Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Well, it's been a while. I haven't really been in the mood to write, but I do have a new recipe and some pictures of my newly cleared out backyard.

I made this a few weeks ago for a friend I was having over for lunch. I thought it was really tasty, but he wasn't a big fan of the mushroom. He thought it was good, but didn't enjoy the texture as much as I did.

Portobello Mushroom Burger
Servings: 2

2 portobello mushrooms
4 tbsp EVOO
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 hot sausage links, out of casing and browned
4 slices monterey jack cheese
2 burger rolls
Desired condiments

Turn on broiler and put rack on the second lowest notch. Wipe down mushrooms with damp paper towel (putting them under direct water will make them absorb.) Spread EVOO on both sides of the mushrooms. Sprinkle black pepper, salt, red pepper, and garlic powder on the underside of the mushroom. Put more black pepper on the mushroom cap if desired (I like lots of pepper). Broil mushrooms cap side up for 4 minutes. Flip and mushrooms over and broil undersides for 3-4 minutes or until juicing. When juicy, pull out the mushrooms and put aside. Soak up any spilled juices in the split buns. Toast the buns with one slice of cheese until cheese is melted and the buns are toasty. Assemble burger by placing the mushrooms cap side down and putting browned sausage inside the cap.

I put a second piece of cheese on top of the sausage and back in the oven to melt so that the sausage would stay in place. I used dijon mustard for my condiments, but you could probably add ketchup or thousand island if you like.

Grade: A-

I thought about putting slices of cooled polenta on the burgers too, but there just wasn't any room. I think this only took me about half an hour and they're pretty good for you. If you are watching your waistline, just don't use the cheese or only use one piece.

I didn't take before pictures, which I'm a little upset about, but the weeds were literally turning into trees. They had trunks! If you look at the top picture, behind the wheel barrow it still looks like a jungle. The whole back yard looked like that. I recruited a guy friend of mine who I've been hanging out with a lot lately to come and help me clear out the back yard. He obviously did a great job. I never see the ground unless it's winter when nothing green can live. He even took a saw to the tree/weed that was growing up into the deck. The branches were coming through the wood in the deck and poking people. While he did that I used a rake and pulled up all of the ground-crawling vines that were taking over. They were starting to crawl up into my veggie patch. After I did a fair amount of squeeling about the vines my friend was nice enough to put it all in the garden bags for me since I didn't want to touch anything. I think the weeds were growing at such a rapid pace because of all of Emmy's poop. We didn't find any lumps in there. It had already decomposed and turned into all natural fertilizer. Yum. Anyway, so he put it all in the bags for me and the garden looked the cleanest I'd ever seen it during the summer. It was nice because he cleared the area that I had asked Edward to clear for me months ago so that could make a strawberry patch. It made me a little bit sad to see. It's a little too late to build a planter and plant strawberries now since I'll be moving home at the end of August, but at least it's clear. I don't have to worry about the tree/weeds attacking my guests when they come over.

The Mini Frittatas were a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis I had seen sometime last summer. I made these with some left over Kielbasa sausage instead of ham. They were really, really good and super easy. I would highly suggest it if you have the time.

I've been doodling to keep myself calm with all of the elderly people calls I get at work. It has been quite busy the last week or so. I thought I'd share.

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