Saturday, March 24, 2012

Make Ahead Ham, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

Oftentimes it takes me a long time to do the things I say I'm gonna do.

Like for instance starting this cooking blog.

I wrote my About Me post May 19, 2011 and made my first blog post March 2, 2012. Almost a year later. 

Better late than never... I'm glad this phrase carries a positive impression or else I would be in trouble.

It feels good to meet your aspirations though, even if it is a little later than you meant to. And when you do it is intoxicating. It makes you want to go out and tackle more.

I think my problem is I have so many creative ideas swimming around in my head that I get overwhelmed and end up not exploring half of them. 

Plus life happens....

Two months after the conception of this blog (or the idea of this blog more like) we bought our first home. 11 years of marriage (at that time), and 2 kids later. We went from living in a 750 square foot home to 2100 square feet of spacious living. 

Unexpectedly, it took a lot of getting used to, having so much space. Like the fact where once it took me 10 minutes to vacuum my house it now takes an hour of my life just to tackle that task. But hey, I am not complaining. For the first time since becoming a stay-home-mom way back in the year 2000 (I picture the old Conan O'Brian skit with LaBamba singing, "In the year 2000.....") I feel like I have space to myself to do something for myself. It is a novelty still really, the fact that I no longer have to hide in the closet to talk on the phone (if you are a parent you know what I am saying, it is like some universal law that kids have a million demands as soon as you pick up the phone). 

I'm glad for the years of forced closeness though.It established a lot of great patterns for us as a family. Although I have a little bit (just a little bit) of mixed feelings about the fact that my 7 year old has to seek out my bed in the middle of the night every night so he can snuggle next to his mama... Okay, I love it, I'll admit it.

So anyway, back to the point of my tendencies toward procrastination, back in the fall I discovered Pinterest. I love it. Who doesn't? I have a new found love for them too since beginning this blog. I am no photographer and the good folks at Foodgawker agree with me and have denied all my submissions thus far.  But Pinterest is so laid back and doesn't hold me to the idea that I have to be a professional quality photographer to be a good food blogger. It's nice that there are options for the rest of us in practice to be better food stylists. 

It drives me crazy cause I am definitely a perfectionist when it comes to my crafts. I thought when I started this blog it would go like this: cook food, snap a quick photo, blog it. Ha, silly me! I think it is good for me in the long run though, to have to deal with the learning curve.

So back to Pinterest and procrastination, I found this recipe from Macheesmo last fall/winter when I first discovered Pinterest. I loved the idea of breakfast sandwiches at home, made in a manner and quantity that you could easily freeze and keep on hand for later. I love breakfast but I am not a big breakfast maker. Actually my husband is the resident breakfast line-cook in our house. But my love for breakfast goes way back to the days of my childhood when my mom would cook hearty breakfast/brunch for our family (she is where I get my tendencies for being late, I think) and then ring a cowbell to get my dad to come in from working out on our family's farm. And then later to the (less nostalgic sounding) time in my young adulthood when breakfast at the local diner was just the thing needed after a too much fun (and probably too many drinks) the night before. 

I love a super-convenient breakfast. And I have been known to frequent the McDonald's drive-thru many-a-time for an egg mcmuffin. Or even worse, for a long time I had a thing for the lean pocket breakfast pockets. It's not that I particularly loved these things, I just loved the convenience of them. 

 So back to this recipe, I kept buying the stuff to make it and then I would not make it. 

But this time I did!!

 Hooray for doing the thing we say we are gonna do!! (Even if if takes us a really long time to do it.) And and even bigger hooray for getting to stick it to the egg mcmuffin.

Make Ahead Ham, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
~makes 12~

Recipe source: adapted barely from Macheesmo

12 large eggs
2 T. melted butter
12 english muffins (I used whole wheat english muffins here)
12 thin slices of black forest ham
12 thin slices of cheddar cheese 
salt and pepper

1.Adjust oven racks to middle and upper medium positions.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the cups of a standard sized muffin tin with melted butter. Crack an egg in to each muffin cup. Sprinkle each egg with a little salt and pepper.

2. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the white is cooked through and the yolk is firm, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time to ensure even cooking. Remove eggs from oven, set aside. Turn on broiler.

3. While eggs are cooking, split each english muffin and place each half, cut side up on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. After removing eggs, broil the english muffins until lightly toasted (watch carefully that they don't burn).

4. After the english muffins are toasted, remove from oven and evenly distribute the ham to half the muffin halves and cheese to the other half of the toasted english muffins. Return to the oven to melt the cheese and warm the ham. This should take just a minute or two. After this step, turn of the oven heat.

5. To remove the eggs, run a butter knife along the perimeter of each muffin cup to loosen each egg. Place an egg on top of the ham side of an english muffin, top with a cheese side of an english muffin. When all the sandwiches are assembled. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to reheat. Serve immediately or freeze for later.

* To freeze sandwiches: Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap or tinfoil. Sandwiches will keep about a month or so in the freezer.

* To reheat: 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Or in a pinch, place on a paper towel and microwave for a couple minutes (although  the oven method yields better results).


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