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Cheddar Jalapeño Pub Burgers

It has been FREEZING here in Southern California! Seriously, right now it’s 60 degrees Fahrenheit outside and I’m wrapped up in my robe, prepared to curl up under a blanket with a hot cup of Sleepytime tea and a foreign film. Holy crap. It’s happened. I’m officially a Californian…
I mean, really though, look at the cloudy sky! Can you feel the chill coming at you through your computer screen?
Okey, the truth is, I am chilled, but I think it’s a sympathetic chill because it just started snowing blizzarding (now officially a word) out in Fort Collins where my brother and sister-in-law live. Yeah, definitely a sympathetic chill. I’m still a Coloradoan at heart.

I got this hilarious holiday card in the mail today!
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Great times?? Getting up at 3am to work retail was definitely one of the highlights of my life, and standing around staring at an empty store for hours on end was enjoyable as well, I suppose. Hmmm, should I reapply??

In other exciting news, I braved the cold weather, opened the grill and made:

Cheddar Jalapeño Pub Burgers


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Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time
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27 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Cheesy, spicy pub-style burgers, fresh off the grill.

Ingredients

  • 2lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (diced)
  • 1/2 cup pepperjack cheese (diced)
  • 2 jalapeños (seeded and diced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1
Mash all ingredients together and make patties.
Step 2
Grill over medium heat for about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Step 3
Be careful not to catch your sleeve on fire when the fat from the burger and cheese turn into flame accelerant.
Step 4
Seriously, be careful: I speak from experience. Luckily, they were delicious and worth the pain.
Step 5
Serve with a wide array of toppings – my favorites are always guacamole and more cheese. You just can’t lose.

I’ve been locked inside the library attempting (and failing) to write a research paper. My days consist of the Passenger channel on Pandora, mixed with a little Radical Face and me staring at an empty Word document while contemplating whether or not a packet of peanut M&Ms would be a good idea.

A hint from the wise: Peanut M&Ms are always a good idea.

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Happy Labor Day!

I hope you had a wonderful day off filled with hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, skydiving… Whatever your fancy! As for me, I mainly lazed about the house, did nothing, dyed my hair with blue streaks, did a little more of nothing and then made dinner.
Last Friday night at 8pm, my doorbell rang. On the front step awaited this bottle of barbecue sauce, sent to me for free from KC Masterpiece and Foodbuzz as part of the Tastemaker Program. I was sent this product free in order to review/create a recipe with. All my opinions are my own, blah blah blah. I now present to you:

Zesty Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs


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Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time
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2 hours, 50 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs are tenderized with beer and drenched in a spicy sweet beer and barbecue sauce reduction.

Ingredients

  • 2-3lb babyback ribs
  • 12oz beer (I recommend something roasty like a nut brown)
  • 1 cup KC Masterpiece Southern Style barbecue sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 lime (zested and juiced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beer, barbecue sauce, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and zest, onion powder, ground ginger, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Whisk until combined.
Step 2
Place the rack of ribs in a baking pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, then pour the marinade on top.
Step 3
Flip so the meaty side is drenched in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
Step 4
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 5
Take the ribs out of the marinade (setting the marinade aside) and encase them in foil, tightly sealed but with enough space to allow the air to circulate through.
Step 6
Bake at 275 for 2-2 + 1/2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.
Step 7
An hour before the ribs are done, pour the marinade into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then let simmer until reduced by half.
Step 8
Pull the ribs out of the oven, let rest for five minutes, then serve, drenching them with this sauce.

The hint of spice from the red pepper flakes, the caramel sweetness of the brown sugar, slight tang from the lime and the acidity of the KC Masterpiece Southern Style barbecue sauce make for a lively combination! Of course, adding beer makes everything better. There was never any doubt about that… I’d recommend using any amber/brown/stout – anything that’s incredibly roasty and malty will really round out this sauce and take it to the next level.

If you want to turn this into a full meal that teeters on the edge of health (but leans slightly toward the “not-THAT-healthy” side), grab a few ears of corn from the local farmers’ market, tear out the hairs and shove a couple of pats of butter between the husks.
Grill them outside over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, extinguish the flames that erupt from the singed husks (oops), turning every five minutes.
If you want to add ANOTHER vegetable, grab a potato or two (they come from the earth, therefore, I consider them a vegetable. Don’t argue! You’ll ruin it for me!) from the farmers’ market, wrap them in foil and grill them over medium for an hour, rotating every fifteen minutes. Then, stuff them with sour cream and butter so they no longer resemble anything healthy.
Hint: Taking pictures of your meal surrounded by green grass makes it appear to be more healthy. Green = healthy. I see lots of green in the picture above, therefore, it is indeed healthy.

There’s no better way to say farewell to summer than messily chowing down on a rack of ribs and freshly grilled corn, desperately trying to wipe off the butter that runs down your chin and slurping the sticky-sweet barbecue sauce from your fingers. Happy Labor Day!

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