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Fresh eggs, feathers and all.

We go through a lot of eggs in this household. Scrambled, fried, frittata’d, boiled, even microwaved, we eat it all. But one method of preparation I had never tried before was baking them. So when I came across this recipe in my trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, I decided to give it a try.

I love how this cookbook is the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve had it for years, but each time I go through it I notice a recipe that never caught my attention before. This was one of them. It had me at “basil.”

While the original recipe is intended for individual dishes, I’m operating with a limited availability of kitchen supplies. So all four servings went into a small casserole dish, and it turned out quite nicely. Though again, I tell you, eggs just do not photograph well.

Based on the outcome, I’ll definitely be baking eggs again. The preparation is simple, and the eggs can be cooked to order depending on how runny (or not) you prefer your yolk. Something to note is that the egg continues cooking after you remove it from the oven, which I learned as my yolks went from runny to cooked through as they sat on the counter. So next time, I’ll take them out on the earlier side.

I was worried that the “cream” portion of this recipe may be too heavy, but I was pleasantly surprised at how light and flavorful it was with only milk, flour, basil and some butter.

BAKED EGGS WITH BASIL CREAM SAUCE AND CHEESE

3 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

3 Tablespoons snipped fresh basil

1 cup milk

nonstick cooking spray

4 eggs

salt 

pepper

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)

additional snipped fresh basil

For basil sauce, in a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, the 1/4 tsp. of salt and the 1/8 tsp. of pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir one minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in the 3 Tablespoons of fresh basil.

Coat four 8- to 10-ounce round baking dishes or 6-ounce custard cups, OR one small casserole dish, with cooking spray. To assemble, spoon about 2 Tablespoons of basil sauce into each dish (or 8 T. into the one). Gently break an egg into the center of each dish; season with salt and pepper. Spoon remaining sauce over eggs. Bake in a 350° (F) oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand until cheese melts. Garnish with additional snipped basil. Makes 4 servings.