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How could you go wrong by combining Italian flavors with a grilled hamburger?  You can’t!  I found this recipe on Pinterest from Julie’s Eat and Treats and knew it had to be good.  We love burgers around here and the addition of shredded cheese and seasonings put these over the top.

Italian Burgers

1/2 cup shredded pizza blend cheese

1 tsp. Worcestshire sauce

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

pinch of salt

1 tsp. dried onion flakes

1/8 tsp. oregano

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup traditional pasta sauce

4 buns

4 slices Provolone cheese

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Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.  Combine the shredded cheese, Worcestshire sauce, garlic powder, pepper, salt, onion flakes and oregano in a bowl.  Add the ground beef and thoroughly combine.  Form the meat mixture into four patties.

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Turn the grill down to medium and cook the burgers for four to five minutes on each side.  Butter the buns on each side.  Turn the grill down to low and place the buns on the grill to lightly toast.  Place the cheese slices on the burger to melt. 

Place the burgers on the buns and pour two tablespoons of the pasta sauce on the burger and then add your favorite burger toppings.

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Italian Burgers 2

I love homemade muffins, but I do not make them very often so I won’t overindulge.  A couple of weeks ago, C & I went to Jackson’s Orchard in Bowling Green, KY and I stocked up on fresh peaches and blueberries.  The fruit was perfectly ripe and juicy so they would be perfect for baking.

I went back to the recipe for Blueberry Lemon Muffins, dropped the lemon zest and juice, and added chopped peaches.  They couldn’t have been easier and the taste was out of this world! 

Stop by your local farm stand or orchard and grab up some fresh fruit.  You won’t be disappointed.

Fresh Blueberry Peach Muffins 1

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup fresh blueberries

3 medium peaches-peeled, pitted and chopped

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Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and put paper liners in a muffin pan.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking and salt then set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, and melted butter.

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Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until just combine. The batter will have a few lumps.  Add the fruit and stir gently.  Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes.  This recipe made about 15 regular sized muffins.

Fresh Blueberry Peach Muffins 2

“As the wind blows through our bedroom window, it sounds like a whistling teakettle.  As I wake, for a split second, I forget where I am.  As soon as I see our suitcases piled next to the closet door, in the exact place where we dropped them, I remember.  Etta’s wedding, though it was just one week ago, already seems like a faraway dream.”

This is the first paragraph from “Return To Big Stone Gap” by Adriana Trigiani and it is the final book in The Big Stone Gap series.  I am actually re-reading these books and I don’t do that very often.  That shows just how much I enjoy Ms. Trigiani’s characters and stories.  The people in her books are real.  They have flaws and problems, but they also have so much love for each other.  I highly recommend this series and any other books by this author.

Thanks for joining me today for Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.

Just a few of my Nanny’s gorgeous daylilies:

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Good Monday morning, everyone!  I trust y’all had a great weekend and are ready to hit the ground running this morning.  We did have a nice weekend but I am not sure I am ever ready to “run” on Mondays.  I do have something to look forward to because next week I am on stay-cation and I cannot wait!  Woo hoo!  Hopefully, C will also be able to take off most of the week and we can lounge around and be happy doing not much of anything. 

Since we will be home a lot next week, there will definitely be a big grocery run sometime in the next few days to stock up on our favorites.  That means that this week’s menu plan is a list of oldies but goodies so I can clean out the fridge and freezer. 

Bubble up pizza with fresh fruit

Grilled hot dogs with oven fries and fresh cucumbers

Enchilada dip with chips and salad

Grilled pork chops with oven fries and salad

Pizza night

Grocery night

Please join me at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Just a few short weeks ago, my strawberry plants were producing like crazy.  I froze some, made strawberry freezer jam with some, and enjoyed the rest.  I think I made strawberry shortcakes at least six times.  I had used biscuits and Redi-whip for my shortcakes, but really wanted a good strawberry short”cake” recipe so off to the internet I went. 

I had to look no further than the Food Network’s site, because that is where this Ina Garten beauty was located.  Her strawberry country cake filled my need for a wonderful, delicious, and moist cake with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Strawberry Country Cake

12 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature

1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. granted orange zest

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

3 tbsp. additional granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. additional vanilla extract

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two 8” cake pans with Baker’s Joy and wax paper.  Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda.  Set this aside.

Hull slice the strawberries and set aside.  If you want a little extra sweetness in the berries, sprinkle just a little sugar on them and let them set a while.  The juices and flavors will develop.

Cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar on high until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then the sour cream, zests, and vanilla.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Combine just until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 15 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely.

After the cake has cooled, prepare the filling by whipping the cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Slice one of the cake layers in half and spread 1/2 of the whipped cream on the bottom.  Scatter half of the sliced strawberries on top of the cream and replace the top of the cake.  Spread the remaining whipped cream on top and scatter the remaining strawberry pieces. You can freeze the other cake layer or just make a double helping of the whipped cream and strawberry topping.

 

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Strawberry Country Cake2

Welcome to a special edition of Book Beginnings hosted by Rose City Reader.  Well, it is special for me because today I am writing about the eighth Outlander novel called “Written In My Own Heart’s Blood” by Diana Gabaldon.  It follows the story of Jamie and Claire during the start of the Revolutionary War.  Here are the first lines:

“June 16, 1778

The forest between Philadelphia and Valley Forge

Ian Murray stood with a stone in his hand, eyeing the ground he’d chosen.  A small clearing, out of the way, up among a scatter of great lichened boulders, under the shadow of firs and at the foot of a big red cedar; a place where no casual passerby would go, but not inaccessible.  He meant to bring them up here – the family.”

Whenever I read one of Ms. Gabaldon’s books, I just get lost in it.  I could read for hours at a time (if that were possible with a full time job and a household to take care).  I was overjoyed to read it, but sad to see it end.  Bring on number 9!!

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