Monday, March 7, 2016

Bacon and Gruyere Cheese Quiche Recipe

Bacon and Gruyere Cheese Quiche

1 store-bought single pie crust (I bought the one in the foil pan in the freezer section)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c. medium diced yellow onion
Coarse salt
Ground pepper
6 farm fresh eggs
¾ c. heavy cream
¾ lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
1 c. shredded Gruyère cheese (if you can't find your cheese grater, you can chop it up into very small pieces)


  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. Brush edge of pied crust with olive oil
  3. Bake pie crust until edge is dry and light golden, about 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy.  Chop into bite sized pieces
  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper. Saute until onions are translucent and no longer crispy. 
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together. 
  7. Add onion, bacon, and Gruyere cheese.
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix together.
  9. Pour mixture into crust.  If you have any leftover quiche mixture, line a muffin tin with enough wrappers for the leftover mix and fill each 3/4 full.  
  10. Bake until center of quiche is just set, 35 to 40 minutes.  Muffin tin will be done earlier, so check after about 25 minutes.  Overcooking will "cook out" the Gruyere flavor.
  11. Serve warm or at room temperature. 
  12. Enjoy leftovers within a few days or freeze for later.

Quiche of Life

The closest restaurant to us is the Stockman's Cafe in Rapelje.  This is another unincorporated community although it is much larger than the one I live near.  Though they still don't have a gas station or grocery store, they have a church and this restaurant.

The place is set up like a community hall or center, with tables covered in cowboy themed fabric with clear plastic on top.  The food is fine, the specials are popular, they make their own fries which I highly recommend.  Their hours are mostly open for lunch with one night a week for dinner.  The decor around the edges of the dining area comprise local information, historical displays, a few shelves of books, display of brands and a freezer of Wilcoxson ice cream.

So in summary, this is not only the only restaurant in town, it's also a community meeting place, a museum, a library and the only place to buy "groceries" if ice cream is the only thing on your list.

On our third visit, the waitress said, "now that you're regulars, let me get your names."  She knew where we lived and we exchanged polite information.  We are also the only people that don't know anyone else there.  Everyone else chats to each other.

We went to pay our bill and I noticed a sign for farm fresh eggs, $2 a dozen.  I bought a dozen because not only are farm eggs much better than store bought, this is a pretty good price around here.  When I went into our fridge to put them away, I belatedly remembered that I already had one and a half dozen.  What to do?  Make a quiche.

The next night we enjoyed a delicious quiche made with bacon and Gruyere cheese.  We enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast the next day.  I hadn't made a quiche in quite a long time and I don't recall the previous ones turning out so well.  If you're curious, here's my modified recipe.

When I lived with four grocery stores within five miles from my house, I decided what recipes to make and bought the ingredients.  But I'm starting to switch that around.  More often now, the ingredients I have decide the recipes and meals.

Lamb chops from the sheep ranch just south of us dictate a grilled lamb chop meal with steamed vegetables from the freezer and mashed potatoes from the pantry.  Hamburger given from the neighbor's ranch made a meal of cheeseburgers with a side of tater tots from an unending bag in the freezer and steamed green beans.

Meals are planned in advance and there are still some ingredients I get to complete a recipe.  I purchased pie crusts (haven't learned to make decent ones) last night so I could make a pot pie today with leftover chicken from last week.  I am using what I have more than I used to.

And when all else fails, lets hope it's a Wednesday night.  Because that's when the Stockman's Cafe is open for dinner.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Wheel Life

A lot of people have told me that the roads out here are tough on tires.  One of the people at the garage we go to lives farther out from us, and he said he's tried about every kind of tire.  We kind of knew this because on our first trip out to view the Vintage House, we had a flat the next day.

We've had flats in "town" (Billings) but mostly we were able to pump the tire up and quickly get it in and fixed.  The tire place was just a block away.  However, living 25 miles out now is a different story.

On my to the recycling center last week, I hit the first cattle guard and then heard a metal on metal sound while I felt the truck "pull" a little.  I immediately stopped and checked the tires, the axles and the wheel wells.  Nothing.  I shrugged and kept on going.

I dropped off my garbage then started for home when I saw I had a flat tire.  It was completely flat.  And of course, no cell phone signal though I could text and had data.  Go figure.  A guy pulled up behind me and offered to help.  He works for the county and said this happens to him all the time.

"You need to unlock this to lower the spare tire," he said.  I stuck my key in and pulled out a plug covering an access hole.  "Behind your seat there should be rods to put in there to lower your spare tire."  I rummaged around and there was a package of tire rods.  I would have never figured this out by myself.  In no time flat, he had my spare on.  His tools were ready to go - a nice sized lift, battery operated lug nut loosener thing and the muscle to go with it.

"Next time," he said, "you can do it yourself now.  Just put the jack there," he pointed out the underside of the axle, "and make sure it's steady.  I usually carry around a block of wood to put on the ground."

I nodded and tried to look capable. With many thanks and a friendly wave, I was off on an unplanned trip to town to get my tire fixed.  Which is usually an hour wait time.  However, we had a problem.  It wasn't the tire.  The wheel was broken.  Something had gotten inside and scraped it up.  That was probably that metal on metal sound I heard.

One week later because they had to order the wheel and a couple hundred dollars poorer, the truck is rumbling down the gravel roads again.  The tire guys said this is rare, so I'm hoping they're right.  Because the gavel roads, they're just more fun to drive on.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Back in Time

My childhood home, just after it was built

We've lived in the Vintage House for almost a month now.  I'm slowly adjusting to a different pace of life and the quiet.  Our water comes from a well that produces three gallons an hour.  There is a septic tank that will have to be pumped and we drive our garbage to the recycling center weekly.  

All these things are stirring memories of my childhood.  I grew up on 80 wooded acres with a well, a septic tank my dad designed (it usually worked well) and my dad took the garbage with him on his way to work to dispose of.  

To keep the drains from clogging, we dealt with things differently than one would with a town infrastructure.  My mom would scrape the plates clean after meals into the scrap bucket.  This was only after we had cleaned our plates and used up the leftovers until they were gone.  The scrap bucket was emptied every night into a pile at the edge of the yard and dogs who would be fed the good scraps.  

We kids were not allowed to flush the toilet if we only went #1 and paper was put in the garbage, not the toilet to save on the septic.  Again, this was perfectly normal to me growing up.

And then I went away to college, got married and lived in neighborhoods that were hooked up to the city.  It's so much easier not to have to scrape every scrap off.  Those pieces of food easily wash down the sink.  Garbage was taken out to the bin and tidily picked up weekly.  I flushed the toilet twice, if I wanted to.  Those rustic days of living were past.

And then my husband and I moved to the Vintage House.  I am once again scraping plates clean, but into a compost bin.  I am hauling our garbage to "town" yet one thing I haven't changed.  I flush whenever I want to, including the toilet paper.  Because really, it's gross if you don't.

I am so thankful that I grew up learning how to live life more rustic.  I think it's better to start out life in less than ideal circumstances.  In a way, it made me more adaptable and knowledgeable about such things.  Of having an old shirt ready to go out and work at anytime.  Of hosing off your shoes outside before you come in from the pasture.  Of making do with the things you have instead of running into town to buy something.  

The pace is much slower here, it feels like the clocks are slow.  I get my cleaning done before 10am sometimes before 9am.  In my home in Minnesota and the apartment, it would take until noon and I don't know why.  The nights here seem endless, it takes forever for bedtime to happen.  I'm not sure why this is.  It feels like it did when I was a child, when the days would go on forever.  Odd how going backwards in modern amenities also backs up time.  

Well, it is not even close to lunch time and I'm done with my chores and now done with my blogging.  Time to go out and enjoy the day.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Braving the Basement

Deep inside this little house, lies a dark, cold place.  Those on the main floor are blissfully unaware of this "scary" part until...they need to do laundry.

Yep, it's one of those basements.  The narrow steps, concrete walls and floors, bangs from the furnace, gurgling from the water pipes.  And of course, that's where the washer and dryer are.

However, there/s something in that basement that called to me to "pretty up" right away.  At the bottom of the stairs, there's some narrow shelving along a wall that is perfect for a couponer's stockpile.  The upright freezer is down there too, so it's time to brave the basement.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Neighborhood

The view to the west

Last weekend the owners of our rental, I'll call the the "Main Ranch," invited us for dinner to meet some neighbors.  The closest neighbors besides the owners are three miles away, the other couple (the husband came, the wife was sick) lives about 8-10 miles away, depending on the roads.  There are other neighbors around but these two neighbors live on opposite ends of the road we live on.

When I walked into the Main Ranch house, it gave our vintage house more context.  This was the main ranch house on the property, the house we rent is the second house which I think an aunt lived in.  The "Main House" had vintage built in cupboards like ours, except it was bigger and kept up nicer.  I stepped into the living room and the same vintage carpet that we have, they have there.  The curtains are similar in style, hanging with tie backs.  The rooms were comfortably functional.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sinking Feeling

The tools of the trade

Someone commented to me after seeing the A Peek in My Drawers Post, that they wouldn't put so much into a rental.  Normally, I wouldn't either and I didn't in our previous apartment.  But after living in a home for thirteen years in which we could improve as we wanted, I look at things differently.  I'm used to affecting my environment and personalizing it with my tastes and likes.

Contact paper, hot glue and paint are fairly cheap.  They do take a little time to apply, but the joy I have on seeing the end results are worth it.  And if I can open my cupboards and drawers and feel joy instead of revulsion, so much the better.

Case in point, the space under the kitchen sink.  I've been putting this one off, because every time I looked under there, I shuddered.  Let me show you why: