In the Kitchen: Stuffed Burgers

I don’t know how it happend, but the weekend has come and gone, and it happened quicker than ever. How does that happen so fast? I wish weekdays flew by that fast!

Our friends Steve and Amanda were in town with their little girls and we were able to hangout with them for a fun night of mexican train. Actually, it was spaghetti and mexican train at Jon & Beth DuBois, with the perfect finale of ice cream :)  I love it when friends come in town.

That was Thursday night, and before we knew it it was Sunday and we were hanging out at a friend’s house prepping the grill for our LOST finale cookout. It was a 2 1/2 hour finale, or 1 hr and 40 minutes excluding commercials. But back to the subject at hand: grilling!

I love food off the grill. It can be vegetables, kabobs, meat or pizza (yes, grilled pizza!) We decided that a great way to say farewell to the characters we grew to know on LOST, was to eat delicious grilled burgers :)   Brilliant, I know!

We didn’t make just any burgers either. We decided to make stuffed burgers. We took the delicious flavor of beef, and added the amazing delicacy of cheese!  I’m calling them Stuffed Burgers. Unique, I know.

I hope your drool glands are ready, because here comes the step-by-step with pictures…

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We bought some meat and Stephen prepped it with all sorts of good spices. Then, after he shaped them, I went ahead and layered a good chunk of cheese on there for the filling. Stephen then layered another patty on top and closed the edges so the gooeyness would stay intact. Are you drooling yet, because I was at this point. That, and snacking on some kettle cooked bbq chips (yum!)

After that we threw the burgers on the grill…

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After the charcoal got hot the burgers got to business and started cooking. I love the smell of charcoal.

Oh, and remember how I said we filled the burgers with cheese? Well we decided to put some pepper jack right on top to melt perfectly before we took them off. It was a great decision.

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Just talking about these burgers makes me want one.

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That’s a pictures of Stephen’s burger. Yes, he put a few chips on top, the silly man. Oh, and you see the white cheese on the side there? That’s from the inside of the burger. It had the perfect blend of meat, condiments, cheese and then some extra cheese to top it all off.

Summer is officially here people, we are on the pool-gathering, grill-cooking train!

In the Kitchen: Chickpea Salad

For Easter we had a nice family lunch. My parents were making ham and then each of us married-pairs were given the task of bringing a tasty side dish. This was a 1st for the Wells family, and I’m sure it will turn into a new yearly tradition. I’m certainly not complaining, it was a very delicious day!  A delicious combination of baked ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, crescent rolls, and a delicious experimental salad. All were delicious!

Now, on to the salad part of the meal. I found a recipe on designspongeonline.com and thought I would give it a whirl. After a quick trip to the produce section of the supermarket we were on our way to my parents for some taste testing.

We got all the ingredients together (my recipe is doubled since it was for 8+ ppl):
1 Cucumber
1 Large Red Onion
Lettuce of Choice (it recommends Arugula, but I’m not a big fan of it’s bitter taste, so pick what you like best)
1 Lemon
1 Can of Chickpeas
Crushed Red Pepper
Red Wine Vinegar
Extra Virgin Oil Olive

(as seen here)

Then I squeezed the juice from the lemon
Added some crushed red pepper
4Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of Red Vine Vinegar
Whisk, Stir, Mix

Then you add the Chickpeas and let stand for 5-10 minutes
(flavor absorption time!!)

Cut your lettuce
I actually learned a new lettuce cutting trick: Put the lettuce in a bowl, grab your pizza cutter and slice away at the lettuce until you get the size pieces you want. It was so much quicker than my usual rip/cut style. Amazing!!

Cut up your onion and cucumber
(add tomatoes if you want)

Add the ingredients, topped with your dressing concoction and toss that stuff!

BAM!  You have a yummy, and super healthy meal!!
(btw, chickpeas are a great protein substitute!)

The final results were pretty decent. I have to admit that it wasn’t fabulous, but I think that was because of my lettuce swap-out and I didn’t ratio the red wine vinegar to the olive oil properly. I’m sure round 2 will be much more successful.

On an end note, my dinner last night, of the above salad, with the addition of some leftover Easter ham was delicious!  Meat really does a great job of adding a great flavor to some meals.  What can I say, I’m a meat girl :)

In the Kitchen: Hummus

About 2 weeks ago Stephen and I went out with our friends Jon and Ashley. We had been wanting to re-visit the restaurant we went to on our anniversary and they were happily up for it (“it” being the drive).  While out to dinner I had to say no to the Artichoke Cheesecake appetizer, which I know is absolutely delicious from our first visit, and instead Stephen and I decided to try Hummus (sadly I am off dairy, which means no cheesecake of any kind).  I was happily surprised at how good the hummus was! Over the years I have never had any hummus that wasn’t too bland and boring.  Not this time, this batch was divine.

Since that night I have been craving hummus. This week I decided to fill that empty spot in my stomach with a little homemade hummus from home, HHFM (fun!).  So after work today I went by the store, picked up some ingredients I jotted on a post-it note after searching the internet for a recipe, and headed home to the Ringl kithen.

Here’s how it went…

Clean those Chickpeas (aka: Garbanzo Beans)

Clean up that beautifully green Parsley

Get your Work Zone setup, add Parsley to food processor/chopper and grind that stuff up!

Cut pita into triangle slices and prep for toasting

Add Chick Peas to Parsley
-Olive Oil
-Minced Garlic
-2 Tbsp Water

Garnish your Dish for a Pretty Look

Choose your Dippers, we chose Pita Bread and Carrots, and Enjoy :)

This recipe was an absolute first for me, and to be honest I kinda made it up as I went. Turned out, while in the kitchen, I was looking at a DIFFERENT recipe than the one I was intending to make. I didn’t have a few of the needed ingredients but didn’t notice until mid-recipe, so I decided to add some ingredients that I thought would go well with parsley and garlic.  Thankfully I think it turned out well…

Hummus experiment #1, Success!!

I’m excited about this new series, “In the Kitchen”.  I am planning on experimenting in the kitchen a bit more, and thought you all would be the perfect audience.  I hope you’re up for it :)