Monthly Archives: August 2012

Black Bean Burgers

I recently got to spend the weekend in Dallas, D-town as I like to call it. I was visiting Megan, my bestie, college roomie, and all-around sister I never had.

We like to tell people we’ve been friends since third grade, not just because we like to but because it’s true. Yes, we’ve been through the awkwardness of middle school, drama of high school, and the greatness of college together and came out the closest of friends. We plan to be neighbors for the rest of our lives.

You should be writing that down. It’s pertinent cooking information.

Anywho… I was visiting her and having a blast. We love to eat and while I was there, she taught me how to make black bean burgers.

I couldn’t wait and knew it would be post worthy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– one huge appetite

– black beans

– onion

– garlic

– bell pepper

– ground cumin

– chili powder

– tortilla chips

– egg

Ready to see how these ingredients turn into a burger?

Buckle up and keep your arms, legs, and head inside the moving vehicle at all times.

First ingredient – can of black beans, drained

Next, take out all pent-up anger and smash those beans!

Beans, beans the magical fruit…

I think you know the rest.

Next, we’ll add 1 ½ minced cloves of garlic. Carefully and precisely measured.

Or maybe just eyeball it like we did.

Ooooo-weeee! Check out the shiny ring of my newly engaged friend. I could not be happier for Megs and her fiance!

Half of a bell pepper, finely chopped.

If you’re feelin’ crazy, you could even do green, red, or orange bell pepper. Or yellow and red. Or green and orange. Or green, red, orange, AND yellow. Except then the recipe would probably need to be called Bell Pepper Burgers.

A food processor would be best for this step to really get the bell pepper chopped fine (and the onion too as you will soon see) but we did not have one so we went old-fashioned, knife-chopping style.

Yep, recommend the food processor or other veggie-chopping device. But then again, we survived without one and you will too.

Meet powder de chili and his friend, cumin. 1 ½ teaspoons of both.

We actually measured these…then high-fived and did a jig.

Just kidding about the jig.

Just kidding about the high-five.

The measuring actually happened.

Ingredient family photo.

We absolutely love tortilla chips so we added that instead of bread crumbs which is what the original recipe lists.

Crush ‘em up and, as they say, let the chips fall where they may.

Stir it all up…

…til its good and mixed.

We formed the patties on the baking sheet with a spoon but, if you really wanted to get into it, you could form them with your hands.

I admit this burger is not the best lookin’ of the burger bunch but remember not to judge a book by its cover.

And into the oven they go…

10 minutes on each side at 375.

Beautiful. Guacamole is the best burger topping ever created.

We whipped up this simple guacamole by mashing avocado and mixing in some store-bought salsa. We call it: instant guacamole. Not really. I just felt like calling it that.

At this point, it was all we could do to keep from devouring the tasty burgers before snapping a picture.

I highly recommend toasting burger buns the last 10 minutes with the burgers to add a nice crunch.

The burger will, most likely, fall apart a little as you eat but that doesn’t change the taste, so keep chowin’!

Feel free to be creative with your own toppings and share how you made your black bean burger into a flavorful masterpiece in a comment. I’d love to try something new!

From Dallas,


Here is the list of ingredients for 2 burgers, double or triple for 4-6 burgers.

– can of black beans

– ¼ of an onion, finely chopped

– 1 ½ clove of garlic, finely chopped

– ½ large bell pepper, finely chopped

-1 ½ t. ground cumin

– 1 ½ t. chili powder

– ½ c. crushed tortilla chips (substitutes: crushed cracker or bread crumbs)

– ½ egg

Mix all ingredients and form burger patties. Bake 10 minutes on each side at 375.


BBQ Chicken Pizza

My husband will tell you that I am a freak about barbecue. And it is completely true by about 137.84%. No wait…137.85%. Yep, that’s accurate now.

I loooove BBQ flavored anything – sandwiches, wraps, baked beans, chips (one of my biggest weaknesses), ice cream….

I had to throw ice cream in there to see if you were paying attention.

Needless to say, pizza is no exception.

I have never actually made a BBQ pizza myself. This may shock you given the emphasis I just made on how much I love it. My husband and I discovered the California Pizza Kitchen frozen BBQ chicken pizzas and were immediately hooked.

For a long time, I thought “You know, that would be so easy to make. I’m going to make a homemade BBQ pizza.” Did I ever do it? Of course not. Until now. And boy oh boy did it ever put that frozen pizza to shame.

It’s super easy and packed with flavor. Here we go…

I used store bought pizza dough but if you were feeling ambitious, you could make your own from scratch. Maybe even put some spices or herbs in it…that would sure be yummy.

Not pictured here is when I brushed the whole crust with a little olive oil to get it to be brown and crispy.

BBQ pizza cannot, I repeat CANNOT have mushy crust. That’s the cardinal rule of BBQ pizza.

In fact, to make sure I didn’t break the cardinal rule, I baked the crust by itself for 10 minutes at 425.

While the crust got a nice summer bronze in the oven, I chopped a couple of green onions.

I felt like livin’ on the edge and chopped some white onion too.

I encourage you to break out of your shell and do the same.

Unless you are not the biggest fan of onions, then you should probably cut back on the onion chopping.

Pop quiz time!

Is this green stuff:

a) a medicinal herb used by the ancient greeks to prevent bad breath

b) green grass cut up to fool everyone into thinking its a necessary ingredient

c) cilantro, an herb commonly found in Mexican dishes and salsas

I know… this is a serious blog, right? Pop quizzes and everything. And you thought you were done with school…

Oh and the answer is C!

I remember a teacher once said of multiple choice tests “When you don’t know the answer, go with ‘C’.”

Now back to your regularly scheduled program…

Chicken! I tried to chop it up pretty small and popped it into this heated pan with a little olive oil.

I added a pinch of salt & pepper. It doesn’t need much seasoning since the other ingredients pack a flavorful punch.

Mmm… a nicely browned crust. I set it aside while I got the toppings ready.

My all-time favorite BBQ sauce. I love it!

Go ahead and slather that golden crust with some tangy BBQ sauce. Use your favorite but I am quite partial to my Head Country sauce. I refuse any other sauce.

Ahh! I’m getting so excited! I could smell the absolutely wonderful aromas already.

I sprinkled on some black beans mostly because we had some in the fridge we needed to use up but they were definitely a nice addition.

Next layer: chicken

Add a strategic amount of mozzarella cheese in which you cover the pizza with a decent amount of cheese but also leave enough for you to sneak several bites.

Pop the pizza back into the oven for approximately 7-9 minutes or so to melt the cheese and heat up the toppings.

This looked and smelled FANTASTIC and when I say fantastic, I mean FANTASTIC. Is that too much emphasis?

At this point I was dancing around my kitchen celebrating this culinary beauty.

I’m telling you I snapped this quick pic and that slice was gone like yesterday.

And the next slice and the next slice…

That pizza did not survive the night.

Ok actually I forgot two slices made it out alive and were turned into the next day’s lunch.

I hope you love it as much as I did!

Happy chowing,

The BBQ obsessed girl

Iced Coffee

I have been an avid milk drinker all of my life. Growing up, my older brother and I would go through so much milk my mom could hardly keep it stocked.

So you can imagine my reluctance when my husband tried to get me to try a Starbucks iced coffee drink with…(gasp)…soy milk. No thank you. I can guarantee I won’t like it; soy milk is not even close to the taste of real milk.

Eventually I gave in and tried it, much to my surprise, it was love at first sip. Starbucks uses vanilla soy milk which is a nice little bonus because it adds a vanilla flavor without having to get a shot of vanilla syrup. The Starbucks iced soy latte became one of my favorite summer drinks. Who knew?

Now, I am very frugal person, or at least I try to be, so shelling out three or four bucks for an iced coffee drink didn’t really jive with my spending habits. I decided that there HAD to be a way I could get the drink I had come to love without paying the big bucks.

Google to the rescue.

With one Google search, I stumbled across an iced coffee post by The Pioneer Woman, my newest blog obsession. Her method was one I had not thought of or seen before so I thought “Why not?” and gave it try.

Here’s how it went down:

I used Starbucks Medium Columbian blend ground coffee as my flavor of choice but any coffee will do.

I put about 1/2 to 2/3 of the bag of coffee into a big glass mixing bowl. Then I poured enough water, at room temperature or could even be cold water, to fill up the bowl.

I hail from a family that does not measure when cooking so I do not know precisely how much water I put in but it was several cups. Use your judgment on how strong you like your coffee. Since this is iced coffee, I do recommend making it a little stronger than your normal java.

Be sure to give it a good stir! You want all of the grinds to be mixed with the water.

The next step is very difficult for the weak-willed and impatient…

Let the bowl of coffee set for several hours. I mean like 8 hours minimum.

Noooo! I have to wait that long? But yes, its a must. I made my coffee concoction at night and let it set allll night long while I dreamed of how delicious it would be the next day.

This is where I veered off from The Pioneer Woman’s method. She uses a hand-held strainer to strain off the grinds. In my case:

Lack of hand-held strainer + my husband’s genius = French press to the rescue

If you don’t have a french press, you could line a strainer with a coffee filter or paper towel.

Voila! French press doing what it does best.

After the French press did its thing, I poured the coffee into a pitcher we could keep in the fridge.

We ended up getting at least 10 glasses of iced coffee out of this bad boy, if not more.

I was too anxious to find out if this was a success or not so I think I let the pitcher set in the fridge for…maybe 30 minutes? Maybe? It wasn’t very long that’s for sure.

I poured a half glass of coffee to start out.

Because the vanilla flavor is what I love about the Starbucks drink, I used vanilla soy milk but you can use whatever you like in your drink. Half n half, milk & sugar, flavored syrup…whatever gets your taste buds dancin’!

Ohhhh….chocolate syrup. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?! Pure bliss in an iced coffee drink.

Give it a good stir and let your taste buds have a little sip of heaven!

I was utterly thrilled to find this iced coffee how-to by The Pioneer Woman. Visit her post and I recommend reading the rest of her blog.  She’s hilarious and fun to read. Also, a fellow Bartlesville native I might add.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!