Holy Guacamole (Burger!)

You all know how much I love my burgers. I probably eat burgers in some way, shape or form far too often for any “normal” human being… but you also all know that I am far from normal! I love turkey burgers, buffalo burgers, beef burgers, and heck, even bean burgers. What did I want for dinner tonight? You guessed it (was it that obvious?) BURGERS!

I didn’t want just any burger though… I wanted to go to the international market and get some of the freshest ingredients I could find to recreate one of my favorite burgers out: the Guacamole Bacon Burger from Red Robin. The main reason I haven’t had one in a SUPER long time is because they have about 4,000 calories and a gazillion grams of fat. What I made tonight was by no means a “health food item” but it was significantly more healthy than the restaurant version! On this gorgeous bun from the market’s bakery was:

BETTER than Red Robin!

BETTER than Red Robin!

  • a 90% lean beef patty made with egg, seasoned salt, and Worcestershire sauce, cooked in a small amount of reserved bacon fat
  • 1 thin slice reduced fat Swiss cheese
  • 2 crisp slices center cut Boar’s Head bacon
  • 2 slices fresh tomato
  • Guacamole made with fresh avocado and about 1/4 c. salsa

It took a BIG mouth to eat this burger (which I have!) It was quite possibly, my favorite thing I’ve made this whole summer. It wasn’t nearly as huge as the restaurant version, and was still just as satisfying. All that was missing was the French fries!

I was a bit lazy though, since I had the fronts of 12 t-shirts to paint for our Follies show tomorrow. The shirts came out adorably, and I’m looking forward to the show AND to the show being over. It’s quite stressful for the campers and the counselors!

Tomorrow night is sure to bring an amazingly fun time: it’s my 10-year camp anniversary party! A handful of counselors and all the directors from my camp are going out for a night out…and I don’t know what we’re doing! Hopefully I’ll have photos of food to share, and definitely stories to tell.

I leave you today with the best camper quote yet. I think the mom of this camper reads the blog, so if you’re reading… your daughter cracks me up! “Hey Mara! Guess what? Yesterday, my sister blowed her nose on a chicken nugget!”

TGIAF, right??

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Back By Popular Demand…

Wednesday in Numbers!

The first Wednesday in Numbers was so popular, I thought I’d bring it back!

Campers on the bus: 57

Campers that behaved themselves: 30

Campers in attendance today: 228

Photos taken in the climber/ball pit: 15

GOOD photos taken in the climber/ball pit: 4

Hissy fits thrown over a broken headband: 1

Game tokens played: 260

Tickets won: 1644

Prizes won per camper, on average: 3

USEFUL prizes won per camper, on average: -36

Tweets sent during the day to plan meetup lunch/dinner: ~15

Slices of pizza eaten for lunch: ~3 (officially 2 and some leftover crust)

Campers wearing mismatched socks: 1 (one polka dotted, one striped)

Times I heard “Hokey Pokey” being sung in prep. for our Friday performance: 7

Times our camp was commended on campers’ good behavior: 3, that I heard

Tiny t-shirts purchased: 10

Tubes of puffy paint purchased: 6

Tubes really needed: 10

Adult sized t-shirts purchased: 3

Total shirts painted: 11

McDonalds ice cream sundaes eaten: 1

Containers of leftover PF Changs food eaten: 2 (one rice, one ground chicken/eggplant)

Fun days had: ONE!

Time for bed!!! G’nite!

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I came home to the most wonderful surprise today! Adam had cooked ME dinner! Rather than prepping and thinking of what to make, I sat down and relaxed with this:

Cheap wine... still yummy!

Cheap wine... still yummy!

And then this was presented to me:



A bowl of gnocchi with tomato basil sauce and ground beef and a side of mixed veggies. It was delicious, and so very appreciated. Adam, you’re the best and I love you!!

I wanted to introduce you all to someone today… Steve! We managed to find him (or a clone of him) today, as well as 4 friends that were named Sally, Froggy, Slimy, and BrownButt.

Just chillin'

Just chillin'

We had a blast today practicing the Hokey Pokey (along with a hip-hop remix), and then having an apple bobbing contest. Needless to say though, I’m quite tired…though in a much better mood than yesterday! I had a major “case of the Mondays” that happened to last all day.

Have a great Tuesday!

Posted in beef, Italian, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

It’s Only Monday?

Guess so, huh?

I’m in a bit of a lousy/wallowing/poopy mood today, so I’m going to call it an early night, but I have to share something delicious with you… ok, 2 somethings.

First: Dinner! Adam and I went to PF Changs tonight, mostly because I was feeling lazy and in need of something spicy. We got one old favorite:

Lettuce wraps!

Lettuce wraps!

And whats sure to be a new/soon-to-be-recreated favorite, eggplant and ground chicken in a super spicy sauce, with brown rice of course!

Doesn't look good, but its amazing!

Doesn't look good, but its amazing!

And, since PF Changs is in the same mall as my second great love, I got some of that too…this time, blended with peaches and raspberries and topped with chocolate and mochi:

gotta love the Früz!

gotta love the Früz!

Now, the 2nd delicious thing is something I actually shared with you yesterday. My photo of linguine and clams was accepted to TasteSpotting!!! You can see the entry here. I’m so excited! I’ve been regularly submitting pictures, and it’s my first accepted photo. Next up: FoodGawker. They’re way pickier.

Off to bed for me… it’s a long, Hokey Pokey filled day tomorrow!

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Happy As A Clam!

It was a beautiful day here in Chicago, and just what I needed since I know this is going to be a hectic week. I spent some time with a friend of mine while she looked at neighborhoods to possibly live in, shopped a bit, and then spent some quality time with Adam.

On Friday, I got a hankering for one of my mom’s recipes… and I’d just gotten off the phone with her and she was on her way to dinner! So, I held off until today and asked her for instructions for what I’ve been wanting: Linguine and Clams.

This is one of those foods that has many memories attached to it. I can remember being a little girl, sitting upstairs playing with my sister and smelling the olive oil/garlic/white wine for the sauce and KNOWING what was for dinner. It was the meal we ate with my grandma on countless New Year’s Eve while having a “picnic” in front of the fireplace. It was years before I knew that linguini was the pasta and not part of the recipe…

In any case, on our way to the grocery store today, I called my mom to get the ingredient list and then she emailed me the instructions later. What’s funny is that so many of the recipes I get from my mom have “cook until it tastes right” or “cook until it smells right” and it’s so true! There’s no science to it, just time and using all my senses. So, you probably want the recipe too, huh? Ok, ok…

Mom’s Linguini and Clams

Just like Mom's!

Just like Mom's!


1 lb linguini, cooked and kept hot

4 cans chopped or minced clams

2 lemons

1 clove garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. dry white wine

1/4 tsp. oregano

parsley (if desired, I didn’t use it!)

S&P to taste


Heat the olive oil and sautee the garlic a few minutes until aromatic. Add the juice from the cans of clams, wine, juice of the lemons, rind of one lemon, and oregano. Simmer until reduced by about 1/4, and then stir in the clams. Heat until clams are hot, then add salt and pepper. Toss with pasta and parsley if desired and serve immediately.

Usually, when I make my mom’s recipes, they’re missing “something”. They never quite taste the way I remember them, or the way they taste when Mom makes them. Tonight though? PERFECTION! I have lots of leftovers for lunch this week too, which makes me doubly happy. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Mom!

I’m off to mix up something sweet involving chocolate and coconut… what? I’m not sure. Tomorrow is a roller skating day at camp, and the beginning of our annual Follies practice week. My girls are performing “The Hokey Pokey”… wish me luck!

Posted in family recipe, fish or seafood, simple recipe | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments