Saturday, April 2, 2011

Springtime Parties

     Something about daffodils always make me smile, they are so bright and cheery, and seem to say that the warm weather is coming, and the nice lazy days of summer are ahead.  I love springtime and I love springtime entertaining.  These are two of my staple recipes that I use when I host a springtime brunch.  I think I should start planning my next soiree.  I love being a hostess, I love people feeling welcome and at home in my place.  I find it very rewarding to have people want to visit and enjoy my cooking.  It goes back to my core cooking goal which is to cook from the heart and to bring people closer together through healthy and delicious food.  Plan a springtime party of your own, it is a great way to bid winter farewell.  I will be featuring several of my favorite springtime recipes that I have created all month, try some of them and let me know what you think.

Springtime Asparagus Quiche


1/2 to pound asparagus, trimmed,
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped portabello mushrooms
5 green onions, with green, thinly sliced
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash nutmeg


In a saucepan, cover asparagus with water, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet, heat butter over medium-low heat; add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are tender; add green onions and cook for 1 minute longer. Set aside.

Whisk together the eggs and half-and-half; add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables. Place the filled pie shell on a large cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan. Place in the oven and cook for 45 to 55 minutes at 375, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serves 6 to 8.

Springtime Pasta


12 ounces farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup haricots verts (thin tender green beans), ends trimmed
1/2 cup thin asparagus tips and stalks, sliced in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh peas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1/3 c. sliced black olives


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat and quickly sauté the vegetables until just tender. Do not overcook. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the half-and-half and cook to thicken the sauce, 5 minutes. Season well with pepper. Toss in the drained pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan.

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