Sample chocolate cupcakes are enrobed in “pretty in pink” buttercream frosting and await taste-testing. Karen Schneider photo

Now is the time when I hope you’re all thinking about what to do for Mom on her special day. Yes, FYI — Mother’s Day is next Sunday, May 9 and I have an idea for you: Being a mom myself, I always appreciate some homemade yumminess. (Hint. Hint.)

To help you all out, I’m sharing some basic recipes that you can follow word for word or just adapt the ingredients to suit yourself.

For starters, a creamy, savory quiche is an artist’s canvas where you decide how to make it your own. Although the custard filling has a standard formula, literally hundreds of different ingredients can be added.

Furthermore, the crust can be a traditional homemade recipe, a convenient store-bought circle of pastry in a box or you can always go crustless! (If you choose the latter, just grease the pie dish really well.) If you prefer your quiche with a crust, I even tell you how to keep that crust nice and crisp.

Our family quiche recipe is festooned with Swiss cheese, bacon and shallots, but feel free to experiment with different cheeses if you like; use onions instead of shallots, or ham instead of bacon. Mushrooms and vegetables of all sorts are tasty in the quiche; just be sure to saute all your ingredients first, allowing them to cool. Blot with paper towels if necessary to remove any excess moisture.

Preparing the quiche a day ahead works well as it can simply be reheated in a 300 degree oven on Mother’s Day then served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner—whatever Mom wants!


With an easy-going side such as a smoothie, fresh fruit or green salad, the quiche makes a nice treat, but be sure Mom saves room for something sweet, unless of course she wants dessert first. After all, it’s her day!

No matter if she chooses her sweet before or after her special meal (or both), the “4Bites” cupcakes can be baked up for her the day before then decorated and hidden away.

Of course, Mom should have a small smackerel of chocolate every day, but on Mother’s Day, just hand over those cupcakes and let her have as many as she wants!

Preparing quiche for Mother’s Day is doable for anyone who can handle a whisk, shred some cheese and follow a simple recipe. Karen Schneider photo


8 servings

6 slices thick-cut bacon, diced


3 large shallots, thinly sliced

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

2 teaspoons flour

Pastry for a 9-inch deep-dish pie crust

Prepare the pie crust then roll it out to fit the pie dish, trimming and crimping the edges.

Place a rack in the middle of the oven, set a baking sheet on the rack and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the pie dough with a circle of parchment paper then fill the pastry with dried beans or use pie weights. Par bake the crust for 18 minutes or until the edges are beginning to brown.

Meanwhile, cook bacon and shallots in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is slightly crisp and shallots are tender and starting to caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat.


Remove the par baked crust from the oven, but leave the baking sheet in there. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully remove the parchment paper and pie weights from the pie crust. Cool the crust for at least 15 minutes.

To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add half-and-half and seasonings, whisking until well-combined.

Mix flour into shredded cheese with a fork then spoon cheese into the pie crust first. Pour the custard over the cheese then top the custard with the other cooled ingredients.

Place the pie dish onto the hot baking sheet and bake until quiche is browned around the edges and is mostly set, but has a bit of a jiggle at the center, 35 to 40 minutes.

Allow the quiche to cool for at least an hour before serving.

The writer’s granddaughters, Anna Smith and Lucy Lajoie, conduct dress rehearsal for their 4Bite Cupcakes. Karen Schneider photo



Makes 14 cupcakes

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt


2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature


(Or stir 1 teaspoon white vinegar into 1/2 cup whole milk and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes. For sturdier cupcakes, substitute sour cream for the buttermilk.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with just 2 liners.

Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla together until combined. Pour half the wet ingredients into dry ingredients then add half the buttermilk. Gently whisk for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir just until combined; do not overmix. The batter will be thin.

Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling only halfway to avoid the batter spilling over the sides or having sinking middles. You’ll be tempted to overfill the cupcake liners to use that last dribble of batter, but use another pan and two more liners for those extra cupcakes.

Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan completely before frosting.


Buttercream frosting

Enough for 14 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk


Dash of salt

3-5 drops food coloring, optional

Cream butter with an electric mixer, until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and salt until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and beat for 30 seconds until smooth and desired color is reached.

Writer and editor Karen Schneider has been a regular contributor to the Lewiston Sun Journal for over 24 years. Contact her at [email protected] with your ideas and comments.

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