IN THE KITCHEN: Cooking Their Hearts Out

IN THE KITCHEN, May 2015: Cooking Their Hearts Out

Kids and quiche go hand in pan.

For Cheryl Bloom, cooking and family go hand-in-hand.

She grew up in her mother’s kitchen, so naturally Cheryl raised her children in the kitchen, as well.

Nowadays, Cheryl enjoys cooking up delicious dishes with her grandchildren and teaching them the craft of preparing meals they’ll one day serve their own families.

For Mother’s Day, Cheryl shares with us a classy, yet casually simple, brunch that is perfect for Dad and the kids to cook for Mom on her special day.

The main dish itself, in fact, is steeped in rich family history.

“We used to have this crustless quiche before church,” she said. “We lived 35 minutes from the church, and with three kids, it was easy to just put this together and stick it in the oven. It’s not something you have to stay there and tend to.”

Cracking eggs for the quiche is a task suitable for a novice chef, Cheryl said. Her granddaughter, Allie Bloom, 5, helps her prepare the quiche and cracks them like an eggspert.

Cheryl’s grandson, Dustin, 2, carefully chooses pieces of bacon and ham to add to the mix and proudly does his part to create a cuisine fit for a Mother’s Day queen.

A colorful fruit salad also is easy to make and is the perfect complement to the quiche. It also is fun for children to participate in preparing. Dropping the different fruits into the dish is the perfect job for small children who want to have a part in making Mom’s meal.

Blueberry muffins made with Cheryl’s secret “cheat” recipe nicely top off the meal, and the smell of them baking in the oven is enough to get the kids excited about cooking (and eating).

And, the fare is easy on the eyes. The vibrant hues of the different ingredients will shine in all three dishes and make the entire table glow.

When Cheryl cooks, she certainly blurs the lines between artist and chef. And while her dishes are as beautiful as they are delicious, Cheryl said not to worry if yours doesn’t come out of the oven looking perfect.

“Mom will love it either way,” Cheryl said. “It’s the thought that counts.”

Cheryl shared her fabulous recipes with us:

Fruit Salad

IN THE KITCHEN, May 2015: Cooking Their Hearts Out

You will need:
1 3.5-ounce box vanilla instant pudding
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can pineapple chunks
Assorted fruits for the fruit salad such as blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, raspberries, blackberries and cantaloupe
Note: Bananas are very good in this salad, but you must eat all of it right away. If you use bananas, upon slicing, wash them in a bowl of Sprite or Mountain Dew before adding to your salad.
Sauce: Drain and save the mandarin orange and pineapple juice. Use one cup of this juice mixture and whisk in the dry vanilla pudding. Whisk until all dissolved and smooth. Set aside. It will thicken as it sits.
Note: The leftover juice is good mixed with Sprite. Add ice for a refreshing drink.

• Slice strawberries to make approximately one cup.
• Rinse and dry grapes, add about two cups (this depends on size of grapes).
• Add approximately one-half cup blueberries.
• Slice one apple in Sprite or Mountain Dew (this will help it to not turn brown).
• Try to average four to five cups of fruit depending on how saucy you want your fruit cups.
• Place all cut fruit, as well as the drained mandarin oranges and pineapple, into the sauce.
• Gently fold until sauce covers all fruit. Because raspberries and blackberries fall apart easily, do not add these items until you have covered the other fruit with the sauce. Then very gently fold in these berries.
• Cover with plastic, place in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Quick & Easy Butter Cream Blueberry Muffins

IN THE KITCHEN, May 2015: Cooking Their Hearts Out

“This recipe is quick and easy when time and ingredients are limited,” Cheryl said.

You will need:
4 eggs
1.25 cup water
1.5 cup sour cream
1.5 cup margarine, room temperature. Not melted
1 butter-flavored cake mix
1 cup blueberries
• Beat eggs and water until foamy. Beat in sour cream, margarine and cake mix until very creamy, scraping sides of bowl. Fold in blueberries. Line muffin pan with paper cups or spray with cooking spray. Fill cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Cheryl has made this recipe as a Bundt cake, and she said it was delicious.


Crustless Quiche

(Try to say that 3 times fast!)
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“This is an easy way to create a great breakfast or brunch without a lot of hard work,” Cheryl said. “You can add any toppings to this to fit your family likes and leave out what they don’t like. By not using a crust, you automatically have a ‘gluten free’ meal.”

You will need:
(Serves about four people)
8 eggs
One-fourth cup milk
One-fourth teaspoon salt
One-eighth teaspoon pepper
Items that you would like in your quiche, such as crumbled bacon, sausage, ham, assorted veggies and cheeses
Whisk
Bowl
9-to-10-inch glass pie plate
Note: Cheryl prefers glass because eggs will turn green when cooked in aluminum. They are still good, just green (kind of cool on St. Patrick’s Day).
Note: The quiche in the picture is made with bacon, ham, broccoli, cheddar and Swiss cheese.

• Grease the pie plate. You can use margarine or butter. “I prefer bacon grease,” Cheryl said. “I know, I know what you are thinking, but I look at it this way … You are going to add calories anyway, so they might as well taste good.”
• Whisk vigorously. This will make your quiche fluffy and thick.
• Pour into your greased pie plate and bake on 350 degrees until halfway cooked (approximately 10 minutes). You will see it cooked around the edges and partly on the bottom. The center will still be runny. This is when you want to remove it from the oven and add your toppings.
• For her quiche, Cheryl used one-fourth cup diced ham, one-eighth cup crumbled bacon, one-third cup broccoli, three-fourths cup shredded cheddar cheese and 4 slices of Swiss cheese.
• Place back in the oven for about another 10 minutes, but check at 5 minutes.
• If you slightly shake your pie plate and the quiche wiggles, it is not fully cooked. You want a “non-wiggly quiche.”
• Your cheese should be melted with some spots just slightly turning brown. Too much brown means it’s overcooked.
• Remove from oven and slice into eight pieces. Serve with Quick & Easy Butter Cream Blueberry Muffins or toast.


 

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