Nacho Cheeseburger- Burger Month

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It’s the weekend!!!

It’s time to rock it. It’s time to get shhh done. It’s time to actually cook.

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We’re going to be busy this weekend as we’re on vacation next weekend. So we really need to focus and try to tackle this weekend’s to do list, as well as much as possible of next weekend’s to do list. Here’s just a few things… laundry, mop the first floor, get the kitchen rug back down, clean Bunny’s cage, get to the post office, make SRC recipe, work on refinishing dinning chairs. Plus, I have a fun brunch to go to on Sunday while Price is visiting his sister and dad in NH. Oh yeah, and I have 4 hrs of work to do as well to make up time from always leaving early to get miss Autumn from daycare.

At least Price and I are ah-maze at tackling the to do list. I’m just hoping we ca pull it off this weekend. #Fingerscrossed.

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While we’re talking to-do lists, I’m giving you this burger to add to your to-do list.

Yep, I give the marching orders here!

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These Nacho Burgers are the perfect mash up of a great dinner and a great appetizer. But if we’re truthful here, I’ll just admit that we eat nachos for dinner a lot. Anyway, these are so great because of all the yummy toppings. AND the tortillas chips. The tortilla chips add the best crunch to the burgers. Don’t skimp on them.

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You know how they say not to mess with things when grilling, well don’t mess with these burgers while you are grilling them. They are a little delicate since they are filled with a mixture of beef, beans, and cheese. So just put the burgers down and let them be until they are ready to be flipped once. Grab a beer and just relax.

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I’ve made these burgers two times in like 9 days since I wanted to tweak things and since I enjoyed them so much I had to have them again ASAP. I first had taco seasoning in the burger mix. While it was good we were remarking that it was more like a ‘Taco Burger’ than a ‘Nacho Burger’. I guess they are similar so no foul there but I decided I wanted to mellow that flavor out so I took it out. Feel free to add it in if you would like. As well, one we ate these burgers with jarred salsa and another with pico de gallo. Both ways are really good and I’d say just go with your personal preference.

You can’t go wrong here. I swear since I picked these black olives off of mine the moment I was done taking pictures (we just aren’t friends) and still enjoyed it so just do what you want, just make sure you have a lot of tortilla chips on there. You need that crunch!!!!!!

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Nacho Cheeseburger

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces of ground beef (80/20)
  • 10 oz of canned blacked beans
  • 12 oz of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 burger buns (I suggest Kaiser rolls)
  • salsa, such as pico de gallo
  • tortilla chips
  • 1 avocado, pit removed, thinly sliced/guacamole
  • aproximately 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • sliced black olives
  • pickled jalapenos slices

Process

  1. Combine the ground beef, black beans, 1/2 of the cheese, and salt and pepper. Form 4 equally sized patties as round as your buns.
  2. Prepare the grill by cleaning the grill grates and preheating to ‘medium’ heat. Just prior to putting the burgers on the grill, spray the grates with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Grill the burgers over medium heat until they are half way done prior to flipping. Once you flip them put the remaining shredded cheese on the burgers and put a lid on the grill.
  4. While the burgers are cooking, grill the buns as well to toast them.
  5. When the burgers are cooked through and the cheese has melted, remove from grill and place on the toasted buns.
  6. Top the burgers with the salsa, tortilla chips, avocado, sour cream, olives, and jalapeno slices.

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Be sure to enter the giveaway!!!

A huge thanks to all of the fun bloggers who were just as inspired by a month of burgers as I was and the awesome companies that have donated prizes to #burgermonth , El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard, FireWire Grilling Skewers, Hamilton Beach, KitchenIQ, The Spice House, and Wisconsin Cheese

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Ultimate Tatchos

Ultimate Tatchos

After a few weeks off from posting my usual Friday Sprint Cup Snacks posts (thanks broken computer!!!!) I’m back with one kick ass recipe that will have you running to the store for the goodies to make this dish this weekend!!

This weekend the boys (and Danica) are racing at Texas Motor Speedway. I figured that I had to make something that would warm up the house (it’s def cold in Boston!!) and something that had a bit of a kick to it! I thinking about making a big huge batch of chili but I started to think about snack food, which made me think about a plate of piled high nachos. (pregnant much?!?) And then I was lamenting one day about how the cafe in my office building has stopped serving tots at breakfast (what the hell?!?). That made me think about combing tater tots and all the best toppings on nachos to make a big pile of these…

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Ultimate Tatchos!!

I just love how the tater tots act as the perfect vehicle for all the toppings. Plus the tater tots change things up from the typical crunchy chip.

This is so great to make because you can easily adjust the size of the batch you make for the amount of people you are serving. I highly suggest that you always make more than what you expect to need since everyone will love to snack on the cheesy, spicy tots.

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We (Price) are finishing up painting the baby’s room this weekend. Then we are going to  assemble the crib so we can get to decorating like crazy since we only have 3 weeks to go. I can’t wait to get in there and reorganize the room and hang up pictures we have picked out.  I’m sure we’ll be hungry after all that work, so I’m sure I’ll be whipping up again batch of these Ultimate Tatchos!

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Ultimate Tatchos

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of tater tots
  • 1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and reheated
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used the restaurant style salsa from Archer Farms)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • sliced pickled jalapenos
  • sliced black olives

Process

  1. Cook the tater tots according to the directions on the packaging. (You want them to be a bit crisp so you might want to add a few minutes actually)
  2. In an oven safe serving dish, layer half of the tater tots, beans, and cheese. Place under the broiler for a minute or so in order to melt the cheese.
  3. Add the rest of the tater tots and top off with the remaining beans and cheese. Again, place under the broiler for a minute or so in order to melt the cheese.
  4. Top off with the salsa, sour cream, avocado, jalapenos, and olives.

Thirsty Thursday: Grilled Peach and Jalapeno Margarita

Grilled Peach and Jalapeno Margarita

We have never gone through so much propane for our grill in such a short time as we have done this year. Just burnin’ through it. But I can’t complain since it just means we have been enjoying the most amazing grilled things. Plus, it’s nice to get out of the kitchen and enjoy the nice weather while we wait.

Since I pretty much always have grilling on my mind during the summer, we decided to go with a grilled recipe for this week’s Thirsty Thursday recipe. It would be so much fun to incorporate something grilled into a drink. Grilled fruit or herbs would be a fun way to add a lot of flavor to a drink. Love to elevate flavors in a unique way.

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I had a big bowl of peaches so I decided to grill them up to bring out their natural sweetness into a drink. But then what? I was thinking of a drink with bourbon but decided on using tequila. Hmmm… a grilled peach margarita sounded great but what else? Well, I realized I had some jalapenos so I decided the margarita could use some heat and decided to that them as well. In the end the Grilled Peach and Jalapeno Margarita was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Loved it!!

Have you ever had a Smoky Margarita before? Well, I think you need have one. Amanda has made would that has my mouth watering.  So get your grill going and enjoy. Yum!!!

Grilled Peach and Jalapeno Margarita

Makes 2 large margaritas

Ingredients

  • 2 large peaches, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 cups of ice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila

Process

  1. Place the peaches and jalapeno on a medium-high grill. Try not to move the peaches much to get nice grill marks on their surfaces. Rotate the jalapeno to darken and blister all the sides.
  2. Remove the peaches and jalapeno from the grill and let cool 15 minutes. Peel some of the blistered skin from the jalapeno, then slice in half length-wise and remove the seeds inside.
  3. Combine the ice, peaches, half of the jalapeno, ice, lime juice, and tequila to a blender. Blend for a minute, or until all ice is slushy and the ingredients are combined. Try the margarita for it’s level of spiciness and add more jalapeno if you prefer.

Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread

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You know who loves bacon? Our dog! Well, he loves the smell of it and sits in the kitchen desperately hoping he will get it. I see his little squish nose smelling the air frantically taking it all in. I’m sure he’s hoping that I’d use that to train him to ‘come’, ‘sit’ or ‘gimme paw’ but no way Jose!

Poor little Kempers had to endure while I made this Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread. Those poor little puppy eyes. But I didn’t crack! That bacon was for our cornbread!

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And man, this cornbread is so good! It’s a very nice texture and of course the flavor is great. While I love sweet, dense cornbread this is savory and very light in density. The jalapeno gives it a nice little spicy edge. And of course anything with bacon kicks ass.

So, how did I pick cornbread for this week’s Sprint Cup Snack for this weekend’s race in Kansas? Well, Kansas is located in the bread basket and is known for their corn production. Well didn’t that just work out perfectly?

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Eat ’em up!

Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 6 strips of cooked bacon, diced

Process

  1. Cover the surface of the 10-inch cast iron skillet with the canola oil. 
  2. Place the skillet in the oven while preheating the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Combine the corn meal, flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Combine the buttermilk, eggs, and butter together.
  5. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.
  6. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

*I used a Scone & Cornbread Pan so I had some extra batter that I used to make 12 additional mini muffins, that I cooked for about 7 minutes. 

adapted from The Comfort Table by Katie Lee Joel

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{Sprint Cup Snacks Track Facts}

This is just the 3rd STP400 being held. When NASCAR changed up their schedule in 2011 this race was added to the schedule, in addition to the fall race at Kansas Motor Speedway. The speedway was built in 2001 to fulfill the need to have another Midwest track. Since then the economy in the area has been booming with new shopping center developments and hotels.

Track: 1.5 miles

Shape: D-Shaped Tri-Oval

Banking: 10.4-11 degree banking in the front stretch, 5 degree in the back stretch, and 17-20 degrees in the turns.

Surface: Asphalt

Capacity: 81,687 seats

Race: 267 laps for 400.5 miles

2012 winner:  Denny Hamlin

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Texas Queso Dip

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When Price and I went to visit our friends Natalie and Jason in Austin last year we fell in love with all of the food we had there. Everything was incredible. I couldn’t get enough of the tacos, bbq, agua fresca, and, of course, queso. (Also couldn’t get enough time hanging with great friends, natch.)

Each and everything we ate was amazing for a different reason. The fantastic Mexican we had at Chuy’s, to the BBQ we got to go after a night of drinking, to the chicken on a biscuit from Whataburger immediately after some bar hoping.

But the one thing that was a constant was the queso we had. We had it every change we had and even while we lamented ‘no more queso’ we loved it. I think there really is a limit to the amount of queso/cheese a person can eat in a few days and I think we were fast approaching that limit. But really, worth indulge. Or at least that is what I kept telling myself after dipped another chip in.

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Well since this weekend’s upcoming NASCAR race is at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, I figured that I had to share something for my Sprint Cup Snack that I loved so much about my visit to Texas. Now don’t give me any lip about how Austin and Fort Worth are not that close to each other- 3 hr drive or so- because I say what goes on this blog! ha!

Plus any excuse to eat queso is okay for me.

Natalie emailed me her recipe for queso at a moment’s notice. True friends understand the love of cheese (even if she has gone Paleo now). And let me tell you it was fantastic!!

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The queso is incredibly easy to make and would be fantastic to whip up for watching any sporting event, a movie, or having friends over for a side splitting night of Cards Against Humanity. << come over, let’s hang and just be ridiculous

If you can whip up some simple pico de gallo and can melt some cheese in milk, then you are all set. It’s basically that, plus making a simple rue to thicken it all up. So, so much better than the queso you get in the jar that you microwave. Was that even necessary to say?!?! duh!!

Obviously, queso is best piping hot so it’s super ooey gooey yummy. If you have a little crock pot dip warmer then I suggest you use that to keep it hot and everyone happy.

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Dig in!!!!

Texas Queso Dip

Makes 8 snack servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature-ish
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Pico De Gallo

  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 a hass avocado
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Remove the milk from the refrigerator, set aside.
  2. To make the pico de gallo, dice the cored tomatoes, onion, and avocado. Mince the jalapenos and garlic. Combine together and add the cilantro, lime juice, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. 
  3. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook to make a rue, whisking constantly until golden, about 2 minutes. Continue whisking and slowly add the milk. Bring the mixture to a steady simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Combine the cheese sauce and pico de gallo together and enjoy!

slightly adapted from my friend Natalie

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{Sprint Cup Snacks Track Facts}

Texas Motor Speedway seat a whopping 190,000+ people to watch a race. Repeat… 190k+. That was about 3 times the number of people in my whole town when I was growing up. Insane. But everything is bigger in Texas!

Besides being big, it’s also fast. It’s one of the fasted non-restrictor plate races in the series   with qualifying speeds in excess of 192 mph and corner entry speeds over 200 mph. And in 2006 for the Dickies 500 qualifying, Brian Vickers shattered the qualifying record at Texas with a speed of 196.235 mph. Crazy.

Gotta enjoy this weekend’s race under the lights!

Track: 1.5 miles

Shape: Oval

Banking: 24 degrees in the turns

Surface: Asphalt

Capacity: 191,122… yep a lot of people!!!!

Race: 334-laps for 501 miles

2012 winner:  Greg Briffle

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