Saying “no” can sometimes be a really hard thing for me. For a really long time, I said “yes” to everyone and everything: over-committing, over-pleasing, and over-extending. Which eventually would horrendously backfire, of course. Because then, inevitably, I would grow resentful, not only of the person/obligation/duty that I had tried to please, but also of myself.
And resenting yourself is probably one of the worst feelings in the world.
And trying to find balance (or sanity) in this over-connected, over-stimulated, and sometimes over-involved world can be a really hard thing (I can simultaneously post to Instagram/Facebook/Twitter my random pictures to ensure that you have seen them at least twice!) I cannot even imagine the busy lives of my friends who have children, have jobs, but also involve themselves in other activities. I’m astonished and inspired by these people and wonder how they get enough sleep. I honestly think I have a much lower threshold for being able to “do it all”.
So I’ve been cutting back on saying “yes” to some of the things that make me feel obligated to others. At first it was really hard and I felt really guilty, especially if those people continued to want or ask for more committments, even after I had said “no, and this is why….”. Sometimes even a valid healthy reason to someone isn’t enough, and that’s when it’s time to cut the strings.
I had felt this odd sense of pressure and unbalance for a while, and then I realized that I was letting things get out of control. I need my days to clean my apartment, fold laundry, and vaccuum instead of feeling pressure to go out to dinner again. As much as those are “my chores”, I need them-because if my apartment is cluttered and messy, I start feeling angry and pressured to clean it. I need time to randomly take a bubble bath or maybe read a bit before going to bed each night instead of feeling obligated to run out the door again. I need time to decompress each night after work before diving in to working on something else. I need time to Facetime with my family members out of state or have long phone calls with friends from out of town. In order to do all these things, I have to say “no” sometimes to other things. And, I’m realizing that not only is it ok, but I feel way better when I do this. It’s a good feeling. I kind of have to wonder if this is why so many people are so angry all the time. Because, believe me, I can totally relate to that sometimes.
One thing that I will say “yes” to, however, would be a quiche like this. It’s relatively simple to make, freezes extremely well, and also reheats nicely for work week leftover lunches. And, like all quiches, your creative liberty with ingredients is generous. Add in what you like, omit what you don’t: it’s all good. I used a gouda that I found on sale that was truffle-flavored, but you could use whatever kind of cheese you like. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner: a quiche is a mighty good thing.
Spinach, Mushroom, and Truffled Gouda Quiche
Servings: about 6-8
For the crust:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk (I used skim.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 and 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
For the filling:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas.)
One 5-ounce package of Earthbound Farm baby spinach
1 cup milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Gouda cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1. For the crust: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl using an electric hand mixer) beat the butter at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, salt, and egg yolk.
3. Add the milk mixture to the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour; beat just until combined.
5. Press the dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover. Chill for at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Unwrap and place the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 10-inch circle.
8. Using your fingers, gently press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate, and freeze for about 15 minutes.
9. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
10. For the filling: heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
11. Add the onion; sauté for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and caramelized.
12. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms lose some of their moisture, about 4-5 minutes.
13. In batches, add the spinach; cooking until the spinach wilts, another 5 minutes or so. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
14. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 cup milk, Gouda, salt, nutmeg, and eggs.
15. Add the egg mixture to the cooked spinach, stirring to thoroughly combine.
16. Pour filling into the prepare crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the custard is thoroughly set.