Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bacon Egg and Cheese "Muffin" Sandwiches - Plan Ahead and Freeze for an Easy Grab-and-Go Meal Option!

This lunch was sponsored by the American Egg BoardThis post contains affiliate links.
We don't have a lot of time in the mornings, and I'm not known for my time-management skills. And now that I have two kids who need to be up and ready and out the door at the same time, mornings have become twice as hectic! So to try and streamline our routine this back-to-school season, I've started making easy grab-and-go breakfast options in batches and freezing them. Then I can just reheat what each girl requests before heading out the door and they can eat it in the car on the way to school. Bonus: these also make a great lunch option!

We just finished off the banana bread muffins (GF/DF) my sister had made in massive amounts for us, which is what motivated me to start doing this. She made, like, 24 muffins, and my girls weren't really interested in trying them, and I couldn't eat them fast enough. So I froze them. One morning when we were rushed to get my oldest to summer camp, in addition to offering our usual bowl of cereal or chewy bar options, I offered to quickly heat up a muffin. It was a hit! She ate hers AND mine! They became a morning favorite for both girls, who usually only get warm breakfasts on the weekends.

Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffin Sandwiches
12 eggs
12 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
2 c grated cheese or 6-12 slices, optional
up to 2 c finely chopped veggies, optional (spinach, broccoli, peppers, chives, mushrooms, onion, etc)
1 tsp salt or seasoning salt blend
12 cooked biscuits or english muffins, halved lengthwise (toasted and buttered, if preferred) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Set a 12-cup silicone muffin pan onto a metal baking sheet. Divide veggies evenly into the 12 muffin cups (I prefer using a silicone muffin pan, but a metal one will work if you spray it with oil. The baking sheet is to help you move the silicone pan around without having it flop around and spill everywhere.) 

Divide chopped bacon evenly into the 12 muffin cups. If using, divide the grated cheese into the muffin cups. If using sliced cheese, save until assembly after baking.

Crack open all 12 eggs into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add salt and whisk together until blended. (I open eggs right into a 4-cup measuring cup with a pour-spout and mix in there to save time and mess later!)

Pour or ladle egg mixture slowly into each muffin cup, filling until about 3/4 full, or to the top of the fillings, whichever is higher. Evenly divide remaining egg mixture, if any.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes until puffy and starting to brown on top. Should feel firm to the touch. 
Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes to "set." (If planning to serve any right away and you chose not to bake cheese into the egg, top the ones you plan to eat with cheese now, so it can get nice and melty.)

You may need to gently use a butter knife to separate muffins from the sides, although they usually pop right out of a silicone mold.

For english muffin sandwiches, slice each egg muffin in half lengthwise and cut one of those halves in half crosswise and lay on bottom half of toasted english muffin. If using sliced cheese, add 1/2 to 1 slice of cheese, then top with other half of english muffin. 

For lunchbox-sized sandwiches that fit in my Omiebox and other insulated food jars, I used a round cutter to make smaller english muffin rounds to perfectly fit the egg muffin. I toasted the smaller english muffin rounds for a few minutes on Broil in the oven (along with the scraps) to avoid having to dig around in a toaster for them, which is also easiest when was making a large batch all at once. I trimmed 1/3 lengthwise of the egg muffin off mine, just to make the thickness a better ratio and to fit more evenly, but you don't have to. (And yes, I ate all the scraps!)
Since Z really likes cheese and likes seeing it on her food, instead of baking grated cheese into the egg muffins, I opted to add a partial slice of cheese (cut to fit) on top of the egg before topping with the other half of the english muffin.

Pretty much the same process for biscuit sandwiches, except they should already be the perfect size!

Serve immediately, or cool to room temperature and store in freezer bags or separate with parchment or wax paper in a storage container and refrigerate or freeze. They last up to 1 week in the fridge or longer in the freezer. Reheat in microwave, one for 1 minute, two for 2 minutes, four for 3 minutes, etc.

I packed mine in an Omiebox, which contains an insulated compartment, but Thermos Funtainer food jars would work with biscuit-sized ones or if packed halved to send them hot (warm by lunch,) or the Lunchbots Thermal jar (also available here) would fit most english muffins.

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