Culinary Weekend- Burger Bar Party

 Chris is working Summer hours which means he has several Friday’s where he’s off at noon. It’s basically amazing. That being said we’re wheels off during the weekend and found some time this past Saturday to catch up with some friends from our old Community Group over burgers and loaded twice baked potatoes. 

Before all that I made a batch of black bean dip and had it with  some cheesy jalapeno rice and lime marinaded chicken on Thursday. I had it several times as leftovers-simply can’t get enough of the stuff! 

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I also attempted Chris’ method of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. What you don’t see is the fact that I forgot that I was brewing espresso and completely melted the rubber ring inside espresso maker. C was fussing in his swing while I was attempting to update a blog post and once I jumped up to snag him from his baby misery I smelled it. Awful, terrible burnt coffee and liquified rubber. It’s so like me. So now we’ll be on our third espresso maker because someone is scatterbrained. This is why we don’t have nice things. Thankfully my mother in law is amazing and had bought me a french press for my birthday a few years ago so that’s our new exclusive way to brew coffee. 

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Saturday we had a burger bar of sorts. Sharp cheddar, goat cheese, caramelized onions, hot sauce, all sorts of other fixin’s. De-lish. Knowing it takes minimal time to grill up some burgers I got a head starts on my loaded twice baked potatoes-complete with bacon, cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

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 After slicing them horizontally and scooping out most of the inside I set the hollowed out skins aside and mixed the potato mixture with  cheese (I used a tri-cheddar blend) and all the other goodness.

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Here’s the goodness. Yum.

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After blending the potato mixture in with fillings I re stuffed the potato skins and topped them with smoked paprika. There wasn’t enough space in my baking dish for all the potatoes so I took one for the team and ate one ahead of time just to be sure it was worth serving to our homies.

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Chris is famous in our family for his meatballs. Either served with homemade spaghetti or as a sub, he’s pretty much perfected the meatball. This weekend was no exception. We had them with zucchini “noodles”  and a sauce he made from scratch. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what he put in it because I assure you I’d butcher it. 

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Once everything’s all mixed together we typically pan fry them to make them a little lower in fat and calories 🙂 This time we opted for the easy and healthy route and baked them. Clean up was such a cinch. I hate few things more than scrubbing dishes.

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Thankfully Chris is brilliant and asked that I throw some of the raw meatball mixture into a pan to cook before he added in all the ingredients to make the sauce. We cut fresh mushrooms into it as well just to amp up the flavor and make it a little chunky.

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The zucchini “noodles” were more like ribbons since we don’t have a spiral cutter. It worked well and I convinced K that we were having green pasta. She got down on some veggies because mama is a bit of  a truth stretcher from time to time when it comes to what ingredients are in our meals.

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Needless to say we’ll be having this meal for dinner through Wednesday. Our bulk cooking really helps me out during the week and Chris and I get a chance to spend time in the kitchen together-something so rare with two kids that run the roost

 

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K likes to pretend sometimes it’s her “Special Day” and Sunday was no exception. Chris and I surprised her with a backyard water gun/water balloon fight. I got annihilated and K was all sorts of giddy. We let C participate by setting up shop in his high chair outside and casting his judgmental looks our direction when we got too out of control for his liking. Such a little rule keeper, he is. 

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Black Bean Dip

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 onion, rough chopped

2 jalapenos, seeds, veins, and stem removed-rough chopped

1 T butter

1 T kosher salt

1/2 t each pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, chili powder

juice of one lime

1 c sour cream

Method

1. Saute onion and jalapenos until tender-about 5 min

2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips, black bean crisps, or on other dishes such a tacos, grilled chicken breast, or quesadillas. 

 

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

5 baking potatoes

4 T olive oil

1 T kosher salt

2 c shredded cheddar cheese

3 pieces bacon, cooked and rough chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 c sour cream

2 T butter

1 t pepper

 

Method

1. Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes. Cover with olive oil and salt on both sides. Bake at 400 for approx 1 hour or until tender.

2. Slice potatoes horizontally and scoop out filling. Set aside in a bowl

3. Blend potatoes with butter, pepper, bacon, onions, sour cream, and cheese.

4. Refill potato skins with blended potato mixture. Bake until warmed through-about 15 minutes. This can be made a day in advance and reheated in the oven.

 

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