Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Hi everybody!  We had a great weekend….how about you?  My sister and her family were up ‘round these parts.  They rented a condo in South Lake Tahoe.  We went and spent one night with them, as South Lake is only about 45 minutes from us.  It was super crowded in South Lake.  There is a “Celebrity Golf Tournament” every summer in South Lake and it just so happened that it was last weekend.  Ask me how many celebrities I saw……ummmmm, none. 
We were right down the beach from the tournament, and we went to Harrah’s and Harvey’s at night….where all the celebrities should have been.  I still saw none.  I was bummed until I looked at the list of “celebs” attending.  I am pretty sure I could have seen the majority of them, and I wouldn’t have had a clue.  They were mostly athletes.  Former athletes to be more specific.  The only celeb that I could have gotten excited about, or even recognized, was Alphonso Ribeiro.  I know nothing about sports, but I do know Silver Spoons and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Also, I spent the majority of my time in the arcade….I guess that wouldn’t be the best spot for celeb spotting.
We still had a great time, and it was fun to spend time with Alison, John and Haleigh.  Alison and Haleigh made the trip over the mountain yesterday to come see us.  I made some yummy hamburgers for them.  I made my Mexi-Burgers, or “Nacho Mama Burgers” if you want a more clever name;)  These burgers are seasoned with homemade taco seasoning, green chilies, and onion, and they are topped with guacamole and nacho cheese.  Yum.  I will show you how I made them.
To start, I will show you how to make homemade taco seasoning with what you probably already have in your cabinet.  That little pack of taco seasoning that you buy at the grocery store is pretty much all salt.  Seriously, have you ever noticed how thirsty you are after eating tacos?  It’s the salt!  You can make it at home, and that way you control the salt.
To make this, I use sugar, black pepper, minced garlic (dried), chili powder, onion salt and paprika.  You also can add cayenne pepper if you like.
The recipe for this will be at the end.  It makes enough to season one pack of ground beef.  This is usually about 1 to 1 1/3 pounds when you buy it at the grocery store.  You will never have to buy that little packet from the grocery store again!
For the burgers, I used one pack of ground beef (1.3 pounds), taco seasoning that I just made, fire roasted green chilies, chopped onion, hot sauce and a bit of olive oil.
I softened up the onions first in a smidge of olive oil.  I didn’t brown them; I just made the little buggers sweaty.  This takes about 4 minutes over medium heat.
In a large bowl, I mixed the ground beef, cooked onion, green chilies (drained), hot sauce, and taco seasoning….with my hands.  There is no way around it.  You have to mix hamburgers up with your hands.  It is the only way to get everything all mixed in.  Mix lightly….as I’ve said before, you don’t want to overwork your meat.  And again….am I right fellas?
Once the meat was mixed, I scored it into 6 portions while it was still in the bowl.  This will make 6 equal sized burgers.  I learned that little trick from Rachel Ray.  You see, all my Food Network watchin’ is all for you….my readers;)
I formed my patties to the size of the buns.  Remember, they will shrink a bit when you grill them.  You can also make them thinner right in the center because they will poof up in the middle as they cook.  Weird, I know.
These grilled pretty quickly, about 5 to 8 minutes per side.
We topped our burgers with Gourmet Rooster Smoky Chipotle sauce, guacamole, queso dip (nacho cheese) and shredded lettuce.  Salsa and tomatoes would be delish too.
These burgers taste just like a taco….but in a burger.  So if you like Mexican food, you will love these.  They are spicy, smoky and delicious!  Next time you grill burgers….try this recipe!
See you on Thursday…..Thursday=Pina Colada Cake!!  Yeah!!
Taco Seasoning
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Mix all ingredients together.  Makes enough to season 1 to 1 1/3 pounds ground beef.

1 1/3 pounds ground beef
Taco seasoning (from above)
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 cup onion, chopped
4 ounces fire roasted green chilies, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large sauté pan, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté onions until they are translucent, about 4 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, taco seasoning, hot sauce, sautéed onion, and chilies.  Form 6 equal sized patties.  Grill for 5 to 8 minutes each side.
Serve burgers with guacamole, nacho cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato and salsa.

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