Basic ingredients come together in minutes for these filling egg muffins that can be customized to taste. Economical, healthy, and delicious!
Four fabulous siblings joined me in the kitchen for this latest installment of Fountain Avenue Kids. But this story involves so much more than their family favorite recipe, and I hope you will read on.
The first time I cooked with Maya, Gabi, Jalen, and Sophia Coon, I was taken by the playful, loving interactions among the four siblings. Their positive energy was contagious, and their beaming smiles were quite possibly the most radiant of anyone I knew. Whenever I think of them, I think of those smiles.
So when Maya, the eldest at 14 (Gabi is 12 and twins Sophia and Jalen are 11), casually mentioned as she was making a mug muffin that her hair was short because she had lost it in her recent battle with cancer, I felt so many emotions. Cancer is a lot for anyone to take on, and an especially heavy weight for a teenager.
Maya was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in April 2021. She was treated with multiple rounds of chemotherapy by an incredible team at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, DE, and released in October, cancer-free.
So, it was sobering news last month when, just as Maya was beginning her freshman year in high school, she learned that the cancer had returned.
She is again being treated with chemotherapy at Nemours, and like many patients with a recurring case of AML, Maya will need either a stem cell or bone marrow transplant as part of her treatment.
Her team has found possible leads through Be the Match, yet there are far fewer donors than patients in need. This is especially true for Black donors. Matches are based on DNA, and to best serve our diverse population, an equally diverse list of donors is needed.
I mentioned the beaming smiles, right? When I look at this recent shot of Maya at Nemours, I am inspired by her strength and enduring positivity. For those who may be interested, our local newspaper, LNP, detailed Maya’s experience up until her recent diagnosis. That article can be read HERE.
During the many months Maya spent in the hospital as she fought cancer the first time, and her parents made the long drive to Delaware from their home in Pennsylvania, Gabi, Sophia, and Jalen took on added responsibilities at home. A big part of this meant taking an active role in meal preparation.
One of the Coon kids’ favorite breakfasts is the following recipe for egg muffins. The quick and easy muffins are endlessly customizable, flavorful, and filling.
Perfect for busy school and work mornings, the protein-rich muffins are equally convenient for a grab-and-go snack before and after sports practices and other activities.
Of course, seldom do all family members agree on food choices–especially in a family with four kids. That would be too easy, right?
Problem solved, because this recipe allows everyone to pick and choose ingredients they like, without requiring multiple bowls and batches. The Coon kids each take a row and add the fillings they enjoy.
Maya likes red bell pepper, Gabi likes scallions, Jalen likes broccoli, and Sophia likes to stick with the base of ham and cheese, adding a little extra cheese. They don’t always choose the same cheese either.
Mom, Lynette, sometimes likes to use bacon or sausage instead of ham–although as a working parent of four, she will tell you the no-cook aspect of the ham provides welcome convenience.
Where the kids are concerned, the ability to tailor to preference makes the teamwork fun, and the payoff is delicious.
The prep is quick and easy, and it can be a fun kitchen project too!
Ham provides flavor and convenience, since no pre-cooking is needed, but cooked and crumbled bacon or sausage may be used instead.
Spray the muffin cups very well with nonstick spray – or line with parchment liners for easiest cleanup. If using paper liners, spray them, as eggs have a way of sticking. Optionally, a silicone muffin pan offers the same level of nonstick convenience as the parchment liners.
The muffins puff up when baking and then settle down as they cool.
The beauty of these egg muffins is that everyone can enjoy them exactly how they please. The muffins in each row of this pan are tailored to the kids who made them.
Tips for the best Scrambled Egg Muffins:
Eggs tend to stick, so a liberal coating of non-stick spray like Pam baking spray (olive oil sprays don’t often work as well) is helpful. Even better, use parchment liners like these or a silicone muffin pan. The eggs will not stick to either of these. They do tend to stick to paper liners.
For light and fluffy egg muffins, avoid over-beating the eggs. Whisk just long enough to fully incorporate the yolks with the whites and the milk.
Whole milk will create the best texture in the egg muffins, although 2% will work well and nonfat may be used in a pinch.
For even cooking and best texture, chop the vegetables into small, evenly sized pieces.
Fill the muffin cups no more than ⅔ of the way full. Otherwise, they may overflow while baking.
Allow the cooked egg muffins to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan.
Jalen visiting Maya. Clearly Maya is an amazing big sister!
Maya with her mom, Lynnette, getting some fresh air.
Same muffins, different day: Gabi, Sophia, Maya, and Jalen cooking with me last summer.
If you make these muffins, we’d love for you to comment and share photos on Instagram or Facebook. If you tag me, I will make sure Maya and family see them.
And please consider becoming a potential donor for patients like Maya who have been diagnosed with AML or similar cancers. For patients with blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and other life-threatening diseases, a cure does exist. More information can be found at Be the Match, a community of donors, volunteers, health care professionals, and researchers who deliver cures by helping patients get the life-saving marrow transplant they need.
Scrambled Egg Muffins
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Yield:12 egg muffins
Basic ingredients come together in minutes for these filling egg muffins that can be customized to taste!
1 cup (~5 ounces) roughly chopped deli ham (I like to order it chipped or thinly sliced; may substitute cooked and crumbled sausage or bacon; you want a lightly rounded tablespoon per muffin)
¾ cup (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (or mozzarella, Italian or Mexican blend, or a combination of two; ~1 tablespoon per muffin)
Vegetables of choice (a tablespoon or two per muffin) like bell pepper, scallions, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and roughly chopped spinach***
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin very well with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment liners. A silicone muffin pan also works well if you have one. The eggs will stick to plain paper liners. Set the tin aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. (See recipe notes for optional seasoning additions.)
Divide the ham evenly among the muffin cups, and then top with vegetable(s) of choice. Pour the eggs evenly into the cups. (Helpful hints: Add less than you think you should at first, and then go back and even out. When finished pouring, the cups shouldn’t be more than ⅔ of the way full. They will puff up when cooked and can overflow if filled beyond this point.)
Lightly sprinkle each muffin with salt and pepper, and then top each muffin with a tablespoon of the shredded cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. Let cool for a few minutes, and then remove the egg muffins from the pan and enjoy immediately, or cool on a wire rack and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
*You may start with 8 eggs, and then if you don’t have enough to fill the cups two-thirds of the way, whisk an additional egg or two as needed. You could add two teaspoons of milk to each additional egg, but it’s also okay to skip it at this point. Precise number of eggs depends on use of mix-ins and variance in egg size.
**Whole and 2% milk make the egg muffins fluffier and creamier, but I’ve made them with nonfat milk, and that works in a pinch.
***Vegetables like mushrooms, onions, and zucchini may be used but are best cooked first. Tomatoes and broccoli may be used uncooked. Just make sure to chop the broccoli finely so it fully cooks, and omit the juices and seeds that are released from the tomatoes when chopped.
Optional additions: You could add any of the following to the whisked eggs: 1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce, ½ teaspoon garlic or onion powder, ½ teaspoon dried mustard, ½ teaspoon dried Italian herbs or 2 tablespoons of minced fresh herbs like chives, basil, and parsley.
Storage: The cooled muffins may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They may also be frozen for up to one month.
Reheating: Gently reheat refrigerated muffins (or frozen and thawed muffins) in the microwave until warmed through to the center, about 30 seconds. If reheating from frozen, the muffins will take about 1 minute, depending upon your microwave. For best texture, take care not to overheat.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
It takes a village as they say. Special thanks to Genevieve, who originally introduced me to these incredible kids. She has a special history with my family and the Coon family. I’ve told her that if there was a Team Fulton, she’d be a star player, and I know the Coon family would say the same!