We’re not having a big barbecue, and we don’t have any company coming either. We’re not going anywhere, and it’s a kind of stay-at-home-and-get-chores-done weekend. We aren’t alone in that–lots of people are staying home between the price of gasoline and the stagnating economy.
Obviously, since it’s still Saturday morning, I haven’t done any cooking, so…there aren’t any photos today. This is all about what we will be cooking.
I have a husband who adores a cheeseburger. I discourage fast food, and his cardiologist discourages it even further. With that said, I do believe in occasionally satisfying our inner immortal teenager.
We’re going to have cheese burgers tonight. Stuffed ones. I’m going to stuff the burgers by making two thin patties, spreading a spoonful of some chipotle cheese spread on one, then topping it with the second one and sealing the edges tight. We aren’t grilling, so these will either be broiled or cooked in a skillet.
I made homemade soft buns last night for the occasion too. It was partly out of self defense. I priced hamburger buns, and when the mass produced & tasteless version of “buns” costs as much as a pound of the meat to go inside, I decided to make homemade ones.
Thank goodness for my KitchenAid mixer–it makes breadmaking easy even with my gimpy status (I have an arm that refuses to work.) Since I didn’t intend to write a blog post about it, I didn’t measure anything other than a rough estimate of the flour I used–9 cups. That’s not much help since I also used that same dough for wrapping hot dogs as well as my buns. (The hot dogs were our Friday night treat–they are not good for us either!)
My recommendation for a nice soft bun? Use a recipe that uses milk, plenty of fat (margarine, oil, shortening, or butter), eggs, and a bit more sugar than usual. It needs to be firm enough that it doesn’t flatten out while baking too.
I like a little decorative touch too, after all they ARE gourmet buns, right? I brushed mine with oil and with water (half of the buns each) and sprinkled them with sesame seeds. I then used a pair of sharp shears and snipped in a cross on the top. Baked, they are not excessively fussy, but they say “I’m special” anyhow.
Instead of fries with our burgers, I’m going with oven roasted potatoes with plenty of seasoning. To do this, I cut potatoes into small chunks. They are then tossed with a little bit of oil, then tossed with seasonings mixed with plain jane cheap instant potato flakes. Spread on a lightly greased baking sheet and baked in a very hot oven (400 degrees F.) until golden brown, they have a lightly crunchy crust.
Maybe I’ll remember to measure what I use and write it down–it’s another one of those things that I don’t measure when I make them. The seasonings aren’t even exactly the same each time, but they will always include black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and usually rosemary. Everything else fluctuates. Sometimes, I add chili powder, but since we already have chipotle in the burgers, we’ll avoid the chili in the potatoes as a counterpoint. While I can eat chili in almost everything, my husband is not as fond of them.
For dessert, we want something chocolaty that we can have ice cream to accompany. I’m thinking that the perfect answer to low-key simplicity that is also chocolaty would be chocolate cobbler. It’s gooey, chewy, best served hot with ice cream…and super easy to make. My recipe also does not make an immense cobbler that you need an army to eat it all, another great feature! This was a popular dessert a generation or two ago, partially because it is a very economical and easy dessert that satisfies that sweet tooth.
This recipe is also published in All Chocolate-Easy & Economical Recipes Anyone Can Make At Home for Kindle. (If you don’t have a Kindle, there are apps for iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, and Android found here.)
1 c. self-rising flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 3/4 c. hot tap water
Mix together flour, sugar, and cocoa. Add milk, vanilla, and oil. Mix well. Pour into greased 8×8” pan. Mix 3/4 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. cocoa together. Sprinkle over batter.
VERY slowly pour hot tap water over dry mixture and batter. Bake in 350 degree F. oven for 40-45 minutes.