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Tag: its whats for dinner

Grilled Hamburger Bowls

What a fun way to serve up hamburgers that closely resembles a shepherd’s pie!  This recipe is great whether you are doing family night or if you are trying to wow your dinner guests!  It is truly one that is simple but looks elaborate!  Have you made any yet?  No?  Then let’s dive into the details of grilled hamburger bowls!

It’s very easy to get caught up in making the biggest and best grilled hamburger bowl, so you must remember that once it is created and grilled…you must eat it!  Keep that in mind!  My suggestion here is to go a bit smaller in diameter if you are doing individual bowls OR create a big monster that can be split between two people!

Creating the Grilled Hamburger Bowl ~

Season your hamburger liberally with your choice of spices.  One of our favorites is Montreal Steak Seasoning.  We use this on SO many dishes!   Another fantastic option is Blues Hog Bold & Beefy!


Section off the amount of hamburger you wish and roll into a ball.  Select a bowl and press it down into the ball of meat.    As you can see from the picture, I used more of a “cereal” bowl.  I will use a bowl with a flatter bottom the next time!  Regardless, you will most likely need to firm up the shape of the hamburger bowl with your hands for final stage.

This is how it should look when you are done shaping ~

Cut a piece of foil about the length of a cookie sheet.  Turn it length-wise and do a tri-fold so that you have one long strip that will fit completely around the outside of the bowl.  This will help the bowl hold its shape while cooking as well as balance the heat while cooking.  (It is also a great idea to have a piece of foil underneath to help with transition to/from the grill later!

Get Those Mushrooms Simmering ~

Rinse a package of sliced mushrooms.  Place in skillet on low heat.  For extra flavor, pour a can of french onion soup (undiluted) over the top.  We absolutely love cooking our mushrooms this way and use them as a side dish or as a topper for many meals.  If you want less onion, pour about 1/4 cup of water over the mushrooms and season with more Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Cook until softened.  While these are simmering, you can get started on the next step.

Prepare The Mashed Potatoes ~

Clean  red potatoes and cut into small chunks.  Place in boiling water and cook until softened.  Blend softened potatoes with a half stick of butter, milk, and salt and pepper to taste.  When using red potatoes, I leave the skins on.  If using white or Russet potatoes, I would peel them.  This obviously is according to your preference.

While the potatoes are boiling, you can start with the next step.

Let’s Get These Hamburger Bowls Stuffed ~

We are ready to fill these babies with all the goods!  Start out by filling the bottom with a handful of shredded cheese of your choice.  We used Cheddar Jack, but, of course, the sky is the limit here!

Next, add in your assorted veggies.  I cut fresh broccoli florets in small pieces.  Throw those over the cheese.  Top with sliced onions and the cooked mushrooms once done.  You can add any veggies you prefer.  Some great options are:

  • zucchini/squash slices
  • peas
  • carrot bites
  • green beans
  • white navy beans
  • peppers
  • turnips

Top With Fancy Mashed Potatoes ~

Once the potatoes are cooked and mashed, it is time to add them over the veggie mixture.  I love any opportunity to use my Easy Accent Decorator from Pampered Chef!  (I’ve included a link here to my favorite consultant, Rose Berg, in case you need a great gal!)  This baby is good for so much more than just icing…like this fun recipe, deviled eggs, etc!  It comes with 6 fun tips!

Easy Accent Decorator

Load your decorator up with potatoes and start adding some potato swirled fun to the top of your burger bowl.

Not only is this so satisfying to create but it is so much fun to serve up looking all fancy!  Now, I know not everyone has a decorating tool, so you can either create your own by snipping off a small tip from a zip lock baggie or you can just dollop potatoes on with a spoon!  Once again, I am all about options!

Let’s Grill! ~

Grill on medium indirect heat for 45 minutes or bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

These are seriously so darn good…add this to your recipe list….it will be sure to quickly become a family favorite!

Happy Grilling~

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobo Foil Packet Dinners

If you grew up camping like I did, then you are no stranger to hobo foil packet dinners.  The thing I don’t understand though is why they were only considered a camping food back then.  Not only are these dinners simple and delicious, they can be cooked over the open fire, on the grill or in the oven!  How’s that for versatility?

Over the years, we have tried numerous types of packets.  In fact, one of our favorite family meals now is to lay out a variety of ingredients and let everyone make their own.  This ensures that everyone…even the pickiest of eaters…is happy with their own individual meal.  Once they are done eating, wrap that foil up and toss in the trash.

Recap…individual dinners made to each person’s taste, simple to cook various ways and easy to clean up…what are you waiting for?  (*Read on for the special ingredient we use!)

Ingredients ~

Basically, the sky is the limit for the ingredients.  However, I am going to list some ingredients that we have used.

  • hamburger – pattied up or crumbled
  • kielbasa – diced
  • shrimp
  • chicken – chunked
  • shaved beef
  • onions
  • potatoes – quartered
  • carrots
  • asparagus
  • peas
  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • squash
  • bell peppers – all colors
  • anaheim peppers
  • jalapenos
  • thick cut green beans
  • corn
  • capers
  • cheese – we use shredded and, of course, different varieties

As stated earlier, one thing that makes the hobo foil packet dinners so much fun is to offer several ingredients.  Choose from the list above or add some of your own favorites.  Put each of the ingredients in small bowls for everyone to choose from.  (*Still looking for that special ingredient?)

*Notice in this one, we used the shaved beef…delicious!

Assembling the Foil Packets ~

Do yourself a favor and invest in heavy duty foil.  This makes the cooking process go much smoother.  If you do not have heavy duty foil, then you will want to double up.  When doubling up, I prefer to cut two pieces of foil the same size and criss cross them (in the shape of a cross) before adding my ingredients.  This allows all sides of the packet to be closed up securely.

Spray the cut foil pieces with non-stick cooking spray before assembling.  NOW….are you ready for that special ingredient I alluded to earlier???  Condensed soup is the ticket to a fantastic hobo foil packet dinner.  The difference you will see with this addition is incredible!  We have used several varieties in our dinners.

  • Cream of Mushroom
  • Cream of Chicken
  • Cream of Celery
  • Cream of Asparagus
  • Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic
  • Cream of Chicken with Herbs
  • Cream of Onion

Obviously, we prefer to use the cream style soups.  I have heard there is also a cream of bacon and cream of shrimp.  We have never used these (I don’t believe I have ever seen them in the stores in our area), but I believe they would be fantastic as well.  Campbell’s Soup is our go to but obviously you can use the brand of your preference.  From all of the soups listed, I would have to say Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken are our top choices.

 Next Step ~

Once you have made your soup choice, slather 1 to 2 tablespoons across the bottom of the prepared foil pieces.  You are now ready to add your favorite ingredients.  Start with your favorite meat and then pile on your choice of  accompaniments.  There is no specific amounts to use, just create your masterpiece with enough room to fold it up securely.

Before closing, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, dry onion soup mix or any seasoning you prefer and another dollop of the soup.

Be sure to completely cover all food when bringing the sides of the foil up and over.  There are several methods of folding the foil, just be sure to wrap it up securely.

*Pro Tip* – Write the names on top of each packet with a sharpie to be sure of which packet belongs to who to extinguish any later arguments!

Cooking the Hobo Foil Packet Dinners ~

Our preference for cooking is on the grill or over the open fire.  I absolutely love when Brad cooks them over the open fire.    These take about an hour, depending on the size of your packets.  (Somehow, ours always end up bigger than we intended!)  You will just need to be sure the meat is cooked completely through.  Grilling will take about 30 to 40 minutes.

Brad uses a cast irong camping tripod for so many different meals.  I’ve included a link to one, but it is a great idea to check out several to meet your individual needs.  As you can see, his also as a grate that attaches to it, which he uses often.  Check out firepit tripods here…Brad uses his for so many campfire recipes!

As stated earlier though, you can also do these in the oven.  With this method, place the packets on a baking sheet (just to catch any spillage that may leak out), and bake at 350℉ for 40 to 60 minutes.  When opening the packets to check if done, be careful as the heat pours out at first opening.

Cajun Style Hobo Foil Packet Dinner ~

This one has quickly become a family favorite.  This is one of the times  we do one large family packet instead of offering choices.  Most of the time we love to make our own spice blends, but we have decided why fix it if it isn’t broken…simply follow the recipe on the back of the McCormick Jazzy Tasty Seasoning packet.  I’m telling you, it is AMAZING!

Click Here to order McCormick Jazzy Tasty Seasoning and make your own Jazzy Shrimp Boil foil packets!

As always, I am including a link to order it for simplicity.  Sometimes I struggle finding this one…maybe everyone has has figured out this little secret too!  😉

Get creative with this fun cooking idea.  We have yet to serve hobo foil packet dinners where anyone was unhappy.  In fact, most people usually call us later to get the finer details so they can make them at home for their family and friends.

Happy Cooking~

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Sausage with Fennel

Pappy on the Penarve is at it again….this time making homemade sausage with fennel….AH…MAZING!!!!!  He has been perfecting this recipe for quite some time, and the end result is worth all of the work.  Let me tell you, there are quite a few steps to the end result…but oh is it worth it!!  That being said, it would be a great idea to purchase quite a bit of meat to work with so you can store some for later!  By doing this, it makes the time spent making this delicious sausage even more worthwhile!

In our recipe a KitchenAid mixer with the meat grinder attachment is used.  I absolutely love my KitchenAid and use it for so many different recipes.  Check out the Black Storm KitchenAid Professional Series Mixer ~ it is a FANTASTIC addition to any kitchen!

There are, of course, other great meat grinder options:

This electric meat grinder gets great reviews…check it out here!

This manual meat grinder has a suction base and gets great reviews…check it out here!

These grinders work for so much more than just making sausage.  I grew up with my mom making homemade ham salad.  We still put in requests for her secret recipe to this day!  Yes, I said secret!  And yes, that recipe will be coming soon so stay tuned!

Back to the Homemade Sausage with Fennel ~

As stated earlier, buy the pork shoulder butt in bulk.  When we find it on sale, we go hog wild….yes, pun intended! 🤣  The savings you will notice will astound you!

What you will need ~

  • The fattest pork shoulder/butt you can find…seriously buy that fatty stuff!
  • Fennel seed – if you are like Brad (Pappy), you will want an abundance of this!
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Red Wine or cooking wine (we used a nice Cab)
Step 1 ~

Cut the pork shoulder/butt into chunks for grinding and place in a disposable foil pan.

Step 2 ~

Cover the meat with foil and move to the freezer to get to a cold state.  This helps the grinding process go much smoother.  Brad kept it in the freezer for about 1 hour.

Step 3 ~

Grind the meat chunks.

Step 4 ~

Generously season the ground pork shoulder/butt.

Step 5 ~

*After completely blending, make 1 or 2 small patties.  Fry these patties for tasting.  This is an important step before moving on!  This will enable you to decide if it is seasoned to your liking.  If you are preparing meat to store for later use, you will want to be sure you are happy with the flavor.

Step 6 ~

Add additional seasoning if you prefer.  Cover ground meat and place back in freezer for about an hour.

Step 7 ~

Remove from freezer and prepare your mixer for the final prep stage of your homemade sausage with fennel.  *If you don’t have a mixer with sausage stuffer capabilities, you can make it into patties.  We actually prefer to make different types of sausages for various serving options.  When using the sausage stuffer, it is helpful to watch videos first to aid in the process.  I have provided a link from KitchenAid.com right here ~  Use this handy link from KitchenAid to view how to use the sausage stuffer attachment!

If you are making into patties, there are many options on that process.  I prefer rolling the sausage out and using a glass or biscuit cutter to be the best option for more uniform patties.  However, sometimes we just form them with our hands as we did in the picture above.  If you choose to roll out it, there are different methods, I like the method that HappyMoneySaver.com uses here ~  Happy Money Saver describes the rolling out and cutting process in detail here!

 

Freezing Homemade Sausage with Fennel ~

We love the Food Saver Vacuum Sealer for so many freezer foods.  It does such a great job protecting food from air and freezer burn.  It is also ideal for food prep.  You can double so many of your recipes and save half of them for later, making busy nights or lunch time woes a cinch!    Get your own Food Saver Vacuum Sealer here…you will love it!

Like so many kitchen gadgets, you may ask yourself, “Will I really use this?”  From experience, this is one gadget we are very happy to have and we find ourselves using it often.

We will use this sausage for breakfast and dinner ideas.  Our favorite is grilled sausage with peppers and onion served with a side of rice.  However, we will definitely be looking for new fun ideas to use this yummy sausage as well.

 

Meal prep has become widely popular for busy families and lunch preparation.  This homemade sausage with fennel is an ideal recipe for just that!  Not to mention the savings you will see.  For this recipe we bought almost 10 pounds of pork for $9.  Seriously $9!  The amount of sausage links it yields (depending on how big you choose to make each one) is phenomenal!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!  Let us know in the comments below!  Also, follow MimiBlog with the link and you can stay up to date with all the great recipes!

Have a great week!

 

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