When I first started this blog back in 2006, food blogging was still finding its groove.
Most people had never heard of The Pioneer Woman or Smitten Kitchen, and the idea of making a whole movie about food blogging hadn't even crossed Hollywood's mind (let alone one starring Meryl Streep). Heck, most of my friends didn't even know what a blog was.
Five years is an awful long time in the blogosphere.
It's also a long time in real life - over those same five years, The Boy and I moved in together, bought a home, and moved from the west side to the east side.
I've gone from late 20s to early 30s, gained about 15 lbs I wish I hadn't, visited two countries I'd never seen before, and lopped off most of my hair only to have it grow back to waist-length again.
I've also become the aunt of an adorable bouncing baby boy, who is just six months old as I write this, but will grow to be an adorable preschooler in yet another five years.
Yep. Five years is an awful lot of time, no matter how you measure it.
So, to celebrate my fifth year as a blogger, albeit a rather inconsistent one, I've decided to make some changes.
For one, I've outgrown my blog's name. I picked "Good Food, Good Wine and a Bad Girl" on a whim, using one of my favourite food-related quotes for inspiration. It's cheeky and kind of cute to call yourself a "bad girl" when you're 27, but at nearly 33 it feels kind of like a desperate attempt to cling to those cuter, cheekier days. I don't even want to think of what it'll seem like when I hit 40.
I also feel like I've outgrown Blogger. It's been a cozy home for the past few years, but it is somewhat limited in terms of plugins and layout, and my design is starting to feel a little stale. As painful as a migration to self-hosted WordPress might be, it's also an gateway to a whole new world of possibilities. Plus it's the perfect excuse to do a full (and long-overdue) redesign.
So, on June 1st, I'm turning the page and starting a new chapter, just a few days shy of my fifth anniversary as a blogger. And I'm really excited about it.
There will be a shiny new name and a shiny new look, but I won't be changing any of the things that really matter. I'm still going to keep sharing simple, un-fussy recipes inspired by fresh ingredients, as well as my usual snarky commentary and pretty photos. Sorry, you're stuck with those.
I'm also planning on thinking outside the recipe box a little more. I'll be talking a little more about other food-related topics that don't necessarily involve a recipe - covering my forays to the farmers market and to local food and drink events, product reviews and ingredient spotlights, and possibly even the odd restaurant review. It's going to be a bit experimental for the next few months while I try to find a new groove, but if you stick around, I promise to make it worth your while.
In keeping with the theme of new beginnings... here's a quiche filled with fresh spring vegetables that are the very embodiment of spring and rebirth. Nothing fussy or fancy, because I didn't want to overpower the delicate sweetness of the leeks or the tender green flavour of the fiddleheads. All it needs is a lightly-dressed green salad to make a simple, yet elegant vegetarian meal.
After all, then it comes to food, not all new beginnings need to be impressive... as long as they're delicious.
PS - If you can't find fiddleheads, fresh asparagus is a perfect (and equally seasonal) substitute.
Spring Leek and Fiddlehead Quiche
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
This vegetarian-friendly quiche can be served warm as a main course, or at room temperature for picnics or brown-bag lunches. When shopping for fiddleheads, look for a bright green colour, unblemished stems and tightly furled heads (or substitute asparagus, if you can't find fiddleheads).
- 1 unbaked 9" deep-dish pie crust
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (1 medium-sized leek)
- 1 cup fresh fiddleheads
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat to 350F.
- Line pie crust with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Let the crust rest for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then remove the parchment and pie weights. Prick the bottom of the crust in several places with a fork, then return to the oven to bake for another 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned. Set on a wire rack to cool, and increase the oven temperature to 375F.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in a large saute pan set over medium high heat. As soon as the butter begins to foam, add leeks and fiddleheads. Sweat for about 5 minutes, until leeks are soft but not browned.
- Scatter a half-cup of shredded mozzarella evenly onto the bottom of the par-baked pie crust. Spoon the cooked leeks and fiddleheads onto the layer of cheese, then top with Parmesan and the remaining half-cup of mozzarella.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and milk until combined. Stir in salt, pepper and basil. Gently pour into the crust.
- Bake the quiche in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the filling is golden and set around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Set on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Category: Mains
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Canadian
Congratulations! Although I loved the name of your blog (I'm about to turn 41 and still think I'm a bad girl at heart), I like the new one too. Love the header. I just (last month) moved my blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress as well and am loving it, although still feeling my way through the details. Have yet to rebuild my blogroll, but when I do, Crumb will be on it!
I would first like to congratulate you on an amazing 5 years as a blogger, what an awesome feat!! then I'd like to freak out about HOW AWESOME YOUR NEW LAYOUT IS!!!!! I love it -- its clean, minimal so your awesome photos can shine. I also love how you did your header. I couldn't help but LOL about why you changed the name hahaha, I still find you cute and cheeky :)
Congrats Isabelle, you rock and I am excited to see what this new home turns into!
[email protected]'s Kitchen says
Your new redesign is absolutely rocking! You're a veteran in food-blogger terms and what... you're only still in your early 30s? You know that cheesy saying, Life Begins at 40? Well, it's true (I know) and your best blogging is yet to come. Btw, apart from being able to view this lovely fiddlehead quiche, what I like most about coming here is seeing those crumbs at the bottom of every post! Genius, my kind of thinking.
Maya, you're too sweet! I've got seven more years to practice before I hit 40, so I'll be an unbelievably kick-ass blogger by then... right? :)
Love the new look! It's simple and clean and the "crumb" logo is cute :D.
As to the quiche, I'd love some! It looks delicious and I've only had fiddleheads once before (they didn't turn out correct) but I think this would be much better, it is quiche after all.
Emily @ eat.drink.run. says
This is my first visit to your site but I'm looking forward to all the great things to come (and also to reading some of your past posts). Love the idea of fiddleheads in quiche - sounds delicious!
My first visit to yourfresh, lovely blog (click-over from The Cilantropist)! I luv the name of your site and I guess I've visited on the first post/day of your redesign?
I've been wanting to try, even find fiddleheads. They look so interesting and would like to find out what they taste like. Gorgeous, tasty looking quiche!
Welcome, Cristina! You are indeed visiting on Day One of the new design. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)
PS - Fiddleheads can be tough to find. I've only started noticing them in Toronto in the past couple of years, though I know they're quite common in East Coast regions like Nova Scotia and Maine. The flavour and texture are very similar to asparagus, IMO, so that's my usual substitute.
Lemons and Anchovies says
Isabelle, I love, love the new look and your new name. Everything you said that prompted the change makes sense. Congrats on a beautiful new home in the blog world! Looking forward to many more years of wonderful blogging from you. :-)
Love the new header and the look since it involves Toast:D Enjoy your new home Isabelle.
I figured you'd like the toast, even though it's not burnt or anything! :)
Isabelle, the quiche with fiddleheads, leeks and basil looks divine. And the new look of the blog is bloody brilliant! I love it. So happy you made the change and decided to start things fresh with your blog and some of your future blog posts. I, for one, can't wait to see what you have in store! Well done!
Anonymous: Some species of fiddleheads can cause digestive upset if not thoroughly cooked, and I'd never recommend eating them raw or underdone. For most recipes, I blanch fiddleheads for at least 10 minutes to cover my butt.
However, since the fiddleheads in this recipe are sauteed for 5 minutes and then baked in a hot oven for 40 minutes, I felt that blanching would be overkill.
If I'm not mistaken Fiddlehead Ferns should be blanched first in boiling water for about four minutes; so they don't make you sick.
Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone. The big cutover is planned for tomorrow evening, and hopefully it'll happen without too many hiccups... please keep your fingers crossed for me! (If you see lots of four-letter words in my Twitter feed tomorrow, you'll know why)
Devan: Thanks for the heads up! I'm an East Yorker, so Brickworks and Withrow Park are a little closer... I might still take my bike down to Ashbridges sometime this summer to check it out, though.
Devan Hambrock says
A friend of mine sent me your blog and I love it! I'm an East ender too (Leslieviller to be exact) and was wondering if you'd heard about the new market starting this weekend? If not, check it out!
Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says
I can't wait to see the new blog! I think writing about food related topics is a great idea, it opens up so many options.
Isabelle - good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing your new look when you unveil it. I'm also pretty fed up with Blogger, but don't think I'm ready to make a move yet. Would love to hear from you down the road how you did it. Beautiful Quiche!
I've always been curious about fiddleheads, still haven't tried them. Congrats on almost 5 years blogging, you are doing a great job! Keeping it fresh and new will keep you going and having fun!
I can't wait to see what you have in store for us!
The Cilantropist says
I can't wait to see your new blog design! It seems great minds think alike - though I havent been blogging for nearly as long as you yet, I have already been feeling antsy with blogger for awhile. No plans to change my name though. ;) Excited for change!
RJ Flamingo says
Brava! Can't wait to see the "new you"! And that is indeed one gorgeous quiche!
Kimmy Bingham says
YAY for positive change! I'm so happy to see you inspired and can't wait to see what you come up with in the coming weeks, months, heck, years!
Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite says
Gorgeous quiche and WOW - five years - you're awesome! Can't wait for the new look and you will LOVE wordpress and wonder why you didn't change years ago!!! :)
I see that you're finding your voice Isabelle. They always say that change is better than a vacation. All the best in your new digs!