Leeks and Cremini Quiche

I cannot believe how easy it is to make quiche! 🙂 Quiche is one of my favorite dishes; I can have it for any meal or snack. Add a side salad or fresh fruit medley of nature’s seasonal goodies, and I am good to go!

Though this was an overall easy dish to make, I was still overwhelmed by all the recipes (apparently quiche is a popular dish!) and was a little nervous about my quiche coming out with a soggy bottom. Better Homes and Gardens has a pretty good page on how to prevent this from happening. My recipe is a combination of about five different recipes that inspired me. One of which looks amazing!

Serve your amazing quiche with a side salad, such as curly kale tossed with julienned carrots and paper-thin beet slices. Enjoy! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 9-inch premade pie crust
  • organic butter
  • 2 large leeks ~ white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 6-8 cremini mushrooms ~ chopped
  • 1 cup organic half-and-half
  • 4 large organic eggs
  • 1 cup organic shredded cheese of choice
  • 1 tbs Mrs. Dash seasoning of choice
  • paprika~ to taste
  • sea salt ~ to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper ~ to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place premade pie crust in the oven, on the middle rack. Bake for 8-10 minutes. (The goal is to harden the shell, not bake it to a golden finish. This helps keep the bottom from becoming soggy once fillings are added.)
  3. While the crust is baking, sautĂŠ the leeks and cremini with butter, until the mixture is aromatic and cooked. Make sure any liquid has evaporated. Remove from stove.
  4. When the pie crust has lightly baked, remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, half and half, and seasonings of choice.
  6. Fill about 40% of the pie crust with the cooked veggies. Sprinkle on shredded cheese. Reserve some cheese for the top.
  7. Pour the custard filling all over the veggie and cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes. (The quiche is cooked through when an inserted fork comes out clean. You should also have a nice browning on the pie crust.)
  9. Remove quiche from oven and allow to cool for about 40 minutes before slicing.

Lemon-Lavender Shortbread Cookies

luluesque_lemon lavender shortbread cookies

Lavandula, more commonly known as “lavender,” is a flowering plant that belongs in the mint family.  The exceptionally fragrant and versatile flowers are used in medicines, aromatherapy, bath and home products, and food. When used as an essential oil, it has anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties and has a calming, soothing effect. 

The sight and smell of lavender always make me daydream about running through a field of lavender in the south of France, on a warm, lazy summer day. 🙂

This super easy recipe comes from the Food and Wine website. Since I am a huge fan of lemons, I increased the lemon zest from 1 teaspoon to 2.

I also found other amazing recipes that contain lavender for future culinary endeavors! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried organic lavender blossoms ~ chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated organic lemon zest
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted organic butter ~ softened
  • 1 cup organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the chopped lavender and grated lemon zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in the butter at moderate speed. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Form the dough into a 4-inch log and chill for at least 45 minutes longer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the shortbread dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds on ungreased baking sheets. Freeze the rounds for 10 minutes.
  3. Bake the shortbread for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer the baked shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely.

MAKE AHEAD
The cookie-dough log can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw slightly before slicing. The baked shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Lavender Culinary Recipes

Lemon-Lavender Cream Cheese Frosting

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 T butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp dried lavender buds. Ground
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/3 cup confectioners sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix cheese, butter and sugar in a food processor or mixer. Add other ingredients until smooth. Can be spread or piped onto cupcakes or cakes.

*recipe source*


Lemon Lavender Greek Yogurt Pound Cake

A recipe for incredibly moist Greek yogurt pound cake with tart lemon and flowery lavender.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces, weight) 2% Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. dried lavender

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease one 9×5 (or two 5.75×3 mini) loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until fully incorporated.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the Greek yogurt, to the creamed butter and sugar and mix just until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat on low just until blended. Gently stir in the lavender.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

*recipe source*


Lavender Honey Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp lavender honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp coarse Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients in a jar. Cap, tighten the lid and shake well. Serve at room temperature.

*recipe source*

Cranberry-Lemon Muffins with Lemon Zest Glaze

luluesque_cranberry-lemon muffins

It is official. I am on a cranberry binge. In the past few weeks, I have made four (yes, 4!) batches of muffins, all containing cranberries. Although, in my defense, I have varied them a bit. 🙂

If you’re interested, here are a couple of the recent cranberry-related recipes:

INGREDIENTS: Yields 12 small muffins

  • 1 & 1/2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup organic lemon yogurt
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated organic lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable oil & 1 tablespoon for greasing the tins
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries ~ rinsed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and oil.
  4. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Gently fold in the cranberries.
  6. Grease your muffin tins with oil by using a silicone brush.
  7. Fill the muffin tins. 
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
  9. Drizzle with Lemon Zest Glaze. Optional.

Citrus Zest Glaze

luluesque_citrus zest glazeIcing is one of those things you either love or love to hate. 😉 I suppose I’m the oddball that neither hates nor love it. I sometimes like it and sometimes dislike it, depending on how it’s made and what it’s enhancing.

The GREAT thing about this recipe is you can use lemon, lime (yes!), orange, grapefruit, tangelo, pomelo, or whatever heavenly citrus fruit you can get your culinary hands on!

TIP: Anytime you are using citrus juice, either in another recipe or your tea, and will not be using the zest, be sure to grate the zest before juicing the fruit. Zest freezes well in a tightly-sealed container.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons organic juice ~ citrus fruit of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon organic zest ~ citrus fruit of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over your pastry of choice.
  3. Allowing the glaze to harden is optional. I prefer my glaze to be thick, but not hard. 🙂

Banana-Pecan Bread

luluesque_banana-pecan bread

Banana bread always makes me think of my sweet Mama. She used to make us “banana cake” with a rich, creamy layer of banana frosting on top. This isn’t her recipe, but it’s still delicious! I saw that this Best Banana Bread recipe from Food.com had 568 reviews and 5.75 stars out of 6.  🙂

NOTE: I modified the recipe ever so slightly by 1) decreasing 1 cup sugar to 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2) added chopped pecans, and 3) added nutmeg.

INGREDIENTS:

  • organic vegetable oil ~ to grease the pan
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) organic butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas ~ peeled & mashed
  • 1 & 1/2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pecans ~ coarsely chopped
  • nutmeg or cinnamon ~ optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease your loaf pan with oil by using a silicone brush.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and mashed bananas.
  4. Combine well.
  5. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla.
  6. Gently fold in the pecans.
  7. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes.

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

luluesque_cranberry-orange muffins

I have been in a baking mood and cranberry binge this winter. The winter months also happen to be citrus season, which is so timely because everyone around me either has the flu or cold. Oranges and cranberries contain healthy doses of vitamin C.

This muffin recipe is quite similar to the Mini Cranberry Bundt Cake recipe I posted recently; however, while those bundt cakes are dense like poundcake, these are very light and fluffy. Everyone loved these! Also, I found a glaze recipe but I haven’t gotten around to making it. Let me know if you like the glaze! 🙂

Enjoy and stay healthy and warm this winter! 🙂

INGREDIENTS: Yields 6 large muffins

  • 1 & 1/2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable oil & 1 tablespoon for greasing the tins
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries ~ rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • cinnamon

Orange Glaze:

  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest, orange extract, and oil.
  4. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Gently fold in fresh and dried cranberries.
  6. Grease your muffin tins with oil by using a silicone brush.
  7. Fill the muffin tins. It’s OK if the tins are full as the batter will not overflow during the baking process. 
  8. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the batter.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. 
  10. Drizzle with orange glaze. Optional.

Mini Cranberry Bundt Cakes

luluesque-cranberry bundt cakes

‘Tis the season for cranberries and the holidays are the perfect time to do some baking! A “cranberry muffin” Google search yielded a nice selection of recipes for inspiration. This Cream Cheese Cranberry Muffin recipe from Taste of Home, in particular, caught my eye; it had me at “cream cheese.” 🙂

These are amazingly dense and moist, reminding me of poundcake—but with a nicely balanced addition of sweetness and tartness. I find them delicious with a cup of tea or coffee at breakfast or with a glass of milk in the afternoon.

NOTE: I modified the recipe ever so slightly by 1) using as many organic ingredients as possible, 2) replacing 1/2 cup pecans with 1/2 cup dried cranberries, and 3) replaced 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.

INGREDIENTS: Yields 10-12 mini bundt cakes or large muffins.

  • organic vegetable oil ~ I’m using coconut/canola oil blend 
  • 1/2 cup organic butter (1 stick) ~ softened
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese ~ softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups organic evaporate cane sugar
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons organic vanilla
  • 2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour ~ I’m using King Arthur brand
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, yogurt, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until you get a smooth batter.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients from step #2 into the batter, just until moistened.
  5. Gently fold in fresh and dried cranberries.
  6. Grease your mini nonstick bundt cake pans with oil by using a silicone brush.  
  7. Sprinkle some cinnamon into the empty bundt pans. Fill each cup three-fourths full. Alternatively, you can use giant muffin tins as well.
  8. Sprinkle some more cinnamon on the batter.
  9. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cakes comes out clean. 

Cinnamon Rolls – Finale

Ladies and Germs ;), it gives me great pleasure to announce that I have FINALLY perfected a cinnamon roll to my liking. I have omitted, replaced, added, and everything in between, to achieve what I think is the ultimate “Lulu Cinnamon Rolls.” It took a total of four tries, but here they are….

They are perfect little bite-sized rolls. Not too sweet, not too fluffy, not too healthy, not too evil, perfectly sweet with strong cinnamon flavor and dressed up with a citrus zest glaze (this was only because I ran out of cream cheese). I’m keeping this filed in my recipe archive! 🙂

Using the Cinnamon Rolls III recipe I found on allrecipes.com…

INGREDIENTS:
Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water filtered water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix OMITTED
  • 1 cup warm milk buttermilk
  • 1 organic egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea  salt
  • 4 cups bread flour 2 cups King Arthur 100% organic unbleached/unbromatd bread flour -and- 2 cups 100% organic pancake-waffle flour mix from Sprouts
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

Filling: 

  • 1/4 cup organic butter, softened 
  • 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 5-6 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (I did not have handy) OMITTED. I used 1 heaping cup organic raisins

Frosting: 

  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package organic cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup organic butter, softened 
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk buttermilk
  • ADDED: 2 tbs citrus (Minneola tangelo, tangerine, orange mix) zest 

DIRECTIONS:
Follow these directions as is, but keep in mind of all my edits above. Happy Baking!

  1. In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17″ x 10″ rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
  3. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 (I wanted to make mini rolls, so divided my dough into 25) one inch slices and place in 9″ x 13″ buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.