Big On Burgers

Warm weather is here that means it’s time to fire up the barbie. What’s more American than hot dogs and hamburgers?

More and more places are creating specialty burgers and it’s catching on. From toppings galore, to specialty flavors, to price tags that are out of this world, the gourmet burger craze is sweeping through America.

Many restaurants have a full page menu that’s dedicated just to hamburgers. It doesn’t end there, there is usually a build-your-own burger on the menu. From numerous cheese options, to a toppings bar that includes peppers, various sauces and the standard lettuce, tomato and pickle, the options are endless.

According to trend watchers, spicy burger compliments are what burger connoisseurs want. Sriracha, poblano, jalapeno and habanero are among the fastest-growing burger ingredients/toppings. In fact, they are more popular than pickles.

IMG_6304Another popular topping making its way onto the scene is specialty ketchup. More and more chefs across the country are making their own ketchup to control flavor. There is of course some debate on this topic. Many say, some things just shouldn’t be replaced.

If your perfect burger matches the lyrics of a popular song (lettuce, tomato, Heinz 57, pickle and french fries) it may be time to change it up. Get creative! Opt for more vegetables/sauces on your burgers. Try barbecue sauce with pickled jalapenos for a sweet and spicy kick.

Burgers are no longer meant to be boring. There is no wrong way to eat one. Many people have even gotten rid of the bun and replaced it with large lettuce leaves.

Had To Share This Great Idea

A Favorite Idea I Found Online for a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Themed Party

Courtesy: M & M Cupcake Tower

One of my favorite things about this project is that you could use store bought cupcakes and attach the faces to them. If you don’t mind baking, make the cupcakes in red, yellow or green paper wrappers to keep with the Mickey’s clubhouse color scheme.

Though the white frosting makes the Mickey & Minnie pop, you could use any color/flavor of frosting. If you wanted to go a little more girly you could use pink/strawberry icing with pink ribbons & pink cupcake wrappers. This would stay true to the new Mickey’s Clubhouse in which Minnie wears a pink dress.

As for the “faces” of the Mickey & Minnie, they are regular sized Oreo cookies. The ears are miniature Oreo’s. The bows are just small tied ribbon and are attached with a dab of extra icing, which acts as a type of “glue.”

Once assembled, the cupcakes are placed on a store bought Mickey’s Clubhouse cupcake stand. This is a great presentation. However, if you didn’t want to buy the stand, try laying them out in the shape of Mickey, just like the Oreo faces.


Summer Camp

It’s that time of year again, time to think about what I’m going to do with my 4-year-old this summer. In previous years, she’s gone to camp where she went to school. Because we just moved across the country and I am trying to make things as fun for her as possible, I am trying something completely different. This year she’s going to The YMCA for camp. My daughter will have the opportunity to make arts & crafts, play sports & games and get in the pool. This is completely different from her normal school day and I think she will have so much fun and make some great friends.

She did a program at the “Y” in Towson, MD last spring and had so much fun. The kids learned all sorts of different sports, including lacrosse, soccer, basketball & football. Surprisingly, her favorite sports were football and lacrosse. I highly recommend the programs at the “Y.” The coaches took time to work with each child and make the process of learning fun.

Free Ice Cream

So here it is…one of those things I learned from another mom.

One of, if not my daughter’s most favorite places to eat by far is Chick-Fil-A. She started just being able to eat maybe 2 nuggets in the kids meal, then 4, then she graduated to the 6-piece nugget meal. However, it didn’t matter if it was 2-nuggets or 6 she wanted ice cream after. So every time I’d pull out my wallet and give-in. Little did I know there was a way to get FREE ice cream and keep toys at bay in my house. One day at lunch with my BFF she told me not to open the toy and proceeded to explain that you can turn the toy in for a FREE ice cream cone. Two years later and aside from a few instances, we have not paid for ice cream. Thanks Jo & Chick-Fil-A!