When I first started this blog I brainstormed a list of recipes I wanted to try and crazy creation ideas. I havenâ€™t been posting many egg sandwiches because most of the time I just make Leeâ€™s standard favorite: a fried egg on an english muffin with green Tabasco, maybe some cheese, and maybe some Canadian bacon. Thatâ€™s just what I usually have on hand. Iâ€™ve been waiting for some more exciting ingredients to fall into my lap so last night I was really excited to find a tiny bit of refried beans left over from our dinner. Refried beans arenâ€™t normally something I get excited about but combined with the broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag (which Lee always saves to use as toppings) they make a new egg sandwich!
This is actually one of the ideas I came up with in my initial brainstorming session. I spread the refried beans, mixed with a little leftover salsa, on half of two wheat English muffins. Then I popped the muffins in the oven to heat up. This is my usual technique for toasting things on the boat. The oven isnâ€™t much bigger than an over-sized toaster anyway!
While the muffins were toasting I fried a couple eggs and dug the cream cheese (Tofutti for Lee) out of the fridge. When the eggs were done, I plopped them on the hot, bean-covered muffins, spread a generous amount of cream cheese on the other half of each muffin, and sprinkled a handful of blue corn chip bits over the eggs. These sandwiches were piled high with hot, Mexican inspired breakfast goodness when I was done!
I made Lee wait to eat them while a snapped a couple pictures. He gave my crunchy Mexican egg sandwiches his seal of approval. They were a nutritious and delicious breakfast after our morning run. With protein from the eggs and beans and fiber from the muffins and beans they should make good fuel for the crazy day we have planned. Our cell phone tethering internet was disconnected last night (apparently itâ€™s not allowed) so weâ€™re going to have to find wifi onshore from now on. Itâ€™s kind of a bummer but we knew it would happen eventually when we leave the U.S. Starbucks wifi, here I come!
Crunchy Mexican Egg Sandwiches
(Makes 2 sandwiches)
2 whole wheat English muffins
2 eggs (I like cage-free organic)
1/4 cup refried beans
A splash of salsa
Broken corn chips (I happened to have blue corn and they looked pretty)
Spread the beans mixed with salsa on half of each English muffin.
Toast the muffins in the oven or a toaster oven.
Cook the eggs however you like them (fried, poached, scrambled, whatever!)
Spread cream cheese on the other half of each muffin.
Place an egg (or half your scramble) on the bean-covered half of each muffin.
Sprinkle corn chips on top of the eggs and cover with the cheesy tops.
Get your napkin ready!
It was always my intention to make this blog about whatever I feel inspired to cook, with and emphasis on baked goods, especially breakfast onesâ€™s since those are my favorite! I realized yesterday that Iâ€™ve been grossly neglecting egg sandwiches. I make them for Lee almost every day and theyâ€™ve only made a couple of appearances here!
When I ask Lee what he wants for breakfast in the morning I usually give him a few choices: Oatmeal? Smoothie? Eggs? His answer, usually: Eggs. What kind of Eggs: Omelet? One-eyed bandits? Egg sandwiches? Lee chooses egg sandwiches 75% of the time. Youâ€™d think the same old breakfast would get boring but I make sure that doesnâ€™t happen. Iâ€™ll admit, sometimes I fall into a fried egg with green tabasco on an english muffin rut. I often add variety by incorporating last nightâ€™s leftovers or the dregs of whatever jarred condiment I want to use up. This makes for some very interesting sandwiches!
This week, Iâ€™ve been making egg sandwiches on cinnamon raisin bread. This combination may sound weird – why put an egg on sweet bread? Well, itâ€™s delicious. While I was doing yoga this morning I had an idea for a fabulous raisin bread combination: curry spices. Raisins and cinnamon are both common curry ingredients. Something about the warm curry spices and bites of fruit and onions really works.
When I was done with yoga I asked Lee what he wanted for breakfast (you know what his answer was) and pulled out my sandwich arsenal: large skillet, silicon pancake/egg rings (you laugh but theyâ€™re awesome!), bowl, spatula, and whisk.
Curried Egg Sandwiches (makes 2)
2 eggs (or whatever egg/egg white combination suits you)
4 slices cinnamon raisin bread
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped onions (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped apple (optional)
Oil or butter for the skillet
Heat skillet over medium heat.
Break eggs into a bowl and beat in curry, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and onions+apples if using. Beat with whisk until eggs are well scrambled.
Get started toasting your bread, especially if the slices have to take turns in a pop-up toaster.
Spread a little oil or butter in the skillet and place the egg rings on it (if using).
Pour egg mixture into rings or straight into the skillet if youâ€™re not using rings.
Without rings: scramble eggs like you would normally scramble eggs. I cover the pan to heat things up a bit, then stir the mixture around in the pan till everything is cooked.
For rings: fold down the handles and cover the skillet for a couple minutes. Then check to see if the eggs have firmed up enough to remove the rings. Remove rings when ready and flip the eggs. Cook briefly on the other side till eggs are fully cooked.
Plop each egg round, or half of your scramble, on a piece of toast. Top it with some chutney if youâ€™d like, and cover with a second piece of toast.
Enjoy as part of a balanced breakfast with fruit and maybe some coffee or tea with milk!
Also, enjoy explaining what youâ€™re cooking to the next person who enters the kitchen and says â€œIt smells good in here!â€
First: Iâ€™m very excited to announce that my Apple Cinnamon Bran Muffins were featured on Baking is Hot today. Yay!
Second: eggs, cheese, and tomato jam were made for each other.
It is a beautiful, sunny Saturday in Maine. The breeze is cool. The sun is warm. There is work to be done and fall scenery to enjoy.
Yesterday I took on a food I have been itching to make all summer: jam. Ever since my mom mentioned an interest in canning and I spotted some intriguing jam recipes online Iâ€™ve been thinking about giving it a try. Lee got me a pressure cooker for my birthday, partly so I could use it for canning. That sent both of us into a flurry of research on preserving jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, and whole fruit. This is complicated stuff! Canning is a science not to be taken lightly! That said, it really isnâ€™t that hard once you wrap your brain around the basic doâ€™s and donâ€™ts. I encourage anyone whoâ€™s never tried it to consider canning on a stormy day, which it what yesterday was around here.
Rain and wind kept us inside so I whipped out the tomato jam recipe from Cosmic Cowgirl, got my canning tools in order, and started chopping tomatoes. To tell the truth, Leeâ€™s mom had already blanched and peeled the tomatoes and they were waiting for me in the fridge. They came from her motherâ€™s garden and there was just the right amount for this recipe.
I was surprised by how simple this jam was to make. I just threw everything in a pot and simmered it till it was â€œjammyâ€. Fortunately, my mom gave me little cheesecloth spice bags for my birthday so I had something to contain the herbs. The cinnamon sticks are definitely my favorite ingredient in this recipe. They made the whole house smell fantastic, like cinnamon mixed with a smell it doesnâ€™t normally accompany: cooking tomatoes. Unfortunately, I didnâ€™t have the whole cloves the recipe calls for. They would have been yummy but they were nowhere to be found in the pantry!
This morningâ€™s taste test took place in much sunnier weather than yesterdayâ€™s concocting. The sight of three, brilliant, deep red jam-filled jars on the counter this morning beckoned for a relaxed weekend breakfast. I used the last two homemade english muffins, a couple of eggs, some cheddar rice cheese, and a two generous dollops of tomato jam for Leeâ€™s egg sandwiches. I also thawed and baked the second half of the cinnamon rolls I made last month. This time I topped them with a little butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon when they came out of the oven. Yum!
I leave you with a jam recipe, perhaps to peak your interest in canning just because you want to know what tomato jam tastes like. We will enjoy the 3 half pint jars of this on countless things. When theyâ€™re gone Iâ€™ll probably make it again with the cloves and more spicy spiciness. While the flavor is fabulous, this jam would be even better with more bite, in my opinion.
Heirloom Tomato Jam
From Cosmic Cowgirl, originally from White on Rice (makes approximately 3 half pints)
2 pounds heirloom or homegrown tomatoes
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or whatever herbs you like)
8 whole cloves
2 sticks good quality cinnamon
4 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp bottled lemon or lime juice
Blanch, peel, and roughly chop the tomatoes.
Place thyme or other spices in cheesecloth of a tea ball infuser (cinnamon sticks can go straight in the pot).
Combine all ingredients, including spice bag, in a medium-sized saucepan and cook at a medium simmer for 30-45 minutes (My jam took about 45 minutes).
Remove spice bag and cinnamon.
Put jam into clean, warm jars, add lids and process in a hot water canner for 15 minutes.
See The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for detailed processing instructions. This seems like a good general guide to canning and has some recipes as well.
I wonâ€™t hide it. Iâ€™m so proud of myself for making english muffins! They have been on my list of must-bakes for a while now and I finally mustered the guts to try last night. I had all the ingredients, not that itâ€™s a long list, and I was mentally prepared for a two day process with several risings. Now that Iâ€™m done, they really werenâ€™t that hard to make. Thatâ€™s a good thing, since I hope to be making them on a regular basis from now on!
There are english muffin people and there are toast people. I have always been an english muffin person. I love how spreads liquify and trickle into the little orifices on hot, split muffins. I love their crusty exterior and spongy core. I love splitting them with forks and covering them with peanut butter. My mom is an english muffin person too. She has a very precise method for perfectly toasting them in her toaster oven. She is going to have to try making her own, since I now know they really are infinitely better than the store bought kind.
Something gives these muffins an unusual tangy flavor. Maybe itâ€™s the overnight rise and the yogurt as the recipe suggests. Whatever it is, they donâ€™t just taste like bread shaped like an english muffin. They taste very homemade and wholesome!
From Laurelâ€™s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup yogurt (I used plain kefir)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
3 or more cups whole wheat flour (I used about 3 1/2 total with flour for kneading)
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Mix yogurt and boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, then 2 cups of flour.
Cover the bowl with a towel and it this sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in bulk, or leave it overnight (I left mine on the counter overnight). The dough is spongy and will get more sour the longer it sits.
After the dough has doubled in bulk (40-60 min. or overnight), mix in the remaining flour along with the salt and soda. Knead vigorously, adding more flour as needed until you have pliable but slightly sticky dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it, and let it rise for a second time (30 min. or more).
Punch the dough down and turn it onto a floured surface. Roll it out to half-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Cut it into circles with a four-inch cookie cutter of the end of a one-pound coffee can (my dough made 12 muffins).
Dust both side of the muffins with cornmeal and set on cookie sheets to rise until doubled in bulk (45 min. to an hour or more if the dough is cold).
*Cook on a griddle or skillet at medium-high heat for 10 minutes on each side.
Split with a fork, the traditional way, and spread on something yummy!
*I used a cast iron skillet and cooked 4 muffins at a time. I ended up using rather low heat after burning the first batch. It didnâ€™t take a full 10 minutes for each side so watch them carefully. The cornmeal and seasoned skillet made oil unnecessary. The muffins puff up as they cook so theyâ€™re kinda fun to watch.
After cooking all 12 muffins, I whipped up a couple of egg sandwiches for Lee for lunch. Thatâ€™s what happens when you spend all morning baking! Breakfast foods end up as lunch. Lee loved the homemade muffin sandwiches and gave them the â€œspecial treatâ€ designation reserved for his favorite foods. I nibbled the unburned halves of the burned batch all afternoon.