The Weekend: Tongva Park, My First Quiche, and Easter Brunch

Tongva Park

Saturday, we met up with some friends at Tongva Park in Santa Monica. Funny name, I had to check twice to make sure I read it correctly. It was my first time there, and since it was a Saturday, I knew parking would be difficult. Also, because it is in Santa Monica, I would have to pay for parking. Luckily, I arrived early enough where I found a spot in the small parking lot on Ocean Avenue, next to Chez Jay’s. There is also parking near City Hall, which is on the east side of the park.  We parked for 1.5 hours, for $3.00. The parking pay machines are solar-powered, which is great, but they are also very slow at processing a credit card. I’m glad there wasn’t anyone waiting behind me, because in the time it took to process the card and print the receipt, I managed to get the stroller out of the trunk and get my daughter situated in it, along with the other items we were taking with us.

Tongva Park is laid out beautifully and you can tell it’s very new because it is clean. The kids play area where there are very tall slides, a rock climbing area, and water fountains that spout out of the ground is designated for ages 2 – 5. I probably would have tried out the slide with my daughter if I had someone to watch my stroller and bag, and also if it was easier to get to the top from the base of the slide. I forgot to bring a bathing suit for her and myself, so we didn’t try out the water area, which my friend’s 15 month old loved. We ended up just playing on one of the play sculptures and then had lunch in the grassy area. I’d definitely go back, but probably on a weekday.

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View of the grassy park area from the sidewalk near the bathrooms

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Aria at the play sculpture at Tonva Park

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top view of kids’ play area at Tongva Park

My First Quiché

I cooked/baked quiche for the first time so I could bring it to our friend’s Easter Brunch. I asked my food-savvy, intelligent friend DOCTOR Jessica Piazza for advice. (Check out her book Interrobang on Amazon!)

I followed a recipe she sent and was very pleased with the results! I made two quiches. I used pre-made frozen pie crust shells by Marie Callenders that I bought at Vons on Sepulveda. For the filling, I used Andouille chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s (and removed the casings), 2 green peppers, one yellow onion, and cremini mushrooms.

If you buy pre-shredded cheese and a refrigerated pie crust, this quiche takes about five minutes to put together. And it’s so good, with only five ingredients! You could, of course, add everything from thawed and drained frozen spinach to cooked sausages or onions or other vegetables, but that would take more time!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8
Ingredients:
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust OR homemade pie crust
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, or a combination of Swiss and Cheddar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preparation: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Let refrigerated crust stand at room temperature 15 minutes, then gently unroll. Place in 9″ pie pan, press into bottom and up sides, and flute edges. Sprinkle cheese into the bottom of the pie crust; set aside. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients and beat with a wire whisk until smooth and incorporated. Pour carefully over cheeses in crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes until quiche is puffed, golden brown, and set. Let stand 5 minutes, then cut into wedges to serve.

Notes: Adjust the salt depending on whether you salt the other ingredients and how salty you like it and how salty your cheese is.
And here it is on the table at Sunday Brunch:
Homemade Quiche!

Homemade Quiche!

Sunday Brunch

We went to our friends’ place in downtown LA for Easter Brunch after I went to 7:30am Easter mass. I’ve mentioned Scott and Kristy in previous posts, how they cook really well, and how their presentation is amazing. We were honored to be guests at their intimate Easter brunch. It was a delicious 4 hour brunch with friends that also brought food.  We had cornmeal blueberry waffles, ham, fruit, quiche, cream-filled donuts, bloody marys, and coffee. That was the “br” part of brunch, as Kristy noted. After resting and hanging out playing cornhole and enjoying the great view from the roof and the warm day, we were served the “unch” part of brunch, which consisted of a leg of lamb, roasted asparagus, seasoned potato wedges, and carrot cake with maple cream frosting. Needless to say, we were happy and stuffed! What a great way to spend Easter!

Mmm. Lamb made by Kristy Nall!

Mmm. Lamb made by Kristy Nall!