Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Basic Burgers

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Summer is all up on us, and there are a few things we’re definitely going to need. First thing’s first, we’re going to need like eight gallons of sunscreen because while a tan may seem fashionable, you’ll probably regret it when you’re forty and wrinkly. Throw a cute hat in for good measure because while the sunshine will eventually fade, your face will be with you forever. We’re probably also going to need a healthy supply of rose and/or Pimm’s because what’s the point of summer without them. 

Let’s also pick up a cute picnic blanket in the hopes that the sunshine continues. In Scotland, there’s a big risk that this could be it for sunshine. But I believe we’ll still have the chance for a picnic in which we eat eat cheese and drink sneaky wine under the shade of a huge old tree. Maybe we eat sandwiches and Victoria Sponge. Or maybe we go all out and grill something.

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re definitely going to need a great basic burger that we can transform into a million different delicious permutations. But wait, you ask, can’t we just go and get some frozen burger patties from the grocery store and plop those on the grill? Squeeze some ketchup on there, and Bob’s your uncle. Yeah, no. I don’t want your summer to be sad and bland. With only an ounce more effort, you can be eating something truly tasty.

I’m not writing a recipe here, because I want you to rely on your instincts. If you think there’s pressure to make a burger in a certain way, you might just revert back to grocery store boringness. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. If you want juicy burgers, they need to have some fat, so make sure to buy ground beef with at least 15% fat. 
  2. You’ll need to have an egg and some breadcrumbs on hand to make everything come together.
  3. Your hands are your best tools, so don’t be afraid to get in there and get messy.
  4. Make sure your grill or other cooking device is properly preheated before you start cooking your burgers.

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

As far as mixing up the actual burger patties goes, just have a look around your kitchen, and add in whatever you think tastes good. For a regular burger, I like to add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning or dried oregano, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and tobasco sauce. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these things. Salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce will still make a delicious burger. And to be honest, I never do it the same way twice. Just don’t be shy with the seasonings. Unless you have a notoriously heavy hand with seasoning, you’ll probably need a smidge more than you think. 

Once you’ve got all your seasonings in, add in a lightly beaten egg (one egg per pound of ground beef) and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Leave the lid off the breadcrumbs in case you need to add more. Use one hand to gently mix everything together. If it’s still really wet, sprinkle in a few more breadcrumbs. Form your mixture into four burger patties, again if you’re using a pound of ground beef. Be sure not to overmix or press your patties too tightly. You want your burgers to be tender at the end, not spongey.

Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cook your burgers over medium heat in a well oiled pan or grill, and only turn them once. How long you cook them depends on how pink you like your burgers. Do what makes you happy. Top your burger however you like. Just promise you’ll never make sad frozen burgers again.

Happy summer, friends.

Awesome in May
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Chocolate Mint Cupcakes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Awesome in May

Awesome in May

Awesome in May

Okay, I know it’s already the 8th, but I’m getting old, and it takes me a long time to get over jet lag. Last night I was fast asleep by 9 pm. There’s a pile of clean laundry on my love seat waiting to be folded that’s been building since Sunday. At this point I’m thinking I should just leave it there to meet up with this week’s laundry. That’s totally normal behavior for an adult human with a full time job and a 17 year old offspring, right?

At this point it’s probably needless to say that May was jam-packed with excitement. We made our first visit to Big Feed Glasgow, an indoor food truck gathering. We visited some cool National Trust for Scotland sites with our new year-long membership, and ate some delicious halloumi fries because how can you not at a place called Halloumi. I baked some cakes and hosted a coffee morning at work. We reveled in the rare Scottish sunshine, and I took of group of teenagers on an overnight camping expedition. And that was all before we got on a plane.

Awesome in May

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we made a trip to the US at the end of the month for my daughter’s high school graduation. While in Nashville we ate some awesome pancakes, some tasty hot chicken, and some not quite as good as homemade but still better than anything you can get in Glasgow biscuits and gravy. We visited Rock City and waited in line for a hundred years at Ruby Falls.

Awesome in May

And then we ticked off an item from my personal bucket list by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was so completely magical. I was not disappointed in any way. The lines weren’t too long, and we managed to see and do everything in the two parks that we wanted in just one day. I wanted to quit my job and make pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes for the rest of my life. It was absolutely thrilling. We all loved it, and I think it will be a day we’ll never forget.

Awesome in May

We finished off our trip with a quick stay in Atlanta and a visit to the King Center and the Georgia Aquarium. They have four rescued whale sharks at this aquarium, and they’re so cool. They had a bunch of great exhibits, and I think it was worth the somewhat steep price to see such a big variety of wildlife. 

This ended up being a rather lengthy recap, but it was a big month. The best moment was seeing my baby graduate from high school. She worked so hard to achieve, and I couldn’t possibly be more proud of her. I can’t believe I’m about to be the mom of a college student. I absolutely cannot wait to visit her in New York.

We’ve got a few more days of nice weather on the horizon, but we’ll be doing absolutely nothing in June, as our recent trip was definitely not $20 a day. Apparently there’s some football to watch or something. Come hang out while I’m being boring. I’ll still make you cake.

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Basic Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Creamy Sausage Dip

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hey, friends. Thanks so much to those of you who left me sweet words of encouragement after my last post. I’m feeling empowered to make changes, not only to on my site, but in my life in general. I started by buying some brightly colored, elastic waist, wide leg pants to wear on the plane. They’re so comfy, but it’s hard to believe I’m actually allowed to wear these out in public. They’re basically fancy pajamas. I would normally never wear such a wide line for fear of looking fat, but I’m leaning in to cozy comfort and self-care this year, and so far, it’s working out well. Thanks to Kendi for the inspiration

And yet, despite all this willingness to try new things, I’m bringing you another “classic” recipe today. Read: an old recipe from waaaay back when I first started the blog and had no idea what I was doing. Real talk, I don’t have time to test enough new recipes during the week to bring you something brand new every week. Some of the stuff I try is a dud, and I’m not sharing anything with you unless it’s totally awesome. But reshooting old recipes helps me see how much I’ve grown. And even if I’m not as good as the professionals, I’m much better at food photography than I used to be, and that’s something worth being proud of I guess.

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Now that I’ve figured out how to make English sausage taste like something, I’m feeling much more confident about bringing some of my old recipes back into rotation. Today it’s Creamy Sausage Dip. We eat chips and dip for dinner on the reg, but even if you’re not a heathen and eat actual food for dinner, this is a great hot dip for a game day party, movie night, or other gathering where people are pretending they’re not hungry but actually want to pig out on something savoury and delicious.

I think you might be able to stir just about anything into some warm cream cheese and come out with something heavenly, but spicy bits of sausage and some tomato and chillies definitely work. This dip comes together quickly all in one skillet. You could even make it in a cast-iron and serve it right in that. Damn, I should have done that for my photos.

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re embracing the new and reimagining some classics and generally loving life. Put some creamy sausage dip on your table, and don’t forget to be awesome.

Creamy Sausage Dip
Serves 4
Creamy Sausage Dip is a little bit spicy and a lot bit awesome.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 oz Cumberland sausage, casings removed
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  4. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 4 ounces chopped tomatoes with chillies
  7. 8 ounces cream cheese
  8. Sturdy chips for dipping
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add your sausage and break it up into small pieces with your wooden spoon. Sprinkle in the cumin, red pepper flakes and black pepper, and stir to mix. Stir occasionally until the sausage is cooked through.
  2. Add the garlic and tomatoes with chillies. Stir to combine.
  3. Finally, add in your cream cheese, and stir until the cream cheese is melted and just starts to bubble.
  4. Transfer your dip to a bowl, or not as you please. Serve warm with your favorite tortilla chips.
Notes
  1. If you're making this recipe in the US, you can just use Jimmy Dean or another bulk breakfast sausage that you love. You may or may not want to omit the cumin and red and black pepper. American sausage is already well seasoned.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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