Tag Archives: egg

Breakfast Hack: Microwave Poached Egg

1 May

Yep. You read that title right. A poached egg. In the MICROWAVE!

I need to eat breakfast during the week. If I don’t, I have a serious crash and get mega hangry. Or I want to eat lunch at 11:00 am. Which doesn’t really work for me when I won’t be eating dinner until 6 or 7 on a weeknight. Getting up for work, I’m not ready to eat breakfast at 7 or 8. I like to eat it later on, because it keeps me satiated and allows me to eat lunch a little later.

I was making up scrambled eggs at home since the chickens are officially back into the habit of producing, but reheating them in the microwave left them a bit dry and rubbery. I found a post over at The Kitchn, which talked about poaching an egg in the microwave. I love me some poached eggs, so this news was amazing to me! Saves me some calories by not having to use butter to cook them, and I can have freshly made eggs for breakfast – on demand!

On the third attempt, I got a perfectly poached egg to smear over my multi-grain toast. Seriously. This egg poached better than the ones I make on the stove top. The trick I discovered is using already hot water, then microwave the egg for 60 seconds. If you read the post over at The Kitchn, they say to put the microwave at 50% power. Our work microwave lacks power, so I don’t do any adjustments and it works out great. If you have a newer microwave, I’d suggest starting at 50% power for 60 seconds and see where that gets you on the egg front. If it looks like it needs more cooking, give it another 30 second burst. I like a slightly runny yolk but a set white. The hot water sets the white without overcooking the center.

I think this is a great option for people who work in an office, or at any job where a microwave is available to heat up meals. Even college kids would benefit from this little trick!

image

Microwave Poached Egg

Tools:

Coffee mug

Small plate/saucer

1 egg

1/3 cup hot water

Put a splash of hot water in the bottom of the coffee mug. Crack your egg into the cup. Add in the rest of the water.

Put your egg filled mug into the microwave, and cover the top of the mug with the saucer – do NOT skip this part! It helps to steam the egg and prevents a hot mess if your egg explodes! ( I only had one incidence where the egg had a mini explosion, and it was before I was doing hot water and have started the microwave for another 30 seconds.)

Microwave for 60 seconds at normal power for older microwaves, 50% power for newer.

Once your egg is cooked to your liking, enjoy! I eat mine over a piece of multi-grain toast with some pepper and garlic salt. Add in some precooked bacon, and you’ve got a protein filled breakfast!

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Breakfast Idea: Bacon Egg & Cheese Mix/Spread

28 Jan

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I LOVE BREAKFAST! I can’t help it. It’s the best meal of the day in my opinion, and breakfast for dinner is really a treat. But back to this spread. It’s cheesy, it’s got some zing from the mustard powder, smokiness from the bacon, and the mayo helps bind it all together and up the creamy quotient. Another plus is on it’s own it’s Gluten Free (obviously you’ll have to put it on GF bread or crackers to keep it that way)! It’s yummy, quick, and can be used in a variety of ways listed below.

egg spread broiled

Bacon Egg & Cheese Mix/Spread

adapted from The Pioneer Woman

12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

12 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

2 cups freshly grated cheese ( I used Colby Jack)

1/2 cup Hellman’s Light Olive Oil Mayo

1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 slices bread of choice

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Refrigerate 1 hour to let flavors meld. (If freezing, skip this step)

egg spread premixeggspread mixed

I have used this recipe 4 different ways, all with great results:

1. Frozen – Top english muffins with mixture and freeze individually. Remove from freezer letting thaw overnight for use the following day. Place under broiler for roughly 5 minutes, until golden brown and warmed through.

2. Microwaved – for 30-60 seconds and topped on crackers.

3. Traditional – top a toasted piece of bread or english muffin with the mix, and place under broiler for about 5 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

4. Appetizer – follow original directions, but chop the egg and bacon a bit finer. Heat is a small crock pot and serve with crackers, melba toast, or slices of baguette bread. Yum!

With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, I feel that you need variety! A cold bowl of cereal just won’t cut it to cover 7 days a week! I hope you guys enjoy this breakfast treat as much as we do!

Refreshing & healthy lunch idea – Avocado Egg Salad

10 Sep

The avocado is another one of those super foods. There are a lot of people who dismiss it from their diets because of its high calorie content. I on the other hand love it and am trying to sub it in for mayo whenever I can. I decided to give it a whirl in my egg salad sandwich for lunch. I’m overrun with fresh eggs from my chickens, so I needed another option to eat them all up! Wow, am I glad I subbed the mayo here! It’s fantastic. It was filling and flavorful, even without having all the yolk in it. I enjoyed it on a Syrian roll, but it would be fantastic on crackers, toasted french bread, or even in a salad. The recipe below? It’s one like my Bubba or mom would have written up because there aren’t really any exact measurements. You have to season it to your own tastes. So use it as a guideline, a starting point for you to jump off with your own avocado egg salad flavor. But most of all, enjoy it! I use a potato ricer when I make my egg salad because it gets everything nice and creamy.You can chop all this by hand if you want, or toss it into a food processor and pulse a couple of times until everything is combined.

Avocado Egg Salad

makes 2-3 sandwiches

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

1/2 ripe avocado

lemon juice to taste

garlic salt & pepper to taste

Start out by cutting 2 of the hard-boiled eggs in half and disposing of the egg yolks (I give mine to my dog, it makes his coat nice and shiny and he loves the taste). Place the whole eggs, egg whites and avocado into a potato ricer that has been placed over a bowl. Press down. Clean off any additional egg and avocado from the ricer. Season with garlic salt & pepper to your liking, and add a squirt of lemon juice. Stir to combine. Generously spread onto the bread of your choice and serve.

Note: Be sure to cover tightly when storing any leftovers. I place a piece of saran wrap snugly against the egg salad to avoid any possible discoloration of the avocado.

Morning Rush – “Fast Food” Breakfast sandwiches

10 Apr

Breakfast is the meal that you just should not skip. It kick starts your brain and body into powering through the day. Yet so many of us skip it because we are pressed for time in our morning rush to get out the door and to work on time. Or, we think that a granola bar or an apple eaten while driving in to work is an adequate substitute for a legit breakfast.

Believe me, breakfast is my most favorite meal. I eat it for dinner or lunch. I would eat a full breakfast every morning, if I just had the time! But sleeping an extra 1/2hr always wins out over getting my day started sooner so I can cook breakfast. And then there are those days when on the way to work going through the drive thru at a fast food restaurant seems like a wonderful idea because I just want a breakfast sandwich. And then I finish the sandwich and feel blah. Because of all the preservatives, calories, fat and grease. So what was supposed to satiate and energize me leaves me feeling lethargic and regretful.

Enter the homemade “Fast Food” Breakfast Sandwich! Putting aside a little bit of time and getting these assembled means you have something available right in your very own freezer!

You can make however many you want. I make 2 dozen because I do 1 dozen egg white and 1 dozen whole egg – egg white for me since I’m trying to lose weight, whole egg for the hubs because he needs the additional fat and protein to get him through his vigorous work day. Since you make the egg part in muffin tins (super convenient!) I use mini bagels. Full size bagels are HUGE and would require 2 of the baked egg cups just for proper bagel coverage.

If you don’t want to have a whole cooked yolk to bite into, just whisk up the eggs and whites for a more scrambled egg type sandwich. Edit the recipe/method below to your liking. This is just a guide and what I did. Want some kick? Sprinkle egg tops with crushed red pepper flakes. Need meat with your breakfast sandwich? Cook up some turkey breakfast sausage, drain the fat and add some to the egg cups before cooking. Next time I’m going to add some sautéed drained spinach to the egg whites along with a sprinkling of garlic salt.

Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients:

12 eggs

2 cartons egg whites

12 slices yellow american, cut in half

24 mini bagels, sliced

salt, pepper, and chives for sprinkling egg tops – optional

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 2 12 count muffin tins with non stick spray to coat. In one muffin tin, crack the 12 eggs – 1 per tin compartment.

In the other 12 count muffin tin, pour egg white till cups are 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle all 24 sections with salt, pepper and chives if desired.

Place tins on top rack side by side for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

Split bagels in half and place split side up onto 2 cookie sheets. Add to the preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

While bagels are toasting, remove eggs from the muffin tins.

Remove bagels from the oven and top one side with an egg and top with half a slice of cheese each. Place bagel top on. Repeat process until all bagel sandwiches are assembled.

Place all the bagel sandwiches on a cookie sheet(s) and put uncovered into the freezer for 1hr.

Once frozen, wrap individually in saran wrap and place in a freezer bag.

To heat, take one out of the freezer the night before and let thaw overnight in the fridge. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until cheese is melted and egg is hot.

You can also heat up in the oven – 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Isn’t that a great way to have breakfast on hand? yay!

Slovenian Tradition: Hrutka aka Easter Cheese

2 Apr

My great grandparents came to the US on a boat as immigrants with many others seeking a better life in America. With them, they also brought their Slovenian traditions that they passed along to their children. My gram passed the tradition of Hrutka on to me. Essentially, you cook eggs in milk over a double boiler until “curds” are formed. Then you transfer it to cheese cloth to drain off the liquid and form a solid ball.

It is delicious. You can make it sweet or savory, but I lean toward the savory. I eat it on crackers. Or a big slice all by itself  with some hot sauce. Traditionally it is eaten with ham on easter bread. I always make a double batch because we love it, so timewise from start to finish (where the cheesecloth balls are hanging to drain) is about 1 1/2hrs. Making the recipe below, it will take you about an hour.

Hrutka (Easter Cheese)

1 dozen large eggs, whisked to combine yolks with whites

1 quart whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Add all the ingredients to a double boiler. I used a large pyrex mixing bowl set over a pot of water. (Be sure to add enough water that you will not run out in the middle of making this.)

The first 20 minutes, let the water come up to a boil and heat the mixture. Using a wisk, scrape the sides of the bowl periodically.

Once the mixture looks like the photo below, line a colander with cheesecloth and ladle the egg mixture in to drain off the liquid. Twist the top of the cheesecloth together and hang to drain excess liquid.

Unwrap the hrutka and slice the bottom off to let it sit flat. Cover with saran wrap and chill overnight.

To serve, slice into pieces to be topped on a piece of ham, or on a cracker. Enjoy!

The DIY Life: Keeping Chickens Series

20 Mar

So we bit the bullet and got some chicks the other day. Golden Laced Wyandottes to be exact. As well as 2 mallard ducks – the hubs said if they had ducks, he was getting them. Here is to hoping that they are a male and female so they can be mates!

But anyways, back to the chicks – and what got us to the point where we wanted some of our own.

I have been on a mission to eat as organically as possible, in the only true way I believe you can know you are eating organic – from your own garden or kitchen. With so many things out there today labeled “organic” it’s become hard to pinpoint what truly is organic. So i’m cutting out the middle man in as many cases as possible and either baking, cooking, or growing it myself.

Now onto eggs – any egg labeled organic happens to be around $2-3 MORE than the regular eggs at the grocery store where I live. “Free Range” can sometimes only mean that the chickens were allowed outside of their coop for an hour per day. Chickens getting an hour of free movement doesn’t really seem like a good justification to charge almost double for eggs. Not to me anyway. It sounds more like prison.

So last year, our friend who keeps chickens was always having a surplus of eggs. Way more than he and his wife could consume. So they started giving us dozens of eggs. The first ones I cracked open to make eggs over easy had me hooked. That dark, sun colored yolk. That clean, yummy taste. I wanted more. I wanted my own chickens.

The hubs and I talked about it for a months. We read about various breeds. We needed cold hardy birds that could survive the winter here,  and birds that were friendly and sweet. We wanted good layers. So we narrowed it down to Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, and Wyandottes. Between mid March and Mid April, Tractor Supply has what they call Chick Days – where all the stores carry chicks, ducks, and geese. They never really know what they are gonna get so we called around to all of them within a 40 mile radius. The hubs found Wyandottes at one nearby and we scooped up the last 6. The only problem with these little chicks is that they are a straight run, which means they have not been sexed. On average, it’s a 50/50 ratio. Since we only want hens, we’ll have to figure out what to do with any males once we can tell what’s what.

But for now, it’s just entertaining to watch them kick around the litter, eat, drink, and get into shenanigans with each other.

We are new to chicken keeping, so I have refered to a book (as well as internet sites specializing in chicken care for the backyard keeper!) called: Keeping Chickens with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock.  I actually won the series of Ashley English books from Kate over at Hip Girls Guide and am so glad I have it as a point of reference. It covers all the basics and more, kind of like an idiots guide to chicken keeping, but told like you were hearing it from a friend. Check out Ashley’s blog over at Small Measure. Lot’s of great reads on getting back to the basics. Because getting back to basics is becoming a big movement. For me, keeping chickens is the next part of my getting back to basics.

Now, i’m planning on doing this as a sort of series. This first part, AKA Phase 1 –  now that i’m done going on and on, is about preparing yourself for keeping chicks (or ducklings if your husband REALLY just has to have them!)

We needed to set up a brooder for the chicks. Since there is no momma for them to snuggle under, the brooder provides them with that nice environment while also keeping them safely confined. Since we only have 6 chicks and 2 mallards, I decided to use a large clear plastic tote. I sanitized it with a bleach/water solution and dried it out. In the bottom, I put about 3 inches of “litter” made out of wood shavings to provide the chicks with soft material to move around on as well as something to catch all their waste.

We also purchased a feeder and waterer for the chicks so they had acess to fresh food and water all day. We change the water daily and swap out the food if it’s been contaminated. Litter is changed daily to keep the chicks in a clean, healthy environment and to keep our house from getting stinky! I placed the tote in one of the upstairs bedrooms so that they can have quiet and be segregated from the rest of the house (and the dog). Originally I had them in the kitchen but was concerned our little pup was going to traumatize them so they have since been relocated. I did this without the dog being around because last night, he was up every 2hrs trying to listen for them and wanting out of the room. Oh what a night. Merr.

Soooo….baby chicks require the use of a heat lamp and temps of 90-95 degrees for their first week. This temp can be decreased by 5 degrees per week. The heat lamp is a red bulb that provides them warmth since they are so small and have no momma for snuggling. I also learned that the reason it is red is because it prevents the chicks from pecking at each other. Well then. Good to know! The room they are in gets alot of sun and light and when it gets dark I can have the light on in the room for the few extra hours they need light without it bothering us as we mill about our house.

So far the chicks and ducklings seem to be thriving. They are eating, drinking, sleeping and exploring. They’ve already started ‘foraging’ even though there is nothing for them to find. so this is great news. Now lets hope that most of them are girls!

Stay tuned for more updates on our journey into the world of chicken keeping!