Brie Stuffed Burger


It’s Sunday and because it’s Sunday I thought it would be a good night to make hamburgers for dinner. It’s on the simple side and that’s what I wanted for tonight.

I know Kylie enjoys hamburgers and Dennis does as well. Kylie’s second semester at CSUSM starts up tomorrow. She is actually looking forward to heading back to school and  her new classes that await her. This next week is going to seem so quiet to me. Kylie lives at home and commutes to her campus, but it’s been so nice to have her home with me during the day … that is when she wasn’t hanging out with her friends. Of course, knowing she’s with friends and having a good time always makes me happy. We certainly had a lot of fun during her break … Kylie had off from December 15th until tomorrow. Wow … that was so nice!

I made a simple burger with very little seasoning. I decided to stuff my burger with a small wedge of brie cheese. It sounded decadent to me while I was grocery shopping this morning and that’s how I came up with the recipe. A lot of times I find my inspiration while walking the aisles at the store and coming up with a plan on the fly.

I started with a pound and a half of lean ground beef. To that, I added an egg to bind the meat together, kosher salt and pepper.


I mixed everything together lightly with a fork and formed 6 burger patties. I knew Dennis would appreciate leftovers so he could take a burger to lunch with him.

I cut a serving size of brie, but only used a third of that wedge for my burger. You could definitely use the entire serving of brie for your burger if you’d like.

I took my meat and placed the brie on top, forming the Pattie around the cheese.

For a bun, I used an English muffin. It has quite a bit fewer calories than a hamburger bun, which I appreciate.

I added only romaine lettuce and a couple slices of tomato. I didn’t add any condiments to my burger. I really wanted a simple burger tonight. Dennis and Kylie enjoy ketchup and mustard and I always enjoy dijon mustard on my burgers, just not tonight. I wanted to taste that brie cheese, that was the star of my hamburger after all.

The burgers looked great when I pulled them from the oven. I wanted to bake my burger, no oil or butter tonight. I loved that the brie cheese melted outside the meat a little – yum!


1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 egg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

brie cheese (as much or as little as you’d like)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place meat into a glass bowl.
  3. Add egg, salt, and pepper to meat. Mix lightly with a fork.
  4. Place wedge of brie within each burger patty and form.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


Until next time, Kris



Rosemary Burger (Bun free) with Blue Cheese


I love the taste of rosemary, as well as the smell of rosemary. If I am out and about and spot a rosemary scented candle, I can’t seem to pass it up. Rosemary makes me think of fall, and as we know, fall is here. I decided to season my hamburgers tonight with fresh rosemary and top it with blue cheese. I wanted nothing more on the side of my burger than a simple arugula salad and sliced tomato for tonight’s meal. The flavoring in this burger is so good, I wanted to forego the bun.

I mixed 1 pound of extra lean ground beef together with kosher salt, pepper, ground mustard, onion powder and fresh, minced rosemary. I cooked my burgers on the stovetop in a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter that I melted together.

Once the burgers were done, I served it with arugula dressed with a slight drizzle of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. I also enjoyed sliced tomato as a side to my burger.


  • 1 pound extra lean (93%) ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • blue cheese
  • Directions
  1. Mix ground beef together with salt, pepper, ground mustard, onion powder and rosemary.
  2. Form into 3 patties.
  3. Melt butter into olive oil.
  4. Place burgers into hot oil and cook on first side 3-4 minutes, flipping and cooking 3-5 minutes on the second side.


Until next time, Kris


Blue Cheese Ranch Burgers


While I was in Trader Joe’s today, I saw my good friend, Karin. I was telling her that I was going to be making “ranch” burgers for dinner tonight and asked her opinion on what she thought would go with ranch. I had blue cheese in my cart, thinking blue cheese would pair well with ranch, and that was my start. Karin mentioned blue cheese and also mentioned grilled apricots and caramelized onions. What a great idea! I never thought to add apricots to my burger …. yummmmmm! The apricots added something fantastic to my burger in tonight’s meal. I also caramelized a red onion and I had some fennel that I needed to use, so caramelized that along with the onion.

I cut the apricots in half and removed the seed. I then drizzled olive oil and honey on the inside of the apricots and added a pinch of kosher salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.


Let me just tell you, Karin is one of the best cooks I know. She is in my dinner club and is one of my favorite people. Karin is the first (and only) person to ever make a beef Wellington that I was able to try. We were together at another friend’s one Christmas Eve. JoAnne and her husband hosted and we each brought something. JoAnne is a fabulous cook as well, just amazing! She is also in our dinner club. Karin brought the beef Wellington that night and it was the first time I’d ever tried it. To this day, that is one of the best memories I have of a wonderful holiday spent with friends and it is one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

I wanted to have leftover burgers for Dennis and Kylie for the week so I started with two pounds of ground beef (I use 96% lean). I put the beef in a large glass bowl and to that I added kosher salt, pepper, onion salt, one egg and one egg white and one package of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix.



I mixed this together lightly with a fork. I then formed my patties and placed them on a foil lined cookie sheet. I added about two tablespoons of aged blue cheese to my meat so it would cook into the burger.


I wanted to cook my burgers in the oven instead of on my indoor grill pan. I was thinking of my burger as an individual meatloaf. I placed the burgers in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. My burgers had no pink in the middle. Dennis and Kylie prefer their burgers cooked well. If you would like a medium burger, check them at 11-12 minutes.

I wanted to eat my burger without a bun, so served it on top of arugula that I dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of a half lemon, a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

For the caramelized onions and fennel that I served atop the burger, I cooked one red onion and fennel in one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of melted butter. I cooked them for about 15 minutes until they were starting to caramelize and were softened to my liking.

The apricots were cooked in a small sauce pan over medium high heat until they started to get charred marks on them. I cut the apricots and laid them across the onions and fennel over the burger patty.


  • 2 pounds ground beef (96% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 package Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • blue cheese (2 tablespoons per burger), plus some for the top of each burger
  • 2 fresh apricots, grilled (drizzled with olive oil and honey and sprinkled with kosher salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix salt, pepper, onion salt, ranch salad dressing mix, egg and egg white into ground beef lightly with a fork. Form beef into six patties, adding the blue cheese individually before forming each burger patty.

Line baking sheet with foil and place patties on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes for well done. Check at 11-12 minutes for medium.

Lay burger patty on arugula that has been dressed in a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of  1/2 lemon, plus a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Top burger with caramelized onions and fennel and sliced, grilled apricot.


Until next time, Kris




Bison Burgers with Balsamic Grilled Onions


Tonight was the first time I ever tried a bison burger. I’ve been wanting to make bison burgers for quite some time and I finally did. My husband and daughter, who apparently are not very adventurous with food, refused to try this. Therefore, they got plain old, regular burgers.Personally, I think they missed out on this one. These burgers were great! Bison is leaner than ground beef, which was one of the reasons I’ve wanted to try them for so long. I always prefer a leaner meat. These bison burgers were juicy and flavorful.  Since it was my first time trying bison, I wanted to experience the taste as is …. not too much in the way of seasoning.

I did add kosher salt and pepper, of course, and also decided to add Santa Maria seasoning. The bottle says it’s good on tri-tip, steak, roast, chicken and seafood … how could I go wrong? I also added an egg and bread crumbs to the meat.

I wanted to top my burger with grilled onions, so I made grilled balsamic onions. I also decided I’d make my burger a cheeseburger, so added a slice of gouda. I thought it would be really “gouda” and it was! The only condiment I put on my bison burger was dijon mustard.



I’m going to have a leftover burger on Tuesday night and serve it with a side of Brussels sprouts. No bun, just the meat and vegetables. I can’t wait, a leftover to look forward to.


  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Santa Maria seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Mix meat together with salt, pepper, Santa Maria seasoning, egg and bread crumbs. I mixed this gently with a fork. Form 3 burger patties and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, or on an indoor grill pan. Place burgers in hot skillet and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Once the burger is close to done on the second side, add the slice of cheese and let it melt. Place your burger in a bun and top with grilled onions.

Ingredients for grilled balsamic onions

  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions for grilled balsamic onions

Melt butter into olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until they caramelize, about 20 minutes.


Until next time, Kris

The Tastes of Thanksgiving Served on a Dinner Roll


I decided to make a little pre-Thanksgiving simple supper. I wanted most of the flavors of Thanksgiving on a slider. My thought process was this … For Thanksgiving dinner, you usually have turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberries (plus mashed potatoes and some sort of sweet potato dish …. and if you’re at my house, acorn squash and my aunt’s famous broccoli casserole). I haven’t made burgers in awhile and I prefer turkey burgers myself, so decided to make turkey burger sliders piled high with some of the season’s flavors.

For my slider roll, I used a whole wheat dinner roll … something I would serve in a bread basket on the big day. I built the slider starting with the turkey burger and topping it with stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce. It was great!

I seasoned my ground turkey with fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and fresh sage. I also added 2 cloves of minced garlic, an egg, kosher salt and pepper.


Dennis really loved these sliders and took the leftovers for lunch today. He was a little disappointed that he couldn’t eat them due to an unexpected lunch meeting. No worries, I guaranteed him they’d still be good tomorrow.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can French green beans
  • 1 box stuffing mix, such as Mrs. Cubbison’s.
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • whole wheat dinner rolls


Cook stuffing according to instructions on box (for my actual Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t use a box mix, but thought it would be perfect for the sliders in last night’s meal). Heat one can of beans (also something I don’t use for the big day, but once again perfect for the sliders). Heat a can of cranberry sauce on the cooktop as well.

Place ground turkey in a bowl and add thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Mix gently with a fork. I used an ice cream scoop to form my burger patties and this made them the perfect size. I ended up with 8 slider burgers.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Place your patties in the skillet on medium-high and cook for 3 minutes per side.

Spread a little butter on your buns and place a burger patty on the bottom bun. Top with stuffing first, then beans and last cranberry sauce. Put the top bun on your sandwich and enjoy!

Until next time, Kris



Butter Burgers topped with Sautéd Garlic Spinach


Tonight, we had burgers for dinner. As I was thinking of a recipe I could come up with, I remembered the smell of burgers when my Grandma Pete would cook them. She made a great burger. I remember her cooking them in butter, which gave me the idea for butter burgers. Not only did I cook them in melted butter (just 1-1/2 tablespoons for four burgers), but I added little cubes of cold butter into my meat mixture. I cut 1 tablespoon of butter into tiny cubes and added that to my meat, along with kosher salt, pepper, Santa Maria seasoning and milk. I found the Santa Maria seasoning at the meat counter at the grocery store.


I started by placing my spinach in a skillet with 1/4 cup of water and then drizzled olive oil and kosher salt over the top. I minced three cloves of garlic to sauté with the spinach as well.


While this was cooking over medium heat, I got my meat mixture together for the burgers.

I grilled the burgers on my cooktop on my grill pan. I really love this All-Clad pan. Dennis bought it for me from Williams-Sonoma and I use it all the time. I cooked the burgers over medium-high heat for 3 minutes per side and then turned the temperature down to low. I moved the burgers so they were not on direct heat and continued to cook them for another 4 minutes for medium well. If you want them rare to medium-rare, cook them for 2-3 minutes (4-5 for medium well).


As the burgers were cooking I sautéd onions in olive oil and 1/4 tablespoon of butter until they were soft and translucent.


I toasted my buns on the same grill pan that I grilled my burgers on. I piled my burger with lots of yummy spinach and the onions. I spread a small amount of dijon mustard on the bun.


Here’s a close-up photo of the burger. They were so juicy!


  • 1-1/4 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used non-fat)
  • 2 teaspoons Santa Maria seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons butter (1 diced in cubes to add to meat, 2 for cooking the burgers in)
  • 1/2 onion to grill and top burgers with


1) Place meat in a bowl and add milk, kosher salt, pepper and Santa Maria seasoning. Add cubed butter and mix lightly with a fork.

2) Grill for 2-3 minutes per side on medium-high. Reduce heat to low and move burgers away from the burners (indirect heat) and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes for medium-rare to medium or 4-5 minutes for medium-well.

Ingredients for Spinach

  • 1/2 bag fresh spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • olive oil, a drizzle


1) Put all into a skillet and sauté until wilted.


Until next time, Kris


Portobello Mushroom Burger


I actually ate my first portobello mushroom burger today. In my 51 years of life, I’m a bit ashamed to admit … I’ve not tried this amazing way to eat a burger until now.  This was a little bit like a party in my mouth – the flavors came together in just the right way.  After trying a portobello burger, I know I’ll be making it again. I’m definitely going to come up with more recipes for portobello burgers … they’re actually coming to me now as I’m writing this blog post! I like a vegetarian meal every once in a while and this one sure satisfied.

I sprinkled kosher salt and pepper on both sides of my mushroom and set it aside. On my indoor grill pan, I started to melt olive oil and butter together. I used the back half of my grill pan to sauté my onions and fennel and my front burner for my burger. As my olive oil and butter were melting together, I minced up fresh rosemary – about 2 teaspoons. I sliced a  few slices of red onion and also a few slices of fennel.  I love fennel!  I thank Ina Garten every time I make something with fennel, as it was her that introduced me to this wonderful flavor.  Until I started watching Ina on her fabulous cooking show, I could not have picked fennel out at the grocery. As you all know, I think Ina is the best. I could watch reruns of her show over and over again. OK … back to my burger prep. Next, I thinly sliced one clove of garlic and shredded about two tablespoons of cheddar/gruyere cheese. I find this at Trader Joe’s, it’s so good.

I placed my onion and fennel over the back burner and let it caramelize.  Once it was caramelized just the way I wanted it, I turned that burner off. I cooked my mushroom for about 4 minutes per side, turning every couple of minutes.  When the mushroom was close to being done, I added my garlic to the pan and sauteéd it for just a few seconds, until it because fragrant.  I turned my burger so the top (smooth) side was down and placed the garlic on the bottom of the mushroom, placing the rosemary directly on top of the garlic. I then added the cheese and let it cook until it melted. I placed a small saucepan upside down over the burger so the cheese would melt quickly and evenly.

If you want your bun to be a bit toasted, you can place it on the grill pan as well. This would be a good time to do that, while your cheese is melting. Remove the bun from the pan and spread each half with coarse ground dijon mustard. Lay a couple slices of tomato on the bottom half of the bun and place your portobello on top of them. Put the top of your bun on your burger and lunch or dinner is served.


Ingredients for one burger

  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • kosher salt, a pinch
  • black pepper, a pinch
  • 3 slices red onion
  • 3 slices fennel
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons cheddar/gruyere, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons course ground dijon mustard
  • tomato slices
  • 1 hamburger bun


Melt olive oil and butter together on an indoor grill pan. (A skillet will work just fine if you don’t have a grill pan.) Sauté onion and fennel together until caramelized. Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over both sides of your mushroom and place on grill pan. You will grill your burger for 5-7 minutes per side, turning every couple of minutes. Once the mushroom is close to being done, cook your garlic until fragrant. This will only take a few seconds. Turn the burger so the smooth side is down and lay the garlic that you’ve sauteéd on the inside of the mushroom cap. Add the rosemary and then top with the cheese. Cook until the cheese melts. If you’d like to toast your bun, you can do so on the grill pan while the cheese is melting. After your bun is toasted, spread both sides of it with dijon mustard. Lay a couple tomato slices on the bottom bun, top with the burger and then finish with the top half of the bun. Enjoy!

Until next time, Kris