How’s your burger?

Pesto chicken burger

Sigh.  Too bad the tomato falling off of it looks like a tongue.  :(

Sigh. Too bad the tomato falling off of it looks like a tongue. 😦

This is yet another recipe where several liberties were taken, but it all ended up for the best.  First of all, ground chicken?  No.  Ground turkey was at Aldi so that is that.  Second, foccacia bread?  Anything I found was kinda skimpy and flat and didn’t seem like it would make much of a burger bun.  So I bought pretzel buns.  No regrets.  From there, I just followed the recipe.

I love that this recipe mixes in some spinach with the basil in the pesto and uses walnuts instead of pine nuts.  Anything to make things cheaper, but still taste good, is a good idea by me.

And this is just a tasty burger option.  The fresh mozzarella and the grilled tomato were all so squishy and wonderful.  The pesto gave it just enough bite.  The burger itself was earthy and pleasant.  D and I ate it out on our back porch and had a wonderful summer evening.

…Yes, that title is a Dumb and Dumber reference.  Once again, G dates herself almost to the second.

Everyday rogue

Pigs in a Blanket (unable to find the source recipe, but I went so far away from it, suffice it to say it was close to this one)

Ja wohl!

Ja wohl!

Pigs in a blanket, you say?  Puff pastry and cocktail weenies?  Sounds adorable.  Sounds delicious.  Sounds nothing like the picture you’re looking at.  Those are mini bratwurst baked in a pretzel.  Let me explain how I got here.

mini brats and scissors for scale...or because I forgot to get them out of the shot

mini brats and scissors for scale…or because I forgot to get them out of the shot

I love to shop at Aldi.  Aldi is a German company.  What we know as Aldi in the United States is actually one of two Aldis, Aldi Sud (where’s the umlaut on WordPress?  Don’t answer that.  I’m too lazy).  If you want to kill some time, I highly suggest reading the Wikipedia page on Aldi.  But I digress.  No doubt because Aldi is a German company, every year around October they have German stuff at Aldi.  Some of it it straight ahead: sauerkraut, mustard, usw.  Some of it is mini bratwurst.  I saw the package of mini brats and knew they were coming home with me.  But what does one do with mini brats?  Well, if one is writing a blog about Everyday Food, one tries to find a mini brat appropriate recipe.  The pigs in a blanket seemed like an obvious choice.  But puff pastry?  Enter the Auntie Ann’s pretzel-making kit.


This is was a Christmas gift that’s been languishing on top of my fridge since it was moved from the top of another fridge at our old apartment.  The trouble is, in general, I don’t do yeast.  I don’t have the time or patience for things to rise.  Judging from the expiration date on the box, it was a gift in 2011.  The only thing in it that could possibly go bad is the yeast.  I had other yeast in the fridge.  Boom.  We’re in business.  The kit comes with a recipe for pretzel dogs.  Do you see where this is going?  I did.  I was going to kill a flock of birds with this one fatty stone.  Use the mini brats, finally use the pretzel kit, and complete another recipe for this blog.

I will admit that they look hideous before they're cooked.

I will admit that they look hideous before they’re cooked.

The recipe itself was simple enough.  Auntie Ann’s had you start the hotdogs cooking by putting them in a dish of hot tap water for a few minutes.  That part was disgusting.  I don’t want to talk about what the water looked like when I was done soaking mini brats in it.  Suffice it to say, it had a sheen to it.  To make the pretzel part you make the dough, roll pieces out into strips like you were going to make pretzels (width of a finger and let’s say 8 inches long) and wrap the mini brats in the strips like a chunky little barber pole.  The kit came with a rather large packet of baking soda.  The instructions were to mix the baking soda with very hot tap water until it is nearly dissolved.  Then you dip the wrapped dogs in the mixture, dry off the excess with a paper towel and put them in a greased baking sheet.  I think that’s how pretzels get that brown crust.  You bake them in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes, rotate the sheet 180 degrees, and bake for another 3-5 minutes.  I gave them another 5 minutes, but they were probably done after 2 or 3.  Once the dogs are out, you brush the tops with melted butter and marvel at how photogenic they are.

Add some root veggies and mustard, and you've got yourself a meal!

Add some root veggies and mustard, and you’ve got yourself a meal!

D and I had the pretzel dogs with Dijon mustard and a side of vegetables that J, our son, did not eat.  That’s his loss.  It was carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes roasted in olive oil with a little salt and pepper.  Definitely not something to put into your mouth and then immediately push back out with your tongue.  Just saying.

All this is to say that I did not follow the recipe in EF for this one even a little.  I’m an everyday rogue.