Egg Muffins // Recipe

This post first appeared on Rosemary and Thyme. I was honored to guest post for Kriste during her maternity leave!

If you know me, you know that the making (and eating!) of food is a hobby and great source of enjoyment. I even have a whole hashtag on Instagram dedicated to my love of food. There are few things more comforting after a long day of photo editing or diaper changing or keeping small humans alive than hiding away in my kitchen and creating a meal. It’s become a kind of creative outlet, actually, and I love experiencing the way flavors and smells blend together in a dish. I’ve spent the last year or so really letting myself enjoy my time in the kitchen, and I've made some conscious choices about how to feed my family in healthy, simple, and wholesome ways. This recipe for egg muffins checks all the boxes:

  • Ingredients are simple and fresh
  • Recipe is versatile and customizable to likes and dietary restrictions
  • It's so quick and easy, and totally kid-approved
  • Muffins keep well in the fridge or freezer
  • A great standby for reducing food waste – you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand!

If you’ve never made egg muffins before, there’s a good chance you can whip them up with ingredients you already have in your kitchen. You’ll notice that I’m calling this a formula instead of a recipe – that’s because there’s no end to the combinations you can use to make these, and I’m leaving it totally open-ended. The veggies and extras added to the eggs are called “add-ins,” and you can use whatever you like! I’ve listed some options below the recipe, but it’s by no means a complete list. Get creative, and then switch it up the second time you make a batch! I’ve also added some tips and modifications that I’ve found to be helpful for particular kinds of veggies and add-ins.

Egg Muffins Formula

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen fresh eggs

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

  • 2 ½ cups add-ins; a mixture of cheese, herbs, veggies, meat, protein, etc. (Pictured for my recipe: tomatoes, mushrooms, green onions, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic)

  • ½ tbsp olive oil or butter (optional, but worth it)

Instructions:

  1. Generously grease muffin tin. Grease again. Egg muffins stuck to your muffin tin is a very unfortunate event. (Trust me - I know.) Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and add salt and pepper. (Adjust seasoning to taste)
  3. Chop veggies, herbs, and other add-ins, and sauté aromatic veggies and any others that need to be pre-cooked (like mushrooms) in oil or butter (I sautéed my mushrooms, the white/light green part of the green onions, and garlic).
  4. Combine add-ins with eggs and mix well.
  5. Ladle mixture into muffin tin, filling each ¾ full. Stir egg mixture with each ladle to evenly distribute veggies and add-ins. *I've found that using a ladle is the best way to do this; it allows veggies to be evenly spread throughout each muffin.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until eggs are puffed and set. If in doubt, take out sooner than later; overbaking makes these muffins dried out and quite sad.
  7. Serve immediately – we love ours with sriracha!
  8. To store, let muffins cool completely and place in airtight container. They will keep in fridge for a few days and longer in the freezer.

Makes 12-15 egg muffins.

Tips:

  • The fresher the ingredients, the better! This is such a simple recipe that the freshest eggs you can find, seasonal or local produce, and fresh herbs will make a huge difference in depth and flavor.
  • It's helpful to cook veggies that are high in water content before adding them to the egg mixture. In this case, I tossed the tomatoes into the pan after the aromatics and mushrooms were nearly finished cooking for no more than 30 seconds. This keeps water out of the egg mixture and allows for a better result. I do this if I add in spinach too!

I love having these egg muffins in my fridge or freezer for a quick breakfast or lunch, and I love having such an easy formula in my collection of favorites. I'd love to hear if you try these yourself! Or if you're already an egg muffin master, let me know your add-in favorites. 

*Cue Julia Child's excited voice: bon appétit!

Waste Less in 2017

I love goal-setting at the start of a new year. My brain defaults to thinking in the visionary, big-picture realm, and I try to balance my broad goals with a handful of practical ones that I can start on right away. One practical goal for 2017 is to waste less. Multiple things worked together to inspire this goal, and it’s been really satisfying to see how a few simple changes in our home and lifestyle can make a difference!

Here are my thought processes, practical changes I’m making, list of supplies, and challenges that have come out of working toward the goal of wasting less. And listen, I’m not sharing these things because I think I have it figured out, but because I think it’s really enjoyable — and good — to talk about what we’re learning together. I’d love to hear about any tips or thoughts you might have; leave them in the comments and I’ll respond to each!

Why

I’m either a child at heart or a closet philosopher, because I find myself asking why for everything! My wish to waste less came out of the need to recycle as NYC residents (I’ve always tried to recycle, but it’s never been a requirement and I’ve never stuck with it), joining our local food co-op, buying almost everything in bulk, frequenting stores that are bag-free, living in less space (and no longer having an entire drawer to devote to plastic bags and rolls of cling wrap), and simply because I believe it’s right to take good care of this beautiful earth (I mean, look at her!). But if I’m really honest, the biggest motivation for wasting less in 2017 is simply because it sounded like a fun little challenge! Housekeeping can quickly become monotonous drudgery for me, so I make conscious efforts to keep it exciting by letting it become an outlet for creativity. 

Supplies

Here are some supplies I have slowly added to my drawer to help our household waste less. Do you have any reusables that I should add to my stash?

Bee's Wrap (I’ve discovered a bee's wrap will keep half an avocado fresh and (mostly) green in the fridge for 10-12 hours!) / Unpaper Towels (I made a bunch of unpaper towels to replace — you guessed it — paper towels. It was a simple DIY out of flour sack towels (how-to coming later), and I've found so many uses.) / Dish Brushes (replaces sponges that only last a week or 2 at a time) / Sandwich Wraps (for packing sandwiches instead of plastic bags or wrap. These are made by Dot & Army via Food52 and I can’t say enough good about them. They also fold open to make a nice placemat when eating on the go.) / Fabric Snack bags / Reusable plastic bags (I’ve tried to stop buying snacks that are heavy on the packaging (like individual trail mix snacks) and instead just keep a stock of nuts and dried fruit in bulk.) / Stainless straws / Produce bags (I’ve had these for years.) / Cloth napkins - yes, cloth napkins mean more work (hello laundry), but I think they're prettier, so it's worth it 😉. These chambray ones are an inexpensive Amazon find.

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Other reusables not pictured above:

Pantry storage containers (buying in bulk is less expensive and also means less packaging to throw away or recycle. My bulk purchases live in glass jars of varying sizes in the pantry.) / Lunch bag (my husband’s, made of beautiful brown leather & canvas. No way is bringing your own lunch to work as sexy as eating out every day, but at least he has a good looking bag.) / Reusable Sponges (aka Swedish Dish Cloths. These are washable, and I’ve been using one package for 6 months and still going strong.) Water bottles / Coffee Mugs

Wish List

I’ve been adding the above items slowly as I run out of the disposables that they replace. As much as I wanted to buy everything and start at once, I quickly realized that was an impractical choice. For one, the startup cost isn’t cheap (I do think it will be cheaper in the long run though), and if my goal is truly to waste less, then I ought to first use up the disposables I have instead of just tossing them in the trash! Here are a few other things on my waste less wish list:

Stainless Smoothie Straws (the straws I have don’t work very well for smoothies) / Baking sheet liners (I'm not convinced these will be better than parchment paper, but want to try. Anyone have experience?) / Mesh bags (for buying bulk pantry supplies like rice, oats, etc.) / Copper Scrub Cloth / Tiffin (sexy lunch carrier for me 😉) / Cheese Paper & Bags (I buy cheese in bulk too because there's nothing better than a big hunk of cheese. I’ve heard that parchment paper is actually the best way to store cheese and let it breathe (yes, I take very good care of my cheese), and I think the bags look reusable?)

Challenges

I’m stumped with ways to replace a few particular things in my kitchen, and would love any ideas you might have! Aluminum foil is nearly irreplaceable for baking, and I don’t know of any reusable alternatives that will work as well. I’m still purchasing gallon bags for freezing food because they take up little storage space. Name-brand bags hold up after a few washings, but I might also try these food storage containers because they stack nicely into each other. I’d also like to find something to use as refillable smoothie packs for when summer rolls around and we’re drinking smoothies multiple times a week.

Balance

I’m still planning to have diapers shipped to my doorstep when baby 2 arrives even though there are better ways to reduce packaging waste. I’ll probably always have a roll of paper towels handy for mega spills, and if you’re at the next party I host, there’s a very good chance you’ll be eating off paper plates. All that to say: I’m determined to maintain balance with this little challenge. My goal is certainly not to add more stress to my life, and there are plenty of ways I could take these ideas too far and do just that. It's truly an enjoyable challenge, and my current life stage means these changes are small and simple and don't take up too much brainpower.

 

Current Favorites : Children's Books

It was no more than 2 weeks after moving to Brooklyn that we had new library cards in our hands. We love our weekly visit; the walk is especially refreshing in the winter months, and we come home armed with brand new stories and things to learn that help bust the cabin fever! 

Here are a few of our current favorites from the last month or so:

Water is Water (so beautiful, and quickly made it onto our want-to-own list) / The Cloud Book / Mighty Dads / Winnie the Pooh (audiobook! And I even found excerpts on Spotify) / The Gruffalo (cheating a bit because we actually haven't read the book, but we've seen the movie enough times we almost know the story by heart!) / A Family of PoemsThe Mouse and the Motorcycle (Hugo is only 3.5 and I didn't know if listening to a chapter book would hold his interest, but he's picking up so much more of the story than I expected! My husband reads a chapter every few nights, and it takes me right back to my dad's spirited reading of this book to my brothers and I when we were young. Talk about a walk down memory lane!) / The Cookbook for Kids (teeeeechnically not a children's book, but I regularly catch him reading and cooking recipes) / Ten Apples Up On Top

I devour book lists and always love finding a new favorite, especially children's books. I enjoy them just as much as my 3-year-old! 😊 I'm always finding good ideas from a few favorite books accounts on Instagram: Tiny Readers, @jsyamsek, Kids Bookstagram, and Stories, an adorable local bookstore here in Brooklyn.

Where do you find ideas for what to read to your children? Do you have any must-read favorites I should add to my own list or inspiring accounts to follow? Do tell. We're due for a trip back to the library in a few days. 😉