Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Molten Cheeseburgers

These are delicious!! So juicy and oozy and huge! Come to the table hungry for this one! We saw this on The Food Network's Man v. Food last night. It's a good show. You get to watch a guy gorge himself with really good food in large portions!

Make hamburger patties really thin. They used 1/4# of burger, but I used less. I made 10 patties out of about 1 1/2# of burger. They were about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. We had a couple leak a little because we BBQ'd them, but nothing too bad. I think I might make them a tiny bit thicker, but not too much. They are huge. I cut waxed paper squares and just pressed out the meat right on them.

Place a patty on waxed paper on counter. Fold American Cheese in fourths and put in the middle of the patty. Put another patty on top leaving the waxed paper on top. Press the sides of the patties together to seal. (They had other cheeses on the menu--bleu cheese, pepper jack, Swiss. They said the original was the most popular, though.)

BBQ or cook on a griddle til done. Toast the bun, serve with ketchup, mustard, and the grilled onions are a must! We also added slices of garden tomatoes, because you must!

The only thing I would change is the bun. You need a giant one. I got the good kind from the bakery that you have to slice, but they were a little small and too delicate. Maybe a kaiser type or just the bigger Eddy's or Wonder buns would be better, though I loved the flavor of the wimpy ones.

Have fun with these. I think these would be fun for a party. Just give the kids regular burgers or hot dogs, though all three of my boys loved them. Two just had trouble finishing the whole thing!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apricot Leather

This recipe can be adjusted for any kind of fruit you want to use. Just add the sugar slowly to taste. Dad's tip on drying them in the hot car worked like a gem! That way you won't heat up your house.

8 c blended apricots
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 c sugar or to taste

-Wash apricots, pull apart and take pits out. Put in blender and blend until smooth.
-Pour into bowl and add lemon juice and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
-Prepare pans by covering with plastic wrap. If you use large jelly roll size pans you'll need to use two strips of plastic wrap and overlap them in the middle really good. Leave a little extra hanging off all sides.
-Pour fruit on pan. You want it to be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. This is a little hard to gauge but use your best judgment. Keep in mind that the thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry, obviously. I kind of move the pan around and shake it on a flat surface to get it nice and even and smooth.
-Now, you can dry this a few different ways. You can use the hot car as I previously mentioned. Just crack your windows and set the pans in but try to make sure they're as level as possible. Also try to use an alternate car if possible when you need to go somewhere. I drove Pierce down to his cousins, just down the road, and we had flying fruit leather. The car method took me about two days to get it completely dry and this was with very hot temperatures. You can also obviously use a food dehydrator if you have one. You can also dry this out in the sun but will need to put screens over it to keep the bugs out. They say this takes 24 hours but I've never tried it. You can also use your oven. Just turn it on a very low temperature like 140 degrees. Let dry in the oven for as long as it takes to get the puree completely dry. It should not be sticky to the touch. This may take 8-12 hours or you can just do it overnight. I've also heard of people tenting it with cheesecloth and drying it in the sun, or putting it in your BBQ with the lid closed in the hot sun.

-One thing you want to be careful of is don't let your plastic wrap fall down on the sides over the puree. It will not dry where the plastic wrap covers it. I know this because this happened to me. If you do it the long way in the car, the puree will start to ferment and mold and you don't want that, believe me. If necessary, tape your plastic wrap up on the sides of your pans to prevent this.

-When leather is ready, roll it up in the plastic wrap. I cut mine in serving size pieces and rolled them up. It really felt like I was cutting a piece of leather! Anyway, you can store these in an airtight container and they can even be frozen!

-4 c fruit yield about one large baking sheet of fruit leather.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Zucchini Relish

This is a wonderful way to use up those big zucchinis that you let get away from you in the garden! This recipe is Ryan's Great-Grandma Charlotte's recipe. We love it in tuna sandwiches, on hot dogs, or creative! Oh, and get ready for lots of chopping. At least you'll be giving your arms a little work-out! It's a lot of work but worth it because this stuff will last you forever!

5 large zucchini, diced (I know this is vague..lg. but not too lg.)
3 red bell peppers, diced
3 green bell peppers, diced
5 large yellow onions, diced
1/2 c salt
1 t alum
ice cubes

5 c sugar
2 T celery seed
2 T mustard seed
1 T turmeric
5 or 6 c white vinegar, to taste

-Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl except ice cubes. Mix well. Cover with ice cubes. Let stand overnight.
-Next morning drain veggie mixture. Wash in cold water. Drain again.
-Cook spices and vinegar in large pot. Add veggies and simmer for 30 minutes.
-Put in jars with rings and lids and boil in cold-pack canner for 10 minutes to seal.

I really wish I could give you an exact amount of how much this makes but I can't remember! This year I'll write it down for sure. Depends on if you use pint or quart size jars. Pints are nice for something like this, but I've also used quarts if it's all I have on hand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas al a Erin

OK. I know it sounds easy, but these where a huge hit at our house tonight. Harrison had these at Erin's last week and requested I make them! I used the raw tortillas from Costco. I don't like refried beans from a can, so I just mashed up pinto beans and added garlic powder and simmered about 5 minutes. Put the beans on the tortilla then cheese (I used the Mexican blend and plain cheddar because I didn't have enough) and another tortilla. Heat and eat with salsa. Next time you need something fast or nothing else sounds good, here's your answer! Thanks, Erin, for another delicious and practical dinner!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Purple Flurp

This recipe is from my Grandma Brown. I grew up eating this at all the summer family get-togethers. I haven't had it for many years because I haven't been home in the summer in a long time. I have been craving it, so I finally called and got the recipe from Gram. It's light and easy and good! PS--I don't know what the recipe's real name is. It's probably something boring like blueberry dream dessert. The story goes my uncle called it Purple Flurp the first time Grandma made it and it stuck.

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I buy the crumbs because I like how fine they are)
1 stick butter, melted
6 T sugar
Mix above together and set aside.

1 large box Dream Whip (have 4 envelopes in it)
1 cup milk
Mix these together and add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1 t vanilla. Then add 1 8 oz cream cheese that has been whipped. Mix til blended well.

1 can blueberry pie filling

Layer in a 9x13 pan in this order: 1/2 the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 the dream whip mixture, whole can pie filling, remaining dream whip mixture, remaining graham crumbs. Chill and serve.