Find Something That Works: Part 1

I’ve embarked on a diet journey!  I finally got fed up and sick of not fitting into any of my jeans.  I’ve been trying to work on this off and on for a few months, but lately I’ve really started buckling down and getting my crap together.

The only problem with writing this blog….is that I don’t have any measurements or great comparison pics so we can track my progress!  Ughs I didn’t plan this out very well I guess.  Alright, so if we go back this summer to when I first started noticing my jeans didn’t fit, I posted these two pictures.  I couldn’t even take a picture in the jeans on the right when I started this a couple months ago because they wouldn’t even button!  I may or may not have also blown the butt out of them doing the “I can make these fit better if I do couple deep squats” maneuver that we all do when stuff starts to feel a little snug.  The blow out happened over the summer and I just sort of resigned myself to my one pair of “fat jeans” and leggings for the Fall.  Sometimes though, you just want to wear jeans.  Wanting to be able to wander into your closet and find clothes that fit you isn’t a big, out of the ordinary expectation.  So, I made a change.  I stitched up my blown out jeans at the beginning of the year and promised myself that they would fit….and be comfortable….again!

The biggest problem I have with dieting and researching dieting is that every website, instagram guru, and healthcare provider will tell you a different plan, method, or system that they claim is the absolute best for loosing weight or gaining muscle.  It all seems like a bit of a crap shoot, so I can’t say that I was necessarily 100% certain that my new plan was going to work.  But, it’s been a bit over a month or so that I’ve been really buckled down, and I can definitely tell a difference!  Fitting back into all my jeans is a big deal!  They all button, but some are still a bit snugger than I’d like.  I do feel like I’m really starting to figure out what works for my body so that’s a win I will take any day.

At it’s core…..weight gain or loss comes down to a simple calories in versus calories out equation.  It’s a teeter totter and it’s not hard to figure out that to loose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.  In an effort to diet, but make it more of a permenant lifestyle change, I discovered intermittent fasting.

When you get right down to it, everyone fasts.  Unless you sleep walk yourself to the fridge and eat, most people fast for at least 6-8 hours a day depending on how much you sleep.  Intermittent fasting just extends that fasting time out a bit longer.  There are a whole host of benefits to extended fasting including:

  • Regulation of hormone and insulin levels
  • Reduction of inflammation in the body
  • Cellular regeneration
  • Weight Loss

Longer fasting periods help you body and metabolism reset and function better.  Weight loss can be attributed to a restriction of calories…..less time in the day to eat means you’ll probably eat less…..AND the changes in your bodies insulin and hormone levels can help boost metabolic rate and make the processing of stored fat for fuel more accessible.  Yes you read that right…..intermittent fasting can help you loose weight by two different methods.

The double whammy of diets!!!

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I will say…..the first week sorta sucked butt and working out was rough.  I can’t say that I was always starving…..I really wasn’t….it just felt like I had no energy at all.  Changes and adjustments of this kind take the body a bit to get used to, and everything felt a bit sluggish for a couple days.  It’s easier for your body to use carbohydrates as energy, but carbohydrates aren’t what was being stored in my muffin top that was causing my jeans to squeeze the life out of me when I buttoned them!  Gotta loose those fat cells if my jeans were gonna fit again!  Speaking of loosing things….it’s pretty much also impossible to keep your boobs during the weight loss process.  Fat cells are fat cells and the body doesn’t care where they come from.

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Moment of silence for all the boobs lost on the journey to less muffin top……

Now that I’m a few weeks in, I will say that fasting is the easiest way to diet!  It’s basically just a routine, but it’s one that works well with my schedule.  I prefer to eat at night, so I fast my “extra” in the mornings.  I do technically “cheat” though.  I’m not one of those girls who can survive without coffee in the mornings, so I do still have my coffee every morning.  The second cheat is that I add my collagen peptides to my coffee.  I know that sounds like a ton of cheating first thing in the morning, but there’s a method to the naughtiness!!  I generally workout over my lunch break, and working out on a totally fasted system is an easy way to consume some muscle tissue.  So, the peptides just put a little fuel into my system, help boost my overall protein consumption for the day, and should help convince my metabolism to leave my muscles alone!  Also, it’s still not an easy to burn carbohydrate, so my body is still being forced to use harder to convert fat cell for fuel.

The plus of fasting during the morning is that it allows me to still eat a good sized lunch and a bigger dinner when I get home.  But….if that isn’t your thing, just change it up!  If you are a die hard breakfast eater, intermittent fasting can still work for you, you’ll just stop eating earlier in the evening.  Intermittent fasting is designed to be super flexible and adaptable, which is what makes it more of a lifestyle than a diet.  It doesn’t require you to cut out any foods or food groups which is what makes it so easy!  I have combined my intermittent fasting with a more ketogenic style of eating, but it isn’t at all required so don’t feel like you need to be doing anything fancy!  Maybe we will cover that next week, I don’t want to bore you with too much diet info!?!  I will say that even on reduced calories, I don’t feel like I’m dieting.  It isn’t hard and I don’t feel restricted at all.  Partly it’s because I still get a big dinner at home with The Engineer after work every night, which is important to me.  It feels the most normal of any diet I’ve ever tried, and I can really see myself sticking to this style of eating for the long haul.

One thing that has helped make the fasting easier is an app called Zero.  Basically it’s a gloried timer, but it does come with some extra science and information about the benefits of fasting if that’s something you’re interesting in.  I do a 16 hour fast everyday.  I start my timer every night around 8…..again it’s flexible so if I’m done eating at 7:30 one night and end up having a late dinner at 9:20 the next night that’s totally ok!  Did I break my 8pm rule Friday night to drink at a concert with The Engineer?  Yup!  Did it totally derail my progress and ruin my fasting?  Nope, not even a little bit.  Just started my timer at 11:21 pm after I finished my PBR!

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Just start the app when you’re done and go from there.  The goal of 8pm just works well for me and my schedule because then I’m done fasting when I get back to work after my workout at lunch time.  Like I said, it’s basically a glorified timer, but it’s just one less thing to think about during your day, so I like it.  It also tracks your total fasting time and calculates an average daily fasting time.  I guess it’s a bit fun to know that since February 8th I’ve fasted for a total of 112 hours and 7 minutes!  It sounds impressive and hard, but I promise once you get through the first week hump it’s a super easy routine!!

 

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I Didn’t Forget About You, I’m Just Boring

I know I didn’t get a blog posted last weekend.  It’s not that I forgot, I just haven’t been up to anything very exciting so I honestly didn’t know what to write about!  We spent the last weekend of January being lazy at home.  I think every weekend of February has something going on for us, so The Engineer and I just vegged out and bummed around.  I did give the house a good scrubbing, and worked on a couple little projects, but by and large I didn’t do much.  See….I told you….not very exciting

I have a couple little craft and house projects that I’m working on, but I though that instead of giving you little mini blogs about a dozen things I would just wait and do one larger post.  Much like what my Grandma used to say about hair when my sister and I were babies…..”Ya gotta wait for the good stuff!”  Likewise, I have a couple new recipes I busted out this week, but wanted to try them out before I shared them.  More waiting for you I guess! 😛

 

We did have a doggy related incident last week, I guess I could tell you about that.  My poor puppachino sliced her paw open!  Turns out that the metal frame of my couch is broken, and my little’s paw found the hole and the nasty metal.  She ended up with a pretty deep slice between her large foot pad and her ankle.  Think like right where our wrist crease is on your hand….owwies!  We spent most of Tuesday night trying to get the bleeding to stop, but she was such a brave girl about it.  It’s just in a not great spot.  We’d get the bleeding to stop and she’d get up and take a step and poof….more blood.  Pro tip…if you need to get blood out of something you can’t wash…aka my area rug…..warm salt water will do the trick every time!  It’s super science-y, but the salt basically explodes the blood cells and therefore the stain comes right out!

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The pink “Stocking of Doom”…..she wasn’t at all a fan.

She spent most of Wednesday with a sock on just to keep her from licking at it all day long.  She’s been good about leaving it alone mostly, but it isn’t healing up very nicely.  It’s right where her foot bends and moves when she walks, so it’s broken open a couple times.  She doesn’t seem very bothered by it, and runs and bounces around like nothing is wrong.  She’s pretty hesitant to let us look at it, it’s hard to get a view at and we usually have to move some fur and sorta really get in there……but we’ve been checking it every night.  I’ve made the executive decision that if it doesn’t seem like it’s healing up by next week I’m going to take her into the vet.  I’m not sure there’s a ton that can be done, based on it’s placement, but for me it’s worth taking her in and just making sure that things will be alright with it.  I’ll keep you updated on that, but hopefully it just heals up on its own.

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Reward for leaving the Stocking of Doom alone all day….cuddles and a couple pieces of Boom Chicka Pop!!

Tag Soup the Delicious Way……Vegetarian Blizzard Prepping

We’ve basically been sitting around all day waiting for the forecasted blizzard to start.  It was supposed to start early this afternoon and blanket us in snow until sometime tomorrow.  It’s now evening and the snow has yet to start.  Each hour that passes without snow drops my chance of getting an elusive adult snow day tomorrow!!  If you get me all hyped up for 10 inches of snow…..you really need to deliver the 10 inches of snow!

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I was digging back through my posted recipes hoping that I could just repost a link to tonight’s dinner, but I was shocked to discover I’ve never shared the recipe.  The Engineer loves soup, and nothing sounds better when the weather is due to turn crappy than a large pot of soup simmering away on the stove!  My minestrone recipe is fast, easy, and a perfect way to use up any random veggie odds and ends you might have laying around.  Honestly, anything goes so just load it up with whatever you have laying around in the crisper drawer!  I’ll list what I generally toss in, but the amounts vary by how much soup you want to make, how thick and chunky you want it, and how much of everything you have.  I like mine extra thick and loaded up….extra hardy and filling for those cold nights.

It’s extra perfect for us as January draws to a close.  I never had a chance to get back out in the field to fill my fall turkey tag.  Mostly it was a function of the weather swinging from unseasonably warm to mind numbingly cold.  Plus, the added research and learning that nearly impossible to get fall turkeys to come into calls…..they just aren’t that interesting.  I’m not giving up hope on my #operationthunderchicken, just taking a break to hit the range, train, and refocus before the spring season starts.  The whole state is open, and the tags aren’t issued by county which means I’ll be able to go hunting pretty much anywhere we can get permissions or find public land.  Those odds seem much better….and warmer!

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If you don’t fill your tags…..you can always at least make soup!

Minestrone

  • Onion — 1.5 onions, rough chopped
  • Baby Carrots — about 4 Cups, diced
  • Celery — 5 stalks, chopped
  • Garlic — 2-4 cloves, minced
  • Zucchini — 2 medium zucchinis, diced

Sauté with salt and pepper in a few good drizzles of olive oil until the onions start to soften and go translucent.

Add to the veggies…..

  • Red Wine —  anything you’d drink. Part of an old bottle you have open will work just fine, 1-2 Cups
  • Diced Tomatoes — 28oz can
  • Water — fill your tomato can up twice
  • Bouillon Base — I use “Better than Boullion”…..3 heaping tablespoons
  • Spaghetti Sauce — 40oz….doesn’t need to be exact.  That’s the size jar I can get at Costco, but just use your favorite kind.
  • Spices — Thyme, Oregano, and Basil….about a tablespoon each.  Two Bay Leaves and a small dash of Cayenne Pepper.

Let simmer until the carrots and celery are tender and cooked through.  If you’d rather not use jarred sauce feel free to use just tomatoes, you’ll just need to add more spices and cook it longer to get that home-y, slow cooked sorta taste.  Part of what makes this a fast minestrone is my little jarred sauce cheat step!  Also, if you have any stock laying around….chicken, veggie, or beef…..feel free to add that instead of the water and bullion.  Don’t be nervous if it seems too “soupy” at this stage.  It’s going to simmer for awhile and the next step will soak up some of the extra liquid.

10 minutes before serving time…..

  • Kidney Beans — 2 cans
  • Noodes —  Again, just use what you have laying around.  We had half a pound of rotini so that’s what I used tonight.  I’ve used elbows, small shells….honestly just toss in a couple handfuls of whatever you have

Serve….

  • Spinkle a little parmesan cheese on top
  • Bread for soaking up all the spicy, delicious broth

It’s vegetarian and would be easy to make vegan.  I love it because it’s veggies so you can pound down a couple bowls and not feel guilty at the end of dinner.  The Engineer loves it because it’s soup, and soup is always his jam, and because I let him pass off some of his zucchini chunks to me.  We are about as far from being vegetarian as your can get, but meat isn’t something you miss with this meal. A bowl of this, some warm, fresh baked bread, and some good red wine makes for a homey meal that will please even the most carnivorous of palates.

 

Winter Clean Up

It’s been a productive weekend here at Casa (Mis)Happenings!  We cleaned, we lounged, we played my new lego movie video game, we went to Costco…..typical weekend around here really!  Just so everyone knows…..I suck at video games, but I totally beat The Engineer at my new lego game!!  Don’t tell him I told you that though…. 🙂

It’s the end of an era as I parted ways with my faux leather, gold couch that Momma and Dad painted for first college apartment.  I bought it for $10 off a sidewalk sale, and they proceeded to put probably $50 worth of primer, paint, and metallic gold glaze on it!  We’ve had a good run, but there just wasn’t really room in the house for two couches.  Tomorrow after work it will be off to it’s new home and 3 new doggie loungers!  Hopefully it will keep the 3 doggies and their Momma as comfy as it kept me for several years!

Side note……apparently gold couches are a popular item on the Facebook Marketplace.  I had a ton of interested buyers….way more than I expected honestly.

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Gold, squishy, and puppy cuddle approved!

In order to sell the couch…I had to post pictures.  To get pictures….I had to clean 3 years worth of assorted stuff off of it.  It was occupying a prime spot upstairs in the loft, so it had become a storage bench of plenty of junk.  The biggest item was the curtains that I removed from the master bedroom when I repainted.  They had just been draped over the back of my poor couch for years.  So to start off the weekend, the couch got cleaned, and the curtains were hung in the spare bedroom upstairs!

They aren’t the best, but they aren’t the worst and fit nicely with the grey/blue theme I want to eventually do in the guest room.  I have really grand plans, but one thing at a time I suppose!

To cap off the weekend we cleaned the garage, moved the couch into the cleaned out section of the garage….couches and stairs….ughs…..and I started some new chalk painting projects!  I’ll be sure to share pictures when they are done.  It’s a bit cold out in the garage this time of year so I didn’t get past the initial painting phase.  They always look weird to me when they are just flat paint.  Needs some distressing and some waxing and they will be good to go!  Now it’s time for some homemade nachos, and Mexican mule, and a movie with The Engineer and Scout-a-Roo!

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My New Fluffy

She is glorious, thick, and warm….and I took her out and about with me twice this week!  She also sheds….a ton….but that comes with the fluffy territory I suppose.  If you think I’m talking about a new puppy, sadly your wrong.  I can understand your confusion on the issue, and honestly if you follow the #adoptdontshop mantra…….you can probably get a new puppy companion for less money than I spent on my glorious new fluff!!  I would love a puppy…..but that’s something for another time!

I promised last post that once I got my new scarf completed I’d write an update post.  Well…..she’s all done, and was surprisingly easy!  I say easy like I didn’t get two dozen rows in and decide to rip it all out and start over…..minor technicality.

I can’t take credit for the pattern, all of that goes to the wonderful Knit Collage and their glorious, chunky yarns!  If you love to knit, what to learn how to knit, or want someone you know to knit you something amazing……Knit Collage is the place to go.  Cheap and easy to follow patterns paired with interesting hand spun yarns you won’t find anywhere else.  If you can’t get inspired by clicking through their website there is not a ton of hope for you.  Their yarn skeins are more expensive than what you can get at a big box store, but they are all hand made by a handful of women in India.  This creates small batches of each yarn and also means that every skein will be slightly different.  They are random in the best way possible…..lumpy, shimmery, wooly…….perfection!

First things first….you’ll need to pick your pattern!  I went with the Wildcat Fringe Scarf because it was something unlike other scarves I have hanging in my closet.   Might as well go big and step outside your comfort zone right?!  The link and picture for the scarf are below if you’re wanting to whip up your very own fringed beauty!  If fringe isn’t your cup of tea, pick out your favorite sweater, scarf, or hat and get to knitting!

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Photo and pattern by Knit Collage : https://knitcollage.com/collections/cowls-scarves/products/wild-cat-fringe-scarf-pattern

The pattern calls for 2 skeins of their shimmery Pixie Dust yarn, and one skein of Spun Cloud yarn.  There are several different color options in both yarn types, so you’ll need to start the creative juices going before you even cast on your first stitch.  I wanted my Spun Cloud skein in a grey…..specifically a light grey.  I wanted to do this project and I wanted to do it now, however the light grey was out of stock…..so I improvised!  A quick swap of a skein of Sister yarn for the Spun Cloud and I was back in business.

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Pixie Dust in the color Midnight and Sister in Soft Grey Heather

Sister yarn isn’t quite as thick as Spun Cloud which probably accounts for the reason I needed to rip everything out and start over.  I wasn’t getting nearly the length recommended in the pattern.  I’ve always been and probably always will be a very tight knitter.  Apparently I take a lot of tension out on my knitting projects.  Anyway, the scarf has recommend lengths that should be achieved at various stages of the project.  I won’t give them here as it isn’t my pattern to share.  However I will tell you that a good mantra to recite as you knit is…….just let it be loose!  I don’t think you could possibly knit this too loose, but too tight is for sure a thing and you’ll just end up with a mess.  Too tight is a bummer because you’ve spent good money on this yarn for its hand spun textures and variation, but if the stitches are too tight and small you won’t be able to see and appreciate it.

My finished scarf ended up a bit shorter than the pattern lists.  It’s still plenty long, plus I had plenty of both skeins of yarn left to make the fringe.  You’ll have enough to fringe even if you knit the full length, but you’ll end up with only a handful of fringes in Pixie Dust.  I’m moderately obsessed with it’s texture and lumpiness though so I happily sacrificed some total inches for the chance to show it off on the fringe.  Plus since I know I knit tight, sometimes guesstimating length versus yarn remaining gets tricky….I always vote better safe than sorry!  I used both skeins of Pixie Dust completely up and I have some Sister yarn left over to maybe make a pom pom or something in the future.

Overall, it was a quick and fun project.  It only took maybe 8 hours?!  It’s hard to say what with the starting over, the drinking, and Netflixing that was also occurring while I worked.  It was New Year’s Eve weekend….it was really too cold to do anything other than drink spiked hot chocolate and lounge around with a pile of thick wool yarn in your lap!

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In case you’re worried I just boozed away my whole weekend, I did not.  The Engineer and I got fancy, bundled up against the cold, and went out for a nice dinner and some fancy drinks.  We then proceeded to come home to set alarms and nap before midnight.  I think that’s adulting right?!  Can’t pop corks at midnight if you aren’t awake….so just set alarms for 11:45 and power nap your way into the New Year!  I’m not sure what 2018 has in store for me, but I promise I will bring you all along for the ride!

The “Let’s Take a Nice Picture” process…..

 

 

Christmas Break Activities

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  I’ve obviously been slacking a little bit this week on getting a blog posted, but better late than never I suppose.  The Engineer and I travelled all around and had several different Christmas dinners and festivities with our families.  I’m thankful that we had good weather all weekend, but I’m also glad that we finally got a nice snow right before Christmas.  It wasn’t feeling very festive looking out the window at mostly dead grass….

It was my intention last week to write a last update about my holiday prepping, but I didn’t quite get it done.  I did quick whip up something fun and tasty last Friday morning though….MARSHMALLOWS!  I didn’t even get a picture taken of my project, and I intended to get one when I got home from our Christmas’s travels, but the marshmallows didn’t manage to make the trip back home from Nebraska!  I’ve never made a candy for Christmas, but this was actually easy to accomplish.  The worst part is that it’s a bit of a sugary mess, but yea know…..that’s what makes them delicious!  Thanks Alton Brown for the recipe inspiration!  Good science will never fail you in the kitchen!!  I just made plain, vanilla flavored shmallows, but based on your projected used feel free to jazz them up with other flavors.  I really don’t think you can go wrong with these at all….I’ll link the recipe below!

(Side note—-I just used my meat thermometer to cook the sugar and it worked fine, but PLEASE make sure your meat thermometer is capable of going to 240 Fahrenheit!!)

While I was busy working on Christmas craft projects for gifts it occurred to me that I haven’t crafted anything fun for myself in quite awhile.  That’s this week’s plan of attack. The Engineer and I both took the whole week between the holidays off so we’ve been lounging, running errands, and doing some odds and ends that we just never seem to have time to get done….including my crafts!

First up on the crafts to do list this week is a snuggle mat for my Scout-a-Roo girl!  If you don’t know what a snuffle mat is, it’s basically a strategic tangle of fleece that is excellent for hiding treats.  To assemble a snuffle mat for the treat hunter in your life you need 4 supplies.

  • Rubber sink mat with grid holes
  • About 2 yards of fleece…..doesn’t need to be exact or pretty….get the cheap stuff
  • Scissors
  • TIME

You’ll cut the fleece into strips and then loop them through the grid…..that’s really all there is to it!  Based on the current progress I’ve made, I project using about half of the sink mat.  I left my fleece folded, just like it comes off the fabric bolt, and cut approximately 1 inch strips from the fold end through both layers.  I then cut each folded strip into 4 equal-ish length pieces.  Precision isn’t a required trait for this. Fill the grid horizontally and then go back through and fill in the grid vertically.  This will create a nice little puff mat for your pup-a-roo to dig and snort around in after crunches or other small snackies.  The Engineer and I are curled up on the couch watching hunting videos….and I’m slowly working my way through my massive pile of fleece strips!!

My “Just for Me” craft this week is going to be a new scarf!  I found a pattern on Knit Collage, ordered myself some expensive, fun yarns, and I’m getting ready to whip myself up something cozy to start the New Year!  I’ll update you on that next week once I get it done, but I’m pretty excited about it honestly.  With the recent temperature dip into the negatives around here, you simply can not go wrong with a new fluffy scarf!

 

Stags and Scotch

What do you get when you mix a lazy Saturday morning, venison sausage, a hungry me, and my over ambitious ideas?!?!?!!  

Scotch Eggs!!

I had never attempted a scotch egg before, but I have pounds and pounds of breakfast sausage from The Engineer’s deer and eggs are a constant staple in the fridge.  It seemed like a perfectly reasonable breakfast idea!  So, Friday night I googled a quick explanation from Gordon Ramsey and decided that fancy British breakfast was just the thing we needed Saturday morning.  This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when I watch cooking shows.  If Gordon can do it….I obviously can do it!  If I can’t do it as well as Gordon, I can certainly do it better than his stupid contestants on Hell’s Kitchen….but that is a different matter entirely.

If you wanna take a stab at making your own scotch eggs, here’s what I used to make my jazzed up, cheesy version.  They turned out crispy and delicious, although they are a bit of work, so they aren’t going to become an every weekend activity anytime soon even though The Engineer really liked them…

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Ingredients

  • 5 eggs plus one for an egg wash
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage of your choice
  • Flour for dredging
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese
  • Any spices you like….get creative!!!
  • Olive oil for frying

First things first, you must boil the eggs.  Gordon recommend a 4 minute and 30 second dip into already boiling water.  I don’t love super runny eggs, so I opted for an almost 6 minute boil.  Apparently British eggs cook faster?!  My 6 minute eggs were still runnier than I would have liked, and it made them a bit hard to peel and wrap in sausage without breaking open and oozing yoke.  The Engineer likes runny eggs, and I don’t horribly mind them as long as I have plenty of stuff to wipe them up with so we made do.  Next time though….I’ll let them go a couple minutes more.  I was worried that cooking the sausage would cook the egg inside more, but I don’t think that is the case.  Be sure you just cook your eggs to as hard or soft of a boil as you’d like.

While your eggs are boiling it’s time to get creative with your meat!  Our sausage blend is a bit under-spiced so it takes some jazzing up.  If you have a better blend or are just feeling lazy feel free to leave your sausage as it comes.  There aren’t a lot of rules, so add what you’re feeling!  Gordon apparently adds blood sausage and shredded apple to his pork sausage base.  I added cheese!!  The Engineer loves cheese with his eggs and I figured this would be an easy place to add it……plus the following pyramid of spices

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1 Tablespoon each of Garlic and Onion Powder

2 Tablespoons each of fresh, frozen Thyme and Oregano from my garden

Get everything in your sausage all mixed up, and be sure to get your breading stations set up.  I added some salt and pepper to the flour mixture and a splash of water to the egg so it whipped up nicely.

Once your eggs are cooked, cool them down with some cold water and commence the peeling.  I find that peeling the eggs under a little running water really helps the shells come off easier.  I had one egg not survive the peeling intact, so I did end up just frying some of the sausage as patties…..but that’s our little secret so don’t tell anyone!  The recipe would have made 5 scotch eggs otherwise!

To prep your eggs, squash a “large golfball sized handful” of meat into a very thin patty.  I get that that isn’t a super exact amount….but I guess you’re looking for 5 even sized balls.  Try and keep it as round and thin as you can.  Carefully place your peeled egg in the middle and warp the sausage around it.  A couple times I had to grab a bit more meat mixture to bridge any holes, just make sure to get everything covered in the sausage layer.  I found the rolling and forming them in my hands the way you’d make a snowball was the most effective, although don’t squeeze too hard because if you break your eggs, and you like them a little runny, you’ll end up with exploding yoke everywhere.  Not only will this mean that someone will get a mystery scotch egg with no yolk, but it’s also hard to get everything stuck together with all the yolk oozing around!

Gently roll your delicious meat ball in the seasoned flour….transfer to the egg wash….and then finally roll in breadcrumbs.  If you’re ball has gotten a bit amorphous or wonky by this point don’t worry…..just pick it up carefully and reform it in your hands.  According to Gordon it is helpful to press in the breadcrumbs anyway so don’t worry too much about it.  It’ll be a bit messy….but the good things in life are usually messy anyway.

Scotch eggs are traditionally deep fried, but I don’t have a fryer and I didn’t feel like using that much oil just to fry up 4 egg balls in a large skillet.  So….I broke with tradition slightly and just added a generous drizzle of olive oil to my largest, deepest skillet and let it get hot.  Once hot, carefully place in the scotch eggs and cook until brown and crispy!!!  They get oh so deliciously crispy…..must be the cheese at work!  Once they are cooked on one side, grab carefully with tongs and flip over.  Once the top and bottom were golden and delicious, I set them on their sides and slowly worked them around until they were perfectly cooked little brown orbs of goodness.  You might think that a hefty drizzle in the bottom of the pan won’t be enough oil, but remember that sausage will loose grease as it cooks….use that to your advantage!  The cheese and the fact that you aren’t actually deep frying them does cause them to stick to the pan a tiny bit, so just be gentle when you’re working with them.

Serve piping hot with your choice of breakfast sides and of course some coffee…..mimosas if you have them!  If you like your eggs runny you’ll probably want some toast to help soak up all the deliciousness.  They are a bit heavy….in a good “old school, stick to your ribs, keep you full for a long time” sorta way…so I’d steer clear of anything like pancakes or hash browns.  I eat a ton, but even I think that’s too much to take on.  Some fruit, maybe some tea, and pleasant thoughts of the English countryside should be more than enough to start your day off on the proper foot!

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Glorious lil scotch eggs and some apple butter toast!