During our last grocery delivery (yes, I have our groceries delivered, it saves time, money and gas but more on that later), I had a very large batch of eggs delivered. 60 egg count to be exact. No, we don’t eat THAT many eggs but I discovered that you can freeze eggs! I’ll create a blog post for that later though. This one is about the eggs I haven’t frozen. Instead I want to talk hard boiled…er… baked. First, let me just say that of all my culinary accomplishments, boiling the perfect egg is not one of them. I don’t know why I fail at this nearly every time but I do. From undercooked to overcooked to half the white coming off with the shelling, I just don’t seem to have that knack. Until now.
I’ve seen a few posts come across my feed suggesting baking eggs instead of boiling them and I just had to try it. It’s ridiculously easy. Here’s the instructions:
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place eggs in the pockets of a muffin pan or something similar so they don’t roll around.
- Once your oven has finished heating, place eggs in the pan on the middle rack and set your timer for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and place eggs in an ice water bath using tongs.
- Allow to fully cool (roughly 10 to 15 minutes) and peel.
That’s. It. Right? Who knew?! Well now we do! And I have to say, that peeling them was MUCH easier and the yolks seem less dry or somewhat creamier than boiled. So it looks like I have a new way to make some tasty hard cooked eggs for deviled eggs, egg salad, with just salt & pepper or in cobb salad! Oh yeah… we might end up eating eggs a bit more often at this rate.
The eggs will get little brown specks on them while cooking, this is completely normal.
With all the slow cooker recipes I’ve been posting, I’ve gotten a lot of questions regarding the huge 6 quart CrockPot I use and how many people I’m feeding here! LOL! Let me start by saying, there is only two people I’m cooking for and no, we don’t eat that much in a single meal. But that’s sort of the point. I’m not cooking a single meal. On average, I can get about five meals from a single 6 quart batch of whatever. I freeze the remaining portions. Here’s some great reasons why you might consider this method of meal prepping at home:
- It takes only minutes longer to prep several meals at once. Generally my recipes are a half hour of prep per cooking session. So naturally if I’m making enough for five meals, it might take me perhaps five to ten minutes longer depending on what needs chopping, cutting, blending, etc. but that’s it. So either I spend ONE day cooking for FORTY minutes or I spend FIVE days cooking for THIRTY minutes each! Large batch cooking saves me an average of two hours to four HOURS of cooking time a week. SAVE TIME!
- When I don’t feel like cooking, we don’t have to order out. I simply warm up an already home cooked, healthy meal. SAVE TIME & MONEY!
- I’m always ready for company! I freeze the food in individual portions so I can feed just the two of us, or five of us with a single batch and not worry about all that time trying to cook for unexpected guests! SAVE TIME, MONEY AND SANITY!
- IT’S GREEN! A slow cooker uses less energy than an oven even over the hours it sits cooking on your counter (I tested this theory myself as I have a meter that I can plug appliances into and it will tell me how many amps it uses over extended periods of time). It’s a great way to save energy even if you don’t use the slow cooker because you are cooking five times the amount of food in a single electricity session. Great way to help lower that electric bill. Plus, less waste! Not just less food wasted (because you are dividing it into individual meals and thus have less chances of leftovers being left to spoil) but also in actual trash. Cooking in bulk allows you to buy in bulk and thus less individual packing to toss out. SAVE TIME, MONEY, SANITY AND THE PLANET!
- Less chances of food contamination. If the food is already cooked, all you’re doing is heating it up. You are far less likely to have insufficiently cooked meals and risking the chances of being sick. SAVE TIME, MONEY, SANITY, THE PLANET AND YOUR HEALTH!
- Lastly, and my absolute FAVORITE reason…. LESS DISHES! I cook once for five meals. That means it’s one or two pot, pan, casserole dish, whatever for every five meals! For the meals I heat up, it’s only the container(s) the meal was in and the dishes used to eat it off of! Got to LOVE that idea! Plus, doing less dishes means using less water. So now its… SAVE TIME, MONEY, SANITY, THE PLANET, YOUR HEALTH and WATER!
So basically… cooking in larger batches makes you a superhero. Now all I need is a cape and a catchy theme song.
Okay, I have to admit it… I seriously need to invest in pre-made refrigerated dough. I buy them by the case and can come up with just about any creative way to use them. I’ve used pre-made croissant rolls for my minced meat pies and for my egg-n-cheese breakfasts on the go. Now I’m telling you how to make some pretty tasty chicken pot pies in a really short amount of time by using pre-made roll dough.
- 2 containers of Pre-made roll dough (8 rolls per can)
- 2.5 cups of cooked and cut chicken ( or beef, pork, turkey, etc.)
- 1 can cream of chicken (or turkey, broccoli or potato)
- 1 can of cheddar cheese (found in the soup section of your grocery store)
- 1 cup mixed cubed/diced frozen or fresh veggies (don’t use any canned veggies as they become mush)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- Optional: Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook your meat of choice however you like (this is great for leftovers!): boiled, sauteed, etc.
- Cube, dice or tear your meat into small pieces.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss everything but the dough into a bowl and mix (no need to thaw frozen veggies).
- Grab a muffin pan and line each pocket with a roll, creating a bowl shape.
- Spoon the mixture into each dough pocket, packing it down, until it is level with top or slightly heaping.
- Optional: add some shredded cheese on top of each pocket.
- Put pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until roll edges are golden.
- I’ve made these several times and cooking times vary. If the veggies are frozen, it takes a little bit longer. If you use only cheddar cheese and not the canned version, it takes less time. I recommend checking the pockets after ten minutes and every 3 to 5 minutes thereafter.
- You can “top” the pocket with a layer of dough but remember, it will expand greatly and you might end up with a lot of attached pockets.
- This recipe does NOT work well with seitan.
- A great variation of this is to make a thick beef stew and fill the pockets with that!
- Thin soups do NOT work in this recipe.
- If you have ramekins, add a flattened roll on the bottom, fill ramekin, then add a flattened roll on top! Great for a meal!
Talk about a quick dinner!
- Chicken breast
- Refrigerated dinner rolls/biscuits
- Instant stuffing
- Frozen corn
- Country Gravy packet
- Cut the chicken into bite size portions and sautee lightly with butter.
- Mix instant stuffing and frozen corn into a bowl, boil water and pour into stuffing/corn mix as per instructions on stuffing container. Allow to sit and cool, mixing a few times to ensure all the corn is thawed.
- Make gravy according to instructions on packet.
- Make biscuits according to package.
- On a plate, add a bed of stuffing/corn mixture, top with chicken and drizzle with gravy and serve with biscuits on side.
Quick, easy, tasty.
Want a great garlic bread that is quick, easy and so simple you feel stupid you didn’t think of it before? Forget those frozen garlic breads that are so laden with fake butter its like eating grease cakes! Here’s one that’s tasty and done in about 15 minutes.
- Bakery bread (generally has a hard crust and soft bread inside or similar breads are sold in slices which save you the time of slicing it)
- Olive Oil
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Minced garlic
- mozzarella cheese instead or with the parmesan
- garlic powder or garlic salt instead of minced garlic
- Dried tomatoes
- Pre-heat the oven to 300F (lower temperatures allows the bread to bake without burning)
- If you are making a loaf, tear a piece of foil big enough to wrap around the loaf. If you are working with slices, lay foil on a tray large enough to accommodate your slices and another piece that will cover the top of them.
- If you are working with a loaf, cut it in half length wise (makes only two pieces, you’ll cut it into slices before serving), or lay out your slices on the foiled pan.
- In a medium size bowl add 4 tablespoons of butter/margarine, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, oregano and basil to taste (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each).
- Blend well.
- Spread the above mixture across each piece of bread, covering it completely (not the crusts).
- Cover slices with Parmesan cheese (again, as much or little as you like).
- Cover in foil.
- Put in oven for roughly 20 minutes to a half hour or until the edges of the bread begin to crisp (turn slightly brown). If you like a harder bread, don’t foil it but keep it in a pan to catch any drippings.
- Slice (if needed) and serve.