On this lovely Friday morning with a three day weekend lying ahead, I got a few life lessons for you that I’ve learned in the kitchen.

Life Lesson #1 – sometimes it’s worth it to take the short cut. Yeah yeah yeah hard work and perseverance are important and all that jazz but sometimes it’s just not worth it to take on unnecessary work and stress when there’s an easier way to do something. Case in point – pie crust.  While homemade pie crust may taste a little better than store-bought and it comes with the pride of knowing you made it form scratch, usually no one can tell the difference. Pie crust can take a lot of time to make from scratch and can often lead to frustration if it doesn’t turn out right. Why bother when you can get a perfectly round one for $2.99 on sale?

Life Lesson #2 – Don’t let a little sand in your pants ruin your day. This should come in handy this Memorial Day Weekend. Sand can be a real pain in the you know what if you let it. But just remember a quick rinse is all you need to be feeling fine. Case in point – leeks. I used to be very afraid of leeks.  I didn’t know how to use them or clean them so I stayed away from them. But, once I learned how easy it was to give them a quick little water bath and get rid of the sand, I came to love them.  So remember, there’s nothing a little water can’t fix.




  • One pie crust (store bought or homemade)
  • 7 oz watercress or baby spinach
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 pound salmon, skin removed
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 TB fresh dill, chopped
  • A few Sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 small leeks, whites only, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped


1. Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees. Bring pie crust to room temperature

2. Thoroughly rinse and dry the watercress, and remove the stems. Heat 2 TB of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the watercress and saute for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and squeeze out any excess water. Finely chop and set aside.


3. In a medium pot, heat 3/4 cup of the milk, the bay leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper over medium heat. When the milk begins to simmer add the salmon and poach it for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Remove the salmon and crumble on a plate or bowl with two forks. Set aside.


4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and remaining 1/4 cup milk.  Season with salt, pepper,nutmeg, dill and sage. Set aside.


4. Place the pie crust in a pie or quiche dish and use a fork to poke holes in the bottom.  Par bake the pie crust for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and brush with the egg white. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

5. While pie crust is baking, heat the remaining 2 TB of olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet used for the watercress.  Add the leeks and shallot and cook for about 5 minutes without browning.  Turn off the heat and add the chopped watercress and salmon.

6. Once pie crust is ready, add the vegetable and salmon mixture to it and pour the egg  mixture evenly over the top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden and eggs are set.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.




Source: Adapted from “La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life”