Smokey Skillet Burgers /w Dilled Oven Fries

With the summer season slowly coming to a close, our routines change to follow suit. Fall brings milder weather, crisp colorful leaves, and a cozy sense of comfort in the great indoors.

Grilling season may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice juicy burger. If it’s burgers and homemade fries that you crave you’ve come to the right place. My smokey spice blend gives the burgers a fresh from the grill mesquite flavor and the sautéed peppers,onions, and mushrooms take it to the next level. My homemade oven fries are a lighter alternative of the traditional french fries, and have the perfect balance of crisp and softness. The fresh dill really gives them a brightness and delicious salty taste. This recipe makes a great weeknight dinner and can be easily doubled to fit a larger family. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Skillet Burgers with Dilled Oven Fries

For optimal use of time, I recommend starting the fries first to allow proper cooking time and then add the burgers to the skillet  later. Notes on prep order are included, but are of course optional, so feel free to deviate. This recipe makes a standard size baking sheet portion of fries, but if a larger amount is needed simply double the recipe using an additional baking sheet.

Fries

-2 or 3 large russet potatoes (or several small ones)
– olive oil spray
– small bunch of fresh dill
– spices: onion powder and sea salt

1)Preheat oven to 425.

Scrub potatoes well with warm water and a clean sponge or scrub brush. Keeping the skin on, slice in moderately thin wedges. Try to keep length and thickness consistent  so fries will cook evenly.

2)Coat with a thin layer of olive oil spray (or toss just enough EVOO to coat evenly), generously season with freshly snipped dill, onion powder and sea salt. Bake at 425  for 30 minutes, then turn fries over with a spatula and continue to cook for an additional 13-15 minutes. The fries should be crisp and evenly browned yet soft inside.

Burgers

{I did prep for the burgers after the fries were in the oven, this allowed plenty of cooking time for the fries while not over-cooking the burgers.}

-1 Lb. lean ground beef
(90/10 or better makes the best burger, but lesser cuts can be used as well)
– spice blend: equal parts of Liquid Smoke sauce, steak sauce,
chili powder, and black pepper
-5 or 6 button mushrooms
-1/2 green bell pepper
-1/4 yellow onion

1) With your hands (yes, that’s the only way to do it!) combine the spice blend with the ground beef allowing enough of the sauce to season and coat it without making it too wet to be workable. When blend and meat are combined well, divide meat into four portions and gently but firmly pat out four burger patties. Set aside in a plate or dish.

2) Remove tops and slice mushrooms from top to stem. Slice peppers and onions into 1/2″ strips.

3) In a large stainless steel/non-stick skillet grill up burgers according to preference. (I like mine well done on the outside and a bit pink on the inside,approx. 4 min. on each side more or less.) Remove when cooked and place on a clean plate/dish.

Drain pan of any excess oil and wipe clean. Add one turn of olive oil to the skillet and allow to heat through. Add vegetables and saute till just fully cooked. Season with salt and ground pepper.

4) Serve burgers open-faced or on a bun with a thin sliver of cheddar or pepper jack cheese and sautéed vegetables. Serve alongside fries hot from the oven. Add extra snippets if dill to fries when plate is assembled.

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Smoothie Love

To tell you the truth I’ve never been much of a breakfast person or a morning person for that matter.  Back in the single days my main morning foods were coffee and wheat toast (usually with peanut butter) eaten in a mad rush to get to work on time. Now my schedule is quite different and I have grown a slight fondness for getting up early. I like to wake up just before the sun, head to the gym, return about an hour later and shower etc, then sit down with a hot cup of coffee, breakfast, and my Bible. This for me is the perfect start to a busy day. I know now that breakfast is very important, so I make it a point to eat in the morning, but i must admit morning foods have always kind of eluded me. Whenever I make breakfast for myself during the week I like foods that are easy to prepare, not too sweet or heavy, and as nutritious as possible. I also have to consider my husband who leaves for work very early (usually as I am waking up). I like to have things made so he can have a quick breakfast before he leaves for work. So we have created the perfect solution..smoothie sharing. Before I go to bed I’ll prep the blender with all the smoothie ingredients needed and then place the blender pitcher in the fridge, then when the hubs is ready for breakfast in the morning all he has to do is add a few ice cubes and blend it, and since my recipe makes two portions he will take half and leave the rest for me in the fridge. So when I wake up I have a delicious smoothie waiting for me. Pretty sweet deal huh? Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes.

Strawberry Love Smoothie
-1 6 oz. container of low-fat Strawberry yogurt
-1/2 Jonathan apple, cored and sliced
– 6-7 strawberries, tops removed
– splash of Orange Juice (100% Pasteurized, like “Simply Orange” brand)
-2 tsp. Raw cane sugar *(optional)
– a few ice cubes
1) Blend well and serve.
Pear Berry Smoothie
-1 6 oz. container low-fat Vanilla yogurt
-2 pears, cored and sliced in chunks
– 4-5 strawberries, tops removed
-1/2 c blueberries
– splash 2% milk
– a few ice cubes
1) Blend well and serve.
Carrot Juice Smoothie
-1 6 oz. container low-fat Vanilla yogurt
-16 oz. (2 c.) Organic Carrot juice
-2 bananas
-1 Navel orange
-a few ice cubes
1)Blend well and serve, sweeten to taste if needed
Banana Berry Smoothie
-1 6oz. container low-fat Vanilla yogurt
-1 banana
-4-5 strawberries, tops removed
-1/2 c blueberries
– splash 2% milk
– a few ice cubes
1) blend well and serve.
Berry Mango Smoothie
-1 6oz. container Raspberry yogurt
-1 banana
-1 mango, peeled/cored/chopped
-4 strawberries
– splash of your favorite fruit juice
-a few ice cubes
1) blend well and serve.
Nectarine and such Smoothie
-1 6oz. container Vanilla yogurt
-6 oz. (2 c.) Organic Carrot juice
-2 nectarines, pitted and chopped
-1 banana
-6 strawberries
-a few ice cubes
1) blend well and serve.






sharing is a good thing

Welcome back my dear readers,  I hope your summer was a good one! You may notice that things are a bit different around here at My Life  As a Modern Wife. The upcoming change of season has got me craving some inspiration, and what better way to start than a fresh new look..well sort of. You’ll notice a few changes to the site, including a bio column, an updated (and ever-growing) current “foodie” reading page, and an Archive for quick reference to articles of late. Another thing that I am very pleased to bring you is multiple options to share the featured article. (You may have noticed the icons on the bottom of the entry. Each gives you a different option to print/e-mail/Facebook/Press This etc..) So if you see a recipe you like and want to try it for yourself (kudos to you), simply click the print icon and there you go, portable shopping list! Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to Word Press Tags. (You’ll notice the little filing cabinet icon in the comment section.) Following the Tag link allows you to view all of the articles in that particular category from MLAaMW as well as other Word Press bloggers. As always, I love hearing your feedback so feel free to comment, rate, or “like” anything that catches your fancy and  let me know how I can make your visit enjoyable.

I hope you enjoy the new digs! ~D.