Breakfast and Dinner: A Day of Indulgence!

Beef / September 30, 2014


This week we hosted visitors from Michigan. No, from Florida. No! From Michigan! Actually both statements are true. They are those rare and lucky people who have two homes (three if you count the one on wheels,) and travel between them in an exceptionally well appointed Prevost motor home. They’re Ron’s first cousins to be exact, and we had a terrific time reconnecting, laughing, and certainly indulging.

No reunion is complete without cocktails on the deck and we quickly discovered that a good martini becomes great with the addition of at least 5 olives. Any less and you’ll be kicked out of the RV park. Or is that kicked in…I’m not sure!!!

I cooked the first night, but by the time I plated it was too dark for even the most die-hard photographer. And so that menu’s imagery will languish in memory. I pan seared filet medallions and finished them in a cabernet mushroom reduction, topped them with a brightly colored chimichurri sauce, oven-roasted red peppers, and served it over white rice. For dessert I added some brandy to caramel sauce, served it over vanilla bean ice cream and topped it with a wafer of chocolate chip shortbread that I had made previously. It was DIVINE.

On the Sunday following their departure, feeling a little melancholy they could only stay two days, I decided to mix and bake the beer bread mix they had given us, carried carefully to our door from their home in Petosky, MI. Once baked and half the loaf consumed with butter and honey I knew the rest would help me create an indulgent and elegant breakfast, which echoed the flavors of fall. With a rich but deeply flavored syrup of pumpkin butter, real maple syrup and a splash of good brandy, these buttery squares fetched a lot of MMM’s, and OOooh’s when I topped them with pecans.

After recovering from our food coma, and while frittering away a warm, perfect autumn afternoon, dinner time rolled around and quite frankly, we still felt like a little spoiling. I already had some ground sirloin in the fridge and some other fresh ingredients in the produce drawer that inspired a burger that just might become one of our new favorite quick meals.

Mixing some jalapenos, red pepper, garlic, fresh grated ginger and splash of sesame oil, I further tenderized the patties by adding some freshly chopped bread crumbs (from that ever-yummy bear bread loaf and about 30 seconds in my handy miniature food processor,) and an egg, along with the requisite salt and pepper and pan seared them. Melting smoked mozzarella on top was amazing, as the umami goodness of the cheese was a perfect accompaniment to the acidic bite of the ginger. Topping it with one of my favorite bottled sweet chili glazes, there was hardly time to snap a picture before we all got our chins greasy. Download my Ginger Jalapeno Burgers and try them yourself!

Want more, okay, tons more photos to enjoy! Check out the slide show below!!!


Check out the how-to photos in this slide show below, and all the fun family photos!

Ginger Jalapeno Burgers with Smoked Mozzarella and Sweet Chili Glaze

Serves 4


¾ lb ground sirloin
1 small jalapeno diced small
1/3 large red pepper diced small
1 large clove of garlic
2 t fresh grated ginger
2 t sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1/3 C fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
1 T canola oil
Scallion sliced to garnish
4 ounces of smoked mozzarella cheese sliced thick
½ C sweet chili glaze of your choice. (I love the Trader Joe’s version. It’s sweet and thick and a pretty pink so it’s a perfect offset to the burgers.)
Toasted french bread slathered with mayonnaise


  • In a bowl combine sirloin, peppers, garlic, ginger, sesame oil. Whisk egg with fork, and add. Then pour in bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Form into hefty patties.
  • In a heated pan, add the burgers and sear quickly on each side. Then put in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes until cooked medium or medium rate. Remove from oven, put cheese on top, and put back in oven under broiler for about a minute. Take out, cover with lid and let sit for 10 minutes. Then place on toasted bread, drizzle generously with the chili glaze, and top with the chopped scallions.

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