Grilling an Awesome Burger

Do you ever get bored eating the same old meals over and over? Al and I really enjoy a good old-fashioned hamburger, but the usual burger time and again just doesn’t get us excited about eating … snore. Yep, it’s easy for food boredom to set in. Wanting to take it up a notch and take the ho-hum out of my everyday hamburger, I searched the internet for ideas.

Green Chili burgers
Hatch Green Chili Hamburgers

I started playing around with different ingredients that would hopefully incorporate some exciting yet tasty flavors.  I had some successes and some near failures. I wanted something out of the ordinary, but flavors that would mesh well with our individual palettes. Keep in mind, Al and I are originally from northern Illinois where it’s all about corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Peppers and chilies weren’t ingredients we grew up with in Illinois. I’m sure times have changed and peppers are much more common these days, but thirty to forty years ago chilies weren’t a part of our diet or products we’d easily find growing in the fields. I know, our mother’s certainly never used green chilies. I’m not even sure they knew what they were. So a couple of months ago when I returned from the grocery store with a little can of green chilies, my husband wondered what the heck I was up to. To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure myself how I’d feel about the taste of these unusual, to me, ingredient.

grilled burgers and asparagus
green chili burgers with grilled asparagus and sweet orange bell pepper.

Well let me tell you, these burgers are so awesome that they’ve become the norm around the RV, and when we get together with the kids, they even request these flavorful green chili burgers.

They are so darn tasty, that a bun isn’t required. Since we loosely follow a Paleo diet and avoid bread, we usually eat our burgers in a lettuce wrap. Add a side of grilled veggies and can you say, ‘yum’!

Green Chili burgersLast year we spent a couple of weeks hanging around Santa Fe, New Mexico. Not only did we fall in love with the eclectic city, we fell in love with the food and learned a lot about peppers and chilies.

I swear, Santa Fe has the best farmer’s market … at least the best farmer’s market I’ve ever been to.  Unbeknownst to us, we timed our excursion to Santa Fe perfectly last August during pepper / chili season. Ah, the smell of roasting peppers.

New Mexico is known for producing the best peppers and chilies in the United States. I’m still not sure if there’s a difference between a pepper and a chili because I was given mixed opinions on the subject. Thus, I’ll leave that question as a quest for a future visit to Santa Fe … not that I need an excuse for a revisit …. this farmer’s market is reason enough!

But my pepper and chili education didn’t end in Santa Fe. I’m a cookbook junkie and unfortunately the RV doesn’t allow space to collect books like I used to. Thus, I now rely on local libraries to satisfy my cookbook addiction. Most recently I picked up a copy of Freddie Prinze Jr.’s cookbook – Back to the Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes  from a Food-Obsessed Actor. The actor grew up in New Mexico and shares his love affair with chili’s grown in his home state. Awesome … I learned even more about New Mexico and their agricultural specialty.

Although I would never consider myself a pepper or chili expert, since becoming enlightened, I now make it a point to purchase Hatch chiles whenever possible. These ‘hatch‘ chiles are grown in Hatch, New Mexico … go figure … and are undoubtedly known as the best chilies in the country. We’ll attest to that. They are indeed quite tasty. And this coming from a  couple of former Midwesterner’s with northern European heritage. Boy, our taste buds sure have changed over the years.

Travel is enlightening in so many ways. We see amazing scenery, meet extraordinary people, and discover unique culinary delights. How fun! Never in a million years would I have envisioned my German/Norwegian husband eagerly popping samples of sauteed peppers in his mouth at the Sante Fe farmer’s market. “Where is my husband, and what have you done with him?” 😆🌶🌽

THE WORLD IS A BOOK, AND THOSE WHO DO NOT TRAVEL READ ONLY ONE PAGE – ST. AUGUSTINE

So how bout it …. are you ready to take your burgers up a notch?

Awesome Green Chili HamburgerGreen Chili Burgers 
Ingredients
– 1 Pound lean ground beef
– 1/2 can of Hatch green chili’s, drained
– 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
– 1/4 cup chopped onion
– 1/8 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
– 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the ground beef. Once all ingredients are well incorporated, toss in the ground beef and mix together well. Divide beef into four equal amounts and patty out into burgers. Grill to desired temperature and serve on a toasted bun or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Hope you give these burgers a try and enjoy them as much as we do! Let me know if you do make’m and if you made any tasty changes ☺  Update – I now add the whole can of Hatch chilies to the burger meat. We’re totally into these peppers!


Cuisinart CNP-410 Non-Stick Grilling Platter, 10 by 10-Inch

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Three’s company, or not!

I Googled the meaning of adventure.  The word adventure could be used to describe an unusual and exciting, sometimes hazardous, experience or activity.  Hmm, I pondered that for a moment.  Quite frankly, I think life’s an adventure it’s just some days are filled with more excitement than others.

hot air balloons
This photo was taken right out my RV door while still in my nighty!

It’s been an interesting couple of days around our little home.  One might even use the term adventurous to describe our exciting and unusual morning(s).

adventureIt was around 4:00 a.m. Wednesday morning as I laid in bed.  I wasn’t in a deep sleep, but not necessarily awake.  I’m laying on my side with my back to hubby when I feel Al lightly drum his fingers down my arm.  Then he rested his hand before continuing the light drumming back up, then down, then gone.  As I laid their half asleep yet half awake, I thought to myself…. how strange.  He’s never done that before.  Oh well, and quickly fell into a deep slumber.

Around 5:30 a.m. I’m awakened by Al’s chuckling.  He says, “What are you doing?”  Groggily, I responded with a, “What are you talking about”.  He says, “You know… that light tickling drumming with your fingers down my arm”.  “Honey, I’m laying on my stomach and in this position even the most talented of contortionists wouldn’t be able to even touch your arm let alone roll fingers”.

Say what?  Somewhat startled, we quickly became WIDE awake.  We swiftly sat up and looked around.  Apparently, we weren’t alone.  It became obvious I wouldn’t be going back to sleep anytime soon, and thus I got up to start the coffee and frantically looked around for any unwanted guest.

It was a particularly beautiful morning.  While looking out the RV bedroom window, I sat in bed having my coffee. The lovely sight of colorful balloons temporarily eased any concerns of a third party in bed with us. It was the perfect day for an adventurous hot air balloon ride. I watched as a dozen balloons floated by.  Ah, one day I’ll go up in one of those baskets.

adventure
the view out my bedroom window

While I was enjoying coffee with a view, Al continued the critter hunt to no avail and eventually we went about our day…. that is until it was time for lunch.  Was it the smell of food that finally lured Lorenzo out into the open?  The next five minutes unfolded like a scene out of an episode of the Three Stooges as Al and I escorted Mr. Lorenzo Lizard to the nearest exit.

lizard
“Hey, you could’ve at least fed me before kicking me out!”

With the bedroom mystery solved, that night we were able to enjoy a good nights sleep… that is until about 3:00 a.m.  That’s when Donatella Donkey and her family decided to munch on the weeds next to our RV.

donkey
Dad on the left (yes that’s dad, I double checked – he’s just cold or shy at the moment), mom middle, child on the right

donkeyWith the beautiful spring weather we’ve enjoyed in Phoenix, we’ve slept with the windows open at night.  Therefore, the braying …. hee-haw sound of the donkey right outside our window had Al and me laughing.  We literally could hear them pulling the grass and munching, but that braying sound was/is hysterical. And it’s loud.

If you’ve never heard a donkey bray, click here to be entertained.  Trust me, it’s worth the click to listen to these guys.

These donkeys aka wild burros casually roam about the desert in the northwest part of the Phoenix valley near Lake Pleasant.

Ah, but our little adventurous encounters didn’t end there.  We have the tale of Millie who was so brazenly bold as to mosey from behind my chair over to the slatted vent under the frig all the while exchanging eye contact with hubby….. the hussy!

mouseOnce behind the vent, she continued looking at Al for another minute before disappearing.  Al found the encounter rather humorous but that didn’t stop him from setting a mouse trap that night.  It remained empty the next morning.  Perhaps Miss Millie heeded the evacuation notice.

The next day it was time for me to bake.  Since I’ve been following a Paleo based diet, I like to keep the freezer stocked with fresh-baked scones or muffins made from almond or coconut flour.  I recently purchased a special silicon bagel/donut mold and was looking forward to giving it a try.  In an RV, storage needs to be fully utilized.  I stow my cookie sheets and muffin pans including the new donut mold in the RV oven when not in use.  When I emptied the oven to lite the pilot light, I excitedly reached for my new bagel mold….. “What’s this – crumbs?”  Miss Millie Mouse had nibbled on my brand new, never been used silicon donut mold and chewed a hole in one of the rings.fuming madTo say I was fuming is putting it mildly.  Expletives were flying out of my mouth.  Words that would make a sailor blush.  Millie was immediately sentenced to death via the guillotine.  The next day, it was another very early morning wake up for me when a SNAP was heard!  Remember, adventure sometimes means hazardous?

So there you have it.  Adventure comes in many forms.  Just another day in the life of an RV’er and why do things always seem to happen in threes?

The Recipe Hacker: Comfort Foods without Soy, Dairy, Cane Sugar, Gluten, and Grain
Freshware SL-102RD 6-Cavity Savarin Silicone Mold for Donut, Cake, Bread, Cupcake, Cheesecake, Cornbread, Muffin, Brownie, and More