Spice Up Your Life

The Spice Girls may have formed 20 years ago, not to make you feel old, but today I’m talking about spices. I got some spice mixes from Healthy Solutions to try and I loved them. You can love them too by entering my giveaway below! I tried the Encrusted Haddock and the Ultimate Burger. Both were so good.

I tried the Encrusted Haddock mix too. I used this on a tilapia filet I had and it was wonderful.
The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes
I put the fish in a little packet with a little panko and Mr. J grilled it on a his/hers night.
The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes
The Encrusted Haddock mix had some garlic and onion flavors with a sweet touch. I served it over a couscous, tomato, and chopped arugula with a touch of mustard.

The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes

For the Ultimate Burger I mixed some into my chicken burger and into Mr. J’s beef burger. It absolutely amped up an everyday burger into something really special.
The Three Bite Rule - Spice Mixes
I loved the onion, garlic, and pepper flavors. Every burger needs a kicker to come alive. Grill it up and you won’t want your ground meat to be naked again.
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Now, enter to win your choice of 3 mixes shipped right to you! Enter before Wednesday!
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Full 3 Bite Rule Disclosure: Healthy Solutions Spice Blends were completely complimentary but my thoughts, opinions, and words are entirely my own.

BLT Burger

This burger became something more special than I thought it was going to be. It’s nice how dinners can still surprise me.

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger

Ingredients:

1/4 pound ground beef/chicken/turkey
2-3 tbs sundried tomato pesto
2 tbs minced garlic
2 slices of bacon per burger
sliced cheddar
sliced tomato
lettuce
brioche rolls

Directions:

Mix together the ground meat, sundried tomato pesto, garlic, salt & pepper. (I had ground chicken, Mr. J had ground beef)
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger
Form into patties and grill until cooked to your liking.
Meanwhile, pan fry the bacon until crisp.
Optional: mix up some garlic aoli with mayo, garlic powder, minced garlic, salt & pepper
Assemble the burgers with sliced cheddar, bacon, tomato & lettuce.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger
I loved this one! The sundried tomato pesto MADE this burger. It wouldn’t have been as delicious without it. I had in the fridge and can’t remember what I had used it for. The expiration date said it was good-to-go so in it went!
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Burger

Suggested adaptations: 

BLT Burger – burger patty + chicken breast marinated with tomato pesto = chicken BLT
BLT Burger + chopped bacon into the burger + tomato pesto as a spread on the roll = tweak on the BLT burger

German Burgers & Parmesan Truffle Fries

I was worried I wouldn’t come up with a birthday burger theme for Mr. J. It is now a tradition and I’ve made a bunch of burgers in between, so I wasn’t sure what this year would be. Ms. L is to thank for this one. The German burger all starts with the pretzel rolls.

The Three Bite Rule - German Burgers

In 2013 it was a Vermont Burger
In 2012 it was a Bacon Wrapped Burger
In 2011 it was a Stuffed Burger

German Burger

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef/chicken/pork
1 -2 tsp prepared horseradish
salt & pepper
1/4 of a white onion, cut into slices
2 pretzel rolls
2 slices swiss cheese
2 tbs ground mustard
2 sliced pickles, or pickle chips

Directions:

Mix together the ground meat, horseradish, salt and pepper. Then form into patties.
Heat up the grill, or a grill pan.
In  a small pan, caramelize some onions over medium-low heat.
Grill the burgers until cooked to your liking adding the cheese at the end.
Top the pretzel rolls and burgers with mustard, caramelized onions, and some thin sliced pickles.
The Three Bite Rule - German Burgers
This burger was really good. The pickles and the horseradish gave it a little kick, the creamy mustard and the caramelized onions added a touch of sweetness. It was a good one! I wasn’t sure how strong the horseradish would seem after being cooked, so I went easy on it. You could always add it as a topping too!
The Three Bite Rule - German Burgers

Next came the side. I realized parmesan truffle fries were just so easy and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t ever made them before! I kept it easy using frozen fries and they were tossed together in just a few minutes.

Parmesan Truffle Fries

Ingredients:

2 “handfulls” of fries
2 tbs grated Parmesan
1 tbs truffle oil
salt & pepper

Directions:

Bake the fries according to the package.
Remove from the oven and toss with salt and pepper.
Then add parmesan & truffle oil.
The Three Bite Rule - German BurgersToss gently to coat.

This is how to eat fries. I love truffle oil and the parmesan is a great salty balance. I chopped up a tiny bit of chives for a little fresh/oniony flavor.

Bruschetta Burgers

I really shouldn’t exhaust all my burger toppings before Mr. J’s bday in June. I always make a special never-before-had burger and I just made this Parisian Burger which was unbelievable. Now a rockstar bruschetta topped burger? How am I gonna top this one too? Seriously. I’m asking. How am I gonna come up with a special one in June?

The Three Bite Rule - Bruschetta Burger

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef, chicken, turkey
2 burger buns
sea salt & black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
6-8 fresh basil leaves, rolled up and chopped chiffonade
tomato, chopped
1 tsp Italian Dressing
2 slices fresh mozzarella
3 tbs mayo
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Heat the grill, or grill pan.
Mix the ground meat with a teaspoon of the chopped basil, garlic, salt and pepper.

The Three Bite Rule - Bruschetta Burger
Form into two patties.
Grill the burgers.
While burgers are cooking, mix together the tomato, basil, and salad dressing.

The Three Bite Rule - Bruschetta Burger
Mix together the mayo and balsamic.
Top the burgers on the grill with the mozzarella until melted.
Assemble the burgers with bruschetta topping and spread balsamic mayo onto the bun.

The Three Bite Rule - Bruschetta Burger
I loved this burger. I used ground chicken which cooked perfectly. It was juicy and the tomato and basil are a perfect match. The mozzarella stretched as far as a bite could take it, and the mayo had this fantastic tang. It was such an easy burger theme for anytime.

Leftover basil? Use it for creamy tomato basil pasta, or white bean and basil dip/spread, or strawberry basil sangria, or caprese stuffed chicken.

Any burger topping ideas I haven’t tried yet?

Parisian Burger

Ohh my goodness. This might have been one of my best burgers yet. Seriously. Mr. J agreed. This burger itself packs some seriously sophisticated flavor with dijon and rosemary, and then the toppings just perfect it with truffle mayo & egg yolk. I love the menu at Met Burger Bar so I adapted one of their burgers from the international section. I humbly think mine may rival theirs…or top it.

The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger

Ingredients (for 2 burgers):

3/4 pound ground beef/chicken
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 slices of swiss
2 rolls
2 eggs
2 tbs mayo
1/2 tsp truffle oil/truffle butter

Directions:

Preheat grill, or grill pan if cooking inside.
Mix together ground meat (I did chicken, Mr. J did beef), rosemary, garlic, and mustard.
The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger
Gently form into patties sprinkling with salt & pepper on each side.
The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger
Grill until chicken is cooked through, or beef is cooked to your liking. Top with cheese.
Mix together mayo, truffle oil, salt & pepper.
Heat a flat pan to medium high heat when the burgers are almost cooked.
Reduce pan to medium heat, and fry 2 eggs.
Cover the eggs with small pot lids to cook the white through, keeping the yolk intact, cooking for about 4 minutes.
Lay arugula onto the bottom bun, top with the burger, then add the fried egg, and spread truffle mayo onto the top bun.
The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger
Ooo la la. This was so good. The garlic and rosemary in the burger makes it really flavorful. I loooove peppery arugula. The yolk acts like a condiment. I almost did truffle ketchup which would also be good for some acidity. The decadence of this burger was not lost on us. Every flavor is rich, powerful, and spot-on.

My chicken burger was cooked per-fect-ly. That’s tough to do. One more minute and it would have been dry. It probably needs about 5-6 minutes per side. It really depends on the grill temperature, flame, etc. A meat thermometer is a good idea. Mr. J finds them to stick, since there isn’t as much fat as beef to keep it off the grill. The recent method has been spraying heavy duty aluminum foil to help it from crumbling.

This is one for the record books and one I’ll make again, for sure.
The Three Bite Rule - Parisian Burger

Some of my other favs include:
Nacho Burger
The Three Bite Rule - Nacho Burger
and the Rodeo Burger
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and of course stuffed burgers like the Greek Stuffed Burgers
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Quick Cheeseburger Soup

I cannot even put into words how amazing this soup was. One of my favorite things I’ve cooked in awhile. Gahhh. It is so amazing and I want to make it again immediately. It is the perfect non-grilling-weather way to taste a cheeseburger. The tomato flavor and garlic and onions seemed spot on flavors to make me think of a burger.

The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup

I tweaked a recipe I saw on Family Fresh Meals. That one uses a crockpot and I was making this on speed. I also didn’t include the bacon that this recipe did. I know! I know! Blasphemy. I was attempting to lighten this soup up just a bit while maintaing the flavors. I skipped the potatoes, used less cream cheese, nixed the milk/flour slurry, and swapped beef for ground chicken. But then I served it in mini breadbowls so maybe lightening it up didn’t really do much. Next time I might even skip the shredded cheese and just sprinkle some on to serve it. Gasp!

I skipped the crockpot since I didn’t think there were that many more flavors to develop here. Some things (read: chili, pork shoulder, etc) develop more and better flavors the longer they cook. This one wasn’t likely to do that, but don’t get me wrong, crockpots are great to keep food hot for a crowd.

Cheeseburger Soup

adapted from Family Fresh Meals

Ingredients:

1 lbs ground chicken (or ground pork)
3 large carrots
2 celery stocks
1 medium white onion
16 oz can crushed tomatoes (I swear by Pastene Kitchen Ready tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbs dijon, or whole grain mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
4 oz (1/2 brick) of cream cheese
4-6 oz shredded cheddar cheese
green onions for topping

Directions:

Heat a large heavy pot (to become the soup pot) over medium-high heat and heat a large skillet (for the ground chicken) over medium heat.
Peal the carrots, and chop carrots, celery, and onion.
In a large skillet, brown the ground chicken until cooked most of the way through. Break into crumbles with the back of a spoon.
In the soup pot, add in 1 tbs olive oil, chopped carrots, chopped celery, and chopped onion cooking for about 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
Drain the meat discarding any excess fat/grease and add to the soup pot.
Add in the crushed tomatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
Add in chicken broth, worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, stirring well.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
Cook for another 10-15 minutes covered. It was at a low boil which helped it thicken up a bit (without needing a milk/flour slurry).
Uncover and reduce heat to low.
Add in the cream cheese, stirring well as it melts.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
Finally, add in the shredded cheese. Stir to melt.
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
Serve topped with green onions in mini-bread bowls!
The Three Bite Rule - Cheeseburger Soup
This is a serious crowd pleaser. I loved it and would totally make it again! I was a bit heavy handed with the green onions, don’t do that. This was pretty quick but is a recipe where you could do some prep in advance. You could make pretty much the whole thing in advance and refrigerate or freeze it until needed – I’d leave off the cream cheese until just before serving.

I split a ball of pizza dough into 3-4 balls to bake into bread bowls. Just bake, let cool, slice off the tops, and hollow out the middle.

This would be a perfect recipe to whip up for some family or for a potluck. It could surely be a time savor (and leftover source) during this very busy time of year.

adaptations/suggestions
this recipe + some beans + cooked longer + cumin = cheeseburger chili!
this recipe + some chunks of soft onion rolls with butter for bun croutons
this recipe – cream cheese + a very little dash of cream = lightened cheeseburger soup
this recipe – cream cheese + 5-8 hours in a crockpot + cream cheese at the end = less fuss cheeseburger soup
this recipe + a whole bar of burger toppings (bacon, blue cheese, dollop of mustard, green onions, shredded cheddar, etc)

GO Burger NYC

Everytime I get back from NYC I say that I don’t go nearly enough. It is true, it is actually pretty close & easy to get to. Mr. J and I hopped a bus after work and were there in just a few hours. Enough time for a brief snooze and a movie on the laptop.

We got in and hung with S & E and their cute puppy Stella. Before we knew it, it was morning and the rest of the gang was arriving. When in NYC, we got bagels and devised our plan for the day. We picnicked and played in Central Park for a bit, did a beer tasting/sampling, got cupcakes and regrouped for dinner plans.

There was pretty much food & beverages all day. We took the dog for a walk along the East River to build up some space for dinner.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

I love that NYC has everything you’d ever want, and many many many locations of just what you want. We went to Go Burger and loved it.

I got the Mac & Cheeseburger. I mean, how could I not? When I saw that it had fried mac & cheese on top I really couldn’t look elsewhere. I thought about the salmon burger with pickled red onions & avocado but I just couldn’t.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

My Mac & Cheeseburger was a turkey burger topped with fried mac & cheese, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, and homemade ketchup. It was so good.
The Three Bite Rule - NYC Eats

Mr. J got the same, but on a beef burger. There were some BLT burgers, a smashed burger, and a turkey burger amongst our group too.

Sunday morning we squeezed in a jaunt through Central Park and may have had Pick a Bagel…again. I was thinking about why bagels aren’t as good other places and maybe that’s how it should be. Maybe I don’t need a whole-wheat-everything-bagel that good to be around the corner from me.

It was definitely a weekend of eating, drinking, and catching up with longtime friends. Exactly as life should be.

Breakfast Burgers

Happy Labor Day! I figured what was more Labor Day than a burger? This one has a twist!

I had some English muffins from the farmers market and thought they’d be great for a burger since they’re a bit more substantial than Thomas’. I went bfast inspired topping the burgers with cheese, a fried egg, and bacon jam. So good!

bfast_burg_assembled_590_390

Ingredients:

2 english muffins or bagels
2 tbs bacon jam or bacon slices
2 slices of cheese
2 fried eggs, over easy
tomato slices
2 burgers

Directions:

Timing is key for these burgers, so prep the toppings (bacon jam/bacon slices & tomato slices) and sides in advance.
While the burgers are cooking, heat a frying pan to medium.
Toast the English muffins.
Once the burgers come off the grill, in the pan, fry 2 eggs to your liking (I did sunny side up).

I liked the egg yolk becoming an instant condiment on here. The tomato slices also replaced ketchup. I served these burgers with tots for a grilled dinner giving breakfast a nod. This was oozy and delicious. I had tomato, bacon jam, and egg yolk dripping out and it was glorious.
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The timing is everything here. Eggs take only a minute to fry so I didn’t want them ready before the burgers came off the grill. I think this would take 2 people, or an octopus. I don’t think I could “man the grill” and have the English muffins toasted, the bacon/eggs/sides ready.

In the breakfast for dinner cookbook there’s a burger topped with an egg and a super-thin crispy shredded hash brown layer. Yum. These burgers could be even more breakfasty by grilling a sausage patty.
bfast_burg_plate_590_390

Falafel Burgers & Basil White Bean Spread

I’ve been all about the meatless meals lately. Summer seems like such a perfect time for that. I saw Jess Fuel make a white bean and basil spread and I thought it would be really good as a hummus alternative. I make baked falafel regularly so this was a perfect time to make a spread. It would be a good dip as well, but I used mine on a falafel “burger” as a condiment.

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Ingredients:

1 can white beans
2 cups basil
1 tbs garlic, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper

Directions:

In a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients.
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Blend well, taste, and season with added salt and pepper accordingly.
Enjoy!
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This is so simple. The beans make it thick and hearty and the basil adds the freshness. I don’t know that it would be my go-to dip or anything, but I liked the flavors and love how easy it was. It was a great way to use fresh basil since it only has a few days of shelf life. It would be easy to customize with roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, lemon + mint, or adding cuke chunks and feta. I have to remember this when needing to make something cheap or easy.

For the falafel, I baked them like usual, but I made us each a big patty rather than a bunch of small falafel balls. I served them like a burger but with the bean spread, lettuce, and cucumber slices. These were good, but probably won’t be my go-to for falafel night. I think I still like them in a pita or wrap with feta and hummus. They make great little sliders for an appetizer too!
whitebean_burg_590_390

Have more basil? Use it for Strawberry Basil Sangria or Grilled Bruschetta Pizza or on a made-at-home sub!

What I Ate: Rodeo Burgers

‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with ya for the idea or inspiration.

Sometimes the burger is about the quality and correct cooking. This burger is all about the toppings.
rodeo_burg_plate_590_390

I topped these burgers with cheese, onion rings, and barbecue sauce. Ohhh wow. This is amazing. It is so fun to have bbq sauce dripping even when there isn’t a bone in sight!

Ingredients:

2 burgers (we did 1 beef for Mr. J and one ground pork for me)
½ chopped onion
1 tsp spice rub
2 burger rolls
4-6 onion rings (I used some frozen o-rings)
3-5 tbs barbecue sauce

Directions:

Finely chop the onion and mix it into the ground meat.
Form the patties and sprinkle the outside with the bbq spice rub mix.
rodeo_burg_formed_590_390
Grill until cooked to your liking.
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It was so good. I like the spice rub with the sweet BBQ sauce. The onion ring was the best part. I love onion rings so this was just perfect.

Enjoy the weekend! I’m looking forward to celebrating my dad’s bday with a FEAST! and the whole C family is coming so we can take the cutest nephews to a baseball game! We’ll be enjoying some lobsters and hoping for sunshine. Yay! I have a super exciting surprise for Monday so stay tuned!! :D