Egg Muffins

Hey all! Long time no see, I know. I apologize for the lack of content; life has gotten in the way, and I needed to step back and take care of myself these past couple of months. I promise that your patience will be greatly rewarded with plenty of new content soon to make up for it. ­čÖé Thanks for hanging in there and I appreciate your continued support!

As someone who wakes up early each weekday morning to make it to work at 7am, fitting in a good, adequate breakfast can sometimes be a struggle (especially as a frequent offender of the Snooze Button). Because I wake up so early, I take something with me to eat at work after I take care of my morning tasks. To facilitate this process, I keep a lot of foods on hand that are easy to pack-and-go and, at most, require a toaster oven or microwave since we have those at work.

However, since my workout routine now has a lifting focus, I’m concerned too about getting sufficient protein in my diet, especially on days that I do lift. That’s why, when I came across egg muffins, I knew they would be perfect for my breakfasts requirements.

Egg muffins are exactly what they sound like: “muffins” made of eggs. I absolutely┬álove┬áeggs, so these were an easy choice for me, plus they’re extremely easy to make.

One dozen eggs makes about a dozen of these muffins, so that’s the consistent ingredient across the board for all the recipes out there. My recipe will include what I chose to add for my first batch.

Egg Muffins
Makes: 12 servings

1 package baby portabella mushrooms
1 dozen eggs
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 tablespoon of chives
1/2 tablespoon basil
1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
Shredded Mexican cheese to sprinkle on top

All your happy little ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook your portabella mushrooms in a pan with a little bit of the oil of your choosing. In my case, I used extra virgin olive oil. The mushrooms will be done when they’re browned and are less firm.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all your eggs. Once they’re well whisked, mix in your spinach (pro tip: would definitely recommend chopping the spinach leaves into smaller pieces, because I didn’t), chives, basil and garlic powder. When the mushrooms are finished cooking, mix those in as well.

I promise this will turn out more delicious than it looks right now.

In a well-greased muffin tin, pour a 1/3 cup mixture into each well, or just enough that you can still see a bit of the side of the well. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of each, and then place in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until you can insert a knife in a muffin and it comes out clean.

Happy little muffins!

And that’s it! See, told you it was simple. Another great thing about these little guys? You can freeze them! If you’re a meal planner and love making things ahead of time, these would fit very well into your routine. All you have to do, whether you freeze them or not, is pop them in the microwave to heat them back up.

As I mentioned, this was my personal recipe based on what I had on hand. I didn’t include any meat or poultry this time around–since I talked about protein–so that I can still eat these on Fridays during Lent. I will definitely be adding something┬ánext time I make them. All that being said, feel free to customize these to your liking! And feel free to come back and share what you come up with ­čÖé

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx

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Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

Time to share another dessert I made for my work’s soup club! I chose yesterday for my date since I knew my plans for Valentine’s Day would be minimal (little did I know I would wind up with no valentine at all… more on that later) and I’d have plenty of time for baking over the weekend. Even so, these┬áwere super simple to make!

I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com. The original can be found here.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

– 2 (250g) packages of cream cheese
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
– 12 Oreo cookies
– 3 (1 ounce) squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
– 1 cup thawed Cool Whip topping*

* I did not use the Cool Whip topping for my mini cheesecakes.

A special baking recommendation I would like to make, especially if you found yourself alone during Valentine’s Day like I did, is to pour yourself a drink to serve as your baking companion. Even if that’s not the case, pour yourself a drink anyway. You deserve it for whipping up these tasty treats!

Both the wine (Sutter Home Moscato) and the glass were part of a care package one of my roommates threw together for me. They served me well.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs into this mixture one at a time, beating on low speed until well blended.

Post-mixture-scooping results. Can anyone tell me what kind of beaters these are? They were the only ones I could find and worked really well with the cream cheese, but I would genuinely like to know what for what kind of mixing is their intended purpose.

Place baking cups┬áin the wells of your muffin pan and fill each with an Oreo cookie. You can obviously use whatever kind of Oreo (or other similar sandwich cookie) you like. For the occasion of Valentine’s Day, I chose to use the new Red Velvet Oreos.

Also because they’re fucking delicious.

Once you’ve placed a cookie in each┬ábaking cup, fill each cup with your cheesecake batter. Don’t be afraid to fill each to the top with batter as you should have plenty of it and the cups won’t overflow while things are baking.

Witness my great filling skills.

Bake your mini cheesecakes for 20 minutes or until the centers are almost set. They’re be a bit puffed up when they come out of the oven but will deflate as they cool down. Once they’ve cooled, refrigerate them for 3 hours. After refrigeration, melt the Baker’s chocolate as directed on the package and drizzle over the cheesecakes. Add additional Cool Whip topping when ready to serve (as stated above, I omitted this step).

Tada! My little masterpieces.

See? Really easy to make. The biggest commitment is refrigerating them for the three hours but this is obviously a vital step. If you’re a fan of thick and creamy cheesecake, this is the perfect recipe for you. The only thing I would change would be the addition of a bit of vanilla to the recipe because there wasn’t much flavor beyond a general creamy cream cheese taste to it, and I’d like something to kick it up a notch. Also, in my experience, the Oreo cookie more or less retained its consistency, in other words it did not soften much after baking. If you’re looking for a softer “crust” to your mini cheesecake, I would recommend perhaps soaking the Oreo in something like milk or butter prior to baking, or crushing up Oreos to create your own crust, though both options do take away from the ease of this recipe. This is certainly a recipe I’ll come back to as it was a hit with my coworkers and wasn’t much of a hassle at all!

Have you tried this recipe, or a similar recipe? Any tips? Do you plan to try this if you haven’t yet? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx

Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos

If you have a crockpot that you’ve ignored or have yet to touch, I’m guaranteeing that you’re missing out. I’m guilty of this myself. My Pinterest is currently loaded with plenty of crockpot/slow cooker recipes that I really need to take advantage of. Crockpot recipes are great when you’re working long days and just don’t want to spend time cooking dinner at the end of it, even if you’re only feeding yourself.

Now, I┬áloooooove Mexican food. Growing up Milwaukee, there’s plenty of places to find some good authentic Mexican food. And, as a good ol’ Midwestern girl, I┬áloooooove┬áranch. It is wonderful on a multitude of things. Now, when I found this recipe that combined the two? I knew I had to try it.

Recipe originally found here.

Crockpot Ranch Chicken Tacos
Ingredients:
– 3-4 chicken breasts
– 1 packet taco seasoning
– 1 packet ranch seasoning mix
– 2 cups chicken broth
– All the taco fixings you want
– Your preferred tortillas

Combine the two cups chicken broth, packet of taco seasoning (I used a mild seasoning for this recipe) and packet of ranch seasoning mix into the crockpot. Place your thawed chicken breasts into the mix. Turn your crockpot to low and let everything cook for 4-6 hours. I chose to leave it for 6 hours for maximum tenderness.

After you’ve let it cook for your preferred amount of time, shred the chicken in the crockpot. The chicken came apart so easily, it barely took me any effort to shred it apart. I then let the chicken cook for an additional 15-20 min so that the newly shredded chicken could soak up more of the juices.

OM NOM NOM

After that, serve it up! There will be plenty of juiciness so be prepared, but the taco-ranch seasoning brothy mix is so good. I personally prefer corn tortillas to flour, and these are super susceptible to falling apart. Pro-tip for corn tortillas: Please lettuce on top of the tortilla before placing the filling. I prefer spinach to lettuce, so that’s what I use.

This is definitely one of my new favorite recipes. The first time I made it was Labor Day Weekend, which was busy because it was the weekend my boyfriend and I were celebrating our first dating anniversary, I had work and I had family coming into town. Come Monday, the last day my boyfriend was in town, I wanted to spend my time with him and not stuck in the kitchen cooking. I threw this all together around 11, it was ready shortly after five, and we both loved it. How can I tell? My boyfriend made up his tacos first, and in the time it took to make mine then run upstairs and get my camera for photos (in total less than 5 minutes) he had already eaten his first two tacos. If that’s not a sign of approval, I don’t know what is.

What are some of your favorite crockpot recipes? I’m on the hunt for more so please leave them in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx