September 30, 2012

Home Offices

I'm someone who is constantly on the lookout for fabulous home design ideas for the house Lars and I will build someday. Mind you, I'll be toting around my ideas for the next decade or so, but it's never to early to look. Don't you agree? One thing that we know we both want is a functional home office. We're lucky enough to have a two bedroom place right now, and we've completely converted the extra room into an office that works for us. I went looking for office inspiration today, and I found some great ideas to stash away.

I like the brightness and natural look of this office with the window and the cork boards on the wall.

The style of this office isn't what I would normally choose; however, I really like the idea of being able to spread my work out on a table and not just work at a desk all the time.

Office spaces usually mean there are books present somewhere, so we know that it's a room I'm always going to love. This office is a great combination of both work functionality and a library. All it needs is a funky filing cabinet somewhere, and it would be perfect!

                                          Eclectic Home Office design by Charlotte Interior Designer Emily A. Clark

September 24, 2012

Caramelized Onion Quiche

A while back we had an abundance of onions in our CSA basket so I had to figure out something to do with them. I ran across a recipe for a quiche that I have since adapted to fit our tastes, and it's definitely a keeper recipe in our house. Oddly enough, Lars isn't a big fan of onions, and I'm not a big fan of eggs, but we both could eat this quiche weekly. It's great right out of the oven and may be even better warmed up the next day - the jury's still out on that one. Although caramelizing the onions is a bit time consuming, it recipe itself is super easy and fairly fool proof.

I use one large Vidalia (or other sweet variety) onion, but you can use your favorite type of onion as well as an additional onion depending on your tastes.

I cut the onion into quarters and then slice it thinly to make the caramelization go a bit quicker.

Once you've cut up the whole onion, put the slices in a large heated saucepan with the olive oil.

Cook over medium heat for ten minutes until onions are soft, mostly translucent, and starting to brown.

Turn the heat down to medium low and cook approximately 40 more minutes. This is a good time to bake the pie crust, grate the gruyère, and mix together the eggs, milk, and cream. (I use a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust because it's easy and saves time. The gruyère cheese goes so incredibly well with the eggs that I have never tried to substitute any other type of cheese, although I'm sure it can be done. I buy the gruyère in thick, grate-able slices at the deli counter because it's much cheaper than buying it packaged or pre-shredded.) After the 40 minutes the onions will be close to caramelized.

Add the balsamic vinegar to complete the caramelization process and cook about 10 minutes longer.

Once the crust is cooked and mostly cooled, place half of the grated cheese on the bottom of the crust. Place the onions over the cheese and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the onions.

Pour the egg mixture to top of the cheese.

Bake the quiche in a 350° oven for 30-35 minutes or until it is set in the middle. I like to brown the top of the quiche a bit more than it usually is once it's set, so I broil it for a few extra minutes. If you choose to do this be very careful and make sure to watch the quiche. The last thing you want is a burnt quiche after all the time it took to prepare.

Let the quiche cool for 10-15 minutes then cut, serve, and enjoy!

(On a side note, this quiche is delicious as leftovers if you manage to have any. Simply reheat it in the oven for the best results.)

Caramelized Onion Quiche:
Makes 4-6 servings

1 pie crust (use favorite store bought variety or make your own)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion (use favorite onion variety)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces Gruyère cheese (~1 cup grated)
Pinch of salt and pepper

1. Bake pie crust according to package or recipe instructions and let cool. Preheat oven to 350° for quiche.
2. Peel onion and slice thinly.
3. Place onion in pan with olive oil over medium heat and sprinkle with salt. Cook 10 minutes stirring often.
4. Turn heat to medium low and cook onions 40 minutes stirring often.
5. Add balsamic vinegar. Cook onions 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
6. Place half of shredded cheese on bottom of baked pie crust. Top with onions and cover with remaining cheese.
7. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour mixture over cheese and onions.
8. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the middle of the quiche is set.
9. Cool 10-15 minutes, slice, and serve.
10. ENJOY!

September 19, 2012

It's Beginning to Feel Like Fall

I was driving around town yesterday, and I saw a bunch of leaves being picked up off of the street and swirled in the wind. My first thought was, "It's beginning to feel like fall". I don't know about you, but fall is my favorite season. It's the colors, the brisk winds, the need for a scarf, the crunching of leaves underneath my feet - I just love fall. This time last year Lars and I were heading off to Seattle for a quick vacay before he started his new job. Most people choose to vacation in the summer simply because it's convenient. But me? I'd take a fall vacation over a summer one any day.

Since we don't have any plans to go anywhere this fall, I'll just have to reminisce with last year's photos. The day started out gloomy in Seattle and was absolutely gorgeous by the time our ferry ride to British Columbia had arrived and our tour at the Butchart Gardens began.

If you've never been, Seattle is a fantastic place to visit. It's one place that we will go to over and over and never get tired of. The past few weeks have been a bit crazy personally, so I'll be getting back to a regular blogging schedule soon. I hope you stick with me - I have a great quiche recipe coming soon!