“Cooler weather means the chickens have eggs!!” 

I am always searching and reaching out to find local pasture-raised hen eggs. The bonus is when I find a farm that raises the hens on a healthy organic pasture. Now that the weather has cooled off a bit, our Kingwood Farmers Market once again has a few vendors with plenty of fresh eggs. Arrive as soon as the market opens as the eggs really do sell out fast! I always try to get two dozen eggs as my husband and I both love to snack on hard-cooked eggs.  Before I headed out of town, I really wasn’t thinking … I bought two dozen eggs. A few days later, my frantic husband called me from Kingwood saying, “Help – what do I do with all these eggs?” I then had to walk him through the direction of how to make hard-cooked eggs. Needless to say, Phil’s cooked eggs came out perfect! I decided to share my tried and true recipe along with one or two more for you to try. So “Please Join My Table” as I show you a few of my favorites!

Easy Hard Cooked Eggs

6-8 eggs (enough to cover the bottom of a saucepan in a single layer)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with 2 inches of cold water. Add the salt and vinegar (this helps prevent cracking and makes the eggs easier to peel). Place the pot on the stove and set on high heat and bring the water to a full boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat cover it with a lid and let sit for 14 minutes. The eggs should be done perfectly! Carefully rinse in cold water and peel!  
Note: Did you know that older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs? If you want eggs that are easy to peel, buy your eggs at least a week in advance. If you've hard cooked your eggs and now they are hard to peel, crack the shells all around without peeling them and soak the eggs in water for 5-10 minutes. The water seems to seep under the shell and makes it easier to peel the eggs.

Easy Hashed Brown Egg Baskets
(Recipe adapted from a recipe provided by online reader Darla Poole Tolliver)

1-20 ounce bag refrigerated shredded hash browns (if frozen, defrost and drain well)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup grated pepper jack 
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 large eggs
3 tablespoon of half and half
1/8 teaspoon  kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (or filling of your choice)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1 packed cup fresh baby spinach, chopped 

DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined. 
Measure 1/3 cup of the hashed brown mixture into each muffin tin. Press the hashed browns down into the tin and up the sides to create a nest. Also, let it come up over the top a bit (they will shrink some once baked). Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. While nests are baking, make the filling. In an 8-cup, glass mixing bowl with spout, scramble the eggs with the cream and salt and pepper. Remove the nests from the oven and carefully pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full.
Sprinkle on a handful of sausage, then spinach, and then top with the cheese. Bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the egg mixture is set.
Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes, then carefully remove them from the muffin tins and serve. 

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