You can make the components of this delicious lunch or supper pie recipe ahead of time and assemble just before baking. Add a fresh salad for a satisfying meal.

Filling:
1 large onion
1/2 pound mushrooms
2 slices bacon, uncooked
4 – 6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tarragon
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/3 cup fresh parsley

Crust:
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, cold and in pats or pieces
1/3 cup cream cheese
2 large eggs

Prepare the filling:
Skin and finely chop the onion. Wipe and thinly slice the mushrooms. Finely chop the bacon. Mince or press the garlic. Squeeze the excess moisture from the thawed spinach. Rinse and finely chop the parsley.

In a large pan over medium heat, stir together the onion, mushrooms, bacon, garlic and tarragon. Stirring frequently, cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Timing tip: the mushrooms will give up some liquid and the bacon will provide a bit of fat which you will use to cook the ingredients until the onions are golden brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. Crumble the spinach into the pan and add the ricotta cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir to blend well.

Prepare the crust:
In a food processor or bowl combine the flour, butter and cream cheese. If using a food processor, pulse if mixing by hand beat vigorously with a fork, until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add 1 egg and pulse or beat until the dough holds together.

Place your dough on a lightly floured board and pat into a round, turning and lightly flouring as you form the round. Roll your dough into a 10-inch round. You can use a decorative cookie cutter to cut a couple of shapes from the center of the dough, reserve the cut-outs.

Assemble and bake:

Turn your filling into a 9-inch pie pan or casserole dish. Top with the dough, fold the edges under and flute firmly against the pan edge. Place your dough cut-outs decoratively on top of the dough. Lightly beat the remaining egg. Brush the top of the dough and cut outs with the beaten egg.

Bake in a 400° oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until thoroughly heated and crust is rich golden brown. If the edges of the crust or cut-outs darken too quickly, lightly cover with foil until the filling is hot.

Reheat the entire pie or any leftovers in a 350° oven for 30 – 40 minutes, covering the crust with foil if needed.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings.

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Give a classic quiche southwestern flair with chilies and tomatoes to make the occasional indulgence festive. This slightly spicy version is perfect for a brunch or supper menu.

1 unbaked pie crust, 9 to 10-inches in diameter
6 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup onions
1/3 cup fresh tomato
1/3 cup canned chilies
1-1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
1-1/2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation:
Finely slice and dice the onions, tomato and chilies. Grate the Cheddar cheese and the Monterey Jack cheese. In a bowl, add the salt, nutmeg, cayenne and eggs; beat well. Add the whipping cream and beat to mix well.

Assembly:
Spread the onions, tomato and chilies on the bottom of the pie crust. Gently pour the egg and cream mixture into the pie crust. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheeses.

Cook:
Bake for approximately 60 minutes or until done. A wood pick inserted near the center will come out clean. Allow to rest and set for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Yield: 6 – 10 wedges.

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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Cut into smaller wedges, smoked salmon quesadillas make wonderful warm appetizers. Add a crisp green salad for a delicious fast-fix light supper.

4 ounces smoked salmon
2 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt
White pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 (7-inch) flour tortillas

Cut the salmon into 6 thin slices. Mix together the goat cheese, horseradish, sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the dill weed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add enough olive oil to a skillet to lightly coat the bottom. Place the skillet over medium-high heat; when hot add a tortilla. Heat through and lightly brown, turning once. Remove to a warmed platter and loosely cover.

With all tortillas warmed, spread 1/3 of the goat cheese mixture on one-half of each tortilla. Add 2 slices of the salmon to each tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the chopped dill weed and sprinkle with lemon juice. Fold tortilla over to form quesadilla. With the heat turned off, you can carefully set the folded and uncut quesadillas back into the warm skillet to keep them warm while filling the remaining tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 4 – 6 wedges. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 – 18 wedges

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Creamed eggs are a thrifty and fast-fix meal. Whether you serve this for weekend breakfast or a quick light supper, this satisfying recipe will be recalled by your family as one of the comforts of your home.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
Salt
Pepper, freshly ground
10 hard-boiled eggs
8 slices whole grain toast
2 – 4 tablespoons parsley or green onions, washed and chopped
Paprika

If the eggs are not already hard-boiled, you can make the sauce while they cook. If your eggs are already cooked, remove the shells and chop into small pieces.

To make the sauce, place the milk in a saucepan and heat until very not but not boiling. While the milk heats, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour. Stirring constantly, cook for 1 – 3 minutes; until very hot but not brown. Continue stirring and add the hot milk; bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper, adjust to taste and reduce the heat to low. Continue stirring and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until very smooth and creamy.

If your eggs are already prepared, stir them into the sauce until thoroughly heated. If your eggs are not ready, turn off the heat and cover the saucepan to keep the sauce hot while you shell and chop the hard-boiled eggs into small pieces. Turn the heat on low beneath the sauce, stirring constantly until the sauce is very hot again. Add the eggs to the sauce and stir to blend.

To serve, cut toast on the diagonal and arrange 4 pieces to a plate, on warmed plates. Spoon the creamed eggs over the toast. Garnish with a dash or two of paprika and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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Recipes for using leftover holiday ham are great to have on hand. You can enjoy this Sherried Ham and Eggs with Swiss cheese for breakfast, brunch or a quick supper.

8 slices ham, cooked
16 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 400°.

Butter 8 ramekins and place a slice of ham in the bottom of each and place on a baking pan. Without breaking the yolks, break two eggs into a small bowl. Slide eggs, two by two, onto the ham in each ramekin. Breaking into a small bowl will allow for easier removal of broken yolks or stray egg shell. If your egg breaking skills are superior, skip the extra bowl :-)

Stir together the half-and-half, sherry, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the mixture over the eggs in each ramekin.

Place the pan of ramekins in the hot oven and bake for approximately 6 minutes. You’re looking for sunny side up eggs with set, but not cooked, whites. Add a sprinkling of grated cheese to each ramekin and continue baking for 3 – 5 minutes. Now you’re looking for firm whites, but you don’t want them or the yolks to become hard.

Warm the remaining cream and sherry mixture (I set the bowl near the oven exhaust vent) and pour a little of the warmed mixture over each ramekin, garnish with parsley just before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

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