Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Repost: Bacon Guacamole Burgers

Making burgers this weekend? I suggest trying out these. In fact I can't recommend them enough, so I won't bother trying.


Yeah. Kind of says it all, huh? I'm going to do some talking anyway, of course. Heh.

So, there was a place down the street from my apartment that used to make a kick ass bacon-guacamole burger. This thing was the bomb, plenty of bacon, good guacamole... I think there was lettuce or something in there... But it had bacon and guacamole and it was awesome.

One day my girlfriend goes down there to get us some and they just don't make them anymore! No explanation, no apology, no offer of a handful of coupons to loyal customers, nothing. I had to settle for a barbecue bacon burger.

Which was also good.

But it didn't have guacamole! So when my girlfriend came home from the grocery store with some guacamole and some thick cut pepper crusted bacon I thought, "You know, I could make a bacon guacamole burger with this stuff." And I did.And it was better than the ones we used to get down the street. The sauce is equal parts guacamole and sour cream, plus some fresh cilantro. The burger itself had a little (but not that much, I didn't want it to overpower the sauce) cumin, onion, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper in it. I also toasted the bun in the pan I had cooked the bacon in so it was crispy and delightful.

Tossed some crushed tortilla chips on there too. This was one of the best burgers I've ever had and I've eaten a lot of burgers. So it's not really a recipe (I don't have any measurements), but if you like burgers you should definitely make one of these. Just adjust everything to taste.They're wicked good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Repost: No Bake Nutter Butter Chocolate Bars

Here's the deal, I'm going to be pretty busy for the next two weeks and not able to post. But instead of just not posting anything I'm going to do a bunch of reposts of old stuff that would be good to make for a barbecue or whatever. Aren't I thoughtful? Heh.

So here's the first one, the No Bake Nutter Butter Chocolate Bars I made last summer. They don't take long at all to make, so it's perfect for those times when you're supposed to bring a dessert and completely flaked about it. Not that that ever happens to me of course...


1 cup crushed Nutter Butters (about 10)
3/4 cup oats (regular, not quick oats)
3/4 cup melted chocolate (good eating chocolate)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
4 tbls salted butter

Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Line with a strip of parchment paper that hangs a couple inches over two sides, forming a sling kind of... thing. Crush the cookies fairly fine and mix them together with the sugar and oats. Melt the butter over low heat in a small sauce pan, once it's melted add the peanut butter. Stir till melted and combined. Add to the sugar/oat mixture and mix to combine. Spread in an even layer in the pan. Refrigerate, covered, for 20 minutes. Melt the chocolate, pour it over the chilled peanut butter mixture and spread it evenly over the top. Return to the fridge and chill, covered, for at least a half hour. To cut it run a large chef's knife under hot water for a minute, dry it off and then cut the bars into squares, wiping the knife clean after each slice.


First, a warning. Kids, these babies are rich. Like the Monopoly guy dipped in cheesecake rich. At first I was worried that I would eat the whole pan in an evening, but that isn't even a concern. And I'm known for my ability to eat way more sweets than is necessary. So, invite some friends over to share them with and have a glass of milk handy, but do make these. They are wicked good.

The other day it was 90 degrees here. In April. Way too hot to bake without a/c. But, I wanted to make something sweet. It's not a big shock that I picked peanuts and chocolate for the flavors, I think my proclivity for that combination is well known. So I scoured the 'nets, squished a bunch of no bake bar recipes together and came up with this. It takes a little bit of stove time, but it's nothing like having the oven on 350 for a half hour. Here's what I did.

First, cookies. I used Nutter Butters. Because they are awesome. These are the half box size kind that you can get in a certain kind of convenient store. It's the whole package of them. Well, most of a package, anyway. Heh. You could use any kind of cookie you wanted, I can't imagine any would be bad. Oreos, chocolate chip, even some kind of fruit jelly ones. It's not hard to find a match for peanut butter. Then I crushed them up and added the powdered sugar and oats. Mixed that together and set it aside. Then I melted butter. Sweet, sweet butter. Well, salty butter. I used regular salted butter so I wouldn't have to add salt. Pretty clever, eh? Once it was melted I added the peanut butter and stirred them around till they were combined in a peanuty buttery goo. Then I poured that into the dry ingredients. Mixed it together and spread it into the prepared pan. With lots of differences in lighting. Apparently. The pan had been prepared by spraying it with cooking spray and then lining it with a strip of parchment paper that hung over two sides a couple inches forming a kind of sling. And after that big run-on sentence I don't have any pics to show you what I meant. Hopefully you understood.

I also couldn't spread the mixture with anything but my hands, it was just too thick. But it's also not rocket science so I spread it kind of evenly and tossed it in the fridge. After fifteen or so minutes I melted the chocolate. Now here's the thing about the chocolate for this, I'm not going to tell you what kind to use other than good eating chocolate.

Want dark? Dark chocolate goes well with peanut butter. Milk? Sure, it's always tasty. White chocolate? If that's what you're into then go for it. All chocolate goes well with peanut butter. I'm pretty sure that's written somewhere. Anyway, I'm melting some milk chocolate since that's what the girlfriend likes. The stove isn't on yet and that chocolate was in air conditioning not too long before this. I hate the heat. Give me winter any day. But that's neither here nor there, I melted the chocolate and spread it onto the chilled peanut butter mixture then tossed it back into the fridge. Left it in for about a half hour then pulled it out. You could just hack at it with a carving knife or break it up like bark, if you are going for the rustic look. I wanted to be fancy so I ran my chef knife under hot water for a minute then wiped it dry. Then when I cut into it I got fairly neat lines and weird little melty chocolate edges at the top. And that's that. No bake peanut butter chocolate bars. Good times folks, good times.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Cats #58

These are the last of the pictures of Noodles and her kittens when they were staying with my brother.

The dark one often looked surprised...This one was a real talker, took after her mom like that.There's not really any good perspective, but Noodles is so small here, it's really weird.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Make Self Rising Flour

1 cup of a/p flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Sift it together.


I admit it, I'm one of them. I only keep one kind of flour in my kitchen, all-purpose. Two if you count the masa that I've only used once, although those tamales were wicked good.

One of my brothers keeps something like five or six different flours on hand at all times, but I just can't be bothered. I'm sure my baked goods would be better if I used the appropriate flour, but... well, I could come up with a whole bunch of excuses, if you wanted. I don't have the space, I don't have the proper storage containers, I wouldn't use it much if I had it, blah blah blah. But really, it just amounts to me not wanting to deal with half a dozen different kinds of flour.

Which is why I was thrilled to find out I can make my own self rising flour. Now the question is just what to do with it. But fear not gentle reader, for I have a plan. Insert evil cackle here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuna Melt Pizza

It's exactly what you think it is. Unless you don't think it's awesome, then you're wrong. Heh. For those of you who remember when I posted about my tuna melt calzone the concept won't be especially new, but I figure it's different enough to post about.

This here is just tuna salad, spread on pizza dough, topped with cheese and some red onion. I left the onion out of the salad, since I was putting some on top. Next time I do it I'm going to make the salad a bit saucier to make it spread more easily and evenly. But probably not with mayo, too much mayo is too much. I was thinking either milk, just to thin it out or maybe sour cream would work. I bet sour cream would add a good flavor too.

I've been doing a lot of non-standard pizza lately so expect some more over the next little while. Hm, maybe I'll even make it a semi regular feature.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Cats #57

I came across some more picture of Noodles and her kittens, figured I'd toss them up. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Steak House Doggy Bag Sandwich

I love old school steak houses. They don't screw around too much, you can always get a big ass steak, a potato and teeny tiny salad. What more could you want? My girlfriend and I live near one and go there every couple of months, it's a good time. But she never finishes everything, since her eyes are significantly bigger than her stomach. Which is fine by me because I usually get the leftovers. Heh. After our most recent visit there I decided to make a sandwich with what she couldn't eat and since it came out really well I thought I'd share.

What I did was I cut up the steak and sliced some peppers and onions (I should have sliced them more thinly, they would have cooked more. Live and learn). I wrapped it all up in foil and tossed it in a hot oven to heat up. At the same time I cut a couple leftover zucchini sticks (the real reason my girlfriend always wants to go to this one particular place) and tossed them in the oven to crisp up too. Rocket science, this is not. I toasted up a roll, piled everything on top and thought to myself:
"Self, this needs something more."

So I opened up the fridge and saw a jar of Alfredo sauce. Perfect.

So here's the hint for today: Mayo not enough? Would you rather saw off your own hand than use boring old mustard again? Try a cheese and cream based sauce on your sandwich! You'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fish Cakes, Take One: Simple and Easy

1 lb fish
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tbl mayo
1 egg
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbls chopped, fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Pulse the fish in a food processor until coarsely chopped (or use a knife, if you're like that). Mix everything together, form 1/2 cup scoops into cakes and fry over medium/medium-high heat for about five minutes a side. Each side should be nicely browned. Serve hot.


So, I'm back. But I'm afraid I'm not going to be quite as present in the blogosphere as I was before. See, part of why I took a break was a bit of burn out. I was spending large chunks of time every day reading, commenting and (this one is the killer) stressing the numbers too much. We've all heard the song before, I got caught up in all the glitz and glamor of food blogging that I forgot I was really just doing it for fun. Heh. So I'm going to go back to just having a good time and not worry about posting on a schedule, commenting on every blog I read or getting my pictures accepted by any of the food photo sites.

But none of that is here or there, I'm here and posting and I'm sure you kids hit that link for the fish cakes, not to listen to me complain about my lack of perspective.

So, let's talk about fish cakes. I made them on a whim, I had a mahi mahi fillet that had been sitting in the freezer for some time and it was starting to get a little freezer burned. I figured doing something where it got chopped up would probably be the best bet for rescuing it, so I decided to make fish cakes. They came out really well, especially considering I had never made them before. I looked around the net, got the general idea of how they're done and whipped these up. The recipe up top isn't exact since I only had one fillet, but it was about 1/3 of a pound so I did a little math and I'm sure you'll get something similar and tasty if you follow it.

And since this is my comeback post I even have step by steps of what I did. Can you handle the excitement? Heh.

Now, before I did anything I realized I had no bread crumbs. Which in and of itself is a refreshing change of pace, usually I find out I'm short ingredients after I've already started. So I just made some, fresh is really better anyway. Then I cut the fish into big chunks and whizzed it around in the food processor. I know, the light makes the fish look weird, but pretty much the only outlet I have in my kitchen is right next to the sink and the light there is... flawed. As you can see. Anyway, next time I'm going to whiz the fish a little less to get bigger chunks. I think that would be better. Then I just tossed it all into a bowl, mixed it up, formed cakes and fried it in more oil than was really necessary. They were wicked good. I made some hobo tartar sauce with just mayo and relish, but it wasn't very satisfactory. I'm going to have to find a recipe for it and try again. Anyone have an awesome recipe they want to share?

Anyway, there it is, fish cakes take one. There will be a take two and I'm going to bread them next time. Maybe I'll even make fish sticks, my girlfriend would like that. That's pretty much the only way she'll eat fish, even canned tuna is too much for her. Heh.


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