Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What's For Dinner | Cheesy Spinach Quiche

This super cheesy spinach quiche is baked in my favorite homemade pie crust. Impress all your brunch guests with this recipe!

Right around Thanksgiving time, I had a phone call with my BFF Tia. While talking to me she was bravingthe cold Indiana weather in search of a pack of Knorr's Leek Soup for two of her famous quiches, broccoli with cheese and spinach.

Following Thanksgiving, I hit her up for the recipe. She laughed, gave me a quick list of ingredients (no measurements) and told me she was heading to bed and will call me the next day with the exact amounts. Yeah... still waiting for her call. Methinks she wants to keep her special recipes for herself. LOL.

Well, I have been dreaming about making quiches the entire month! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to create something yummy and quiche-y for our home. (Yes, quiche-y is a word... because I said so!)

I couldn't decide between her spinach quiche or broccoli and cheese quiche, so I took something from each of them and came up with one ultra cheesy, ultra savory, seasoned, spinach extravaganza. I baked it all in my homemade flaky pie crust. My favorite pie crust recipe in the world.
This comforting dish will amaze all of your brunch guests! It's a annual hit with Tia's family and it is now a hit with me and mine. (By the way, Tia totally would have shared her recipe with me if I had reminded her... she is awesome like that.)

So what is quiche?

Quiche is an egg and milk custard filled with all sorts of extras like cheese and veggies. Traditionally, quiches are baked in a pie crust. Any excuse I have to make my buttery, flaky pie crust – I am down for it.

My version uses eggs, whole milk (for an extra creamy texture), cheddar/mozzarella cheeses, parmesan cheese, frozen spinach, garlic, and Knorr Leek Soup Mix. Did I mention this quiche is extra cheesy? Just how I like my scrambled eggs. NOM NOM!

A good tip to know:

The key to preventing a soggy quiche is to reduce the moisture in your vegetables.

I used frozen spinach in my quiche for ease, though fresh would be fine. But my piece of advice? Avoid the hassle and buy a bag of frozen! It’s cheaper, less messy, and easier. Make sure you drain your spinach extra well. Thawed frozen spinach is full of water and you’ll want to blot it as much as you can.

While the spinach is draining its liquid, whip up your egg mixture: eggs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and whole milk.

Creamy and thick, my cheesy egg base will give this quiche the most luxurious texture!

During all this time, your homemade pie crust has been chilling. Do yourself a favor and make it the night ahead of time. That’s exactly what I did. Then, all you have to do is roll it out, pre-bake it for a few minutes and add the veggies, cheeses, and egg mixture on top.

And hey, while you’re at it – thaw the spinach the night before too. We all have hectic schedules, especially in the morning or while entertaining. Save time where you can!

Bake the quiche until it is golden brown on top and the center is no longer liquid. All ovens are different and this could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Start checking around 40 minutes. As the quiche nears its final minutes in the oven, it will begin to puff up. Once you remove it from the oven, it will slightly deflate. It's all good in the 'hood!

My cheesy spinach quiche took 50 minutes. I like it extra toasty on top.

Let it cool for a few minutes, then slice → serve → eat → Mmmm cheesy heaven.

The best part about quiche is that the possibilities are endless!

  • Use your favorite cheeses like feta, goat cheese, mozzarella, or Swiss. 
  • For some smoky flavor, try adding some bacon crumbles. 
  • You could even add some chopped onions, red peppers, artichokes, broccoli. 
  • Or gasp (!!) make it a low carb meal by baking without the pie crust. I’ll be a little sad about your crustless quiche, but I’ll get over it. 

It also makes wonderful leftovers. We reheated it for a quick dinner the night after. Endless possibilities, a snap to make, easy leftovers. One pan, thank you ma’am! Enjoy!

YIELD: one 9-inch quiche
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Here is a downloadable recipe card for your collection! xoxo


  • 1/2 recipe homemade pie crust(step-by-step photos included)
  • 1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or chopped roasted)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk*
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar + mozzarella)*
  • salt & pepper, to taste


Prepare the pie crust the night before to save yourself some time.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. If your frozen spinach is not already thawed, thaw it in the microwave per box directions. Drain the spinach in a colander while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Place sliced mushrooms in a skillet coated with 1 teaspoon olive oil or nonstick spray, add the garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and sauté the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and no more water remains on the bottom of the skillet, about 6-7 minutes.
On a floured work surface, roll out the chilled pie dough. Turn the pie crust dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard. Pre-bake the pie crust for 8 minutes.
While the pie crust is pre-baking, whisk together the eggs, milk, and parmesan cheese until combined. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Blot and squeeze the rest of the water out of the thawed spinach. After 8 minutes, remove the pie crust from the oven and spread spinach on top. Add the cooked mushrooms and shredded cheeses. Pour the egg mixture on top. If desired, sprinkle the top lightly with more parmesan cheese and/or salt and pepper.
Bake the quiche until it is golden brown on top and the center is no longer jiggly. Depending on your oven, this will take anywhere between 45 minutes - 1 hour. Mine took 50 minutes. Use a pie shield to prevent the pie crust from over browning, if desired. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This quiche makes great leftovers! Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Baked quiche freezes very well, up to 2 months.
*My pie crust recipe makes enough dough for two quiches. You can make half of the recipe as suggested in the ingredient list, or make the entire recipe and freeze half of the dough for another quiche, or bake two quiches. The dough may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. 
*Whole milk is heavily preferred for creamiest texture, though your favorite milk may be used instead - keeping in mind the creamy texture will be compromised.
*Use 1 cup total of your favorite cheeses. Try to avoid using 1 whole cup of a strong tasting cheese like feta. You could do 1/2 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup feta. Or 1/3 cup goat cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella. Or 1/2 cup swiss, 1/2 cup cheddar. Get creative!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Glam Room I Could Die In: Closet Redesign {The Beginning}

It's been years since MTV's Cribs aired, but the memory of all those posh pads and marble floors burns eternal in my brain. If your memory has faded, there is always YouTube.

For those who still remember, let me take you back to the episode that showcased Mariah Carey's extravagant NYC penthouse and her freaking amazeballs closet! Jealous much?
(It's totally fine to secretly hate her.)

But Mariah is not the only celebrity with a dream closet. Gorgeous boutique closets such as hers are where the magic lives. It is the place where all of their fantastic and trendy threads reside.

But what about my threads? My clothes define my style. They speak to how I am feeling on the inside. They give me character and become an extension of who I am. They deserve a special place too... at least I think they do.

No my closet is not nearly as big as Mariah Carey's. But it's big enough for now. I told my BFF Sam that this is only the beginning. Each closet in my life going forward will have to rival the previous. I am outta control!

Today I’ll be sharing the general overview of my fab new closet plans and all of the glorious things I have in store. But first up, let’s see a horrific BEFORE picture, mmmkay? (this is more like a CURRENT picture but eventually it will become BEFORE... let me just check my pride at the door because this is SHAMEFUL hunny!) 

So, um, I’m not really sure what to say about this picture except… me sorry?

I know it's a complete disaster. A dumping ground, really. A glorified catch-all. I could get about 2 feet in the door before it became hazardous. Not exactly an ideal place to go and transform into fabulousness. I really have no excuse here except that it is what it is. This is just small amounts of laziness built up over several months. (le sigh)

Just so you know... I did clean it up.

But NOW, I have a plan Stan!

1) ADD IN SHELVING. I am not sure whether I will extend them up to the ceiling or not. But I am definitely nixing the idea of a dresser and adding shelving for my folded items. And I plan to hang some floating shelves for my heels... because they deserve their own special section just for them!

2) NO MORE WIRE HANGERS! OK, I was having a Joan Crawford moment. In truth I don't own wire hangers but I do have those plastic tube ones. I am OVER IT DOT COM. The goal is to have all matching wooden hangers. I am a weirdo about bottoms being folded over hangers, so I will need to find and purchase pants/skirt hangers.

3) COLOR BLOCKING, PLEASE. If you are my personal friend, you know this about me. But for those who don't know, I'll let you in on a little secret. I am SUPER anal about organizing. I know you couldn't tell from the way my closet looked, but I really am weird about my closet. Everything has to be hung by category and then by color. It makes my life easier and it looks better, daggone it. I am a visual person and when things are beautiful, I enjoy them more. I also plan to add small colored stripes of nail polish to the place where the metal hook of the hanger meets the wood to indicate seasons. So my organizing will take a new step. First by season, then by clothing type and then by color. I know...  it's OCD. I accept and embrace who I am.

4) LET THERE BE LIGHT! I have grand plans to create a wooden bead chandelier. We'll see whether that happens. But I do love them so. Either way, I plan to DIY some kind of ceiling lamp shade to replace the ugly white glass dome thing-a-ma-bob that is up there now. YUCK! And I need to also add lighting on my vanity for my glam sessions.

5) BOUTIQUE CHIC. All items in my closet will be displayed as if they were in a store. If you have a small closet, you can still accomplish this. Simply group items together by type: handbags, belts, clutches, folded shirts, jeans, etc... Pinterest is a treasure trove of closet design ideas to get you started.

6) STEP IT UP! It's uber important for a shorty like me to have a step stool in my closet. Right now it's pretty basic. White with black steps. Someone gave me the idea to bling it out. Not sure about that but the idea sounds fun. Needless to say, you should play it safe and add a stool to your closet as well. There ain't nothing glamorous about limping around a party because you twisted your ankle while trying to bring your knee high boots down from the top shelf.

7) SHAG ME! That sounds so naughty, doesn't it? But if you want to add a little warmth to your walk in closet, a rug will do the trick. I have plans to add a colorful shag rug because my floors are wooden and get quite cold in the winter months. Besides, no matter what the whether, I just love sinking my toes into a soft, plush shag rug. Mmm... that's good!

8) NO SHOES ON THE FLOOR. I have always kept my shoes on the floor. There are a few things I don't like about it. For one, it's a pain to look through my shoes when they are piled up on the floor. Secondly, it's also a pain to keep them nice and neat. And third of all, bending over to look through shoes is not hot. The plan is to make good use of those shelves and keep my shoes at eye level and organized nicely and neatly.

9) HAVE A SEAT. My walk in is large enough to accommodate a vanity and stool. But even if yours doesn't have that type of space, I encourage you to add a small chair or stool or even a folding chair that you can store away. This will be invaluable when you want to put your shoes on.

10) SPLASH THE PAINT. Two of my four closet walls will be painted. I am still undecided on the color but it will be something bright. Paint is one of the least expensive changes you can make to any room in your home. So paint it will be! And I am so excited about it that I can't even stand it.

11) ART GALLERY WALL. Oh yes, I need to have an art gallery wall. I won't have tons of wall space but that won't stop me from adding a few vibrant watercolors. As a creative, it's imperative that I add a little artwork.

12) FRESH FLOWERS. And of course, as a floral designer, I will regularly keep a small vase of fresh flowers on my vanity.

There are things in my closet that I simply refuse to change. 

+ As much as I despise popcorn ceilings and want to shank the genius who came up with that idea, it's way too messy to remove it. Not worth the headache. My ceilings weren't getting repainted. So... the popcorn will stay intact. Choose your battles wisely, I say.

+ I am working with the walnut wood flooring as opposed to against it. I really wanted white furniture pieces but opted instead to stick with warm walnut when I received this vanity set for Christmas. YAY for vanities! (she will be getting a leopard print seat cushion cover soon soon soon!)

+ I am not installing a closet system. Don't get me wrong, I love the way they look. But my budget would only allow the cheap-o wire ones and I prefer the look of the custom built wooden ones... so yeah. Not going to settle. Instead, I will add some cool things from IKEA using a few hacks and make it work, chile. A girl's got standards, ya know.

Things worth noting:

+ I'd say that 80% of this job was just cleaning out all of the old stuff that wasn't wanted/needed anymore (which amounted to 2 huge lawn trash bags full). After I had done that I was tempted to stop because it already looked SO much better. But of course, I won't

+ I'm going to be both purchasing items and DIYing things for my glam room. I'll be sure to provide tutorials and resources where applicable.

+ I'm limiting my redesign to about $450-500 bucks TOPS! That might seem like a lot of money but it's NOTHING compared to having a professional closet company come in and do it for you. Pro closets can run upwards of $10K for a walk-in closet! Wha? Until I’m making Beyonce money my closet is not where I’ll be spending $10K. I can handle $500. Besides, that's the equivalent of a few pair of shoes or one or two nice handbags.

Thanks for taking the time out to stop by my little ole blog today! I’m excited to share some of the projects going forward so be sure to check back! If you need me I’ll be hanging out in my closet. (that’s not a joke. It’s soon to be the nicest room in the house.).


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Short Hair Don't Care

There was a time when I NEVER EVER in a million years thought I would cut my hair... but then summer of 2013 I did it! Renovating my life means stripping away the old and replacing it with the new.

Not just a little trim but a ginormous chop! Super short, lighter color. Who is this girl? I said I'd never cut my hair. It's been down to my butt for the last 15 years, and I've always loved it. But there I was, in July 2013 in Beverly Hills, sitting in the chair of uber fantastic celebrity stylist, Marcia Hamilton. I was braving a new frontier. Short hair don't care.

Then I let it grow out. I have a real fear of going to a new stylist. When I was available, Marcia was not. When Marcia was available, I was not. We toyed with scheduling appointments for the better part of a year. So I finally bit the bullet of my fear and gave Justin Leavitt, at Kelly Cardenas Salon in Las Vegas a try.

(for those of you who don't know, I split my time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas since my business expanded to the Las Vegas market)

So why did I do it?  Something big had been shifting in my spirit over these past few weeks, and well... I was craving a dramatic external change to mirror that internal shift. Nothing gives you a true rebirth more than a drastic hairstyle change. I walked into Marcia's salon that summer feeling very nervous to say goodbye to my long hair ... but I also was excited and ready for a new look.

I made the conscious decision to love my "soon to be" haircut, while in transit to the salon, well before I even made it into her chair. Yes, it was going to look different. Yes, it might take some getting used to. But who cares? I needed this. Not just that I wanted it... but I needed an external reflection of the internal rebirth I was experiencing.
Can I tell you a secret? I was giddy and practically smiled through the whole thing. I was loving it and was surprised that I didn't have an emotional reaction as my long hair floated to the floor... or when I saw myself with ultra short hair. It was so easy to live with. During my visit, Marcia suggested that when I come back again, I should consider going platinum. GAH! It was too much change for me to wrap my mind around. So she lightened my hair slightly to a lighter brown and agreed that it may benefit me to get used to short hair and a lighter shade before deciding to go as drastic as blonde.
So let's fast forward a year later.... I desperately needed to cut my hair again. It was growing like crazy and I even started to resemble Cherelle, an R&B artist from the 80's! If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen my side by side post. I mean if you can't laugh at yourself... right?

CONFESSION: I had been coloring my own roots which I know was not ideal but it was what I did and I was never completely happy with it but it covered the grays that have started coming in.
(It's ok if you laugh... shoot, I was laughing at myself! This is just bad... all bad!)

Given the fact that I was looking like retro 1980's, I broke down and made the choice to give a new stylist a chance. I was very scared to do this. Changing stylists gives me more anxiety than the decision to chop off my long hair. But I headed in to see Justin Leavitt with a plan. I wanted to go even shorter on the sides and back but even longer to the left front. I wanted platinum blonde with a black streak. I provided Justin with a few inspiration photos during our consultation. I shared my trepidation about seeing a new stylist. He was very reassuring. Walked me through the process ahead and talked to me about what I could expect in terms of color since I had been coloring my own hair. (I knew that would come back and bite me in the butt!)

And guess what? He rocked it! I wasn't a true platinum. I had a blonde ombre thing happening, with it being more platinum at the root and more honey on the length because I had previous color in my hair. However, Justin assured me that it is a process and over time he will continue to work the color into my ends when I get a touch up and I will eventually get the look I am after.

I was afraid I would look freakish but when I glanced in the mirror, I was filled with excitement! I had the sass and edginess I was looking for and was so happy to find that I loved being a blonde.  In the couple of weeks since I've seen Justin, I've gone in once for my free cleanup and have scheduled my next color and cut. I've learned how to care for and style my new 'do. I am trying to decide whether I want to lighten my eyebrows just a bit or leave them dark to compliment the black streaks Justin gave me.
I feel sassy and I feel great! I am loving my look and have had a great time with the transition from long to short, from dark to light. So what do you think? Are you considering a drastic hair change but are afraid? What things are you doing to reinvent yourself outwardly? I'd love to hear about it!