Grind It Baby Grind It – Fresh home ground beef

Grind It Baby Grind It – Fresh home ground beef

I’ve been busy lately hence the slew of postings but I just have to tell you about my Father’s day present.  I know, I know a little early but we used it on Mother’s day. I am used to all the packages come to our house Lyn’s brother works for the post office and I suppose she is doing her part to support him. So I usually put them on the counter and forget them. Anyway it was one of those rare weekdays that Lyn was home when the mail came and she looked at me with this odd smile, then she blurted out that it was my Father’s day present.  I was happy with that but she was not, she opened the box and pulled it out a meat grinder attachment for our mixer. You see for two years now, maybe longer, we had been toying with the idea of one of these, read all the articles but really could not justify it. Anyway it was just in time for mother’s day so she decided that fresh grilled burgers were called for.

Now what cut of meat….Sirloin Roast too pricy, Chuck roast too fatty for us, the butcher suggested the eye of the round Ok will give it a try.


  • 4 lbs Eye of the Round roast, trim some of the fat off
  • Salt and pepper or rub


This is the fun part

Attached the grinder to the mixer

Cut the roast into chucks that will fit into the grinder tube

Place of baking sheet and into the freezer for about 20 minutes – do not freeze

Turn the mixer on and feed the meat into the tube until all meat has been ground, a second grinding really makes it tender.

Form patties, indent the center slightly, sprinkle and rub with favorite rub let sit for a few minutes

Grill about 4 minutes per side depending on size.

The meat had very little shrinkage and cooked faster than I thought, it was tender, very tender, I thought too dry but no one else found it that way.

Best early present I ever got.

Side note: Lyn found sirloin steaks on sale and we ground up for lunch today very tasty and tender especially after double grinding. I cooked about 4 minutes per side and they came out very tender, juicy and medium. Like grass feed beef it looked more well down than it was.



Turkey Burger

Turkey Burger

I can’t believe I had not posted this before, I thought I did so I never thought to look. This is a pretty standard for us a good red meat alternative. I never make the same but similar so when I had all these left over roasted vegetables the other day I quickly threw them in.


  • 1 Lbs. ground white turkey meat
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ roasted sweet or red onion minced
  • ¼ roasted red bell pepper minced
  • ¼ roasted potatoes minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of fresh cilantro minced


Combine all ingredients, form patties and pan fry or grill until done.

Real hard huh? Usually we just do the mustard.

Grilling is tricky since the patties can tend to be very loose just be patient and let set before you flip them. I suppose you could add some bread crumbs to bind not sure if that would do the trick or not any suggestions out there?

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms

From Cooks Illustrated with minor Steve tweaks

Why this recipe works:

A classic Italian antipasto, foraged wild mushrooms are rich with earthy flavor. The right combination of bright acidity, heady herbs, and the nap of a fine olive oil should pack each bite with a punch. When we developed our marinated mushroom recipe, we liked cremini and white button mushrooms for their flavor and availability. Crowding the mushrooms in a 12-inch skillet generated, at first, an alarming amount of liquid; cranking up the heat, however, reduced the liquid down to a potent glaze with concentrated mushroom flavor.

Skillet size limits the yield of this recipe; if you would like to double it, cook the mushrooms in two separate batches but marinate them together. Thyme, parsley, or basil makes a good last-minute addition—use only one, however, not all three.


  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil , *plus 1 tablespoon for finishing
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt (Steve tweak not much of one they use table salt)
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms or white button mushrooms, cleaned, left whole if small, halved if medium, quartered if large
  • 2 Tbsp. juice from 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon for finishing
  • 1 medium clove garlic , sliced very thin
  • 1 large shallot , chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
    • I have some dried shallot around because I usually forget to grab one at the grocery store in that case use about ½ the call for amount
  • 1/4 small red bell pepper , chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 sun dried dried tomatoes minced (Steve tweak)
  • *Zest of one lemon (Steve tweak)
  • *1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves (see note)
  • Ground black pepper


Heat 3 Tbsp. oil, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add mushrooms and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice; cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms release moisture, moisture evaporates, and mushrooms have browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Spread mushrooms in single layer on large plate or rimmed baking sheet; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. When cooled, transfer mushrooms to medium bowl, leaving behind any juices. Stir garlic, shallot, and bell pepper into mushrooms, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 6 or up to 24 hours.

*Combine the olive oil, lemon juice thyme and zest in small jar cover and set aside. I shake it once in a while just because I see it.

Before serving, allow mushrooms to stand at room temperature about 1 hour. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, thyme and zest and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper just before serving.

Marinated Mushrooms prep  Marinated Mushrooms cooking
Marinated Mushrooms marinated  Marinated Mushrooms serve with cornbread, turkey burger and snap pea salad 

Per Serving:
Cal 110; Fat 9 g; Sat fat 1.5 g; Chol 0 mg; Carb 4 g; Protein 2 g; Fiber 0 g; Sodium 55 mg
Poached-Chicken Salad Roll Up with Creamy Vinaigrette

Poached-Chicken Salad Roll Up with Creamy Vinaigrette

Adapted from a recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Had to use what I had on hand.

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • Two 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 Tbsp. lemon juice or the left over lemon from juicing


  • Whole wheat roll up (low carb)


  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds or more
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice or juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks–trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
  • 3 scallions, white and light green part only, thinly sliced


Poach the chicken: Set the chicken on a plate and season with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the shallot is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme sprigs, bay leaves and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, then pour in the chicken broth and water.

If using whole lemon, juice the lemon and set the lemon juice aside for the vinaigrette. Add the juiced lemon halves or 1.5 Tablespoons juice to the saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer, then add the chicken breasts and reduce the heat to low. Gently cook the chicken in the broth until it registers 160° on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool the chicken in the broth for 10 minutes, then remove the chicken breasts from the broth and set on a paper-towel-lined plate to cool for 10 minutes. When the chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred them into shards. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, tarragon and salt together. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until all of the olive oil is added and the vinaigrette is thick and creamy. Add the pulled chicken to the bowl along with the sunflower seeds, celery and scallions. Gently toss to coat and serve on roll up, buns or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes

Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes

Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes from Umami Girl

Lyn and I are on a Salt and Vinegar baked potato chip kick (Kettle Chips Baked)  so much so that we order directly a case at a time, individual size, my god a big bag would be too much we have no self-control once the bag is open. When I saw Umami Girl’s “Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes” on Pinterest I just had to try I like a good oven fried potatoes.

I made no changes but will try with malt vinegar.


  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthwise to 1/4-inch thickness*
  • 2 cups white or malt vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper


1. In a small pot, combine the potato slices and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Let cool in liquid for 30 minutes. Then drain well and pat potatoes dry with paper towels.

2. Preheat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches below the heat source. Dump the potato slices onto a sheet pan, sprinkle very generously with olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the potato slices in a single layer. Broil until lightly browned on top, about 7 minutes. Then flip the slices and broil until the underside is lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm.

Roasted Potato Salad with Cilantro and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roasted Potato Salad with Cilantro and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mother’s day we decided to try new things this was one from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen. As mentioned I did not have the watercress so substituted fresh cilantro and fresh ground pepper. I can see that watercress would add a noteworthy for a peppery, tangy flavor and be very nice but one works with what they have.

For a light lunch, toss this salad with chunks of grilled tuna, sliced Kalamata olives and roasted red bell peppers. Or sprinkle with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese, and serve as a first course to a winter meal.


  • 2 lb. small fingerlings, Yukon Gold or new potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bunches watercress, large stems removed


  • I did not have so I used fresh cilantro from the garden instead
  • 8-10 fresh green beans cut in to bite size pieces
  • 5 cherry tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup frozen corn


Preheat an oven to 400º.

In a bowl, combine the potatoes, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet or a small roasting pan and roast until the potatoes are tender, golden and crisp, about 1 hour. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar (I used 18 year old) and mustard until blended. Add the extra-virgin olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth and emulsified. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

In another small bowl combine the green beans, tomatoes and corn with 1-2 Tbsp. of vinaigrette set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, cilantro, green bean, tomatoes, corn and vinaigrette, to taste, and toss to mix.



Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownies

Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownies

Jen and Josh were coming and we were excited not just about getting to see them it was the bundle that they were bringing. Actually a double bundle, the twins and just over 7 months old. So why not greet them with a double bundle of our own Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie with chocolate chips. One of the best darn brownies I have ever eaten, soft and chewy just like they claim. Although these days, we don’t make these that often but we thought that this would be perfect for their visit. Something to keep them busy while we played with the babies.  It worked!

Blend a moist, rich brownie with Ghirardelli chocolate chips and the result is a brownie that’s twice as moist…and rich– and twice as delicious!

The luxuriously deep flavor and smooth texture of Ghirardelli Premium Chocolate is the secret to pure brownie perfection. Indulge in this ultra rich, moist and chewy brownie, and experience moments of timeless pleasure with Ghirardelli. IF this sounds like a commercial, it is I took it from their site.


Buy the box and follow the instructions!

Cut them up!    Serve, Yum!

I just have to show you what Lyn and I were excited about


Oven Roasted Chicken

Oven Roasted Chicken

Two Sundays ago Lyn and I were driving around doing our errands when I made the announced that I had a craving for roasted chicken. We pulled into the Stop and Shop, not our usual choice for meats Whole Foods is, but they have Natures Prides which is not that bad, definitely less expensive. Anyway I grabbed a 5 pound chicken and a Cara Cara Orange*, you can use any kind of orange but I never noticed a Cara Cara orange before so what the heck I took a chance.  The orange was actually good when I cut it open and saw the reddish color my first reaction was grapefruit but it was sweet and more like a naval orange. I would buy again.


  • 4-5 pound roasting chicken
  • 1 Cara Cara orange sliced in eights
    • I like to add a fruit in the cavity it adds some moisture and flavor so whether it is lime, lemon, orange or a combination does not matter.
  • 1 small to medium red onion sliced in eights
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic gently crushed just a little
  • A handful of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher Salt and pepper
  • Your favorite poultry rub I used mine which I made a long time ago and can’t remember what exactly is in it.
    • Williams-Sonoma makes a good one. We’ve combined kosher salt, black pepper and garlic with traditional herbs and spices, including fennel, thyme and cayenne. Hints of tangy lemon and aromatic mustard add a lively finishing touch.
    • 3-4 thicker carrots slice in 1 inch pieces
    • 3-4 potatoes quartered or smaller depending on size
    • 2-3 red onions quartered
    • Whole garlic cloves if you want


Preheat oven to 4500

Remove the giblets etc. and set aside to make a chicken broth future use or toss it. Rinse the chicken inside and out and dry with a paper towel. Optional with handle side of regular dinning knife or fingers loosen the skin from the breast and place a sage leaf on both sides or push some butter mixed with some of the poultry rub.  I usually do something like this but not this time. Lyn says too much fat……

Fold the wings under

Season the cavity with salt and pepper.

Stuff with onion, garlic, orange and thyme.

Sprinkle the rub on the bottom side of chicken, drizzle some olive oil and give it a good massage, do the same to the other side and then grind some pepper all over the top. Tie the legs together to hold the stuffing in and give the chicken a more uniformed shape.

Place in roasting pan on middle rack and roast for 30 minutes. Take out and close the oven door. Drain about half of dripping add the vegetables making sure that the potatoes are cut side down.

Return to oven reduce heat to 3250  roast for 30-40 minutes more until juices run clear and temps is about 160-1650

Remove from oven place on platter cover loosely with tin foil for about 15 minutes before carving.

Now decide how crispy you want the vegetables and whether you want to drain the drippings out of not. So depending on what you decide either turn off the oven now or not…

I wrote this recipe from memory I do not think I forgot anything but I feel every cooking experience should have a little experimentation in it how else can we/you discover new taste treats.

Roasted Chicken with Onions, Carrots and Potatoes                  Roasted Chicken with Onions, Carrots and Potatoes

Cara-Cara-Naval * The Cara cara navel, or red navel orange is an early-to-midseason navel orange believed to have developed as a cross between the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel. Discovered at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela in 1976, the parentage is apparently uncertain enough to occasionally warrant the distinction of a mutation, with only the tree on which it was found—the Washington navel—being an accepted progenitor. Cara caras did not enter the U.S consumer produce market until the late 1980s and were carried only by specialty markets for many years thereafter. From Wikipedia

Tomatoes mean spring time to me

Tomatoes mean spring time to me

Every spring my head fills with the vision of tomatoes of all sorts growing in my garden. Last year I grew the most expensive tomatoes, not because of the variety, seed or careful cross-pollination of my favorite plants. NO! Last year was the year of the critters rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, and ground hogs. The Fisher Cat* was out and about feasting on duck eggs across the street but he had no taste for the critters. I suppose it was the first year that we had no dogs around to mark their territory and leave me with poop patrol. Every year one wonders which little bug will attack your beautiful vegetables but I never expected the critter wars of last year. One day coming home from work I noticed two ground hogs sitting in the middle of the garden enjoying their buffet. They had no preferences flowers, veggies, herbs gone to the ground. They were there first and I could have what was left was the expression on their faces, I did not faze them. I tried everything to keep them away Fox urine, pinwheels, hair and ended up with chicken wire, which kept the ground hogs at bay but that meant fair game for the little critters. The year before I had an unspoken agreement with a chipmunk he would pull off and eat one tomato until it was gone then move to the next usually took a few days to complete the cycle, I was amazed he did that. I thought that was a fair deal I had more than I could use. Last year it was a bite or two then on to the next and the next and I am sure you get the picture. I suppose he felt safer with the cage and the rest of his family around him. Then some plight wiped my Roma tomatoes and there went my roasted tomato soup. So after the war was waged and lost I ended up buying them from the local stand or grocery store. Oh well this year we will stick to cherry tomatoes and on the deck. Lyn thinks I am fooling myself chipmunks can climb, but I just have to try I have always had a garden and its spring I have cleaned out the field mouse condo (BBQ) so here we go again. Don’t get me goin on the birds and my blueberries……

Tomato, a nutritious fruit commonly used as vegetable, is another wonderful gift of Mayans. The vegetable has grabbed the attention of millions health seekers for its incredible phytochemical properties. Interestingly, it has much more health benefiting qualities than that in an apple!

Early Morning Sunshine

Fun tomato facts about eating

  • American habits. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat between 22- 24 pounds of tomatoes per person, per year. (More than half of those munchies are ketchup and tomato sauce.)
  • Popularity. The tomato is America’s fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions.
  • Increasing popularity. Americans have increased their tomato consumption 30% over the last 20 years (mostly in processed forms such as sauce, paste, and salsa).
  • Toxic? While tomatoes are perfectly safe and healthy to eat, their leaves are actually toxic!
  • How will you take your tomatoes? As of 2007, Americans spend more on salsa than tomato ketchup.
  • Processed tomatoes. Americans consume three-fourths of their tomatoes in processed form.

Fun tomato facts about growers

  • The average Joe. 93% American gardening households grow tomatoes.
  • Fresh tomatoes. Fresh-market tomatoes are grown in all 50 states.
  • Biggest worldwide producers. The largest worldwide producer of tomatoes is China, followed by USA, Turkey, India and Egypt.
  • Biggest U.S. producer – processed tomatoes. California produces 96% of the tomatoes processed in the U.S.
  • Biggest U.S. producer – fresh tomatoes. Florida is the number one producer of fresh market tomatoes (except in 2008).

Early Morning Sunshine

Health benefits of Tomato

Tomatoes are one of the low calorie vegetables containing just 18 calories per 100 g. They are also very low in any fat contents and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Because of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them to be included in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

The antioxidants present in tomatoes are scientifically found to be protective against cancers including colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic tumors.

Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is the unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, it has the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful oxygen free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopeneprevents skin damage from ultra-violet (UV) rays and offers protection from skin cancer.

Zeaxanthin is another flavonoid compound present abundantly in this vegetable. Zeaxanthin helps protect eyes from “age related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly persons by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.

The vegetable contains very good levels of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as α and ß-carotenes, xanthins and lutein. Altogether, these pigment compounds are found to have antioxidant properties and are take part in vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and bone health. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids is known to help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

In addition, they are also good source of antioxidant vitamin-C(provide 21% of recommended daily levels per 100 g); consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.

Fresh tomato is very rich in potassium. 100 g contain 237 mg of potassium and just 5 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.

They contain moderate amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin as well some essential minerals like iron, calcium, manganese and other trace elements.

More interesting facts

Tomato History from Veggie Cage®

What’s New and Beneficial About Tomatoes From WholeFoods

Did you know that tomatoes do not have to be a deep red color to be an outstanding source of lycopene?

*New England Fisher cats

Are one of the largest members of the Mustelid family, which includes species like the mink, weasel, otter and skunk. These are noted nocturnal animals and therefore very hard to observe. They are however active during both daytime as ell as night time and that too, mostly during the time just before sunset and just before sunrise, when it mainly searches for food. Their cry is similar to that of a high pitched one of a child’s and therefore can sound very eerie in the nights.

Looks so nice almost cute

Not so much

Grilled Turkey Salisbury Steaks with Tomatoes and Cheddar Sauce

Grilled Turkey Salisbury Steaks with Tomatoes and Cheddar Sauce

For a long time we made turkey or chicken burgers but they always came out too dry and bland.

I came up with the idea of adding some Dijon mustard to spice it up and we have been doing that forever. Then Lyn found this and we tried our twist to it. It got the two chewing heads bobbing approval!

Classic Salisbury steak is a patty made of ground beef and seasonings that is fried in butter or oil and smothered in a brown sauce. Although it was once considered health food by its inventor–a 19th century English-American physician named James Salisbury–it’s really not. This grilled version, made with ground turkey breast and fresh vegetables and smothered in a low-fat cheese sauce, makes the grade.

Adapted from Now Eat This … Cookstr


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (We like trader Joe’s it is spicy as heck)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1  medium red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese


1. Preheat Panini grill pan to sear or grill.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the turkey and rosemary until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into an oval patty about 3 inches wide, 5 inches long, and 1 inch thick. Season the turkey “steaks” with salt and pepper to taste, and spray them lightly with olive oil spray. Place them on the hot grill.

3. Spray the tomato and onion slices with olive oil spray, and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Place them on the Panini grill next to the turkey steaks. Grill the turkey steaks and onions for 3 to 6 minutes. Grill the tomato until charred and warmed through, about 2 minutes.

If you are using as a flat grill then 3-4 minutes per side for onion and burger and 2 minutes for tomatoes.

4. Meanwhile, whisk the evaporated milk into the cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Whisk the cheese into the sauce until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pile the tomato and onion slices on top of the turkey steaks. Spoon the cheese sauce on top, and serve.

Turkey Salisbury Steak                                   Turkey Salisbury Steak

Turkey Salisbury Steak