Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Juicy Burgers

My husband and I got married pretty young compared to today's standards.  I was 18 and he was 20.  We had never lived away from our parents and moving "out" was a terrific experience.  We cooked all kinds of things (BBQ for breakfast???) and had a ball making up on our own "rules"  like eating in the living room ha-ha.  After 26 years of ups and downs, (more ups thankfully LOL), we are back to just the two of us... Our older daughter graduated from college, officially "moved out" and got a terrific job this summer.  Our younger daughter is a couple of hours away at college so for the most part, we're back to being "home alone".  

The juicy burgers supper I made last night was one of the first things I learned to cook.  My mother IS a terrific cook but she wasn't much into sharing her kitchen with a teenager, so I learned this "method" from a co-worker, who was just a couple of years older than me but who had already mastered some terrific cooking skills!  Basically you season cooked hamburger like you would baked beans.

Last night as my husband and I tried to decide (at 6PM) WHAT ON EARTH to have for supper, I remembered one of our favorite "newly wed" suppers, JUICY BURGERS!  It was cold outside last night and we sat in front of the television with TV trays just like our "good old days" (when we didn't own a table  LOL).

Here's how I make Juicy Burgers AT HOME MY WAY:

Juicy Burgers
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I don't pack mine)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt/Pepper as you like

Brown the ground beef in a skillet.  Drain.  Add remaining ingredients and stir, simmer about 15-20 minutes until thick and bubbly.  Serve on buns, sandwich bread, or whatever you like.  Toast the buns for an extra treat.

*I scoop leftovers on flour tortillas, individually wrap, and place in the freezer in a gallon ziploc bag for terrific lunches on the go.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthday Shrimp Boil and Fish Fry

This weekend we celebrated my Mom's birthday. We decided to have a shrimp boil and fish fry since we would be eating lots of comfort foods this week for Thanksgiving. It was so yummy! We used bags of large frozen uncooked shrimp that we got from Walmart (since we live in the midwest and fresh isn't an option for us), cooked in a big pot on my stove in "shrimp boil" seasonings with new potatoes and little corn cobs.

We started the water with the spices and the potatoes until they boiled (this took MUCH LONGER than we thought it would). Once it started to boil, we let the potatoes boil about 10 minutes, then added the corn (we had to use frozen so I had heated them in the microwave to take the chill off since we were about the starve to death.. LOL.)  We let the corn boil for about 3 minutes, then added the shrimp, which need to boil only a minute or two until it was pink and ready to serve! 

My sister-in-law even made her own cocktail sauce using ketchup and horseradish (I don't have the recipe for that YET, but I'm getting hold of that one!)  We also fried crappie that my dad caught this summer as well as my kids' favorite crinkle cut french fries. We used the fish fryer outside for the grease and boiled the shrimp, etc. in the house. I also served:
  • Pasta Salad, which is so DELICIOUS! Its sweet and the cucumbers and tomatoes, onions, and peppers, just make it a real treat. The recipe is HERE:

  • Easy Cole Slaw, and every time I make this I swear I will make it more often. This is super easy, uses few ingredients and turns out perfect. I used one bag of cole slaw mix with about 1/2 onion chopped small.  I made the dressing recipe found HERE: The secret is to dump on your dressing, stir well, and then let it "mesh" in the fridge for a few hours so that it gets all moist and juicy.  It is even good the next day... I'm having a fish taco for lunch today with a leftover piece of crunchy crappie and some of the slaw.
  • The grand finale for the birthday dinner was the BIRTHDAY CAKE that my sister-in-law made for my Mom. My sister-in-law has been taking cake decorating classes and I'm convinced she must be the star student! This cake was a scratch cake and it had the perfect crumb, texture, and taste! It was stellar! I don't know who was more excited about the cake, my Mom (the birthday girl) or me, because I just love birthday cake!  Here's a picture of the beautiful cake:

Monday, November 14, 2011

No Pecans for Pie? Use Oatmeal!

I don't know about your area, but here in Mid Missouri, there are no nuts on the trees. I don't know what the poor squirrels are going to do! We live in the midst of a bunch of hickory trees and usually our yard is loaded, and I mean LOADED with hickory nuts! We have to shovel them or else our ground will be a mass of crushed hickory nut shells (the remnants left from the squirrels). Also our area usually has lots of pecans! Missouri pecans are so wonderful! But this year, not a single nut! The trees are strangely bare of pecans.

What is a person to do when she loves pecan pie more than any pie on the earth? Why, there is a solution! Use oatmeal! This recipe produces a wonderful pie which is super similar to pecan pie. And just think, substituting oatmeal makes this ALMOST a healthy dessert (oh yea... except for all that sugar and eggs). OK, its a smidgen healthier! I'll take it any day over paying big bucks for pecans!

Here is how I do a mock pecan pie, an Oatmeal Pie, AT HOME MY WAY:

Oatmeal Pie

  • 2 eggs

  • 2/3 cup white corn syrup (Karo or generic is fine)

  • 2/3 cup white sugar (granulated)

  • 2/3 cup margarine (melted)

  • 2/3 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 unbaked pie crust

In a bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Add the sugar, syrup and vanilla. Add the melted margarine. Blend very well. Add the oats. Mix well again. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

(Optional - you could add in some coconut and/or chocolate chips to make this pie over the top.) I also imagine you could use darker corn syrup for a darker more southern style pie.)

The reason I don't have a picture for this pie is that I made this pie over the weekend using an oil crust recipe. Something really flopped. I don't know if my measuring cup was wrong or I measured wrong (guessing the later) but the crust was too oily and it flopped BIG TIME. Never to waste a good pie filling, my mom and I scraped off the crust and ate two healthy helpings of the filling. It was divine and we both agreed we didn't miss the pecans a single bit!

I shared this recipe AT:


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