fried eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet

How to Make the Perfect Fried Egg

There are so many different types of egg dishes to consider making, but my each of my four kids have gone through a phase when one of their favorite foods was a perfectly cooked fried egg. Just like all of my other egg recipes, this one is simple and easy to follow, and will soon become a family favorite in your home too.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Eggs (Preferably Pastured)
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • ½ t. Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ¼ t. Pepper
  • 1 T. Butter
  • ½ c. Cheese (Optional)

Directions

  1. Cure the Cast Iron Skillet: If you’re using a cast iron skillet, which I recommend, then you’ll want to make sure it’s cured properly before beginning.
  2. Coconut Oil: Plop in a dollop of coconut oil and let the pan warm up for a good 3-5 minutes on a low setting. (This helps to ensure that the skillet is properly cured even more.)

    Coconut oil melting on a cast iron skillet

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

  3. Turn Up the Heat: Turn the heat up to a 3 or 4 and if you have the patience, let it heat up for another few minutes.
  4. Crack the Eggs: I usually like to cook three or four eggs at a time.

    fried eggs just starting to cook in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs Just Hit the Cast Iron Skillet

  5. Break the Yolks: Puncture the yolks by making an X in them with the spatula. (Don’t get too crazy here, you want the white and yellow parts of the egg to stay somewhat separate.)
    fried eggs halfway cooked with yolks broken

    Fried Eggs with Broken Yolks

     

  6. Cover and Cook: Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a 3 for about 8 minutes. Check the eggs after about 4 minutes. If they’re not really cooking yet, turn it up a bit. If the oil is bubbling and the eggs are cooking too fast, turn it down.)

    Fried eggs covered and cooking.

    Fried Eggs Covered and Cooking

  7. Flip: Once the eggs are cooked almost all the way through, it’s time to flip.
    fried eggs ready to flip in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs Ready to Flip

    fried eggs cooked and flipped in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs Flipped

  8. Cheese: If you want cheese, add it now. Either shredded or sliced will work just fine.
  9. Cover and Turn Off the Heat: Let the eggs finish cooking for a minute or two, or wait until the cheese melts.

    cooked fried eggs with melted cheese in a cast iron skillet

    Fried Eggs with Cheese

  10. Serve: If I’m serving the eggs plain without any cheese, I like to add a large pat of butter. Then I cut the eggs up into bite size pieces and serve. These eggs also work really well in egg sandwiches.
    cooked fried eggs with melted cheese and bacon on a plate

    Cooked Fried Eggs with Cheese Served with Bacon

    One Egg with Melted Cheese Cut Up and Ready to Eat!

    One Egg with Melted Cheese Cut Up and Ready to Eat!

Getting Married

How True Love Began

When I think about what makes our marriage of almost ten years work so well, it’s not our career choices, it’s not about what we do in our free time, it’s not about our four amazing children, it’s not about date nights, or even finding sexy time, it’s all about our story. The story of us. I have dated guys before where the story of our union was bland, uninteresting, or even embarrassing, but Scott and I have an amazing and wonderful story, and I believe that this magical story has laid the foundation for what has become our strong marriage and our wonderful life.

It all started when I came back to my hometown in Michigan one summer after spending a year in Colorado for my first teaching job. I was struggling to meet people besides co-workers in my new life out west, and it felt really good to visit my hometown where I knew so many people and everything felt so familiar.

I made plans one night to hang out with my brother and his girlfriend, and we decided to hit up Billy’s. It was 80s night, and they had some great drink specials. As the three of us were sitting in the booth, sipping our beverages that would give us the social lubrication needed to dance with a sweaty pile of strangers, I whipped out a strange letter that I had received in the mail that day.

 

 

 

It was a letter I had written to myself six years ago in my high school English class. The teacher had promised to mail these letters to us five years after we graduated, but serendipitously, something happened to delay her correspondence. As I showed my brother and his girlfriend the letter, which was about how I hoped that I would be happy, and grounded, and not working too hard, and so on, we laughed at some messy green handwriting that changed my sentence describing how I wished that sometime in the future I would be able to sleep whenever I wanted to say, “and sleep with whoever I want”.

The Letter I Had Written to Myself in High School

The Letter I Had Written to Myself in High School

“Did your teacher write that?” Sally asked.

“I couldn’t imagine that she would!” I replied. “But for the life of me, I can’t remember anyone doing this.” What a mystery, we all concluded.

A little while later, we were joined by one of my brother’s good friends, Scott. Scott was someone I had known forever. He had been my brother’s best friend for ages, we had worked together at the B.O.B. together for a number of years, and we went to high school together (for two years at least). We had always known each other or had been friends it seemed. He even visited me in Colorado a few times when he was on the road for his job with Edutainment’s Drunk Driving Simulator. But he was always “my brother’s friend” and I just saw him as a buddy. (Although looking back at it now, I can see how our friendship had started becoming more meaningful after he visited me in Colorado.)

An email I wrote to my husband before I knew I even liked him

Email I Wrote to Scott Before We Were Dating

So anyways, he had heard that I was in town and hanging out at Billy’s, and so he came down to join us. As he slid into the booth, he was holding up an envelope, and excitedly blurted out, “You’ll never guess what I got in the mail today!” He proceeded to share with us a letter that he had received from his high school English teacher that he had written to himself six years ago. (Sound familiar?)

“The strange thing about it though,” he explained, “is that there are all of these snarky comments written in pencil throughout the letter.” As he mused about whether or not his teacher had written those comments, Jarrod, Sally, and I were all staring at each other bug eyed and Sally blurted out,

“Put the letters together!” Not understanding the possible connection, Scott slapped his letter face up on the table and I placed my letter next to his. My letter was written in pencil with messy green handwriting and his letter was written in messy green handwriting with comments written in pencil. As I explained how I too had received a letter in the mail from my high school English teacher that I had written to myself six years ago, our eyes slowly gazed upwards and connected in the most magical of moments I have ever experienced. There were many “Oh my gods!”, slappings of the table, “I can’t believe its”, and a number of other expletives and expressive comments that followed after we realized that we had written on each other’s letters!

When I saw those two letters side by side, I felt like a patient awakening from a long coma, and all of my memories that I had with Scott in it suddenly came flooding into focus, but it was like I was seeing them with a different lens. I remembered his “two-tie-Tuesday” ritual in high school and his amazing sense of humor that drew everyone in. I remembered a time in English class when I was the new girl, and he scooted his desk close to mine for an assignment and totally made me feel at ease with his confidence and humor. I remembered working at the catering company together, and how I would trade him Captain and Cokes from my bar for some prime rib that he was carving at the buffet table, and how we would always share a million laughs. He was always game for anything, and I remembered one time when I bet him $1 to eat a handful of old slimy mushrooms…and he did!

After a few more drinks, we were dancing crazily on the dance floor together, and as we let the music of “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams wash over us, and we yelled loudly (once again) that we couldn’t believe our letters, our eyes met, and like the attraction between two magnetic poles, we were drawn together by some unseen force. As our lips brushed against each others for the first time, I felt an electricity and an explosion of fireworks unlike anything I had ever experienced before. From that moment on, we were inseparable, our bodies pressed together and our lips constantly intertwined. One of our friends who was supposed to give us a ride was getting a little annoyed with us, and at one point my brother put his hand between our faces. He wasn’t too happy.

But like it or not, for the rest of the summer, we were inseparable. Everyone knew I had to go back to Colorado and no one wanted to see us get hurt, but irregardless, we did everything together, and I had more fun than I’ve ever had in my life. Period. There was one special day where we got a little giddy and went garage saleing. We each had an “allowance” to spend, and I don’t remember what I got, but Scott picked out a puffy green vest, a large talking robot, and a VHS of the Ducktails movie. (We still have all of those items today. Elliot has actually claimed the robot for himself.)

Well, there came a time when I had to go back to my job in Colorado. He had some time off from work and decided to drive with me and help me set up my classroom for the year. We had the most amazing road trip and enjoyed camping along the way, complete with beers around campfires underneath starry skies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The week he spent with me in Colorado went by way too fast. I remember listening to “Lonesome Sundown” by theHalo Benders on the way to the airport and feeling like I was about to cut off my right leg or something. We traded shirts (so we could smell each other) before he boarded the airplane, and I cried all the way home. I found his goodbye letter on my computer when I got home where he expressed his love for me for the first time. That night, I wrote him a letter that I never intended to give to him. It said how I had fallen completely and madly in love with him and that I wanted him to stay with me so bad, but that I didn’t want to ask him, I wanted it to be his choice.

part one of a poem I wrote to my (now) husband when I first knew I loved him

Part One of My Poem to Scott

 

 

part two of a poem I wrote to my (now) husband when I first knew I loved him

Part Two of My Poem to Scott

 

a poem my (now) husband wrote to me when he first realized he loved me before having to leave

Part One of Scott’s Poem to Me Declaring His Love

a poem my (now) husband wrote to me when he first realized he loved me before having to leave

Part Two of Scott’s Poem to Me Declaring His Love

We talked on the phone constantly after he left, and after we expressed all of our feelings with reckless abandon, he told me that he couldn’t live without out me and that he wanted to quit his job, get out of his lease (with my brother – sorry about that Jarrod), and come live with me. I was absolutely ecstatically over the moon beyond happy. “Of course!” I shouted.

Ten days after he originally left, I was picking him up from the airport. A few months later, on the top of Dinosaur Ridge (one of our favorite hiking places), he proposed.

a handwritten description of how scott proposed with pictures from Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado

A Page From My Journal About Scott’s Proposal

We were were married that summer in my parents’ field underneath two twisty trees that my Dad had been weaving together for the last umpteen years. It was an amazing wedding full of music, love, family, and meaning.

our wedding picture from July 17, 2005

Our Wedding July 17, 2005

Today, we are happily married and can’t believe that we are about to celebrate our tenth anniversary. When we look at our four beautiful children and reflect on who we are and who we were, we are thankful to have found our soulmates, and we look forward to the day when we are two old farts, sitting on our porch swing, watching the sunset, and remembering how it all began. For our third wedding anniversary, I put together an album of our story so that we would always remember it.

sm + sm a journal of us falling in love

dedication page for the scrapbook I made Scott for our 3rd anniversary The Dedication Page From Our “Falling in Love” Scrapbook

As the years go by, and more stories accumulate, we love reflecting on the story of us and how it all began. From the very beginning, we were crazy about each other and couldn’t be apart. The same is true today, but instead of just being a tingling feeling of ecstasy, it is a deep, penetrating, connecting feeling that not only completes us but continues to grow.

perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs with sourdough muffins

How to Cook the Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs

Frying an egg might seem like the simplest of culinary feats, but it can also be one of the most challenging..especially if you want to cook an egg just perfectly so that the white part is completely cooked and the yolk is nice and dippy. For years and years, I would proclaim to my husband that we were having sunny side up eggs for breakfast, only to serve them over medium time and time again. But I have FINALLY figured out how to cook the PERFECT  sunny side up egg. Every. Single. Time.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Eggs (Preferably pastured)
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • 1 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ½ t. Pepper
  • Sourdough Muffins
  • 1 T. Butter

Directions

  1. Cure the Cast Iron Skillet: If you are cooking with a cast iron skillet (which I recommend for pretty much everything), then you’ll want to make sure it’s properly cured before you begin. Even if it’s been cured recently, I recommend running some hot water over it to clean out any bits of food, pouring in a fresh glug of olive oil, and letting it sit at the lowest setting on your stove for about thirty minutes to an hour.
  2. Coconut Oil (or Butter): Add a dollop of coconut oil and turn the heat up to a 3 or 4 for a few minutes.

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

  3. Add the Eggs: Make sure the coconut oil is melted and the pan has had plenty of time to heat up (a few minutes at least), and then crack the eggs into the pan.

    three sunny side up eggs just starting to cook in a cast iron skillet

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Just Starting to Cook

  4. Cook Low and Slow: The trick with just about every egg dish is to cook them at a low temperature for a long time. Resist the temptation to turn the heat up because you’ll turn your back for ONE SECOND and the eggs will be overcooked. You’ll want to cook them for about ten minutes or so. If the eggs are just not cooking after some time, turn the heat up just a titch, and if the oil is starting to bubble, turn the heat down a smidgen. DON’T COVER WITH A LID! You might think that it will help cook the tops, but it won’t. It will just overcook the eggs.

    three sunny side up eggs cooked halfway through on a cast iron skillet

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Halfway Cooked

  5. Add the Salt and Pepper: At any point after you’ve cracked the eggs, go ahead and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

    three sunny side up eggs almost ready to flip on a cast iron skillet

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Sprinkled with Salt and Pepper

  6. Time to Flip: Once the eggs are cooked just about all the way through, they are ready to be flipped.
    three sunny side up eggs being flipped in a cast iron skillet

    These Sunny Side Up Eggs are Ready to Flip

    IMG_8429

  7. Keep it Quick: To make a truly perfect dippy egg, you’ll only want to keep the egg flipped for no more than ten seconds. If you keep it flipped for about 30-40 seconds, you’ll notice that the egg is still dippy, but more firm around the edges. Any longer, and you’ve ruined the whole thing, and you might as well start over. Just make sure the whites are cooked through all the way because it’s really gross when they’re not.
    showing how sunny side up eggs only need to stay flipped for a very short time

    Sunny Side Up Eggs Cooked to Perfection

    In the picture above, the egg with the fork next to it was flipped for about 45 seconds, the egg in the middle was flipped for about 30 seconds, and the egg on the right was only flipped for about 5 seconds.

  8. Check the Pan: You’ll know if your cast iron skillet was cured properly (and that you didn’t cook the eggs at too high of a temperature) if your pan looks like this when you are done.

    after cooking sunny side up eggs this cast iron skillet still looks clean

    Cast Iron Skillet After Cooking Sunny Side Up Eggs

  9. Enjoy: Serve with some toasted and buttered sourdough muffins, a few slices of bacon, and a tall glass of milk for an amazing breakfast! (Also, make sure to sprinkle those yolks with a generous helping of Real Salt!)

    three sunny side up eggs, sourdough muffin, bacon, and milk make the perfect breakfast

    Sunny Side Up Eggs, Sourdough Muffin, Bacon, and Milk…the Perfect Breakfast!

perfectly presented deviled eggs

How to Make the Best Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are kind of my thing. Whenever we go to a gathering that is potluck style, I love bringing a big platter of freshly made deviled eggs. Some of our neighbors raise pastured chickens and sell us their eggs for $2/dozen, and I hate saying no since we are their only customers, so some weeks we have 6+ dozen eggs to consume! I love making fried eggsscrambled eggs, dippy eggs, egg sandwiches, potato egg salad, and baked egg dishes, but my favorite thing to make (and eat) are these deviled eggs.

Ingredients

  • 12 Eggs (Two weeks old and pastured)
  • 4 T. Mayonnaise (I like Hellmann’s Olive Oil)
  • 1 t. Mustard
  • 3 t. Apple Cider Vinegar (I like Bragg)
  • ½ t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ¼ t. Pepper
  • ¼ t. Paprika

Directions

  1. Boil Your Eggs: To see how to boil an egg so that it is cooked to perfection and peels easily, check out my recipe for the perfect boiled egg.

    perfectly cooked hard boiled egg cut in half to show the yolks still soft

    Perfectly Cooked Hard Boiled Egg

  2. Make the Yolk Mixture: To be honest, I never really measure my ingredients here. I just add a big blob of mayonnaise until it’s nice and creamy, then I add a squirt of mustard, a glug of apple cider vinegar, a few dashes of pepper, and a generous sprinkling of salt. Then I keep tasting and adding and tasting and adding. It’s always best to start with too little of something and add more than add too much of something and have to start over! You can use the measurements I’ve listed above as a starting point to create the mixture that you like best. 🙂

    yolk mixture for deviled eggs will be creamy and slightly lumpy

    Yolk Mixture for Deviled Eggs

  3. Fill the Eggs: I just use a spoon to fill the empty egg halves, but you could get super fancy with these cake decorating tips and bags.

    hard boiled eggs cut in half with yolks removed ready for deviled egg yolk mixture filling

    Empty Deviled Eggs Ready for Filling

  4. Finishing Touches: I like to lightly sprinkle paprika over all the eggs when they are filled. (I don’t think they really look like deviled eggs without it!) I use a plastic egg serving tray, but this glass one would be nice too, or you might want something more portable like this or this. Enjoy!

    tray of deviled eggs make a perfect party appetizer

    Tray of Deviled Eggs

my five year old daughter outside wearing a winter coat and a serious look on her face

What Happened When My Daughter Told Me She Only Half Loved Me

Ever since our fourth child has been born, I’ve kind of been in survival mode, trying to navigate the life of stay at home mom with an extra little person attached to my boob 24/7. My oldest daughter is 5 and our fourth child is 4 months old now, so needless to say, I’m a busy woman! But even though I’m very busy, I always try to make giving each child a lot of attention my top priority, or at least, I thought I did…

a picture my five year old drew to show how much she loves her daddy

I Love My Dad and My Dad Loves Me

for 100s day Ruby said she wished she had 100 dads

I Wish I Had 100 Dads

 

It all started one morning when I was talking to our oldest daughter, Ruby, about the kindergarten conference I had had with her teacher the evening before, and I asked her why she only wrote stories in class about her Dad and about how much she loves him. To be honest, I thought this “Daddy love” started because she felt sorry for him not getting enough attention, and I just thought it was cute that she wanted to wear her “Daddy Rocks” t-shirt every day, but I didn’t actually think it meant that she loved me any less.

I mean, come on! I carried her for 9 months, I went through 36 hours of labor to meet her, I nursed her every two hours day and night until she was a year old, I gave up my career to stay at home and take care of her…of course I’m her favorite! …or so I thought.

So I asked her. “Ruby, why do always write stories about your dad?”

“Because I love him more than anything in the world,” she replied matter of factly.

“Well, you love me too, right?” I asked. At that point, I expected a quick, “Of course mom!” and then we would all be on our way and I could stop being paranoid. But that’s not what happened. What happened is that she paused. For a looooooong time. “Oh no!” I thought, “This can’t be good!”

And then she scrunched up her face like she always does when she’s deep in thought and she said, “Well, I only half love you.”

“What do you mean,” I stammered, sure that I had misunderstood her somehow.

“I only half love you mom. It’s just what’s in my heart,” she explained without any remorse.

As the weight of those words sank in, I had no response. “Oh, ok,” was all that I could muster before she rushed off to play.

So of course, I let my world crumble around me and reflected on all of the ways that I was failing as a mother. I thought about how busy I’ve been, and I knew that I had all of the excuses in the world! I mean, we’ve only been living in this new house less than a year and there are still an endless amount of projects to be done, my baby is only 4 months old and there are some nights when I only get a few hours of sleep (and the days of me being able to take a nap during the day are long gone), I spend a lot of time preparing healthy food, and then I have this blog that I love, but which also pulls me away.

And then there’s Ruby, so resilient and so strong. She’s been through five moves in the last five years, adjusted to three new babies in her life, and then after we finally got settled in our new home and new routines, she started kindergarten, moved to a new school halfway through the year, and had to get used to spending the majority of the day away from me, from us.

And then my thoughts went in the other direction, and I thought, hey, I’m the mom, not the friend, and if in doing what’s best for her and meeting her needs in the best way I know how means that I’m not always her favorite, well then so be it. Sometimes a mom’s job is hard because we need to see the whole picture, not just get through each individual moment.

But then my thoughts went back in the other direction, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks how I had been putting her on the back burner because I knew that she could handle it. When she started kindergarten, I gave her all of the attention in the world as she made the adjustment, but then my attention drifted to the new baby as we figured each other out and then our other baby, Ophelia, who is 20 months now, needed me more than ever as she adjusted to having to share my lap. And then there was Elliot who finally got to be the oldest while Ruby was at school and his needs were always in the forefront of my mind as I would think about the ways in which I could challenge him and help him grow in this last year and a half that I get him at home before he goes away too.

So after looking into my soul and seeing all of this, I knew that something needed to change. Not a drastic “scrap everything and do a complete 180” change, but a minor tweak that could bring this family back into balance. I knew that I needed to put Ruby back in the forefront of my mind, and when I did, I almost cried because I had missed her being there so much. I thought about her as a little baby and how I would look deep into her soulful eyes wondering what she would be like when she was older, and then I looked at her now, and she is so amazing and so wonderful and my heart felt like it was about to burst with how much I loved her.

And then I found her playing quietly with her My Little Ponies and I just scooped her onto my lap in a big bear hug. I nestled my nose into her hair and told her how much I loved her. And then we just started talking about everything and she said something so amazing and profound. She said, “Mom, I just don’t know where my heart belongs – at school or at home.” We went on to talk about how yes, she spends more time during the week at school, but when you count up the hours at night and on the weekend that she actually spends much more time at home. And then I explained how you can pack up your heart and take it with you where ever you go, but that when you’re home is when your heart is truly at peace and can breathe a big sigh of release knowing that it is safe and sound.

I told her how sorry I was that I had let her slip through the cracks lately, and I told her how I had gotten a little too busy lately, but that she was always in my heart and that I loved her more than anything in the world. I also explained to her that I thought that we were spending a lot of time together because she was always helping me with projects like sewing or making cookies, but I told her that I would spend some time every day doing what she wanted to do like playing a game or something. I also decided to let her ride up front with me on her way home from school (in her booster seat with the airbag turned off) so that we could have more time to chat.

I could just see her soften before my very eyes the more we talked. It was almost like she had started holding her breath ever since Julian was born and now she was finally letting it out. She hugged me tighter than ever, and I felt so close and so connected to her in that moment. The next morning while her, Daddy, and I had breakfast together, the mood was different somehow. Scott and I both clearly noticed the difference in her.

my daughter and I sorting through her school papers

Ruby and I Bonding While Sorting Through Her School Work

It’s been two weeks since that day, and I feel like Ruby and I are closer than ever. Our daily chats in the car after school are getting more and more interesting and complex and I am finally hearing about her school day in ways I never did before. When we get home, I take some time to just be with her doing whatever she wants and when her tank is full, she rushes off to play happy as can be.

Being a mom is a balancing act. It’s like I have all of these plates spinning all the time, and I have to know which ones to tend to next so that they don’t all fall. I let Ruby’s plate wobble dangerously close to toppling over, but I was able to get her spinning again just in time. In doing so, I had to let all of the other plates wobble just a fraction of a second longer as I re-calibrated my time, but now we are in a nice comfortable routine where everyone’s needs are being met…for now that is. As we get comfortable in this new normal, I am keeping one watchful eye out for the next plate that starts to wobble, and so the cycle will continue because that is what is being a good mom is all about.

Embracing Motherhood How to Make the Best Egg Sandwiches

How to Make the Best Egg Sandwiches

Egg sandwiches are a delicious and portable breakfast that you can take anywhere! I love making a pile of egg sandwiches in the morning and then enjoy watching them disappear throughout the day. My husband enjoys intermittent fasting and so he pops home around mid-day and can grab one without any fuss, and my daughter enjoys eating one for her after school snack. Sometimes I get so busy in my mornings that I forget to eat, but if there’s a pile of egg sandwiches, I have no excuse!

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs (Preferably pastured)
  • ¼ c. Raw Milk
  • Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • Pepper
  • ¼ c. Cheddar Cheese (Shredded or sliced)
  • Sourdough Muffins
  • 2 t. Butter

Directions

There are two ways to make egg sandwiches. 1) You can use scrambled eggs, which can be a little more difficult to balance the on the muffin, but they are oh so light, fluffy, and delicious! 2) Or you can use fried eggs which pack up a little better and give you that “Egg McMuffin” taste that you might crave from time to time.

Scrambled Egg Sandwich

  1. Cook the Perfect Scrambled Eggs: Check out my recipe for how to make the perfect scrambled eggs every time using a perfectly cured cast iron skillet.
  2. Melt the Cheese: Once your eggs have been cooked to perfection, I like to first top them with a large pat of butter, stir and melt it around, then add a fresh sprinkling of salt, and finally add shredded cheese. Cover, turn off the heat, and let it melt.
  3. Put Eggs on the Sourdough Muffin: Check out my sourdough muffin recipe to see how to make some delicious “English Muffins” that free from phytic acid and taste great! Scoop out a generous amount of eggs onto the buttered muffin and press the top down.
scrambled egg sandwich with melted cheese on a sourdough muffin

Scrambled Egg Sandwich

 

Fried Egg Sandwich

  1. Cook the Perfect Fried Eggs: Check out my recipe for how to make the perfect fried eggs every time using a perfectly cured cast iron skillet.
  2. Melt the Cheese: Once your eggs have been cooked to perfection, I like to first top them with a large pat of butter, stir and melt it around, then add a fresh sprinkling of salt, and finally add shredded cheese. Cover, turn off the heat, and let it melt.
  3. Cut and Fold the Eggs: Once you separate the eggs into individual servings, you’ll want to fold them in half so that they’ll fit more easily on the muffin. I like to cut off the little triangle piece so that it’s the best fit. Then I take the little triangles, cut them up a little more, and serve them on the side.

    fried eggs with melted cheese folded and cut for an egg sandwich

    Fried Eggs Folded In Half and Cut to Fit on an Egg Sandwich

  4. Put Eggs on the Sourdough Muffin: Check out my sourdough muffin recipe to see how to make some delicious “English Muffins” that free from phytic acid and taste great! Scoop out a generous amount of eggs onto the buttered muffin and press the top down.

    fried egg sandwich with melted cheese on a sourdough muffin

    Fried Egg Sandwich

 

Variations: There are plenty of other toppings that you can add to make your egg sandwich even better. Here are some of the topping I enjoy adding periodically.

egg sandwich with jalapenos

Egg Sandwich with Jalapeños

  • Crumbled Bacon
  • Fried Lunchmeat
  • Taco Meat
  • Sliced Jalapeños
  • Diced Green Pepper
  • Tomato Slices
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Garlic Slices (As long as I’m not going to talk to anyone who will care about my breath!)
perfect scrambled eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet

How to Make the Best Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are an absolute staple in our family. I usually cook some kind of eggs every morning. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for scrambled eggs, but it may be a day for some sunny side up eggs or a baked egg dish. You never know! Anyways, knowing how to make REALLY GOOD scrambled eggs is one of the first lessons a mom chef needs to learn.

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs (Pastured is best.)
  • ¼ c. Milk (Raw is best.)
  • 1 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here. You can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • ½ t. Pepper
  • 2 T. Butter
  • 1 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions

  1. Cure the Cast Iron Skillet: If you are cooking with a cast iron skillet (which I recommend for pretty much everything), then you’ll want to make sure it’s properly cured before you begin. Even if it’s been cured recently, I recommend running some hot water over it to clean out any bits of food, pouring in a fresh glug of olive oil, and letting it sit at the lowest setting on your stove for about thirty minutes to an hour.
  2. Coconut Oil (or Butter): Add a dollop of coconut oil and turn the heat up to a 3 or 4 for a few minutes.

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

    Coconut Oil Melting on a Cast Iron Skillet

  3. Mix the Eggs: While the pan is preheating, combine the eggs, milk (you can always substitute water if you’re out of milk), salt, and pepper.
    eggs, milk, salt, pepper ready to mix for scrambled eggs

    Eggs, Milk, Salt, and Pepper

    If it suits your fancy, you can add a few other spices like maybe some cayenne pepper, onion powder, of some chives. Get crazy! Mix really well.

    scrambled egg mixture mixed until it's nice and bubbly

    Scrambled Egg Mixture

  4. Add the Eggs: Make sure the coconut oil is melted and the pan has had plenty of time to heat up (a few minutes at least), then pour in the eggs. If the pan sizzles as you add the eggs, you know the temperature is just right. (But don’t worry if it doesn’t, it’s better too cook too low than too high.)
  5. Cover and Cook: The key to making really good scrambled eggs is to cook them at a low temperature and to cook them cook slowly. If you lift up the lid and nothing is going on, turn up the dial a titch. But keep your eye on it, because they can burn quickly!  It’s better to start too low than too high.

    scrambled eggs cooking nice and slow so that they don't burn

    Scrambled Eggs Cooked Halfway Through

  6. Stir: After you can see that the eggs have cooked a considerable amount, start to stir. Start by flipping the eggs over, then chop them up (I prefer semi-big chunks) as you move them around. Just don’t over stir, you’ll make the pieces too small and they’ll lose their softness.

    IMG_8723

    Cooked Scrambled Eggs

  7. Add Butter: Add a big chunk of butter, let it melt, then stir it around to mix it in.

    cooked scrambled eggs with melting butter in a cast iron skillet

    Scrambled Eggs with Butter

  8. Add More Salt: This is when I like to add a fresh sprinkling of salt.

    cooked scrambled eggs with butter and salt in a cast iron skillet

    Scrambled Eggs with Butter and Salt

  9. Add Cheese: Sprinkle on some shredded cheese, cover with a lid, and turn the stove off until it melts.
    cooked scrambled eggs with shredded cheese about to melt

    Cooked Scrambled Eggs with Shredded Cheese Ready to Melt

    cooked scrambled eggs with melted cheese in a cast iron skillet

    Cooked Scrambled Eggs with Melted Cheese

  10. Serve: This is another kid favorite in our house!

    cooked scrambled eggs with melted cheese on a plate with a kids fork

    Kid’s Plate with Scrambled Eggs

cast iron skillet perfectly cured

How to Cure a Cast Iron Skillet

Having a good cast iron skillet in my kitchen is a must! I love using it when it is cured properly because it provides an amazing cooking surface that provides extra iron and is easy to clean. If you’ve never used a cast iron skillet or if you have, but you haven’t been able to master curing it properly, check out my tips and tricks!

Benefits of Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Perfect Non-Stick Surface – If cured properly (see below), a cast iron skillet will provide the perfect nonstick surface, which makes cooking so much easier!
  2. Source of Iron – By cooking with a cast iron skillet, you are getting more iron in your food! In scrambled eggs, the amount of iron is tripled! The longer you cook something, the more iron it will absorb.
  3. No Teflon – Teflon is the repellent coating in your standard pan that keeps food from sticking to its surface. It contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), which is a chemical linked to liver damage, cancer, and developmental problems. This is especially bad if the surface is scratched which allows the cook to inhale these noxious fumes at a dangerous level.
  4. No Aluminum – Aluminum is a toxic metal that can lead to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Best to stay away from cooking (or storing) your food in it.
  5. Better Bargain – Stainless steel is better than aluminum or teflon coated pans, but they are more expensive, and for the life of me I can’t fry anything in them without it sticking like crazy!

How to Cure a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Set the temperature on your stove to low/medium (about a 3 or 4).
  2. Add some kind of oil. I prefer olive oil, but you can also use grapeseed. I use coconut oil for cooking, and I have tried curing my cast iron skillet with it, but unfortunately it just doesn’t work. (Alsostay away from Canola or any other vegetable oil because they are just bad for your health.)
  3. Once the oil melts, swirl it so that it coats the entire bottom of the pan and twist the pan while spinning it to coat as much of the inside edges as you can as well.

    a very reflective cast iron skillet with olive oil making a perfectly cured surface

    Olive Oil Warming on a Cast Iron Skillet

  4. Turn the heat down as low as it will go (low to 1).
  5. Let it sit like that for as long as you dare without forgetting that the stove is on (the longer the better, but a few hours should be good).

    cast iron skillet curing on the stove at a low setting

    Cast Iron Skillet Curing

  6. Repeat this every time you notice it sticking or after you clean it.
  7. *You can also cure it by placing the oiled skillet in the oven at 400˚F for a few hours. You’ll probably want to put a pan underneath to catch any drippings. Also, flip the skillet over at some point.

Note: I’ve tried the advice about wiping the pan with a paper towel coated with oil, and in my opinion, it just doesn’t work as well. I like having extra oil in the pan, and I totally use it up the next time I cook something.

How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. First of all, you don’t need to clean your cast iron skillet after every use. When I use my cast iron skillet just for making eggs, I rarely ever clean it. I just scrape out the bits of egg that accumulate and call it good. But if you’ve cooked something like taco meat or something at too high of a temperature that made things stick to the bottom, it’s time for a cleaning!
  2. To begin with, fill it up with hot water and let it soak for a bit.
  3. Then use a soft bristle brush, wash cloth, or some other gentle cleaning apparatus (Don’t use a wire scrubby – it will ruin any work you’ve done with curing thus far.) to gently clean the bits of food away.
  4. DON’T use soap when cleaning! Unless you plan on curing it all over again that is.

Buying a Cast Iron Skillet

I have one 12 inch skillet that works very well for all of my cooking needs. But you might want an 8 inch skillet when cooking for one, or a 10 inch skillet, or you may want something bigger like a 15 inch skillet or even a 20 inch skillet. I also definitely recommend getting a hot pad cover for the handle. As you can see, mine got some holes in it, so I sewed a potholder around it.

There are also lots of other great cookware that is made out of cast iron like this waffle maker, this 14 inch pizza pan, this dutch oven, this muffin pan, and this kettle. There are so many possibilities!

Embracing Motherhood How to Make the Best Baked Potato

How to Make the Best Baked Potato

Who doesn’t like a steaming baked potato loaded with fresh toppings? Potatoes are very high on the glycemic index, so I always thought it was best to steer clear of them. But then I learned about their wonderful benefits, such as being high in vitamin C and B6 (almost half of the daily recommended amounts), and discovered how they can be a vehicle for other good foods such as butter, sour cream, and cheese which drastically lowers its glycemic index, and now I am a big fan! There are so many good options for a baked potato, so get creative and dig in!

Organic potatoes are one of the dirty dozen, meaning that they contain a large amount of pesticides. In fact, according to studies, 81% of conventionally grown potatoes contain pesticides, even after being washed and peeled. We pay $3.50 for a 3 lb bag of organic potatoes at our local grocery store, which I think is well worth the price.

Ingredients

  • 1 Potato
  • 2 T. Butter (Kerrygold)
  • 4 T. Sour Cream
  • ½ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Chives, Chopped
  • Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • Pepper (Buy it here.)
  • Optional Toppings: Crumbled bacon, chili, or broccoli

Directions

  1. Cook the Potato.
    1. Microwave: Poke holes in the potato and cook for 5 minutes.
    2. Bake: Wash your potatoes, rub with olive oil or coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake at 350˚F for 1 hour. (Flip halfway through.) Bake a whole bunch so that you can keep extra in the fridge so that you won’t need to wait for an hour the next time you want a baked potato! *Throw these in the oven when you’re making a roasted chicken!

      organic baked potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper

      Baked Potatoes

  2. Cut it up, smother it with butter, and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on the top. Pop it in the microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Then, smother it with sour cream, top with chopped chives, and sprinkle generously with salt and a little pepper.

    Baked Potato with Butter, Melted Cheese, Sour Cream, Real Salt, and Chives

    Baked Potato with Butter, Melted Cheese, Sour Cream, Real Salt, and Chives

  4. Now tell everybody to leave you alone because you have some serious eating to do!!
Embracing Motherhood How to Make the Best Grilled Burgers

How to Make the Best Grilled Burgers

Making hamburgers seems like such a simple meal, why even write a recipe for it? Well yes, hamburgers are simple, but the way that I make mine are just so dang good that I had to write it down! If you make this recipe, I guarantee that you will get compliments!

A good hamburger first of all starts with some high quality grass-fed beef. (Cows are meant to eat grass, not grain, by the way.) We get ours from a local farm for $5/lb, but you can also buy it here.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef (Preferably grass-fed)
  • 2 t. Real Salt (I buy my Real Salt in bulk here, you can buy a shaker here, or a refill pouch here.)
  • 1 t. Pepper (Buy it here.)
  • 1 t. Garlic Powder (I buy mine here or you can buy it here or here.)
  • 1 t. Onion Powder (I buy mine here or you can buy it here.)
  • 2 t. Bragg Liquid Aminos (Buy it here.)

Directions

  1. Start the grill and set it to medium/high.
  2. If the meat is frozen, fill up the sink (or a bowl) with warm water, and let soak for about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Divide the meat roughly into fourths, then eighths.
  4. Sprinkle generously with seasonings. (I don’t measure, just shake.)

    one pound of hamburger meat divided into eighths and sprinkled with seasonings

    Beef Divided Into Eighths and Sprinkled with Seasonings

  5. Mix the seasonings in with your hands as you form patties.

    seasoned hamburger patties ready to grill

    Seasoned Hamburger Patties

  6. After the grill has had a chance to heat up, scrape it off with a grill brush.
  7. Put the burgers on and turn the heat down to low/medium.
  8. Cook for 8 minutes. Flip and cook for 4 minutes. (After you flip is a great time to add cheese if you want it melted.)
  9. Serve and enjoy!

    eight grilled hamburgers with grill marks on a grill

    Grilled Hamburger Patties