Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Make The Perfect Hamburger Patty

Have you ever wondered how the butcher at your local grocery store makes perfectly uniform hamburgers they sell?  I have - and  I just stumbled onto a great kitchen/cooking/grilling tip.

I didn’t know you could make uniform hamburger patties with a simple lid, chances are you didn’t know either.  So here’s your chance to make your burgers look perfect like the ones you get in restaurants. It’s so simple yet so brilliant. Say goodbye to jagged edges.  This technique works great and is easy to do.

Here’s how:

1. Season ground beef with your favorite spices.

2. Find a lid that is slightly bigger than the size of your hamburger bun. Cover the lid in plastic wrap. This will make it easier to remove the patty after each use.

3.       Place a good amount of ground beef inside the lid.

4.       Press meat down into the lid.  Remove any excess meat or add more if necessary.

5.       Flip patty out and continue to make as many burgers as needed.

For best cooking results, refrigerate patties for at least 1 hour before frying or grilling.

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Susanne’s Baked Spaghetti

This recipe makes our all-star list! It’s easy, made from ingredients you are likely to have in your pantry and something most people (including kids and picky eaters) will like. It can be made ahead of time and doesn’t require much last minute preparation.


·         1 pound ground beef
·         8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
·         1 large can spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
·         1 tablespoon butter
·         ½ cup chopped green peppers (I usually omit or substitute red peppers)
·         ⅓ Cup chopped onions
·         8 ounces cream cheese
·         2 tablespoons milk
·         Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
·         French-fried onions (small can)

1.       Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.

2.       Brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.

3.       Combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 4 minutes on HIGH until soft.

4.       Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well. (If cream cheese is not soft, nuke it for 20-30 seconds to make it easy to spread.)

5.       Using a 12 x 8-inch baking dish (or something close), assemble in the following order: thin layer of spaghetti sauce, cooked spaghetti, cream cheese/vegetable mixture, remaining spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese (amount subject to your own taste)

6.       Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with french-fried onions and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient–don’t let them burn.)

 Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Campfire Dinners with Ground Beef

After a day full of outdoor activities, nothing brings campers around the fire like a tasty, satisfying meal. Unlike other dinners, a good camping meal has a few more qualities than just satisfying hunger. It gives everyone the opportunity to sit down, grab a bite, and enjoy the company of one another in the twinkling light of the camp fire.

The following camp fire recipes, guaranteed to fill the stomach and tantalize the taste buds.
So round up the ingredients, get the cooking fire roaring, and gather around the fire for these camp site feats.

Foil Dinner

·         1/4 lbs. ground beef
·         1 Carrot, sliced
·         1 Potatoes, sliced
·         Small onion, diced

·         Butter
·         Heavy duty aluminum foil

Layer all ingredients in the center of a piece of aluminum foil. Season to taste. Top with butter. Fold foil and secure tightly. Leave room for expansion. Place packet on hot coals for approx. 20-30 minutes. Turn and rotate often.

Be Creative – Use various vegetables, seasonings and sauces etc.

Baked Spaghetti

·         1/2 lb. ground beef
·         1 large onion, chopped
·         1 clove of garlic, minced
·         4 tablespoons shortening
·         2 cups water
·         2 cans tomato soup
·         2 teaspoons chili powder
·         1/2 lb. uncooked spaghetti
·         1 cup grated sharp cheese

Cook onion and garlic in shortening in Dutch oven. Add beef and cook. Stir occasionally. Drain excess grease. Mix in the soup, water and chili powder and cook a few minutes longer. Break spaghetti into inch pieces and stir into sauce until all covered. Bake for about 1 hour. Stir approximately every 15 minutes. Then add cheese to top. Bake another 15 minutes.

Campfire Stew

·         1 lb. ground beef
·         1 small onion
·         Garlic salt
·         Other seasonings
·         1 can vegetable soup

In Dutch oven, brown meat with onion, garlic and seasonings. When meat is thoroughly cooked add canned vegetable soup and simmer till heated through.

Serve with foil wrapped potatoes and biscuits.

Easy Camp Pies

·         Ground beef
·         Potatoes
·         Onions
·         Carrots
·         Butter
·         Dry onion soup mix
·         Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil

Use a square of heavy duty aluminum foil for each “pie”. For each “pie” put one hamburger, thinly sliced potatoes, sliced onions, sliced carrots, a tablespoon of butter & some dry onion soup mix. Wrap up your “pie” and place in the coals. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until done.

Easy Chili

·         1 lb. ground beef
·         1 can large can peeled tomatoes, diced
·         6 small cans tomato sauce
·         1 onion, chopped
·         1/2 green pepper, diced
·         2 cans light red kidney beans, drained
·         1 package McCormick Chili Seasoning

Brown hamburger in a skillet. Drain fat. In a large pot, combine all remaining ingredients. Stir in ground beef. Simmer for 1/2 hour. Stir occasionally.

Coffee Can Supper


·         2 large coffee cans (this is for several people)
·         Heavy duty tin foil


·         Hamburger, or small pieces of steak
·         Medium potatoes
·         Carrots
·         Onions
·         1 clove garlic
·         Mrs. Dash seasoning
·         Salt (optional)
·         Butter or olive oil

Put a small amount of oil or butter in bottom of coffee cans. Peel potatoes, carrots and onions. Cut into chunks and put into coffee cans. Add the meat, seasonings and a little more oil or butter. Cover tightly with foil. Set in coals to bake for about 1 hour or until meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender. Serve with fresh crusty buttered bread.

You can also make this without meat, or with fish or chicken, and any seasonings you desire. Experiment! This is also something you can make ahead of time. Refrigerate and/or keep in cooler until time for use.

Hobo Dinners

·         About 1/2 lb. ground beef per person
·         Carrots
·         Potatoes
·         About 4 spoonful’s per person of Cream of Mushroom Soup
·         Lawry’s seasoning salt
·         Tin foil

Divide the meat evenly between everyone- about 1/2 lb. per person. Cut a lot of potatoes evenly & thinly slice & put in a pot. Do the same with the carrots. Have each person put their meat, carrots and potatoes in a 2.5 foot long piece of tin foil. Then put 3-4 spoonful’s of Cream of Mushroom Soup in & mix evenly. Season to taste. Wrap up & keep it thin so it cooks faster. Add another piece of tin foil around it. Put it in the coals and cook until it is done. Check on it every 15 minutes or so.

Skillet Scramble

·         1 lb. ground beef
·         1 12" cast iron skillet (does not have to be cast iron, but works best)
·         1 medium bell pepper
·         1 medium red pepper
·         1 medium onion
·         3 medium tomatoes
·         6 large eggs or equal amount of Egg Beaters
·         1/2 cup shredded cheese (4 slices work too)
·         Salt, pepper, garlic powder, to taste

Brown meat, onion, pepper, tomatoes and seasonings. Drain. Return to pan. Add eggs and scramble all together until eggs are done. Take off heat and add cheese on top to melt.  Feeds about 4. This tastes great with salsa on the side.

This recipe is great in the fact that you can use it for any meal and can be flexible on ingredients. You can change things to your taste.

Happy Cooking

Friday, June 7, 2013

Celebrate Father’s Day with Stuffed Burgers!

Why not shake-up your Father's Day menu with an alternative to the classic burger?
After all - It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Loaded with gooey cheese and super spicy jalapeños – we’ve moved your favourite toppings inside the burger for bite after bite of burger glory.



·         2 pounds ground beef
·         3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
·         2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers, minced
·         2 tablespoons onion, grated
·         1 tablespoon steak seasoning


  1. Combine ground beef, onion, steak seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Form mixture into 8 thin patties.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together jalapeno pepper and cheddar cheese. Spoon cheese mixture onto 4 of the patties. Take the remaining patties and place them on top. Seal edges and press to an even thickness about 1 1/2 inch. Cover and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill. Place burger patties on grill and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn once. Serve with buns and condiments.

Happy Cooking

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cindy’s Chili Meat Loaf Muffins

This is my absolute favorite recipe for meatloaf. It is sooooo good! I serve it with "chip salad" or just a regular salad with fat-free Catalina dressing.


·         1 lb. ground beef lean
·         3/4 c. rotel ( canned diced tomatoes & green chilis)
·         1 tsp. chili powder
·         14 oz. can black beans; drained & rinsed shopping list
·         1/2 c. cheddar/jack shredded cheese
·         1/2 tsp. salt
·         1/4 tsp. black pepper


1.       In bowl, break up beef with a fork. Mix in 1/4 c. of the Rotel, chili powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Divide into 8 portions. Place in muffin cups.

2.       Press center of each to form a well 3/4 in. deep and 1 1/2 in. wide.

3.       Bake in 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until firm to the touch and no longer pink.

4.       Combine beans and remaining Rotel. Spoon into wells.

5.       Sprinkle with cheese.

6.       Bake for 7-8 min. or until beans are hot and cheese has melted.

7.       Using two forks, remove from muffin cups.

Happy Cooking
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