of the pastry. In a bowl, combine cream, milk and eggs until well blended. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cheese. Pour egg mixture into shell and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake until set about 30-45 minutes. If the filling still jiggles when you move the pan, continue to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.