• Super Bowl Snacks: Slider Burgers

    Slider Burgers.

    Slider Burgers.

    slider2We started blogging about a year ago (more on that later this week), and one of our first posts was a recipe for Super Bowl Sliders. Since then, we tweaked the recipe a bit and figured since we are doing a “Super Bowl Snacks” series, we may as well post an update. But here is all you need to know; sliders are fun, perfect for entertaining kids and adults and taste great. And if you use our version of “Shake Shack” sauce, your sliders, or burgers, will be even better.

    slider10slider7This sauce is our version of the special sauce from New York City’s favorite burger joint, the Shake Shack. Serious Eats reversed-engineered the sauce a few years ago (see here) and we tweaked it ever-so-slightly to go with our sliders. The key to the sauce, which is in the “1,000-island family” of sauces, is chopping up and blending dill or sour pickles (we use cornichons sometimes) directly into the sauce. The extra acidity and bite of the pickles along with mayo, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder, salt and paprika takes this sauce over the top. We use smoked paprika to add a touch of smokey flavor that does come through. In any event, make the sauce, trust us…

    slider9slider8Otherwise, making sliders is just like making burgers, just smaller and faster. We make our sliders about 2 ounces (or a touch less) and make sure they are about 1/4 of an inch thick. We cook them in a very hot skillet or cast-iron pan for 2 minutes on one side, flip, add some cheese (just a little) and cook another minute for medium rare / medium. We set the sliders on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, this keeps the juices in the burger.

    slider6slider5slider4As for the bread, we use buttered and grilled dinner rolls like King Hawaiian (yes we love those rolls) or Parker House rolls. Taking the time to brown and heat the rolls is a nice touch and adds some buttery flavor to the mix. Then we just put the sliders on the rolls and top with the sauce. Simple, easy, and oh so tasty. And the small size means everyone can enjoy the sliders either as a snack or full meal. Just be ready to make another batch. Continue reading

  • Pioneer Woman Prune Spice Cake

    Pioneer Prune Spice Cake

    Pioneer Prune Spice Cake

    prune3Don’t let the name fool you, this cake just rocks. Everyone who tries it, loves it. Ignore the prune thing if you must, but we do suggest you try this cake. It’s easy to make, sweet, super-moist and has a touch of spice. Perfect for dessert or breakfast, even the occasional snack. Very good stuff.

    prune5prune7The only reason we feel a bit sheepish about posting this recipe is that we barely adapted it at all. The original recipe (“Iny’s Prune Cake With Buttermilk Icing”) comes from the Pioneer Woman Cooks, Ree Drummond’s bestselling cookbook. I picked this cookbook up a few years ago for Carolyn without knowing much about the Pioneer Woman, but I was perusing some cookbooks (something I may do a bit too often) and I checked a few recipes, and they looked good. Now that we have cookbook, it is one of our regulars, particularly for breakfast dishes. We don’t think Pioneer Woman needs any help from us, but the cookbook and blog are worth a look.

    prune8prune9We call this cake a “breakfast” dish because that’s when we serve it. But you can make and serve this cake any time. It may not look like much, but after the first bite you will be sold. Making the cake is easy, too. The only extra step is rehydrating and mashing the prunes. Then you make the standard wet / dry cake batter with a few spices and boil up a quick icing. Bake the cake, layer the icing on top and serve.

    prune11prune12Now let’s talk about this prune thing. Regardless of “therapeutic” uses and a terrible sounding name, prunes are a very useful cooking ingredient. Prunes add deep, complex sweetness to many dishes. Prunes also play incredibly well with both herbs and spices, so you can use them in sweet and savory dishes. We use prunes with sage in our dressings / stuffings for holiday roasts and they take the flavors over the top. So if you still aren’t onboard with prunes, try this cake, it is a very good introduction. And if you just can’t stand the idea of prunes, make it anyway and just call it a Plum Cake. We won’t tell.

    prune13 Continue reading