I’m So Egg-cited!

by Sarah on February 27, 2011

And I just can’t hide it
I’m about to be bloggin’ live
And I think I like it…
I’m so egg-cited
Eggland’s Best provided
A Flip Cam-for me–to show–you who–I am in real time…real time!
So I’ve been teasing y’all with this for at least a week now…and it’s finally here: my very first v-log! (And yes, I will continue to pronounce it vee-log, despite what is probably “correct”…vlog as one syllable just doesn’t have the same effect or ability to be easily inserted into song lyrics.) And while I am so eggcited– much like Jesse Spano in what has become one of the most classic moments in early 90s teen televison programming…

I’m (also) so…scared
[And yes, when I cry I probably look that awful…we’ll keep that out of the blog though, thankyouverymuch.]

When I “opted in” for the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program opportunity to receive a FlipCam from Eggland’s Best and then document a healthy, egg-based recipe for a v-log on my blog, I wasn’t really thinking about the pressure I’d feel for revealing myself as a 3-D person (who speaks!) for the first time. I was much more focused on making up an incredible (edible) egg recipe——and the whole “getting free stuff” thing didn’t hurt either. 😉

After receiving a lot of media bashing over the years for raising cholesterol levels and being and “evil” food, the world is coming to realize that an egg a day can actually be beneficial to your health, and, as Eggland’s Best proudly proclaims across their carton: a part of “your nutritious diet.”Since I’ve pretty much stopped choosing foods to eat based on their overanalyzed nutrient profiles (thank you Michael Pollan for that), I can get behind those nutritional claim…but when it comes down to it, here is what I know: eggs are good….and runny, drippy, buttery yolks are frickin’ AWESOME.

My love affair with a creamy yolk and my passionate obsession for winter squash have led me to create what I like to call Nest Eggs–Baked Eggs in a Acorn Squash (sweetened with maple syrup, apricot preserves or orange marmalade, and thyme). To be honest, I think this might be one of the best recipes I have ever invented.So here we go, y’all…keep your expectations low (much like the production budget), and ignore the fact that I alternate looking like the Hunchback of Austin, Texas and cutting my head off–not literally, at least–as well as bucked all guidelines for length…if you thought I was tangential in my writing, welcome to my conversational skills (or lack thereof).

As you might be at work right now* or in another location where you cannot actually watch the video…or if you just couldn’t see what the heck I was doing (the more likely option), I made this recipe about four times, and therefore have lots of photos of the process. [I can also vouch for how amazing it really tastes…]
*checking blogs at work? who would do that?

First, you need acorn squash…which I refer to occasionally as tulip squash, because that’s what they remind me of.Apparently, if you forget about your acorn squash for awhile, it might turn orange. This discovery has led me to believe that those “golden nugget squash” on the market are really just acorn squash at three times the price. [I’m just saying…]Cut your acorn squash in half……hollow it out….…and spray with a generous amount of olive oil cooking spray and a sprinkling of thyme if you like (but you’ll add more later…I’m pretty sure this photo was from the first attempt at the recipe before I perfected it).Turn the squash upside down in a baking pan with a little water in the bottom……and cook for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Pull ’em out, and drain out any water that might still be in the pan. Then, you are going to want to scoop out the squash, as though you are making a twice-baked potato. You don’t actually need to remove the squash, just pull it out from the sides. It’s not going anywhere. (Hooray for minimal dishes to wash!)
Then you’ll need some maple syrup……and either orange marmalade or apricot preserves.I actually used apricot preserves the second and third time I made this, and I think I like that better, but it’s easier to procure (read: steal) orange marmalade containers from restaurants and/or room service, and the amount in one of those is just about how much you want for this recipe…1-2 tsp. per squash.
Scoop into the center of the squash a teaspoon or two of apricot preserves or orange marmalade, sprinkle on a nice dose of thyme, and then drizzle over the whole thing with as much maple syrup as you like (and I like quite a bit). Then mix and mash.Make a nice little nest in the center of each half…And then crack an egg into ’em!Remember to use Eggland’s Best.But they DID pay me to say that. [Sort of. A free coupon for eggs and a Flip Cam counts as payment. And don’t you know I got the brown, cage-free eggs because they were the most expensive, and hey, if someone else is footing the bill, you BET I’m going to buy the ones that are out of my price range normally…]I am including this shot for further proof that I really did use Eggland’s Best. [My mom used to say that the sign of a good artist was their ability to draw an egg. Does the same hold true for food photographers and pictures of eggs?]I am not going to say hat you can use any large egg you like, because that would be going against my sponsor. But I’ll let you interpret my pleading the fifth on that fact any way that you will…

Twenty or so minutes later (check after 15, and every 2-5 minutes after that) your eggs will be wrinkly and yummy and ready to be mushed all around in your delicious sweet nest of squash.Whether they are green or orange, the results always look surprisingly similar.
I will say that the first time I cooked these, I let the egg cook so it wasn’t as runny, and the effect was still very good.But having now eaten four of these squash halves (with eggs…and four without), I can honestly say that having the drippy, buttery mess of egg mixed into the syrupy, herbed squash is quite possibly one of my favorite textural and flavor combinations ever to come out of The Smart Kitchen
I also highly recommend dipping the skin into the yolk that ends up outside of the squash. Wowza!

“Nest Eggs”: Baked Eggs in Acorn Squash
(Serves 4)

2 acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
cooking spray
dried thyme leaves
2-4 teaspoons apricot preserves or orange marmalade
2-3 teaspoons maple syrup
4 Eggland’s Best eggs

1. Coat each acorn squash half with cooking spray; cook upside down in about an inch of water for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
2. Remove squash from oven and drain water.
3. Scoop the squash ‘pulp’ away from the skin. Add 1-2 teaspoons apricot preserves, a generous sprinkling of thyme, and 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup into the center of each squash half.
4. Stir squash well and create a ‘nest’ in the center.
5. Into each ‘nest,’ crack a whole egg.
6. Return pan to the oven and cook another 15-25 minutes, until eggs are set to your desired consistency.

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