Perfect Turkey Burgers

I love a good burger. I don’t discriminate either. I like beef, turkey, lamb and even the occasional veggie. Add some fries and you have a very happy camper. I discovered using an English muffin as a bun when I’ve made burgers at home and think it is the perfect ratio of bread to meat and just the right size. My nanny found the recipe for these turkey and Portobello mushrooms and made a few months back. She got little mini challah (Holla! if you’re watching RHONY, you’ll get me) buns and made mini burgers for Oliver. Perfect!  I served last night with Alexia Yukon gold fries and roasted kale.

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Perfect Turkey Burgers courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped shallot
  • 3 tablespoons lightly packed fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 pounds 85% to 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 thin slices manchego or white cheddar cheese
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and sliced avocado, for topping

Directions

  1. Use a spoon to scrape out the gills from the underside of the mushroom cap. Cut the cap into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a food processor. Add the shallot and parsley and pulse until chopped.
  2. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add the turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; gently mix with your hands until just combined. Divide into 4 balls, then lightly press into 4-inch-wide, 1-inch-thick patties (you can turn 1 patty into 2 minis for kids). Put on a large plate, cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Although the recipe calls for grilling, I pan fried over medium, about 4 minutes on one side, flipping for another 4 minutes, then flipping once more and adding cheese until cooked through, about 4 more minutes (less for the mini patties).
  4. Toast the English muffins and Challah buns in the toaster, then spread with mustard and mayonnaise. Serve the patties on the English muffins; top with avocado.

Six Months

6 months4Yesterday was my 6 month blogiversary. In September, I started toying with the idea of my very own blog in bed at night. I was thinking about possible names and I kept thinking about things I wanted to share (recipes/shopping tips/TV recs). Jen came into town for a visit, we had dinner at Via Tribunali and I shared my blog idea with her. She was incredibly supportive, helped me nail down my name, and voilà, Here’s What Works was born the next day. Today marks my 70th post. As I have shared my thoughts, recipes, tips and obviously humor, I have given you have a pretty good idea of who I am. But in this 6 months, I have learned some interesting things about you as well:

  • You like it when I’m vulnerable. The 2 most viewed posts have been “Ends of Friends” (best day ever! 172 visitors, 426 views!) and “Thirty-eight“. These were both very personal and it wasn’t easy to click “publish” and put it out there for you to read and/or judge. What I have gotten back from both posts has been awesome and supportive and I cannot tell you how much it means to me and fills me up. Thank you.
  • The number 1 search term that drives people to my site is “porn4”. I don’t what these people are searching for, I don’t want to know, but I highly doubt it was the picture named “closet porn4” from the “Currently Coveting” post.  It’s really fun to look at search terms, btw. A couple more good ones, “I am a female and I can’t find jeans that don’t sag on my rear and crotch” or “how can I get my pilates machine into a station wagon” or “in anchorman 2 was it an onion or in orange thank you”. Hey, I’ll take what I can get.
  • You like Chicken Noodle Soup. This is the highest viewed post on the blog. My friend Susan pinned my pic of Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup and it has driven nearly 300 people to my site! Crazy!

This past 6 months of blogging has been such a fantastic experience for me. I am someone who is right out there with my thoughts and feelings, I can’t really help it, I’m just wired that way, but I have never done so in this fashion. I have found it to be cathartic and fun and nerve-wracking at times, but overall, I love it.

Thanks to all who visit my site, read my musings, give me feedback (I love feedback, but only if it’s good, obv). I hope you have found a new TV show or a recipe or saved some cash while shopping. I’ll keep writing if you keep reading!

6 months3

St. Patty’s Day Feast with Friends

I am not Irish. Although I am often told I look Irish, I’m actually a mix of German and Russian. That doesn’t mean I don’t have respect and appreciation for corned beef and cabbage because I do. I love it. Deeply. For the past 4 or so years, I’ve been doing the full meal deal for St. Patrick’s Day and it’s a dinner I look forward to making and enjoying with friends.

Jen was up for a visit from Portland this weekend and get ready for it, she’s moving to Seattle! I am beyond excited! We headed to Capitol Hill for dinner on Saturday at one of my new Seattle faves, Mamnoon. A “modern union of middle eastern cuisines”, the space is so cool, cocktails are delish, and the food is amazingly flavorful. We dined on minced lamb kabobs, lamb dumplings, steelhead tartar, (lots of) pita, hummus, and fried cauliflower. Oh the fried cauliflower. I dream about it. The first time I went there, we ate this and asked how they made it so amazing. They deep fry it. Yep, that does it.

Sunday we decided to have friends over and do the big St. Patty’s Day dinner. Our friends Farrah and Nicole and their kids joined. It was perfect. Good friends and good food (and good wine). Nothing better.

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St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Menu

Corned Beef

  • Market House brined corned beef (purchase at Metropolitan Market) – 5lbs
  • 2 cans Guinness
  • water

Directions – In a large dutch oven, place corned beef fat side up and cover in Guinness and water. Turn stove on medium until liquid heats up and then turn to low and cover. Cook for 3 1/2 hours then turn off stove and just let it sit until you’re ready to carve and serve. Note – we did a taste test of 2 different kinds of corned beef. No contest. If you live in Seattle and like corned beef, you must try Market House. It is the best.

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Roasted Carrots, Red Potatoes, Onions

  • 1 bag organic carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 bags red potatoes, halved lengthwise and quartered
  • 2 large yellow onions, halved and cut into thick slices
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • chopped parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Directions – preheat oven to 375°. Place veggies in a large boil and coat very well with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on 2 rimmed baking sheets and bake for 40 minutes, tossing along the way. After 40 minutes, turn heat up to 425° until veggies are browned to your liking. Toss with parsley before serving.

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Cabbage Two Ways

  • 3 heads green cabbage, centers cut out, sliced thinly (divided in half for each method)
  • 3T butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 3T stone ground mustard
  • liquid from corned beef pot

Ina Garten Sautéed Cabbage – Method number one for cooking the cabbage is so simple, it’s stupid. So deliciously stupid. I don’t even understand how it can be called a recipe, but Ina Garten did it. Her recipe calls for melting butter in a large saute pan or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Season, to taste, and serve warm.

Sautéed Cabbage with Stone Ground Mustard – Method number 2 was Jen’s idea. We took liquid from the cooked corned beef, about 3T stone ground mustard, salt and pepper and sautéed until brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Just keep tasting and adding elements to your liking!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re not wearing green, Oliver will happily give you a little pinch.

Spring Coat Obsession

Vince Scuba Leather JacketI love coats. Whenever we approach a new season, I start obsessing about what kind of coat(s) I need. Seriously, I kind of get tunnel vision until I find what I’m looking for. Last fall, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Vince Scuba Leather Jacket in Charcoal. I mean, please, how gorgeous is this?! But at $995, it just wasn’t in the old budget. I ended up convincing myself that a leather jacket that expensive and lightweight just didn’t make sense for a Seattle fall/winter. Sigh.

Fast forward to now. Spring is here, we gained an hour of daylight, cherry blossoms are in bloom. Time for some new, spring outerwear. I have a khaki trench from Banana Republic that I love – kind of like this one, but khaki. I’ll be honest, I don’t really shop at BR, but my trench is perfect, and I’m sure I got it for 40% off, so that box is checked. I am left with a void, specifically a lightweight, black jacket. I started searching on my usual sites: ShopBop, Revolve, Nordstrom, Madewell, Jcrew and I found this little beauty – the Mackage Darby Neo Trench ($498) on Revolve. I love the hood. I love the leather detailing. Just. Plain. Love.

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Fear not, dear readers, you know I’m no dummy when it comes to paying full price. I found a Revolve coupon on Retail Me Not for 20% off when you download the iPhone app. I don’t even have an iPhone, suckers! Uh, maybe shouldn’t be bragging about this as it means I have a Windows Phone. Yep, I’m the one. But, I used my darling co-worker Chauncy’s iPhone and saved myself $100. Thanks lady!

Coat obsession has been quelled…until next season that is.