Living well on a budget, without being truly cheap.

The key to smart budgeting is learning how to tell yourself, "No"

By Mike Thayer

BudgetBudgeting can mean a variety of different things to different people.....

For some folks, budgeting means pay yourself first by putting 10 or 15% away in savings every paycheck, leaving the rest for bills and living.

For others, budgeting means using an accordion file or the envelope system, putting dollars in segmented categories for bills, clothes, rent/mortgage, food, entertainment, etc.

For still others, budgeting can mean "I'm going to go on a diet of Ramen for awhile so I can afford to buy that new couch."

But there's something all these budget approaches have in common that make them work....

Discipline, the ability to tell yourself "No" when tempted to purchase that delivery pizza for dinner or buy that item of clothing just because it's trendy or on sale.

That's no easy task.  But as finance guru Dave Ramsey so aptly puts it, "When you see planning a budget as simply spending your money intentionally, you can actually find more freedom to spend! Once something has been budgeted for, you’ll be able to spend that money without feeling guilty."

It's a frame of mind.

Always keep your goals in mind when tempted by impromptu and/or frivolous satisfactions like a convenient fast food meal or buying a new fishing rod that you really don't need.

The ability to say "No" leads to success.  Never mind that telling yourself "No" is WAY better than saying, "Oh Shit, I don't have enough money for the electric bill!"

Once you've covered the basics in a monthly budget, food, transportation, utilities and shelter, it becomes easier to tell yourself "No" on other things, those feel good or impulse buys. 

Here's another way to look at it, ask yourself three things before buying something that really isn't in your budget or what you haven't saved up for:

What do you have?

What do you want?

What will you give up?

Asking yourself these three questions help you think through making a purchase you may regret later. 

If you have some food in your refrigerator, but you want to order that delivery pizza, are you willing to give up that $20 you need to put gas in your car to get back and forth to work next week?   Oooops, don't get the pizza, don't go digging in the couch cushions for gas money later....  Just don't....  Eat the leftovers in the fridge.

Or how about:

You have $1,000 in savings.

You love to fish and want to buy a fishing kayak.

Will you give up the comfort of having some money in the bank should some kind of emergency pops up?  What if you need some kind of car repair?

And don't think about putting a car repair bill on plastic, that only compounds your problem.

Learning how to tell yourself "No" is WAY better than accumulating debt.

Budgeting a.k.a. planning ahead, isn't a bad thing, it's simply smart money management.  Learning how to tell yourself "No" however is the hardest part of budgeting to master.  Once you get that down though, you'll enjoy financial success.   To quote Dave Ramsey again, "Once something has been budgeted for, you’ll be able to spend that money without feeling guilty."


Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pies are the best store bought pot pies out there

By Mike Thayer

Sometimes, you just don't feel like cooking....

Marie Callender's Chicken Pot PieEnter Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie, prepared on a night where I didn't feel like cooking or stopping at a fast food restaurant for junk.

This is comfort food, not fast food junk, check out the details:

  • Tender White Meat Chicken
  • Golden Flaky Crust Made From Scratch
  • Made From Scratch Sauce
  • Carrots & Peas, it wouldn't be a pot pie without!

This isn't the low quality stuff like the Banquet or Swanson brands of pot pies either, those brands skipping out on having a bottom crust and/or don't care to use just all white meat chicken in a pie....  you know, the cut of meat that most folks PREFER in a GOOD pot pie. 

Marie Callender's delivers on quality and flavor!

You get the BIG chunks of tender, all white meat chicken, a perfectly seasoned, creamy sauce and the crust is indeed golden, flaky, delicious, with the pea & carrot veggies nicely balancing everything out.  This is a well-put-together pie, a TRUE pie, with both a bottom AND top crust!

Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie diving inI did add some additional touches, brushing on some garlic butter and dusting the pie with Parmesan cheese for the last 10 minutes of baking....

And I don't know about you, but I like to dunk that pinched crust edge into that pie sauce, let it absorb all that creamy sauce goodness....  It's another dose of YUM!  Marie puts plenty of sauce in this pie to do just that.

I picked up a box of eight pies at Costco for $10.99.  That's just over $1.37 per pie and it's a meal, hearty and delicious!  I don't care that Banquet or Swanson is cheaper, averaging about $1 per pie and sometimes cheaper if on sale.  You get what you pay for.  Hands down, Marie Callender's is THE best of the store bought pies!

Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie another dose of YUMOh, and oven baked is ALWAYS better than microwaved!  Don't be in a hurry, enjoy the oven baked way of preparing your pie, it SO makes for a better crust which is after all, the essence of a pot pie....  'jus say'n.

I'm giving Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pies 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's the best store bought pot pie out there to be had, most definitely a repeat buy!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Enjoy authentic German food and beer at Prost in Wichita

By Mike Thayer

Prost BeerSo a friend of mine invited me down to a restaurant where she tends bar.

She works at Prost in Wichita, an authentic German restaurant and beer garden located in the Revolutsia Container Park located at the corner of Central and Volutsia.

Opening in November of 2018, Prost takes pride in serving authentic German dishes, desserts and German beer! 

I've never been to this place before and I was really looking forward to it because I'm a big fan of schnitzel and of course, beer!  I know, shocker, right?  Having served in the military back in the day, I had the honor of serving via a temporary duty assignment in Wiesbaden, Germany in the early '90's and have fond memories of the food and beer experience there!  Arriving at Prost a bit after 5pm on a Friday night, I was greeted with the view of Steins flowing with beer as soon as I walked in the door and great looking plates of authentic German food being delivered to hungry patrons.

What a great sight and smiles throughout!

Wandering up to the bar, I found my friend Lori, filling up a Stein.  Yes, that's Stein, with a capital 'S'...  These aren't little pretend mugs, they're the real deal and huge.  As she finished the pour (a perfect one I might add), we said "Hi" and she asked me what I wanted to start off with.  Not really knowing, I let her make the choice for me.  As I found a seat at a nearby table, she served up a 1/2 liter "1516" which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was introduced to another patron, a regular named Larry and the owner of the establishment, Austin.  That's one of the great things about this place, they have authentic German tables/seating, a picnic bench style of seating if you will, great for striking up conversation with family, friends and strangers!  It's a VERY friendly, laid back and cozy atmosphere. 

Prost JaegersnitzelHaving checked out the menu on the Prost website prior to my arrival, I pretty much knew what I was going to order for my Friday night meal and went with the Jagerschnitzel, which is described on the menu as a breaded & fried pork cutlet topped with creamy mushroom gravy served with homemade spatzle & warm red cabbage.  Austin, the owner was proudly talking up the scratch made spatzle and being seated close to the kitchen, I  could hear the pounding and scratch making business going on!  The aromas wafting out of that kitchen were awesome too!  My meal arrived in short order and Prost NAILED it!  I haven't had schnitzel or spatzle this good since Germany!  Nicely done!  The cutlet was perfectly cooked, seasoned well, with a nice crunchy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside delivery in each bite.   That creamy mushroom gravy was incredible and a perfect pairing for both the pork and the spatzle....  OH and that spatzle.....  It was OH MY GOOD!  And I'm not a huge cabbage fan, but let me tell you, this place knows what they're doing, it too was delicious.

Needing another beer to compliment my meal, Lori made another great choice for me and to be honest, I can't remember the name of it, nor can I remember the name of the third and final beer I tried of the night (she promised to keep a list for me of what I sampled) but each beer was better than the beer prior.  It was a "great," "greater," "greatist" beer tasting adventure!  Lori's beer selections were spot on because like fine wine, beer can be paired with your dinner choice, or as Lori did, provided me with appetizer, main course and after dinner beers.

Prost is OUTSTANDING! Great food, TOP NOTCH beer and the people are SUPER friendly! I'm kicking myself in the hind end for not checking this place out sooner and Prost gets 5 out of 5 Metro Pursuit stars!  A first time visit will most definitely turn into repeat visits.  Thanks Prost!

5 stars

Prost

2721 E Central Ave, Wichita, KS, 67214

Side Note:  And when you visit, don't forget to check out Ze German Markt upstairs featuring great German treats to take home!


Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Talliano's in Derby?

By Mike Thayer

Talliano's PizzeriaPizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (sucking SO bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

It was an out-running-errands-on-Friday-so-pizza-for-lunch taste test at Talliano's Pizzeria in Derby.

TallianoTalliano's is the 13th pizza joint I've tried in my quest of finding the best pizza in the metro.  I arrived a bit after noon and ordered 'The Talliano' which is Pepperoni, Beef, Sausage, Mushroom, Black Olive, Onion, and Green Pepper - essentially what is commonly known as a Supreme Pizza.  Ordering a small pie on a thin crust to go, I found a seat to wait for my order. 

My wait wasn't long at all, perhaps 10 minutes and this place was pretty busy on a Friday lunch hour.  Thanking the server I took the carry-out to my truck, with that great pizza smell wafting out of the box, just teasing me....

It was a LONG drive home.....  I may or may not have eaten a couple slices on the way back to my apartment....  And Talliano's makes a good pie.  The toppings are nicely portioned, to include good, flavorful pepperoni, complimented by the green pepper, there's a more than generous amount of mozzarella cheese.  The sauce is good (but not "Wow" great) and the crust was nicely baked and flaky. 

Costing me $11.87 for a small carry-out, I'm giving Talliano's Pizzeria 4 out of 5 stars.  The 'Talliano' is a nicely balanced pizza and is worthy of a repeat buy.  

4 stars

Talliano's CrustTalliano's Pizzeria  is located at:

408 N. Baltimore Ave
Derby, KS 67037
P: 316-788-8315

This place was pretty busy during a Friday lunch hour, that's says something right there about how good their pizza is.  It's worth the drive to Derby!

Related:  Pizza Joints reviewed so far and pending reviews

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Kohl's offering 30% discount to Veterans this weekend

By Mike Thayer

Fila ShoesSo in the need for a new pair of sneakers, I went to my neighborhood Kohl's to do some shoe shopping.

I like Kohl's for this because they usually have the best deals on shoes, I've tried other places, but overall Kohl's has the best selection, shoe quality and pricing.

My budget was $50 and after looking at the various offerings by Nike, Adidas, Sketchers and other brands, I found what I was searching for, another pair of Fila shoes, my go-to brand.  They look good, they feel good on the feet and the price was right.

The regular price for these shoes was $49.99.  I picked them up for $34.99 on sale, but to my pleasant surprise when I got to the check out, was an additional 30% off my purchase because I'm a Veteran.  Kohl's is saying thanks to Veterans this Veterans Day weekend with the special offer.  Walking out the door, my shoes only cost me $26.45, WAY under my budget of $50!

According to the company, the 30% off in-store discount is double what Kohl’s offers year-round for Military Mondays, when all active and former military personnel, Veterans and their families receive a 15 percent off in-store discount.  The 30% discount special is good through Monday, November 11, 2019.

Thanks Kohl's!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Applebee's 25 cent boneless wings is worth a visit

Cold beer frosty mug
A cold beer & MNF

For a limited time, Applebee's is serving up boneless wings at a VERY Bachelor on the Cheap friendly price!

Here's the promo from the Applebee's website:

It’s that time of year again. Baseball, basketball, hockey and football are all happening at once! What better way to celebrate than by watching it all with some 25¢ Boneless Wings. Because right now, we’re serving up 25¢ Boneless Wings covered in our classic buffalo sauce for a limited time!

With that in mind, I stopped in my neighborhood Applebee's on a Monday night for some Monday Night Football.

Arriving at about 6:30pm, the restaurant was perhaps 1/3 full and I found a nice seat at the bar with about 5 TVs easily viewed, all providing various sports programming to include the MNF pregame show.

Applebee's boneless wings and wonton tacos
Does that look delish or what?

I was greeted warmly by the bartender and I ordered up a Miller Lite while I reviewed the menu.  Applebee's lays the menu out on the bar as part of the place setting, which is kind of nice, patrons don't have to ask for or wait on a server to provide one.  Enjoying my frosty mug of Miller Lite which was served lickity split and intent on getting some of those wings, something else caught my eye from the appetizer section of the menu.....

Wonton Tacos.

Here's the description from the website:

A deliciously different way to taco. Tangy grilled chicken, sweet Asian chile sauce and dumpling sauce stuffed into crispy wonton shells and topped with a crunchy slaw and cilantro mix.

I had to have those! 

With the bartender, Amanda, asking if I was ready to order, I asked her how the 25 cent boneless wings thing worked. 

Applebee's $1 drink special
A dangerously smooth combination of vodka, cranberry juice & lemonade

"They come with our classic buffalo sauce and the minimum order is five, how many would you like?" she replied with a great smile.

"Sounds good, I'll take six and I'd like to try those Wonton Tacos as well," I said.

The bartender with the great smile placed my order and I settled in on watching the pregame and enjoying my beer.

It didn't take long at all for my order to arrive and the visual appeal of those Wonton Tacos was mouthwatering!

So even though I went to Applebee's with a mission of enjoying those 25 cent wings, I dug into the Wonton Tacos first...

These things are FULL of great flavor!  The grilled chicken is indeed tangy and nicely portioned.  The sauces are well balanced, that coleslaw is creamy yet gives you that nice bite of texture, but what puts these things over the top are those perfectly prepared wonton skins shaped into mini taco shells.  The chili sauce, grilled chicken, the slaw, cilantro, it all comes together beautifully in the CRUNCH of those shells!  I got all those great flavors in every bite!  Nicely done Applebee's! 

Oh, and the boneless chicken wings, the food I went to Applebee's for.....  They were good, but not great.  Lacking a bit of the crunch I was expecting in a breaded wing offering, they weren't prepared as well as the tacos.  The sauce was good and the chicken was sauced well, good coverage, but the breading just didn't provide the crunch I was hoping for.  I have had better wings, but I've also had much worse and for the price, I was still quite satisfied with the order.

Then there's the drink of the month.

So I noticed a few patrons enjoying these, a mug filled with a combination of vodka, cranberry juice & lemonade....  For $1!  After I finished my beer, I made the switch.  These are dangerously smooth ladies and gentlemen!  This particular drink special is good through November.

I spent $18.73 on a beer, two vodka, cranberry juice & lemonade drinks, the boneless chicken wings and those OUTSTANDING Wonton Tacos.  After leaving a $4 tip my total expenditure was $22.73.  The boneless chicken wing in classic buffalo sauce made my visit to Applebee's totally worth it, despite being average wings because I discovered those Wonton Tacos and the $1 drinks as well!  Applebee's is Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and this appetizer meal is worthy of a repeat buy.  I'm giving Applebee's 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.

4 stars

The Applebee's visited on this occasion is located at 11317 E 13th St N, Wichita, KS 67206.

The service was top notch, the bartender super friendly, the food was good and reasonably priced. 

 

 


Food Review: Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's

By Mike Thayer

'tis the season of Pumpkin Spice....

Millville Pumpkin Crispy O'sIt's in just about everything this time of year, pumpkin spice coffee, coffee creamer, pancakes, cereals, yogurt, Oreo Cookies, cream cheese, beer, a plethora of baked goods and more.

I've never really been a passenger on the pumpkin spice train, but when shopping for a few groceries the other day I passed by a display of pumpkin spice cereal and said, "What the heck, I'll give it a shot."

I picked up a box of Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's at Aldi.  Their Crispy O's are a Cheerios knock-off and I did a review of the Millville version last year and for the money, I actually prefer Millville over Cheerios.

But today is a different taste test...

It was a mistake buying a box of pumpkin flavored cereal, no matter the brand.

This stuff was overly sweet and I just couldn't get past that artificial pumpkin flavor.  I tried the cereal with milk, without milk, with milk & blueberries (NOT a good combo), it was all, UGH.  The cereal does stay crunchy though, because of the heavy sugar/pumpkin flavor coating......  When craving Crispy O's, I'll stick with the regular stuff.

Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's w blueberriesCosting me $1.99 for a 12 ounce box, I'm giving Millville Pumpkin Crispy O's just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  While the price is wallet friendly, the bottom line is cereal and pumpkin is NOT a good combination and NOT worthy of a repeat buy. 

2 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

 


Food Review: Simply Nature Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips

By Mike Thayer

Simply Nature Tortilla ChipsIn search of a healthier chip alternative, I recently did a review on a "cauliflower" chip.  While the chips I sampled were indeed tasty, they really weren't any more or less healthy than any other kind of chip.

So with that quest for a healthier chip in mind, today I'm sampling the Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips made by Simply Nature.

Certified organic and non-GMO (if you care about such things) the chips are quite tasty and they hold up well to dipping in salsa. I tasted them by themselves, with salsa, I used them to make nachos. They do well in any classic tortilla chip preparation.

But are these chips really any healthier than any other?

Here's the ingredient list:  Organic yellow corn, organic white corn, organic sunflower oil, organic brown flaxseed, organic brown rice flour, salt, organic sunflower seeds, organic sugar, organic sesame seeds.

All the ingredients are organic, which is a huge plus for a lot of folks and the list sounds healthy, right?  We're talking flaxseed, brown rice as opposed to white which is much more highly processed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, all those seeds are supposed to be good for you....

But in what matters most to me from a dietary standpoint, a serving of these chips actually have more carbs than many traditional chips at 18 grams. Classic Lays potato chips come in at 15 grams, Fritos have 16 grams and Doritos also have 16 grams of carbs.  And while the Simply Nature product does rate well in the sodium metric, 115 grams vs. an average of 180 grams in traditional chips, all other metrics such as fat, sugar and dietary fiber are only marginally better or are in the same amount as regular chips.

Tortilla ChipsSo after evaluating just two brands of supposedly healthier chips, the reality is there's probably no such thing.  We're still talking a very highly processed food and there is no dramatic difference in the nutritional metrics, not enough to change your body in any way, as in, you can't swap out Doritos for some organic 'healthy' chip and expect to lose weight or prevent some health condition.  Like any other 'sinful' food, chips should be eaten in moderation, THAT is the key.   It doesn't matter if you're eating Lays potato chips or Simply Nature, enjoy the occasional serving, but eating too many or too often is a bad thing, no matter the brand or marketing hype.

Costing me just $1.89 at Aldi, I'm giving Simply Nature Organic Multi Grain Tortilla Chips 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They are tasty and the price is right.  The only knock I have against them is the marketing hype.  So despite the implied healthier hype, these are a nice tortilla chip alternative and are worthy of a repeat buy.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Deano's Grill & Tapworks?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza is my favorite food.  Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie....  That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside.  Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper.  The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite.  And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!

No national chains will be included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (sucking SO bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.

During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.

It was a Saturday-night-college-football-on-TV-at-a-sports-bar taste test at Deano's Grill & Tapworks.

Deano's Doggy Breath PizzaI have to admit, Deano's was NOT part of my original list of 18 places to evaluate for best pizza in Wichita, but a friend highly recommended Deano's and their Doggy Breath Pizza, so I just HAD to try it!

Here's the description from the bar's website:  Deano's Doggy Breath Dog sauce (house-made pizza sauce and garlic paste), mozzarella, pepperoni and red onion. Garnished with garlic chips.

The pizza looked fantastic and smelled even better when it arrived.  Deano's serves up their 14 inch pies in classic paddle fashion and with that aroma just teasing me as I got my plate ready I couldn't wait to take that first bite.  Just LOOK at that crust, it's baked to perfection!

It was a delicious bite, good, flavorful pepperoni, complimented by the red onion, there's a more than generous amount of mozzarella cheese, but the kicker is that garlic, the chips included with the toppings is a nice touch, but that sauce....  That sauce is what puts this pizza into the "You have to try this category."  It is garlic forward, it's not subtle at all, it's in-your-face but in a good way.  And while I did enjoy this pizza and it did look awesome and smelled great at first glance/wafting aroma when delivered to my seat at the bar, I was a bit disappointed in the prep work on this pie.  It's like half the pie got red onion and garlic chips, the other half didn't.....  And while the pepperoni portion was adequate, it wasn't exactly generous either.

Costing me $14.99, I'm giving the Deano's Doggy Breath pizza 4 out of 5 stars and it's worthy of a repeat buy.   Had the toppings been a bit more balanced, this pizza would have scored a 5 star review. 

4 stars

BeerDeano's Grill & Tapworks is located at:

9747 East 21st St N
Suite 101
Wichita, KS 67206

The service at Deano's is STELLAR!  Every server was friendly, wearing smiles and paid attention to detail, they didn't miss a beat from time of order to settling up the bill.   I didn't have to ask for a beer refill and the bartender was cranking out the drinks on college football night!  She really knew what she was doing.  Nicely done Deano's and crew!

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Burger Ideas - Grilling Good Eats

By Mike Thayer

BurgersThe burger, specifically the cheeseburger with all the classic toppings, is one of my favorite foods. 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 and 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?

Bored with a burger?  NO WAY!

But there are those times when a spin on the classic is pretty darn tasty!  Here are some burger recipes that kick things up a notch, starting with that classic:

The Classic Burger:  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.

Idaho BurgerThe Idaho Burger:  This 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.  

Meatloaf BurgerThe Meatloaf Burger:  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!

Pizza BurgerThe Pizza Burger: 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 Juicy Lucy:  The great thing about these burgers is playing with a variety of cheeses. Melted cheddar, swiss and or provolone are great too! Do combinations or specialty cheeses like pepperjack. Your choices are almost unlimited!

Thanksgiving BurgerThe Thanksgiving Burger:  This is another stuffed burger recipe, a plate of Thanksgiving Day goodness all in one bite!  The toasted bun was dressed with a brown butter & cranberry jelly, the turkey burger was seasoned with my signature rub and stuffed with loaded mashed potatoes and gravy and the green beans were Tempura battered and fried. It was another dose of YUM!

Cajun BurgerThe Cajun Burger:  This burger takes everything that is classic Cajun and delivers it in a big flavor fashion!   It's a pork sausage and Andouille sausage patty kissed with some Cajun spice, there's a slice of melted muenster cheese and it's served on a garlic toasted bun dressed with a Cajun spice remoulade.   It was another dose of YUM!

Mediterranean BurgerThe Mediterranean Burger:  It's lunch in the Mediterranean! This burger features ground lamb and melds together all the classic flavors of the Mediterranean. There's feta cheese, hummus, Kalamata olives and more in this great burger. 

California BurgerThe California Burger:  It's dinner in California!  This burger features avacado and bacon jam!  I've never had bacon jam before and after tasting it, I was like, "Where have you been all my life?"  As Guy Fieri might say, you could put that stuff on a flip-flop and it would taste good

Mexican BurgerThe Mexican Burger:  This burger features a mixture of ground beef and Mexican chorizo, which provides for a little heat. Topped with a little salsa and guacamole, this takes taco flavors up to a whole new level! 

Garlic Chicken Curry BurgerThe Garlic Chicken Curry Burger:  The taste of India featuring a mixture of ground chicken, garlic and curry. Add in a garlic/curry/ginger aioli, lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumbers (nope, not pickles) and this burger delivers some excellent international flare!  

Breakfast BurgerThe Breakfast Burger:  This burger puts some beef into the morning meal and kicks the typical breakfast sandwich up a couple notches! The great thing about this burger, is it's an excellent use of leftover burgers from last night's dinner. And there's just something a little extra special with that golden yoke from the over easy egg running down the side of the sandwich....

French Dip BurgerThe French Dip Burger:  It's lunch in France! This burger is a spin on the classic French Dip sandwich, featuring onion and Au Jus. The combination of that seasoned ground beef, those savory onions and a great bun soaked in that Au Jus makes for a fantastic bite! 

Asian BurgerThe Asian Burger:  The Orient really shines with the flavors of General Tsao and a Ramen noodle bun. When you sink your teeth into it, it's kind of like a giant, beefy, egg roll bite!

Get the tongs out and have some fun with flavor!