Monthly Archives: May 2012

Turkey Burgers in the Wild

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As you know, because this is a food-focused blog, I often post a recipe. It’s usually something I made up. The Food Network is not knocking on my virtual door to star in my own show, so don’t get too excited, Foodies.

Grill Me

Last weekend, my excellent pal Sarah and I made some kick-a** turkey burgers. I believe they would have been less impressive had we not cooked them on the hardwood lump charcoal-fueled grill.

“He Who No Longer Inhabits” spent many $$$$ on gas grills, trying to replicate the heat and cooking potential of a restaurant kitchen. In pursuit of the “best burger ever,” it never happened. Yes, there were a few good specimens, but my little Weber is the bomb. Fruit even tastes great grilled on it.

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey

1/2 lb. ground pork (I added this because turkey is too lean for grilling, IMO.)

1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pepper Jack cheese, sliced from a brick, about 1/4 ” thick

Good buns (heh, heh) I wanted to use pretzel buns, but store didn’t have them.

Cilantro mayo (recipe follows)

Mix turkey, pork, onion and garlic. (Sarah volunteered to do this fun part.) Form eight patties. On four of them, place two slices of cheese. Put the four remaining patties on top of cheese and pinch lightly to seal. We popped them in the freezer to keep the cheese from melting too quickly on the grill.

While they were grilling, we made up a mayo.

Cilantro/Lime Mayo

1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped (I have a ton in my herb bed if you want some.)

Up to 2 T. fresh squeezed lime juice

Mayo, about 1/2 to 3/4 c.

Mix and let set up for a few minutes in fridge.

After burgers are done, let them rest a few minutes and spread mayo on top and bottom of buns.

Well, as happens every time I stuff a burger w/ cheese, it did melt out somewhat. But OMG, they were amazing! Even after eating a whole 1/2 pounder and being stuffed, I thought about those babies all night long. I sent one of the other burgers home w/ Sarah and I’m having my leftover one tonight.

They were cooked a bit on the medium side, but we were willing to risk trichinosis and plowed through them. Next time, I think I’ll make thinner patties and freeze the cheese slices separately before making them.

Let me know if you have a fave turkey burger recipe.

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Dessert AGAIN? Okay, I’m In!

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I recently returned from the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop. It was great to experience hands-on, career-building, professional guidance combined with personal enrichment and renewal. Oh yeah, there were also lots of really good desserts.

Were you expecting more info and insight about the writing profession aspects of the workshop? Sorry, I can’t stray too far away from my blog’s “brand.” I must be true to my vast readership.

Workshop Essentials

The workshop was a 3-day event which required some thoughtful planning. I packed some big-girl professional clothes, some favorite pens, my laptop, Kindle Fire (love!) and the trip essentials.

Other important stuff:

  • Two bottles of wine – for hosting happy hour in my room or drinking alone (no comment)
  • Pretzel Crisps – the “everything” type
  • Granola bars – they always get squished in transit, but I eat them anyway
  • Bottled water – those baby bottles at the Marriott don’t cut it

I attended the Erma workshop in 2008 (it’s held every two years, but I missed 2010 when my life blew up) and remember being impressed with the presenters and the food – not necessarily in that order.

They feed you constantly throughout the three days. Not just the usual meals, but snacks between sessions with real food like fruit and cookies. Then there were the desserts…

I’m a bit of a sweet freak and I bake so I’m critical of dessert offerings. Erma came through in this area. The carrot cake was a standout. But we also got spoiled. By lunch on Day Two, my new pal Geneva and I looked at the fruit on the table and said, “What? No dessert?” Seriously, how many of you normally have dessert AT LUNCH?

Lest you think that only one of my many personalities -Foodie, was present for this event, I’ll move on.

Laughs and Great Peeps

Contrary to popular belief, not all humor writers are funny in person. I met a lot of humor-inpaired folks over the weekend. But many times, (insert cliche here) I laughed till I cried. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know there hasn’t been much in my life to laugh about recently, so it was a welcome relief.

The majority of  people at this event were stellar. The keynote speakers and presenters were some of the best I’ve seen. But I also met some wonderful peers like Barb, Sheri, Cherie and David, the funny gastroenterologist (who knew?). I’ve already re-connected with some of them via the business cards we exchanged. I have a feeling these are keepers.

Pretzels Everywhere or is it Just Me?

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Pretzel Logic might be my fave Steely Dan album, but then again, it might be Royal Scam. I digress...

I love pretzels in many forms. But they are appearing before me (not like in a vision or anything – that’s a whole different post) all the time. I just bought Everything Pretzel Thins, which are a different brand from Pretzel Slims. I bought Dark-Chocolate Covered Pretzel Slims recently at Trader Joe’s and they are as wonderful as they sound.

Let’s do a round-up of all my faves:

  • Soft pretzels from Target’s “food court”
  • Honey mustard pretzel bites
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Pretzel buns (OMG -these are amazing! You could put anything in these buns and it would be dreamy.)

Perhaps that’s enough pretzel talk for now. But please share your pretzel finds with me!

Networking

This is a poor segue, but the pretzel thing made me think of going to real functions like work-related, networking things back in the day. You know, the type where you tried not to drink too much bad white wine while balancing a crappy appetizer and simultaneously pulling out one of your biz cards to share with a potential client/employer.

We now do so much of this online instead of face-to-face. But a recent networking opp. reminded me of how it was to connect at these things. I also think we’ve become so used to online interaction that we’ve forgotten networking “etiquette.” Many people literally shoved their biz cards in my face before I even asked. How about chatting me up first?

But, hey it was good to get out of the house/grocery store/yard and go out “amongst them” as the Amish say.

Networking manners? Discuss!