This morning we awoke to a very chilly morning here. It was so cold that when I woke up around 8:00 that I actually went back to sleep (because I could) and slept until 10:30! I feel super energized this morning. I thought about making an omelet for breakfast, but hubby wasn't in the mood for one...so I decided to make myself a mini version in the oven instead since I also wanted to make biscuits and my oven would already be on. I made my Easy Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits
first, and instead of using the usual 1/2 cup of cream in my biscuits this morning, I used 1/2 cup of rich buttermilk in its place. They turned out fabulous! They spread out a tiny bit more than when I use cream (not sure why that is, except the dough felt a little more wet)...but they turned out so tender and flavorful. I baked them a couple minutes longer than I normally do until they were golden brown. I took advantage of my oven since it was already hot, and satisfied my desire for an omelet by simply making "baked eggs" instead. I used one of my smaller ramekins
(4 to 5 ounces, which is pretty tiny). I sprayed it with olive oil spray, placed a few tablespoons of lightly sauteed baby spinach in the bottom, finely diced mini San Marzano tomato, salt and pepper, a tablespoon of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a thin pat of butter and then broke an egg over top and sprinkled a bit more shredded cheddar on top, popped it in a 400 degree oven for 12-14 minutes and baked it until the egg was set. It turned out fabulous. While it was baking, I made myself a couple of Applegate chicken apple sausage links. It was a delicious low-carb, wheat-free fall weekend breakfast, and the oven helped heat up my kitchen...which was a good thing this morning! One advantage I'd like to note about making the eggs this way was that it stayed hot in the little ramekin while I made my coffee, snapped a few photos, etc. Typically, an omelet cools off very quickly, so you need to serve it quickly if you want it to be warm when you eat it. If you are trying to make omelets for a crowd or multiple family members, it's almost impossible to prepare and serve them hot at the same time for everyone (I know this, because I have tried). These would be great to make at the holiday time when you are serving multiple guests and family members. They can be easily be customized to each person's taste by adding different "filling ingredients" and baking them at the same time on a tray. That way everyone (including the cook) can sit down and enjoy their own little ramekin of eggs that is still nice and at the same time. I don't know about your kitchen at the holiday time, but mine can get a bit crazy...and more often than not, by the time I get everyone else situated and served, mine is usually cold. I snapped some photos as well as the easy and versatile recipe below. Enjoy!
|Look at how nicely it baked without being too juicy or too dry inside...|
Easy Baked Eggs
|It was cooked to perfection...|
Olive oil spray
3 tablespoons cooked baby spinach, chopped and drained
1 - 2 tablespoons finely diced tomato
3 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon butter
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 large egg, preferably organic and cage free
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 4 to 5-ounce ramekin
with olive oil spray. Place spinach in bottom of ramekin; top with tomato, half of the cheese; and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place butter on top and gently crack and break egg on top of mixture. Top with remaining half of cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake approximately 12 to 14 minutes, or until egg is set and cooked to desired doneness.
- Filling ingredients can be substituted to suit your own taste, such as cooked bacon, ham, onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc. Multiply recipe to make the number of servings desired.
Hi GG, I never had baked eggs before! My favourite egg is a soft boiled one!
But the photos invited me to try doing the eggs your way and the dish turned out perfectly!
Thank you GG, stay warm and safe!
Hi Barbara! So glad they turned out well for you. I think they would be nice to serve overnight guests, especially around the holidays -- normally when I fix eggs for a group, they get cold so quickly, but these seem to stay warm longer. Glad you liked it and hope you are doing well. Today it was 73 here -- go figure! :-)
I love the little baked egg ramekins ... they remind me of mini frittatas. (Sometimes I’ll make a frittata instead of an omelet.)
You mentioned that when you used buttermilk in your biscuits they spread out a little more and seemed a little wetter than when you use cream. I wonder if it might have something to do with “carrageenan”? When I checked the labels of my heavy cream and my buttermilk, I noticed that the cream has it and the buttermilk doesn’t. I’ve been reading quite a bit on carrageenan lately and haven’t liked what I’ve been seeing. It’s made from a natural seaweed, Irish moss, but when processed as a food additive it acquires toxic properties. I suppose that for people who aren’t hyper-sensitive, a little in a recipe might be OK. But for people who regularly drink a lot of almond or coconut milk, or eat certain brands of dairy products, it could pose a problem. It’s one of those ingredients that never used to be in our food, but seems to be in almost everything nowadays. Apparently, all commercial coconut milk packed in the “tetra” boxes contains it. (You can easily find the canned variety without it.) Most almond milk has it, although my “365” brand unsweetened organic doesn’t. It’s found in other things besides dairy and dairy-like products, too, such as cold-cuts.
Here are some links if you’d like to read about it:
Speaking of thickeners, here’s a really interesting *short* article on the difference between guar gum and xanthan gum, as well as hints on how to use them.
I’ve been thinking of experimenting with them in baked goods (since I have a whole bag of xanthan sitting in my fridge practically untouched, that I’d intended for sauces, but it’s not happening!) Another thing I’m interested in is trying gelatin in recipes ... but I’ll have to read up on it more first. :-)
Sorry this is so long, but just one more comment. Do you think the heavy cream and the half-n-half that is available to us in the supermarket these days is not nearly as flavorful as back in the golden-olden days? Or is it just me? For one thing, I don’t think it was “ultra” pasteurized like it is now. And it didn’t contain “carrageenan,” either! I find the taste of the canned coconut milk to be awesome and very reminiscent of the heavy cream of a few decades ago.
If this is too long or too “discouraging” please feel free to not post it. :-) Really, I won’t mind a bit.
I made this for dinner last night, absolutely amazing great flavors thanks!
Hi Cheryl -- Thanks -- I'm so glad you enjoyed the baked eggs! :-)
Hi CyberSis -- I am just now seeing your comment made on 10/29 when I came to respond to Cheryl's.
I don't know how I missed it -- and wonder if I've missed any others -- I hope not!
I know I have read some about the concerns with carrageenan, too -- I will definitely read the links you sent as well. That is interesting about the buttermilk not having it in it, but the cream does. Just checked my cream and half-n-half and they both have it (they are from Costco). I also buy Organic Valley, too, but don't have them in the fridge now to check. Funny you mentioned experimenting more with xanthum and gelatin -- because I actually read an article several weeks ago about how it can help the texture of baked good to give more structure in place of yeast and gluten. Once I get a lull (if I ever do...LOL) I want to play around with that also! Regarding the cream and half-n-half not being as flavorful -- I agree. You may just be right about the ultra pasteurization altering the flavor. I wouldn't be surprised. Lastly -- don't ever worry about posting these kind of posts. I think it is helpful for all of us to share information and be informed. By the same token, if you ever want to share something non-publicly...feel free to click the "contact me" box on my blog where you can send me an email not seen publicly, too. I'm sorry I am just seeing your post -- I must have gotten distracted (imagine that...ha) or something because I would have responded loooong ago! I will read your links later this evening. Thanks!!! :-)
No apologies necessary! :-) Just yesterday I happened across a new brand of beverage-type coconut milk that does *not* contain carageenan ... at least, it's new to me. It's Califia Farms. It's a coconut/almond milk blend, rather than all coconut ... but it's close enough! The ingredient list has only two ingredients (are you ready for this?) almond milk and coconut cream. To my knowledge, this is the *only* beverage coconut milk that doesn't have carageenan.
There were several other varieties, too, based on almond milk, some of which sounded yummy (iced coffee, for example) but had sugar. I bought the almond/coconut and the unsweetened plain almond milk. That one had *one* ingredient: almond milk! They are also Non-GMO Project verified. Only trouble is the plastic bottle ... well I guess you can't have everything, eh? For what it's worth, it does say BPA-free.
I opened the plain almond first, since it had the shorter expiration date. It's comparable to other brands of unsweetened almond milk. I'm really looking forward to opening the almond/coconut, though. I don't really know what I'm going to do with it, though, since I no longer eat cereal or oatmeal. Well, this IS hot cocoa season! :-) Right before I went grain-free, I had *re*ordered a case of Nature's Path Millet-Rice cereal (which I used to love) from Amazon. It's still sitting up there on the self ... oh my!
Speaking of *eggs* the egg lady we just found (mentioned on another thread a couple of days ago)told us yesterday that the hens stop laying when it gets cold. In fact, their production has really slowed down already and she expects them to stop laying any time now. (Oh boy, back to Square One.) It also didn't help that a hawk got one of them yesterday ... kind of put the "girls" into a tizzy. Oh, the perils of living in the great outdoors instead of in an egg factory!
My hubby, who knows his way around the kitchen pretty well, has been making frittatas lately for the first time. He uses my little iron pan and cooks the eggs on the stove till the bottom is set, then puts it in the oven with cheese and other toppings. Easier than an omelet, he says! And they are yummy! :-)
Wow -- how lucky you are CyberSis that your hubby knows his way around the kitchen, too! I like the idea of frittatas in a cast-iron skillet. I need to get one -- I usually use either a casserole dish or a oven-safe caphalon pan -- but they really are easier to make than omelettes since you can make a larger one and cut into wedges and serve a group rather than one at a time -- you don't have to babysit them on the stove either! Too bad about your farm fresh eggs -- guess it will be something to look forward to in the spring. Do you ever buy the organic cage free eggs at Costco? :-)
Hi again,CyberSis -- I have never heard or seen Califia Farms almond or coconut milk before -- but I will definitely be looking for it now. Oh wow...hot cocoa -- GREAT idea -- that would be awesome now in this chilly weather! I am assuming you found it in the refrigerated section? I will google it though and see so I know where to look. Thanks for the tip! :-)
Yes, the milk is in the cooler with the rest of the dairy. We'll have to look at the Costco eggs ... they're a bit more pricey than the "Egg Lady's" eggs, but it's worth it ... at least it is to me, if you know what I mean! :-)
I know what you mean, CyberSis! I think farm fresh eggs are going to be hard to beat anywhere! :-)
I'm going to have to take back what I said about Califia almond and almond/coconut milk. I just looked at their web site and noticed that carageenan IS LISTED as an ingredient. I couldn't believe my eyes and wondered if they started adding it after I'd bought mine. So I looked in the fridge at my one remaining unopened bottle and there it was ... carageenan!!! Now I *really* couldn't believe my eyes because I had specifically looked for that ingredient at the store so I could AVOID it! I *somehow* just didn't see it!
Here's what I think happened ... The actual "ingredients" list only states "almond milk,"almonds," and "coconut cream" -- yes -- only THOSE "ingredients." But listed below that are several things under "Contains less than 2% of ......" One of these is carageenan! All I saw was that the milk only contained almond and almond/coconut! :-( Unbelievable! It's another wake-up call about how very careful we must be when reading labels! I guess I'll have to start using a magnifying glass at the store to look at labels from now on, to not trust the "ingredients" list, and to read positively *everything*!
I'm very sorry for steering you wrong on this. If you looked at the web site, perhaps you've already seen it, in which case you figured out that I didn't know what I was talking about ... which I didn't, obviously!
So the ONLY brand of almond milk I've come across so far that does not have carageenan is Whole Foods 365 Organic Unsweetened. I just now looked at the label again and *really* scrutinized it! As for coconut milk, the only kind without it is the canned (but still look at the label ... some brands may have it.) Again, I apologize for the confusion. Sorry that this is so long and drawn out, but I thought I'd better clear it up!
Hi CyberSis -- no problem about the almond milk -- I never checked the website but look for it every time I visit a different store and have not seen it anywhere yet! Now that you have done the detective work for me, I will pick up the WF 365 brand next time I am there -- I need to get some soon because I am in the mood for some hot cocoa with all this cold damp weather!!! Oh -- and you do not need to apologize for missing that -- I think most labels are intentionally written hoping that you will do exactly what you did! ;-)
Thanks for your patience and understanding. :-) Yes, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Also, 2% doesn't really *sound* too significant, but how do we interpret that? We have no frame of reference. It could be a tiny bit, or it could be a whole lot ... we just can't tell by that.
Speaking of cocoa, I had some today made with almond milk. It was good, but not Really Yummy like when you use dairy milk. I've been tweaking it this way and that, but can't seem to get it to taste like it used to. I might try with canned coconut milk next. If we could get organic dairy milk in pints or even quarts, I might get some for the occasional "cuppa" cocoa.
Hi CyberSis -- Our Kroger has recently begun carrying dairy milk in glass bottles (where you have to pay a $2.00 deposit) -- made by Homestead Creamery. It looks like the kind of old fashioned milk when I was a very little girl that used to get delivered to a box outside our front door. Whole Foods carries it, too -- have you ever seen or tried it?
No I haven't seen that, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to look for it at Kroger (we don't live anywhere remotely near a WF so we get there literally once in a blue moon.) I did pick up a quart of milk like you're describing (I don't think it was that brand, though) at one of our local "specialty" grocery stores a few months ago. It was pricey but there was no deposit on the bottle. I'll bet if they'd have charged one, the milk would have been a little more "reasonable." I like the deposit idea anyway ... I wouldn't mind going back to that system if it meant having more things available in *glass* containers.
We had what we called a "milk chute," which was a box built-in to the wall of the house by the back door. It had an outside and an inside door. The milkman opened it from the outside to make deliveries and we would open the inside door to retrieve and also to return the milk bottles. Well, it's not the '50s anymore. Not only is there no home delivery, but eventually people had to seal up their milk chutes because thieves were using little kids to break into houses through them. Sad!
Hi CybeSis -- Oh, wow...how sad is that for a reflection on the "changing of times"...that chutes that once delivered milk securely to your home transitioned into a chute that thieves used young KIDS to rob your homes??? To think there was a time where people left their doors unlocked without a concern in the world to all the locks, cameras, security systems, etc. many of us now live with is pretty sad, isn't it? Well...one of these days I will try that milk in the glass bottle from the creamery -- they sell whole milk, half and half, cream, buttermilk (and of course eggnog and liquid "custard"). But...I do want to be prepared to enjoy a hot cup of cocoa. Have you ever tried using almond milk and maybe adding a little blend/touch of cream to the cocoa to see if it helps make it seem more rich, creamy, etc.? I wonder if that would make any difference? Oh the things to experiment with over the holidays! :-)
Here's one more almond milk update. I discovered another one that does not contain carageenan ... Kroger's "Simple Truth Unsweetened Almond Milk." I was *really* careful not to miss anything on the label this time, but if you want to try it, please look carefully at the label just to make sure. The ingredients are very similar to the "365" brand, that also has no carageenan. Stuff like sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, and gellan gum (whatever that is.) I haven't tried it yet (I have others that need to be used first) so I can't vouch for the flavor right now.
Hi CyberSis! Thanks for the tip -- I will check it out. Kroger is very close to me. I know, even when you look, sometimes it is still hard to spot all that's in these items. I will look for it. Thanks! :-)
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