Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Green Chili Cheeseburgers

Hellooooooo, new favorite burger! For a long time, this blue cheese burger was number one in the place in my heart reserved for burger love. While it will always be a favorite, it has been bumped to make room for this.

What you see here is a perfectly seasoned burger patty with cheese and chilis mixed right into the meat, topped with a big hunk of monterey jack, and finally a honey-lime-green chili mixture. Usually, I like a lot of condiments on my burger - ketchup, mustard, mayo, and sometimes even ranch dressing makes an appearance. This doesn't need any help from condiments. The flavors are so spot-on that adding ketchup would be downright sinful...and not in the good way.

This recipe makes 4 burgers. I froze 2 of them for future dinners, an am trying to decide what to do with the rest of the green chili sauce. Thoughts anyone? I'm thinking it might be good in an omelette with some of my leftover Monterey Jack cheese.

Here's what you'll need:

1 pound ground beef (85/15 or 80/20)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chilis, divided 
1.5 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into tiny cubes, plus more for topping burgers 
2 teaspoons honey 
Juice of half a lime
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil 
4 Kaiser rolls, toasted

In a bowl, gently combine ground beef, salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic cloves, half a can of green chilis, and cheese cubes. Form into 4 even patties, wrap individually in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

In a small bowl, combine the remaining chilis, honey, and lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

To cook the burgers, heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook burgers to desired doneness (mine took about 8 minutes to be medium-well/well-doneish), topping with cheese and covering pan with lid during the last minute of cooking. 

When ready to serve, top burgers with green chili sauce, place on a toasted bun, and enjoy! 

Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Honey Badger: A Cocktail

Who here remembers the hilarious Honey Badger viral video from early last year? It's one of my favorite things on YouTube, and I highly suggest that you take a look if you are currently scratching your head, and wondering what the heck the title of this post is all about. (Warning: not safe for work, due to some fresh language.) 

No lie, I probably watch this video about once a month. As goofy as it sounds, I think that the honey badger's scrappy, fearless nature is something we should all strive to emulate. The honey badger doesn't see a challenge and back away - it just scrambles up a tree and takes what it wants (in its case, a cobra for dinner.)

While browsing through Pinterest a couple weeks ago, I came across a cocktail called "The Honey Badger." Obviously, I wanted to make it. I don't make a lot of mixed drinks at home - I mainly drink beer and wine, and the occasional bourbon and ginger-ale. My liquor collection is more often used for cooking than for drinking. Fortunately, I got some good news in my life last week that called for a bit of celebration - and what celebration is complete without some bubbly?

Even if you don't have something to celebrate at the moment you should make this drink. It's sweet and refreshing, and makes an excellent summer cocktail. Now that I have a mason jar full of honey syrup and a bottle of St. Germain at my disposal, I see myself making this many more times in the near future!

Here's what you'll need for 1 cocktail:

2 tablespoons honey syrup (see below)
2 tablespoons elderflower liqueur (I used St. Germain)
1 orange slice
Chilled Prosecco

To make the honey syrup, combine 1 cup honey and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Let cool completely, transfer to a container, and refrigerate. Bonus: making honey syrup makes your kitchen smell like heaven.

In a champagne flute*, pour 2 tablespoons of honey syrup. Next, add in 2 tablespoons of your elderflower liqueur. Squeeze an orange slice into the glass, and drop it in. Top off the glass with Prosecco, stir gently to combine, and enjoy! You will have enough honey syrup and champagne for many more cocktails.

*In case you're curious, my stemless champagne flutes came from here. I love them. I'm a klutz and they help prevent spills!

Source: Adapted from Design Love Fest

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Double Dark Chocolate Yogurt Muffins

Hi everyone! Sorry for the brief posting hiatus. It's extremely important to me that I only share recipes here that I love and that I know work well, so after two recipe fails last week I had no new material. Plus, I've been out of town for a few days sans laptop, and as much as I love my iPad, writing one of my long-winded blog posts on it was just not going to happen. 

After being gone from A Bitchin' Kitchen for 15 days, I knew I needed to come back with something extra awesome. I'd originally planned to make strawberry muffins, but when I got to the grocery store the strawberries were all moldy and rotting. Lovely. I don't even know why I bother trying to buy produce at stores other than Wegmans or Whole Foods. First world problems, I know. With no other recipe in mind, I quickly pulled up my Pinterest account on my phone and came across this recipe for double chocolate muffins

Dude. These were so delicious. Thank God for moldy strawberries! 

I'm still going to make strawberry muffins once I can get my hands on some decent fruit, but I was almost grateful that my plans were foiled once I ate one of these. They're incredibly tender and rich, and they're not even terribly bad for you thanks to the non-fat Greek yogurt. Don't forget that dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. These are practically health food. 

Lastly, as you may have read on Saturday, my co-blogger/sister Annie has made the sad decision to leave the blog. You can read more about her decision here. While I'm bummed, I'm very glad that she'll still be around for a guest post now and then!

Here's what you'll need for 15 standard-sized muffins:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I'm a Fage devotee) 
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare cupcake pans with paper liners. 

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in sugar, and set aside. 

In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. 

Using a 1/4 cup measure, divide batter evenly among paper liners. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched, and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert on wire rack to cool completely. 

Source: Adapted from Knead to Cook 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Important ABK News: Goodbye, from Annie

Posted by: Annie

Over two years ago when Maggie asked me if I wanted to start a cooking blog with her, I knew very little of the food blogging world. At that point I was only a reader of a handful of food blogs, but was ecstatic to collaborate with my sister and create one of our own. Sharing a food blog with Maggie has been a terrific experience. I have tried cooking foods that I never would have attempted if it weren't for this website pushing me out of my comfort zone. I also have learned about the benefits of natural light when photographing food, and the importance of a very, very steady hand when focusing a camera.

I started working on this blog when I was still in college, and it was with me as I moved to Philly to work my first teaching job, and back to the Jersey Shore, as I started my second teaching job. Unfortunately for me, this is where my blogging journey will end. As I come to the end of my second year of teaching, I plan to return to the classroom this summer, not as a teacher but as a student. As of May 21, I will be pursuing my Masters Degree in History, and while I will not be completely overwhelmed with teaching and graduate school until September, I have decided to step away from A Bitchin' Kitchen because I will not be able to give much attention to the blog.

I have already told Maggie, that in typical little sister fashion I will make sure to find a way into her posts, and who knows - maybe will guest blog a recipe or two. Thanks for a great experience, and stay tuned for continued greatness from Maggie!!!
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