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Happy Birthday America!

04/07/2010

Happy Birthday America!  Today is all about Red, White and Blue.  Cookouts, fireworks, parades, and for me as a pastor on a Sunday there is also church 🙂  Since Sundays are usually crazy busy, busy, busy from 8am to 3pm and then flop on the couch I knew I wouldn’t have the strength for a picnic or BBQ of any kind.  Besides Hunni and I don’t know many people around here to go to someone else’s BBQ and we were going to be too tired to throw our own.  Instead we had a fun little It All Changes Style BBQ to use up some fun fresh ingredients.  And I will admit there was nap taking afterward 🙂



Hunni and I have been trying all sorts of Bean and Veggie Burgers since I went vegetarian. Hunni likes a fancy Beef Burger when we go out but at home he was getting really sneaky about eating one for lunch and not telling me so I would run out when I wanted one…I’ve had to double up on my stock.  We’ve found a few we like but it is difficult because some people think bean burgers need Malitol…What?  That doesn’t sound like a bean or veggie…it’s a fake sugar!!! GRRR!!  Okay sorry.  Back to happiness of 4th of July.



So instead of eating one of the few varieties we have currently in our freezer we I decided to whip some up of our own.  We had lots of beans in the pantry that I pureed in food processor.







These pictures are from the Herbed Bean Burgers I made a few weeks back but I also made a black bean version.  I threw a little less than two cups of beans in with half a red onion and some garlic until smooth.  Then added and pulsed in the remainder of the 2 cups to make them a bit chunky.  I added the rest of this as well for some flavor.

Random additions.

The recipe I adapted said 3 burgers but that would have been HUGE.  So I made them into 4 and set them up to harden in the freezer.  Then onto the grill they went to brown up.

Pre grill.

Pardon the no post grill pictures but the burgers were great.  You’ll see…just trust me.



I also decided to use a bunch of fun fresh ingredients I’ve acquired recently into some fun dishes.  I bought these kholrabi at the downtown food fair last week and didn’t know what to do with this purple monster.

What is this?

So I sliced it up and grilled it with olive oil and garlic salt.  George was my main man today 🙂  Added a grilled burger and some kholrabi to a sandwich thin with a piece of Laughing Cow Cheese and some ketchup.

All together now.

So delicious that Hunni actually asked for another.  That is a good sign.  But I had been so busy making the other “picnic” foods that I didn’t have time to make another.



The reason I was so busy was because I had to prep the salad and dessert.  I’m sooooooo used to buying pre-washed greens at the grocery that I forgot if you get it out of the garden you have to actually clean the lettuce.  Oh boy.  My friend Chelle offered me some of her over abundance of rouge lettuce (she planted it last year and it came back this year).  But I had to clean it.  I don’t actually own a salad spinner so this was my quick improvised way.

Washing the lettuce.

Throw it in a big pan of water to rinse off the grit and then I dried it on a kitchen towel.  There were a few peas thrown in for fun that I munched on straight from the rinse water 🙂

Crunchy purple peas 🙂

After rinsing off the lettuce I threw it in the bowls with some fresh grated carrots.  Who knew that carrots actually didn’t come only in baby form the way I’ve been eating them.  I bought Bugs Bunny carrots at the farmers market today.

What's up doc?

I grated them up with a cheese grater and added the leftover grilled kholrabi to the top of the greens.  A sprinkle of cheese and splash of vinegar were a nice touch.  Oh yeah and I topped it with a big scoop of salsa after I took the picture 🙂



But before I show you the final product (because I didn’t take a picture of just the salad…oops) the dessert!  You all know you want dessert.  In fact Hunni ate his dessert first.  His philosophy is if he were to die in that moment he would want to die happy with dessert.  The star of the dessert were market fresh berries and this new treat that I am loving….

Local Honey!

I love Hunni honey in so many ways.  And local honey is even better.  I just don’t want to meet the bees being allergic and all.  This made a nice addition to the local blueberries and raspberries I bought again today.  I added them on top of some greek yogurt (the white) with the red and blue berries and then drizzled on the honey.

Summer dessert

Yes I mixed it up after the pictures were taken and may or may not have made some more for a second dessert with just some blueberries 🙂



And a special treat at the market I had never seen was sparkling apple cider.  I love this stuff and Hunni and I use it to celebrate.  We even had it at our wedding.  So why not enjoy it for America’s birthday.

To you America!

All together now for a final family photo 🙂

Picnic perfection.

It was so good.  We enjoyed it all and then took a nap.  Nothing better on a summer day 🙂



What is your favorite picnic food?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/07/2010 11:49 AM

    All looks good!
    Happy 4th! 🙂
    I love fresh fruits on a picnic but like you, I would love a veggie burger too!
    Check out my blog for my giveaway! 🙂

  2. 04/07/2010 10:25 PM

    Yum, yum, yum! I’ve never tried to make bean burgers – yours look amazing! Glad you had a wonderful time.

  3. 05/07/2010 5:41 PM

    Everything looks amazing! What a perfect dessert!

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