Simple Portabella Burger

There is something so delicious about portabellas. I’ve been on a bit of a mushroom kick lately, but I’m always one to spice things up with garlic, red pepper, salt and black pepper.

This, though. Ooh. This needs nothing. Well, nothing for the mushroom. Just spray the pan and let it cook 15 minutes, flipping once.


After 10 minutes of the portabella cooking, add a few slivers of onion to the pan. Let those grill as the mushroom finishes.

Then place it all on a toasted seven grain bun (I get the Sprouted Bakehouse at Whole Foods) with basil pesto, avocado and cheese (havarti here).

Serve with blue tortilla chips, and enjoy.

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Spicy Black Bean Bourbon Whiskey Burgers and Couple’s Therapy

They are delicious.

Actually, they are basically the burger version of this incredible dip. And insanely easy. Just take your ingredients, throw them all in the food processor, then fry it up.

Spicy Black Bean Bourbon Whiskey Burgers

Note: This is one of those great recipes where you don’t need to really measure anything. I just went with what was around, and you should do. General recipe: veggies + beans + spices + olive oil + flour + bourbon whiskey.

In a food processor add 1-2 large carrots or around 5 baby carrots, 1/2 – 1 green pepper, 1/4 large onion. Process until fine.

Add 1 1/2 cup black beans and 1/2 cup great northern beans (Mine were dried and I cooked them the night before in with crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt and cumin). Process for 2 -3 minutes, until pretty well blended.

Add 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/8 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp. each of cumin, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, paprika and salt, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 3 tbsp. bourbon whiskey. Process until you get a good mush. I had to go in there with a spatula a few times. If your mix is too wet, add some more flour (my veggies were a little old and dry, so I didn’t need too much flour).

In a pan over medium-high heat, cook until browned on each side, about 5 minutes (or 15 if your pan hates you).

Eat as delicious burger (sure there’s no meat, but there’s a whole lotta whiskey so it’s still man food) with a bun and cheese, crumbled over a salad, or all on its own as you write your blog….

Delicious burgers on a plateThere will come a time when I will love my readers enough to not take picture of half-eaten burgers with leftover batter mashed across the top as a spread and post it to my blog. Today is not that time. I like to think it is what keeps the “amateur” aspect of this blog so genuine.

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Brownie Batter Funfetti Rice Krispie Treats

Oh yeah. Inspiration a la How Sweet It Is.

Brownie Batter rice krispie treat

Melt 2 tbsp. butter over low heat.

Add 3 cups marshmallows, 1/4 cup brownie mix (I used Ghiradelli Double Chocolate), and 3 tbsp. colorful sprinkles, and stir until marshmallows are melted. This may take a few minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups Rice Krispies.

Spread out evenly in a greased sheet and let cool (or don’t). Slice and serve.

Makes 9 treats. Double if you don’t live alone.

Brownie Batter rice krispie treat

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Life lessons from Cappy the dog

Hello all, Cappy the dog here. As you know, I have much advice on the world to share. Today, just a few thoughts.

1. Two is always better than one. That’s why I always chew on two bones.

Cappy shows her chewing on two nylabones at the same time skill

2. It’s always warmer under the covers. Also, laptops are great for surfing the web in bed (or updating your momma’s blog).

Cappy on the laptop under the covers3. Finally, and this is my most important lesson of the day, anything filled with stuffing cannot be trusted. In fact, it must be destroyed.

Stuffed tigers should not be trustedIt is okay to take naps though, it’s not like the tiger is going to end the world in the hour you sleep.

Napping while killing the tigerJust make sure you keep it close.

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Project Tasteless: Men Are Easy (And so is this dip!)

Project Tasteless: The Please Let Me Infiltrate the Man Cave Challenge came at the perfect time this month – or should I say, just in time, since I am leaving the country Wednesday for almost 3 weeks. Rachel posted the contest Monday, I had to pack all Monday night because Tuesday night was spent driving to my parents’ house and dropping off the dog and doing laundry until 4:30 a.m. (I hope…I’m still at it here at 3:25). So I had a little time in there while the laundry was running to do a little man-style cooking.

Bean Dip

The other great news? I had just made up the manliest and most delicious thing in the world Saturday. For some reason, we are trying to infiltrate the man cave. I don’t know why, but this dip is how to do it. It’s straight-to-the-point delicious. It doesn’t taste “Fancy,” but it also has a so-much-better-than-whatever-comes-out-of-the-Tostitos-jar quality about it. There’s an easy long way, and there’s an easy short way. Obviously the easy long way is better , but the short way is fine too.

So let’s not continue this discussion any longer. Man Cave, here we come.

Project Tasteless Button

Easy Short Way to Make Delicious Bean Dip to Feed Man

Note: I did not measure anything, so just go with your gut here. If you like it spicy, throw in a little more pepper. If you like it limey, throw in more lime. It’s all delicious.

Get together: 1 can cannellini beans, 1 can black beans, 1 bag shredded sharp cheddar, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, garlic powder, lime

Drain beans from can.

Put in a food processor: cannellini beans, black beans, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, juice of ½ lime. Here I used equal parts salt, pepper and crushed red pepper – about ¼ tsp. each. Adjust crushed red pepper and black pepper to get more or less of a kick – right now it’s pretty mild. Use around ½ tsp. cumin. Throw in a splash of garlic powder.

Pre-processing ingredients

Process for about 15-20 seconds, to your preferred consistency. I like it a little chunky – something about it just says “man.”

Post-processing ingredients

Move bean mix to a pot and heat on the stove over medium heat (4 out of 10). I highly recommend spraying the pot beforehand if it has the slightest tendency to sticky.

After the bean mix is good and warm, stir in about 1 cup of cheese. I start with about ½ cup, and keep going until it has a slight cheesy glow about it. Again, whatever your preference here. Less cheese, less cheesy flavor.

Move to bowl and serve with tortilla chips (Garden of Eatin’ Blue Chips are the favorite here).

Easy Long Way to Make Delicious Bean Dip to Feed Man

Measure out 1/2 cup dry black beans and ¾ cup  dry cannellini beans. Cover with about 4 cups water and let soak in the fridge overnight.

Drain. Put beans in pot, cover with water that goes up twice the height of the beans. Mix in around ½ tsp. garlic powder, ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. cumin. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour, until the beans seem tasty.

Replace your fresh beans for the canned beans in the recipe above, and follow above directions.

The beans can be made a few days ahead of time – in fact, the whole reason I made this dip was because I had some beans in the fridge that needed to be used stat.

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How to Seduce a Man on Game Day (or how to accidently seduce his dad on Sunday morning)

Part 1: How to Seduce a Man on Game Day

My boyfriend and I date long distance, but lucky for us we are from the same city. I came home for Thanksgiving (he lives with his parents), but Thanksgiving is family time, so Saturday night was the only night we could do Project Tasteless Challenge #5: I Am, in Fact, Trying to Seduce You.

Project Tasteless Button

Saturday is also football day, and we are both big football fans, so this meant trouble. See, since this is my boyfriend, and not, say, a boy who did not know I would come back another day, he would feel perfectly comfortable saying, “Eh, I’ll take my Gamecocks today. It’s the Clemson game!!” So this one is for all you ladies out there who need a little extra help seducing a man on game day.

1. Check the game schedule Hope for an 8 p.m. game. I got 7 p.m., and my Tar Heels were playing at 3:30, and I still had to pick up food. I gave up the third quarter and then some of my game for shower, getting hot, buying food, and driving 30 minutes to his house. His parents were out of town Saturday night, so we had the place to ourselves.

2. Dress distractingly obvious I went with 3-inch heels and a shiny, low-cut, little-bit-see-through top. But wear a cardigan, we want to keep it classy ladies.

Shiny Shirt

3. BYOB Don’t drink the beer leftover from the man party that has been happening all day. I brought cider-delicious!

4. Acknowledge that chips and queso will be your romantic appetizer When I got there, I was starving because I had forgotten about the whole lunch thing, and he needed to take a shower, and the last 5 minutes of my game was on, and then his game started, so we ended up stuffing ourselves with queso and chips and completely ruining our appetites.

5. Plan a light meal This is for two reasons: One, you just stuffed yourselves with chips and queso; two, you are about to get it on.

6. Prep ahead so the meal is quick and easy to make Almost all my veggies were pre-chopped and the potatoes were pre-cooked (thank you Thanksgiving leftovers). I was able to prep the whole thing and throw it in the oven at halftime.

Dinner Dish

…and the meal is: Lemon Flounder with roasted veggies and lemon salad. Recipe at the end of the post.

Dinner Plate

7. Don’t invite a friend over for the second half of the game and then watch Tron until 2 a.m. It kind of kills the mood. Even though Tron (the character) oozes more sexuality than a sexuality oozer on sexuality oozing steroids at a sexuality oozing conference. Seriously, have you seen it?

Part 2: How to Accidently Seduce His Dad on Sunday Morning

As I mentioned, my boyfriend lives with his parents. They were out of town Saturday night, but seeing as I was staying with my parents, I had to go to my home for sleeping. Still, I was ready for Project Tasteless Challenge #6: Easy Like Sunday Morning Bangover 911, where I had to use at least one ingredient from Saturday night’s dinner in my Sunday brunch recipe. A note before we get into it, I saved this biscuit recipe for this challenge. They are the greatest biscuits you will ever eat.

1. Don’t remind your boyfriend that the leftovers WILL BE USED IN BREAKFAST TOMORROW I assumed the boyfriend would remember. Then his dad came home, saw the delicious food in the fridge, asked his son if he could eat it, and his son said yes. Yep, his dad ate my seductive flounder/Sunday morning hash browns before they could even be made.

2. Make the most delicious biscuits in the world My boyfriend’s dad apparently has a thing for tasty buttermilk biscuits, and I just happened to have the recipe. Seriously, they will change your life. Get your buttermilk, butter, and dill and go to the end of this post for the recipe. Life. Changer.

Biscuit Close Up

3. Leave out a big plate on the kitchen counter Mmmm plenty for all the men in this house. That’s right, I seduced my boyfriend on Saturday night and his dad on Sunday morning.

Biscuit Tray

Lemon Flounder with Roasted Veggies and Salad

Pre-chop your veggies. If you are doing the use-the-ingredient-in-the-Sunday-breakfast challenge, make sure to include red onion and potatoes. I also included red, yellow and green pepper and broccoli.

Preheat oven to 375F. Toss chopped veggies with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the bottom of your greased baking dish.

Lightly coat both sides of the flounder fillets with olive oil, and place on top of your veggies. Squirt the juice of 1/2 lemon over everything.

Cook 15-20 minutes, or until flounder is flaky.

While the flounder is cooking, make your salad. Mix together the juice of 1/2 lemon2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper for the dressing. Toss mixed greens and feta with the dressing, and set out on your plate.

Once the flounder is done, serve it and the veggies with the salad.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Serve with maple bacon and scrambled eggs – and scramble the eggs in the pan you cooked the bacon in for a little extra yum – and cut up the roasted veggies from last night (minus the broccoli) and heat them in the bacon pan over medium heat for a few minutes.

Adapted from Dot’s Diner

This makes a lot of biscuits – definitely halve the recipe if you are not cooking for your boyfriend and his parents and planning for lots of leftovers

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. fresh or dried dill, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt. Using your fingertips, rub 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a course meal.

Course Meal

Add 1 cup buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Drop biscuits onto greased baking sheet and cook until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

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Project Tasteless Challenge #4: What Santa Really Needs for Christmas

Project Tasteless Challenge #4: Sometimes It’s OK to Come Early-The Holiday Spirits Challenge! Come up with a drink recipe that you’d serve for a holiday.

As I approached this challenge, I had the urge to do something not Christmas. Christmas just seems too predictable. I tried to come up with something not Christmas, but it just didn’t feel right.

See, Christmas really is the best time of year, even if you are Jewish. Short story: My sisters and I love us some red and green holiday spirit.

So for the Holiday Spirits Challenge there was really only one holiday for me to turn to: Christmas.

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent an hour at the liquor store trying to “get inspired.” I did. This recipe is based off the Santa Shot. Because, as my boyfriend’s family so eloquently pointed out, after a long night of delivering presents, Santa doesn’t need milk and cookies; Santa needs a drink and some cookies. That’s why they always left out beer and cookies for ol’ Saint Nick.

Well Santa, this is going to be way more satisfying than any old beer. Except maybe this one:

Bell's Christmas Ale

Sure Santa might enjoy some milk and cookies, but here’s What Santa Really Needs for Christmas:

What Santa Really Needs in Clear Glass

1 part grenadine

1 part creme de menthe (green)

1 part peppermint schnapps

~5 parts milk

1 chocolate-dipped mint stick

Pour milk, peppermint schnapps and creme de menthe into a clear or christmas-appropriate glass. Stir together with your chocolate-dipped mint stick until the drink is green. Add grenadine (this will sink to the bottom) and use the mint stick to move the grenadine around so you get red swirls in the drink. Leave out for Santa with a plate of cookies (if he comes to your house…If not, just do what I did and DRINK IT!).

What Santa Really Needs in Christmas-Appropriate Glass

Merry Christmas, Santa.

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