Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer Favorites Dinner Date

Why yes, I am still alive! Lizzy had a raging virus for most of the last week, which put a complete damper on my cooking. But I pulled it back together for dinner date last night! The original theme was going to be more centered on grilling, so naturally, it was 50 degrees and raining yesterday. Summertime in New England!

I worked with two of my favorite things to have in the summer - burgers and lemon squares. I've been making my own hamburger buns for a while now, on nights when I have the time to plan ahead, and they are such a treat - it's hard to go back to store-bought burger buns! If you have a bread machine, you have to try these. (If you don't have a bread machine, you need one!) I love lemon squares, but Abby hates how gooey and messy they are, and my traditional recipe is loaded with sugar. So I made lemon blondies - lower sugar, less messy, but still with a nice lemon flavor.

I simply must give a shout-out to LaDue & Crew's Pomegranate Sangria. Drooooool. I made a batch for the mommies last night and it was fabulous. I subbed in 2 cups of Diet Sprite for the white semi-sparkling wine both to cut down on calories and alcohol content. Celeste and I thoroughly enjoyed it - if you like sangria even a little try it out!

Zesty Turkey Burgers on Homemade Burger Buns

Zesty Turkey Burgers

I've been making these for years - there's nothing easier, and they're full of flavor

1 lb ground turkey
1-2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
1-2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Mush the turkey, horseradish, and mustard together. Form into patties and grill. Easy!


Homemade Burger Buns

1 1/4 cups water
1 egg
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp instant potato flakes
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp wheat bran
1 Tbsp gluten
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast (or rapid rise yeast)

Place ingredients in the pan according to your bread machine's instructions. Program for the Dough cycle.

When the cycle is complete, turn the dough onto a clean work surface. For normal-size burger or hot dog buns, divide the dough into 12 equal portions (you can subdivide some of those portions to make little slider buns for kids). Flatten a portion out into a rough circle:

(dividing and flattening)

Next, pinch the edges of the circle into the center, like so:


It will end up like this:


Place the roll pinched-seams side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all of the dough balls. You can also make hot dog rolls - make your dough ball into a long oval and tightly roll from a long end, like this:


Cover the buns with clean tea towels and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F; bake the buns for 15-20 minutes, until golden and lightly browned.

These buns freeze really well and are delicious with butter and jelly for breakfast, too! Mine never ever ever turn out really pretty and perfect (especially my hot dog buns, they always look uneven), but that's the charm of homemade buns :-)

Lemon Blondies
(the big girls were a little excited for dessert...)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
zest from 2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8" square pan with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt.

Melt the butter in a large glass bowl - set aside to cool slightly. In a food processor, process the sugar and lemon zest together until the zest is well-chopped and the sugar smells lemony. Stir the sugar-zest into the melted butter until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the lemon juice and the egg. Stir the flour mixture in until just combined.

Spread batter in the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the blondies are set in the center.

2 comments:

Marsha said...

"If you don't have a bread machine, you need one!"

I couldn't agree more! We use ours at least twice a week.

justusseven said...

Hi Celeste - I sent you an email regarding xtraxtra but there was a delivery failure. Not sure why. Anyway, I'd love to do it. Do you have an alternate email address I can use?