Friday, October 5, 2012

Eureka! Veggie Burgers!

I am a genius.   I say that all the time--when I'm cooking in the kitchen.

I'm NOT a genius--but I'm a serious cook--and foodie.  I don't use recipes for the most part--just great ideas in my head. And because I'm a foodie, the ideas are pretty good. (I think I owe a lot of this to my late grandmother, mother, and stepfather, who was/are amazing cooks and inventors, too!)

Today was a day full of genius.  This is what I am eating right now, and it is AMAZING and HEAVENLY and everything I imagined it would be when I was "inventing" it.  My very own veggie burger recipe. Yes, this is my burger, right now, as it is sitting here on my desk.  Okay, now I must say "was." I ate it.

I really was going for "traditional."  I didn't want black bean taste, or southwest or any other fancy flavors. I wanted a burger.  With burger taste and burger texture that you could eat with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, pickles, and ketchup. And even cheese on top.  My seasonings were what I use in regular burgers.  And the result was perfect! My kids will tell you, though, at first I was afraid to try it!  I had such high hopes and expectations! I was afraid they were going to be mushy, flavorless, blech.

BUT... they were not! (typed in "Gru's" voice from "Despicable Me.")

Here is the "recipe" give or take a smidge or pinch (I really didn't measure, but I have a pretty good idea!).

2 cups dry adzuki beans:  cook until tender, then rinse and cool
1 cup rice, cook and then cool
1 cup barley, cook and then cool
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cauliflower, cooked until just tender and then cooled
1 medium/large onion
2 large carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup red lentils
2 tablespoons worcestershire
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups  quick oats
1-2 cups fresh bean sprouts (spinach will work if you don't have sprouts, I'm sure.)
1 Tablespoon onion powder
Salt to taste
Hickory Smoked Salt (to taste)

Put the cooked, drained, and cooled beans, rice, and barley into a large mixing bowl. Chop the cooked cauliflower to 1/4-inch pieces and add to bowl (I used the food processor and just gave it a couple whirls). Cut the onion and carrots into large pieces, then mince in the food processor.  In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and red lentils, and the minced onions and carrots. Sautee until onions are soft. Add the worcestershire, ketchup, and water, cook until the water is gone. Let it cool, then add to the mixture in in the bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. The "dough" should have the same consistency as ground burger. Add more quick oats until it feels right! Refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, spray baking sheets with  non-stick canola oil spray (or whatever oil you like), and form the burger "dough" into patties (slightly less than 1/2 cup each made a nice bun-sized burger about 1/2-3/4" thick), and then bake them at 350 until they seem firm (15-20 minutes?) and just barely golden brown. At this point, they can be cooled and frozen. Or, to serve, fry them in a skillet or on a griddle/grill on high heat until browned a bit and heated through!

This was a HUGE batch. It made 30 burgers!  But--we do cook big around here.  The plan was to freeze the baked/cooled burgers. To serve them, all I have to do is thaw them and then just fry in a skillet or on a griddle with some cooking spray or a smidge of oil until golden brown and heated through (or microwave, in a pinch), or broil in the oven--or whatever... then serve them up with all the traditional fixin's.   

God bless!


Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

This morning's breakfast was perfect for fall. Pumpkin Pie Pancakes.  I would tell you how good they were--but I just can't really. And I didn't get a photo of them. We ate them too quickly.  The texture was amazing--moist--like a pancake, but almost like pumpkin pie, too. And I made fresh whipped cream as a treat.


3 Cups Whole Grain Pancake Mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
6 Tablespoons melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix batter thoroughly and cook on your griddle!  They have a more "moist" texture, so they will take a bit longer to "set up" than regular pancakes, but that's what makes them like pumpkin pie!

Serve with butter, warm syrup, and top with whipped cream. Or just skip the syrup!  I added chopped walnuts to mine!

THANKSGIVING 2013 UPDATE:  Here is a wonderful Thanksgiving Recipe Link-up hosted on the blog of Cari Donaldson. I just made her "Breakfast Biscuit Casserole" our planned Thanksgiving Breakfast.

AND, I just read her fabulous new book, "Pope Awesome and Other Stories." It was a blessing to read it, and that's an understatement! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall Photos!

Fall is going to be beautiful in these parts this year. Most years the leaves turn mostly yellow. Some years, they are yellow and orange. One year, they were just brown. But once or twice every ten years, they turn all shades of bright reds, oranges, and yellows. This is one of those years.

The weather is perfect. I cannot stay inside. I do not want my children inside. We can sit cooped up all winter long, hunched over our school desks with the wood stove burning. So for now, when the sun is shining and it's a breezy 70 degrees, and the leaves are flitting down... We are going out, out, out.

The view from my kitchen window this time of year is so pretty:

The view on our little mile-long country lane is even prettier.  Today we saw two deer, one squirrel, and one awesome box turtle. Of course we stopped the car and got out for a closer look. But since we were on the way to piano lessons, I didn't take pictures of the turtle!

And here are a few (okay, 15 or so) photos from our picnic and play time at the park, which we do after piano lessons every time the weather is nice!

Looking at the lake...

How do leaves taste?

 Not so good...
  Brothers... (Breton dressed them... not accusing, just saying...)
 Picnic!  Grapes and Veggie Burritos made with roast potatoes, green chiles, onions, tomatoes, black beans. We wrapped them in foil and heated them in the oven, then put them in a thermal lunch bag. They were the perfect temperature when we ate them!
 Elon with his pretty blue eyes...
 Oli Schmoli...
 Aram loves climbing this rock...
 Mama and Mikko...
 Three little boys, all in a row...
Airborne Oli...

Into the forest...

Mama's-eye view of Mikko...

This is pretty much the same view I have sitting across from me at the school desk every day...

We did some collage artwork and left it at the park for others to "enjoy"...

And who doesn't love Merry Go Rounds? Notice the vacant park in the background! Homeschooler bonus!

Airborne Aram...

So... Here is a question for you:

What is "undoodod?"

I'll give you a clue:

"Have no fear! ____________ is here!"

That is what my little Oli shouted as he ran through the park today!