The Relationship Saver Chicken Burger

Dinged up your car today and are afraid to tell your spouse? Having marital discourse because you perhaps spent a wee too much money at the mall recently? Are you having a hard time getting your significant other to agree to visit your family more often? Struggling to convincing your loved one to clean up after his- or herself without resorting to nagging?

I’ve got just the thing to for you! Some might call this a Chick-Fil-A knock off, but really it’s more of a strife neutralizer if you think about it. You’ll understand after you’ve tried one.

Do it! You owe it to yourself, your stomach, and your relationship.

Auntie Stacey’s Relationship Saver Chicken Burger:
2 Skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts (sliced in half lengthwise to make 4 fillets)
1 – 1.5 C reserved Pickle Juice brine (straight from the jar)
6-8 large White Mushrooms (washed and sliced up)
2 whole slices of Red Onion (about 1/4″ thick, cut to half moons)
4 slices of Bacon (cut in half to make 8 pieces)
Jalapeno Lime Aioli
4 soft, crusty baker’s Buns
1/2 C shredded cheese (Monterey Jack is a great choice for this burger)

While bringing your meat up to room temperature, let is soak in a bowl filled with enough pickle juice to barely cover it. Let that stand on the counter for up to 30 minutes before you grill it.

In the meantime, heat a pan on the stove while you wash and slice up the mushrooms, and cut the onion slices. When the pan is hot enough, add about 1 teaspoon of oil and let that heat up before you fry your bacon slices. When they’re done, transfer them to a plate with paper towel to drain off the fat. Clean your pan and then toss in your mushrooms and onions together to saute and get a lovely brown colour to them.

Heat up your grilling pan or contact grill appliance. When it’s hot enough, add your chicken to cook for about five minutes. The meat should be thin enough after slicing in half that it won’t take much longer to cook it through. While waiting, remove the mushrooms and onion from the heat; set aside. Cut up the buns and shred your cheese.

After the chicken is done cooking, assemble your burgers and prepare to feast as you pound your hand on the table in ecstasy!

My husband likes to look around the table, toward the kitchen, toward me, and then pick up his plate to look under it, pick up the condiments to look under those, etc., and then look at me with puppy dog eyes as he asks where his second burger is the very second the last bite of his first chicken burger hits his stomach.

Yup… They’re that good.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Weekend 5 Recap

So, yeah… the Weekend 5 recap. I totally forgot about this till today. OOPS. My bad. Also, I just realised all of the photos I took are on my iFone, and I left that in the car, which the husband is currently using while out on back-to-back service calls, so those will have to be added this afternoon. Sorry.

Okay, here are my thoughts first:

1. The dill pickles from last week should be done fermenting. I will wait to open them when we make our burgers for dinner. I’m sure they will be delicious. Woot!

The happily unfussy apple cake was quick to assemble and bake, meaning this would be a great dessert for kids to make with minimal supervision. Overall, I liked the texture and choice of ingredients, but for me lacked enough flavour. I think amping up the cinnamon is what needs to happen here given how much cake this recipe yields. The scant 1/2 teaspoon was simply not enough. Since the Fall weather is just starting and that means lots of apples, I will get to play around with the cinnamon increment to figure it out soon enough. Overall, this is a great little recipe to try at home as a weeknight dessert.

The mushroom rice dish has a very straightforward cooking method, and I appreciate recipes like that. However, there weren’t any seasonings included beyond a bit of S&P, and this is purely my bias but I didn’t like the inclusion of the wine to the dish. (I also don’t like coq au vin if that makes you feel better.) This is recipe I wanted to like a lot, but didn’t. Even with fresh grated parm cheese on top. (!!!) I will have to take another kick at it very soon with some seasonings. I can easily imagine this side being a staple in our home with our winter meat dishes. I’m not giving up on it. I think it’s 75% good, but I want it to be 100% great, so I’m going to retool it to my liking. I will post the final version soon.

GnocchiSkillet-3The gnocchi and zucchini ribbon dish was nice to make and eat, but it would have been a bit better if I had pan fried the gnocchi first instead of boiling it. I’m not a fan of soft, mushy gnocchi, and after boiling it to perfection then adding it to the pan to cook longer, it does tend to go mushy. Overall, this is a great little dish that’s got heart and legs. I was full for almost four hours after eating a small bowlful. And the husband was into it. It could use a bit of pow, though; I’m thinking perhaps the inclusion of some red pepper flakes or something similar, or maybe a splash of vinegar in the pan with the vegetables? In any case, this is as a lovely comfort dish that can be changed up as the seasons bleed into each other by switching seasonal produce to suit the weather and mood. Keeper.

5. I had high hopes for the sour cream and bacon potato salad, but it fell flat for me. I’m not really sure why. I haven’t had time to deconstruct the recipe and cooking method to figure it out since I was busy making a Beef Wellington at the same time. I can tell you my MIL and SIL loved this salad which I found odd because I thought for sure my MIL was going to turn her nose up at it after I tasted my first mouthful. She’s not one to eat salads that don’t measure up to hers, but she went back for seconds. Huh. And I thought at one point perhaps it was just me, but the husband thought it was lackluster as well, so who knows. {shrugs}

6. Today I’m finally getting around to making the fig jam after securing some lovely figs. Finally!

Crazytown Express

What a crazy time for me. I have been between jobs, enjoying my Spring and Summer with the husband at home since the end of March, but a few weeks ago I started taking interviews for jobs. I didn’t get the first one, which would have been cool, but sometimes two personalities don’t mesh and you lose out. Such is life, right? Well, fret not, I pushed forward and got myself a great little gig at the grocery store across the street from my house that will allow me to work a few shifts a week to get me out of the house, and allow me more time to think up recipe ideas as I handle the new products they sell. Win-win.

And while that was happening, I got a call from my old employer from 6 years ago, whom I had forgotten all about. Turns out they can really use me there this year, so I met with the new manager yesterday and we hit it off really well. I start on Monday. I will be their resident floater because I know the kitchen and front sales area so well, I will get to help wherever I’m needed. Something tells me it will get a bit hairy at times (because it always does there), but I will love the variety. They’ve done some great changes since I left, and I’m looking forward to learning new things and working in new stations for them.

And both jobs come at the knick of time. I was starting to talk to myself from being home too long. {snort}

Weekend 5 – Aug 9/13

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Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter We love gnocchi in this house. It’s delicious in every dish I’ve tried it in. You can’t go wrong with these soft, warm pillows of potato goodness. Often I will fry gnocchi to get a nice crispy feel to them as part of a breakfast hash with a vegetable medley. So earthy. This Gnocchi & Zucchini Ribbons in Parsley Brown Butter dish from EatingWell.com looks amazing in simplicity, in taste and in colour. This should be quite good. We’re looking forward to this one

AppplePieCake I have 3 apples in the fridge that need to be used up, but 3 is not enough to make a pie with or even a few hand pies, so this cute Apple Pie Breakfast Cake from HowSweetItIs.com looks like it will be a perfect use for my apples. Yum!RoastedPepperDipMost of you know that I love to roast my own peppers at home. It’s cheaper, and it’s healthier for me. I have a lot of weird issues with preservatives, so I like to control my own food preparation when possible. And it’s completely possible with roasted peppers. Here is a lovely Roasted Red Pepper Dip from MarthaStewart.com that I have my eye on. I really like this idea. I want to see if it’s something the husband will be into as well. He’s picky. 🙂
potato-salad-bacon-sour-cream-herbs2 I also have 4 potatoes in my pantry I have to use up, so I’m thinking a small batch of this mouth watering Sour Cream & Bacon Potato Salad from Creative-Culinary.com needs to be made this weekend. Ooh-la-la! 😀MushroomParmRiceAnd finally, I can’t resist any recipe calling for the use of our beloved Jasmine rice. We can’t. It’s a fact. Look it up. Weak in the knees? Yup. Drooling? Oh, yeah. See? So I tripped over this little creamy rice dish on Pinterest the other day, and I have been thinking about it ever since. This Mushroom Parmesan Rice from TickledRed.com may be the perfect side dish for the pot roast I’m making this weekend. Hmm…

So, that’s what I’m making at home this weekend. What about all of you? Let me know in the comments, please.

I am curious about where everyone’ head and stomach is at right now at this odd time in the summer where it’s unseasonably cold. Almost Fall-ish. I was thinking about stew last night, too. Eek. 🙂

I’m Pinterest Verified now!

PinterestVerified

About two months ago (or less?), Pinterest bugged me for an updated email address for my account. When I put in the one for this blog (staceyATauntiestaceyDOTcom), something came up on the screen to ask me if I would like to be verified. I thought about it for a second, pondered any downsides, and then hit yes. I figured it was like Twitter verification, and I was right, but on Pinterest I have no idea why anyone would want it. If anyone figures this out, can you please clue me in? Thanks. 🙂

Weekend 5 Results

AvocadoSmoothieSmoothieMakingMorning, everyone. It’s early, and quiet here in the house.

The boy is still in bed, and I’m wide awake, sipping on my avocado milk smoothie – thinking about this blog post.

I was busier this weekend than I thought I was going to be, but since it’s a long weekend for us, technically I still have one more day to make the last two items on my Weekend 5 list. 🙂 So far I have managed to make the chai, the kimchi and the lemon curd. All very tasty, all very easy. I highly recommend the lemon curd. It was especially tasty.

ChaiThe chai was great, but as usual, I found myself without one ingredient that I thought I had but couldn’t find or didn’t remember using up already. In the case of the chai, it was the black tea. The key ingredient. {forehead smack} So, being resourceful, I used Earl Grey tea bags instead. The recipe calls for 4-5 black tea bags, but since I didn’t want the bergamot from the Early Grey dominating my chai super pack of flavour, I only steeped three tea bags.

And then I couldn’t find my star of anise pods (are they pods or just dried flower rings?) and the bag of cardamom pods went AWOL on me, so I cheated and used a bit of anise extract and dry cardamom. Into the pot they went, to swirl around with the water and cinnamon stick. Both swap outs worked nicely, and not much was lost from the tea when I strained it over the cup into my mug, so I win.

KimchiI started the kimchi last Thursday night after dinner since the brining of the cabbage was to take 4 hours. I left it go for 6 hours to really soften the leaves. But, by the time I was done straining and draining the water out of the leaves, chopping it into bite sizes and mixing it up with the hot chili pepper paste, it was after midnight when the jar was placed into the fridge, so I’m going to say it was made Friday on schedule with the rest of the Weekend 5 tries. 😉 I can cheat like that, right? Right.

LemonCurdMaking-1The lemon curd was very easy to make. More so than I remember with store bought lemon curd pre-done packets from my childhood. Huh. And the recipe called for using up the last three of my slightly aging lemons, so this was good timing.

The tartness of this curd won’t make your mouth pucker, but it is strong enough for you to taste it in, say, a blintz or a crepe with fresh whipped cream and some sweet ripe fruit. The flavour stands out, but it doesn’t overwhelm – and that’s exactly what you’re looking for. That’s the kind of curd that’s far more versatile than the overly tart, overly sugary, and overly processed kind I remember from my childhood used in pies. Blech.

The pickles will be done this morning, and after a quick trip to the grocery store across the street for items I could have sworn I already had on hand but can’t find in my pantry (isn’t that the most frustrating?), there will also be fig jam being made in my kitchen.

{happy clap}

Okay, time to get dressed and head out. Those pickles are going to make themselves!

 

Weekend 5 – Aug 2/13

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I’m starting a new category idea here today. Sue, from SuzeMuse.com got me thinking when she recently started her 5 Things To Think About posts, so in that spirit, every Friday I will post a list of 5 things I want to putter around in my kitchen making on weekends when it costs us less money in hydro to run the stove and several small appliances.

Digression: We are trying to consume less of everything these days: less food, less store bought goods, less gas, etc., but specifically less in resources like water and electricity. Matt Damon is onto something with his clean Water.org campaign, by the way. 🙂

Okay, back to the topic at hand!

Here’s my first list. Are you in? Get into it!

Auntie Stacey’s Weekend 5:

Weekend5-1

[ Fig Jam With Cardamom from Food52.com ]

Weekend5-2

 [ Lemon Curd from scratch from Food52.com ]

Weekend5-3[ Homemade Kimchi from Food, Blog & The Dog ]

Weekend5-4[ Comforting Chai from ASpicyPerspective.com ]

Weekend5-5

[ Fabulous 1-Jar Dill Pickles from Yummy Supper ]

What are all of you making this weekend? Will you try anything from my Weekend 5 list? Let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about your kitchen adventures. Perhaps some of your ideas can make it to one of my future lists. That would be fun!

First YGEH Knock-Off Attempt

FritterBurger

[ L-R: Two apple fritters, two eggs, two slices of Polish cheese, and two burger patties; the sliced open apple fritters awaiting butter smearing; the final thing being taste tested. ]

I made a You Gotta Eat Here! inspired dinner tonight I calling, for lack of a better term, the ‘Apple Fritter Fried Egg & Cheese Burger’. It was, um, not my gear. At all. The husband didn’t think much of this ungraceful-to-eat mess either despite how excited he was when he saw it on the show. PASS.

I should’ve known I wasn’t going to like the taste of this when my husband started to drool and I felt queasy the second it appeared on the screen. And it should have been confirmed when the ingredients were called out. I should’ve just left well enough alone, but nooooooo. When have I ever done that, right, everyone who’s ever met me?!?

{silent weeping out of shame}

I don’t do savoury and sweet together if I can help it. The combination tends to overloaded my brain until it flips out, leaving my body to scramble because it doesn’t know how to deal. All my body knows is it needs to be fed, so it lunges at the garbage as it appears on my plate. Stupid fricken body.

And none of this even gets into how ungraceful it is to eat a runny egg over a greasy burger patty stuffed between two very sugary and slippery glazed halves of a fritter that happen to have flowing cinnamon syrup inside the bun. All of it, slipping out of my fingers, dropping on my plate with a thud, my fingers being coated in thick yellow yolk gunk…

I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to make this for the husband. My brain must have checked out for a mental vacation. Oy! I canNOT wait to get my next lab results back and sit through the lecture about my cholesterol I know is sure to come out my doctor’s mouth. And her resident’s mouth, and probably her nurse’s, too (you know, for good measure).

Also, this burger concoction is making me seriously rethink John Catucci’s strong acting abilities. Surely he didn’t like it as much as he appeared to onscreen. There is no way! Granted, mine lacked sausage, but still. It should have been close enough for us to get a sense of what the blue haired woman created. But, seriously, if I were John, I would have asked what else she had to cook and taste test instead.

I say all of this in half jest because Anna, whom I used to work with many years ago in tv production now works on this show, is probably laughing at my stupidity and forwarding this blog post url to John to read as you’re all reading these words. Winky-wink!

{waving} Hi, John! Remember me when you win your first Gemini. 😀