Sunday, December 30, 2012

Copycat Red Robin Island Sunburn Style Burger

We took our boys to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle the other day, before hopping on the ferry home we decided to get an early dinner at Red Robin....that is a special treat for us since we don't have one nearby. I ALMOST ordered something else but at the last second I saw this and I am SO glad I did. I really think I have found a new favorite burger. Of course being as we have no RR and also that this particular burger was a "limited time" flavor I had to make up my own!!! Serve them with steak fries topped with garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese just like RR's and if you like finish off with a copy of Red Robin's Irish Beer Milkshake!

This would be fantastic with beef, ground turkey, a chicken breast or even a veggie patty for a yummy meatless meal!

6 hamburger buns (I actually used a Jalapeno Kaiser from a previous RR copy cat, but any bun will do)

2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup water
seasoning salt to taste

6 slices pepper jack cheese
1 medium jalapeno, sliced thin
cilantro mayo*
6 slices pineapple(fresh of course is best, but this time around I could not find a decent one so I used canned rings)

Mango Slaw:
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
(sub 8oz prepared (dry)coleslaw mix if you like)
1/2 cup diced mango
2 TB red onion, minced
1 TB lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro mayo*
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the veggies together.

Mix mayo and lime juice and pour over slaw, toss well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and allow to mingle for an hour.

*cilantro mayo
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Mix and allow to mingle for at least 2 hours

Mix beef, water and seasoning salt.....Divide it into 12 thinnish patties and chill. (you can do 6 thicker ones if you want, I was just going for the RR effect, its on the Tavern Double)

Broil your pineapple until lightly blackened on both sides, set aside

Broil burgers to desired doneness....


Toast buns and spread both sides with cilantro mayo, add 1 patty and 1 slice of cheese, add 1 more patty (and an extra slice of cheese if you like too), add slice of pineapple, then tomato and top with mango slaw
Place on the top bun and enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Copycat Red Robin Irish Beer Milkshake

We tasted this at Red Robin the other day and YUUUUMY!!!! I had to make a copy of it of course. Next week I am doing a copy of their Tropical Sunburn Style Burger so stay tuned for that too!

Makes 2 nice milkshakes:

2 1/2 cups good quality Chocolate Ice Cream
3 oz Guinness Draught
1 1/2 oz Jameson Whiskey
1/4 tsp xanthan gum(not 100% necessary but it helps thicken it up well!)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well, pour into a frosty glass and serve with a shot of whipped cream! (If it is still a little runny and you dont have xanthan gum, you can freeze it until it thickens back up)


Monday, December 17, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Punch

I went out for dinner with my husband for our anniversary and I had one of these. It was so delicious I had to make a copy of my own!!!

You can play around with your ratios of alcohol vs syrup and soda until you find your perfect drink! My measurements make a good strong drink.

1 oz coconut rum
2 oz whipped vodka
2 oz pumpkin spice syrup* (or to taste)
top with club soda(or to taste)

Combine all, strain over ice, top with a shot of whipped cream and a sprinkle of allspice.

*Pumpkin Spice Syrup
you can buy this commercially in the coffee syrup aisle or you can make it. I found this recipe and it is perfect! I almost tripled the pumpkin, because I freeze my pumpkin puree in 1/2 cup increments and I think it turned out fantastic!

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2  cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3 TB pumpkin puree(I used 1/2 cup, and I do suggest the heavier dose, but 3 TB should be sufficient)

Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Combine the powdered spices well.
Place in the cinnamon sticks and whisk in the remaining spices and the pumpkin puree. 

Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, at a light simmer, not a boil!

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and if you like you can strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
store in sealed container in the fridge...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Super Yummy Frosting

I was making a frosting for a cookie decorating party and decided to branch out a bit. I think I stumbled on something fantastic!!!

1/2 cup solid coconut oil or butter, softened but NOT melted
4 cups powdered sugar
6 TB* flavored liquid coffee creamer( you can use a commercial dairy free if you need DF  and choose whatever flavor you want!! I used vanilla for the cookies, but THIS is what makes it such a fantastic versatile frosting!!!)

*You may need more or less to your specific frosting thickness needs.

In a mixer beat coconut oil an powdered sugar until well mixed.
With the mixer running add creamer 1 TB at a time beating well after each addition.....until your desired thickness is reached.

Add food coloring if desired.

Frost and enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Parmesan Eggplant Veggie Burgers

This is kind of an adaptation mixture of this recipe and my own veggie burgers. My 10 year old son had seen eggplants at the store the other day and wanted to try them(we have had them before, but he didn't remember) so I bought one. I decided today was the day to get it used.

1 medium-large eggplant, peeled and diced
1 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 large carrot, shredded(just over 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 green onions, including whites, chopped
1 1/4 cups oats*
1 egg
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese(not the powdered kind)
1 TB dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes(or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

*Gluten Free if needed, I actually put them in the blender for a moment to chop them slightly or you can sub bread crumbs, again GF if you like

Over medium heat in a large pan heat olive oil. Add eggplant and sprinkle with salt, cook, stirring often until it is completely broken down, mashing it slightly as you work.

Transfer to a large bowl

Add carrots, onions and garlic to the pan and cook until slightly tender.

Add them to the eggplant, add oats and mix well.

Place in the fridge and allow to cool completely

When cool add egg, cheese and seasonings

With floured(or cornstarch-ed if GF) hands form into patties, dusting each patty lightly with flour or cornstarch.

Chill again.

Place on a greased pan and cook under hot broiler until cooked through(min of 165 degrees), flipping only once

Serve with your favorite burger toppings!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken and Rice Pasta

My husband had suggested something with chicken and pasta. I was on the phone with my mom and she was looking up Asian Pork recipes....she found something and sent it to me and I decided to combine some ideas!  I used rice pasta, but I am sure a wheat pasta would be tasty as well!
Edit- This is also fantastic cold!  I am listing it as a potluck dish too.

3 large chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce(bragg's amino if you are GF)
3 TB apple cider vinegar
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground ginger
salt and red pepper flakes to taste

12-16 oz pasta, cooked according to manufactures directions(I used Tinkyada brown rice pasta)

1/4 cup water
2 TB cornstarch

On the bottom of the slow cooker place chopped onions and peppers, then add chicken.

Mix remaining sauce ingredients and pour over the top. Cover and cook on low 6 hours until chicken is cooked through.

Start your pasta cooking.(you can actually have this done ahead of time if you need a time saver near dinner time, just cook it , drain, rinse , drain again then place it in a covered container in the fridge)

Remove chicken from slow cooker allow it to cool until you can handle it and shred it .

Add cornstarch to water, mix well
Add the water mixture to the sauce in the slow cooker and stir well, add the shredded chicken back to the pot. Leave the lid off and turn to high, stirring often to thicken the sauce.

When the sauce is thickened add drained pasta and mix well.(If you pre-made your pasta, make sure it is heated through before serving.)

Top with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chocolate Mint Candy Balls

I was making Christmas Gift Baskets and I did a recipe for a dessert cheese-ball. I had a little extra and I thought it would make a fantastic candy!!

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 candy canes
1/4 cup walnuts
8 oz cream cheese(I did full fat, lower fat ones are quite a bit softer, it might be difficult to work with)

Coating Options:
Almond Bark(chocolate or vanilla)
White Chocolate
Milk Chocolate Chips
Wilton's Colored Candy Melts
Baking Cocoa
Powdered Sugar

1 candy cane, crushed fine
or Colored Sugars

(I chose to do 1/2 with almond bark and candy canes, 1/2 with baking cocoa)

In a blender crush candy canes, then add chocolate chips and walnuts and blend again until it is in fine pieces.

Pour into a bowl and add cream cheese. Mix well and chill.

Scoop into bite sized pieces and roll into balls, place them on a plate and stick them back in the fridge

For candy coatings: Melt chosen coating according to manufactures instructions
(if using chocolate you may have to add a touch of shortening, it helps it melt better and coat smoother)

Dip each ball into the melted coating and return to sheets, sprinkle immediately with remaining crushed candy cane(and some Christmas sprinkles if you like).... Chill well.
you can do one dip, then allow them to chill and do a second dip then do the topping if you like a thicker shell. My dipping skills are lacking, but you get the general idea in the photo above LOL.

For powdered toppings:
Place 1/4-1/3 cup of desired topping in a bowl(you may have to add more later, you just dont want to muck it all up at once LOL) Add a ball or two and gently swirl until coated.

When fully chilled you can place them in a container with a tight fitting lid. Store in the fridge, if they last that long LOL.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Snickerdoodle Coffee Mix

I found this on a gift jar website and include a modified version of it with some Christmas gifts this year. It was so delicious I had to make my own batch!

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup french vanilla cappuccino mix*
1/2 cup special dark baking cocoa
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Mix all in a tightly covered container, shake well.

Mix 3-4 TB  with 6-8 oz hot water

Or 2 TB with 6-8 oz of hot brewed coffee

* store bought is fine or if you use the linked recipe, use french vanilla flavored creamer!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

I made this for Thanksgiving this year. I wanted something a bit different but couldn't quite find a recipe I liked. So I went out on my own and the results were amazing!

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs( I used GF graham crackers)
3 TB sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups apple pie filling (homemade or store bought)

3-8oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Caramel Sauce:
(you can sub 1/2 cup store bought if you like)
1/2 cup sugar
3 TB butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup chopped pecan (optional)

Preheat oven to 350
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter.

Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool

Spread 1 1/2 cups of the apple pie filling over the crust. Set aside

Whip the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy

add remaining apple pie filling, beat well.

Then add eggs, 1 at a time, beating a few seconds after each addition. Add not over beat after the eggs are added!!!

Toss peeled apple, sugar cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg until apples are well coated.

Pour cream cheese batter over the apple pie filling. Spread apples gently over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until center is set.

While it is baking prepare caramel sauce:
Have everything out and ready and within reach, this cooks fast and can go from not ready to ruined in seconds!

In a deep sauce pan heat sugar over medium high heat . Stirring vigorously while it melts.

When it is melted and boiling stop stirring so much(you can give it a swirl or two just dont over do it) and allow it to become a dark amber color.

When it is a deep color add butter and whisk until melted

Remove from heat and slowly add the cream,

whisk until smooth.

When the cheesecake is finished baking immediately drizzle the caramel sauce over the entire thing(heat it first  if it has thickened up on cooling) Sprinkle with pecans if using.

Allow to cool, then chill completely in the fridge  before removing the spring form ring.