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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July 4th Burger Roundup

July 4th Burger Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
A few years ago Serious Eats released this amazing, comprehensive guide called the United States of Burgers, and apparently I was super unhappy with Washington's representative burger. I wrote a post about it when the article was released, and never ended up hitting publish. With the 4th of July just around the corner, there's no better time to resurface a ton of awesome all-American burger inspiration. Aside from Will Smith saving the world from aliens, what's more American than a burger on Independence Day!? USA, USA!

In addition to the Burgers of America, here are a few recipes, old and new, from around the interwebz for your July 4th cookout/picnic/bbq/get-together/pool party/food-fest. 

And, because it made me laugh when I re-read it, here are my original thoughts/crazy grumblings on the Serious Eat's article. Enjoy!

Hey guys, I need to tell you about how crazy I am. Warning: this involves hamburgers.

So... I'm a crazy person. Unless you're Evan or my parents or my sister or my friends... or my cat... you might not know that about me. And even though I just mentioned my cat, I'm not talking about crazy-cat-lady type crazy right now (though I am that, too). I don't even know what kind of crazy this is... state-hamburger-pride crazy, perhaps?

I'll preface this with the fact that I love Serious Eats, and I love J.Kenji Lopez-Alt's burger articles (um, his fake shack burger... perfection). What I don't love, however, is when a totally random burger and random fry sauce (that I'm assuming everyone outside of Washington state also uses...it's basically Thousand Island dressing, people!) is declared Washington's state burger. Not necessarily Washington's best burger, mind you, but our most iconic, or the burger that most represents our state. Ok, so this is where my crazy comes out. I'm like, weirdly, irrationally upset about this. I complained so much that a friend told me "maybe it's time to write to your congressman."  

But c'mon! What about a Deluxe burger from Dick's Drive In!? Dick's was voted most-life-changing burger by Esquire, people! It beat favorites like In-n-Out and Shake Shack! That is state burger material! Or what about the bacon jam burger from Skillet or the bacon burger from Red Mill? Ok, too Seattle-centric? How about Burgerville!? It's a fast food joint founded in SW Washington that's known for its commitment to local resources and environmental sustainability... if that doesn't represent our Earth-friendly-recycling-crazed state, I don't know what does. What about something with wild mushrooms or salmon or apples on it, for crying out loud!? Gah!

How did this travesty happen!? Breath Amber, Breath. See...crazy-town.

Now, look at these burgers, and go a little nuts yourself.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas with Cherries and Corn

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas with Cherries and Corn // Loves Food, Loves to EatI was kind of dreading Father’s Day this year. All of the first holidays and events without him are hard. But the impending punch in the gut of Father’s Day—all of the gift guides in my inbox, the grilling recipes for dad online, the Father’s Day golf/BBQ/fishing/woodworking/drinking themed everything everywhere—it had me in a major funk these last few weeks. Luckily we celebrated in the most amazing way possible, which really helped me (and my sister and mom) get through the day. Rather than having a somber memorial last summer, which he would have hated, we waited until last weekend, and had a big blow-out celebration of life. He loved being a dad, and he loved summer solstice, so there was no better time to raise a glass and toast an awesome man, who lived life to the fullest.

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas with Cherries and Corn // Loves Food, Loves to Eat My dad loved good food, good drinks, laughter, jokes, friends, and family. He was a good-timin’ kinda guy, and we sent him on his way in true JFK (my dad, not the pres) fashion. Friends and family (about 70 people!) came from all over the place: southern, northern, and central California, Oregon, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and all over Washington. We ate an insane amount of smoked meat, toasted terrible shots of slivovitz, told tons of stories, and looked through years and years of hilarious and fantastic photos. Evan and our friend Robb arranged an epic bean bag/ corn hole tournament: three courses, 19 teams, 39 total games. Amanda and I were The Zombies (which was my dad’s old horse-shoe team name), and we came in second (we lost to the, ahem, Bunghole Bros).

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas with Cherries and Corn // Loves Food, Loves to Eat That night we had the most beautiful pastel painted sunset, my dad’s favorite kind… his little gift to us. I miss him like crazy, but man, I feel so lucky that I got to have 29 years with him. So much thanks to my ma for working her little tail nearly clean off, to all her helpers, and to all our friends and family who came to celebrate. It was so cool to be surrounded by so many people that loved him. And it made this Father’s Day way less sucky.

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas with Cherries and Corn // Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, long story short: I just haven’t really been in the kitchen lately. Totally unrelated to everything above, I did manage to make quick grilled flatbread pizza, and figured you should probably know about it. Since it’s officially summer, we’re putting a bunch of summery goodness on a flatbread, and then grilling it up. Fresh corn and cherries, plus BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, and smoked mozzarella. Hello summa!

BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizzas

3 chicken tenders (or 1 large chicken breast, cut in 3 thin strips)
Olive oil, salt, and pepper
2 flatbreads or large naan (like these)
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1-1.5 cups grated smoked mozzerella
8-10 fresh cherries, pitted and halved (and sliced again if they’re big)
1 ear of corn, kernels cut from cob
2 green onions, sliced

Heat grill. Brush chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, and cut into thin slices.

Spread BBQ sauce on one side of each flatbread, and top with cheese, cherries, corn, green onions, and chicken. Grill until cheese is melted.

To make without a grill, prepare chicken as you like, then heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place flatbreads on a baking sheet, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until cheese is totally melted.
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Toast with Ricotta and Raspberries

Chocolate Chip Cookie Toast with Ricotta and Raspberries // Loves Food, Loves to EatI’m THIRTY! I know a lot of people have meltdowns or get freaked out by turning the big three-oh, but I’m stoked! 
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs with Artichoke Jalapeño Dip

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs with Artichoke Jalapeño Dip // Loves Food, Loves to EatIt's Memorial Day and that means it’s officially (unofficially?) grilling season! I’m extra stoked for summer this year, because our place has a tiny little yard, which we’ve spent the last month transforming into a patio oasis (with tons of help from Kyle, Benson, and Kel). 
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Friday, May 15, 2015

A Dinner with DRY + Lemony Roasted Chicken Legs with Garlic and Rosemary

A Dinner with DRY + Lemony Roasted Chicken Legs with Garlic and Rosemary // Loves Food, Loves to EatI did something fun and rad and I've been keeping it a secret! Picture this: a bunch of your favorite people, a sunny warm spring evening, twinkly candles, and vases full of colorful flowers. A record playing lightly in the background, a well-rounded cocktail in one hand, a crostini in the other, and an enormous cheese plate in front of you. This is basically the PERFECT evening for me. You guys, I am SO almost 30. And I love it.
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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thanks Mom!


Pancakes and coffee in bed, flowers and wine. Tiki parties. These things are good, but nothing like that can begin to express the admiration, gratitude, and love I have for my mom.
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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Tiki Week: Frozen Key Lime Pie Cups

Tiki Week: Frozen Key Lime Pie Cups// Loves Food, Loves to EatTomorrow is Mother’s Day, and that means we’ve hit the end of tiki week. Hopefully this little series has inspired you to do something fun and different for your ma this year. Put away the bubbles and scones and shove a rum drink and rumaki in your mom’s hand, for once! 
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