Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A lot has happened since I started working on this particular post. We talk in just about every post about prepping your ingredients ahead. Well, I did just that. Wednesday night, I prepared my patties, so on Thursday I would just have to fire up the grill to get dinner going. Little did I know, that was not going to happen. I went into labor that night and our new addition arrived Thursday afternoon around noon. Since the burgers were already made, we grilled them the day I came home from the hospital.  I have since been a little sidetracked, but I’m back and trying to get caught up. I have posted a picture of our newest little blogger at the end. Enjoy…
Backyard Burgers
 There’s the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, the flowers are starting to bloom, and after a long winter, we all have the urge to break out the shorts and flip flips and get outside to grill! When you want to have a few friends over for an easy dinner, nothing beats a backyard burger. However, this post, we are going to put a little spin on things.
Because we are all still trying to hold on to those New Year’s resolutions, Lenten promises, or just trying to get in shape for the upcoming bathing suit season we are going to lighten up the typical backyard burger. We are having turkey burgers! Before you run away screaming about the horrors of diet food, stick around and give this one a chance. This recipe is from the Cooking Light magazine, July 2010. I LOVE this magazine. If you have never flipped through, I highly recommend it. You can find pretty much any recipe you desire in the pages of this magazine. The best part is that they have done all the work and lightened up the recipe. Double win!
This recipe in particular has a secret ingredient I will reveal towards the end. It promises to help the burgers taste more like the traditional beef we are used to. Stay tuned and see how they turn out.

Make your patties the night before and keep them in the fridge for a time-saver!
Light your grill and give it about 30-40 minutes until all the coals are white. This will ensure there is a pretty consistent temperature in the grill and also help prevent flame-ups.
While your grill is coming to temperature, mix together your ingredients and form large, loose patties. Try to handle them as little as possible. This helps to keep the meat tender. I tend to make my patties bigger and a little thinner than you would think. They tend to shrink up on the grill. If you don’t take this into account, you’ll end up with tasty little meatballs. We will soon find out if turkey shrinks like beef. Since turkey is so low in fat, we are going to lightly spray each side with a non-stick cooking spray so they don’t stick to the grill. (Note: Turkey does not shrink like beef on the grill.)

ALERT: Please, please, please, resist the urge to smash your burgers with the back of the spatula. This does not make your burger cook quicker. It can cause your burger to be dry and tough. Also, try to resist constant flipping. It is best to flip once during cooking.
For this particular burger, place on grill and let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip and cook for about 3 minutes on second side or until they are cooked through.
The burgers were very tasty; however, they did NOT taste like beef. They were full of flavor and I would definitely make them again. Are you ready for the secret ingredient? Roasted eggplant!  You roast it whole in the oven, puree, and mix in with the meat. It helps to hold it together while giving it added flavor and nutrients. Even if you think you don’t like eggplant, just try it. You won’t even know it’s there.  This recipe also calls for an ingredient called Marmite. I am not familiar with it and our local grocery stores do not carry it. Because it only called for ¼ teaspoon, I just left it out. I feel like the burgers were still very tasty.

This is what your roasted eggplant will look like.

Pureed Roasted Eggplant

**A burger is the perfect vehicle for many vegetables and condiments. My husband prefers the mushroom/swiss version.
**Sometimes when I have a little extra time on my hands, I make super thin patties; place a piece of cheese in the middle and top with another patty. Seal the edges and voila! Instant cheeseburger surprise.
Get out there and be creative with your toppings. Let us know which are your favorites!

Our newest little blogger, Wade

Friday, April 22, 2011

And the winner is...


Carla wrote:
"We always have a "little kid" and a "big kid" egg hunt. I've moved up into the "big kid" category now. We hide eggs and let our children hunt them and then our parents hide eggs and let us hunt them. It gets pretty intense and I have never won, but that's okay because everyone gets a prize- even the one with the fewest eggs. Brooke Kinney is usually the winner and her stealth egg hunting skills can not be matched. I do enjoy the challenge and this year it's in MY yard, so I might have a chance... I love spending Easter with my family and friends!"

Congratulations, Carla!  Email us at to claim your prize!  Thanks to everyone who entered.  Look for more freebies in the near future! Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Leave a comment of your favorite Easter tradition, and you will be entered to win this Pampered Chef batter bowl (courtesy of Tiffany Walden) filled with Easter goodies!  Post by Thursday at midnight. Winner will be chosen and announced Friday morning.  Good luck!

P.S.  Check out Tiffany's Pampered Chef website here!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

King, er, Queen of the Grill

Palms are starting to sweat, getting anxious, nervous…
You know that feeling I’m talking about.  It’s how you feel when you get that first phone call that says, “Hey, you want to go to the (insert warm, watery destination) next month?”  You being the cool cucumber you are reply, “Of course! This is going to be so much fun!” You kindly say thank you and hang up.  That’s when it hits you….you have to put on a bathing suit soon. 
I'm wishing bathing suits looked a little bit more like this these days...
Your fully clothed wardrobe has to go back into its bins and placed safely in the barn. Oh, your closet is big enough to hold all your clothes at once? Well, aren’t you lucky! Back to my story.  Spring is in the air, and summer is around the corner.  Summer in the south wouldn’t be summer if lake and beach trips and afternoons spent at the pool weren’t there; therefore, it’s something you have to deal with.  Do you want to be the one sweating to death in your cover up, or the one proudly boasting your bathing suit bod? 
Let’s not panic just yet, we have a few weeks before it really hits.  This is the time that we stop eating all the comfort foods to warm us up from the inside.  Now is the time to bring out the grills and the salads! It’s time to stop trying to heat the house with the oven and move the party outside.  Are you with me? Less indoor cleaning…starting to sound a little better to you, huh?
You know what I’m thinking? Chicken!

The key to grilling the perfect chicken is all in the marinade.  You can marinate chicken for hours, and the longer it sits the better.  Two ingredients that I have in abundance right now are lemons and rosemary, so when I ran across Ina’s recipe for Tuscan Lemon Chicken I knew it’d be a hit. Plus, I love Ina.  I’m excited and my mouth is watering, so let’s get started!
First thing's first, let’s discuss our ingredients.  You’ll need chicken, lemons, rosemary, oil, S&P, garlic and large storage bags. I used pre-minced garlic in a jar, five lemons and about 4 Tbsp of rosemary. 

Your first step is to zest your lemons. I don’t have a zester (or a grater), so I used a vegetable peeler. It gets the job done, so no worries.  Then you need to squeeze your lemons. I hope you brought your guns because squeezing lemons is harder than I thought!  I got ¾ cup out of five lemons.  Now, chop up your rosemary. 

(The rosemary wasn't added until after these pictures.)
I apologize that I don’t have exact measurements for what I used. I was making a marinade, so it doesn’t have to be exact. I was also using bone in chicken breasts instead of whole chickens like Ina.  My pieces were too large to place in one bag, so I did three in one and three in the other.  Then, I did equal parts vegetable oil in each bag, probably about a cup, then divided my lemon juice equally among the bags, added salt and pepper in each, added about ½ tsp of garlic in each, then about 6-8 pieces of lemon skin and about 2 Tbsp of rosemary in each. Get things moving around and refrigerate overnight (or longer).

When you’re ready to start cooking your chicken the first thing is to preheat your grill. Once it’s good and hot add your chicken.  Large bone in chicken breasts cooked for 15 minutes on each side.  They were juicy and delicious!
I think technically you should start skin side down, but we didn't and they turned out great.

Yum. This meal was perfect.