The Weekend Plans Post: Just Crack An Egg

Oh, my gosh. Have you seen the commercials for those Just Crack An Egg breakfast thingies?

Part of me said “have we gotten so very lazy?” as I saw an ad for one and then didn’t think about it much more until I was walking down the aisle at the grocery store and saw one. “Eh, what the heck…” I said and threw it into my cart.

AND IT IS THE BEST BREAKFAST EVER. I mean, like, if you only have three minutes. If you have 30 minutes, make something real. But if you only have three?

Here’s the conceit: open the cup, there are three packets of ingredients. A portion of potatoes, a portion of cheese, a portion of some breakfast meat. Take out the packets, crack an egg, whip it up, then dump the contents of the packets into the cup and stir. Microwave for 40 seconds, stir, then microwave for 30 more.

You’re done. You’ve got scramble. And it’s a scramble with potatoes! And cheese! And breakfast meat!

Now, they’re about two-fifty each and I can totally understand if you say “that’s a little ‘spensive for what you’re getting…” and, hey, you’re absolutely right. You can easily do the same thing by just grabbing the 2 ounce containers from the back of the cabinet and buying a bag of potatoes O’Brien and just prepping with stuff you’ve already got in the fridge. Scoop of taters in one, shredded cheese in another, take some kitchen shears to some of the 4 pounds of bacon you baked up a week ago, and your favorite microwavable bowl? You have your own Just Crack An Egg kit for under a buck.

But if you don’t want to have to deal with dishes, and you don’t want to have to deal with food prep, and you no longer balk at the answer to the question “have we gotten so very lazy?”, then you seriously need to grab a couple of these next time you wander through the grocery store. (Hey, sometimes they’ve got them two for four bucks.)

This weekend will be spent going to the grocery store and getting a bunch of these for work. Two minutes and you’ve got a breakfast that feels like you spent 15 minutes on it.

We also have a gaming night on Saturday and maybe an evening dedicated to Daredevil Season 3 in there too.

So… what’s on your docket?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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29 thoughts on “The Weekend Plans Post: Just Crack An Egg

  1. I have been doing intermittent fasting for a couple of years now, so no more breakfast for me. Instead, I get to have egga for dinner and I continue to believe that the ability to cook eggs consistently well every time is the mark of a skilled home chef.

    We have 8 couples coming to our house tomorrow night, so when I get home from New Hampshire this evening, I am making a massive pot of Cincinnati-style chili. We’ll also offer some good snacky items and seasonal desserts and look forward to probably our last non-holiday get together of the year.

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    • What’s your recipe for Cincinnati chili?

      First time I went to Skyline I was flummoxed that they stole the Greek style Kima (meat sauce – which, of course.), slapped some beans, onions and cheddar(?!) on it and called it Chili. They even *serve it on spaghetti* – but, yeah, chili. Pure genius.

      Problem is, whenever I try to make Cincinnati Chili I just turns out like my family’s Greek Meat sauce and there’s something missing… it must be something american, like, I dunno, ketchup.

      What am I missing? Help a (Greek) brother out.

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      • 5 pounds ground chuck (80/20)
        2 tubs Bloemer’s chili base
        1 large can diced tomatoes
        3/4 to 4/5 of a large can of crushed tomatoes
        1 large onion diced
        1/2 container of chili powder
        1 teaspoon cinnamon
        1/2 to 3/4 cup korean barbecue sauce
        Almost 1 full box of spagetti
        1 teaspoon garlic
        1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning

        – Brown meat and onions
        – Chop up Bloemer’s to facilitate it melting
        – Add Bloemer’s and half of the chili powder to meat when cooked
        – Add diced tomatoes
        – Add crushed tomatoes
        – Add uncooked spaghetti (broken into 1/4)
        – Add rest of chili powder
        – Add BBQ sauce to taste

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        • Some recipes:

          Chunky Chef
          5 cups water
          6 oz can of Tomato paste
          1/2 oz baking chocolate (unsweetened – I use Baker’s brand)
          1/4 cup chili powder
          1 tsp cinnamon
          1 tsp garlic powder
          1 tsp cumin
          1/4 tsp allspice
          1/4 tsp ground cloves
          1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or less, depending on your desired heat level
          1/8 tsp black pepper
          3/4 tsp salt
          1/2 tsp sugar
          2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
          1 1/4 lb lean ground beef

          Genius Kitchen
          2 lbs ground beef
          2 cups chopped onions
          4 cups beef stock
          2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
          2 -3 tablespoons chili powder
          2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
          2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
          1?2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate or 2 3?4 tablespoons cocoa
          2 teaspoons instant minced garlic
          1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          1 teaspoon ground cumin
          1?2 teaspoon salt
          1?2 teaspoon ground red pepper or 1?2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
          1?4 teaspoon ground allspice
          1?4 teaspoon ground cloves
          1 bay leaves or 1?8 teaspoon bay leaf powder

          I’ve seen more than one copycat that used Worcestershire sauce, but I’m dubious because that wouldn’t be common in the Mediterranean (for Goldstar, Skyline, or perhaps Kentucky’s Brookings Chili, which is similar). Also arguing against it is the fact that you can by spice packets for all three restaurants, and how to you get Worcestershire sauce in a spice packet? The same logic says there shouldn’t be vinegar in it, either.

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          • Worcestershire is the only thing I’m sure *is* in the sauce… its just Anchovies and vinegar and garlic and spices. We put anchovies in lots of sauces for that umami background flavor. Not that Yiayia called it umami. :-)

            It might be just more cumin and sugar… our family recipe doesn’t have any cumin in it and I always assumed that the Chili powder would add enough. I feel iteration #63057 coming up.

            What I really want is Kenji from Serious Eats to reverse engineer it.

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            • I often make Worcestershire sauce, but I’m still tweaking the tamarind amount. Based on my last attempt, which had too much tamarind, I’ll go with this one next.

              Worcestershire Sauce
              1 cup tarragon vinegar
              1 cup apple cider vinegar
              1 cup Red Boat 45N fish sauce (or 40N – N is a measure of nitrogen content)
              1 cup Brer Rabbit blackstrap molasses
              1/2 cup reduction of two 12 ounce cans of sweetened tamarind juice (or 1/2 cup tamarind paste)
              ¾ cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
              1/2 cup soy sauce
              2 tablespoons kosher salt
              4 teaspoons sesame oil
              2 teaspoons black pepper
              2 teaspoons white pepper
              2 teaspoons garlic powder
              2 teaspoons onion powder
              2 teaspoons allspice
              2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger
              2 teaspoons mustard powder
              2 bay leaves
              1/3 cup lime juice (add after sauce cools)

              Just heat it all to boiling for ten or so minutes.

              I’m still working on getting it to properly emulsify, so I have to shake the bottle. Some of the ingredients (such as mustard powder) are emulsifiers. You could also replace some of the molasses with honey, which can also aid in emuslification.

              Then I use it to make A-1 sauce using the recipe
              1/3 cup golden raisins.
              1/2 cup balsamic vinegar.
              1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce.
              1/4 cup ketchup.
              1/4 cup dijon mustard.
              1/4 cup orange juice
              1 tsp celery salt
              1 tsp garlic salt
              1/4 tsp black pepper

              This is similar to Southern Kitchen’s B-2 recipe. After lots of boiling, I fished out the remains of the golden raisins, poured it into a bottle, and if I hadn’t over done the tamarind in my Worcestershire sauce, it would be spot on.

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        • Thanks Mike… I’ve long suspected the short answer is “sugar” in one form or another. The Korean BBQ sauce makes sense in a completely incomprehensible way.

          That and getting the right amount of “chili” spices into the Greek spices. I’m kinda surprised you don’t have allspice as that’s one of the things I pick-up on my infrequent tastes of Skyline… but maybe I’m adding it in since that’s something we use in our regular sauce.

          I’ll keep fiddling with it, thanks again.

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          • The Bloemer’s may have allspice in it. I basically use it as the spice ‘base’ and add from there. The refrigerated base will probably be impossible to find outside of the Cincinnati/Louisville area but they make a powdered substitute. The only thing you are lacking is the extra beef fat but that is easy enough to obtain.

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          • I have seen recipes that call for unsweetened cocoa powder, as well. Or even grated dark baking chocolate.

            I keep threatening to make Cincinnati chili* for some potluck or other down here; it would blow people’s minds. (OK/TX area, and I’ve had people tell me “you don’t put beans in chili” to which my response is “maybe you don’t”). There was also some upper Midwest thing they used to call Chili Soup that had ditalini macaroni in it, and was more watery and less spicy than typical chili.

            (*I never have made it before, but I have a couple recipes in books and keep thinking it looks like it would be fun to try)

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            • Amazon carries cans of Goldstar and Skyline, plus it has Goldstar’s seasoning packets. Since it doesn’t carry Skyline dry seasoning packets, I’m wondering if those even exist, which would support the argument that Skyline’s recipe has a liquid component.

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            • Cincinnati chili would blow people’s mind in CO as well, but we have green chile that most folks don’t know about. My mom never made it when we were growing up; we would have the standard red chili with beans. The school cafeterias used to have a bastardized version of it: it was like standard chili with beans, but it had pieces of spaghetti in it. And big chunks of tomatoes.

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            • Definite ++ on the chocolate… we put unsweetened dark chocolate in all our chilis now. There’s a certain sort of SW chili that just seems to me to be spicey gruel. Not a fan.

              I made some “regular” chili but just threw in some cinnamon bark purely as background and served it to guests… yes, minds blown. I was a taken aback how they kept helping themselves to more; for a moment I felt like Walter White.

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              • Definite ++ on the chocolate… we put unsweetened dark chocolate in all our chilis now. There’s a certain sort of SW chili that just seems to me to be spicey gruel. Not a fan

                I don’t like chili, but unsweetened chocolate is the base for mole poblano sauce, which is what chili is based on, and which is absolutely delicious.

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  2. Two Fiddy ain’t too bad, considering the number of people who drop 2-3 times that in the drive-through at Starbucks. But, it looks like my diet is going to be changing rapidly, with No Eggs being a major part of that.

    As for plans? This afternoon I should (should being the operative word here) get things off to the printer. I am a few days past when I told my clients they had to go over the proof copy I sent out, and all is looking good. I just hate it when I don’t hear from them. So yard work I guess.

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  3. Tomorrow is the Marine Corps’ birthday. I’m hoping my buddy up in Monument will get his stuff together and come down for some celebration. If not, I may play a Legion tournament and then watch Full Metal Jacket and have some drinks.

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  4. Yeah, $2.50 is a lot for what you get, but you might pay $10 at a diner. (Still: I wonder what the sodium level is like; that’s what my life revolves around these days. Also not a big fan of vegetables first thing in the morning).

    Most mornings I just zap some rolled oats in the microwave with some milk and a small handful of bittersweet chocolate chips. It keeps me from getting hungry until lunch (probably the fat in the chips).

    I find often after getting up and doing my workout (I do about 45 minutes first thing in the morning) I am really not that hungry but I also know I need to eat something before class, so zapped oatmeal seems to work. I’m not sure I could work up the enthusiasm for eggs at 6 am. If someone other than me were fixing them, maybe.

    My plans for this weekend….well, I have another funeral lunch to work at church. (And I’m one of the few able-bodied women in town this week, so I feel I have to). My other plans are to put up my (artificial, so I can do it this early) Christmas tree, because if I don’t now, it won’t be until the 30th at the earliest, and by then it will be Too Late seeing as I am traveling early for Christmas this year.

    (And yes. I do have to put a tree up in my own house even though I am going to my parents’. Shut up.)

    Thanksgiving and Christmas travel will be a bit of a kerfuffle; my mom was going to have cataract surgery the week before Christmas (hence my making early and now non-refundable travel plans) but now that’s been moved to the Monday before Thanksgiving and I am bracing myself for being the one to fix the big meal if she’s not feeling good or if there are more restrictions on movement than what the doctor disclosed previously. (I have a sibling but they are not the most useful person ever, and they also claim “but I have to watch my kid!” and I’d frankly rather cook than babysit, so….) I normally help with the meal but this year I’m bracing to have to do it ALL.

    (Said sibling will be made to do the cleanup if it comes down to me doing all the cooking, however)

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  5. Sunday is the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the Great War, so probably like all of you, I’ll be up to my knees in a trench full of mud, raising a flask of rum to all those who fought so hard and got Europe to take a short breather before dialing the slaughter all the way to 11.

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  6. One thing I love to make is breakfast hash. The process of making it is fun. For a serving for 3-4 people:

    Cut four rashers of bacon into lardons (thin strips). Fry ’em up in the biggest saute pan you’ve got, just enough to release the grease. While they’re going,

    Cut up a potato into small (like half-inch) cubes. By the time you’re done cutting up the potato, the bacon should be ready. In with the potato. Give it a stir while you

    Cut up an onion. Or half an onion, if you’re timid, but don’t be timid. Cut him up real fine. In he goes, stir stir stir. Back to the cutting board now because it’s time for you to

    Dice an apple. This is a good way to use an apple that’s about to get mealy. Cut that bad boy up into cubes about the same size as you did the potato. Don’t use the core, obviously, but do get the apple in there to heat and soften it up for a minute or two. This is a good time to add the cayenne if you’re going to do that. Then you need just a bit of technique because the next step is to

    Stir the ingredients around to leave a hole in the middle, with the bare pan exposed. Crack an egg! Actually, crack four. And whisk them bad boys around, scrambling them up real good. As you do that, you’ll integrate the hash back into the egg you’re heat-scrambling. You’re done when the scrambled egg is broken down and evenly distributed throughout the hash. Don’t be shy about it, or you’ll overcook your eggs before the last step, which is

    Salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of grated cheese on top. Serve piping hot right off the pan. If you’re like me, and I know I am, a slice or two of avocado is great with this too but a slice or two of avocado is great with everything so you already knew that.

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  7. Exhausted from a week of working a lot of different shifts, some of which lasted past 2 am and some of which started before noon.

    I had a lovely quiet day today, watched Daredevil with Jay tonight. Tomorrow is gaming, Sunday I have to work (but at least the shifts won’t be quite so all over the map next week, and the steps up and down the clock will be smoother).

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  8. It’s not Cincinnatti Chili, but here’s mine. I started out years ago with a recipe out of a cook book, but to get it to come out the way I wanted it, I always ended up tweaking it and nudging in and massaging it until I got what I wanted, so finally one day I made chili and actually wrote down what I was doing. This was the result:

    2 lbs. ground beef
    2 large yellow onions
    5 cloves garlic
    5 Tbsp chili powder
    2 1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    4 tsp cumin
    4 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp red or cayenne pepper (MAYBE)
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    1 can black beans
    1 can sweet corn
    1 can diced tomato
    1 cup beef broth

    Dice the onions as you like and crush the garlic in a garlic press. Throw both into the pot with the oil and give them a light saute. Add the ground beef. Salt and pepper to taste. Brown the ground beef. Turn the heat down to low. Add the chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, red or cayenne pepper (MAYBE), black beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, and beef broth. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better. Serving the next day is best.

    I got the idea for the sweet corn from my sister’s tortilla soup recipe. I discovered that I liked the crunch and the yellow of the corn made for a nice presentation in the fairly uniform dark reddish color of the chili.

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  9. It’s laziness. You could cook four eggs, dice a potato, then throw in some of that weird dairy stuff some people eat and fry it up. You’ll have enough for two people and it’ll include the secret ingredient of love.

    All in all, it takes MAYBE 15 minutes. And you’ll probably wind up having more than you’d have if you zapped two of this convenience cup things.

    And what was going to be done with the twelve minutes you saved in preparing breakfast? Nothing? Video games?

    My advice to you is to slow down. You move too fast. Gotta make the morning last. Then you can go skipping down the cobblestones and have time for feeling groovy.

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