Previous month:
May 2017
Next month:
July 2017

June 2017

Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Surviving on burgers for a week - Day 2 Dinner

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer 

In a celebration of summer, yours truly is celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

20170624_193058For Day 2, it's a 'pizza' burger for dinner!   The combination of burger and pizza, how can this NOT be good right? 

This is a stuffed burger and my favorite pizza toppings are pepperoni and mushrooms, so that's what I'm stuffing this burger with along with sauce and mozzarella cheese.   That's what I love about stuffed burgers, the choices of what to put in your burger are almost endless! 

The Pizza Burger

Ingredients:

  • One pound ground beef
  • One Tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 2 ounces of pepperoni slices
  • 4 ounces of pizza sauce
  • 2 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • Mozzarella cheese slices
  • ½ stick of butter
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, seasoning salt and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  Once incorporated, start forming your patties, creating a well in the bottom patty half for the pizza toppings.  Sauce the bottom patties, then hit them with the oregano, more Parmesan, the pepperoni, mushroom and a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Top the burgers with the lid patty and seal by pinching the burger edges together.  TIP:  Don't get the pizza toppings too close to the edge of the burger, or it won't seal properly.   Grill the burgers over direct heat, about five minutes per side.  Move to indirect heat and top with another slice of mozzarella cheese.  Brush the buns with garlic butter and toast.   Makes two stuffed burgers and they're awesome!

This burger cost only about $2.00 to prepare.  Try spending just that at a fast food restaurant for all that deliciousness!

Stay tuned for more great burger recipes like the classic, "Idaho," "Meatloaf," "Pizza" and more, it's the Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge!

www.grillinggoodeats.com


Bachelor on the Cheap: Surviving on burgers for a week - Day 2 Lunch

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer 

In a celebration of summer, yours truly is celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

Meatloaf CheeseburgerFor Day 2, it's a 'Meatloaf' burger for lunch!   I know the burger purists out there might say this isn't really a burger, but let me tell you, it's another dose of YUM!  Three meats = flavor, the breadcrumbs provide a nice little texture crunch because it crisps up on the grill, the ketchup glaze is scrumptious and the mac & cheese topper just kicks things up another notch.  It's comfort food and a burger in one awesome package!

The Meatloaf burger

Ingredients:

  • One pound ground beef
  • One pound ground veal
  • One pound ground bacon
  • Two eggs
  • One packet onion soup mix
  • One heaping Tablespoon yellow mustard (for the loaf)
  • One Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • One Tablespoon steak sauce
  • One Cup bread crumbs
  • One package Macaroni & Cheese (prepared as directed)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • One Tablespoon yellow mustard (for the glaze)
  • One teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ stick of butter
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix all the meats, eggs, mustard, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, Worcestershire and steak sauce together to incorporate.  Form into  patties. Keep chilled until ready to grill.  When your grill is ready to receive, place the patties over the hot spot to get those great grill marks and a good sear. While those burgers are grill'n, make the mac & cheese per the package instructions.  Flip the burgers after about five minutes and over to the lower heat side of the grill and get ready to put the lid on. Before ‘lidding‘, place the butter and garlic in a grill safe dish to melt down on the low heat side of the grill next to those great smelling meatloaf burgers. Check after about five minutes. While the burgers are finish cooking, mix together the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar and brush it on the burgers.  As that ketchup glaze warms up on top of the patties, by now the garlic butter should be melted.  Apply the melted garlic butter to the hamburger buns and toast.  Assemble the meatloaf burgers and serve, topped with the mac & cheese.

Tip: If you don’t like forming patties by hand, a quick way to get those made is by using a round Tupperware/plastic container type lid and plastic wrap. Invert the lid, line with plastic wrap, then press the ground beef into the lined lid to form a perfectly round patty.

This burger cost only about $2.50 to prepare.  Try spending just that at a fast food restaurant for all that deliciousness!

Stay tuned for more great burger recipes, classic, "Idaho," "Meatloaf" and more, it's the Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge!

www.grillinggoodeats.com


Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Surviving on burgers for a week - Day 1 Dinner

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer 

In a celebration of summer, yours truly is celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

I started things off with a classic cheeseburger for lunch.  What makes my classic different from any other?  It's all in the meat......

So for dinner, I took the Classic burger and kicked things up a notch, adding pork to the meat mixture and including bacon and BBQ sauce in the toppings/condiments.   Here's the recipe:

The Idaho burger
20170622_182441This recipe was ‘developed’ by my three young sons on a summer vacation trip to Idaho. It’s pretty much a classic bacon cheeseburger and BBQ sauce with a spin of mine (adding pork sausage), but my boys really thought they had come up with something new. I wasn’t about to spoil their creativity in their grilling moment of discovery.  

Ingredients: (TIP:  Using two meats in a burger makes for another layer of flavor)

  • One pound ground beef
  • One pound pork sausage
  • One Tablespoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer or if you want to keep it simple, salt and pepper
  • 16 slices of pre-cooked bacon
  • American cheese slices
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • ½ stick of butter
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:
In a large bowl, season the ground beef with the Cookies Flavor Enhancer or the salt & pepper and hand mix until the seasoning is incorporated. Add the pork sausage, hand mix again until incorporated into the beef. Form into 8 patties. When your grill is ready to receive, place the patties over the hot spot to get those great grill marks and a good sear. Keep the lid off and watch for any flare ups. When you see red juices flowing to the top of the patties, flip those burgers over to the lower heat side of the grill and get ready to put the lid on. Before ‘lidding‘, place the butter and garlic in a grill safe dish to melt down on the low heat side of the grill next to those great smelling burgers. Check after about five minutes. The garlic butter should be melted and the burgers should be about ready. For well done burgers, wait to see the juices run clear. Apply the cheese, top with two slices of pre-cooked bacon and put the lid on for another minute or until the cheese is melted to your liking. Pull the burgers and let them rest. Apply the melted garlic butter to the hamburger buns and toast. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce. You can either pour it on the burger straight from the bottle, or warm some up in a grill safe dish and spoon some of that mouth-watering deliciousness onto the top bun.

Tip: If you don’t like forming patties by hand, a quick way to get those made is by using a round Tupperware/plastic container type lid and plastic wrap. Invert the lid, line with plastic wrap, then press the ground beef into the lined lid to form a perfectly round patty.

This burger cost only about $1.90 to prepare.  Try spending just that at a fast food restaurant for all that deliciousness!

Stay tuned for more great burger recipes, classic, "Idaho" and more, it's the Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge!

www.grillinggoodeats.com

Save


Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Surviving on burgers for a week - Day 1 Lunch

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

The burger, specifically the cheeseburger with all the classic toppings, is perhaps my favorite food.  It's a predictable choice, a typical choice, a go-to food for a lot of bachelors.  I like burgers because they're relatively cheap and easy to prepare and I love to fire up the grill.  Nothing says summer quite like a grilled burger and a cold beer.  The question is, can a guy eat burgers for lunch and dinner for seven days straight and not get bored with it? 

Of course!

In a celebration of summer, yours truly will be celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

I'll be starting things off with a classic cheeseburger for lunch.  What makes my classic different from any other?  It's all in the meat......

20170622_171027(1)So the key to my Classic burger is to include Cookies Flavor Enhancer in the meat.  I like to use an 80/20 grind of ground beef, it's a perfect blend of meat/fat for the grill and mixing in the Cookies Flavor Enhancer gives it the edge when it comes to a depth of flavor when combined with the kiss of smoke from the grill.

And don't stop there, create layers of flavor!  Don't just put a burger on a bun with toppings.  Toast that bun in garlic butter, I ALWAYS have a ramekin on the grill with butter, garlic and many times other flavors mellowing out on the grill.  Minced onion, cayenne pepper, a splash of wine are all good adds! 

"So Mike," you ask....  "How much did this burger cost you to make?"

About $1.50.  Try spending that little for all that deliciousness at a fast food restaurant!

Stay tuned for some great burger recipes, classic and more, it's the Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge!

www.grillinggoodeats.com

Save

Save


Coming Soon: A Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge - Surviving on burgers for a week

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

The burger, specifically the cheeseburger with all the classic toppings, is perhaps my favorite food.  It's a predictable choice, a typical choice, a go-to food for a lot of bachelors.  I like burgers because they're relatively cheap and easy to prepare and I love to fire up the grill.  Nothing says summer quite like a grilled burger and a cold beer.  The question is, can a guy eat burgers for lunch and dinner for seven days straight and not get bored with it? 

Of course!

In a celebration of summer, yours truly will be celebrating with what is THE iconic food of summer, the burger.  For a week, lunch and dinner will feature some sort of burger, starting off with a classic cheeseburger and then going on an adventure from there.  The adventure will travel through flavors from around the globe, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and more!  There will be a variety in spices, toppings and meats!

Stay tuned for some great burger recipes, classic and more, it's the Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge!

Save


Competition BBQ got me all fired up!

 

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Mankato Cookout 2017So I recently participated in my first competition BBQ event as a judge, attending the Mankato Cookout in Mankato, Minnesota on June 11.  I had a blast!  I learned a few things, met some great people and enjoyed some EXCELLENT BBQ!  All the other judges at my table told me some great stories and offered up some smart tips and wise advice.  I can't wait until my next BBQ event!

As I left Mankato and all those great aromas, I couldn't get BBQ out of my head!  What a problem to have, right?  So what did I do almost first thing when I got home?  I fired up the grill, of course!

Now I don't yet own a smoker, but cooking low and slow on a grill is still very 'do-able.'  Anything you can do using a smoker, you can do on a grill.  It takes a little effort and a lot of coal adjusting, but it's very 'do-able.'

When I grill, I like to grill a large volume of meats, taking advantage of all that heat, I let no hot coal go to waste!  I grill up lunches and dinners for the coming week with some leftovers for the freezer.  Here's the menu:

via www.grillinggoodeats.com


Don't pay too much for household cleaning products

By Mike Thayer

Some people like to clean because it's therapeutic.  Others like to clean just to keep their hands busy (and then there's that obsessive/compulsive thing, but I won't go into that).  Many folks hate to clean, but understand the need for it and like the sense of accomplishment once done.  I fall into the latter category.  Then there are the folks that just don't clean, but I won't go into that either because this article is about cleaning, NOT about not doing it.   But I digress......   Thursday is cleaning day at my place, the full gamut of sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, laundry, mopping and scrubbing.

So I have to ask, "Are you a name brand cleaning product kind of person?"

If you are, check this out, I've done a cost comparison for some common household cleaning products - name brand items purchased at Walmart vs. not name brand Dollar Tree.  I used Walmart in this comparison because I think most folks would agree that Walmart is on the low end cost-wise and popular for that reason when purchasing items like name brand cleaning supplies.

20170601_111938Typical products used for household cleaning were evaluated in this comparison, general cleaners, bleach, window cleaner, furniture polish, bathroom cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner.....  So what's better, the name brand stuff or the not name brand stuff?  As you probably already guessed, the Dollar Tree products are much less expensive, but are they as good, effective, last as long?  I'll give you a hint, everything pictured right is from Dollar Tree.

Cleaner Comparison

Clearly, the Dollar Tree products are far less expensive, it's a difference of $18.60, but that savings doesn't mean much if the products don't perform or if it takes two or three times the Dollar Tree product in volume to do the same job as the name brand right?

No worries, the Dollar Tree stuff performs.  Here's an item-by-item breakdown: 

Bathroom CleanerMr. Bubbles vs. Home Store - Mr. Bubbles is 'foamier' but does it really CLEAN better?  And yes, it's 24 oz. vs. 12 oz. here so the Mr. Bubbles will last a bit longer, but the Home Store stuff does just fine when it comes to scrubbing the shower down and making your faucets sparkle.  Spray for spray, I'm sticking with the Dollar Tree brand.

BleachClorox vs. Home Store - Bleach is bleach.  You're literally wasting almost $2 going with the name brand here.  And most folks keep their cleaning products in the closet, so nobody sees what 'name brand' products you use...   Don't be vain in cleaning.... 

Fabric RefresherFebreeze vs. Awesome - The Awesome stuff smells good and lasts just as long.  When I clean, I used to do a weekly spray with Febreeze, now I do it with 'Awesome' and I can't tell the difference.

Furniture PolishPledge vs. Home Store - Home Store is lemon scented just like Pledge is and does the same job for far fewer pennies....

General Cleaner409 vs. Spic & Span - Spic & Span used to be considered a name brand so I'm not sure what happened with that, but it's available at Dollar Tree for $1 and does a fine job.  The elbow grease needed with 409 vs. Spic & Span is the same.

General CleanerPine Sol vs. Home Store - The Home Store brand is not as strong as Pine Sol, but you WON'T go through three bottles of the knock off in comparison to one bottle of the real deal.  A bottle-and-a-half maybe two bottles of the knock off are about the same as one bottle of Pine Sol, so your actual savings is still about $1 to $1.47 with Dollar Tree.

Toilet Bowl CleanerLysol vs. The Works - This is the only name brand product in this comparison that I'll give the nod to.  Lysol does a more efficient job of cleaning the toilet, as 'The Works' is a watered down product.  You will go through two bottles of 'The Works' compared to one bottle of Lysol, but the cost works out the same.  So since I'm a Dollar Tree shopper, I'll stick with not making the trip to Walmart just for that.

Window CleanerWindex vs. Freshine - They both have 'with ammonia,' they both clean windows spray for spray.

So after taking in the information shared here, I have to ask again, "Are you a name brand cleaning product kind of person?"