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Weber’s Ideal Cheeseburgers

It was Victoria Day long weekend here in Ottawa last week, and one of the highlights of course was the food. Friday, Steve made simple BBQ chicken, Saturday we went out for dinner at The Heart and Crown pub. I had chicken and waffles for the first time with spicy maple syrup of all things but it wasn’t my favourite. Sunday I made an amazing one pan chicken recipe that I will share later, and last night Steve made burgers! Amazingly, I made only one sweet dish, which was Baked French Toast with Apple Maple Syrup. Very delicious as well. (I totally forgot to take a pic). I’ll start by sharing the burgers so that you can start dreaming about making your own. ūüôā If you mince the onion very small you might be able to get away to feeding it to picky eaters! Miss M. still won’t try eating a burger but she did love the chicken I made which is a total triumph!


Weber’s Ideal Cheeseburgers

1¬Ĺ pounds ground chuck (80% lean), preferably ground to order by your butcher
2  tablespoons minced white or yellow onion
1¬Ĺ teaspoons Dijon mustard
¬Ĺ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2  tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4  hamburger buns, split
4  slices aged cheddar cheese, each about 2 ounces
4  leaves butter lettuce
16  dill pickle chips

1. Mix the patty ingredients, including 1 tablespoon ketchup, ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt, and ¬ľ teaspoon pepper, and then gently form four patties of equal size, each about 1 inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of the patties to prevent them from forming a dome as they cook. Refrigerate the patties until ready¬†to grill.

2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400¬į to 500¬įF).

3. Lightly season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Butter the cut side of the buns. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness (160¬įF), 9 to 11 minutes, turning once. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt, and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat.

4. Build each burger on a bun with a lettuce leaf, a patty, pickles, and ketchup, if desired. Serve immediately

¬©2014 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber‚Äôs Big Book of Burgers‚ĄĘ by Jamie Purviance.



Montreal Steak Spiced Prime Rib

The long weekend was one big smorgasbord of yummyness starting with this dish. The day before Easter we were out getting some last minute stuff and discovered prime rib on sale! I had found a homemade Montreal Steak Spice recipe for Steve a while back because he’s allergic to black pepper so I figured I would make him some of his favourite seasoning instead and use it on this roast. OMG it was fabulous! I cut down on the dill and chili peppers because we’re not huge fans so it’s really fun to be able to customize to our tastes. Love it! ¬†It was so good we forgot to take a photo of the roast itself but I did snap a pic of the spice mix. I don’t know if you can handle the awesomeness! ūüėČ

Montreal Steak Spice

Montreal Steak Spiced Prime Rib


  • 1 small – medium prime rib roast
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • About 1 1/2 Tbps Montreal Steak Spice (recipe below)


  1. Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil and spice mix. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (260 degrees C).
  3. Bake the roast for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue roasting for an additional 80 to 90 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 135 degrees F (57 degrees C) for medium rare.
  4. Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices


Montreal Steak Spice

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Combine everything to remove any lumps and store in an airtight container.

Thai-Style Chile Beef

On Valentine’s weekend we decided a lighter Asian dish would be great for dinner so Steve went off to the grocery store while I stayed at home and created some sweet treats. We were going to make Beef and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce but when he got back we realized we didn’t have oyster sauce. ūüė¶ But we had the main ingredients for the recipe on the next page of my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook – “Thai-Style Chile Beef”. I was missing the chili paste so I used 1/2 tsp of sambal oelek and the rice vinegar so I used white vinegar. I’m not a big fan of spice so I also left out the fresh chiles. I’m not sure I should be reviewing this recipe, considering that but I wanted to talk about the technique. I love it! I set my electric burner to about 7 on the dial and used a cast iron skillet. OMG the meat was perfection! It was seared and yummy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside. My mouth is watering just thinking about.


Thai-Style Chile Beef

Original recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 lbs blade steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4 in strips (or substitute with 1 3/4 lb flank steak)

Sauce and garnish
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Asian chili-garlic sauce (I used sambal oelak)
3 – 4 cloves of garlic minced or pressed

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 – 4 jalapenos/serranos, ribs and seeds removed, cut crosswise into 1/8 in pieces
3 medium shallots, roughly quartered
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, large leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 C roughly chopped peanuts
Lime wedges for serving

For the stir-fry: First trim the blade steak. There is a bit of silverskin along the outside of the blade steak that will need to be trimmed away. You’ll also see in the picture that there is also a line of gristle that runs down the center of the steak. Cut the steak in half lengthwise to cut out the gristle. Then cut the meat against the grain into 1/4 in strips.

Combine fish sauce, sugar, coriander, and the white pepper in a large bowl. Add beef, toss well to combine; marinade for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos and cut crosswise into 1/4 in pieces and roughly quarter the shallots.

For the sauce and garnish: Stir together fish sauce, rice vinegar, water, brown sugar, and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves and set aside. In a second small bowl, mix garlic and 1 tsp of oil and set aside.

To prepare stir fry: Heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add a third of the beef and quickly distribute the strips in an even layer in the skillet. Cook until the beef is browned on the first side, about 2 minutes, without stirring then flip the pieces to the second side and cook until browned, about 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer the beef to a bowl. Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the skillet and repeat the browning process twice more to cook the rest of the beef.

After the beef is cooked, reduce the heat to medium, and add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the skillet. Add the jalapenos and shallots and cook, stirring frequently until they begin to soften, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 – 15 seconds. Add the sauce to the skillet and increase the heat to medium high until the sauce is thickened. Add the beef and any juices back to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Take off the heat and stir in the fresh herbs.

Serve over rice with chopped peanuts on top and lime wedges on the side.

Korean Magic Marinade

It was my birthday a couple of days ago and Steve offered to make me dinner. I didn’t know what I was in the mood for although I knew I wanted anything but turkey! I skimmed through my pinned recipes and found this from bon appetit magazine. It looked so delicious that I send the recipe along to Steve. He fried it up when he got to my place and man was it ever delicious! It was the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and salty (although we cut the spice in half for our non-Korean taste buds) ūüėČ I couldn’t stop scarfing this stuff down – seriously. It was so weird – there was something about it that reminded me of the caribou meat my grandfather used to fry up for me. I think its the crunchy meat bits on the outside. Whatever it was, this recipe is going in the All-star folder!


Basic Bulgogi

¬ľ pear, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), or 1 teaspoon crushed red
pepper flakes
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger (or 1/4 tsp ginger powder)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless pork loin, trimmed hanger steak, boneless short rib, or skinless,
boneless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Kosher salt

Combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru (or red pepper flakes), ginger, sugar, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag or medium bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice meat into very thin strips. Add to marinade, seal bag, and squish everything around until the meat is coated. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes, or chill up to 8 hours. Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high until oil is shimmering. Remove half of meat from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag; season lightly with salt and cook in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Toss meat and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, remaining meat, and more salt. Serve topped with scallions.

Lighter Mongolian Beef

I haven’t been posting much because I was out of province working at an arts festival, and now Christmas prep is in full swing, but I thought I’d share this quick recipes for those days when you get home late from holiday shopping and need to make something fast and healthy. I cut the hot sauce in half, thinking it would be too spicy but it ended up making the spiciness nonexistent, so next time I will definitely use the 2 tsp of chili paste it calls for. Even with that little misstep, this recipe was very good. I’m adding it to my regular weeknight rotation. ūüôā


Mongolian Beef


  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces


1. Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring until smooth.

2. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and beef; sauté for 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Add green onion pieces; sauté 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories 237
  • Fat 10.5 g
  • Satfat 3.5 g
  • Monofat 4.3 g
  • Polyfat 1.1 g
  • Protein 26 g
  • Carbohydrate 9.1 g
  • Fiber 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol 60 mg
  • Iron 2.7 mg
  • Sodium 517 mg
  • Calcium 67 mg

Lighter Crockpot Beef Stew

I’m still trying to incorporate more healthy recipes into my repertoire and my friend Steve suggested we make two slow cooker meals during the weekend and share them so that we can both have healthy meals during the week. That way we don’t get sick of eating the same dish like 4 days in a row. Well, we had the best of intentions but he forgot to bring over his slow cooker. I had a major slow cooked beef craving so I decided to go ahead and make this stew. I must warn you, it’s not a quick and easy, dump it and leave it kind of a recipe. It takes a while to brown your meat, then you have to chop all the veggies and brown your mushrooms, which took way longer than the 5-7 minutes they stated in the book. I had everything crammed into one large skillet and it took forever for the mushrooms to sweat off their moisture and brown. After that’s completed you have to throw in a 1/2 cup of flour to make a kind of roux I suspect, but it’s not really possible to do when you’re only supposed to use 1 tsp of oil for all of this. There was not enough moisture to soak up the flour so I gave up and added the rest of the ingredients anyway. It all worked out in the end and it tasted pretty darn good! If I hadn’t made it myself I wouldn’t have known it was lower in fat. It’s even better the next day.

Source: “Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution”

Lite Beef Stew

Country Beef and Vegetable Stew


  • 2 pounds boneless chuck-eye roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms trimmed and quartered
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound red potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


  1. After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season all the pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown the beef in two batches until it is well browned on each side, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the mushrooms and onions to fat left in the skillet, cover and cook until mushrooms are dry and browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits, and summer until almost completely evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Stir in one cup of broth, smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Stir in remaining 2 cups of broth, soy sauce, bay leaves, and 3/4 tsp salt into slow cooker,then stir in potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high.
  4. Discard bay leaves. Stir in peas and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. (Adjust stew consistency with extra hot broth as needed.) Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Per 1 2/3 cup serving: 380 calories, Fat 6g, Chol 75mg, Carb 40g, Protein 34g, Fiber 6g, sodium 862mg

Great Beef Fajita Marinade!

I bought two of Weber’s Grills cookbooks from the dollar store a couple of weeks ago and decided to make fajitas over the long weekend. I think I may have halfa$$ed making fajitas a few years ago but I haven’t tried it since, until now. A great marinade makes all the difference in the world! And you have to choose the right cut of meat. We used skirt steak and marinaded it for 30 minutes, but I have also seen recommendations to marinade 3 hours to overnight. The meat was cooked in my cast iron skillet, but I am always afraid of super high heat and I don’t think I heated the pan enough. It took forever to cook to medium doneness. The outside got charred quite a bit but its mostly the caramelization of the marinade and it was delicious! I’m quite pleased with my cookbook find as well. It goes through all the steps to barbecuing beef, and includes a lot of recipes for marinades, rubs, sauces, and grilled sides. I have a feeling I will keep coming back to this book. ¬†This one’s an all-star.¬†Weber’s on the Grill: Steak and Sides

(I didn’t bother making the salsa and used store bought instead.)


Skirt Steak Fajitas with Jalapeno Salsa

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt

2 lbs skirt steak, 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of excess surface fat, cut into foot-long pieces

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
2 large Hass avocados, diced
1/4 cup roughly chopped, fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp finely chopped green onions (white part only)
1-2 jalapenos, minced with seeds
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp Tabasco
kosher salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

2 large yellow onions cut crosswise ito 1/2 inch slices
2 large red peppers, cut into flat slices, ribs and seeds removed
vegetable oil

8 flour tortillas (10 inches)

1. In a small bowl whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the steaks in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinate. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally.

2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450 F to 550 F).

3. In a medium bowl combine the salsa ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Brush the cooking greats clean. Brush the onions and pepper slices with oil and grill them over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they are lightly charred and softened, 6-8 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from grill and allow to cool. Roughly chop the onions, and slice the peppers into 1/4 inch strips.

5. Remove the steaks from the bag, allowing most of the marinade to drip back in to the bag. Discard the marinade. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 4-6 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice (if flare ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat). Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

6. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm over direct high heat, about 2 minutes, turning once. Cut the steaks across the grain into thin slices. Serve with the onions, peppers, tortillas, and salsa.

Serves 4-6.

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