Change Up Your Cheeseburger!

Hey, everyone!

One thing you should all know about me…. I love cheeseburgers. I really do. Especially in the summer when grilling is the thing to do!

Change up your cheeseburger

Although I do enjoy a standard, classic burger, I occasionally like to change it up. Switch some things around. Add some interesting flavors. Today I’m not really posting an actually recipe… more like a few suggestions and ideas for you all so you can get inspired and come up with your very own cheeseburger flavors!
The burgers I made for this post are kind of a smokey BBQ flavor. Yeah.

BURGER_MIX

I always start with 1lb of ground beef (or sirloin if you’re feeling fancy). I then mix in the other ingredients. Today it was some minced onion, BBQ sauce, Worcester sauce, salt & pepper, and a bit of garlic powder. Sometimes I add some shredded cheese. Sometimes I add various veggies. Spices. You can do ANYTHING!

BURGERS_FORM
After all your ingredients are mixed into the beef, it’s time to form the patties. That’s pretty easy. Then it’s time to grill!

BURGERS_TOPPINGS
Once off the grill, choose some toppings! I added pepper-jack cheese, guacamole, spicy brown mustard, and lettuce. I’m odd I suppose, but it was super good!

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I’d be pretty stoked to hear about any great flavor combinations you guys come up with! Happy grilling!
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-The Whale

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Smashed Strawberry Daiquiri

Hey there!

So new thing on the blog today! I recently obtained my bar tending license, and mixology is something that I’m really interested in, so I’ve decided to start messing around and experimenting with some things and different types of drinks. I figure I may as well share some of these endeavors with all of you!

smashed Stawberry daiquiri

Daiquiris are a pretty great summer drink, and the strawberry one is definitely the most popular. They also usually come in a frozen form. For my daiquiri, I decided to leave out the frozen part, as well as incorporate fresh berries!
You Need:
you need
-1 1/2oz White Rum (I used Bacardi)
-1/4oz Simple Syrup
-Juice from 1/2 lime
-1-2 Strawberries
-Shaker & some ice

One:
smash
Cut the strawberries into smaller pieces and put them in the bottom of the glass you’re using. Use a muddler (or if you’re like me and don’t have a muddler, the back of a spoon) to smash up the strawberries a bit.

Two:
Put the remaining ingredients into a shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake for a minute or so, then strain into the glass on top of the strawberries. Done!

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Yummy!
Hope you guys enjoy these new posts!
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-The Whale

Home Made Hashbrowns

Hey there!

So today I have a recipe for one of my most favorite breakfast foods!

Hashbrowns

Hash browns!!!

I had never really thought about making these at home before, but one day I came across a recipe on Pinterest. Once I saw how simple it was, I knew I had to give it a try!

You Need:
-Russet Potato (one per serving)
-Salt & Pepper
-2 tbs Olive Oil

One:
peel
Peel your potatoes for however many you need. I left a bit of skin on just because I like it that way.

Two:
grate
Use a grater to grate your potatoes.

Three:
dry
Transfer your grated potatoes to a paper towel. Top with another paper towel, and press down to extract as much moisture as you can. Replace the top paper towel with a new, dry one and repeat until it comes back relatively dry. I did this about three times. Getting moisture out is an important step if you want crispy hash browns!

Three:
cook
Heat up some olive oil and add the potatoes. I did about 3/4 of a cup of potato shreds at a time in my small skillet. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Cook on each side until they start to get crispy!

Enjoy!
yum

Hope you guys all enjoy these hashbrowns as much as I did!

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-The Whale

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Hey there, everyone!

New recipe today!

sundriedtomatopasta

I’m a huge fan of pasta… if it weren’t for the whole I’d get pretty fat if all I ate were pasta… well I’d probably eat a lot more pasta…

Anyways, this is a simple yet delicious recipe (aka the best kind!). I’m always on the look out for things I can make up for dinner pretty quickly.

You Need:
You Need
-1/2c sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
-1c cooked chicken breast cubed.
-1/4c fresh basil chopped
-2 cloves of garlic minced
-2c cooked pasta (I used home made!)

Cook
Like I said, this one is super easy! Heat up a bit of the oil from the tomatoes, and saute the garlic in it. Add the rest of the ingredients (except pasta) and cook stirring occasionally until it’s all heated through. Now serve over the pasta and enjoy!

yum

Well that’s all for today! Hope you guys like it!

-The Whale

Quinoa Kale Sriracha Patties

Hey, everyone!

New recipe today!

Kale Quinoa Sriracha Patties

Two things I’m obsessed with… quinoa and sriracha… and then… well kale is very good for you! Not that I don’t like kale. I don’t mind some in my salad from time to time… but obsessed? I wouldn’t go so far as to say that.
sriracha

Anyways, these are pretty simple to make. I like to think they’re pretty tasty as well!

You Need:
DSCN5559
-2 Cups of cooked Quinoa
-1.1/2 Cups of chopped Kale
-1 Egg
-1/4 Cup Sriracha Chili Sauce
-1/4 Cup Onion Chopped
-1/8 Cup Green Pepper (and or other veggies!)
-Olive Oil for cooking

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Mix the quinoa, kale, and other veggies in a bowl.

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Add the egg and sriracha!

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Form the mixture into patties. (I used about 1/4 Cup for each patty) Make sure you mold them firmly or they won’t stay together very well in the cooking process!
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Heat some olive oil in a skillet and cook each patty until browned. (a few minutes on each side). Remove the cooked patties to a plate with a paper towel to drain off any extra oil.

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Enjoy!

-The Whale

Curry Ginger Butternut Squash Soup

Hello hello!

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Cincinnati, OH, its FALL! I’m pretty sure fall is my favorite season… at least food wise. I’m one of those pumpkin, honeycrisp apple obsessed people. Don’t judge.

Anyways, its been awhile since I’ve done a food post on here. I figured I’d change that with a very fall appropriate recipe!

curry ginger butternut squash soup
Adapted from here

Now I feel like butternut squash is one of those overlooked fall foods that really should not be overlooked! I know we always had some in our garden growing up. They really are quite close to pumpkin… I love me some good squash…

Curry Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
you need
You Need:
-3 cups of butternut squash cubed.
-1 cup diced onion
-2 cups chicken broth
-2 Tbs butter (separated)
-1 tsp Curry powder
-1 tsp Ginger powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-Pepper to taste

First:
squash
Cube up your squash… lets take a moment here to take in the beautiful color! Yeah… so what I find easiest is to chop off each end, then cut it in half to scoop out the insides… (even kind of smells like pumpkin!) Then peel the thing and proceed to cube!

Next:
process
Add your cubed squash to a pot with water (enough to cover all the squash) and bring to a boil. Allow it to boil until a squash stabbed with a fork slides off on its own (like boiling potatoes!).
In the mean time, dice up your onion and saute with a tablespoon of the butter until lightly browned.
Once your squash is ready, drain out the water and mash it all up with a potato masher!

And Now:
mix season
Return the mashed squash to the burner on medium low heat. Add in the broth, remaining butter, and onions and allow to heat through. Once heated add in the seasons! (curry, ginger, salt, pepper).
After that’s all nice and mixed in, I like to pour it all into the blender and give it a few pulses… just because I like a more consistent texture, but if you enjoy chunks in your soup by all means skip that step!

yum!

fall soup

I firmly believe this soup is one of the most perfect for fall with its slightly spiced squash flavor! Try it out!

-The Whale

Experimenting With Pastry Puff: Turnovers

Hello, everyone!

I know its been awhile. Like I said in my last post… a lot going on right now! I’ll be sure to tell you about all of it once its said and done.

Anyways, today I’m sharing my first experience using pastry puff… Cherry turnovers!
pastrypuff

So. Using pasty puff (I used Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry) is simple.

pastrypuff2

All you do is thaw it out according to the instructions on the package and get baking! Like I said earlier, my first attempt with using this product was to create cherry turnovers.

roll it out
After the pastry puff was thawed out I rolled it out into a big square. (well as much as a square as I could manage.)

divide
I then used a butter knife to divide the dough into smaller squares.

cherries
Now is time for the cherries! My first batch I made my squares too small for the amount of cherries I filled them with… the results weren’t pretty…
fail
The pastry puff didn’t stay closed when they baked revealing the cherries and allowing the juice to escape. This resulted in cherry ‘nests’ as I called them, with burnt cherry juice on the bottom… not what I was going for.
but ok
If you could get most of the burnt part off it wasn’t bad…
muchbetter
The second batch turned out much better! I used larger squares and a little less cherries!
nomz
yum
I also created a glaze for my turnovers consisting of about a cup of powdered sugar mixed with a table spoon or so of milk. Nothing fancy, but tasty nonetheless!

Well, that about sums up my first experience with pasty puff! I certainly hope all of this craziness is over soon so I can find the time to post regularly again!

-The Whale

Avocado Fries

Hello, friends!

I have a recipe today!
Avocado Fries
I don’t know about you… but I’m a bit obsessed with avocados… like for real. They’re just so tasty AND healthy! Best of both worlds? I think so.

Avocado Fries
You need

One:
combine
Combine the bread crumbs, seasoning, and cheese in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and water. Set the two bowls up next to each other.

Two:
slice avocados
This step is pretty self explanatory… slice up your avocados! Don’t worry if they’re not perfect!

Three:
Dip
Coat
Now comes the time to bread our avocado slices. Use a fork to dip each slice in the egg mixture followed by the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure every slice is coated well!

Four:
bake
Spray a baking sheet with olive oil (or normal cooking oil) and place all the ‘fries’ on it. Now spay the fries as well. At this point I also added a bit of sea salt and pepper. Once they’re all seasoned up, bake at 450 for about 10 minutes. The bread crumbs will have browned a bit.

yummy avocado fries
Enjoy your avocado fries on their own or with some ranch for dipping! I feel they would go well along with a tasty burger!

-The Whale

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Hello!

So today I have a new recipe for you! I’m a huge fan of bagels. Like. Really. Bagels are fantastic. Especially cinnamon raisin bagels.

cinnamon raisin bagels
Adapted from here
So, I’m ashamed that it took me this long to realize how easy it is to make bagels from scratch. It’s pretty easy. Want to know how? Don’t worry. I’ll show you. The interesting thing about making bagels is that you boil the dough before baking them. This is what results in the chewy center part and what makes bagels bagels…

You Need
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:Makes Eight Bagels.

First:
Yeast
Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Now add the yeast. Allow this to sit for about 8 minutes until the yeast is all foamy and fluffy looking.

Second:
Mix
Mix together all the flour, salt, and the cinnamon. I used 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. If you want you can just go ahead and use all normal bread flour. I just really like whole wheat things… Once that’s all combined, add the yeast mixture (now all foamy) and mix until a ‘shaggy’ dough is formed.
Shaggy dough

Third:
raisin bowl
Turn the dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and kneed for about 5 minutes. Now create a bit of a bowl and add the raisins to it. I used golden raisins… mostly because that’s what I had available. Use any kind of raisin your heart desires. Fold the dough up around the raisins and continue kneading for a few more minutes until the raisins are evenly distributed.
fold over

Five:
raisin ready
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm dry place until doubled in size (about an hour)… orrrrr use my quick rise method to cut that rise time in half… that’s what I will be doing!
risen

Six:
divided
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and create a hole by pushing your thumbs through the center. You will then have eight cute little bagels! Allow those to rest for another ten minutes while you get a pot of water boiling!
little bagels

Seven:
boil
After the bagels have had some time to rest and the water is boiling pretty well, place a bagel or two into the water. Allow them to cook for about a minute and then flip and cook them for another minute on the other side. Transfer the bagel to a cooking sheet and repeat until all the bagels have been boiled.

Eight:
oven ready
Now, if you want, you can mix one egg with a tablespoon of water and brush this over the bagels. This will give them a pretty shine. Otherwise, just pop them in an oven preheated to 425 for 20 minutes. They should come out golden brown!
fresh
cream cheese

MMM bagels!

-The Whale

Pizza Sauce!

Hey!

I have a recipe today! Its a pretty important one…. that’s right. Pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce
A jar of this is just about always in my fridge. I maybe eat pizza a lot…. but hey, who doesn’t enjoy a good pizza?

Homemade Pizza Sauce:
Ingredients

This is a super simple recipe! Of course if you want to be super fancy you could use fresh roma tomatoes… but that takes much longer… I don’t usually have time for that. I feel this is a great (and much quicker!) alternative!

chop basil

First coarsely chop your basil. You could really even tear it if you don’t feel like chopping… and also if you don’t mind your fingers smelling like basil all day. It’s probably one of my favorite smells, but not on my fingers.

Directions
Now just go ahead and throw everything into a pot on the stove top. Turn the heat to medium and allow to simmer. (Tip: use a wooden spoon to prop a lid over the pot while its simmering. This will prevent any splattering that’s bound to occur when simmering.) Let this go on for as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour or so. The longer it simmers the more the flavors infuse together, but if you don’t have the time don’t worry. It’s still tasty! When you are satisfied with the simmering time, transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until its a sauce-like consistency. Be sure to be careful. It will be hot!

pizza!
Now all you have to do is use it on your pizza! I store the rest in a mason jar in my fridge. It will last for some time! (Though mine always gets used up rather quickly!)

Enjoy!

-The Whale