Monday, January 23, 2012

Blue Cheese Makes Everything Better

 So, this recipe is super simple, but it was just what I needed to get me in the mood to blog. Because, really, if blue cheese isn't the cure-all, what is? Now, I  generally try to eat fairly healthy (says the girl who just finished an ice cream, yeah). But, I have a serious weakness for blue cheese. Whether it's dressing, sprinkled on a salad, or (my personal favorite) the Wild Blue Yonder burger at the Taste Pilot in California Adventure, I just can't resist it.

 In our house burgers are what I consider a staple, easy meal. I do the prep work, my husband does the grilling, and we're good to go! I'm always looking for ways to make burgers at home a little more exciting though, and the addition of blue cheese is one of my favorite ways to do this. What I like about this recipe is that the blue cheese is cooked into the burger, not just put on top. The result is that the blue cheese melts more and the flavors mix together perfectly. Just Wonderful!

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheee
1 medium red onion, slice crosswise
Olive oil
1 cup baby spinach

1. In a bowl combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Shape into eight, four inch diameter patties.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of blue cheese into the center of four of the patties. Top with remaining four patties and pinch to seal the edges.
3. Brush onions slices with olive oil
4. Place burgers and onions on grill over medium heat.
5. Serve burgers on buns with grilled onions, spinach and remaining blue cheese.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Out of the Funk and into the Kitchen

So I've been in what I call a blogging "funk" the last few months. (Hence the no new posts in 3 months- yessh!) Part of the problem is that life just happens. You know how it goes, you go from zero to two kids and suddenly you spend more of your time doing stuff like this:

Or being the cheering section for something like this:

And after three months of not writing, I start convincing myself that I have absolutely nothing to write about. No new recipes to try (as if I've cooked them all?).

So I've been trying to snap myself out of this funk. My husband gave me two new books on cooking (not cookbooks, but more memoir style) which I'm excited to start reading, I got some new stainless steel cookware (does it make me a geek that this alone gets me excited? it's just so shiny:), and the other day I browsed through The Starkey Family Cookbook for some new recipe ideas.

"The Starkey Family Cookbook?" you say. Why, yes! and while this was intended to be a post on the amazing blue cheese burgers we had earlier this week, I've decided to save that for my next post and share with you how I organize all of my recipes. Because really, it's the first step to anything good that happens in our kitchen.

Since we got married I have kept a 3 ring binder filled with favorite recipes. But a little less than a year ago I took it to a whole new level with a few ideas borrowed from one of my favorite blogs iheartorganizing (ok, so I just spent a good 20 minutes or more searching for the actual post because the English teacher in me just has to cite my source, and I cannot find it....errr!). This is also where I got my super cute recipe index sheets (which from the looks of it she does not have anymore).

I know a lot of you out there have recipe binders divided by category like any cookbook would be. What makes this a little different are two features that I absolutely love. First, I love that it gives me a place to put recipes that I want to try in a separate place from those tried and tested recipes that I use on a regular basis. All of the old favorites go into page protectors and are divided into categories using tabbed dividers that also have a pocket on each side. In the front pocket of each category I put any new recipes (clipped from magazines, or printed off the internet) that I want to try.

Only after it has been tried and deemed repeatable by my testing group (aka my husband and kids), does a recipe get put into the page protectors.

The second thing I love is the recipe index for each category, which goes in the inside pocket of each section. Instead of just listing the recipes in the binder, this inventory also lists all of our favorite recipes from various other sources, including with it the location (book or website) and page number. This has been such a time saver- no more looking through all the cookbooks trying to find the recipe. All I have to do is check the index in my binder!

Well, now that you all know what an organizing geek I am, the point is that all those recipes I had been saving were a great inspiration and reminder that there are still a lot of recipes I want to try!

What about you? Any secrets to organizing recipes that you have found works for you?