Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bulgar and Mushroom Burgers

The recipe: Bulgar and Mushroom Burgers from Canadian Living Barbecue (available online here).

The substitutions: none

The verdict: Yum! We invited a vegetarian over for a BBQ, so I was really excited to try making my own veggie burgers. As a former veg myself, I've had plenty of pre-made veggie burgers in my life. These are so much better. The magic comes from sauteing the mushrooms before forming the patties, which makes the burgers juicy and delicious. I used my food processor to get the mushrooms chopped up really fine, which I think also made a difference. I think I'll make these many times again, even if we don't have any vegetarians coming to dinner.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Cooky Book: Orange Drop Cookies

The Recipe: Orange Drop Cookies from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

The Substitutions: I did not do the frosting.

The Verdict: Success! These were much better received than the Apple Sauce Cookies that made for my first attempt from this reprinted vintage book. As promised, the Orange Drop Cookies were incredibly cakey -- so much in fact that I was tempted to whip up a batch of thick orange flavoured icing and make them into whoopie pies. They would have been perfect. But, even I would feel guilty sending whoopie pies in the kids' snack boxes so they remained very orange-y, not-too-sweet, cake-y cookies. And they're very good. If I wasn't planning to bake my way through the book, I'd actually consider making them again. Well done, Mrs. Paul Lindemeyer of Mason City, Iowa, to whom this recipe is credited. Well done, indeed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stuffed Cheddar Burgers

The Recipe: Stuffed Cheddar Burgers from Canadian Living's The Barbecue Collection. Recipe online here

The Substitutions: I added about a quarter cup of barbecue sauce to the mix because that's the way I like it.

The Verdict: Not bad. I've actually tried quite a few recipes from this book (sorry, it's summertime and the bloggin' is lazy) and in general, it's an awesome book. This is not my favourite burger recipe from this book (that would be the Meat Loaf Burgers), but it's not bad. It's a pretty basic burger recipe -- with an egg and bread crumbs included, which is a must for me when it comes to homeburgers. A must. I do like the cheese inside the burger, though the method they use makes it pretty concentrated right in the middle of the burger. And my resident griller (I realized the other day that I don't even know how to turn the barbecue on) was annoyed when the cheese oozed out and caught the burgers on fire. But a good burger is a good burger and these are... well, good burgers.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Cooky Book: Apple Sauce Cookies

The Recipe: Applesauce Cookies from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book

The Substitutions: I omitted the nuts to make them day care/playschool/summer camp friendly.

The Verdict: The good news is, I finally got my mixer back from being repaired! During the months of being mixer-less, I leafed through my copy of the reprinted Betty Crocker Cooky Book, dreaming of baking my way through it, Julie Powell style. I can't say I'll actually do that, but informally, I'm giving it a go. Applesauce Cookies are the very first recipe in the book, so I figured I'd go for it. Plus, I was intrigued by the inclusion of coffee in this recipe.

As it turns out, you can't actually taste the coffee. After I pulled these out of the oven I tried one with my husband and we both decided that these were "senior citizen cookies." This is not meant as a slight to seniors -- they just have a very old fashioned taste (not surprising seeing as they're from a reprinted vintage cook book that spells the word cookie as "cooky.") There's a lot of spice in them and the apple sauce gives them a very moist texture. Too moist for me. But, lo and behold, when I broke them out for the kids the next day, they LOVED them. Can't get enough of them. And while they're not as healthy a snack as, say, fruit and veg (they are still cookies after all, with sugar and white flour in them), they're a pretty wholesome snack. I don't think I'll be making them again -- especially since the recipe yields 6 doz and the kids are bound to get sick of them by the end of this batch -- but they are a pretty kid-positive cookie.