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Egg-ucational programs

Jennifer Loudermilk teaches students about the nutritional values of eggs

April 6, 2018
By KRISTIN DANLEY-GREINER - Farm News staff writer ( , Farm News


Eggs aren't just for breakfast and Jennifer Loudermilk will testify to that. Growing up on a farm, Loudermilk learned to cook from her mom and bake from her dad. Even her grandmother made "the best macaroons around."

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Easy skillet breakfast pizza is one example of the versatility of using eggs.

Loudermilk's mom began working off-farm when she was in upper elementary, so the responsibility of fixing dinner fell on Loudermilk. She also prepared meals for the farm workers during planting, harvest and hay baling. Many of her dishes relied on eggs.

"I had two older brothers who played football and I kept them well fed. I also cooked for 4-H. Back when I was in 4-H, we were on a cycle where the area of emphasis changed every year," she said.

Today as a satellite egg promotions specialist for the Iowa Egg Council, Loudermilk loves meeting with students of all ages to educate them about the benefits and versatility of eggs. She graduated from Iowa State University with a home economics education degree, married a farmer and worked alongside him. She did teach home economics in the public school system, but discovered she was better fitted for educating kids about eggs and agriculture specifically.

"It is just a fabulous job. I love it so much. I participate in a lot of home shows and public events that I call feeding the masses. But I really enjoy going to the schools with my egg-ucational programs that I have for preschool through high school. We talk about everything from the parts of the egg and its nutritional value to the route from hen to home," Loudermilk said. "I always fix food for them and give them a recipe to take home."

Recently, Loudermilk was in the grocery store and was approached by a student who asked when she would be visiting his classroom. She said it's "fun watching their eyes light up." Even though Loudermilk no longer farms, eggs still are an important part of her day.

"I really feel sorry for those who are allergic to eggs because eggs are so widely used in so many different ways. Those tall professional chefs' hats have 100 pleats where it bands to the hat and each one represents one method of cooking eggs," she said. "I love having a couple of poached eggs for breakfast and one of my favorite ways is where you take the round cutter and cut out a circle in the middle of a buttered piece of toast and fry an egg inside. I also recommend people make the coffee cup omelet where you cook eggs in a coffee cup until they're syrupy, then add omelet fillings, then put it back in the microwave for a bit longer. You have a healthy breakfast option to go."

Even if she wasn't charged with educating others about the marvels of eggs, Loudermilk still knows how healthy they are.

"One large egg equals one ounce of protein and it contains all the important vitamins you need except C. It has less calories than a slice of bread and even an apple. It's called a nutrient dense food because it's low in calories and high in nutrient. It's the food by which most foods are evaluated because it is a complete protein and contains so many nutrients," she said.

Loudermilk advised everyone to keep in mind the simple safety rule of using eggs, however, as food safety is important when in the kitchen.

"Two hours is the general safety rule. Do not leave eggs or an egg dish out on the table for more than two hours," she said.

Easy skillet breakfast pizza

6 1/2 ounces pizza crust mix

5 eggs

1/3 cup skim milk

1/4 teaspoons dry mustard

Dash of pepper

6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Grease a 12-inch skillet. Prepare pizza crust according to package directions. Line bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the skillet with dough. Beat eggs, milk, dry mustard, and pepper in medium bowl.

Slowly pour egg mixture over crust. Sprinkle bacon and cheeses evenly over the eggs. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until crust is brown on the bottom. Slide out onto cutting board and cut into wedges.

Peek-a-boo eggs

12 ounces of hashbrowns

12 slices bacon, diced

12 slices of one-ounce slices of American cheese

12 eggs

1 cup cream

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a skillet, fry hash browns until crispy. In another skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Line 9x13-inch pan with hash browns and then bacon. Add a layer of American cheese.

Crack whole eggs over cheese. Drizzle cream over eggs until the yolks "peek" through. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer. Cut into 12 squares and serve.


4 eggs

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons nonfat milk

1 tablespoon garlic powder

10, 6-inch flour tortillas

1 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

2 1/2 cups low-fat shredded pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine vegetables, set aside. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, and garlic powder. Cook egg mixture in a nonstick skillet until set.

Place 5 tortilla shells on a non-greased cookie sheet. Divide cheese, evenly distributing on tortilla shells.

Top the tortillas with vegetables, cooked egg mixture, and bacon.

Top tortillas with the remaining cheese and another tortilla shell. Bake for 5 minutes. Cut and serve.

Angel food almondine

4 eggs

1/4 cups of milk

3/4 teaspoons almond flavoring

12 slices angel food cake

1 teaspoons margarine

1/2 cups sliced almonds

Heat skillet to 350 degrees or over medium heat on stove top. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, and almond flavoring. Coat skillet with margarine. Dip angel food cake slices, one at a time, in egg mixture.

Coat all sides quickly and evenly. Place coated cake slices in skillet. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. When lightly browned on one side, turn slice over and brown other side.

Remove from skillet and serve promptly. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired. Serves 12.



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