Bacon, Spinach & Shallot Quiche.

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Christmas week is upon us! Hurray!!! This is the grandest, most delightful time of year and I am so excited that this week has finally come! What celebratory things do you have planned?!

I'll admit, I am still working with a mile-long to-do list. My unordered Christmas cards will have to become New Years cards. My pantry is empty. I could use a good house cleaning (okay, scrubbing/dusting and while you're at it, a fresh coat of paint would be great). After spending the past week goofing off in NYC, I got behind on a few things here on the home front. But it's the most wonderful time of year so I'll just prioritize what needs to happen and let go of the rest of the expectations. This time of year can really eat you alive with all the busyness - my thing over the past week has been saying no to everything else for the rest of the year. I don't know about you, but I feel maxed out, but in a super great way! And I want to preserve that great feelings and enjoyment without going into full-blown frazzled mode of trying to do everything. Doing everything well is a myth. I must say no and do a few things well. So pretty much any "thing" that comes up between now and January is just going to have to wait, because I'm at full commitment capacity. In case you're struggling with this, I give you permission today to let yourself say no to a whole bunch of stuff. Just do it. It will feel like relief, I promise you. Okay wow that was a tangent I wasn't really expecting to go down... but hopefully someone here needed to read this today! And P.S. I'll get a post up ASAP about our trip and all the fun things to do in the winter in NYC with kiddos. Ahhh it was the best. Although I don't miss the 25-degree weather.

Okay, so since it's Christmas week and we are all traveling or hosting or having meals and celebrations, I thought it was high time that I shared my holiday brunch go-to recipe. This quiche is easy and severely, dangerously good. I've been making it for years and I don't even use a recipe anymore, i just throw all the ingredients together and it always turns out well. It's not fancy or hard, but it's hearty and GOOD. My theory on this is that when you combine bacon and cheese with anything, it's going to be good. No matter what. It's just the law or science or something. Okay, here goes!

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Ingredients:
- 1 quiche or pie crust (found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 shallot, diced
- 5 slices bacon, already cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp. flour
- a handful of spinach
- a dash of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Heat a skillet over medium and add the oil.
2. Wait for the skillet to get hot and then add the diced shallots. Using a spatula, continuously move them around and give 1-3 minutes to soften.
3. Then add the crumbled bacon and spinach. Allow this mixture to cook with the onions for about 1 more minute. Once the spinach has just wilted, remove the pan from the heat. Put this mixture into a small bowl and set aside to cool.
4. Go ahead and whisk together the eggs and milk. Add a light dusting of salt, pepper and nutmeg, then set mixture aside.
5. Add the 2 tbsp. of flour to the bacon-spinach-shallot mixture, combine until everything is coated with flour.
6. Place the quiche crust inside a round glass Pyrex, pressing it into the pan.
7. Add the bacon-spinach-shallot mixture to the center of the quiche crust, then I spread it out evenly. Add the cheese and stir until everything looks consistent.
8. Pour the egg/milk mixture into the center of the quiche.
9. Bake on 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. Once a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, your quiche is ready to be devoured!

Bon Appetit, friends!

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Notes:
- The baking time is extremely approximate. Just keep checking - it might be perfect or it might still need 10-15 more minutes to fully cook. Every oven, climate, and therefore quiche is different.
- If you feel like your crust is browning too quickly, you can loosely cover the entire quiche with some tinfoil. This keeps the crust from cooking faster than the contents.
- Don't have shallots? Use an onion! Don't have bacon? This is awesome with sausage, too. The other delicious twist on this recipe calls for sausage, mushroom and rosemary (so savory!).

I hope you enjoy whipping this up for your loved ones! And yourself. Tag a sista if you decide to make this - @oykristen. And I hope you have the MERRIEST CHRISTMAS WEEK!!! May the wrapping/laughing/egg-nogging be ever in your favor. xx

p.s. - how do you like my new kitchen breakfast table? Travis McAfee custom designed this beauty - he is a true genius craftsman extraordinaire and me and Stevie are LOVING IT. This table has brought our little family together in the kitchen and it's really been the perfect addition to our home. If you're interested, here is Travis' info - he makes everything from wooden wallets to custom projects. If you get in touch, let him know I sent you!

A Rustic Pear Galette + a Giveaway for "Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless"!

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This post is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Workman Publishing. All opinions are my own.

Happy Friday friends! I'm excited to share a quick, suuuuuper easy autumn recipe with you, in partnership with Workman Publishing! I've always been intrigued by the idea of whipping up a rustic, autumnal galette, but to be completely honest - it seemed too fussy. It seemed like the kind of thing that only *real* bakers can achieve, and I should just stick to by-the-book pies. I was wrong! This recipe was EASY and make me feel like one of those fancy-lady bakers. Come on over to my place, it's getting all FALL up in here!

This recipe is from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless, a new cookbook by award-winning food writer Raquel Pelzel, which is her latest effort in creating wholesome, meat-free meals using just a humble sheet pan. The one-pan approach appeals to busy mamas like me who have more than enough dishes to clean at the end of the day, but especially caters to vegetarians, vegans, those who follow a gluten-free diet and anyone who's interested in adding meatless meals to their lifestyle. The sheet pan approach uses three techniques to prep all the meals - roasting, baking and broiling, all of which allow the flavors of the food to marinate and intensify, creating savory meatless meal options. Flipping through the book, I was honestly surprised by how many recipes I wanted to try out. I don't follow a vegetarian lifestyle but I can certainly see the benefit in implementing more vegetarian meals into my family's repertoire. Don't laugh - but maybe my galette (which is basically a pie) will be a gateway. Perhaps we will progress to actual vegetables next week ;)

I'm sharing Raquel's recipe today, but make sure to hop on over to my instagram for your chance to win a copy of Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless along with a prize pack! More details below, following the recipe.

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Rustic Pear Galette:
Excerpted from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017.
Ingredients:
- 1 piecrust dough (you can make your own or use a store-bought version)
- 3 medium-ripe Barlette or Anjou pears, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (I adore my microplane grater)
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1tbsp. butter

Method:
1. Remove piecrust from the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature.
2. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (I have yet to graduate to one of these, though perhaps this should be my year). Place the pears in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the lemon zest and juice, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
3. Whisk the egg, 1 tbsp. water and a pinch of salt to a small bowl.
4. Unroll pie dough onto the prepared sheet pan and pile the pears in the middle. Leave a 2-3-inch border around the edges.
5. Cut butter into small pieces and scatter on top of the pears. Loosely fold the edges of the dough around the pears, pleating the dough as you go, leaving the tart open in the middle.
6. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Refrigerate the tart on the sheet pan for 30 minutes or overnight (if refrigerating overnight, wrap pan in plastic wrap).
7. Bake tart at 400 degrees until the crust is golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, slice into pieces and serve.

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Giveaway!
I'm excited to offer you the opportunity to win a copy of Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless, along with a Kate Spade cooking mitt and a Sur la Table sheet pan! To enter, visit this post on my instagram and follow the post instructions. U.S.-based addresses only.

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Almond Butter Energy "Milkshake" (Whole30 Compliant!)

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During Whole30, you aren't really supposed to indulge in anything sweet. In fact, the whole purpose of Whole30 is to "slay the sugar dragon", and detox your body from it's incessant desire for sugar. But if I hadn't made a few gateway "treats", I wouldn't have survived Whole30 either time I did it. This little recipe is a great trick to have up your sleeve if you're jonesing for something indulgent or seriously need a snack, especially if you're breastfeeding and need the extra calories and energy! All the ingredients included are Whole30 compliant, so it's technically safe, but be aware that these kind of snacks are sort of frowned upon if you're trying to do the program as strict as possible.

But doesn't it feel kind of good when you bend the rules a little? I'm not talking about shoplifting here, people. It's just a pretend treat.

Go ahead, have a milk shake and laugh in the face of DAIRY.

Ingredients:
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup coconut milk (from a can)
- 3 ice cubes
- 1 pitted date
- 1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
- a dusting of cinnamon

Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and mix on high until completely combined and smooth. The consistency should be thick and creamy, just like a milkshake. Makes one large glass or two smaller servings.

Go on with your bad self. Happy Whole30 to you!

P.S. - My 3 year old took this photo of me. He's either getting really good or he really wanted that milkshake, which I gave to him immediately after we photographed it ;) Treats for everyone!

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P.S. - Looking for more Whole30 meals ideas? Check out my quick reference meal guide to my tried-and-true favorites!

Whole30 Quick Reference Meal Guide.

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Since I just completed my round 2 of Whole30, I thought I would go ahead and share a quick guide to some of my favorite and most-prepared meals. You can find all my favorite Whole30 meals throughout this blog under the tab "Food & Drink", and then click through all the categories, but I thought I would make it super easy for those of you who want a quick reference for exclusively Whole30 recipes. This is an easy way to find what you're looking for over and over again if you're on Whole30 and needing to cook a lot :) I will continue to add to this post as I share Whole30 recipes that become favorites!

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Whole30 Breakfast:
Chicken-Apple Sausage and Spinach Frittata - (Probably our most-made breakfast during Whole30!)
Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash - (which we've made for lunch and dinner, too!)
Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl - (omit the granola and honey and make sure the almond milk is Whole30-compliant, otherwise use canned full-fat coconut milk or coconut water.)
Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl - (omit the granola and honey, make sure the almond milk is Whole30-compliant or go ahead and use full-fat canned coconut milk or coconut water.)

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Whole30 Lunch:
Salmon + Caper Spinach Salad - (omit the Parmesan cheese)
Strawberry + Grilled Chicken Salad - (omit the goat cheese)
*We find ourselves eating a lot of leftovers for lunches so that we don't get bored in salad land :)

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Whole30 Dinner:
Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti and Chicken-Herb Meatballs
Pork Chops and Spiced Apple Sauce
Roasted Tomato Soup (omit the white wine and Parmesan cheese)
Lemon & Olive Chicken
White Pork Chili - My newest and favorite stew! Not just my favorite Whole30 stew, my favorite of all time!

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Whole30 Snacks:
Note: snacks aren't encouraged on Whole30 unless you are pregnant of breastfeeding, which I was during my round 2, so these are some of my faves.
Apple Sauce, 2 ways
Boiled Artichoke (omit butter, sub olive oil and extra lemon)
Lara Bar (I love the banana, apple and blueberry bars)
Almond Butter Energy "Milkshake"
Almond Butter Date Round Bites - Coming Soon!

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Like I said, I will continue to add to this post as I keep finding recipes that are winners. If you need some more guidance, feel free check out my Whole30 Diary (Parts 1, 2 ,3 & 4), my reasoning on why I love Whole30, my 3 biggest takeaways from Whole30 and my favorite tools to use in the kitchen. Happy Whole30 prepping/eating/enjoying to you!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash.

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When I started doing Whole30 this time around, I asked on my Instagram for recipe recommendations. Thankfully, several people commented in that they love sweet potato/egg combinations, but I never really found any previously that I liked. I'm so glad I kept trying because thanks to you all, I finally landed on a breakfast hash that I LOVE. Stevie and I actually ate this for breakfast, lunch and dinner one day - that's how much we loved it (and also, we wanted to use up all our produce). But the combination of these flavors is seriously TO DIE FOR delicious - it tastes like something that you would order at a restaurant for a fancy brunch out. Seriously. Eat and enjoy! Plus, it's just a fringe benefit that this meal is completely Whole30-compliant! #winning

Ingredients:
- 1 yellowing plantain, sliced on a diagonal like a banana
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded (I like to use a potato peeler)
- 1 link Aidell's Chicken & Apple chicken sausage, sliced (also like a banana)
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil (plus a little more if you need it)
- a pinch of salt and pepper

Method:
1. Heat a skillet on medium (this one is my all-time favorite because it cooks so evenly), and add coconut oil. Wait until oil is melted completely.
2. Place all the plantain slices in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes, flipping over and then cooking for another two minutes.
3. Once each side of the plantains is slightly browned, remove from the skillet and let cool on a plate. Divide the plantains between two plates for two servings.
4. Add the diced sweet potato and keep it moving around the skillet with a spatula. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly wilted. Add a little extra coconut oil if you need more for your skillet.
5. Add the sliced chicken sausage. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until heated well (I like mine to char a little bit, but you certainly don't have to let it cook that long since the meat is already pre-cooked).
6. Divide the sweet potato/chicken sausage mixture between the two plates. Top with two fried eggs and sliced avocado. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bon appetit!

Notes:
- I've changed it up and added onions, spinach, baby kale, bacon and even cinnamon to this recipe - it all adds it's own flavor which is great! The options are really endless when it comes to a hash situation like this. I will say that the basic flavors of the egg, sweet potato, chicken sausage and plantain really "make" this dish - anything else that is added in just helps.
- You want to choose a yellow plantain that has begun to brown - this is when the fruit is sweetest. If you choose a green plantain, it won't be ripe enough and will make it very difficult to slice or cook with.
- You can also make this recipe with scrambled eggs instead of fried- just pour the eggs into the skillet with the sweet potato/chicken sausage mixture and allow them to cook together.

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P.S. - I'm working on a Whole30 meal reference guide that will house all the Whole30-compliant meals that we have been eating. I'll be sharing that next week, so keep an eye out!