Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quick N Savory Bacon & Cheese Quiche

First off, my apologies for how little I've posted this past week! Things have seemed rather hectic. But, I'm determined to resolve that. So, today, I'm sharing a recipe that I created as a guest post for Nicole Small's blog, Tales Of A Kansas Farm Mom - Bacon & Cheese Quiche. I had a great time making this! 
Now for the nitty gritty part - The quiche. As I said in the post for Nicole, quiches are basically open-faced, savory pies. Most of them consist of the basic combination of milk, eggs, and cheese. Everything else in it is completely your choice!

Yep. That means it's all up to you.

Nobody else.

All according to your taste buds. 

Follow your- Wait. What was I even talking about??

For my quiche, I used a combination of Swiss and cheddar cheese, some chopped celery and apple to give it some sweetness and crunch, and then half a jalapeño and some onion to give it some kick! Let's get started:

You'll need:

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening 
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 egg

Quiche Filling:
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 jalapeño, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup apple, thinly sliced
5 - 10 slices bacon, chopped coarsely

Start by cooking your bacon according to the instructions. 

Now, let's make the pie crust. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Using a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening.

Crack an egg into a measuring cup....

And then fill it with water until it reaches the 1/4 cup mark. Beat together and add it to the bowl. (As you can see here, I made a batch of dough that was twice as big as the recipe, that's why mine shows 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup!)

Using your hands, knead it together until it's all combined. (Don't over knead!)

Lightly grease a pie plate and then press the dough into it using your fingers. 

Then crack the eggs into a bowl and beat.

Add the one cup of milk....

And then the cheese. Stir together gently.

Wash your apple, celery, and jalapeño. Slice your apple thinly and add it to the bowl.

Then chop up the one stalk of celery and add it too.

Dice the jalapeño finely and add it.

Chop and add the onion to the bowl.

Then chop the bacon and stir it in too.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake at 350* for 30 - 45 minutes or until firm in the center and starting to brown.

Let sit on the kitchen counter for about 10 minutes to finish cooking in the center.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!


Quick Breakfast Quiche


Pie Crust:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 egg

Quiche Filling:
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 jalapeño, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup apple, sliced thinly
5 - 10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped coarsely

- Preheat the oven to 350* F.
- Start by making the crust. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large
- Add the shortening and use a fork or pastry cutter to combine the flour mixture and
- Crack the egg into a measuring cup and add cold water to it until it reaches the 1/4
cup mark. Stir together using a fork and add to the bowl. Knead with hands until just
- Place in a lightly greased deep-dish pie plate and spread.
- Now, for the quiche filling. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then stir in the milk. Add
the shredded Swiss and Cheddar cheese.
- Chop the celery, jalapeño, onion, and then slice the apple thinly. Stir all of these into
the egg/milk mixture.
- Coarsely chop the bacon and stir it into the mixture as well.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust.
- Bake for 30 - 45 minutes. You’ll want it fairly firm in the center and starting to turn
golden brown.
- Let sit for 10 minutes on the stove-top to finish cooking in the center.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2014

From Floor to Roof

This post is to show what got done in one week. We went from having just the foundation and floor on Monday to have the walls up, the rafters in, and the roof on by Friday! Since it rained hard yesterday, it wasn't worked on today and probably won't be tomorrow. 

 Like I said, we had this Monday - The foundation and floor. A bit of a side note - Our Siamese tom cat, Sammy, will sometimes crawl through the openings you see on the right side, and spend most of the entire day down in the dark sleeping. If he hears us out there working in the afternoon, he'll hop out and then shake his head and wander around blindly because he's been in the dark for so long. It's something to watch!

After the walls were put up, then came the fun part of lifting the rafters into place on top of the walls.

 And here's what it looks like today! The roof is on, walls are up, and rafters are in.

 For now, the rafters are covered in plastic wrap to keep the dust and water off.

 Here's the pretty view from the new room where we can see the river behind the house.

So it isn't even close to done, but it's coming along quite well. Like I said in the first post about this project, it's just too much fun not to share!


Rustic Boxcar Timbers and Plates

Now for the next part of the project: Making the rafters! It started out with making the metal plates. We cut cardboard templates out and then I would trace them onto some hard-board a half-inch smaller than the original cardboard template. They'd then be cut out using the plasma cutter. After that, they were cleaned up a bit and painted!

Several coats of both paint and primer ensured that these babies would look good in the end.

The finished products! (Yep, all of these would be used on just two rafters!) 

Then came the measuring and cutting of the wooden beams. That took awhile… And also alota math! I stuck around in the house during most of that process, so I don't have many pictures of it.

And then in the end, one of the two rafters. After this picture was taken, they were sprayed with polyurethane several times to seal them and give them a little darker look. 

The next step: Floor and Walls


Tree Removal and Footings

In this part of the project, we were cutting down the trees behind our house and then pouring the footings for the wall foundations. (I just sound so builder-like there!)

This tree had been here for many, many years. At one point, it was split in half and about to fall down. So we didn't lose it, a gigantic log chain was put around the two halves, holding them together.

Of course, no project is complete without a little supervisor…. 

Turns out, it was a good thing we cut the old tree down. It was completely rotten in the middle!

After the tree was down, a super great crew we hired dug the footings out. We actually learned that we only have a few feet of top soil on top of solid rock! So it made the digging rather difficult.

Once again, the little supervisor.

Unfortunately, I have no picture of when the footings were finished...

The next step in the project was to cut a hole through the concrete wall into our basement. This was to make a crawl-space. I can't say I've ever heard a louder racket than that of a concrete saw!

The next part of the project: Rustic Rafters


Old Boxcars and Timbers

  Over the past few months, we've started adding onto our house a great big living room. I was planning on taking pictures throughout the entire project and then posting one post at the end of how it went together - But it seems that I have no where near enough patience to wait until then to share pictures! So, I'm going to post pictures of what we so far (in two or three different posts) and then continue to update until we're done! I have to say, this is soooo much more fun than waiting until the end!

So, I better start at the very beginning. That means going back to November of 2013. A friend kindly agreed to let us have the wooden beams under an old train boxcar if we would get them out and help clean up afterwards. Here's how it went down:

It started with me seeing this view for several miles. Person A drives the wheel loader, Person B (that would be me!) drives the truck. 

Here's what we saw when we got there. The trees around the cars had been cut and chopped, and now it was up to us to clean up the cars.

After a lot of cutting and breaking of chainsaw chains, we started to see some light at the end of the tunnel. AKA, we could see the beams.

The floor was cut out of the cars and then the cars were lifted up and taken to a burn area.

This was the sweet, dear little can of magic that got me through that day!

Here's where it gets down to the nitty gritty of the age of our beloved wood beams. This patent date says 12-11-17. So, we're figuring that if the car was built in 1917, the trees that the beams are from had to be cut down before that. And to make it all a little more confusing, we've counted over 80 rings in the beams! If there are over 80 rings in a beam alone, imagine how many were in the tree! We're thinking these babies are probably pretty ancient….

After we cut the floors out and removed the old cars, we stacked the two floors together and went back later with a trailer to haul them home.

Here you can see that the boards had been removed from the top floor (the bottom one still had its boards) and there were four beams under each floor. 

So that's the very beginning of this whole thing!
I'll continue to show the whole process as it happens,