Christmas Time…….cafe update!

Another month has gone by and we’re so close to having our cafe back open! I can’t wait to decorate it for the holidays and serve gingerbread lattes and our new scones. It has been a bit over four months now since we closed down for the HGTV renovations. I must say that time has flown by.

People around town are buzzing with questions. When we will be back open? What is the new menu like? How was it meeting the people from the show? It has been an exciting time, I feel blessed to be here and a part of things to come.

The past four months have given us many opportunities and time to reflect on the past year of owning our little cafe. We have come a long way since my husband and I bought it. Thanks to Jenny, Dave, the whole crew, workers, and staff from HGTV they have taken it and my dream to a whole new level.

In the spirit of Christmas, I’m thankful for what we have and can share with people all over the world. Being back in our cafe means so much to me. It is a special place, and this is a special time of year that magical things happen. This has been my dream, as a chef, and small business owner. It’s the greatest gift and I get to share it with everyone who walks through our little cafe every day.

Happy holidays to all of you! Until next time~J

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Turkey & vegetable quiche

This is a great way to use up your leftovers! This quiche is perfect for breakfast or even dinner with a side salad the next day.

To make this super simple I used ready-made pie crust thawed the night before in the fridge.

Yield: 2 quiche pies

Ingredients:

2 pie crusts (thawed)

8 eggs

1 cup milk, heavy cream, or plant-based milk

I small package of frozen veggies. (You can also use canned, or fresh if you cook them first)

Spices- I like a mix of paprika, dill, chives, salt, and pepper.

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350*F

Get 2 pie pans or glass pie dishes ready and roll put the crust to cover the bottom of each pan.

Poke holes in each crust with a fork and bake for 15 minutes. Take out and let cool while you make the filling.

Filling:

Chop turkey into small pieces.

Combine the eggs milk, and spices and whisk or stir with a fork until well combined.

Add the veggies and the turkey. Stir until mixed and split the filling between the two pie pans.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the egg is set in the middle. You can check with a toothpick. The quiche should be firm and not jiggle when set.

Let sit for 10 minutes, cut into slices and enjoy.

What are your favorite ingredients for quiche? Comment below!

Until next time~J

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Stillness

Took a drive up to Kansas to remember an old friend of long ago. The church was filled with so many who’s lives were touched by this person. We all shared in love, laughter, and tears during the service.

Good times and lovely memories were shared and it took me back to when I knew this person from my childhood. I remember him always being the caring one, telling jokes, and being so genuine. He touched a lot of lives and that love was present in all who came to say goodbye.

I know this man growing up from when I was a little girl through primary school and middle school. His wife worked with my father. His two boys were childhood friends. Even the pastor that did the service was also a dear friend from back then, now almost 30 years ago.

Looking back and being around this little group of people that touched my life so briefly has me wanting more. I miss that essence from when I was young. The love I felt being around all of them again is something I miss dearly. The family I had lost touch with, was all there together mourning for a loved one.

During the service my friend talked about stillness. Stillness to stop, stand still, take a moment, take a breath. We’re so busy that I don’t often take the second for myself these days. I realized it’s so important to do so more often than not.

Today we all came together to remember a wonderful man who had touched so many. I leave feeling more loved and reconnected with a family I had lost so long ago.

So today I reflect, I remember, I greive, and I cherish it all.

Until next time~J

Guts, grit, and lots of heart.

“You can always tell when a person has worked in
a restaurant. There’s an empathy that can only be
cultivated by those who’ve stood between a
hungry mouth and a $28 pork chop, a special
understanding of the way a bunch of motley
misfits can be a family. Service industry work
develops the “soft skills” recruiters talk about on
LinkedIn – discipline, promptness, the ability to
absorb criticism, and most important, how to read
people like a book. The work is thankless and fun
and messy, and the world would be a kinder place
if more people tried it. With all due respect to my
former professors, I’ve long believed I gained
more knowledge in kitchens, bars, and dining
rooms than any college could even hold.”


– Anthony Bourdain

I came across this quote today and it holds so true for me and others in the culinary world. Working in this industry takes guts, grit, and lots of heart. You have good days and bad days. Some days you’re on top of your game, and others you scramble to keep up. Full of long hours, striving for perfection, neverending tickets, sharp knives, and lots of fire. In this world, you’ll find it full of people who are scrappy, endearing, hardcore, and full of life. I have learned so much from culinary school like how to be prepared, try new things, build priceless relationships, and find my fire. Working in different restaurants over the past ten years, and now owning two has been a wild ride I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Until next time~J

Grateful

After a very long day yesterday, full of complications and unknowns I was tired and just felt off all day. The bad seemed to outweigh the good, nothing seriously bad but a lot of little things just seemed to add up all on the same day. I’m pretty positive most of the time, but yesterday was just a meh day.

This morning I woke up, made coffee, and felt good again. Like I had a blank slate and could fight through the small problems, and make good things happen again. It’s a good reminder that even though we all have those days that every day is different and I’m grateful for each day that I have here.

Growing up I had an older brother, Troy. He was three years older than me and he was my world. I looked up to him, he was cool, and I wanted to be like him. Being his bratty little sister I followed him around and was always trying to hang around with him and his friends. I grew up a tomboy and we played outside a lot. I also have fond memories of playing Nintendo NES in his room. Still to this day because of him I have a huge love of the Legend of Zelda game and still play it now and then. It takes me back to when we were young and I still miss that, and him.

When he was nineteen, he passed away from suicide. I was sixteen and a junior in high school. It shocked my world and everyone around him. It took me over a decade to forgive myself and let go of the guilt. The day he died I was the one who found him and from that day I was changed forever. Today it has been almost twenty-five years since he passed away. It feels like a lifetime ago.

Through all the grief and struggle, In the long run, has made me a stronger person. Going through this experience has made me see the world differently. It has shaken and humbled me in so many ways. I try to share the love of what I do with everyone because you never know what people are going through. How their world is.

So today I am grateful. Even for all the silly, yet at the time seem bigger problems that may arise, we are meant for better things. Helping people, building community, and giving kindness and love as much as we can.

Until next time~J

Greek Salad

I love a good salad. We have this at our cafe and it’s one of my favorite items on our menu. Lots of fresh ingredients with balsamic dressing and crumbled feta cheese.

Yield: 2 salads

Note– to make this vegan substitute chickpeas and any plant-based cheese you like

Ingredients:

1 head green leaf lettuce

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cooked chicken breast

1 English cucumber

1 tomato

1/4 red onion

1/4 cup green olives

Balsalmic vinaigrette

Preparation:

Wash all produce.

Dice/ chop lettuce into bite-size pieces. Slice the olives in half.

Thinly slice the red onion, dice the tomato, and slice the cucumber into rounds.

In a medium bowl add the lettuce, onion, cucumber, olives, and tomato.

For the chicken, you can use ready-cooked frozen and thaw. I like to cook a whole sheet pan of chicken at the beginning of the week and use it for meals to save time. In a single layer of a sheet pan, add chicken, lightly pepper, and salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven @ 375 for 45 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165*F.

Dice the chicken breast and add to the salad. Toss all ingredients with the dressing and top with feta cheese.

What do you love about your salads? To see more recipes like this one, comment below with your favorite ones! Until next time~J