Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs

Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

Day 8 of 100 Days of Barbecue – Dad’s Hamburgers, 2.0

California, Domestic

The funny thing about sharing my father’s recipes on this blog is that most of the time it’s kind of a sham. Hear me out. When I share a recipe from my father that I remember making with him or that I have called him and asked about and written down, I am honestly sharing what I know. My dad though? He’s a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of guy, and that’s never more true than in the kitchen. I have shared my childhood hamburger recipe on this blog, the one my dad made so very many times over the years. I vividly remember mixing it all by hand as a kid and how squishy and gross I thought it was, and how cold the eggs felt between my fingers. It wasn’t until I called him to verify that the recipe I had been making from memory all these years wasn’t missing anything that he told me that while he used the same base recipe all the time, everything else changed depending on what he had on hand. This turned out to be the case with several other of Dad’s recipes. Funny, and not at all surprising if you know him.

So, this recipe is more like May’s Hamburgers, it’s Dad’s base with my own twist, so I’m calling it 2.0 to be fair.

Dad’s Hamburgers, 2.0

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (roughly)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed pink and black peppercorns
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Depending on how lean (or not) your ground beef is, you risk a very, very smoky backyard situation. The more lean your beef, the less grease you’ll have dripping onto your fire (creating a much bigger fire and flames that come out and attack your food). A word of caution on the opposing side as well though, the higher the fat content, the more flavorful the burger. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true. So, those are your options. Even if you go with the leaner choice, you’ll still have grease drippage and some issues with flames. I recommend you grill these when it is still light out and you can see how bad the damage is manage the situation more efficiently. Ideally, you’d cook the burgers along the edge of the flame area, (away from the charcoal on a charcoal grill, or on the second level or over an unlit burner on a gas grill), and move them towards the flame as they stop dripping.


Not me though. No. I totally burnt mine. Thankfully, I made a lot and there were enough of them that were not so awful. So yeah, do this in the daylight, and mind the drips!

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Day 3 of 100 Days of Barbecue


Yesterday was officially day 3 of our 100 days of barbecue – and today is Cinco de Mayo! I am about to bake up a storm and prep a fun dinner for us tonight, but since I want to post about that later, I thought I should show you what we did last night first! We had burgers, hot dogs, homemade fries and a Caesar salad. Well, the oldest, my husband and I had burgers and the girls had hot dogs because they are just not into burgers. :/

Hamburgers, hot dogs and fries are pretty standard barbecue fare but they are often really pedestrian. This recipe is my dad’s standard hamburger, and it was the recipe I chose last night because I am teaching my 14 year old son to cook so he had to get in there and get his hands really dirty. It’s a painfully simple recipe that is a great launching point. You can add so so much to this and I have made several variations to this over the years and I’ll share some of those on the blog this summer. For now though, I bring you the base hamburger recipe I grew up with.

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (roughly)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 good shakes of your favorite steak seasoning (maybe 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce, we used Stubb’s Original
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

I wish I had taken pictures of the raw food prep, but my son was so grossed out and then he was laughing so hard, I totally forgot about everything else. Hilarious. I remember my father teaching me to make these and he added everything but the sink, just to see me grossed out! He added mustard and ketchup and relish and pretty much any gross gooey thing he could think of. So funny. I opted not to do that to my kid, but I did tell him the story while he was hand mixing the hamburger meat and it was so ridiculous – my favorite.

Mix in everything but the bread crumbs and then once all the ingredients are combined, add the bread crumbs and make sure your mixture can hold it’s shape. If your burgers fall apart while they’re cooking in the oven or on a flat top, you’re fine. If they fall apart while you’re grilling, they will fall through and burst into flames. Sad.


The length of time you grill your burgers is a personal decision, depending on how you like them. We grilled them for two minutes on each side and then moved them to the top tier and let them cook for another 5 minutes or so. Easy peasy.

The fries will be easier next week when my new mandolin gets here! Yesterday though, my son peeled them and I chopped them into fries. Usually, I am not a fan of using peeled potatoes and for most things I don’t peel them. I am however a fan of my children actually eating dinner so for French fries and mashed potatoes, they really must be peeled. I got my husband Wolfgang Puck’s deep fryer for Christmas last year because even though he isn’t the one cooking, he really, really wanted one. It’s actually made frying easier, faster and a whole lot cleaner! We fried one batch for about 12 minutes to make them really crispy and the second batch for the little ladies we fried for a little less than 10 minutes.

I am off to stir up something with limes, something with cinnamon, something with a little spice. I’m tempted to involve tacos, since you know Cinco de Mayo on a Tuesday is a pretty hilarious and epic thing to happen in a foodie’s life, but we’ll see.

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Gauge is Important + New Yarn

Crafty, Domestic

So everyone always says that checking your gauge is important and I’ve had a few close calls with socks, where I really needed to block them or there’s no way they’d fit but aside from socks I don’t generally knit things that need to fit. I like to knit accessories and silly things, like wee cats and veggies and pearls. Last week I cast on for a little dress for wee one #3, following the pattern exactly. It was coming together really nicely, though I hadn’t been able to try it on the wee-est one, mainly because she’s pretty much always sleeping and when she’s not she’s eating or having a bath or something far more interesting than trying on a dress. So three days go by and I’m done! All I had to do to be sure it wasn’t going to fit was walk it over to the cradle, just holding it next to her it was obvious. Boo!

My first thought (after the initial let down wore off) was to try it on wee one #2 as a top. So I called her over and unlike her 3 week old sister, she pretty much lives to change her clothes so she was happy to participate. However! She pulled it over her head so roughly and tried to ram her hand through the armhole without looking at what she was doing. Just watching her put it on made me twitch. Doesn’t she know you can’t treat a Debbie Bliss cashmere-merino blend like that?! This is why I only ever knit her socks and toys, she is a monster truck trapped in a sweet little girl’s body. This wee dress will stay put on the hanger until this summer when there is a slight chance that the wee one it was intended for will be big enough to wear it.

Thankfully food doesn’t need to fit! The same day this happened, I made hamburgers, which is probably the one thing everyone in this house loves equally. I so love it when I make something that everyone, even my painfully specific husband machine, likes.

There isn’t much to them, though I suppose there isn’t much to most homemade hamburgers; beef, onions, garlic, an egg, torn bread pieces and a little bbq sauce. Simple and soooo good! Sometimes I put a little cheese on the inside as a wee surprise when you bite into them!

Last weekend probably should have been a St Patrick’s Day feast, but it wasn’t. Not even a little bit. Next year I will outdo myself to make up for it, I’ll even make soda bread! So while it wasn’t a green weekend, it was a fantastic time. I finally got to meet blogging buddy Romi, which was so much fun, and of course my usual Stitch n Bitch collective was here for the evening as well. I finally finished Andrew’s Skull Socks of Fury from last month. Man, hardly anyone gets a handmade birthday gift on time from me! I swore I’d make everyone something for each occasion this year, maybe next year I’ll swear to do it on time!


It’s hard to tell what the fit was going to be like with them laid flat on the counter, and I had weaved in ends for over an hour hoping that they’d fit because if not I’d be blocking them, intarsia or not! Thankfully, he tried them on immediately and they fit! Woot! They were worth every stitch, the yarn was superwash too, so it doesn’t matter much what he does to them, they’ll live.

This week’s pie was actually even easier to make than the strawberry topped one a couple of weeks ago! This was another chocolate crust, this time with chocolate mousse inside. I served the strawberries on the side to keep the decadent chocolate look of the pie.

It was another simple but amazing pie, perfect for Romi’s first time at my house!

The sock yarn I was going on about last post from Red Bird Knits arrived, and even though I already know what it’s all going to be, it’s so exciting to have new sock yarn. I know, I know. I must be stopped! As intended, I picked up two hanks of cotton for my Mother in Law because she is allergic to the sock yarn I love to use (can you image? what a horrible disease to have!). Turns out that the yarn I picked from Red Bird Knits, the Super 10 from Butterfly is Greek! Not just Greek as in it’s made by a Greek, but Greek as in it’s imported from Greece and even has some Greek writing on it (Mom confirmed it just says Butterfly, but still…)

So the red is the cotton for the husband machine’s Mom’s socks, and while I was there I noticed some ‘nearly solid’ sock yarn from Lorna’s Laces. I know I have a heap of Lorna’s Laces already, but I was planning on knitting polka dot socks for my friend Lindsay’s birthday this weekend and I didn’t have enough of a solid sock yarn to make the background. I ended up changing the polka dot colour as well, on the husband machine’s suggestion that the pink and purple looked better together – he was right they look great.

The purple is Blackberry and the pinkish one is Berry, I have managed to knit up about 3″ of polka dots on the leg of this sock since this photo was taken yesterday and they look fantastic! These colours together are way better than my original selection and much more ‘Lindsay’, I think she’ll be happy with them. No idea on when they’ll be done though, since there is other prep work that I have to do for her party this weekend.

Once Lindsay’s fete is over and before I get going on my Mother in Law’s socks, I need to take one afternoon to make some cloth diapers for wee one #3. I found some seriously cute cotton flannel. Hello skulls and cross bones on homemade cloth diapers!

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