Posts Tagged ‘great burger recipes’


Facebook is social media I do not take lightly. According to articles I’ve read Facebook is cited in 1/3 of the divorce proceedings before the courts. This does not pertain to me as I’m neither married nor cheating, but I must admit I find it curious why someone would choose to post pictures on-line when having an affair. This makes almost no sense to me. Social media being by its very name, social, makes the likelihood of having someone other than the parties involved seeing these pictures fairly high. The only logic I can impose on this line of thinking is that the person posting the pics wants to get caught. That being said why not just opt out of the current relationship up front and become involved in the one playing out behind the scenes? Curious.

Humans interest me always. I interest myself, truth be known. After all these years I still can’t be sure of my own behavior from one day to the next much less those functioning around me. There’s no judgment on my part in these statements, only intense curiosity as to what makes us tick.

There are a lot of things in the news which concern me lately, aside from the obvious major news items. I only allow myself to watch so much news before going off to do something more heartening. Just enough to get the bulleted news items but not be saturated with all the craziness abounding in our world these days. I’ve mentioned many of my hot button items in previous blogs but I’m spurred to mention a few new ones in this blog.

Yesterday while coming home I waited while a school bus unloaded a group of elementary school students. Standing at the bus stop were three or four parents waiting for their kids. All of the parents were intently staring at their cell phones. I noticed as the children excitedly got off the bus and went to their appropriate moms and dads the parents nodded at them but not one of them looked up to welcome their little ones nor stopped looking at the device in front of them. Several of the children could be seen chatting away while the parents walked still working their fingers as they headed down the street. There was everything in that scene that made my heart feel terribly sad. Children grow up in the blink of an eye and are on to live their lives. Treasure the time you have with them and make each moment count. Your cell phone will still be there after they are gone to keep you company.

This morning on the news they were talking about the huge amount of time Americans are devoting to their phones. Several of the anchors were actually angry about being accused of devoting too much time to their much loved devices, while the weather man said he’d actually cut his usage after he noticed his toddler trying to get his attention by grabbing the phone. Worse yet he was fighting her for the phone rather than directing his attention on his little girl who finally wandered off.

Cell phones are aging us as well it seems. Looking down at them constantly is causing our neck muscles to break down and wrinkles to form. I must admit I have a bit of text envy. People who text often fly over the diminutive keyboard, and although I can key on a regular keyboard at lightening speed, on the phone’s keyboard I’m all thumbs. While trying to add a new contact the other day I called three numbers accidentally before finally getting the new number saved.

Another disturbing news item was this is the first generation in recorded history that is less educated than the one preceding it. Whoa. Unless I’m mistaken we’re supposed to be moving in the other direction. It escapes me what they are teaching in school these days. I mentioned Portland, Oregon to my grandson yesterday. His response was to be totally surprised to learn Portland was in Oregon. When I asked him if he new what the capital of Oregon was, he said, “huh”? At my last job I had a young girl ask me if Maryland (pronounced Mare-e-land) was in Europe. The same girl asked me why they put PA behind Pittsburgh on a letter. She was the mail girl.

I watched a show where they stopped college students on several noted campuses and asked them geography questions such as what was the capital of the state they lived in. One girl said “C” when asked the question about California. I hope she wasn’t planning on being a neurosurgeon. Another kid from San Diego state thought San Diego was the capital and that Northern and Southern California were two different states. Man. I’m sure if you asked either of these kids about IDrink or Retweet they’d be right on target.

My guess as to reasons for this would be the cost of educating oneself these days, the cost of living in general, sagging employment and slow creation of new jobs, and what I view as sort of lack of forward movement with the young people I’m in contact with lately. This is a general statement, naturally, there are over achievers, or achievers as always, but I see a lot of kids sort of roaming about with no idea about the future. A lot of lower paying jobs previously going to younger applicants such as fast food or clerking are now being gobbled up by more educated, older job seekers as the lack of jobs in the middle class segment increases. It’s tough world out there for kids getting out of school these days.

Ah well, that’s my gripe for a Saturday.

I will not begin to describe this recipe as a healthy choice, but these burgers are simply gooey and absolutely irresistible. Rick adapted the recipe from a restaurant in San Francisco he used to frequent when he was a kid.

Bleu Cheese Chili Burgers

1 1/2 lb. ground chuck
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/8 cup crumbled bleu cheese
Olive oil

Sour cream
Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing (I use Marie’s or Bob’s)
Crumbled Bleu Cheese
16 oz. can of Bush’s Chili beans (meatless)
4 Sesame seed buns, toasted

Mix together first 8 ingredients. Form into patties and broil, barbeque, fry, or broil according to your taste. Spread buns with olive oil and heat until browned under broiler or on grill and put aside.

To assemble the burger, spread bleu cheese dressing liberally on both sides of buns. Place meat patties on bottom of bun, put bun top on. Over all spoon generous amount of heated chili beans. Top with generous dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles. Eat this one with a knife and fork.

This, will make you a believer 🙂

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Photo by Susie Nelson

Photo by Susie Nelson

My mother is having a birthday. As she puts it she’s not fond of birthdays, but prefers them to the alternative. Each year I try to come up with something creative for someone who has covered most of the bases over the years already. Being the “only chick”, the onus is on me to make her birthday special and hopefully memorable. One year, waaaaaaay back, living out of state I forgot. What living out of state has to do with it I’m not sure, but I threw it in by way of a defense. This has never been forgotten, or repeated, especially since it’s never been forgotten.

With our clan continuing to expand, remembering all the birthdays requires a “birthday calendar”, and making sure no one feels slighted a financial consultant. With groceries, gas, and general living expenses on the rise I have had to lower their expectations when they find a card with my handwriting in the mail, because finances simply can’t handle the traffic anymore. At one time everyone got a piece of the pie, but between Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, not to mention the heavy hitters like birthdays and Christmas, it can get out of hand pretty quickly. Aside from the cost involved in keeping up, picking out the perfect gift isn’t easy anymore. It used to be a doll or a game would suffice but now it has to be interactive and most likely expensive.

I consider myself so fortunate to have had my mother with me throughout my journey. Certainly she has stuck with me through the worst and best of it. Being my biggest fan she’s watched me walk down the aisle four times each time holding out equal optimism for the results. Go team Mom! Somehow we struggled through my teenage years without inflicting personal injury one another, a feat looking back I consider short of a miracle. Being an only child can be a bit daunting at times. It falls on you to pull the wagon, and if it goes off the road there is no one else to point a finger at. Certainly on the plus side all the attention comes in your direction without other siblings involved. The spotlight steadily shining on you can be both good and bad, especially if you’re trying to get away with something. A side effect might be a selfish bent if spoiled, as sharing is not a word you learn much about until you reach adulthood with the full share of your parents love and devotion piled solely upon your person. I was given lots of love, but was taught responsibility and had to earn my way to things my heart desired. Being an only encourages an independent nature, often making it easier to entertain oneself when the need arises. I have many friends with multiple siblings, who simply don’t know what to do with themselves when left to their own devices. Conversely, I find alone time a happy place on many occasions, giving rise to deep thought and creativity.

At fourteen, when my mother remarried, I was handed a stepfather with my piece of white cake with raspberry cream filling, and a stepbrother. I would have preferred a scoop of ice cream. Adjusting to the new men in my life was a process fraught with ripples, and I certainly didn’t calm the waters. Up until then I’d been doing just fine on my own, and suddenly every other weekend, holidays, and summers I had a tussle headed shadow at my heels I hadn’t signed up for.

Mike was two years younger than I, and for some unknown reason thought the sun rose and set on my sorry behind. To me, he was like an annoying bee circling my piece of watermelon. I was a teenager with lots of friends, and having a little brother tagging along wasn’t number one on my list. “Take Mike with you, Honey”, became the mantra around our house.

The first year as a new family was a rocky one. Slowly but surely I came to accept the annoying little bee around my watermelon, and came to find a certain protective feeling rising in me. Mike was a latchkey kid, much like myself, from a broken family, much like myself. His mother was a lady with a huge head of unnaturally bright red hair and a penchant for Boone’s Farm Tickle Pink Wine. I remember this only because when visiting their house to pick up my stepbrother, the empty bottles were displayed all over the living room having been put into use as flower vases, candle holders, and herb gardens. Amazing. In comparison to my stepfather who stood well over six feet, his ex was a short woman as wide as she was tall. Professing to have an hour glass figure, she was prone to wearing waist pinching belts moving what was gathered there either flowing up and over the top or oozing out below. A non-stop talker, her bright crimson lips entertained a perpetual wagging cigarette, and she smelled, as I remember, quite strongly of Evening in Paris perfume. The house itself was hippie chic. Love beads dangled from the doors and incense burned in a pot by a stereo usually blaring the latest Stone’s hit. Laundry hung everywhere. In order to sit it was necessary to remove something covering the furniture to locate a spot. In comparison to the chaos in the rest of the house, the kitchen was pristine, as it was rarely used. According to Mike his mother had never used a pot, at least in the conventional sense. I think he enjoyed coming to our house because my mother loved to cook, our cupboards were always full, and immaculate, you could eat off her floor on any given day.

As the years passed we became the best of friends, siblings really. We fought like brothers and sisters will, and made up. Schemes were plotted and sentences enforced when things went wrong. I got used to having him around and came to like having a brother. At eighteen with the war in full swing in Viet Nam, my stepfather bought him a food truck. Mike threw himself enthusiastically into his new business, having a knack for cooking and natural head for numbers and promoting himself. With his name moving up the list to be called to service always lingering in the back of his mind, he was easy prey for the disciples of a religious cult building strength in numbers in the area. Before long they wrapped their beliefs around him as tightly as a boa constrictor might a gazelle. The food truck was found abandoned by the side of the street in Los Angeles one night. Searching for months we found him in a building outside of San Francisco. Our only contact was to speak to him from the sidewalk while he leaned out of a window on the third floor. The next time I heard from him I had two children and he was farming in New Zealand. After that the trail went cold. I often wonder where he is today. I’ve tried searching from time to time but without much luck. His name is in my birthday book, perhaps someday I’ll know where to send his card.

This burger was too juicy and yummy. I ate it right down to the ground.

Torta Burger with Picante Sauce

2 lbs. ground chuck
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 slices cheddar cheese
1 cup iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 large tomato, sliced
6 Bolillo Buns
Red onion

Crumble meat in large bowl. Add Worcestershire sauce. Mix seasonings together and sprinkle over meat. Mix together with fingertips until well blended. Make into 6 oblong patties. Barbecue, broil or cook meat on stove top to desired cooking level. Add cheese at end to melt.

Slice buns in half and slather both cut sides with sauce. Top with meat, lettuce and tomato. Add garnishes as desired.

Picante Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. key lime juice
2 Tbsp. chopped green chiles
2/3 cup Pace Picante Sauce (I used hot)
Salt and pepper

Mix together all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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