Getting in Touch with Your ‘Inner Chicken’

eggs-press yourself

Who wouldn’t like a little fun in their lunchbox?  Or bento box?  These cute egg molds are from Japan made by Kotobuki I purchased through Amazon.  There aren’t any instructions that come with the molds and the packaging is in Japanese so I had to do a little research.  Once you’ve boiled your eggs, you peel them under cold water right away and gently squish them into each shape, snapping it shut.  You can then place them in cold water that has been colored with food dye giving the egg a kind of tie-dye effect.  This might be a little creepy for little ones.


I used green because that’s all I had.  It looks a bit like mold, I think.  Next time maybe I’ll go for purple or another color that is more appeeeeeling – get it?  Ok, painful I know.  I’ll get a vote on this very important topic when the grand kids arrive.

The Jucy Lucy – Island Style

Having always lived in west, I have ventured only a handful of times to the east coast  and sadly, to the mid west fewer still.  When I finally get around to making THE road trip:  ‘Around America for an Unspecified Amount of Time and Purpose’ (maybe a new title?) I will be sure to stop in Minnesota for a full throttle Jucy Lucy exploration.  Minneapolis is the undisputed birthplace of this twist on the cheese burger ( it’s creator is not without controversy) and many variations from the original.  Some restaurants have even taken this unpretentious dish to other levels by changing out the American cheese for Gruyere or blue or Swiss, others are using Kobe beef! Thumbs up for experimentation I say.  Mixedsoup’s version is a combo of original Jucy Lucy and a ‘regular’ burger.  The  Jucy Lucy does not come with lettuce or tomato like a regular burger or with any condiments.  I like the flavors and textures of lettuce and tomato and all the ketchup, mustard etc. so I’ve included them.  The cooking method is up to you, however I used a cast iron skillet this time.

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, about 80% to 86% lean

1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

4 slices American cheese

4 lettuce leaves, washed and dried

4 tomato slices

4 potato hamburger buns, toasted

the works:  pickle slices, ketchup, mustard, mayo …

Make patties about 1/4 inch thick and about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.  Thicker patties are difficult to cook through before the cheese has reached volcanic properties.  Place the patties in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.    Take each piece of cheese and divide it into fours, then stack them into a pile four pieces high.  Repeat with the other slices.

Season each side of the patties with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Take the four stacks of cheese and place each in the center of four patties.  Take the other patties without the cheese and place them on top of the patties with the cheese stacks making a seal so that cheese doesn’t escape while cooking.  One reason for using American cheese is it’s melting quality, although other cheeses may work well with a different effect.

Preheat your pan over medium heat.  Place the burgers in the pan and cover with a lid.  After approximately 4 minutes turn the burgers and cover for another 4 minutes.  If the patties begin to puff with moisture, prick with a skewer or toothpick to allow the steam to escape.  Test for temperature using a instant read thermometer.  Continue flipping and cooking until desired doneness.  Let the burger rest for a few minutes before cutting or eating as the cheese may be molten.  Grab lots of napkins!

Island Style Jucy Lucy

Fast & Feisty ‘South of the Border’ Pie

from Pamela Karleskint

Grab your most obnoxious matching shirts, your mp3 playlist of kooky retro party music AND this timeless potluck winner.

The great twist on this dish is the surprisingly moist and rich topping verses the more traditional cornbread style, which can get dry and unappetizing.

serves 4-6

1 pound of hamburger or turkey

1 envelope of taco seasonings

4 ounce can of diced green chilies

1 cup of jack cheese, grated

1 cup of canned (drained) or frozen corn

1¼ cup of milk

¾ cup of Bisquick, or similar mix

3 eggs

⅛ teaspoon red pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 400° F. Cook hamburger and drain fat. Stir in taco seasoning mix. Put seasoned meat in a greased oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with green chilies and cheese. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth and pour over top of meat mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

from Pamela Karleskint