Egg Muffins (Not the Golden Arches Kind)

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Three things make me unapologetically American: 1.) Blue jeans. I would wear them anywhere and everywhere. 2.) Cars. Public transport around a cool city is great. But I would be lying if I said I didn't love the fact that I have my car around a city that has only recently realized the importance of public transport. Not to mention, my occasional wanderlust and restrictive budget make a certain type of impromptu travel a must. Viva el road trip!

And 3.) I. Love. Breakfast. Not a pastry and shot of espresso. Not a meal replacement shake in a can. Give me the hearty, the protein-laden, the hot. I want a proper breakfast. 

Breaking the fast is something I take seriously. Folks who know me know that the term "hangry" applies to me. 

"Hungry" + "Angry" = "Hangry" = Vanessa without meals

I've never understood those who claim who "forget to eat." How the hell do you forget that your stomach is eating itself and making uncomfortably loud noises among polite company? It has been, after all, approximately 8-10 hours between dinner and the morning. It's time to eat. So eat these.

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I believe in cooking in advance. As much as I'd like to believe myself a spontaneous sort, I've accepted the fact that I am an indecisive hot mess. Add hunger to the situation and I am utterly useless to create anything to eat for myself or anyone else. So when I cook, I cook extra, so that I can just eat and think less. Some folks resort to fast food. But my pants tell me I shouldn't. So, I cook. 

Of course, I use the term "muffin" simply because I use a muffin pan. But there is no bread product to speak of. The recipe is rather simple and allows you to add a much better bread than toast to the line up. I.E. waffles, French toast, pancakes! No offense to toast lovers. I get it. It's a texture thing. You want to spread some jam. But let's face it: most sliced bread are piss poor excuses for the good shit that is a.) rarely available on a Sunday and b.) wouldn't fit into a muffin tin anyway. Ham is much easier to manipulate.

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It can be as simple as an egg cradled within a nest of soft baked ham (and seriously, use the good stuff please. No compound meats last seen in a Lunchable line-up). But I like cheese, so I add a bed of shredded cheese laced with mustard. In goes the egg. And the whole lot goes into the an oven.

Yolks are a very personal matter. Some cannot live without the runny river of sunny yellow. Others cannot stand it. I leave the cooking time up to you. The yolk (and your desired consistency) will be your timer. Sides are your thing, too. In spring and summer, asparagus is great, roasted alongside in the oven (the whole thing is on, you might as well, you know, use the rest of the square footage in that energy guzzler). During the winter, baked apples with maple syrup are a nice and unexpected companion. Plus when it's cold, it's nice to have the oven on to warm the whole house. Linger with a cup of coffee or tea. Read the paper. A nap afterward is really nice, too. 

But it's just as delightful and welcome by its lonesome, while running out the door. Uncivilized, perhaps. But nowhere near as uncivilized as my behavior if I didn't eat anything at all.

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Baked Egg Muffins

12 thin, but large slices of ham (enough to cover the bottom of a muffin tin * 1/2 pound shredded cheese like Gruyere or Cheddar or Fontina * 1 tablespoon mustard (optional) * 12 eggs

Line the muffin tins with ham. Combine the cheese with mustard, if desired, and try to place an equal amount between the ham-lined tins. (If it isn't even, no one will notice). Crack an egg into each and baked into a preheated 350-degree oven until whites are set and yolks are cooked to your desired state. (Runny, about 8 minutes, well-done about 15). 

Remove from the tins and serve warm or store in a container or ziploc bags and keep in the fridge. These can be enjoyed cold straight from the fridge or slightly reheated.