Saturday, June 26, 2021

4th of July Bash on the Grill: Mushroom Stuffed Cheeseburgers

Juicy cheeseburgers stuffed with jazzed up mushrooms are on the grill for the 4th of July celebration!  Made with your choice of meat and topped just the way you like it!

Mushroom Stuffed Cheeseburgers

Time to warm up that grill and get to cooking some burgers for the 4th of July!  After a year in lock-down we are so ready to celebrate!  We go for the "All American" menu for our 4th of July bash.  First up is a juicy hamburger.  This one is special because it's has the addition of cheese and mushroom.  But the best part is they are not on it....they are inside it!  Yes, that's right a burger stuffed with jazzed up mushrooms and cheese.  Doesn't get much better than this.

With a little pre-prep of the mushrooms these burgers will be on your table in no time.  Another plus is that you can pick your meat of choice.  We made both beef and turkey burgers.  Toppings can be anything you choose.  We had a standard burger topping bar or lettuce, onion, tomatoes, mayo and mustard.  One bite and the stuffing flavors explode in your mouth!  This is one great burger.

What Ingredients do I need?

  • ground beef sirloin (10%) or ground chicken or turkey
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • provolone cheese
  • baby bella mushrooms
  • garlic
  • white wine
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • Hamburger buns
  • Toppings: lettuce, onion, tomato

Substitutions and Variation

  • Choose a different ground meat, turkey and chicken are great options
  • Choose a different cheese, cheddar, Gouda, or Swiss
  • Don't like mushrooms, leave them out!
  • Don't want wine in the mushrooms? leave it out
  • Kaiser rolls make great buns
  • Brioche buns are a treat
  • Flavor the meat with steak sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce
  • Make this Asian by adding soy sauce and Hosin

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • Great for making ahead.  Stuff the burgers early in the day and refrigerate until time to grill
  • Kids will love a stuffed cheeseburger!
  • I always form the bottom patty a little larger and then pinch the top to the sides to cover all the stuffing 
  • I always use 10% fat ground sirloin for the flavor.  If you like a juicier burger go for 15 - 20% ground chuck

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More burgers to choose from:

Grilled Ranch Chicken Burgers

Grilled Santa Fe Burgers

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers

The Best Stuffed Grilled Cheeseburgers

Butter Burgers

Mushroom Stuffed Cheeseburgers

serves 4

1 lb. ground beef sirloin (10%) or ground chicken or turkey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 slices provolone cheese, halved
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons white wine
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 Hamburger buns
Toppings:  lettuce, onion, tomato

In a large skillet, medium high heat, add butter and olive oil.  When hot add the mushrooms.  Cook about 1 minutes until starting to brown and wilt.  Add in minced garlic and the wine.  Continue to cook until mushrooms are brown and tender.  Remove from the pan.  

In a large bowl, combine beef, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, very lightly mixing to combine.  Divide the mixture in half and take one half, forming 4 thin patties.  Top 2 of the patties with 1/2 slice of cheese and 1/2 of the cooked mushrooms.  Top with the other two remaining patties and press edges to seal and make sure that the stuffing is all inside.  Repeat with the remaining half of the ground beef to make two more burgers.  

Grill burgers, uncovered, over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes on each side or until a thermometer inserted in meat portion reads 160 degrees.  Toast your hamburgers buns on the grill and serve.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Walnuts

Summertime is the perfect time to whip up this refreshing variation on a traditional watermelon salad.  With the addition of spinach, walnuts, and an oregano vinaigrette this salad is loaded with flavor!

Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Walnuts

Everyone needs a good side salad, and as part of my Summer Fresh Recipe Series this one is a winner!  Bursting with refreshing summer watermelon, spinach, feta cheese, and walnuts for crunch, this salad is quick and easy to pull together any night of the week.  Top it off with a flavorful oregano vinaigrette and those flavors will be popping in your mouth!

This is a great salad that will go along with any main course.  Perfect for picnics, BBQs, family get-togethers, even your 4th of July celebrations.  Trust me when I say that you'll be wanting this salad all summer long.

What Ingredients do I need?

  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • honey
  • salt & pepper
  • dried oregano
  • baby spinach
  • watermelon
  • feta cheese
  • walnuts

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use arugula or mixed green instead of the spinach
  • Use pinenuts, pistachios, or sliced almonds instead of walnuts

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • You will only use 1/2 of the dressing for this salad.  Store the remaining dressing in a container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • I use a mason jar to mix dressing in and shake vigioursly, then I store in that container as well.  Less dishes to wash!
  • The salad should be served chilled or at room temperature.  Watermelon tends to weep as it gets hot.

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Spinach and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Walnuts

serves 4

Oregano Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 to 1 1/2 cups cubed watermelon

For the oregano vinaigrette: In a small bowl or mason jar, add  olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, honey, dried oregano and some salt and pepper.  Whisk or shake vigorously to combine.  Note:  You will use about half so you may store the leftover vinaigrette in a container in the refrigerator for another use.
To make the salad: Set aside some feta and walnuts to top off the salad before serving.  Add the spinach and watermelon, remaining feta and walnuts to a large bowl.  Drizzle with about 1/2 of the dressing and toss to coat.   Garnish with the reserved feta and walnuts before serving.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Summer Fresh Recipe Series: Thai Chicken Skewers with Grilled Pineapple

Grilled chicken skewers doused with the most delectable sweet and spicy sauce is accompanied by luscious grilled pineapple.  The perfect meal for Father's Day or any summertime meal.

Thai Chicken Skewers with Grilled Pineapple

Time for my Summer Fresh Recipe Series!  This is where I bring you recipes filled with fresh summer produce that are easy, light, and oh soooo tasty! Today is my first recipe of the 2021 series and it's a real winner.  Moist and juicy chicken chunks frilled on skewers are basted with a sinful Thai based sweet and spicy sauce.  The perfect accompaniment is the grilled pineapple.  This will transport you to the tropics in no time!

Great for Father's Day and something the whole family will enjoy.  Be sure to make this soon as you may want this as your summer "go-to" recipe.  Enjoy!

What Ingredients do I need?

  • sweet and sour sauce
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • basil
  • Thai seasoning
  • butter 
  • garlic
  • fresh whole pineapple
  • canola oil
  • optional: hot cooked rice

Substitutions and Variations

  • add chili sauce or sriracha for additional heat
  • use Chinese 5 spice powder instead of Thai seasoning
  • use chicken thighs instead of breasts
  • serve with grilled corn and green onion
  • add bell peppers to the skewers for more veggies

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • If using bamboo skewers soak for 30 minutes in water to avoid burning while cooking
  • Cut your chicken pieces on the large size to avoid the chicken from drying out
  • Use a fresh ripe pineapple for best flavor
  • Buy long pineapple skewers already cut

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Other Summer Fresh Recipe Series dish you may like:

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Garlic Herb Vinaigrette

Thai Chicken Skewers with Grilled Pineapple

⅔ cup sweet-and-sour sauce
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 teaspoon Thai seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 small fresh pineapple
Vegetable oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces
Optional: hot cooked rice

For Thai sauce, in a small bowl combine sweet-and-sour sauce, snipped basil, Thai seasoning, and garlic. Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce to use for basting. Stir melted butter into the remaining sauce; cover and set aside.

Cut ends off pineapple, exposing the flesh. Cut pineapple in half lengthwise; cut each half crosswise into four slices. Lightly coat pineapple slices with oil. Set aside.

Thread chicken onto 10- to 12-inch metal skewers, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces.

Preheat your charcoal or gas grill. Place skewers then pineapple on grill rack over heat. Grill chicken for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning occasionally and brushing with the 1/4 cup reserved sauce during the first half of grilling. Discard any remaining sauce. Grill pineapple slices for 6 to 8 minutes or until warm and grill marks appear, turning once halfway through grilling.

Serve chicken and pineapple with the reserved Thai sauce and hot cooked rice, if desired.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Lemon Tea Bread

This light and moist tea bread is bursting with lemon flavor!  A spring and summer delight that's perfect any time of day.

Lemon Tea Bread

I love citrus, and when lemons come around I put them in everything, including my baking.  Today's Lemon Tea Bread is a wonderfully light, not too sweet, quick bread that's bursting with lemon flavor.  I adore how citrus brightens everything up.

I typically make these loaves as a breakfast treat although they are perfect with a cup of coffee or hot tea, as a snack, or even as dessert with a scoop of ice cream.   They can be kept for several days and will stay moist and tender. 

What Ingredients do I need?

  • butter
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • flour
  • lemon zest
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • milk

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead of butter
  • Use 2% or whole milk as you like
  • Add a lemon glaze on top with confectioners sugar, milk, and lemon juice

Kitchen Tips and Notes

  • For a light quick bread I used a stand mixer to cream the butter and sugar.
  • Make sure to grease and flour your baking pan when preparing it. Baker's Joy works well here.
  • Cook until only a few dry crumbs come out when doing the toothpick test.
  • To store I cover with cling wrap, or use a ziploc bag to keep the air away from the cake.
  • You may cut slices and freeze them for later use.

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Lemon Tea Bread

Makes 1 (8-inch) loaf
Time: 1 hr 15 min. start to finish

1/2 c butter, softened 
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c 2% milk
1 T lemon zest

Beat softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 cup granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Spoon the batter into greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour until golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the bread cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Adapted from Southern Living October 2004


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