Friday, January 19, 2018

Cave Tools Burger Press - Spinach Feta Burgers


So we all know that making hamburgers at home can be daunting when not using the frozen patties that you can buy at the store can be daunting.

Unless you are a pro (which I am not), you either get patties that are entirely too thick and don't cook all the way through without burning, or you get the uneven patties that may have thin sides and thick centers.

Cave Tools has come to me again to review another one of their great products, this time around I am reviewing their Burger Press.  If, like me, you find shaping burger patties to be a chore, this may be your savior!

The Cave Tools Burger Press perfectly forms 1/3 or 1/4 pound burgers that will cook evenly every time.

It is a circular heavy metal item that has a lid with a plastic handle that makes it easy to operate.

This useful gadget rolls in at a mere $11.99, and when you purchase this item, you also get 200 burger papers as well. These let you batch-prep a bunch of burgers ahead of time and freeze them, using the burger papers in between each patty for easy separation! Pretty cool.

It is a rare treat when I feel the need to make my own burger creations rather than buy the frozen patties, but the Cave Tools Burger Press made it easy enough that I think I will use it now and then, for sure, especially for specialty burgers that are more than just shaped beef.

My only complaint is that pressing down on the handle to "smoosh" the burger did hurt my hand, in spite of plastic handle.

Not 'oh my god I am in so much pain', but it was definitely an 'ugh this is annoying' pain.

I did pack the press to the marker but maybe I had too much which is why it hurt. 

I would need to work out some way to pad my hand before I'd try making a lot of burgers at one time for the freezer.

In spite of that one caution, I would definitely recommend this to others who love to cook and BBQ!

Of course, I couldn't resist making up a yummy hamburger recipe for this review!

Right now, we are trying to do a low carb diet, so my recipe is lacking the bun ( you can easily add this burger right onto a bun and have it taste just as amazing!)

These burgers turned out so well that we didn't even need to add a dipping sauce on the side!  We used beef for these, but they'd also be delicious made with ground chicken or turkey.  To make a larger batch, just double or quadruple the ingredients as needed.

Spinach and Feta Bunless Burgers
(makes 2 burgers)

1/2 pound of ground hamburger
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Garlic salt to taste (you can do salt and pepper to taste, we are just garlic salt lovers in this family)

Combine all ingredients and mix them all up in a bowl.  (Don't overwork the meat or your patties will be dense and dry.)

Use a burger press and form your perfect patties!

How long you cook them is dependent on your preference. I personally am a weirdo and like mine well well done! No pink, completely dead, lol. I cooked mine about 8 minutes on each side. 

If you're using ground poultry, make sure you're cooking them all the way through.

(These would easily be amazing on the grill as well, but I cooked them on my stove-top.)

Once I took my burgers out of the pan, I placed them on a napkin to drain a little bit of the residual grease. This is a step you can skip if you BBQ them.

I paired these burgers with a great green salad and a side of Tortellini Alfredo! You can go so many directions with what sides you choose to make with these yummy burgers. Be Creative!

Give the Cave Tools Burger Press a try! 
They are offering 15% off of this product for our readers - 
Just enter BURGER15 at check out on their site!

You can also purchase Cave Tools products on Amazon.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Awesome Life Friday #144

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

My favorite part of this link up party is the FEATURES!  

This week, I was struck by how many posts there were solving problems we all deal with. Look at what you all have been up to:

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January Cross Stitch Plans (TUSAL)


It has been so long since I did a cross-stitch update!  There's a good reason for that - I was very sick for about six weeks this summer, and felt so awful and listless that I couldn't even stitch.  And then I spent most of the rest of the year trying to get my mojo back, but not too hard because I was planning for a hand surgery that would have prevented stitching for months.  Then that got cancelled, and suddenly, I have my motivation up again!

I am going to take this monthly - no big plans for the year (other than a couple things, as you'll see in a minute), just each month, draw on my 'want to stitch' list, and work on a few of my WIPs (Works in Progress).

I don't know if I'll keep up my momentum all year or not - after last year, I'm done predicting anything too far ahead!

Before we get to the stitching, today is the New Moon and that means it is time for the TUSAL!

Why useless?  Because we're not showing off our stitches for this one - we're showing off our ORTs (Old Ratty Threads)!

Why? *shrug* Why not!?

This year, I'm using a very small jelly jar to stow my monthly threads, and I'll transfer them each month into a larger container.

Last year, I found myself accidentally shoving the larger container off my side table and got tired of picking it up.

This little one tucks away neatly and is less accident-prone.

As for what will become of the year's worth of threads, theoretically, they'll get stuffed, along with batting, into some ornaments for the year.

It doesn't always actually work that way, but it's January, and I have INTENTIONS!

So, here's what I have been, or will be, working on this month:


Year & a Day Birthday Sampler. Designer: Me.

Year and a Day Birthday Sampler 
I started this last year on June 1st - my birthday is June 2nd, and I decided to do one triangle a day until my birthday this year, using various odds and ends threads I have, and selecting colors by what Zodiacal house we're in. (So, right now, it's Capricorn, and the colors are blacks, greys, dark browns and greens).  I'm liking how it's coming along, and still unsure how I might finish it. But it was a way to stitch - even a tiny bit - every day, including that long patch when I really just wasn't up for it.

2018 Temperature SAL

2018 Temperature Sampler
Isn't this sweet so far?  This was a freebie from Original Designs By Hetti.  Each small square area is one day, and the colors (selected by me) reflect what the High temperature was for each day. I've decided it will reflect the temperature wherever I am, so while most days, it's Falls Church, VA, but if we're traveling, it will be where we are. I'm so looking forward to seeing how this comes along.


These are the WIPs I'm working on in January:

ABCs, by Lizzie*Kate

Dolphins, from a Kit

1873 Elizabeth Taylor Reproduction Sampler, from May 2010 Gift of Stitching Magazine

Imbolc, The Stitcherhood (just needs a few beads)

Merry Christmas Popcorn Bear (from a magazine insert mini-kit)


Boo! The Stitcherhood
This one had just a few stitches left to do, so I finished it off on New Year's Day.  The thread is a variegated silk thread in vibrant Halloween colors, and it was done on 22ct Hardanger. The ornament insert came in a Stitchy Box collection last year, and set it off perfectly, I think!


These are the new starts I'll be beginning this month. Yes, it's a little nuts to start new things when I have so many to finish - but I might as well plan for them, because resolving not to has never worked out!

7 Swans a'Swimming, Satsuma Street
I got halfway through these last year, and just started #7 a couple days ago. With luck, I might have them up for display this next Christmas!

Bride's Tree Ornaments, Brooks Books. "HOME"
This is another '12 Days' set - but this one is based on the German Bride's Tree custom of gifting a set of good wishes for the couple's marriage.  The color of the fabric here is hard to see - it's a hand dyed pink.

Coffee Quaker, Heartstring Samplery
I'm excited to begin this one - it's been on my "Must Do" list for awhile! "First I Drink the Coffee... Then I Do the Things."

A fun and fairly simple sampler I'd bought last year - it looks a bit like our dog, Sadie, who passed away last October.

Winter Bluster, Glendon Place (Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special, 2016)
A fun, cheery snow man ornament, now that I've finished a Halloween ornie.

That's it - as ever, I also hope to tackle some of my finished items and get them into frames or completed as ornaments instead of living in my 'finished' bag. It's a tough goal - I like stitching. Finishing, not so much!

So, that's it for this month!  One more little show off - I found this in my Christmas decorations box, and realized it's probably the oldest stitched piece I still have.  I'd been stitching for about seven years at that time, and decided to try to design something (using graph paper, back in the dark ages before affordable digital programs.

The bear was modeled after a Steiff teddy bear I perched on top of our tree, dressed for the occasion in a lacy white newborn dress my daughters had born when they were tiny.

It was such a wave of nostalgia to see this again - and to remember I wasn't half bad at drawing stitches on graph paper.  Hmm.... future goals, eh?