Friday, March 16, 2012

Would you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or perhaps an omelet in a bag?

My mom is genius on all things involving entertaining large groups (she comes from a family of 6 children). Well, last week we were having about 20+ family members over for brunch and mom wanted to serve omelets but we also wanted everyone to be able to eat together which just isn't the case when you are trying to individualize 20 omelets to each person's desire UNLESS you make an omelet in a ziplock bag! It is a fantastic idea and works wonders! You need ziploc bags, toppings of your choice (but remember if you're serving it to a group of people have a variety of toppings so your guests can choose their favorites), eggs, boiling water! Ok, let me elaborate on that, I wish i had taken a few more pictures of the process but next time!
First, when fixing these omelets for a large group or really anyone other than yourself I would take the ziploc bags (sandwich size) and write names on each bag! This will help you keep everything organized.
Then, take one egg for each omelet and beat in with a fork in a bowl and pour into the bag and add any of your desired toppings. It doesn't matter if you dump the egg in the bag first or the ingredients, we tried it both ways and it works no matter the order.
Add all the bags to boiling water for 13 - 15 minutes and enjoy! You can put all the bags in one pot together.
If you are serving buffet style then I would suggest laying the bags out on a serving tray with the names showing so everyone can pick up their individual omelet and enjoy brunch together!

A few hints when prepping for a large group (again, wonderful ideas from my mom, I take in so much from watching her host and entertain our family and friends). These hints will help you not feel as rushed the day of your party.
Go ahead and beat all of the eggs separately in small Dixie cups and cover with Saran wrap and refrigerate. We put that cups in a mini muffin tin to make it easy to transport in and out of the fridge. That way each guest just picks up a cup and dumps it in the bag with their toppings.
Split all of your toppings into individual bowls and cover with Saran wrap and keep in the fridge until the morning of.
Then set up an omelet station with all your bags laid out, the eggs set out, and all the toppings. Each guest comes through and assembles their bag (be prepared people may decide after they see some omelets that this is the coolest idea and now they want to make one too so you may have a few rounds of omelets going on which is fine, at least this is what happened last week with my family!) Kids will love watching the process and getting their individual omelet out of a bag!
Also, double check the lock on the bag to ensure it is sealed completely!

Some of the toppings we included were cheese, mushrooms, ham, peppers, green onions, sausage, and salt and pepper to taste!

Here are a few photos I took, I wish I had some of our omelet station just so the separation of each component made more sense, but that will have to be included next time.

The omelette are cooking away!

The finished product! I am still amazed by this process! Good luck trying it.

And because this blog is about trial and error on any cooking adventure I would like to share my first successful scrambled egg experience! Yes, I haven't mastered scrambling an egg before now and I'm very ashamed by that but now I know and it is so easy to make, breakfast, lunch, dinner here I come! I have attempted before but never got them just right and they were awful to me! I love scrambled egg sandwiches so it is imperative I learn how to scramble an egg! Most kids in elementary school longed for the day their mom would bring them McDonalds or Wendy's for lunch but for me I always loved the days my mom would bring me a hot scrambled egg sandwich that she had just made! It was always so delicious and such a treat! Ok, enough rambling about the sandwich. In order to scramble your eggs, beat 2 eggs with a fork before dumping them in the pan and once it heats up for a little continue to beat while it is over the heat. You can always add a little cheese to the eggs for something extra. I was just excited so I had to share!

And being the nerd I am I took a picture before eating!

So how do you like your eggs best?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

My Cupcake Obsession

I have a new obsession...cupcakes...ok really I think it is more the process of icing the cupcakes than the actual cupcake itself that I'm obsessed with! This probably comes from the increased amount of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" I've watched lately! My recipe board on Pinterest ("In the Kitchen") contains more cupcake ideas than anything else... So lately I come up with any excuse I can to bake cupcakes and share them with others. Red velvet, carrot cake, and next up hopefully lemon blueberry!

As I mentioned previously, I think I love the icing process more than enjoying the cupcake itself and that is saying a lot! I give the credit to my icing tool I bought a few months ago. I believe I've already touch on the beauty of the tool in a previous post so I will keep it simple here by saying I love it. So far I have only experimented with the star tip but look forward to using some of the other tips very soon! This tool makes it so quick to ice each cupcake, they look prettier than I could ever do freehand, and you probably get more icing on each cupcake which is always a good idea! I do advise you make 1 1/2 times the recipe so you have plenty to ice all of you cupcakes. For the most recent cupcakes I used my mom's carrot cake recipe with cream cheese frosting! Usually when I make the carrot cake with this frosting I mixed pecans into the cream cheese frosting but for the cupcakes I decided it would be better to leave the pecans out and sprinkle them on a few of the cupcakes instead.
Ok, before I post the recipes and pictures I thought I would post the icing tool I use because often when I talk about people seem to be very confused! I have the Nordic Ware icing decorating set and got it from Target.

Time for recipes and pictures...enjoy and be sure to comment if you try the recipe out.
Carrot Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups finely grated carrots

Sift and mix dry ingredients.
Add oil and stir well.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add carrots and cinnamon.
Split into a lined cupcake pan.
Bake at 350 for 18 - 20 minutes. A trick that I've learned is to turn the pan around halfway through baking to evenly bake the cupcakes through. To check your cupcakes Stick a toothpick into one and see if it comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.

(Remember this is the normal recipe so if you are heavily icing the cupcakes you should make 1 1/2 times this recipe)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 box (1lb) confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pecan chips, for garnish

Soften cream cheese and butter and mix together.
Add confectioner's sugar and vanilla and beat well.

Frost cupcakes, sprinkle with pecan chips for garnish and enjoy! I bought pecan chips but actually crushed them even finer in my hand before sprinkling them on the cupcakes. I know not everyone is a fan of pecans so I opted to do a few with pecans and a few plain.

Here was my final product! I took them into work for a fun Friday treat and then shared the rest with my family last weekend, I'm surprised they survived the drive without me eating all of them myself!

I love that this picture shows the height of the frosting after using the star tip.

With the help of my mom's hosting skills we added them to a cake stand and voila presentation points gained. Thanks mom!

Happy Baking and Happy Icing! You'll be so happy with how quick, easy, and pretty your future cupcakes are to ice!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad