Category: Entertaining

mother’s day brunch: chili cheese puff & asparagus tart.

Recipes, Fresh Scratch

One of my favorite days of the year is right around the corner.

Mother’s Day and my birthday are the only two days a year that I completely take off from everything. I sleep in, I don’t cook, I don’t do laundry, I read “Sunset” magazine on the couch in the sunshine {my kids ask me what I’m doing and if I’m okay, but still.}. This year, it actually falls on my daughter Annabelle’s birthday. Since that apple didn’t fall too far from this tree, she suggested we spend the day together reading at one of our favorite spots. It’s a date!

You? Maybe you’re hosting. Maybe you’re going to someone’s house for brunch. Maybe you need to bring a dish.

May I help you?

Because half of this idea I have can be assembled the night before. The other part is super-simple. Sound promising? Hope so.

And a Happy Birthday this weekend to my friend Chris, who shared this casserole recipe with our entire book club years ago. It was her grandma’s, and this girl comes from a line of people who make good stuff that gets passed down. Love that!

Before we get started, a tip: don’t try to make this low-fat, okay? Just enjoy the dang thing. It is, after all, Mother’s Day. And whether you have children or not, you deserve to enjoy this dish in its full glory. I’m sure of it.

chili cheese puff ingredients

Chili Cheese Puff
Serves 12
Eggs. Cheese. Green Chilis. Oh, my.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 10 eggs
  2. 9x13 casserole pan (don't use stoneware, or it'll take forever and a day to bake)
  3. half cup of flour
  4. half tsp. salt
  5. 1 tsp. baking powder
  6. half cup of melted butter (one stick)
  7. 1 pint cottage cheese
  8. 8 oz. diced green chilis
  9. 1 lb. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Instructions
  1. 1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. 3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix. It will be lumpy. Chill out.
  4. 4. Pour in the melted butter and mix.
  5. 5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cottage cheese, the chilis, and the cheese.
  6. 6. Butter your pan.
  7. 7. Pour mixture into greased pan. At this point, you can refrigerate it and bake it the next morning, if you want - one of many things to love about this little number!
  8. 8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the dish is firmed-up.
Notes
  1. Cut into squares and enjoy with salsa on top...or not. This dish is one egg dish that is awesome reheated as leftovers, just to keep the happy, butter-laden times going.
Fresh Scratch http://freshscratch.net/
And for a little bit of vegetable to go with all that egg and cheese, how about an asparagus tart? Asparagus is at its peek right now, so enjoy it while you can! Just remember to trim the ends a centimeter or so once you’ve gotten a bunch of it home, then plunge it into a cup of water. It’ll keep like that in your fridge for a few days, staying nice and crisp.

When it’s time to use it, simply bend each stalk and let them snap at a natural breaking point. Keep the top end and compost the bottom.

Fresh Scratch, Asparagus Tart, Mother's DayThis tart can be made free-form on a pizza pan or cookie sheet {just be sure to put down some parchment first}, in a long, rectangular tart pan, or in a circular tart pan.

I’ve made this a bunch of times this spring, including last month when I hosted our book club.

Book Club, Fresh ScratchThese are some of my favorite mamas! I was the last one to have kids in this particular group, so they paved the way for me, in many respects. They gobbled up that asparagus tart, just so you know.

And if you’re curious about what we read…well, I gave no homework. We just came ready to talk about whatever book we’d recently had our nose in. I loved it!

Asparagus Tart
An easy, delicious addition to any springtime meal.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pre-made, flat pie crust {the one in Trader Joe's freezer section is my fave. It has big chunks of butter in it and everyone thinks I made it myself! Don't tell my secret.}
  2. 8 oz. whole-milk mozzarella {the really dry kind, not the fresh, wet kind}
  3. 1 lb. of asparagus, ends snapped off
  4. Olive oil
  5. Pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. 2. Roll out dough to fit your pan - a tart pan may need the dough folded over onto itself before rolling. Fit it into the pan or onto the parchment if using a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Make a raised border, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, and bake until nice and golden, about 12 minutes.
  3. 3. Line the tart with thinly sliced mozzarella {or experiment with other cheeses}.
  4. 4. Toss the asparagus pieces with a drizzle of olive oil. Arrange them on top of the cheese.
  5. 5. Bake tart for 15 minutes, until cheese is definitely melted and the crust has browned at the edges.
  6. 6. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
Notes
  1. The great thing about a tart like this is that it will feed as many people as you'd like it to, depending on how big you cut it.
Adapted from "Sunset" Magazine
Adapted from "Sunset" Magazine
Fresh Scratch http://freshscratch.net/

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

Happy Birthday, Chris {she’s a mom of three girls!}!

easter.

Easter, Fresh Scratch

My aunt and uncle have hosted Easter since I can remember. It’s grown from our two families and our grandparents, as we’ve all gotten married and most of us have had kids. This year I took a turn {twist my arm! you know I love entertaining!}, and we hosted a simple brunch where everyone brought something.

Easter, Fresh ScratchWe had just swapped our big dining room table with our little kitchen table. I think it’s going to stay that way. The entertaining feels less formal, and now the dining room can be a more intimate space. I’ll have to get photos of that soon for you! It’s a work in progress, for sure.

We stayed completely out of our dining room and our more formal living room for this event. It was great!

I set up our extra folding table in the family room, which is open to this space, too – you can see it in the right of the picture. It was a smart move. Entertaining does not have to be fancy, people. Everyone just wants to feel included and loved and not hungry. That’s about it.

 This year I finally realized why my aunt always had some candy for the adults. It stinks when all the kids are eating stuff from their baskets and we don’t have any! So I put out the extras… and the little weasels still took it.

Easter, Fresh ScratchMy nieces – they sure went quickly from being the new kids doing the egg hunt to the ones hiding the eggs – sniff!

Easter, Fresh ScratchHey – there’s someone on the right that you’ve probably never seen before, my oldest brother Chris. In the middle is my cousin Garrett, followed by his wife Mel who introduced us to this.

Easter, Fresh ScratchAnd those are our family friends Freling and Kristi in the middle. Almost all of us have, at one time or another, rented out their cute apartment above the garage at their beautiful Victorian home on Puget Sound. Those were certainly a couple of the best years of my life! And that’s my step-mom on the right, Judy, someone else you don’t see often here.

Easter, Fresh ScratchAnd Mel and baby Ashtyn, who makes the cutest little squeaks you’ve ever heard. It was such a gorgeous Easter this year that we all ended up out back to watch the egg hunt, sitting in the sun on our porch, as the yard furniture hasn’t been brought out yet.

What follows is hysterical. I like to view these pictures in rapid succession. Clementine didn’t seem to understand that dumping her basket over her head to be funny would result in…well, dumping her basket on her head. That pre-frontal cortex takes another couple decades to fully develop, y’all.

Easter, Fresh Scratch Easter, Fresh Scratch Easter, Fresh Scratch Easter, Fresh ScratchThis is my life…