Monday, August 27, 2012

Quesadilla Burger with Grilled Corn Salsa

Last week Andy and I made an amazing meal … Quesadilla Burgers!  I found a recipe, but change it a bit to satisfy our palates.  I thought (since I haven’t posted a kitchen success story in awhile) to share it with my readers, see below. 

For Patties

2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup grated onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Combine beef, beans, cilantro, onion, garlic, peppers, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Mix with hands and shape into six small patties.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Grilled Corn Salsa

1 grilled ear of corn, cut off cob when cooled
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 red and green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
6 large tortillas
6 slices queso fresco cheese

In a medium bowl, combine red onion, red and green pepper, jalapeño, cilantro, chicken stock, cumin, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Cut corn off of cob and toss with mixture.  Set aside.

Place patties on grill and cook, turning once, until done to preference (about 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium).  

On each flour tortilla, layer burger, queso fresco, and an equal amount of corn topping, fold in sides of tortilla like a burrito securing with toothpicks.  Place pocket on grill again with a little oil until tortilla is golden brown and crispy.

Cut in half diagonally. Garnish with cilantro leaves, sour cream, salsa  … whatever your heart desires.  Yum!!

*This is an adaptation of The Food Network's Adobo Quesadilla Burger with Grilled Corn Salsa.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Green Thumbs

I remember when was little and helped my mom weed and pick veggies from my grandma's garden.  There was nothing like eating tomatoes straight from the plant or my mom's fried zucchini fresh from the earth.  I even remember having a small garden at our house on Superior and stealing green beans before school. 

After having a terrible attempt at gardening last year, Andy and I decided to try again.  We started small with red onions, green peppers, jalapenos, cherry and roma tomatoes, and of course sunflowers.  We did plant some herbs, but they didn't take (next year, maybe).

I am very proud of us trying this again.  There is something wonderful about growing your own food.  Even though we have simple items in our garden I can't wait to make homemade salsa, spaghetti sauce, and stuffed peppers.  Yum!!

Jalapeno Plant
Roma Tomato Plant

Monday, August 13, 2012

Two Years

Before Andy and I got married a lot of people told us the first few years are the hardest.  I can verify that this is in fact very true, at least for us.  Even though most people date someone for years before marriage I am here to tell you things are different after the honeymoon stage.  You live, eat, sleep, and are always together.  We were not used to this due to dating for four year before marriage at 500 miles apart.  

Many of you know the first few months of being married we lived with a roommate.  As newlyweds this is the last thing you want to do.  As much as I liked our roommate this was just the wrong time to have one.  After that bump, we moved to New Mexico (1,500 miles away from Grand Rapids) where we finally lived on our own together.  I have always lived with my parents and brothers so these moves were hard on me, but also very hard on our relationship.  I was homesick and very lost.  Andy was there for me every night when I cried myself to sleep or needed someone to talk to.  I am truly thankful for that.   

Like I mentioned above, I have never lived with anyone besides my parents and bothers.  Moving in with Andy was a huge shocker not only because I was now really an adult but because I found things out about him I never knew.   For example …. Andy is the biggest procrastinator I know.  I’ve been asking him to hang a painting in our bathroom for the last three months.  I also found out that he is extremely addicted to and …. our bank account does not agree with this addiction nor do I.  Lastly, the way he communicates … he doesn’t.  You can see why this is extremely upsetting for me, a communications major! 

I have learned more about him in the past two years than I ever imagined.  I am sure he has a similar list for me, but we won’t go there today, :) 
On to the positive … Andy is extremely organized.  He took it upon himself to be in charge of our finances when we first got married.  He is so organized that he has to walk me through what to do when I need to pay a bill.  He is also an amazing dog daddy to our labs; this is great news because if and when we decide to have children I know he will be a great father.  Also, without trying to rhyme – Andy is very handy.  When something breaks or needs some TLC he knows what to do and how to do it. (It might take him a month, but when he does it, it will never break again!) Last but not least, Andy helped me regain my appreciation of the outdoors.  I love our hikes, dog park dates, and weekend camping trips together.

With that said I am extremely lucky to have him in my life and couldn’t imagine spending it with someone else.  I am very blessed, happy, … all the above.  Even though some days are hard, I miss my family and friends, or we get into an argument about how to train the new pup ... I know that at the end of the day we love each other deeply and would do anything for one another 

I would like to conclude with a quote I ironically saw on someone’s Facebook today.

“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”
-Author Unknown

Happy Anniversary, hunny!!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Support the Gorts

It has been a long time coming.  The short documentary explaining my aunt, uncle, and cousin's lives is finally online.  Our hope is to spread the word about what happened to my family and what they now go through every single day due to a medical error.  If you'd like to know more about their story visit my uncle's blog.

 This was filmed, edited, and produced by Steve Tatzmann, founder of StaleFish Producation Company.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Voice

People consistently go through their day or week without thought.  We are stuck in daily routines and life.  We do not understand that it is okay to slow down and think about what needs to be done to make right good, better, or great.  I found a poem by Shel Silverstein, one of my favorite childhood authors, and pasted it below.  I hope it helps just one person to listen to the voice within.

The Voice By Shel Silverstein
There is a voice inside of you
that whispers all day long.
“I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

or wise man can decide
what’s right for you - just listen to
the voice that speaks inside.