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Recipes: Tex Mex Cheeseburgers

3 Nov

I was asked to post more recipes, so while I’m waiting for my butter to thaw (I’m making sugar cookies), I figured this was the perfect time to share my favorite burgers. The recipe is originally from startcooking.com, which is a great collection of recipes (some better than others) Anyway, you can find my slightly adapted recipe at the bottom (I pretty much just added fennel and left out the dumb, obvious stuff)


Basically, you just mix together 1 lb of ground beef, some onion, chili powder, ketchup, cheese, salt, ground pepper, and fennel in a bowl. Simple, right?


Divide it into 3 or 4 (we did 3 here, for some big burgers, but I did 4 at a later date and they were still filling), then form the burgers. My mom taught me a great way to pack burgers.

They have to be packed pretty firmly, or else they’ll fall apart while they cook, so you have to roll them into a ball, flatten it out, then turn and press, turn and press, turn and press (firmly) until it’s not flimsy and doesn’t feel soft anymore.


Fun fact: raw meat used to freak me out until I started working the grill in the cafeteria at school. I had to get over that really fast.

Then you cook them. I would definitely suggest cooking them in a pan or on a George Foreman (they’re actually really great on the George Foreman) unless you want to lose all of your cheese to the grill.

I haven’t made the sauce that’s mention below, so I don’t know if it’s any good, but I included it anyway in case someone wants to try it. Honestly, I’m too lazy to go out and buy the can of chiles.

By the way, fresh onions from the garden are WAY better than the ones you buy in the store.

Recipe:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup of onions – minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 4 ounces of shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon fennel

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/3 cup of ketchup
  • 1 can of chopped green chilies (4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce (optional)

Mix together the ground beef, minced onions, ketchup, chili powder, shredded cheese, fennel and the salt and pepper.

Shape into three/four patties.

In a non-stick, pre-heated frying pan, set to medium high heat, fry the burgers for 4 minutes on each side. Or put them on a George Foreman.

Serve on a toasted roll with Tex-Mex Burger sauce (Or don’t).

Tex-Mex Burger Sauce

Stir together all ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Makes 1 cup

 

What recipes do you want me to try? What are you eating?

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I make bread

24 Oct

I like to make bread. Like, a lot. And I much prefer it to buying bread from the store because a) I hate having to leave my apartment when I run out of basic items and b) it’s SUPER fun.

I found the recipe here, but it’s hard to read because it’s all split up. The recipe, together, will be at the bottom of the post.

What you’ll need:

1 Packet active dry yeast ($.88/3 packets = $.29)
1 C warm water (free)
1/4 C milk ($2/8 cups (half gallon) = $.25 = $.06)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar ($3/180 tbsp = $.02 = $.03)
1 tsp salt ($.01)
1 1/2 tbsp butter ($1.50/36 tbsp = $.05 x 1.5 = $.07)
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 C flour ($3.50/20 cups = $.18 x 3 = $.53)

If you’re counting, at full price (nothing on sale, no coupons) that’s $.99 a loaf, with no preservatives, to need to bother with twist ties or plastic bags. And you get the enjoyment of baking your own food. You could bring the cost down by buying a jar of yeast instead of packets, buying on sale, using coupons, shopping around, etc. These are just the approximate prices at Meijer.

So first, you have to warm the bowl. Basically just fill the bowl with hot water and dump it out. Then put the 1 cup of water and the 1 packet of yeast into the bowl and stir until it’s milky and smooth.

Melt the butter, and mix it, the milk, sugar, and salt into the yeast-water mixture.

Add two of the cups of flour into the mixture and stir.

Once the two cups are incorporated, stir in more flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is sticky, but doesn’t stick to your hands.

Stirred!

So now, we need to kneed kneed. I just do it in the bowl, over the bowl, whatever. I don’t have a lot of space in my apartment, and I don’t have the patience to clean up a bunch of flour and dough on the counter.

Whatever.

At this point, I turn my oven on warm, cover it with a cloth, and put the bowl on the stove top for 45 minutes. The original recipe says an hour, but again, I don’t have the patience.

Then it looks like this! And then you get to hit it! Ok, you don’t really have to hit it, just punch it down (I hit it) and take it out of the bowl.

Stretch it into a shape (again, I do this in the air, but I’m too lazy to clean a rebel) about as long as your pan and about 1.5 times the width. Then roll it into a little dough-burrito, tuck the ends under, and put it in the pan, seam side down.I bet you think you get to bake it now, right? WRONG. Put it back on the stove, cover it back up, and wait another 45 minutes. Watch Law & Order. Comment on all of my blog posts. Ask me why there’s only one thing in my portfolio.

Does it look like this? Good. Now you can pop it in the oven.

My oven is ridiculous, so I bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Use your judgment if it doesn’t look done at that point.

It should look something like this. It make me happy just to look at pictures of it.

You’re supposed to wait for it to cool before you slice it, but I never do. I also make crazy sandwiches like this:

By the way, that meat? I got it 40% off by going to Meijer at 10PM when the deli closes. Booyahh.

I slice my bread and freeze it, or else I’ll eat it all in 2 days. I use it for everything from sandwiches to toast to burgers.

My next loaf is going to be whole wheat.

The Recipe:

1 Packet active dry yeast
1 C warm water
1/4 C milk
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 C flour

Warm the bowl.

Mix water and dry yeast.

Add milk, sugar, salt, and melted butter.

Mix in 2 C flour, then stir in flour 1/4 C at a time until dough is sticky, but does not stick to hands.

Form into a ball, and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Punch down.

Form dough to fit into pan, then rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bake at 400 F for 20-30 minutes.

Have you ever made bread? Did this post remind you of this shirt? Are you ever going to comment? I know you’re reading.

Batter Up!

10 Jul

I actually googled muffin jokes for that title. Embarrassing.

So yesterday, I mentioned that I got rid of an obscene amount of mail. Here’s about half of it:

I’m a little upset that I missed the rain barrel truckload sale, but oh well. It’s not like it rains anymore anyway.

So after I did that, I made muffins. Now, these aren’t ordinary muffins. I’m on weight watchers, and an ordinary muffin is too many points. These are low fat, low sugar, super muffins.

Can you tell what I forgot? Yup, the sugar is still in the cabinet above the coffee maker.

I got kind of excited, so no pics of the process, but I measured out the ingredients and mixed them together, and they were this fun grayish color. I also got a little cocky with the eggs and continued to try to separate the first one after the yolk had broken. Lame. Then I put them in the oven and went “Oh no! Pictures!”

It’s a bit blurry because I didn’t want to melt my phone, but you get the idea. Beautiful, grey muffin mix. I’d paint a room in my house that I don’t own that color. Just so I can think about these muffins all the time.

And then they cooked. For 30 minutes. It was torture. Which you now get to experience with me.

While I was choosing ingredients, I discovered that we have two different kinds of vanilla extract. One is Costco brand, and the other is from Mexico.

My vanilla choosing process went a little something like this: “Hrm… Kirkland? Xel-Ha? Doesn’t vanilla COME from Mexico? Ooo, this one was on sale!”

“I wonder how many dollars that is. I’ll google it later. Why does it say pet?” Then I turned the bottle back around and went “OO! Pretty temple. Gonna use the ZelXel-haaahahahahaaa

It’s $9.38, if you’re wondering.

Two muffins are in the oven. One turns to the other and says “Gosh darn its hot in here.” The other muffin replies “holy crap a talking muffin!”

I also love this flour scoop.

His name is scoopy. He’s going to mysteriously disappear when I move out unless I acquire a similar one.

Anywhooo, without further ado, blueberry volcanoes!

Don’t they just look amazing? This guy’s my favorite:

There’s actually a CUP of blueberries in these 6 muffins, which is a lot, but I love blueberries, so I’m a fan.

They’re a touch dry, so the next time I make them (And I will make them again soon) I’ll probably move them down a rack and cook them for 25 minutes and use more oil.

It’s like a blueberry dream. I’m probably going to try something with raspberries next. Or the basil poppyseed ones that I found the other day. We’ll see.

Here’s the recipe

Blueberry Muffins
Yield 6
4 pp. each

Ingredients:
-1 1/4 cups  flour
-1/2 tbsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
-1 tbsp canola oil
-3 egg whites
-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-1 cup blueberries
-1/8 cup sugar (I used baker’s sugar)

Instructions:
-Line muffin pan
-Preheat oven to 375
-Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda
-Combine all other ingredients (with the exception of the blueberries) in a separate bowl.
-Toss blueberries into the dry ingredients and make sure blueberries are well-covered in flour.
-Mix in the wet ingredients just until moist
-Spoon batter in muffin pan and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Note: if you don’t toss the blueberries in the flour mixture, the muffins will come out blue.

And here’s some nutrition facts:

Nutrition Facts
  6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 161.9
  Total Fat 2.7 g
  Saturated Fat 0.3 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 1.4 g
  Cholesterol 0.5 mg
  Sodium 260.8 mg
  Potassium 93.5 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 28.5 g
  Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
  Sugars 7.4 g
  Protein 5.7 g

I love this recipe builder at sparkpeople. It’s pretty convenient.