Funky Lime Pizza


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I originally posted this funky lime pizza here. I have refined it a fair bit so am reposting with the refined directions ...

pizza dough enough to make two pizzas
4 cloves garlic, minced ~ I do a whole lot more but you do what you like !!
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
pinch of black pepper
2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
zucchini, thinly sliced
feta cheese, crumbled
fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, coarsely chopped
juice of 2 or 3 limes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/ 200 C if using oven.  (We do ours in our outside pizza oven ... and have even done it in the weber ... just cook it however you would normally cook pizza)

Use your favorite dough, roll out two bases.

Drizzle olive oil on both bases, spread around with a spoon.  Sprinkle with black pepper.  Top with zucchini, onion, corn and feta.  Top with mozzarella.

Bake for about 8 minutes then swap which rack the pizzas are on. Bake for another 5 - 8 minutes, til cheese is done to your liking ! I like it a bit brown ...

While the pizzas are cooking, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, til light brown ... DON'T BURN IT !! Burned garlic is bitter and narsty ! (that's for you Jimmy !)

Immediately after removing the pizza from the oven, top with garlic, squeeze a lime over the top and cover with the cilantro.

I serve with additional lime and we sqeeze more lime over during the meal !!

PS ... I googled funky lime pizza today and my original post came up FIRST ! How fun is that ? It also brought up another couple people who have reposted the recipe. One I knew about. One I didn't. Again ... FUN !!!

Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

I found this recipe at A Year Of Slow Cooking. You all know about that blog right ? No ... well, you need to go check it out !! The blog author, Stephanie, made a new years resolution to use her crock pot EVERY DAY for the year 2008 !! And she did it ! So, yeah, no shortage of crock pot recipes over there !!!

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I modified the recipe just a little ... here's how I did mine.

2.5 lbs (just over a kilo) potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt
pinch chili powder
1 quart chicken broth ( i used water and stock cubes)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, to add at the end
crumbled bacon, spring onions and avocado to serve

Put everything minus the cream cheese, bacon, spring onions and avocado into the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. (I did high last night) The potatoes should be fork-tender. Add the cream cheese and put lid back on to let cream cheese melt.  I left it for about 20 minutes.

Cook the bacon.

Get your stick blender into the crock pot and blend everything together.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, spring onions and avocado !! Delish !!

My husband who "doesn't like soup" had two helpings of this last night and took if for lunch today !! Soon he will have to stop making the "i don't like soup" statement because he likes many many soups now !!


Buffalo Boneless Chicken Pizza



This pizza is so easy.

I saw a recipe for it and just had to try it. She used ranch in her base ... Rory doesn't like cooked ranch so we didn't bother. Here's how I made ours ...

Leftover boneless buffalo chicken
Your favorite pizza dough
Thinly Sliced Red Onion
Mozzarella Cheese

Break up the chicken bits and spread them, with the sauce onto the pizza base. Top with red onion and Mozzarella Cheese.

We cook our pizzas outside in our pizza oven but just cook it however you normally cook pizza.

This got gobbled up ! Jono dipped his in ranch. Rory and I just inhaled ours. Alia doesn't like spicy ...

PS ... If you don't have any leftover buffalo boneless, just melt 1TBLS butter, add 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choice) and then add some shredded chicken.  I make shredded chicken in my crock pot and keep it in ziplock bags in the freezer.

Arancini


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I originally posted this back in 2011 ... but I made it again today and thought it was worth revisiting!

**

Last year at Rory's company Christmas party, I chose arancini for my meal. I chose it because it was a food I had never heard of and I love trying new stuff that sounds yum. I am so glad I did! I loved it, but I haven't had it since. Well, the other night we made risotto. A delicious mushroom risotto that I will totally make again. It is on page 66 of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals cookbook. I highly recommend trying it. Make the whole meal! The salad was so yum (you can see the few leftovers in the photo below) and the dessert .... well, there weren't any leftovers of that!!

We had some leftovers of the risotto so I decided to try my hand at arancini. It was so stinkin' easy ! Here's how you can do it too ...

leftover risotto, I had enough to make 10 golf ball size arancini
flour
egg, beaten
panko breadcrumbs

Roll the risotto into a little bit bigger than golf ball size balls. Then coat with flour, egg and panko. (here's a little video if you want to see it done ... I watched this and decided to use the spoon like she did in the egg ... it was a good tip !)

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan to medium-ish heat (adjust heat as needed) and fry arancini until golden. I turned them onto every side ... they were actually a little more square than round by the time I finished ! haha

I served with leftover salad (it was a spinach/pine nut/sun dried tomato/cucumber with a lemon balsamic dressing salad) and I sprinkled grated romano cheese over the salad and the arancini.

Sooooooo goooooood !!

PS ... you can use ANY risotto you like.


**

Below: Original photo as posted in 2011.

Egg Salad Sandwich

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So simple.

Hard Boil some eggs.
Chop em up.
Add some mayo.
A couple of
blubs.
Add a large-ish squirt
of American
mustard.
Stir.
Put on your fave
fresh bread.
In my
case
the bread
will be Helga's
and it will
have
lots of seeds.

Eat.

Chargrilled Salmon with Asparagus in a Lime Vinaigrette

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I got this recipe out of the same delicious magazine as the fish recipe.

I made a couple of changes ... here you go with my modified recipe:

salmon fillets. i used 2 big ones for the four of us.
olive oil (to cook fish)
bunch of asparagus
grated zest and juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tbls capers ... I used ones in salt ... DON'T do that !! Way too salty !!
a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Rory always cooks the fish on the BBQ with a bit of olive oil and salt/pepper.  He does that while I get the rest of the stuff ready ...

Meanwhile, roast asparagus in oven. (10/15 minutes).

Top asparagus with remaining ingredients. Season.

Place fish on plates. Top with asparagus mix.

I served this with greek croustade.

Quinoa Pad Thai

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I've seen various Quinoa Pad Thai recipes floating around the internet and decided to try my hand at making it.  I started with a basic recipe but quickly threw it out when I didn't have some of the main ingredients.

Also, we've been calorie counting so I'm giving you the measurements as I measured them ... in grams.   (If your kitchen scale is like mine, it should measure in both ounces and grams!)

This was a hit.  All four of us really liked it.  Even the kids, who will swear up and down that they don't like quinoa ... except tonight they are all "oh, yeah, I like that one quinoa dish with haloumi in it."  ... "And this one ..."  and I'm sure there are more, they just can't remember right now!!

Here's what you need:

4.5 cups cooked quinoa (I did two cups raw in my rice cooker)
70g bean sprouts
175g wombok (chinese cabbage), thinly sliced
120g grated carrots
45g sliced spring onions (and more to serve)
2 eggs
1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp canola oil

Sauce:
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons lime juice (I used bottled because I only had one lime- you may not need as much with fresh limes)
zest of one lime (I added this because it wasn't limey enough ... you may not need it at all)
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

1/4 cup chopped peanuts, to serve
1/2 cup cilantro (fresh coriander), to serve

Here's what you do:

Mix sauce ingredients and set aside.  You'll want to taste as you mix with this.  If it's too sweet, add more lime juice.  You want it to be more lime than sweet, I think, though.  And you don't want the fish sauce to be too overpowering.   If you are in the States, you may want to start with way less fish sauce.  Ellie told me that fish sauce is much stronger there than it is here ...

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat.  Add minced garlic, cook for a couple of minutes until just starting to brown.  Add bean sprouts, wombok, carrots and spring onions.   Cook for 2-3 minutes or until beginning to soften.  Add chicken, quinoa and sauce.  Stir to combine.  Cook for a bit, letting the bottom lightly brown and then stirring to the top, letting the bottom brown just a little bit each time. (Like when you make fried rice ...)  In the meantime, beat the two eggs in a bowl and pour into a small, heated non-stick frying pan.  Cook a thin 'omelet'.

Slice 'omelet' into long thin strips.

To serve.  Put quinoa on a nice serving platter, top with omelet strips, peanuts, cilantro and extra spring onions.  Drizzle with a bit of lime and serve with two halves of lime on side of platter.

This fed our family of 4 quite nicely.

Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll



I'm not a huge fan of raw tuna. I mean, I'll eat it, but it's not my favorite.

This, however, is quickly becoming one of my favorites !

There's no real measurements, I just do this all to taste.

Ingredients (for the spicy tuna):
Sushi Grade Tuna, the size depends on how many you are feeding (and how much you want to spend!)
Kewpie Mayo
Spring Onion, thinly chopped
Sriracha Sauce

What else you need for the roll:
Masago
Avocado
Sushi Rice
Seaweed



To make the spicy tuna. Chop the tuna into small pieces. Add mayo and mix. (You can see how is should look in the photo) Add spring onions. Add Sriracha to taste. I only add a small squirt at a time. That stuff is spicy hot !

Once that is done, you can make your rolls. Just add the other ingredients, along with the spicy tuna, and roll it up ! Done !!


Moroccan Tapenade ... With A Kick


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Another recipe I found for the tapas night was this amazing tapenade!  I love tapenade anyway, but this one has a spicy little kick that is so great. 

The only thing I really changed about this is the amount of olive oil I used and the method ... and I doubled their original recipe to make two cups.

400 g Kalamata olives, pitted
3 big cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon harissa (definitely adjust to taste!)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
a handful of chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil

Throw everything into a food processor and process until desired consistency is reached. 

I served with a thick crunchy crouton type cracker.  You could serve with any cracker or bread!

Auburi Scallop Sushi


These are amazingly delicious !  This is only the second or third time we've made them at home but they are quickly becoming a must have on our sushi nights !

Sushi (short grain) Rice, cooked
Sushi Rice Vinegar (you can buy it or it's EASY to MAKE)
Fresh Scallops, roe removed

I'm going to assume that you all know how to make sushi rice.  If you don't, I explain it in this post.

If you don't know how to shape sushi rice, here is a video I just found to show you.  It's in Japanese but you can see what he's doing.

Shape your rice and set aside.

Using a chef's blowtorch, sear the scallop on both sides and around the edges ... then pop the scallop on top of the rice.  Put a blob of kewpie mayo on top of the scallop and sear, just a little bit more.  Drizzle bulldog sauce on top of that and sear a bit more.

 

Eat while hot ! Serve with a bowl of soy sauce for dipping.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad - Combined

When I was planning my menu this week, I knew I wanted to make Quinoa Black Bean Salad.  But I discovered that there were two yummy looking recipes on the blog to choose from.  So I took a little from one and a little from the other - and this is what I got!


mine didn't look exactly like this...but you get the idea
INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa, washed and drained
1 ¾ cups water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 2 fresh limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half (optional - I didn't use any this time because fresh tomatoes are on "baby no like" list since I've been pregnant)

1 red bell pepper (I like it cut small)
1 avocado cut into chunks
5 green onions, finely chopped
Salt (pepper – optional) to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1
Wash and rinse quinoa. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once hot, add the rinsed quinoa and toast for a minute or two.  Add water, stir once, cover and simmer with a lid on for about 20 minutes.  Watch it though and turn it off as soon as the liquid is absorbed!

 2 In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, and garlic.

3 Combine cooked quinoa, beans, red pepper, tomatoes, and green onions in a large bowl.

4 Drizzle dressing over salad.  Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.  Can also add cilantro and/or red pepper flakes.


As a note - this is great as a side dish to a meal (one of the boys declared it tasted like guacamole), but also keeps well in the fridge for a healthy, protein packed lunch or snack. 

Breakfast @thebeansblog

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Breakfast was straight off the vine this morning ...

**

Find us on Instagram ... @thebeansblog

Mexican Beans and Rice


I cooked this again tonight and decided it was time to re-post it. 
My Aunt Jo originally posted it and I make it quite regularly in the colder months.  
I made a few changes for my family ... I'm adding those notes in RED.
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1 ½ cup water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green bell pepper, chopped (we all prefer red bell pepper)
1 can red kidney beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
¾ cup uncooked long-grain rice (I use brown rice)
1 Tbsp chili powder (Australian chili powder is ground chili and SUPER HOT! I only use a pinch)
2 tsp cumin
1 cup mozzarella cheese (I use a mozz/cheddar blend)

In large saucepan, sauté onion, garlic, and green pepper in water. Simmer, stirring often, until onion is tender. Add beans, tomatoes, rice, chili powder and cumin. Simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes until rice is tender and most of liquid absorbed. (Keep an eye that you don’t run out of liquid before the rice is done. Since I also use the liquid in the tomato and bean cans, I sometimes have to boil the mixture, uncovered, at the end to reduce the liquid.) When rice is done and most of the liquid absorbed, top with cheese. When cheese is all melted, serve and enjoy.

Tonight I served these with quesadillas.

Double Choc Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

Seriously? Cream Cheese in a cookie? When I saw this recipe, I knew it would be good!  I was so confident of it's potential goodness that I doubled the recipe!  I'm glad I did!  We now have 60 of these little beauties in our freezer ... ok, maybe not quite 60 as we ate a number of them straight out of the oven ... but many many delicious cookies are packed in little ziplock bags ready for our lunches!
 
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One of my pet peeves with baking cookies is that they always flatten.  These, they didn't budge, not even a little bit!  AND I LOVE THAT! 

Here's how I made mine ... 

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
115g cream cheese, softened
1&1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup organic (if you like) raw sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 &1/2 cups bakers flour (any flour will do) 
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking soda
a couple pinches of salt
250g white choc chips
250g milk choc chips

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.  

In your mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together.  Add sugars and beat some more.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Make sure everything is well combined.

Add remaining ingredients, minus the choc chips.  Mix until just combined.  Don't mix too hard or your cookies will be tough.  Now stir in the choc chips. 

Grab your baking sheets and line with baking paper.  I used a small ice cream scoop and was able to fit 15 cooking on each long rectangular tray.  Next time I think I'll fit more as they don't spread AT ALL! 

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  You want them to start to brown but just a little bit.  Remove to a wire rack.  Make sure you eat a few straight out of the oven ... but not all of them, remember, this makes 60!!

Save some to get you through the week, and freeze the rest, ready for school/work lunches!!


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Green Chili - A La Liz

I love Ak's green chili recipe but since I don't live in Colorado anymore, it's hard to get all the ingredients. Does that mean I should stop making this delicious dish?


Heaven forbid!


Necessity is, as they say, the Mother of Invention. Apparently the Father of this invention is the international grocery store!


I also added beans because chili should have beans. And also because there are a lot of us to feed and it needed to stretch. And, ya know, fiber, health, blah blah. I chose navy beans, in honor of UJ. Go Navy!



Green Chili A La Liz
My fancy to-go box. What can I say? I was too busy shoveling it in my
face to take a picture in the nice bowl.

3T vegetable oil (have more oil in case you need to adjust the thickening)
2-3 lbs boneless pork butt cut into 1/2 “ cubes
1/2 c flour (have more flour in case you need to adjust the thickening)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 white onion, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (7 oz) cans chopped green chilis
2 (7 oz) cans green Mexican salsa
1 (14 oz) can tomatillos, drained and crushed
2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth

Coat pork in flour, salt and pepper. Fry in oil until brown and crusty beautiful. Throw in onions and garlic, fry until fragrant. Deglaze pan with the chicken broth. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Simmer 20-30 minutes or until pork is nice and tender. Adjust thickening if necessary with more flour brown in oil.

Serve with rice and your choice of garnishes. I like avocado, sour cream and cilantro. 

Serves 6

Caprese Avocado Boats

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I've looked at this recipe quite a few times and finally made it the other night.   I didn't do it exactly like she said because I was in a bit of a hurry.  I didn't make the basil garlic oil sauce maybe I will try that next time. But only maybe ... because this way was so easy.  Here's what I did.

Avocados (one per person, but I only did half each for the kids)
Baby Bocconcini, 225g (8oz)
Cherry Tomatoes, 250g, quartered
Garlic Infused Olive Oil
Fresh Basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar

Cut the avocados in half, take out the seed and carefully peel off the skin.

Mix bocconcini, tomatoes and fresh basil (as little or much as you like) with a good drizzle of the Garlic Infused Olive Oil.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, spoon bocconcini mixture into avocado halves.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar and serve.


Paleo Cinnamon Buns


The other day I made cinnamon buns for a friend's birthday.  A mutual friend, who happened to be coming over for dinner last night, heard about it and sent me a text asking if I could make paleo cinnamon buns for dessert.  It was a total joke.  I laughed about it but then I thought ... hmm ... I wonder.  And so I googled and shopped and made something that was actually quite delicious.  They weren't fluffy like regular cinnamon buns, but the flavor was good and quite reminiscent of ... well, cinnamon buns!  I used the dough in this recipe  but had a strange experience with the tapioca flour so had to change the method a bit.  I used the filling ingredients from this recipe but again I changed the method ... mainly because I didn't read the recipe right.  I made up the glaze.

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For the dough:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 TBLS honey
1 egg

For the filling:
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1.5 TBLS butter, melted
1.5 TBLS coconut oil, melted

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4 TBLS coconut sweet spread
2 TBLS tapioca flour
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pint of salt

Before we start ... I have to tell you about this coconut sweet spread.  It is a new discovery and it is a good one.  This stuff is so tasty! It tastes like caramel and it is ALL COCONUT.  The ingredients are coconut, coconut oil and coconut nectar.

To make the dough:
 photo DDEC251E-C0BA-46ED-BE6A-3FE689436E6A_zpsoab6wjde.jpgPut the coconut water, oil, sea salt, and honey into a little pot and bring to the boil.  Take off the heat and add the tapioca flour.  The original recipe said to mix.  I did ... but it was a sticky-bouncy mess, and there was a bunch of coconut oil left in the bottom that wouldn't mix in!At this stage I didn't have high hopes for the dough!  But don't worry if that happens to you, I'm fixing to tell you how to make it work.   Let the mess in  he pan cool for a few minutes and then throw it in the food processor.  Add the coconut flour and egg.  Whizz that around in the food processor for a bit.  It will look a bit like breadcrumbs.  Grab that out and knead it for a minute or two.  At this point, it all came together into a dough like consistency.  An oily dough, to be sure, but I had hope again!  Roll the dough out on a piece of baking paper.  I did mine into a large rectangle shape.

To make the filling:
Add all four ingredients to the food processor and whizz it up.  Spread on top of the dough.



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Roll the dough up like you are making regular cinnamon buns ... or sushi.  I actually used the baking paper to assist in this process ...

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Slice the  log into 8 pieces.  I cut and discarded the very ends.
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Bake in a preheated 350C oven for 20 minutes uncovered. Cover with tin foil and bake for another 10/15 minutes or until done. I just tasted a little bit of the outside dough to see if they were done ...  Here's what they looked like straight out of the oven.

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For the glaze: Mix all ingredients. Spread on top of rolls.

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BLT Pizza


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I LOVE trying new pizza recipes.  When I found this recipe, I knew it was one we needed to try.  I did exactly what she said to do, except I added red onions and I didn't measure at all.  That's one of the best things about making pizza ... you can just throw whatever you want on top.  No measurements needed.

Ingredients:
Dough - use your favorite recipe or store bought.  (There are a few recipes on the beans blog that you could try.  I'll be posting my go to recipe soon ...)
Alfredo sauce, I used store bought but you could totally make it if you wanted to
Tomatoes, sliced
Red onion, thinkly sliced
Bacon, cooked
Rocket (arugula if you are in America)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

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Method:

It's not complicated.

Roll out your dough and spread alfredo sauce on it.  Top with tomatoes, red onion, bacon and mozzarella cheese. 

We cook our pizzas in a outdoor pizza oven but you can do it in the oven on 200C/390F for about 10/20 minutes.  You just want the dough to be cooked through and the cheese to be melted and golden.

Top cooked pizza with arugula.

Delish.

Crock Pot Shredded Chicken


You know how sometimes a recipe calls for shredded chicken?
Well, this is a great way to make it.  
Easy.  Nothing to it.

I started with four skinless boneless chicken breasts. 
Took them frozen solid out of the freezer and popped them in the crock pot.
I added two cups of chicken stock to the crock pot as well.
Four hours on high and they were done.

Just shred with two forks and THAT IS IT.

We used some of this on pizza that night.
I froze the rest in ziplock bags.
Already, I've pulled out one bag and used it for an easy dinner.
Just threw some chicken, cheese, leftover guac, chipotle mayo into a flour tortilla
 and toasted that in the sandwich press.  The others in my 
family varied their ingredients a little.  
We were all happy.
Just the way 
I like it.



Muffin Tin Eggs

Have ya'll discovered these beauties yet?  I've seen instructions floating around facebook and pinterest...but if you haven't heard about it yet, I thought I'd add it here - plus, I actually remembered to take pictures this morning!!!

Super Easy
 
Spray 1 or more muffin tins thoroughly with cooking spray. 
 Break one egg into each muffin cup.
You can sprinkle a little salt and/or pepper on top, but I like them plain.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on what consistency you want your eggs).
At ~20 minutes their consistency is similar to hard-boiled eggs - without the mess of peeling the egg!
 

You can let the eggs cool and store in a Tupperware for the week (or so) as a quick-grab protein-packed snack. 
OR
You can serve them hot on an English muffin with cheese and mayo.