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The Colorado Egg Producers Association Offers Egg-cellent Recipies for Holiday Guests

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It is the official kick off of the holiday baking season. With holiday guests in town throughout the season it is the perfect time to pull out all the stops and wow them with egg-cellent and hearty breakfasts as well as delightful baked goods. Be prepared and stock up on eggs – as an extremely versatile food eggs can be eaten alone, used to create magnificent meals and in holiday baking recipes.

“The holiday season now actually rivals Easter in terms of egg sales because people are baking more as well as cooking for holiday guests,” said Jerry Wilkins of the Colorado Egg Producers Association. “It is also the season of giving. As local farmers, we are dedicated to helping those in need, especially our neighbors who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Eggs – which are a powerhouse of nutrition – are often overlooked. Not only are eggs a great source of nutrition, but they also work well for families on any size budget.”

The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association, a membership organization representing seven farms throughout Colorado, is committed to doing what’s right for our community. During the last year, Colorado egg farmers have donated more than 1 million eggs to local charities, including food banks and homeless shelters, to help feed those in need.

This holiday season, Colorado egg farmers have come together to donate more than 10,000 eggs to Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver. The CEP donation will help to provide more than 5,000 meals to those in need. In September, CEP wrapped up a three-month social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter in which they donated one egg for every “like” and “follow” to Food Bank of the Rockies. This campaign added nearly 2,000 eggs to CEP’s regular holiday donation.

This fall, CEP is also rewarding kids who egg-cell. Colorado elementary school students can enter to win an omelet breakfast for their school cooked and served by Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, John Salazar; representatives of Food Bank of the Rockies and Colorado egg farmers. For every student who enters, CEP will donate one egg to Food Bank of the Rockies to help feed those in need in time for Easter celebrations. Find out more at coloradoeggproducers.com.

For many people, cooking baking during the holiday season is their way of giving back and it is about more than just the food. It is about creating something from scratch, with love, to tell those around you how much you care about them.

Here are a few four-star recipes courtesy of the American Egg Board that are sure to delight your friends and family this season.

Mini Cheddar Quiche Bites
What you need
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
Custard:
• 4 eggs
• 1/3 cup half-and-half
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. pepper
• 1 – 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (5 oz.)

Directions
1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Generously SPRAY 24 mini-muffin cups with cooking spray. Pat 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crumbs in the bottom of each muffin cup. Tap muffin pan to lightly coat sides of each muffin cup.
2. BEAT eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper in medium bowl until blended. ADD cheese; mix well. SPOON evenly into mini-muffin cups, about 1 tablespoon each.
3. BAKE in 350°F oven until just set, 12 to 15 minutes. COOL on rack 5 minutes. LOOSEN quiches from sides of muffin cups with a thin knife. REMOVE from cups; serve warm.

Tips
• Leftovers are good cold or reheated briefly in the oven or microwave. Great for snacking or a quick breakfast on the run.
• For added flavor, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon, sausage or chopped ham with cheese.

Hot Chocolate Soufflé
What you need
• 1/2 cup sugar, DIVIDED
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 4 EGG WHITES, room temperature
• 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
• 4 EGG YOLKS

Directions
1. HEAT oven to 350°F. MIX 1/4 cup sugar, the cocoa powder, flour and salt in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in milk until smooth. COOK over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. STIR IN vanilla. Remove from heat.
2. BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, ADD remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved. (Rub a bit of mixture between thumb and forefinger; it should feel completely smooth.) Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in Soft Peaks.
3. STIR egg yolks into reserved sauce until blended. Gently but thoroughly FOLD yolk mixture into whites until no streaks of white remain. Carefully POUR into ungreased 1-1/2 to 2-qt. soufflé dish. For a "top hat", hold metal spatula upright and make a ring in top of the soufflé mixture, 1 inch from side of dish and 1 inch deep, if desired.
4. BAKE in 350°F oven until soufflé is puffy, delicately browned and shakes slightly when oven rack is moved gently back and forth, 30 to 40 minutes. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Tips
• Dust soufflé with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.
• Follow the age-old rule – the soufflé doesn't wait for the guests, the guests wait for the soufflé. Be ready to whisk the soufflé to the table as soon as it's out of the oven.
• Serve by gently breaking the top crust into portions with two forks held back-to-back. Then lightly spoon soufflé onto plates, including some center and some crust in each serving.

About Colorado Egg Producers Association
CEP is a membership organization representing seven farms throughout Colorado. Egg farmers throughout Colorado pride themselves on providing eggs to Coloradans. We are also proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced, brown and white eggs. You can find locally produced, fresh, wholesome and safe eggs in the dairy case of your favorite Colorado supermarkets. To see video of how chickens are raised in both cage and cage-free environments or to find a list of where to buy Colorado eggs visit coloradoeggproducers.com. Find CEP on Facebook at facebook.com/COEggProducers.

CEP Member Area