budgetsmartgirl

Easy Entertaining and A Sweet Treat

In Budget Smart Cook on December 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm

One thing I hate is trying to cook everything in one day, so over the years I’ve relied on things I can make or bake ahead of time and freeze. A favorite fall back of mine is mini quiches. They’re simple to make and you can keep them in the freezer until you throw a party or even pull out a few at a time, defrost them and they’re still perfect.

This time around I used cheese and chives, dried from my herb garden.

Sheet of pastry

Filling
2 eggs
2/3 cup half and half
Good sprinkling of salt and pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheese
handful of chopped dried chives

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Take a mini muffin tin and line each one with pastry.

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Beat the eggs and stir in the half and half, salt and pepper and cheese, stir well. Fill each mini muffin with about one tablespoon of the mixture or just under the rim of the pastry.

Sprinkle with chives and bake for about 10 minutes and the let them cool on a baking rack.

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Fillo Dough
One thing I love anytime of the year is fillo dough. Whoever came up with that is brillant. The best thing about it is it pairs well with both savory and sweet fillings. Once again I use muffin tins to form cases and then fill them with things like feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, chicken salad, and people think you’ve gone to more trouble than you actually have.

To make the basic fillo dough cases I use 12 sheets of pastry and then cut them into quarters using four sheets each.
The key to using this pastry is to keep it covered when you’re not working with it, work fast and yes, plenty of melted butter on each of the layers of pastry.

Even if you’re not perfect with pastry these never let you down. In fact, the more rustic looking the better. Bake them at around 375 degrees for about five minutes or until golden brown.

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A Sweet Treat
One of my favorite things is baklava but even for someone like me who loves to cook, I get lazy. Here’s a recipe I came up with when time is short

12 fillo dough cups, pre-made
1/4 cup each of dried strawberries, blueberries cherries or any other combination you like
1/3 cup toasted nuts, walnuts, pecans
1 slice crystallized ginger, optional
Some honey, optional
1/4 cup of melted dark chocolate

Put the dried fruit in an heat resistant container and pour boiling water over it, let it soften for about ten minutes.

Place this mixture along with the ginger and nuts in a food processor and blend until everything is mixed but don’t let it go to a pulp.

Place the fillo cups on a platter. Fill each one with about two tablespoons of the mixture. You can drizzle it with honey if you want. Next take the melted chocolate and drizzle the chocolate back and forth until they’re all well covered.

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