Beer Can Breakfast Burgers?? Are you kidding?

Beer Can Breakfast Burgers?? Are you kidding?

I have been seeing these beer can burgers all over my Facebook page since I joined my smoking group and I couldn’t wait to try them. The other day, while shopping at Winco, I came across a smokin deal on ground pork and swiped it all up. Now I have a freezer full of pork and not sure what to do with it all. Then I got to thinkin. Every time I get to thinkin, I end up blogging lol. I thought, what if I made some breakfast beer can burgers. Hey! That actually sounds really good! I had some breakfast sausage flavor up in the cupboard I could throw into the ground pork to make it sausage and then… Here is what I did:

2 lbs ground pork

2 TBSP sausage seasoning (could have been more)

Before going any further, I took a little piece of the sausage and threw it into a pan until it was cooked through and tasted it to make sure there was enough seasoning in it. I’ll look around and see if I can find the sausage seasoning recipe and post it here. It makes about a year’s worth or better. Anyway, once the flavor was right I started putting it all together.

I balled up some of the pork and pushed a cup into it then pushed the pork up the sides of the cup so it formed a sort of bowl. I would have used a beer can but I didn’t have one so I improvised 🙂 then I wrapped a strip of bacon around the pork and gently pushed the whole thing off the cup. This was tricky. It took a little dexterity to get the meat back off the cup. I cold beer would have been better for this part. Anyway, after getting the meat off the cup I messed with it for a minute to make sure the “bowl” was formed then I set each one on a piece of folded foil and then onto a cookie sheet. I added a little ball (you can use a cube or shredded) cheese to the middle. In a bowl I mixed up about 6 eggs, turns out I only needed about 5 but no worries, my kids ate the leftovers 🙂

Into the eggs I poured some cooked onions, red/green bell peppers and garlic and whisked but not too much. You don’t want to beat the eggs too much they will fluff up. While fluffy eggs are lovely, not so much for this project. Pour that mixture into the sausage bowls and they are ready for the smoker.

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I smoked them for about an hour or so between 200-300 degrees. The temp was at 200 when I put them on but it rose to 300 by the end which was fine.

on the smoker

Then I finished them on the grill. When I set them up onto the grill, they were still pretty soft so I left the foil for a few minutes while they cooked and once they were a little more sturdy I took the foil off to finish them up.

all finished

I used a meat thermometer to check the centers of them for doneness and pulled them at 160 degrees.

I personally do not eat eggs so my kids were the guinea pigs. They have given me rave reviews on this one. I hope you all try it and it works out well for you, too! I can’t wait to try new combinations!

feature image breakfast burger

As a little extra bonus, you could plop these bad boys right between an English muffin! Mmmmm!

I think it was this recipe I used for the seasoning:

CRADLE ROCKING MAMA’S SAUSAGE SPICE MIX

– 8 or 9 tsp. dried sage
– 7 or 8 tsp. salt
– 4 tsp. black pepper
– 4 T. brown sugar*
– 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cloves
– dash of some pepper: paprika, chili powder, cayenne

 
  1. Measure out your spices.
  2. Dump them in a bowl.
  3. Whisk them together.
  4. Store in a labeled container.
  5. Use 4 tsp. of the mix per pound of meat.

You can find more on her blog at http://cradlerockingmama.com/homemade-breakfast-sausage/ 

Smoked Pork! Oh my goodness!!!!!

Smoked Pork! Oh my goodness!!!!!

Ok, so I was going to throw my pork into a crock pot and forget it and then later come back and pull it and call it pulled pork. Hey, what can I say I am a home school mom with a bunch to do. But then I joined a group whose theme is smoking and grilling and whatnot and started slobbering as I read through the posts in the group. I decided how dumb am I to crock my pork? Today I spent 9 hours manning my smoker. My classroom was in the backyard. Hey I am a home school mom and we can school anywhere 😀 So, here is what I did: It all started last night. I made the rub: 1/2 cup white sugar mixed with a little maple syrup (I didn’t have brown sugar so I improvised). 1/4 paprika I used the smoked paprika you can buy in bulk at Winco 1 TBSP each of onion powder garlic powder chili powder black pepper salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

pork rubbed

Adjust this rub to your own taste. I rubbed this all over my roasts after I rinsed them and patted them dry. Then I covered them and put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning I pulled them out and threw em onto the smoker after it was hot and ready. I kicked back and enjoyed the songs of the birds and the breeze and the sounds of my daughter reading to me or doing math. This is the smoker I used. Nothing fancy, but it does a really good job!

smoker

I really like the taste and smell of Frontier brand lump charcoal and today I tried chunk hickory instead of chips for the first time. The chunks are way better. I used some dry and some wet just depending on the level of smoke I wanted the heat inside the smoker. If it was getting on the hot side I would use wet chunks and if it was cooler I threw in some dry ones. I brushed the meats with some olive oil a couple hours in to keep them from drying out. Also, make sure your water bowl has water in it. The water helps to even out the distribution of the heat and it keeps the inside humid which also aids in maintaining moisture in the meat.

pork on smoker

At the stall, I wrapped the meats in foil and put them back on the grill and increased the heat to 250. Once the meats hit an internal temp of 200, I pulled them off and rested them for an hour under heavy towels. Once the meat was cooled and pulled I made a vinegar-based sauce using these ingredients:

1 c Cider vinegar

1/2 c Hot water

1 TBSP Smoked paprika (you can use regular it’s okay)

2 TBSP Dark brown sugar

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix the brown sugar with the hot water until dissolved then mix everything else together and pour over the meat. This sauce added a tang and spice that was a real kick in the mouth! Adjust the ingredients to your own taste but you can’t go wrong with this recipe. So to balance the tang and spice of this sauce in the finished product, I also made a white barbecue sauce that was a real hit with the family. Here is what I did:

1 c Mayo

1/3 c Cider vinegar

1 tsp Water (not sure what that was for but whatever)

1 tsp (or more heehee) Worchestershire sauce

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1/2 tsp Onion powder

1/2 tsp Black pepper

1/4 tsp Hot sauce (I used Tapatio)

Whisk it all up and viola! White barbecue sauce southern style!

No pulled pork is complete without a good coleslaw. I went looking online for a good recipe but didn’t find anything that particularly enthused me but I did find some inspiration. For mine, I didn’t really measure I just threw things together. Here is an estimated recipe:

1 cup of mayo

1/2 c sour cream

1/4 c white vinegar

1/4-1/2 c white sugar

2 TBSP black pepper

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sweet relish

1/2 tsp of celery seed

I mixed it all up and poured it over my cabbage which I shredded in my food processor. The slaw added a nice mild flavor to the meat. All-in-all, my mouth was jazzed trying to wrangle all the different flavors and textures in the sandwich. One thing I would change is I would not have used regular hamburger buns. That was dumb. I recommend using a hoagie roll or something that absorbs juice without getting soggy. This is a JUICY sandwich!

 pullerporsammich

I didn’t stop there, though. As I sat there thinking about how wonderful this meat was going to be when I eat it this weekend I got to thinking about dinner for tonight. I knew I wanted to cook up the pork Spare ribs I had in the freezer and thought, “what the heck? Why don’t I thaw them and throw them on the smoker too?” So I did. I gave em a rub down with the same rub (I had leftovers) and tossed em in with the roasts after the roasts were foiled. Before long, they were done so I put them in a pan, poured in my preferred beverage:

smoking beverage

covered it with foil and left the pan in the smoker a while longer.

Here is what those babies look like!

pork spareribs

There are four of them in there. I know my pictures suck but the lights in my house are just not conducive to capturing true color. Anyway, dinner was so yummy! I served this with tomato/blue cheese salad and broccoli.

Buffalo Burgers

Buffalo Burgers

So, the other day at Winco I found some yellow tag meats in one of the cold cases and at first was like hmmm what is this? So I picked it up and saw the price was $3.15 on the yellow tag so I looked for the original price and saw $8.89! The label said ground bison. I thought hmmm. Ground bison. I always heard buffalo was amazing and for $3.15 a lb I think it is a smokin deal! So I grabbed four pounds of it.  I found a good price on Jimmy Dean sausages, too. So, yep, I grabbed four of those, too! Four is a lucky number for me. I like four. It may be an OCD thing. Anyway, I invited a friend over the other day to share my bounty of buffalo meat. Here is what I did:

I took my four pounds of meat and one pound of the sage flavor Jimmy Dean’s sausage and mixed em up. I dumped in a bunch of onion powder and some of that super yummy garlic rub they have Winco right now in bulk and mixed it all up.

Here is the kicker! I shredded Gouda cheese and stuffed my burgers with it! MMMMMM!!!!! Once all that was done, I threw em on the grill for about 5 minutes per side then put em on the buns with all the fixins! Even bacon and avocado! This girl knows how to eat!

That bison meat is well worth every dang red cent of that $9.00 per pound I didn’t have to pay! Oh ya, and I made spaghetti with the leftover meat cuz I still have about two pounds left even after feeding seven people. That spaghetti… BOMB!

One day when all the kids are at camp and you want to have a date night with your honey and you wanna fix up something you can’t usually afford, I highly recommend bison meat! I’m really sorry I have no picture for this blog. I ate the burger before I could get my phone out.

Better Than Store-Bought Refried Beans! And Cheaper!

Better Than Store-Bought Refried Beans! And Cheaper!

It is really hard for me to justify spending a dollar on a can of refried beans when I can buy a couple of pounds of dry beans for less than 2 dollars and end up with three quarts of them only mine taste better and I know what’s in them. I had a bag of pintos lying around today so I thought I’d do em up since I didn’t have any cans.

Here’s what I did:

I dumped em into the pan and covered em with water and brought them to a boil.

beans

I shut off the stove but left the pan on the burner. They sat on the stove for a bit after that, maybe an hour. Then I dumped in some dehydrated onions (don’t be shy), and dried oregano, butter (bout a half stick) and Himalayan salt for flavor. I dumped 8 cups of water in and stirred then brought that all back up to a boil. I turned the heat down to med low or low and covered the pan and let em cook a good 3-4 hours until they were soft enough to smash with a hand masher.

I prefer my beans to be smooth so I put them through the food processor and while they ran I added a pinch or two of celery salt and a few more pinches of onion powder. I actually tend to use a lot of onion powder. I love that stuff.

refried beans

bagged beans

Bag em up and toss em in the freezer. Viola! Delicious homemade refried beans made with all healthy ingredients. I think these can also be dehydrated for non freezer storage if you have dehydrator mats. I might try it myself and see how it goes and then I’ll update this blog with the results.

Cost of beans $1.60

Cost of butter $0.38

Scrumptious Red Pepper Hummus

Scrumptious Red Pepper Hummus

Yes I am stealing this recipe from another blogger. I am hoping mine turns out as wonderfully as the picture looks on their blog. Who doesn’t love hummus?? It is the most amazing versatile spread or dip on the planet and the flavor combinations are endless! You can make any flavor hummus you want! Today I am making my own so I know what goes into it and what I put into my body. Recently, Sabra hummus has experienced a few recalls which is scary to me. I love hummus but I don’t wanna buy it from the store to find out it has contaminants in it. Yuck. I’m going to make some I know is healthy as well as tasty 😀

Lets get started.

First thing I did was wash my pepper then throw it in the oven on the top rack. I turned on the broiler and waited for it to blacken. I turned it over and over to make sure the whole thing had black on it. Once black, into a ziplock bag it went until it was cool enough to take the skin off and remove the seeds.

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I threw it and all the other ingredients into my food processor

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and let it go for a few minutes to make sure it was creamy and smooth enough.

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Then my favorite part; the taste test. Mmmmmmm!! So good!

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Don’t mind the picture I was trying to garnish with paprika but the fan was on so it looks more like an accident.

Here is the link to the original recipe I used. In fact, this whole blog is pretty amazing!

http://dollarfriendlymeals.com/2012/01/21/roasted-pepper-hummus/

For those of you not familiar with Tahini,    unnamed (6) this is the one I use. When I first bought it, it was separated like paint. It needs to be stirred a super long time the first time you use it. So, if you are putting something together and you need tahini, give yourself time to stir it before you actually need it. I am not joking you need at least a half hour to get it all incorporated. But it is totally worth it. This stuff is so frickin good!

Mango Sauce

Mango Sauce

Okay, I know I have been talking about making some mango sauce this week but one of my mangos just wouldn’t get soft. So, today I got tired of waiting for it and decided to cut them up anyway. The scraps are in one pot and the good stuff in another. I cut the flesh off the seed and cut it into squares and threw it in a pan and covered it with water. I brought it to a boil then turned the heat down and covered it for about an hour. Before I covered it, I added a smidge of allspice (that stuff is powerful. I used like less than 1/8 tsp so like a pinch), and ground ginger, also just a pinch. I threw in a cinnamon stick with the scraps which are also under water.

Mangos in water

After cooking for an hour I checked for doneness. They are done when they are soft enough to smash easily.

Mangos

When they were done, I smashed em until I thought they were a nice consistency and added sugar and lemon juice.

Mashed mangoes

I brought that to a boil and then simmered again briefly just a few more minutes then dumped it all into a sterilized pint jar and lidded it right away. The last mango sauce I did this way, sealed itself. I use a hot jar from the oven and pour the sauce into it hot and lid it carefully so not to get burned. I don’t know if this is a good way to do it but so far it has worked for me.

Mango Sauce

For the scraps,

mango scraps

I boiled those until all the goodness was out of them and then I discarded them saving the juice. I added a bunch of sugar and a little lemon to taste and brought it all to a boil. I added some cornstarch to thicken. Viola! Mango sauce and mango syrup from just two mangos.

Mango Syrup

Cost of Mangos $1.76

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

I have been seeing this new trend all over the internet lately or maybe it’s not new just new to me but I had to try it. I washed and scrubbed my lemons cuz apparently some have wax on them. I don’t know if mine did but they don’t now lol. I threw my jar and a lid into the oven to sterilize cuz we only want the good kind of bacteria running around in our lemons.

lemon2

Like every other blog says to do, I cut the tops off the lemons then sliced them almost into quarters but not all the way then jammed em full of Himalayan salt. Most recipes call for sea salt but I didn’t have any so I used the pretty pink stuff. I squished em down into the quart jar and then filled the rest of the space with lemon juice. There are recipes that call for things like coriander and cloves and cinnamon sticks. I will use all of that in my next batch. I got too overzealous and forgot them this time around.

lemon1

Himalayan salt isn’t terribly expensive unless you go to Safeway where you will probably pay about $7 for a little jar of it. Too much! Get it at Winco! Buy bulk! It is so much cheaper that way! Himalayan salt has lots of minerals your body needs that regular table salt doesn’t have. I can’t remember how much it is at Winco but I know that when you can buy as much or as little as you want, you control the cost.

Now we wait. Every couple of days, flip the jar for 30 days.

Cost of Lemons 4 x $.68

Cost of Lemon juice – pennies

Cost of salt – pennies

Lemon3