Posts Tagged With: mushrooms

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenThe quiche looks good in the fall sunlight doesn’t it? If this quiche could only talk…

I found a recipe online for a mushroom quiche that was featured in an issue of Food & Wine Magazine. The recipe looked awesome and I thought it would be good to have another use for my spring form pan besides cheesecake. There was also a note on the bottom of the recipe that I could make it ahead and then warm it up when it was ready to eat. What a perfect recipe. I could make it on Sunday and the just come home and heat it up after work on Monday and that would keep me practically out of the kitchen on Meatless Monday.

It was a great plan. A great plan indeed, until it happened. One of those moments when a great plan starts to go south. Call it a stubbornness, hardheadedness, a brain fart, a blonde moment or just plain stupid, but I really didn’t think things through when making this recipe. Here are some lessons I learned from making this quiche:

LESSON #1: The recipe for the pastry shell was specific to the dimensions of the pan and the amount of filling made.

The recipe called for a “Buttery Pastry Shell”. It even had a link to a recipe for a butter pastry shell. Did I click on the link for that specific recipe? NO! I did not click on the link. For some reason I had it in my mind to use the perfect pie crust recipe I posted about this summer when I made my homemade cherry pie for the Fourth of July.

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenBefore I could even try to make the pastry shell using the recipe I wanted to use, I realized I couldn’t use that recipe. That recipe called for shortening. I did not have any shortening. That was my chance to correct my mistake. Did I go back and click on the link to the “buttery pastry shell” the recipe called for? NO! I did not click on it. Instead, I Googled recipes for pastry dough that did not call for shortening. I found a recipe that made a 9” pie crust. In my head that is what was needed and that was what I was going to make. It never dawned on me that the recipe needed a specific pastry shell. One that actually fits the spring form pan and could hold the amount of filling I was going to prepare later. What is crazy is the fact that I used ingredients from another recipe, and intended on using the directions from the one I should be using, but I hardly read the instructions on the recipe for the pastry shell and I don’t think I really understood what was directed anyway. I didn’t care because I was going to make it work.

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenI made the dough and then placed it inside the refrigerator to relax and chill. While the dough chilled, I prepared the spring form pan and cut out two parchment paper circles that I thought would help the baking process. One would go underneath the dough on the bottom of the spring form pan. The second parchment paper circle would go on top of the dough to hold the rice. Yes, rice. I don’t bake often, so I don’t have any baking weights. I did not have any beans that I wanted to waste either (can you even reuse beans if you use them for blind baking?). The recipe said you could use rice for blind baking pie shells. Did you know that you could use rice? Me either! Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenAfter 30 minutes, I took the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and began to roll it out. It was really pretty dough. Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenVery smooth and silky. It wasn’t too dry and it wasn’t too sticky. I folded it up to make placing it inside the pan easier. Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenAs I began to unfold the dough and shape it inside the pan, I realized it really didn’t fit the pan, nor was it as thick as the directions said it should be. Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenLooking at the picture of the made quiche in the printout, it looked close enough to the right height. So I decided to go with what I had.

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenLESSON #2: Never use rice instead of weights unless you use a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to keep the rice from touching the dough.

Let’s put it this way, you can use rice, in place of weights, as long as the parchment paper is large enough to keep the rice from touching the dough. The recipe instructed that I start with weights for a certain period of time and then take it out and continue to bake the shell until golden brown. When I cut out a circle of parchment paper to place into the bottom of the shell, I should have made it large enough to just lift the rice out of the shell. I did not think about making it easy to empty out the rice to finish baking the crust. Also, I am pretty sure I did not put enough rice in the shell either. As the shell baked the sides that I knew were way too thin began to roll downward into the bottom of the shell. This made trying to get rid of the rice and parchment paper almost impossible. The dough started to encompass the rice. I had to gently pick some grains of rice out of the shell using a pastry brush and a toothpick before I could return it to the oven to finish baking.Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenUGH! What nightmare! Why didn’t I just start over after realizing the dough didn’t fit the spring form pan correctly? I still thought I could make it work.

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenLESSON #3: If the filling of a quiche starts to overflow and not fit into the shell, STOP POURING.

After that lovely pastry shell came out of the oven, I let it cool while preparing the filling for the quiche. Yes, I was still determined to continue on. I prepared the filling as directed. Before assembling the quiche in the shell, I decided I had better cover the outside of the spring from pan with aluminum foil, just in case it started to leak out of the pan. That folks, was one moment of genius! The first layer of ingredients seemed ok, but by the time I made the second layer of ingredients, things got really chaotic. Even though the pastry shell was practically engulfed by the filling from the first layer I proceeded to pour more filling into the spring form. I could see that it was starting to seep out of the pan into the layer of foil I had wrapped around it. I then decided I may want to put a sheet pan underneath that foil lined spring form pan. Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenWell that is another genius moment. As the quiche was inside the oven beginning to bake the filling started to ooze out of the foil lined spring form pan and onto that sheet pan. All I could do was sit there and watch it happen. At that point, I really didn’t have an option to do anything else. Minute by minute passed and the oozing seemed to slow down. My next concern was that this thing had to bake for an hour and a half. That filling that had oozed out would start to burn and smoke up the house.Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain Kitchen So, with David’s help, we took it off the original sheet pan and placed it onto a clean one. Sheeew! I was exhausted and this thing just got into the oven.

Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenAfter the long baking time, I took the quiche out of the oven and let it cool. Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenFinally I was able to spring it out of that pan. It really didn’t look all that bad and it smelled great! I proceeded with pictures and enjoyed the natural light on the deck rail. It took until we went to bed that night for that quiche to cool enough to place into the refrigerator. Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenThe next day we came home and I sliced it up and placed it into the oven as suggested. David’s tummy was bothering him and he didn’t eat. I did and guess what? That quiche was great! Yes, the crispy crust on the outside would have made the texture a little better, but the flavors were not harmed. The next day David had his for lunch and it was so good he encouraged me to try it again. Said it was way better than “that soup” we had for Meatless Monday the week before. Thanks dear! I think…

Even though I had issues, this quiche would be awesome for entertaining friends and family during the holiday season. I had to change up the ingredients just a bit from the original due to limited cheese and cheese selections. Here’s how I made it:

Mushroom Quiche

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Not that bad if you can follow directions 🙂
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Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, dried
  • 7 ounces Swiss Cheese, slices
  • Buttery Pastry Shell (USE IT!)
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 6 large eggs
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat, stirring, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the butter, shallots and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, about 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain Kitchen
  3. Lay 4-5 cheese slices and half of the mushrooms evenly over the bottom of the pastry shell.Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain Kitchen Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain Kitchen
  4. Using a hand blender or regular blender, mix 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream and 3 eggs, season with salt, and pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg at high speed until frothy, about 1 minute.Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain Kitchen
  5. Pour the custard into the pastry shell.Meatless Monday ~ Lessons Learned From A Hidden Crust Mushroom Quiche | The Mountain Kitchen
  6. Top with 4-5 more cheese slices and mushrooms. Make a second batch of custard with the remaining 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of cream and the last 3 eggs. Add the same amount of salt, pepper and nutmeg as before and pour into the shell. Top with the remaining cheese on top.
  7. Bake the quiche for about 1 1/2 hours, or until richly browned on top and the custard is barely set in the center. Let cool in the pan until it has cooled enough to handle.
  8. Using a knife, carefully lift the springform pan ring off the quiche. Cut the quiche into wedges, transfer to plates and serve warm.

If you didn’t get lost in the story and have read this all the way to here, congratulations you are at the end. Thanks for reading and learning through my mistakes. The original recipe was called “Over-the-top Mushroom Quiche”. You have no idea…


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain KitchenI really didn’t know what to make for Meatless Monday last week, but David spotted some beautiful portobello mushrooms at the grocery store and pointed them out to me I knew exactly what we were going to have Portobello Mushroom Pizzas! I had some extra baby Bellas in the refrigerator and decided to stuff some of them too. Here’s how I made them:

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Black olives, (optional)
  • Marinated artichoke hearts, diced (optional)
  • Fresh Basil leaves (rough cut) optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the pizza sauce: In small sauce pan, mix together tomato sauce oregano, basil and oregano and warm over low heat until warmed through.
  3. Meanwhile, wipe down the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt. Gently scrape off the gills inside the mushrooms caps with a teaspoon.Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain Kitchen
  4. Mix olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper together in a small bowl. Brush the caps all over with the olive oil mixture.Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain Kitchen
  5. Line a baking sheet with foil, arranging the mushrooms on it stem side up.
  6. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the pizza sauce into each mushroom.
  7. Top each cap with mozzarella cheese.Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain Kitchen
  8. Add olives and artichokes and fresh basil along with any other topping of your choice.
  9. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain Kitchen
  10. Bake the caps for 15 minutes or until the cheese starts bubbling. Turn on broiler and broil until cheese is golden brown, about 5 additional minutes.Meatless Monday ~ Portobello Mushroom Pizzas | The Mountain Kitchen

I wanted to make mushroom cap pizzas for a long time. I was kind of on the fence as to whether to back the caps before adding the cheese and toppings. During the cooking process, some liquid cooks out of the mushrooms. I chose to skip pre-baking the mushroom caps go with a pizza topped portobello from the start. I didn’t think mushroom liquid would be a bad thing. Turns out it was a good thing. A very good thing indeed! David and I loved them mushroom juice and all. Do-Againer!


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Pasta With Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil

TMK-MM-PSMBLast Saturday, I made arrangements with Mr. Mello, from Oak Shade Farm to purchase some of his lovely shiitake mushrooms.  I had to take His Royal Highness to the vet for a shot, but we had a late appointment. To ensure we didn’t miss out on Mr. Mello’s mushrooms at the farmers’ market, I contacted him earlier in the week to see if I could get some and to pick up a sample of his dried mushrooms to experiment with, as we had previously discussed.

For Meatless Monday I found a recipe that used fresh shittake mushrooms that I just had to try. Here is how I made: Pasta With Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil:

Pasta with Shiitake Mushrooms & Basil

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, juice
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces fettuccine or any pasta of your choice
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus a couple of leaves for garnish


  1. Bring a 4 quart pot of salted water to a boil for cooking fettuccine noodles.
  2. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, according to package directions minus one minute. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, before draining!TMK-MM-SMPB3
  3. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add garlic and cook while stirring, until fragrant but NOT browned, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high. Cook the mushrooms until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.TMK-MM-SMPB2
  4. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then add the cooked pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan and basil to the mushrooms in the skillet; toss to coat well. Serve immediately, garnished with more basil and parmesan cheese, if desired.


Adapted recipe from:


TMK-MM-SMPB1This recipe was wonderful! You could taste each individual ingredient with each bite. I couldn’t get over how much the lemon flavored the pasta. It made what is normally a heavy dish much lighter. Perfect for summer!

Next time I think I may use linguine noodles instead. The fettucine noodles were a little large in comparison to the mushrooms. All part of texture, and nothing to do with flavor. David and I even used the left over “Beer Can Chicken” (recipe to come) from Sunday night to add to the pasta for lunch on Tuesday. It was a great combination!

I am looking forward to experimenting with the dried mushrooms this winter, so stay tuned for that!


For Tips on how to take care of  mushrooms, click HERE.


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Stuffed Tomatoes


I have been wanting to try a stuffed tomato recipe for a long time. After picking up some fresh large red tomatoes from the farmers’ market last weekend, I decided to try some stuffed tomatoes for Meatless Monday. I modified an existing recipe and came up with this one:

Stuffed Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 8-ounce package of portobello mushrooms or a large handful of shiitake mushrooms, chopped. Reserve stems.
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for sauteing
  • 1 bunch (8-10-ounces) fresh spinach, large stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (Learn to make homemade Click HERE)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • salt & fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • small handful basil, finely chopped



  1. Pull of the mushroom stems and add them to 1 cup of boiling water. Leave to soak.
  2. In a large frying pan set over medium heat, warm olive oil . Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked spinach into a sieve set over a bowl, and press out all of the moisture with the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer the spinach onto a cutting board and finely chop. Put in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the mushroom stems from the hot water. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Discard stems and reserve the liquid to use as stock later.
  4. Put the frying pan back on the heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Saute the caps mushrooms over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until they begin to brown.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and pour over the stock from the mushroom stems. Add the garlic and shallot, sprigs of thyme and lemon juice. Continue to cook the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, spread on to a plate and allow to cool. Locate and discard woody stems from thyme sprigs.
  6. Stir the ricotta and mushrooms into the spinach.
  7. Add two-thirds of the parmesan, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and put into the refrigerator while you prepare the tomatoes for the filling.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Cut into the tops of the tomatoes. Start from the outer edge of the tomato and angle the knife towards the stem, like you would carve a pumpkin. Remove the tops of the tomatoes and reserve to use as lids. Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scoop the pulp out of the tomatoes. Reserve the pulp for the dressing.
  10. Fold the egg yolk into the cheese and spinach mixture. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture, piling it up well but without pressing down as this may cause the tomatoes to split.
  11. Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on top and replace the tomato tops. Carefully place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the filling is heated through.
  12. Meanwhile, make the dressing: Put the reserved tomato juice and pulp into a sieve and press with the juice out with the back of the spoon. Discard chunks of tomatoes and pulp. Poor the juice into a jar with a lid. Add mustard, vinegar, oil, basil and shake. Salt & pepper to taste.
  13. Drizzle some of the dressing over the cooked tomatoes before serving (you can save the extra for a salad).

They were delicious! There was a perfect balance of cream, zest and freshness to these tomatoes. I would even use the dressing on a salad. If you have some extra tomatoes this summer, you should give this recipe a try!


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How To Care For Mushrooms

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday Mushroom Care

I gave you a little information about mushrooms for FOOD FACT FRIDAY, I gave you a recipe yesterday for Meatless Monday that substituted mushrooms for meat, so today for Kitchen Tip Tuesday I decided to tell you how to care for mushrooms. Here are some tips you should know to to have the best mushrooms for cooking your favorite dish:

SELECTION:  Mushrooms are fresh if they are firm, plump, and free from bruises with no visible moisture on the outside. Avoid slimy or spotted mushrooms.

STORAGE: To keep mushrooms fresh, store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Avoid airtight containers that can collect moisture and cause them to spoil faster.

CLEANING: To clean mushrooms, use a damp paper towel to wipe each mushroom, one at a time, to remove any dirt. DO NOT soak the mushrooms. Because they absorb water like little sponges. Mushrooms won’t brown nicely when cooked if they are full of water.


If selected properly, stored, and cleaned correctly, mushrooms are a wonderful addition to any dish or as a dish themselves. I hope this clears up any uncertainty about mushroom care.


Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Spicy Sloppy Mushroom Sliders

Spicy-Sloppy-Mushroom-SlideI was presented with a challenge from Meatless Monday & The Mushroom Council called the Mushroom Makeover Challenge. The task was to take a family-favorite recipe and make it healthier by making it over with mushrooms. The Mushroom Council will showcase the submissions and new blog posts across their social channels including TwitterFacebookPinterest and e-newsletters. The recipe will also be put on The Mushroom Council website’s MeatlessMonday recipe index. After Friday June 27th’s deadline, three lucky bloggers will be chosen at random to win a culinary prize pack to continue their mushroom inspiration. All bloggers who submit a recipe will also have the chance to be chosen to take over the Mushroom Council blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for a day during September’s National Mushroom Month. Pretty exciting stuff!

I decided to take my original Sloppy Joe recipe, which normally calls for ground hamburger, and replace it with mushrooms. Here’s how I made my new recipe called Spicy Sloppy Mushroom Sliders:

Spicy Sloppy Mushroom Sliders

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Spicy Sloppy Mushroom SlidersIngredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Pickled Jalapenos, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound Portobello mushrooms, chopped (Half finely chopped and half coarsely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons pickled jalapeno juice
  • (1) 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Slider Rolls


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic to the oil and heat until fragrant (Do NOT brown) about 30 seconds. Add in onion and red bell pepper to the skillet and sauté until the onions and bell pepper are tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Add the jalapenos, and tomato paste. Cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring occasionally allowing the paste to brown in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and allow them to cook about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, warm rolls in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, then slice open and spoon the spicy sloppy mushroom mixture on to each bun and serve.

The meatless version of the recipe tasted almost exactly the same as it did with ground beef. The only difference is it turned out a little spicier than normal, so I’m thinking the beef was masking some of the heat.

I have to tell you. There is a reason I called them sliders. It just so happens that the left over buns I had intended on using, had overstayed their welcome. They had begun to grow mold and obviously, I could not use them. Luckily, I had some rolls in the freezer that I could use. They were small, so I decided to go with sliders. If you love this recipe as much as we did, then you may want a large bun!

Regardless, I was pleased how it turned out and I will have to make it again for Meatless Monday. I enjoyed this challenge and appreciate the opportunity to participate, even if I don’t win all of the cool opportunities presented. I look forward to seeing what the other food bloggers came up with for the challenge. I’m sure they will inspire me to do more recipe makeovers.

Does this inspire you? What is a recipe you would make over?






Here is a link to my original Sloppy Joe recipe:

Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments


4Here are 5 facts about mushrooms you may not know:

  1. Mushrooms do not have chlorophyll. This allows them to grow and thrive in the dark without sunshine.  During the reign of King Louis XIV (1638-1715), some of the earliest commercial mushroom farms were inside caves in France .
  2. One portobella mushroom has more potassium than a banana. White and cremini mushrooms are also good sources of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to work normally. It helps nerves and muscles communicate and helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.
  3. Grain and meats are good sources of selenium. Mushrooms are the only fresh produce that contain significant amounts of this mineral. Selenium plays an important role in the human immune system, the thyroid system, and the male reproductive system.
  4. Mushrooms are an excellent source of copper. Copper is a mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells and for other functions.
  5. Mushrooms have significant amounts of three B-complex vitamins. The B vitamins help release energy from the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in food.

Mushrooms are a good substitute for meat. Stay tuned to my blog posting on Meatless Monday to see my mushroom recipe makeover!

Stay tuned…


For other mushroom information and recipes, visit:

Categories: FOOD FACT FRIDAY | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Zucchini Gratin With Mushrooms

TMK-MM-Zucchini-GratinLast week was my first NEW recipe trial for Meatless Monday in a couple of weeks. We purchased some fresh zucchini from the farmers’ market last weekend. I was inspired by Ina Garten’s Zucchini Gratin. Here’s how I made mine:



  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
  • 3 medium onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced
  • 2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4-6 small)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 3/4 cup Panko Bread crumbs
  • 4-ounces Swiss cheese slices (6 slices or use grated cheese if you have it available)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Melt butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes. Cook them until tender but not browned.
  3. Add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, until tender about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce.TMK-MM-ZG-Combining
  4. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.
  5. Top the zucchini mixture with slices of Swiss cheese to cover it.TMK-MM-ZG-Swiss
  6. Top the cheese with the bread crumbs. Then dot with 2 tablespoons of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.TMK-MM-ZG-Baking


This was a really nice gratin. The flavor of the cheese, mushrooms and nutmeg took us back to the kitchen for second helpings. What a great day back to the food blogging world after my break.



Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Farmers’ Market Findings


Saturday was the first chance we have had to visit our favorite farmers’ market. We’ve been pretty busy since Spring finally sprung. This particular farmers’ market has a very wide variety of produce from local farms in our area. It is still early in the season, but the produce selection is coming along nicely. Here are some of the things we purchased:

ZUCCHINI – I made a really delicious ZUCCHINI GRATIN last night that I will share with you next Monday for Meatless Monday

10364205_288961567944852_6430063017697449759_nFRESH EGGS – These beauties pretty much speak for themselves. Nothing beats a farm fresh egg. Nothing.

TMK-FMF-FreshEggsSHIITAKE MUSHROOMS – The one item we missed the most this winter when the farmers’ market was not open were these delicious Shiitake mushrooms from Oak Shade Farm. I put some in the zucchini gratin and I will be using the rest for an all new recipe that I have come up with. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!

TMK-FMF-MushroomsRHUBARB – If curiosity kills the cat then I have used up all 9 lives on rhubarb (Sorry for the cat reference, Your Royal Highness!). I keep seeing all these wonderful dishes using rhubarb and I purchased some. I mixed them with some fresh strawberries and made a wonderful RHUBARB STRAWBERRY CRISP. I will be sharing that recipe soon also.

TMK-FMF-RubarbSQUASH BLOSSOMS – I was shocked when I saw some little containers filled with squash blossoms sitting on a table at one of the stands. I have seen these on The Food Network and Cooking Channel TV, but never thought I would get to try them for myself. I scooped these bad boys right up and took them over to purchase. The man selling the blossoms said that he has a lot of requests for squash blossoms by restaurants in the DC area. Me and my foodie self  were so extremely excited  to go home and see about dropping these in some hot grease! Stay tuned tomorrow for my blog posting about FRIED SQUASH BLOSSOMS.

TMK-FMF-SquashBlossomsDARK HOLLOW FARM – We really didn’t prepare well, before going to the farmers’ market, and ran out of cash. Not all the stands accepted plastic. That was our cue to leave.

On our way home, we passed by a building that once was used by our local orchard. I thought a motorcycle shop had taken it over, but we saw signs about pork and fresh strawberries. As we rode passed, I made David turn around and go back. It didn’t look like the building was a motorcycle shop any longer. We were surprised to learn that Dark Hollow Farm is now leasing the building to sell their farm raised pork and other wonderful goods. We purchased some strawberries to go with the rhubarb and some fresh pork bacon. We will returning in the near future. If you are in the area you should check them out! Don’t forget to try their Ish.


As you can see, I have been inspired by the local farmers’ market goodies we purchase. That trip was just what this burned out foodie needed to kick start more adventures in the kitchen. I highly encourage you to visit your local farmers’ market. Even if you do not like to cook that much, I am sure something there will inspire you.

I have some pretty exciting stuff to share with you so stay tuned…


Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Spinach Sautéed with Mushrooms and Green Onions


As promised, here is the spinach recipe I paired with the Oven Baked Fried Chicken and mashed potatoes.


  • 8 cups fresh spinach
  • 8 -ounce baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large green onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt & pepper



Wash the spinach very well. Rinse it again, and drain it. You want your spinach as dry as you can get it. I used my salad spinner (Click HERE for Salad Spinner Kitchen Tips) to dry my spinach.

chopping-off-stemsPick it over, discarding any tough stems and yellowed or slimy leaves. 


Clean the mushrooms, and slice them. Save the white bulbs from the onions for something else; chop the greens finely.

Olive Oil and Butter

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet until it begins to foam.


Sauté the mushrooms until lightly browned on both sides.


Add the green onions, and sauté until they are limp. Season with salt and pepper.

Spinach in pan

Add the spinach and cook, turning it over constantly to get it all cooked down, until it is soft.


Remove the veggies to a serving dish with a slotted spoon, discarding any excessive quantity of juice.

Unfortunately, my new spinach eater husband didn’t like this recipe. I guess he still has a way to go before he can eat spinach as a shining star ingredient, instead of just an additive one.

Oh well, it was good to me!


Categories: Side Dishes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin



  • 1 pork tenderloin, (1-1 1/4 pounds ), trimmed
  • 8 oz baby portobello mushrooms, cut into thick slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 400°F.

IMG_20130910_175552_511Melt butter in 1 tablespoon olive oil and add garlic. Simmer for one minute.

IMG_20130910_175651_136Toss mushrooms, pepper, sage, thyme and salt into the garlic butter and oil. Saute, until the mushrooms are soft and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes more. Set aside to cool.

IMG_20130910_180203_529To butterfly tenderloin, lay tenderloin on a large cutting board. Holding the knife blade flat, parallel to the board, make a lengthwise cut through the center of the meat, stopping short of the opposite edge so that the flaps remain attached.

IMG_20130910_180703_885Open up the flaps as you would open a book. Cover with plastic wrap. With a meat mallet, rolling pin or heavy pan, pound the meat to an even 1/4-inch thickness and salt and pepper.

IMG_20130910_180930_106Spread mushroom mixture down the center of the tenderloin, evenly and leaving a 1-inch border all around.

IMG_20130910_181111_135Starting with a long side, roll up each tenderloin to enclose the filling.

IMG_20130910_181440_190Tie the roasts at 2-inch intervals with kitchen string. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the tenderloin.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large, skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roast, bending to fit if necessary, and cook, turning often, until the outsides are browned, 3 to 5 minutes total. (I skipped this step to save time. My convection oven helps to brown all sides nicely)

IMG_20130910_182143_896Transfer the pan to the oven and roast, checking often, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, 15 to 30 minutes. Transfer the roasts to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the string, cut the pork into 1-inch-thick slices and serve.

IMG_20130910_195911_866I used too much salt. I never like to use measurements in the recipes I share. You have to use your best judgement and if you have to watch blood pressure like I do, then you use as little as possible.


Categories: Pork Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Zucchini Boats


All summer long, I have been seeing recipes floating around online for stuffed zucchini. The recipes all looked good, but just not what I had envisioned. So, since the star vegetable of the week seemed to be zucchini last week, I decided to try my hand and come up with my own recipe. Here’s what I did:



  • 2 Zucchinis, Cut in half and hollowed out lengthwise
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes (any favorite small tomatoes will work)
  • 1 Shallot, minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 8 oz. Mushrooms, chopped
  • Honey, drizzle
  • Olive Oil, drizzle
  • ¼ cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Sargento Chef’s Blends 6 Cheese Italian
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Oregano


  1.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan and add shallot and garlic. Sauté until the oil is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add in mushrooms and sauté until tender.IMG_20130819_183510_158
  2. While the mushrooms are sautéing, cut cherry tomatoes into quarters and toss into a bowl.
  3. Drizzle them with olive oil, honey salt and pepper. (Similar to what I did for the Bruschetta with Homemade Ricotta and Roasted Tomatoes)  IMG_20130819_184615_074 IMG_20130819_184748_488
  4.  Once the mushrooms are cooked, add them to the tomatoes and stir together.
  5. Next, cut the zucchinis in half, lengthwise and hollow them out, leaving approximately ¼” of the zucchini intact. Discard the scooped out portion.


    I thought a melon baller would work for this task. It did not. A spoon does a better job!

  6. Smear ricotta cheese into the zucchini trench and top with the tomato/mushroom mixtureIMG_20130819_185242_828
  7. I had some extra tomatoes and tossed them onto the sheet pan as well.IMG_20130819_185654_613
  8. Top with cheese, and sprinkle with oregano
  9. Bake at 400 for about 20 – 30 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and the zucchini is tender.
  10. Sprinkle with fresh basil and red pepper flakes and enjoy!


I thought this was a really good Meatless Monday dish. What did David think about this dish? Well, he did not like it so much, but I wouldn’t take my carnivorous husband’s opinion to heart. He said that I needed to sink these zucchini boats with bacon bits… 🙂


Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Meatless Monday: Vegetable & Herb Frittata


I have seen frittatas made a hundred times, by a hundred different folks, on a hundred different cooking shows. I can’t believe I have never made one before. Last Monday, I decided that would be our Meatless Monday dish.

Here’s how I made it:

Vegetable & Herb Frittata


  •     3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •     8 medium asparagus spears, (woody-ends broken off) cut into 1-inch pieces
  •     1/2 cup of diced bell peppers
  •     1/2 cup Mushrooms
  •     1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  •     1/2 cup diced red onion
  •     8 large eggs
  •     8 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  •     1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  •     2 tablespoons milk
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a 10-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables and cook until tender. Transfer to a medium-size bowl and cool.
  2. Break the eggs into a separate medium-size bowl and add 6 Tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, parsley, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Stir the cooked asparagus and onions into the egg mixture.
  3. Preheat the broiler. In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the egg mixture from Step 2. As it cooks, use a heat-resistant spatula to lift away the egg mixture that has “set” (firm, not runny) from the sides of the skillet, allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath (you may need to tilt the pan). Continue to cook until the entire mixture begins to set. This takes around 3-5 minutes. The center should still be runny and loose.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and cook until the frittata is almost completely set, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining 2 Tablespoons of cheese over the top of the frittata. Place the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the frittata is set and the top begins to brown.
  6. Loosen the edges and bottom of the frittata with a spatula. Slide the frittata onto a plate. Cut it into wedges like you would a pie.


I am saddened to say, my frittata did not come out of the pan cleanly. It stuck a little in the middle. I realize what I did wrong and have made mental notes. I don’t think it will not happen again. Hopefully I have explained the process well enough so that it won’t happen to you too. Serve warm or at room temperature for breakfast, brunch or Meatless Monday. A Do-Againer! 🙂



Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Killer Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tuesday night I decided to make spaghetti and meatballs. David and I had talked about having them for a while. Since it was a week night, I didn’t get to make my own fresh pasta. It saddens me that I haven’t used my Kitchen Aid pasta attachments is quite some time (I will rectify that this weekend with homemade lasagna!!)

Meatballs are a great compromise for having meat in the sauce. I usually prefer my sauce meatless, but my David insists on having meat in the sauce. I can leave the meatballs off my plate if I don’t want to eat them. I intended on doing just that this time, until I tasted one of the meatballs I made. They were delicious!!

I found a recipe by Michael Symon online for meatballs. I didn’t plan well and really didn’t have all I needed to make them exactly as his recipe calls for, but they came out pretty darn good. Next time I am trying his recipe and making some homemade ricotta cheese for it. If you want his recipe, click HERE. If you want to try my version, here is what I did:

Killer Meatballs:


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced day-old bread
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (Chuck)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg

In a small saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic and shallots and sweat until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Soak the bread in the milk in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the beef with Parmesan, salt, egg and the cooked shallots and garlic. After the bread has soaked up the milk, remove it from the bowl and ring out the remaining liquid. Thoroughly mix the bread into the meat mixture.

Form the meat mixture into 2-inch balls using about 1/4 cup for each. Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the meatballs. Cook until golden on the outside, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Add them to your favorite prepared spaghetti sauce and simmer them while you prepare your pasta.

A Do-Againer? HECK YEAH!!, but next time I’m trying Micheal’s recipe. Can’t help but image how that ricotta would be incorporated into the meatball mixture. DROOL!



Atchee boy

This meal was Atchee Aproved!

Categories: Beef Recipes, Italian Inspired Dishes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Italian Chicken

tmk_20130403_203941_003I found another recipe to try on Pinterest. Of course, I had to kick it up and make it my own. It is called Italian Chicken.

Here’s how I made it:

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breast seasoned with salt, pepper, dried basil and dried oregano
  • Core and chop about 4-5 Roma tomatoes
  • Thinly slice two cloves of garlic
  • Drain a small jar of artichoke hearts cut into smaller pieces if needed
  • Drain one small can of sliced pitted black olives
  • Drain one jar of sliced mushrooms
  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of flour
  • Place the tomato mixture underneath the boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Place in a 350° oven and bake until the chicken is almost done.
  • Take the almost done chicken out of the oven and sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top.
  • Place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is golden brown and the vegetables are caramelized.
  • While the cheese is browning, boil Farfalle and cook per package directions.
  • Once the cheese is browned remove from the oven and place the chicken pieces on a plate to cool
  • Toss pasta with chicken broth and vegetables
  • Spoon pasta and veggies into a pasta bowl and place the cheese coated chicken on top
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh basil on top

ENJOY! Do-Againer? Let me know!

Categories: Chicken Recipes, Italian Inspired Dishes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sour Cream Pork Chops


Whenever I see a recipe in a magazine, I tear out the page an trim it down and put it in a clear plastic sleeve of a three ring binder. I have two huge books filled with recipes. The sad part is I have probably torn out more than I will ever use in this life time.

One week a while back, I pulled down one of those binders and was going to make a recipe one at a time and trash anything that we didn’t like.  Needless to say, that idea fizzled out and I did not get very far. One of the recipes that I tried during this time was one that I tore out of a Paula Deen Magazine. It is a recipe that her brother Bubba makes called Sour Cream Pork Chops. Now, I’ll be bluntly honest, we have tried two or three different Paula Deen recipes and the ones we have tried always give us the worst indigestion! Maybe it is all the grease from the ingredients used in the recipes. I don’t know, but I do know that we are not used to eating all that unhealthy. Luckily, this recipe from her brother was a great recipe. No indigestion and a Do-Againer!

It is a simple recipe to make and it doesn’t really involve standing over the stove for a long time. We had left over egg noodles from when I made chicken noodle soup last week, so I used the remaining noodles instead of the rice.

Want to try it? Here’s the recipe: Bubba’s Sour Cream Pork Chops

Categories: Pork Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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