Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Australian Hamburgers

My sister sent me this recipe after an Aussie friend of hers made these for Australian New Year (which is indeed in January, not July). They sound really interesting. Good, even. Thought I'd post it now since it's prime grilling season in our part of the world. 
Australian Hamburgers
Toasted, buttered hamburger bun
hamburger patty
grilled onion
pineapple slice
picked beets
and topped off with a fried egg

Was very filling.  No baked beans or potato salad needed!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 131—Short and sweet

Mon – Beef stir-fry
Tues – Chicken fingers + sweet potato fries
Weds – Tacos
Thurs – Out w/the Chilean
Fri – Road food
Back from a trip to Iowa for RAGBRAI, leaving in 4 days for a trip to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for a long weekend at my aunt and uncle's house on the lake. Traditional cultural experiences in 2 Midwestern states within the span of 2 weekends. The kids' heads will explode!

This week, we'll enjoy one last night out with our old exchange student who has been visiting. I'm guessing some good red meat and red wine is in order. Happy cooking.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I need inspiration

Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

Healthy Snack-Packer

Last week, we decided to take a mid-morning bike ride. I wanted to keep it simple and get out the door in under 30 minutes. Thus, I was delighted when my 6-year-old surprised us all by packing a snack while I got the bikes out and her little brothers ready (shoes, socks, has everyone gone to the bathroom?, let's get some sunscreen on those cheeks!, where are the helmets?).

She proudly presented two tidy plastic containers to me, filled with clementines and mint she pulled from the garden. Yes, mint. I paused a little, thinking, how satisfying will this be to gnaw on a pile of mint? But I didn't want to crush her enthusiasm (I was keeping this simple, right?), so we headed out the door. 

After we had pedaled for awhile (maybe a mile...), we found some swings and good spot to have our snack. To my surprise, everyone snacked on the mint. We have little bits of it out of the garden often, but never really indulged in salad-like portions before. No one commented that it was unusual. Turned out it was a perfectly refreshing thing on an extremely hot and humid day. My daughter ate the 3 clementines almost entirely by herself. The remains of our snack are what you see in the photo.

I was happy that everyone had such a healthy snack, and that my daughter came up with it. Fun to see what the kids assemble as they get a little older. Nice work, Kate!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week 130—Midsummer Dream

Mon – Polynesian meatballs w/mashed sweet potatoes (Taste of Home)
Tues – Out
Weds – Tacos/burritos
Thurs – Lasagna and salad
Fri – Grill steaks, fingerling potatoes
Alts – Chicken something
As for the "Midsummer Dream": that as I finish planning this menu, the groceries magically appear in the kitchen. I'll go downstairs now to see if it came true. Happy cooking.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hello My Baby, Hello My Darlin'...

Cooked froggies
My mom, purveyor of frog legs
What did you have for your 4th of July family/friend gatherings? Brats on the grill? Some juicy burgers? Kabobs? Not us.

Try frog legs and grilled 'gator. Mind you, we live in Minnesota. Things don't usually get this crazy. My mom inexplicably arrived from Iowa with a cooler full of frozen frog legs and alligator fillets and said, "Let's have a party!"

So we did. 

"Sure looks good. Can't wait for seconds!"

The kids were remarkably sporting.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 129—Simplicity Rules the Day

Mon – Extended family picnic/potluck
Tues – Turkey sausage grilled foil pack
Weds – Chicken stir-fry
Thurs – Burgers
Fri – Tortellini, salad, bread
Alts – pizza
Someone asked me how to make a "foil pack."
1. Lay out a double-layer of foil. This is where you will combine your ingredients and cook them. You can assemble these either as individual servings so you'll have 4 or 6 or however many you're making pads of aluminum foil laid out on your work surface, or one or two large ones.
2. Take a ring of turkey sausage (or whatever you like). Cut 1/4-1/2 in rounds. Add onion, a green or red or yellow pepper, and some potatoes all chopped into bite-sized pieces. (The ingredients can vary widely, this is just a suggestion and what I typically have on hand).
3. drizzle olive or canola oil lightly over the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Wrap securely, in a flat shape so it cooks evenly on the grill/fire. Grill on high heat for approx 15 mins.

Of course, you can just fry it all up in a pan for a classic "American stir-fry" too.

Happy cooking.