Tag Archives: burgers

Weekly Menus: Week of 9/29/2013, Fall Edition

Gentle Readers, it has been a crazy week, and it’s just getting started. The day kicked off with losing a contact lens. Not as big of a deal in the modern era of disposable lenses, I’m just not certain it fell OUT of my eye and is not lodged somewhere in there. Thank you Autumn pollen for making my eyes itch, the root cause here.

We've been burning a lot of fuel in the last few weeks. Goal!

We’ve been burning a lot of fuel in the last few weeks. Goal!

But I digress, however much this may explain the lateness of my blog post and my lack of depth perception. This week I’m continuing to test pumpkin-based items, all of them. It made for an interesting shopping cart. We drew some looks. We’re also batch cooking in order to prep for some upcoming travel, and because we can.

Which means this week’s weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 9/29/2013

Weekly Menus: 9/29/2013

And the Four-Square Grocery Shopping list is:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/29/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 9/29/2013

Which all translates loosely into:

Sunday: Chicken Pot Pie
We missed doing this in a previous week because of time, so a lazy Sunday is the perfect opportunity to get it made!

Monday: Veggie Chili
We are considering making this in advance as well, because it serves so many purposes and gets better sitting around. Nachos, burritos, lunchboxes: yes, please.

Tuesday: Salmon and Quinoa
Freezer staples, we are continuing to work through an inventory of stock. High in lean protein, this meals suits everyone.

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Salmon and Arugula over Quinoa: It rocked

Wednesday: Soup and Sammie
We hit a bread overstock that’s leading me to bread pudding and sandwich nights. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a family favorite. Add some honeycrisp apple slices (TPCs Jr are now referred to as “Applesauruses” as I haven’t gotten to eat a whole apple in I don’t know when), and you’ve got a meal.

Homemade Tomato Soup with Toasted Pimento Cheese

Homemade Tomato Soup with Toasted Pimento Cheese

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
We are breaking new ground here–we just had omelets with mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and avocado for lunch. They are more veggie than egg, and so satisfying that we can certainly run the full round of Sunday activities without flagging.

Green eggs frying in the pan . . .

Green eggs frying in the pan . . .

Friday: Burgers and Fries
This is my craving, and we have ground beef to use up. The fries will be homemade sweet potato. I love fall, even if I can’t see it correctly.

Meet my new BFF: burger from G2B Pub with sweet potato fries

Meet my new BFF: burger from G2B Pub with sweet potato fries

Saturday: Dine Out!
Time to scope some new territory, where will it be? I’m thinking Durham . . .

TPCs Jr demolished a Korean meal: I paid $56 and left hungry. Welcome to my future.

TPCs Jr demolished a Korean meal: I paid $56 and left hungry. Welcome to my future.

What is your favorite pumpkin item? Want to be a guest blogger? Send it my way. Slots open for all forms of drinkable pumpkin–I won’t touch that stuff with a proverbial 10-foot straw.

Send Jack-o-Lanterns, pies, and pancakes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Wednesday: Smoothie Time–Tips and Recipes for Drinking Your Nutrition

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Burger Wars: Shake Shack NYC Review

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook does not imagine that she will emerge from this entry in the burger wars unscathed. For the past year or so, I’ve been sampling the wares of the various high-end fast burger joints. I’ve been to Five Guys, In-N-Out Burger, and now Shake Shack.

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

The Practical Cooks Junior at Work: Shake Shack Reviewing

Thankfully I brought my favorite team of critics, The Practical Cooks Junior, to back me up. It was a very hot day in New York, and we’d been running hard. Shake Shack near the Museum of Natural History was crowded. All this background to say, we didn’t love it. Not one of us.

The SmokeShack and Fries: Shake Shack

The SmokeShack and Fries: Shake Shack

The fries were pretty good when they were hot. We got them plain, sans cheese sauce. I got the SmokeShack because, well, bacon. The Eldest got a plain burger, and the Youngest got a hot dog. We got a vanilla shake and a peanut butter one for good measure.

Everything was okay, but not great. We ended up having to eat outside, so heat was a factor, but it just wasn’t memorable. We even ended up tossing some of the peanut butter milkshake, which borders on sin for me, but it just wasn’t doing it for us. In-N-Out’s chocolate shake is better, in my opinion, and Five Guys fries are my fave of the three. As for burgers, I’m voting for In-N-Out Animal Style.

Fries, Chocolate Shake, and Cheeseburger from In-N-Out Burger

Fries, Chocolate Shake, and Cheeseburger from In-N-Out Burger

Native New Yorkers tell me that Shake Shack isn’t the great institution it once was, and it is certainly far better than the golden arches. However, I had a burger last week at G2B Pub, a local joint, and it’s hard to think about other burgers now. Since I have genetically crappy cholesterol (looking at you TPC’s Mom), I can’t eat endless burgers, and I want to love the ones I eat. Shake Shack is a pass for me.

Meet my new BFF: burger from G2B Pub with sweet potato fries

Meet my new BFF: burger from G2B Pub with sweet potato fries

Okay Gentle Readers, that’s my final round-up in the burger wars. Hit me with your best shot. What’s your favorite? Agree or disagree with my take on the big three? Post a comment below, or Tweet at me with #burgerwars as your tag.

Send your kudos, complaints, and general shenanigans to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Sunday, Weekly Menus!

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Too Much of a Good Thing?

Gentle readers, this week has been an embarrassment of eating riches, having eaten several meals out trying lots of things. Ranging from Indian buffet to burgers to high-end Southern food, I have a new sympathy for the competitive eater. Today we’re going to focus on the burger.

There is a craze locally, and it seems more widespread, to top burgers with everything shy of the kitchen sink. Some of these combos are probably breakthroughs in burger technology. For me, it teeters on the edge of what I like to call the “fried leek” problem. There was a restaurant in town, a pretty good one, that insisted on adding one ingredient too many. Often it was a pile of food topped with fried leeks.

If you’re part of the Leek Marketing Council, don’t call me up to complain—let it be known that the Practical Cook loves leeks. And the crunch of fried leeks is quite nice. But not on everything.

Here’s the burger that got my mind on this topic. It’s a well-crafted, nicely made burger topped with pimento cheese and pickled okra:

Pimento Cheese Burger

Pimento Cheese Burger

Here’s the problem—the pimento cheese and the bread were so good that I wanted some private time with them without burger interference. The pickled okra were great, but I wanted them on the side. Perhaps I’m a deconstructionist by nature, but the sum wasn’t greater than the parts for me.

This is undoubtedly a matter of taste and personal preference, and it speaks to the way I cook—straightforward flavors, good ingredients, unfussy preparation.

So I’m throwing the question out to you, gentle readers. When does food become too fussy for you? The flavors too stacked? Where is your fried leek tolerance? I look forward to the discussion!

Tomorrow it’s time for Weekly Menus again. If you’ve never planned ahead for meals, try to plan for one or two this week. (Talking to you Mr. T!)

Do you prefer your foods combined or as stand-alones? The polls are open at practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook (The Practical Cook Blog).

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