Red Pepper, Spinach & Feta Quiche

I have a large extended family and holidays have always meant traveling to parts of Chicago or Wisconsin. The one exception was always Easter. My family would host a small gathering, typically just my mother's side of the family, and I have fond memories full of sunshine and good food.

This year will be different. A beloved aunt passed away last summer. All of the Schwab cousins have moved away. My brother recently moved to Seattle. And I need to be on my way back to school by early Sunday morning.  We've decided it doesn't make sense to plan a party this year. I'm in agreement, but there is still something sad about a tradition ending. Perhaps next year...


That said, there is a lot to look forward to this weekend. I am attending the eChicago Conference for the second time. Last year I had been accepted to my LIS school, but I was keeping it a secret from co-workers. It will feel good to be able to more fully engage in the library & information science side of the conference this year.

My mother has her first official Chicago Architecture Foundation tours scheduled for next week. On Saturday we are going to meet for her last trial run. It's pretty awesome to get preview tours all the time now. She is a smart lady. I don't think I would be able to remember all the details she shares on her two-hour tour.


For those of you celebrating Easter this weekend, or those of you simply looking for a weekend brunch dish, this is my favorite quiche recipe. It is simple, but full of flavor.The bright colors makes me think of sunny spring days, even though we haven't had too many of those yet this year.

Red Pepper, Spinach and Feta Quiche Adapted from Gourmet Magazine


1 pie crust
1 Tbl olive oil
2 C packed fresh spinach, washed and trimmed
1/3 C sliced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
3 eggs
1/2 C heavy cream
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
Fresh chives for garnish - optional

Method Preheat oven to 425F, place a baking sheet on the middle rack.

Place prepared pie crust in a deep dish pie pan.

Over medium heat, sauté bell pepper in oil for one minute.  Add spinach and sauté until wilted.  Season pepper and spinach mixture with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, thyme, and cream together.

Arrange feta over bottom of pie shell, place pepper and spinach mixture on top.  Pour egg and cream mixture over the other ingredients.

Bake on the baking sheet for 15 min.

Reduce heat to 350F and bake another 30 minutes, until set and the center is slightly puffed up.  Watch carefully so that crust does not burn.*

Serve warm or cool. Garnish with chives if desired.

*I find that baking times for this dish tend to vary quite a bit depending on the oven. If you are trying to time this dish for serving, I'd recommend leaving an hour for baking. Watch the crust and cover the edges with tin foil if you are worried it might burn.

Savory Florentine Cake Recipe

It's hard to believe that my first semester of graduate school is nearing an end. After one more class and two more papers, I'll be in Chicago working at a soon-to-be-finalized internship and falling back into familiar habits. I'm looking forward to having a bit of time to focus on a few personal projects and to running on the Chicago lakefront as I train for the Illinois Marathon in April. 


A few months ago, I received a review copy of Silvana Nardone's Cooking for Isaiah in the mail; a cookbook of gluten-free and dairy-free meals and the antithesis of my typical diet. I have a few friends with a gluten or dairy intolerance and I was drawn to some of the simpler recipes in the book. This Florentine Cake is quick, delicious, and it doesn't require any special ingredients. 

December at the University of Illinois 3

You are probably wondering why I'm posting a recipe that calls for fresh tomatoes in December. When I visited the winter farmer's market in Urbana this past weekend, one farm had some very nice greenhouse tomatoes. I bought a few with this recipe in mind. However, the dish would be great with oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves or even thin slices of winter squash.

Florentine Cake with Tomato-Garlic Gratin

Adapted from Cooking for Isaiah

(The original recipe called for 8 eggs and 1 clove of garlic)


1/2 C rice cereal crumbs
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbl olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry
2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick


Preheat oven to 350F

In a small bowl, combine the first four ingredients and set aside.

In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, spinach, and 1 tsp of salt. Pour the egg mixture into the hot skillet, shake to even out, and place the tomatoes on top. Cook without stirring for about 4 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is beginning to set. 

Top with the garlic crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for ten minutes or until golden and set in the center. Serve warm.