9 Things You Can Do With Paper Towels

I’d like to add a tenth thing, clean up spilt liquids. (link)

A New Way to Reheat Pizza

We love day old cold pizza, who doesn’t? But there are times when I want a warm pizza again.  You could try to microwave it but that just leaves the bread soggy and chewy.  Lately I’ve been putting it in our toaster-oven for a few minutes but next time we have leftover pizza I’m going to try a reheating it with skillet. (link)

Homemade Burgers

It took me a while to realize that most people don’t make their own burgers, they prefer to buy frozen ones from the store.  This concept still baffles me to this day.  Why buy them when they’re so easy to make?  Ok, I guess I could make an exception if you’re entertaining because it’s cheaper & easier to just buy it, but if they’re for personal consumption, you gotta make them.  They taste so much better and you can make them with whatever ingredients you want and the size you want.

I have to thank my mom for teaching me how to make my own burgers and they’ll always hold a nostalgic place in my heart.  Whenever my mom would go to make a new batch I would always be willing to help out, I mean who doesn’t love the feeling of ground beef squishing through their fingers?

It’s not just me that loves these burgers, Nat does too.  She spent a lot of time as a vegetarian (I try not to hold that against her) but she absolutely loves these burgers.  Whenever we eat one at a restaurant she likes to remind me that it’s not as good as the ones I make.  There’s just something about a burger made with your own hands that make it taste better.

Anyways, below is my base burger recipe and from there you can add whatever extra ingredients you want.  It’s a highly customizable recipe.

Ingredients
(makes about ~16 burgers)

  • 4 lbs lean ground beef (I’ve tried using extra lean but the burgers end up slightly drier when cooked, the extra fat that lean has helps keep them moist)
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 dashes of hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    Pro Tip: Take the meat out of the fridge before you start chopping/mixing the other ingredients, and then add it last.  That way the meat will warm up a bit before you use you hands to mix it all together.  It’s a first world problem, but mixing cold meat with your hands isn’t fun.

  2. Tear about 16 squares of waxed paper.
  3. Use you hands to make a ball (between golf ball and a tennis ball in size) and then flatten in out into a disc on a piece of waxed paper.  The size of the ball and thickness of the disc depend on had big a burger you want to make.  Keep in mind that they will shrink slightly when you cook them.
  4. Wrap individually in waxed paper and then put in a couple large ziplock bags for freezing.

 

Cooking

  • When cooking them I tend to defrost them in a microwave (low setting so you don’t cook them) and then toss them on the BBQ.  The best way to cook them.
  • They’re usually done cooking once you notice them shrinking in size.

Appendix

You can adjust the seasonings according to taste but you will always need the eggs to ensure everything sticks together.  Over the years I’ve tried a few variations, some better than others, but one of my favourite is adding curry powder.  I know it’s not a logical addition but the tast if gives is amazing.  It takes a fair bit of powder, I tend to cover the ingredients (minus the meat) in the bowl with a layer.  It’s not an official measurement.

Other variations I’ve tried is mushroom burgers, green pepper burgers, dijon mustard burgers and cheese burgers.  They were good but curry powder was the best.  Keep in mind that having a stronger tasting spice will be more noticeable then a subtle flavour (like green peppers) and you might have to add more than you expect.

If you come up with any other variations that you like be sure to share in the comments!

Expiry Dates

Nat and I used to see differently on expiry dates. I tend to ignore them and wait for the food to go visibly bad before throwing it out, she used to be hardcore about the dates. Over time we’ve met somewhere in the middle.

Dates on food are guidelines more than deadlines.

Couldn’t agree more. (link)

Brain Food

What food is good for you brain?  I like all of them except for coffee, which is gross. Nat loves coffee, so does that mean she has a better brain than me? Don’t answer that. (link)

Apple Sauce Apple Cake – Happy Birthday Marc!

If you know Marc outside of this blog then you knew that it was Marc’s 32nd birthday last week and we spent the weekend celebrating. By Sunday night we were all partied out, but something was missing…birthday cake!

Marc loves apple desserts…and when I say love, I am not kidding. He loves apple pie, apple crumble, apple everything. So, I thought, why not try an apple cake?!

A few weeks ago, I tried a new recipe for a healthier apple cake that I found on (never home)maker. I tweaked it a bit to cater to our less sweet, more fruit taste buds. Here is the original recipe.

Of course we served it warm and with vanilla frozen yogurt!

Cake Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (the original recipe calls for a 1/2 cup, but I don’t think you need much, if any at all. Marc disagrees, so we settled on a 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or any plain yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1-2 apples – the more apple the moister the cake. I would start with 1 and add as needed (organic preferred)

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

Grease a square 9 x 9 inch baking dish (I used a round one and things were a bit tight, but it still worked). Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar (if you are using it), baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

In a smaller bowl, combine Greek yogurt, maple syrup, vegetable oil and apple sauce. Then mix the dry ingredients.

Add apple to the mixture. Do not over-mix.

Pour ingredients into the pan.

Combine all topping ingredients and spread over the cake with a fork.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You may of noticed the beginnings of Marc’s moustache in the above photo.  Marc has decided to take part in Movember this year, if you’re interested, visit his page and donate!

 

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