Takes Two to Mango Burger

We had company over for dinner last night so it was burger time! We decided to skip the condiments and cheese, and just top a burger with something so filled with flavor and perfect that it would stand on its own bun as something glorious. I am very proud to say that we succeeded with this burger. Serve it with grilled corn, because if you aren’t grilling corn right now you are just living life wrong.

The pairing of mango and jalapeno makes this burger perfect. Either ingredient by itself is not sufficient, but as they say…it takes two to… mango.

RECIPE: Takes Two to Mango Burger
Makes 4 Burgers 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1599
Knife
Cutting Board
Grill
Spatula

INGREDIENTS:
Beef Roast
Bacon
Jalapenos
Mango
Buns

IMG_1601DIRECTIONS:

1) Cube the beef roast and throw it in the freezer until mostly frozen.
2) Double grind the beef roast and bacon together and form into patties.
3) Slice mango and jalapenos in half (leave the seeds!) and wrap in foil.
4) Throw burgers and foil packets on a hot grill.
5) Serve as meet patty, jalapeno, mango, top bun, and then squish down.
IMG_1602
IMG_1604Note, if your friends down want mango and jalapeno because they aren’t cool. You can top their burger with ketchup and sriracha for a twist on a classic american style burger.

Late Night Egg Snack

When you are running around all day, sometimes you get very snacky at the end of the day. While eating cheese puffs or chips is very tempting, I decided something a little healthier would be better. I was thinking, what can I make that contains protein, fat, and carbohydrate to make a well rounded late night snack. (I leave out vegetables right before bed cause I’m weird like that). The result is below!

RECIPE: Late Night Egg Snack
Makes 2 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1589
Cast Iron Pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS:
Tortilla
Pepper Jack Cheese
Egg
Avocado Oil

DIRECTIONS:
1) Heat cast iron pan with a bit of avocado oil.
2) Grill the tortillas on both sides until lightly browned and mildly crispy.
3) Crumble cheese over warm tortillas.
4) In hot pan, crack open two eggs. When about cooked through on one side, flip and then turn off the heat.
5) Serve the fried eggs over the cheese. Crack the yolk with a fork and sprinkle with a touch of salt.
IMG_1591

You can eat this with a fork, or pick up the tortilla and eat it as you walk to bed (or walk the dog outside).

Grilled Zucchini Pizza

This recipe is based on a recipe my friend sent me for zucchini pizza she made last night. I loved the idea and decided to do my own grilled variation. Mostly because it is too hot to cook inside, but partially because I think everything is better grilled. I also thank my wonderful coworkers for supplying the cherry tomatoes and yellow squash used in this recipe. The basil is actually from my porch garden! The rain hasn’t successfully drowned my plants yet!

RECIPE: Grilled Zucchini Pizza
Makes 4 Pizzas 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1593
Knife
Cutting Board
Grill
Tongues

INGREDIENTS:
Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Mozzarella Cheese
Basil
Cherry Tomatoes
Balsamic Vinegar

IMG_1595DIRECTIONS:

1) Get a grill nice and hot.  Place cherry tomatoes on the grill.
2) Cut zucchini in half and coat the inner side with balsamic vinegar. Place face down on the grill.
3) Flip the zucchini, add a bit of balsamic, and roll the cherry tomatoIMG_1596es. Close and continue to let cook.
4) When the tomatoes begin to split from the heat, move them to the tops of the zucchini and squish them down.
5) Chop the basil and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
6) Slice mozzarella cheese and lay over tomatoes. Close the grill and let cook.
7) Serve hot!

Oops… Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Maybe I should have title this volcano cake. Whatever I call it, it is a complete and horrible mess. You may be asking why I am sharing these pictures, but not the recipe.

IMG_0934

One, the recipe was not my best. The ratios weren’t quite right. The chocolate cake was actually pretty good, but I know I can do better. The frosting can not be called frosting in any way. When I sliced the cake, the strawberry frosting literally exploded out of the top crater and covered the counter, and cabinets, and floor. The only good thing is that it soaked into the cake making it edible enough to not have to toss it out. IMG_0935

Two, I am not a professional, I am a home experimenter. I would say I’m lucky in that 99% of my throw it together recipes come out well. The 1% that are complete disasters just never get seen by anyone that isn’t me or my fiance. But they are funny! I laughed so hard at my frosting fail. I laughed even harder when I sliced it and got covered in strawberry sugar.

So if you read my blog and you like my recipes, don’t be afraid to experiment! I do it all the time. And even mistakes can still be eaten most of the time! And if they  can’t be eaten, you can laugh at them. Just don’t share the recipe!

Spicy Bean Stacks

I received some jalapeno peppers from a coworker. I feel like I need to do something with these peppers that bring out all their fresh spiciness. Its raining, so I can’t grill. However, I want the flavor that comes with searing. It is time to break out the cast iron grill and get cooking.

RECIPE: Spicy Bean Stacks
Makes 2 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1582
Cast Iron Pan
Knife
Cutting Board
Grill Pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS:
Re Fried Beans
3 Jalapenos
2 Small Onions
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Tortillas
Avocado Oil
1/2 Green Pepper
Parsley

DIRECTIONS:

IMG_15831) Heat grill pan with a bit of avocado oil. When its hot, set the peppers on the pan and let them sear. Flip/roll as needed.
2) In cast iron pan, begin to heat re-fried beans.
3) Chop onions and toss in with the beans.
4) When the peppers are seared, chop them and toss them in with the beans. Stir.
5) On hot grill pan, sear tortillas on both sides.
6) Chop cheddar cheese.
7) Layer as tortilla, 1/2 cup bean mixture, cheese, tortilla, 1/2 cup bean mixture, cheese, and then sprinkle with a touch of parsley.

IMG_1584
Layer for as hungry as you are, I went single layer. My fiance went double layer. The seared jalapenos brought in so much spice to the dish that we both had to eat a peanut butter egg afterwards just to keep our tongues from burning.

Adult-ing it Sloppy Joes

A simple sloppy joe reminds me of childhood. Its messy and warm and dripping with sauce. If it were a Friday or Saturday night, this post would be about my childhood sloppy joe recipe and how I was eating it in my pajamas. Unfortunately, its a Monday and I have to be a grown up for a few more days. So here is my Adult-ing It Sloppy Joe, a refined version of a childhood favorite.

RECIPE: Adult-ing It Sloppy Joe
Makes 2 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1574
Cast Iron Pan
Knife
Cutting Board
Pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS:
Yellow Squash
Buns
7 oz Ground Sirloin
Half an Onion
Hot Pepper
Bleu Cheese
Apple Cider Vinegar
Ketchup
Worcester Sauce
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Parsley
Avocado Oil

DIRECTIONS:

1) Begin cooking beef in cast iron pan. IMG_1576
2) In other pan, heat a tiny bit of avocado oil.
3) Thinly slice onion, chop squash.
4) Add squash to avocado oil and season with garlic and onion powder, and a sprinkle of parsley.
5) When beef is mostly cooked, add onions and hot peppers. Stir and let cook a bit.


6) Add a squirt of ketchup, a dash of Worcester, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Grind black pepper over it. Stir and simmer until it all comes together.
7) Serve beef mixture on a bun and top with bleu cheese and squash on the side.

IMG_1580

Spicy and delicious, this is a sloppy joe that you could serve at a dinner party. 

Beer Review: Abita’s Strawberry Lager

It’s been a while since I have posted a beer review, but the Abita Strawberry Lager is too good not to share. This beer from their harvest series surprised me. Most strawberry beers I have had have been disgusting. No one wants to guzzle the equivalent of strawberry cough syrup labeled as beer. This strawberry lager is nothing like the others. Though I shouldn’t be surprised, given how amazing Abita’s Purple Haze beer is (within my top 2 favorite beers of all time).

IMG_1570.JPGMade with Louisiana strawberries, this 4.2% alcohol beer actually tastes like a beer. When you sniff it, it smells like a nice bright lager. There is barely a touch of sweetness to the scent that hints at strawberry. The taste is light and fresh, with a light strawberry aftertaste.  It’s perfect for dealing with the heat of summer.

I enjoyed this particular beverage with an order of sushi. The light full flavor of the beer complimented the delicious fish and sharp wasabi well. I would suggest serving this beer with foods that overwhelm it. If you are barbecuing, maybe skip the ribs and serve with burgers and chicken instead. I actually plan to have my other bottle of this lager with some delicious grilled chicken and zucchini.

If you are a fan of shandy beers during the summer, than I suggest switching to the Harvest series Strawberry Lager by Abita. Your taste buds will thank me, and you will be the hit of the party if you start passing these beers around.

If you are a little hesitant about fruity beers, I promise you that this beer is not like other fruit beers. Even my fiance, who does not like fruit beers in the least, did not hate this beer. Abita has perfected fruit beer brewing.

Molasses Drop Cookies

I had an outdoor potluck this week, which is its own challenge because its really hot out. That means I need to bake something that won’t melt or get sticky from humidity. That means no frosting, no chocolate chips, no glazes. The result, my molasses drop cookie that are the perfect end to a summer potluck picnic.

RECIPE: Molasses Drop Cookies
Makes 62 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1555
Mixing Aid
Spatula
Measuring Cups
Scoop
Baking Sheets
Cooling Racks
Spatula
Oven Heated to 350 Degrees

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla
2 1/2 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Raisins
Grease for pans

IMG_1556DIRECTIONS:
1) In kitchen aid mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.
2) Beat in eggs, vanilla, and vanilla.
3) Add baking soda and all purpose flour and mix until fully incorporated.
4) Beat in 1 cup raisins.
5) Grease baking sheets and drop dough onto the sheets.
6) Bake for 9 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
7) Let cool on baking sheets. Serve cool or freeze and enjoy later.

Mushroom Tacos

I am sure most vegetarians are sick of black beans and tofu as the only alternatives to meat in tacos. I decided to do something a little different and use mushrooms as the main “protein”. With this recipe, if you take out the cheese, you would have something vegan. So share this recipe with your friends who don’t care for meat, or enjoy yourself when you when you want a break from meat.  

RECIPE: Vegetarian Mushroom Tacos
Makes 2 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1469
Cutting Board
Knife
Cast Iron Pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS:
Hot Peppers
Scallions
Tortillas
Pepper Jack Cheese
Mushrooms
Avocado Oil

IMG_1471DIRECTIONS:

1) In a cast iron pan, heat a little bit of avocado oil.
2) Slice mushrooms, peppers, cheese, and scallions.
3) Put mushrooms into the hot pan and stir until they begin to cook, quickly add the hot peppers so that the mushrooms and peppers cook together and share flavors.
4) Add in scallions and season with a little bit of garlic, paprika, and barely a dash of cumin. Go light on seasoning as the pepper and mushroom flavor blend should stand out the most.
5) Layer cheese in the bottom of the tortillas and top with the mushroom mixture. This way the cheese melts under the heat of the mushrooms.

IMG_1473

Hot..Hot..Hot Wings Burger (and more!)

Maybe I should have named my blog after burgers instead of brownies, because I definitely post about burgers way more often. Most of the time that I bake brownies, it never last long enough for pictures (we often eat them when only half baked!).

This post is actually going to be about the whole meal, so three recipes in one post! Whoo! This has your main dish, the HOT..HOT..HOT Wings Burger, Okra and Tomatoes, and a Punching Plum Drink (not for those under legal drinking age).

If you like hot wings at the bar, you will adore this burger!

RECIPE:  Hot..Hot..Hot Wings Burger 
Makes 2 Burgers 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1547
Plate
Grill
Spatula
Jar with lid

INGREDIENTS:
Ground Sirloin
Hot Sauce
Hot Peppers
Apple Cider Vinegar
Garlic Powder
Paprika
Blue Cheese
Buns
Salt Pepper


IMG_1545DIRECTIONS:

1) A few hours before dinner, in a jar mix together hot sauce, hot pepper slices, a dash of apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and paprika. Let sit.
2) Light the grill and form the patties.
3) Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper right as you put them on the grill.
4) Grill burgers until perfect. Right before you take them off, put on the buns on the grill to get them toasted.
5) Assemble as bottom bun, patty, hot peppers soaked in sauce, coating of sauce, blue cheese, top bun.
6) Serve with grilled corn!

 

RECIPE: Okra and Tomatoes
Makes 4 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1538
Cutting Board
Knife
Cast Iron Pan
Spoon

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 Lb Okra
Large Tomato
1/2 Onion
Garlic
Bacon Grease


IMG_1539DIRECTIONS:

1) Heat bacon grease in cast iron pan.
2) Slice up okra and lay in bacon grease. Let fry until crispy on the ends.
3) Chop garlic and toss in with okra, lowering pan heat.
4) Slice and throw in half an onion. Stir and let cook.
5) Chunk tomato and stir into the mixture. Let cook on low until perfect.
6) Serve as a very southern side.

RECIPE: Punching Plum Drink
Makes 1.5 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:IMG_1541
Blender
Knife
Cups
Straw

INGREDIENTS:
4 Over ripe Plums
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Sprinkle of Sugar
1 -2 Shots Vodka
Ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

1) Take the pits out of the plums and put them in the blender.
2) Add two handfuls of ice cubes, lemon juice, a sprinkle of sugar, and vodka.
3) Blend, then blend again, and then blend one more time until its smooth.
4) Pour it all into one cup just because and enjoy even if it is a work night.