Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Things I Am Loving This Week

Time again for the Things I Am Loving This Week, those (mostly) food-related things that I am enjoying and want to share.

First up, I love, love, love Australian cookbook author Jill Dupleix (just type in her name on my blog search to see some of the several recipes of hers I have made and posted), and I found a UK version of her "Lighten Up: Light, Fresh, Modern, Healthy Food"--one of her cookbooks that I didn't have. It is full of lots of her simple recipes, on the healthier side like these little Paper-Wrapped Quiches--an easy and quick breakfast treat to love.

Dupleix says, "These little tarts don't need pastry at all. Instead, they cook in a scrunch of baking paper, so they are easier to make and lighter to take for office lunches, fast suppers and picnics."

Paper-Wrapped Quiches
"Lighten Up" by Jill Dupleix
(Serves 4 / Makes 8)

400g spinach, well washed (about 2 cups)
6 large eggs
100 ml (about 3.5 oz) milk
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or Gruyere cheese, plus 1 extra Tbsp
sea salt and pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives or parsley
2 thick slices ham, diced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the spinach in a dry non-stick pan over high heat until wilted, tossing well. Squeeze dry and set aside.

Heat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Cut eight 15cm baking paper squares. Line 8 deep muffin molds with the squares.

Beat the eggs with the milk, 2 Tbsp cheese, sea salt, pepper and chives. Scatter a little spinach and ham into each mold. Fill with the egg mixture. Top each one with two cherry tomato slices. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until just set. Top with extra grated cheese. Eat warm or cold.

Notes/Results: These go together quickly and easily and taste great. I used some of the last of my giant wedge of sheep's milk etorki cheese, which melts perfectly, and smoked ham along with the spinach. I also used soy milk in place of the dairy milk since it is what I had on hand. These would also be great with a mix of sausage and peppers or some bacon and mushrooms too.

By now you must know how much I love a salty-sweet chocolate combination, so when I saw this Salty Dog Chocolate Bar from B.T. McElrath, made with "Butter toffee pieces in 70% dark chocolate and sea salt"--I had to try it.

It even comes with directions for eating: "You have a choice. Eat our Salty Dog Bar salt-side up and you're invited into its rich, dark chocolate charms, only to discover the spiky crunch of toffee and sea salt. Eat it salt-side down and feel how the sharp pops of salt ushers in notes of chocolate and caramel. So what's it going to be: mellow or bold? Or both?"

I felt it my responsibility to do extensive taste testing with this one and tried it several times each way--salt side up and then salt side down. Either way it is delicious--the dark chocolate has that perfect combination of crisp/creamy and a good level of salt, but I prefer the salt side up as I like having the creamy taste first and then ending on the crunch. That way both the salt and the toffee flavors and textures seemed to stand out a bit more and linger on the tongue. This could be a new favorite!

Finally, I love the kindness of fellow bloggers and making new friends. Spencer (aka "The Mouse") and his wife, ("The Cat") of Live2Eat Eat2Live Blog, are new bloggers who live in Hawaii, and I am getting to know them online through Souper Sundays. Recently they took a trip to Shanghai for some family business and were kind enough to bring me back a gift from their trip.

Spencer was nice enough to drop the package by Whole Foods this weekend where I was doing a demo, and I was excited and pleased to find some fun chopsticks and holders and some flowering tea. Flowering or blooming tea is a favorite of mine because not only do you get to enjoy a cup of delicious tea, but it is its own entertainment, as you wait to see the flower that appears out of the tightly-tied bundle of tea leaves. In this case it was a green tea with a light jasmine flavor and pretty white jasmine flowers.

As much as I appreciate the gifts, I love the thoughtful gesture even more and hope to get to spend some more time chatting with both the mouse and the cat sometime. ;-)

So that is what I am loving this week.

How about you? What things are you enjoying right now?


  1. That was so sweet of Spencer! Fellow bloggers are the best...one of my favorite parts of blogging is getting to meet all of these amazing people (yourself included!).

    Those quiches are so cute! I love things that come in such pretty packaging...and taste good. And that chocolate. Well. Sweet and salty is kind of my thing! Have to try it.

  2. Beautiful tea!

    I have a love/hate relationship with Jill Dupleix. When she wrote for the Times, I hated her columns, but I have 2 of her books and everything I have made from them has been wonderful.

  3. aww but pastry crust is the best part of quiches ;)

    still love your list this week!

  4. I so wish I loved tea. I've seen these flowering teas and they are gorgeous, but I just can't make myself like tea. :)

    How fun that you get to meet up with other bloggers! That so rarely happens in my remote part of the blogosphere.

  5. The quiches are adorable and they sound great, thanks!

  6. Aren't those quiche just the cutest?! What a great idea. Perfect for a brunch or a spring wedding shower. So glad you accepted your responsibility with eating that chocolate. Now I'm really interested to find it!

    What great foodie gifts. I just love flower tea. It makes the tea drinking experience so much more fun!

  7. What a nice post--I love salty and sweet, too and will look for that bar.

    Here's a salty 'n sweet suggestion back atcha: have you tried Pretzel Thins or Pretzel Crisps (depends which brand you buy). They're flat pretzels perfect for dipping in the melted chocolate of your choice. We just made some for snack after our walk yesterday. :)

    Last year, I made a whole batch and stored them...of course, they didn't last long!

  8. Such cute delicious quiches, yum!

  9. Nothing like a nice tea, after dutifully taste-testing all those chocolate. ;)

  10. Deb, this was a fantastic post and I once again find myself loving the things you love. I love the petite quiches and the tea sounds wonderful. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Cute little quiches. Those would be great for a picnic, I will need to keep those in mind this summer.

    The Jasmine tea not only looks pretty when it blooms, but it produces a great tasting tea, one of my favourites :)

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  13. Those quiches look adorable! So pop-in-your-mouth-able!

  14. "I felt it my responsibility to do extensive taste testing with this one and tried it several times each way--salt side up and then salt side down." ---Geez you sure are thorough, that was such hard work! ;o)

    I think meeting people is the best thing about blogging!

  15. What sweet blogger friends! The tea is so pretty. And I love the paper wrapped quiches - their pretty too - and delish!

  16. I love the Paper-Wrapped Quiches, they look amazing!


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