Spinach Cheese Mini Quiches
Happy almost New Year’s!
This year went by so quickly, especially these last few months.
But then, maybe it always feels that way– the near past and present are all enveloped in a busy blur, while the more distant past stretches out behind us, deceptively calm and rose-colored, punctuated by a few specific memorable events.
In 2012, I didn’t leave the U.S. for a single trip outside the country. (The last time that happened was 1999– the year I graduated from high school.)
Instead, this year has been about taking stock and appreciating family and friends. I enjoyed several memorable visits from friends to Santa Barbara, hung out with my nephew and met my new baby niece in D.C., and went home to Madison three times to visit family.
A whole year without stopping in and crashing on my friends’ futons in Japan has left me a little melancholy about all the time-and-money barriers there are to overseas traveling. It’s hard to live so far away from close friends– who I’ve been spoiled enough to see quite often up until now– but it’d be harder still to live back on that side of the ocean now that my mom is sick and I want to visit my parents in Wisconsin more often.
I’ve traveled less around California this year, too, because of car problems, mostly. (Turns out, my car doesn’t work when it rains. You would think this wouldn’t be much of an issue in southern California, but the months from November to February put up more of a fight than the rest of the year.)
Instead, I’ve been taking joy in staying in with my girlfriend, Paula, dreaming and cooking up feasts for ourselves and our friends, as we listen to music and sip red wine. We’ve become such unintentional homebodies! Complaints that our feet hurt or that our fingers are wrinkly from washing dishes aside, I’ve been gratefully coming to the realization lately that my kitchen is my favorite place to be.
I hope you have all been as lucky as I was this year– to be able to spend so much time in your favorite place, and with people you love.
Here’s to next year bringing more of the same (with some traveling adventures thrown in)!
Like my Thanksgiving dinner, I will be spending this New Year’s Eve cooking (too much) for two.
But if you’re heading to (or hosting) a gathering, then I predict you’ll need a perfect appetizery– yet warming and hearty– New Year’s Eve recipe that will please a crowd. Not to mention one that’s incredibly easy to throw together.
Look no further.
These are the most addictive little quiches you have ever had the pleasure of popping into your mouth. My sister usually makes these for our family’s Winter Solstice brunch– sometimes in the form of Spinach Cheese Squares instead of in the mini phyllo cups.
They are so good either way, and I should know; the day I made these for the blog, I also ate them for dinner.
Print this recipe. (PDF)
Spinach Cheese Mini Quiches
(or Spinach Cheese Squares)
(my sister’s Winter Solstice party recipe)
(Makes 60 mini quiches in phyllo cups, or one 9×13″ baking dish of 24-48 squares;
or make 30 phyllo quiches plus one 8×8″ baking dish of 16 squares)
~ 1 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach
~ ½ cup flour
~ ½ tsp. salt
~ ½ tsp. baking powder
~ 2 eggs (if doubling this recipe, use only 3 eggs; double all other ingredients)
~ ½ cup milk
~ ⅓ small onion, diced (or finely chopped in a food processor)
~ ½ lb. shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar, monterey jack, and asadero)
~ pinch of cayenne pepper
~ 60 mini phyllo shells, frozen (defrost at room temperature for 10 minutes)
~ butter to grease a glass baking dish for Spinach Cheese Squares
How to make it:
1. Microwave the frozen spinach– along with 2 Tbsp. water– in a microwave safe dish, covered with plastic wrap for 3 minutes. Stir, then microwave another 2-3 minutes.
2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, then add milk and the onions. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, then stir in the cheese.
4. For Mini Quiches: Arrange mini phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Fill the shells with about 1 tsp. each of spinach cheese filling. Bake for 12-18 minutes in the center/top third of the oven.
For Spinach Cheese Squares: Grease the baking dish with butter, then pour the spinach cheese mixture in, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Print this recipe! (PDF)