Patty Melting My Heart…

“Hey, Rebecca? Dinner at 6:30!”

“What are we having?”

“Cheeseburgers. More specifically, Patty Melts.”

“From where?”

“What do you mean? My kitchen!!! Cafe Mom!”

Usually Patty Melts are made with caramalized onions, swiss cheese, and Rye bread, but you use what you have and what everyone likes…

I took a pound of ground chuck and seasoned it with some salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. I cooked all the burgers as thin as possible for about 5 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the other side. I took 2 slices of bread and added a slice of cheese on each one. We are a house divided, Katie and I like Swiss, and Rucks and Rebecca are all American cheese. I actually love all cheese, so no shade here.

I assembled the sandwiches and buttered one side. In a large skillet on medium heat, I added the sandwiches butter side down. Then I took the cast iron skillet to weigh down the patty melts. Once it was golden brown and the cheese started to melt, I buttered the top side and flipped them. Make sure your heat is not too high, otherwise the bread will burn. I served with tator tots that I cooked in my air fryer and some creamed corn. Hit the spot!!!

EASY and FAST Pandemic Meals

Here are a few meals I have made over the last few days. Hope they inspire you to cook at home!

Bacon Burger with a runny egg on top!
Spaghetti and Meatballs but this time I just used frozen meatballs. No shame in that at all! Plus one of my favorites, mozzarella bruschetta. I sliced an Italian loaf of bread in medium sized pieces and slathered on olive oil on each piece and topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella. I put that in the oven on the second rack halfway through the pasta baking. It about 8-10. The oven was at 350.
I chopped up 3 tomatoes, some fresh basil, and mixed it with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of balsamic glaze with a bit of salt and pepper. Topped the cheese toast with the tomato mixture and topped with more balsamic drizzle and basil.
Jambalaya- I made this for the hubby for his lunch. I sliced one chicken thigh and cooked it in a cast iron pan. Then I added 2 pieces of sliced Andouille sausages until they were heated through. Lastly I added the shrimp and cooked it for about 2 minutes per side. Then I added the meat to a cooked box of Jambalaya Rice mix. Pretty easy to throw together. I had a few bites to taste test 😉
Becca’s favorite- Shake and Bake Pork Chops. I always try to have a box in my pantry. Always a classic!

Where’s the Beef?

Spent the day relaxing on the couch watching TV and by the pool chillin’

Roasted some veggies at 350 for 40 minutes.

Cooked some broccoli, red potatoes, and squash in the oven. 45 minutes for the potatoes. 30 minutes for the squash and broccoli. I always forget my family likes broccoli even more hammered, so next time, I will take out half for me, and keep the rest demolished with the potatoes for my family.

Juicy Lucy Sliders

1 pound ground chuck in a bowl seasoned with 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, 1 teaspoon onion salt and garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I divided into 8 balls (for sliders). Then flattened the ball, put half a slice of Provolone cheese (or whatever you want) in to the center, then reformed it into a ball.  Place in a HOT cast iron pan. Press down for slider shape. Cooked the first side for 5 minutes, then flip and cook 4 minutes on the other side.img_1839

I also made hot dogs. I am a sucker for hot dogs. I will choose a hot dog over a burger if there is a choice. I will go to a ballgame to drink a beer and eat a hot dog. I will eat chili dogs. I will eat a chili cheese dog. I will eat a vegan hot dog with vegan chili cheese. I will eat a bagel with a grilled hot dog and cheese and a fried egg.  You know what hot dogs look like and I also forgot to take a picture of my hot dog with ketchup, mayo, and relish. Don’t judge, you are wrong, this combo is AMAZING!

I am also a sucker for an amazing salad.


Bacon Cheeseburgers and Crispy Potatoes

Hey guys! What a week! It’s FINALLY Friday, and I couldn’t have waited another second for this weekend to get here =) Friday night we usually eat out, but we are cutting back and trying to eat mostly at home. I knew I was going to make cheeseburgers tonight, but remembered a pound of bacon and some potatoes in the fridge. SCORE!

The Burgers and Bacon

I took about a pound of meat and let it come to room temperature. To the meat I simply added salt and pepper. I portioned out 4-5 burgers. I just take the meat and cut it into equal pieces. Press your thumb in the middle of the burger. Why? Well, this creates a uniform and level burger that cooks evenly. If you don’t, your burger will be fat in the middle and flat on the outsides. Boo to a uneven burger!

Now on to the pan. Grills are fine. Cast iron grills are better. Cast iron pans are the best. I love how the burgers get that yummy crust and picks up all the flavoring of the cast iron pan, not to mention adds to the pan’s flavoring.

***Tip*** In my cast iron pan, I cooked 2 pieces of bacon. After removing the bacon, I cooked my hamburgers in the bacon fat. Adds that extra layer of bacon flavor! The rest of the bacon was cooked in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.

DO NOT PRESS ON THE BURGER! Resist the urge to turn them over until they are ready… I can tell they are ready when a see a tiny crust forming and about half of the burger seems to be turning from pink to brown. I say about 5-6 minutes.

Then after 3 minutes, add your cheese. The family likes American cheese; nothing wrong with that! Sometimes I will mix it up with cheddar, Swiss, Colby Jack, Munster, etc… Put a lid on it for 1 minute, take your pan off the heat. img_9645img_9647

The Potatoes- I used Simply Potatoes- Diced Potatoes. That is just honestly the best. I usually keep some in the fridge in different varieties for breakfasts and fast dinners. No need to prep potatoes! No fuss, no muss! One shortcut food I never feel guilty about! I cooked them in a cast iron skillet with a couple of turns of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Needless to say, dinner was a hit!


Cheeseburger Quesadilla

Hey guys! Happy Sunday! Why does the weekend always have to go by so fast? For lunch today, I made these for the girls. They both have been sick this weekend, so I let them watch TV and have an indoor picnic. I made double hamburgers so I could have leftovers this week, so I used 2 to get this cheesy party started! SO EASY!!!

I just chopped up 2 leftover burgers and added them to a nonstick pan and heated them up for about 5 minutes. 

I added 2 small flour tortillas to a sprayed nonstick pan. I added one more slice of cheese on each tortilla. The girls love classic American cheese on their burgers, but add what you like. Then I topped it with my crumbled cheesy beef. You could do this with turkey burgers, veggie burgers, leftover meatloaf…

Once the cheese has melted and the tortillas are crispy, turn over with a spatula and cut in half! Serve with sour cream, guac, or my “special sauce” Ketchup and mayo with a bit of relish. A spoonful of meat was leftover and went straight in to Brutus’ food bowl 😉