Egg Bites

I have to write this, because I’m now making egg bites in the Instant Pot for the third or fourth time, and each time, I scour a variety of recipes online and never find just one to follow. Several call for cottage cheese or other ingredients that I never have on hand, and just frankly aren’t what sounds good. So I make it up each time, and each time I wonder what I did the previous time. Fixing that now.

These days (now that I’m back at work), I make a big batch at a time to store in the freezer. That way, I can grab a couple for an easy breakfast for Gabriel and me before we head out the door to daycare. It took me a while to figure out the best reheating method, and I’m still not sure I’ve perfected it (so send me all your tips!). My current method is to put a cloth napkin (or paper towel) in a bowl, add the frozen egg bites (I usually do three at a time, two for me and one for Gabriel), and cover them with the cloth. Then I microwave for 1:45 (okay, 1:44 because I’m lazy). The cloth absorbs the liquid that would otherwise collect at the bottom of the plate/bowl, but the egg bites aren’t too dry.

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I have two silicone trays, each with 7 molds, and my goal is to make two sets. Most recipes I see online are for one tray/7 molds, so essentially, I’m making a quadruple recipe. However, both times I’ve done that, it’s actually produced five trays (or 35 individual egg bites).

It contains:

  • 20 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup vegetable (today I used shredded Brussels sprouts, but I’ve used spinach and red pepper in the past)
  • Spice (I think paprika would be good, but we have rosemary today that needs to be used, so I cut up maybe… 1-2 tablespoons… and added that)
  • 1 lb sausage, cooked

Steps:

  1. Cool sausage on stovetop, crumbling as you go.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to scramble eggs.
  3. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or your tool of choice) to scoop the mixture and pour it into the molds. Fill each mold about 2/3 high, maybe a little less.
  4. Add a spoonful (like, a regular eating spoon, roughly teaspoon sized but, you know, bigger, especially for those you like me who have silverware from Pottery Barn) of sausage crumbles.
  5. Pour 1 cup water into Instant Pot. Add trivet to hold silicone tray off the bottom, and put first tray on trivet with its top slightly askew. Add the second silicone tray directly on top of the top of the first one, also with its top slightly askew.
  6. Close the lid. Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes and either release the steam after five minutes of natural release, or just let it totally release naturally.
  7. Remove trays, turn molds upside down on top of a cooling rack. (I put a sheet pan underneath to catch any drips). Let cool for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Wrap each egg bit in some parchment paper and throw into a gallon-sized ziplock bag. The parchment doesn’t stay around it perfectly, but whatever, it mostly keeps the egg bites separate from each other.
  9. Repeat with the rest of the mixture as many times as it takes to finish it.

Now a note on trays. I bought this Instant Pot set, and I separately bought these silicone trays. The silicone tray that came in the set is far superior to the trays in the second order. I don’t use any non-stick stuff, but the egg bites fall easily out of that tray. Also, it is slightly firmer and just generally seems to have more structural integrity. I tried to look into whether that tray can be bought alone, because I’d like another like it and to get rid of my other ones. Egg gets caught in them and I end up with 80% of an egg bit instead of a whole one. But no luck. Sigh.

 

Cauliflower Potato Sausage Collard Soup

Well. I guess I could use a better name for this soup, but that’s not my skill set. It’s finally feeling like Fall here in Baltimore, and thank God, because I hate hot, muggy weather and I was getting depressed. (Aside: Dan and I took our first trip together without Gabriel. We went to Moab for five nights and mountain biked, hiked, and rock climbed. And missed Gabriel. It was 95 degrees in Baltimore the day before we left, but it’s been in the 70s or lower since we got back, thank GOD.) Also, I love soup. And Fall activities. Like all of the Fall activities at Gaver Farm where my mom and I took Gabriel last Saturday. And football games. And camping (which we’re doing this weekend).

I’ve said before that I don’t write recipes, and that’s true, but there wasn’t really any single inspiration for this soup, I kinda just made it. My inspirations were: an abundance of russet potatoes from a large Costco bag that were starting to go bad; a beautiful head of cauliflower from our From the Farmer bag; an equally beautiful bunch of rainbow chard from that same bag, made less beautiful in my eyes by the fact that I didn’t have a plan for it and didn’t know what to do with it; and a little bit this recipe that I had seen several days before and had been thinking about.

I’d baked the potatoes the previous day just to have done something with them (to hopefully delay the going-bad process). For this soup, I partially peeled them (partially rather than fully mostly due to laziness) and cut them up. I roasted the whole head of cauliflower in some olive oil at about 350 for 30 minutes. I chopped up one small onion and the white and light green parts of maybe 6 green onions. I peeled 4 cloves of garlic. I chopped the bunch of chard. And I defrosted my last almost-quart of bone broth.

I sautéed the onions in olive oil, then pressed in the garlic. Then I added the potatoes and roasted cauliflower. I added the broth, but it wasn’t enough to cover the vegetables, so I added water til they were mostly covered. I also added in 3/4 cup coconut milk for some creaminess. I would have used heavy cream if I had it or was going to the store, but I didn’t. I let that come to an almost boil, then I used my immersion blender to get it all pretty smooth. Meanwhile, I also cooked one pound of pork sausage in my cast iron skillet.

After it was smooth, I added salt and pepper til it tasted right, and then I emptied my entire spice cabinet looking for Italian seasoning. Turns out, we’re out. So I put in some pinches of dried tarragon, basil, rosemary, and thyme, and some red pepper flakes. Then I added in the sausage and chard and stirred and stirred. Then I added lemon juice – first just from 1/2, then the other 1/2, then a whole other. It might have a liiiiiitle too much lemon in the end, but maybe not.

I ate what didn’t fit into the four Tupperware dishes I’d gotten out for storage. I garnished with cheese and the green parts of green onions, and I dare say it was quite good.

Pork Spare Ribs

Y’all, it’s been a minute, I know. This motherhood thing is… all consuming. It was all consuming when I was on maternity leave, and it’s all consuming now that I’m back at work. It takes up almost all of my ‘free’ time. I’ve written a few notes about it that maybe I’ll put up here, but they’re sort of the opposite of sunshine and roses, so we’ll see. But in any case, the lack of much free time means, among many other things, that food has defaulted to:

1) Convenience deliveries: HelloFresh, PrimeNow groceries, SmoothieBox (highly recommend all).

2) And/or (usually and) other people making it.

3) Or ordering in.

But occasionally I get it together enough to make something. Usually while watching the baby monitor like a hawk for signs that Gabriel is waking up from a nap:

We’ve had some spare ribs in the freezer from ButcherBox for a few months. Last time I tried to make ribs (my first time ever), I used a dry rub. I didn’t know any better. I don’t know if I’d ever even eaten ribs, though I’ve seen Dan do it plenty. They turned out… okay. Tough. Dry. Boo. So I’m trying a wet rub this time. I searched for a paleo recipe because that’s a shortcut for finding recipes with alternatives to (or no) sugar. I found this one from Every Last Bite. I was able to make the sauce while Gabriel played (and cried some) on the floor. I put it all in a medium pot and used my immersion blender to blend it together. Then I put that in the fridge (pot and all) until Gabriel was down for a nap, and then I was able to season and smother the ribs and set the crockpot to low for 8 hours.

I also used Gabriel’s nap time to make this BBQ sauce from Civilized Caveman, which I’ll use when I cook a 6 lb ButcherBox pork butt on Friday to make pulled pork. It’s a BBQ kind of day, I guess.

We went to a tree farm an hour away in the afternoon to take professional family photos (not a thing I’ve typically done, but why not with a 6 month old?) and get a tree! Fun. And the ribs were nearly done when we got home.

I popped them in the over per the recipe, and we enjoyed them with steamed broccoli and leftover rice from last night’s order-in from Himalayan House.

They were good! Better than the time I made the dry rub. Tastier and definitely more moist and falling off the bone. The flavor was good, spicy, a little sweet from the dates. Not sure it’s the same as commercial/ restaurant BBQ sauce if that’s what you’re expecting, but I wouldn’t really know since I’ve never ordered ribs before. I thought it was really good and am glad we have leftovers!