Maple-Apple Turkey Burgers

TGIF Friends!!  It’s been a crazy week.  It started off with Breaking Bad ending.  Then we had the beginning of Healthcare Reform.  And ended with the government shutdown.  No big deal.

Sounds like the perfect time for some delicious fall comfort food!

These burgers have been on my list for a few years now… I was pretty psyched to try them out!  The original recipe is for Chicken Burgers, but I had a ton of ground turkey from the market this week so I decided to use that instead.  I am just loving the fall flavors in this recipe and the creativity too!  Yum!

Maple-Apple Turkey Burgers

Makes 4 Burgers

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Olive Oil Mayo

2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup (I like grade B from Trader Joe’s)

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Canola Oil

1/2 Sweet Onion, diced

1 Granny Smith Apple- peeled, cored, and chopped

1lb Ground Turkey (I used 94% lean)

2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1 Egg

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

4 Hamburger Buns

Directions:

1.  Mix the secret sauce:  Whisk the mayo, 2 tbsp maple syrup, and dijon mustard together in a small bowl and set aside.

2.  Make the topping:  Heat 2 Tablespoons of Canola Oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onion and 1/2 the apple until soft- about 7-10 minutes.  Set aside.

3.  Make the burgers:  Mix the rest of the raw apple, ground turkey, 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, Italian Seasoning, Egg, Salt, and Pepper in a bowl.  Do not overmix.  Divide the mixture into quarters and shape into balls.  The mixture will be loose but don’t worry!

4.  Cook burgers:  Heat 1 Tablespoon of Canola Oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place the turkey burgers in the hot oil and flatten with the back of a spatula to create a patty.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes and flip, cooking the other side 7-8 minutes.  Don’t press down on the spatula once you have the patty shape created.  Remove patties and place on a plate with paper towel.

5.  Assemble Burgers:  While you are cooking the burgers, toast the buns.  Place the cooked turkey burgers on the buns.  Top with grilled apple and onion mixture.  Top with a spoonful of secret sauce.  Enjoy!

Adapted from:  All-Recipes

I’m pretty sure these were the juciest turkey burgers ever!  They were perfect.  Dave and I ate them for dinner and then again the following day for lunch.  They were even good leftover!  I was skeptical before the patties were cooked, thinking there was no way that they would be juicy and there was certainly no way the mixture would stick together while it cooked… but they did!  I can’t wait to make these again… they were absolutely delicious.

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Brick American Eatery, Philadelphia

I know I’ve been MIA for what seems like forever now.  Sorry I’m not sorry!  I’ve been super busy this summer doing some life-changing things.  And I’m not talking about trying some new mind-blowing mac and cheese or the newest dessert fad.  I’m talking actual life changing.

Over the past two months, I have been busy getting myself started with a new career!  I studied my tush off and got my license to sell insurance.  I am working for a company who sells health/life/supps to individuals.  So, hopefully I’ll be helping people and making money finally!  It was a lot of hard work learning something totally new, but I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life.

Not only did I change careers over the past two months, but Dave and I just got back last week from our adventure in Ecuador!  We saw and did so many amazing things.  We went hiking in the Andes, explored Quito the capital, went rafting in Banos, and saw some pretty outrageous creatures in the Amazon Jungle.  I can’t wait to have a good chunk of time available to sit down and write about it for you… we also were able to bring my brand spankin’ new camera and took so many beautiful pictures.

You’ll just have to wait on that because today I want to tell you about our last date night in Philly, which just happened to be the night we were celebrating my passing the licensing exam.

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Dave and I have been itching to try Brick American Eatery in Philly for some time now… after hearing rave reviews from a friend and seeing the same of their Yelp page, we decided to buy a local groupon deal for here.  The funny thing is, we were all ready to go earlier in the summer, walked there in the rain, and had to turn around and go back when we got there- the restaurant had lost power in the storm!  I’m glad we went when we did because it was the perfect place to celebrate my birthday, my passing the exam, and my first time using my new camera.  🙂

Our deal allowed for us to get two small plates/apps, two entrees, and two drinks.

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What was perfect about going on this night was the beautiful weather that allowed us to sit outside:  not too hot, not too windy, not too humid… it was just right.  We started off with two fabulous drinks- I ordered the Peach Palmer (Iced Tea Vodka with Lemonade and muddled Peaches) and Dave went with the Brick Manhattan (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Carpano Antica Formula, Whiskey Soaked Cherry).

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For our first course, we were just dying to try the special- Smoked Salmon Spring Rolls.  They were so different and absolutely yummy.  Crunchy and warm with a creamy sauce, we devoured these spring rolls right away.  We also ordered the Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Flat Bread which had a thin crispy crust and was topped with peppery Arugula and warm Roasted Tomatoes.  Y-U-M!

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It was so hard to decide on the  main courses since they all sounded so good.  First, we chose the Sea Scallops (Beets, white beans, sun-dried tomato & rosemary cream).  We also were talked into (it didn’t take much I have to add) trying the Lamb Burger, as this Brick specialty was in the running for Philly’s Best Burger.  I obviously had to try it.

The Scallops were excellent.  I would also have to agree that the Lamb Burger should be on the list as one of the best burgers in Philly.  The juicy, flavorful Lamb Burger is topped with Spicy Onion Jam, Manchego Cheese, Worcestershire, and Mayo.

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Looking at these picture is making me hungry right now…

Well, my friends, it is nice to be back!  Thanks for sticking by despite my neglecting you for the last month.  🙂

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Loving this new camera too!

Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Burgers

This week I made my very first from SCRATCH veggie burger.  I also made an orzo pasta salad.  And I also made dinner that night too.  This was all about an hour after going for a run for my longest distance ever- 7 miles (1 hour and 3 min!).  What an exciting day.  I don’t know what got into me but I like it.

Dave, Donny and I are running the Broad Street race in Philly next month.  Well, they are running it and I am going to attempt to run it.  I have always had the most trouble with running and have never done a race or anything like this before.  I decided I wanted to give it a try and here I am, running 7 miles outside on the Schuylkill River Trail.  It has been difficult training, since I re-injured my back a few weeks ago and was forced to “lay low” on the exercise front for a while.  Now I’m hoping the 7 mile run this week put me back in gear and I’m ready to go for 10 on Broad!

phoebe-running-o

Let’s be honest people… I might be running 7 miles now, but I totally look like Phoebe when I do it.

With my running out of the way for the day, I was dead set on making these Veggie Burgers from the How Sweet It Is Blog.  I thought I had everything I needed at home, but it turns out I was fresh out of White Beans… so I replaced the White Beans with Black Beans and got goin’.

Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Burgers

Makes: 4 Burgers

Ingredients:

1 can Black Beans (15oz), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Quinoa, cooked

1/2 cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped (I used homemade but if you use jarred make sure you pat them dry first)

3 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 Large Egg, beaten

1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Dried Basil, Smoked Paprika, Pepper, Salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon each)

1 Tablespoon Flour

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (or other oil, I’m using Grapeseed Oil right now)

Toppings: Toasted Bun, Bacon, Red Peppers, Mayo, Ketchup, Jalapenos, whatever you’d like!

Directions:

1.  Mash the beans coarsely with a potato masher or fork.  Stir in quinoa, garlic, and roasted reds and mix well to combine.  Add the Panko, Seasonings, and Egg.  Mix with clean hands to moisten and combine.  Add the flour in and continue to mix well.

2.  Form into four equally sized balls.  Smush a little and form into patties but make sure the sides are formed as well to keep them together while they cook.

3.  Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and add the oil.  Once the oil is hot (you can test by just a drop of water to see if it sizzles), add the quinoa burgers carefully.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until they are crisped up.

Recipe Adapted from:  How Sweet It Is

Nutrition per Serving

Calories: 221

Fat: 9g

Protein: 9g

Fiber: 6g

Carbs: 26g

Sugar: 2g

It was so hard to not eat these burgers immediately!  I had made them for lunch so once they cooled off a bit on some paper towels, I wrapped them up in foil and saved them for Dave and I to eat the following day.  They heated up really well in the microwave and were even still crispy on the outside!

Pre-Mixing

Pre-Mixing

The patties are pretty big!  Ready to be fried.

The patties are pretty big! Ready to be fried.

 

I could not believe how delicious these burgers were.  I have tried veggie burgers in the past, you know, the frozen Boca Burger kind.  They are fine but these are delicious.  They are big and hearty and have great flavor.

Next time, these will be topped with some avocado and sriracha mayo… or even some cheddar cheese & bacon!  YUM!

Four Burgers ready to be packed up for lunch :)

Four Burgers ready to be packed up for lunch 🙂

Slice of delicious Quinoa Burger!

Slice of delicious Quinoa Burger!

 

The Cambridge, Philadelphia

I think we’ve found our new favorite neighborhood spot.  Okay, so it’s not quite in our ‘hood but it’s close enough and I KNOW we’ll be there all the time.

After a great afternoon workout, Dave and I were not in the mood to go home and cook.  We decided to go out to dinner but were inspired to try something new.  I am even more excited about our discovery of The Cambridge on South Street because Dave picked it out… 🙂

First of all, the atmosphere was great.  Casual but comfortable with dark lighting, wood tables and a long bench going down the side of the restaurant.  There are also a few tables in the window looking out onto the street which are probably a great spot to people watch for brunch.  The service was also wonderful, with our waiter checking on us pretty often and other staff re-filling waters and clearing places when necessary.  HUGE plus.

One of the reasons I absolutely love this restaurant is the draft beer list.  It was so hard to pick with an entire menu page of current drafts on tap… but Dave and I decided to get two pretty interesting choices:  the Tres Blueberry Stout by Dark Horse Brewing Co. & 21st Amendment’s Sneak Attack.  I really enjoyed both!  The beer list also includes what’s coming up next to make you want more… what a smart move!

We ordered the Pierogie of the day which was a potato and caramelized onion base stuffed with Buffalo Chicken.  We obviously had to try it out once we heard about the buff chick.  The Pierogies were perfectly hot and crispy and were resting on a plank topped with hot sauce and blue cheese.  The filling was sooo tasty and it was fun to share and dip into the sauces.  We were left seriously wishing for more, since there were only three!

For our meal, both of us ordered the same thing:  The Porker Burger.  We RARELY ever order the same thing at a restaurant.  I typically convince Dave to do a splitsies with me so I can try more things.  LOL.  Well, once you hear what this burger involves, I think you’ll understand too.

The porker burger was super yummy… it is a 24-Hr Brined Hand Ground Pork burger with roasted Long Hot Peppers, Broccoli Rabe, & melty Sharp Prov.  What an awesome take on a Philly classic, right?  The roll was surprisingly the cherry ontop… covered in poppy seeds and so delicious!  The burger also came with their house cut fries which were on par with everything else… YUM!

I’m already trying to figure out the next time we can stop by for a delicious beer and to try out more food… their brunch menu sounds AMAZING!!  Who’s in?!

Crispy outside & soooo creamy inside!

Crispy outside & soooo creamy inside!

YUM!  Amazing flavor combination going on here... You've got the yummy pork, the spicy peppers, bitter broccoli rabe, and creamy prov.  All in one!

YUM! Amazing flavor combination going on here… You’ve got the yummy pork, the spicy peppers, bitter broccoli rabe, and creamy prov. All in one!

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Have you been to The Cambridge yet?  … or any of these other Philly spots??

Modo Mio , SoWe Restaurant & Bar Devon Seafood Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace Han Dynasty , Radicchio Cafe Amada , Silk City

Don’t forget to FOLLOW me on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, & PINTEREST!

SoWe Restaurant & Bar

A requirement of Dave’s when we decided to move was that we had to have a neighborhood bar.  After living in a residential area for two years in his old apartment, he was ready to live somewhere he could walk home from.  You know, a bar where everybody knows your name… that sort of thing.

In the month we’ve lived in the city, we’ve found tons of great restaurants and bars in walking distance from our apartment.  We’re loving the city life.  Of course it took Dave going away for a boys weekend for me to discover what I think will be one of our very favorite neighborhood bars.  Sorry Dave!  We’ll just have to go back!

I took a walk with my friend Emily down the street to SoWe Restaurant and Bar for dinner this past weekend.  We knew it was going to be a great place when I saw the specials written on a pig shaped chalkboard.

We started the meal off with drinks from the cocktail list.  Emily ordered the Fall Fiz (Vodka, Dried Cranberries, Ginger) and I chose to get the Gazer (Hendricks Gin, White Cranberry, St. Germaine, and Cucumber) at the recommendation of our server.  We really liked both of our drinks.  Both drinks were refreshing and not too sweet.  They were pretty too, mine with a light green color and Em’s with bright red cranberries covering the bottom.

For starters, we ordered the Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potato Fries.  The fries were so good, fresh and cooked to perfection with sea salt and an amazing sweet maple dipping sauce.  The Brussels are cooked with Bacon and Red Bell Peppers in Balsamic Vinegar.  I could eat like three servings of these.  YUM!

I. Love. BRUSSELS.  Especially when they're cooked with Bacon.  MMM

I. Love. BRUSSELS. Especially when they’re cooked with Bacon. MMM

Crispy Sweet Po Fries

Crispy Sweet Po Fries

Next up, Emily ordered the special appetizer of the night for her entree- Fish Tacos.  They sounded too good to pass up!  Em loved the fish tacos which were stuffed with grilled Tilapia, Mango Salsa, and a creamy Jalapeno sauce.  I couldn’t resist trying out the SoWe Burger after seeing someone else’s picture of it on Yelp.  The fries were amazing.  I somehow managed to cut my burger and take half home since it was so incredibly massive (a feat i attempt often but rarely accomplish).  The signature 1/2lb burger comes on a toasted brioche bun.  It’s stuffed with fried Peppers and Onions, Sharp Cheddar, Smoked Bacon, and a delicious Horseradish Mayo.  This is a burger you do not want to miss.  OMG!

Wish this was on the menu, not just a special

Wish this was on the menu, not just a special

Everything about this burger was delicious!  Aghghhhh YUM

Everything about this burger was delicious! Aghghhhh YUM

I think we did a pretty good job of finding a great neighborhood bar with yummy food and drinks!  The atmosphere was laid back and the service was great.  SoWe is a place I’ll definitely be coming back to… I’m thinkin’ next time for some Tuesday $1 Oysters and Quizzo!

Have you been here before?  Check out these other great Restaurant/Bars!

Devil's Alley, Center City Philly

Devil’s Alley, Center City Philly

Manayunk Tavern, Manayunk

Manayunk Tavern, Manayunk

Silk City, Northern Liberties Philly

Silk City, Northern Liberties Philly

Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, Philadelphia

Rant #2:  Wifi.  What the F?  Why does it never ever work?  I always roll my eyes at work when the gym-goers complain to my co-workers and sometimes myself about our Wifi… here’s how it always goes:

Q:  What’s the password?  A:  There is none.

Q:  Why can’t I connect?  A:  I have no idea, I’m not an IT person.

Q:  Well, how can we fix it?  A:  You can shut the F up because I DON’T KNOW!

 Okay, so I would obviously never talk that way… but that’s how it goes in my head.  Well, I’m sitting here after dropping Dave off to coach hockey at World Café Live in University City Philly.  This is the closest and first place that came up on my Yelp when I searched “wifi”, and of course… their Wifi DOES NOT WORK.  WTF!  Here, I think I’m going to get a ton of stuff done since I’m stuck here, I lug my laptop to and from work, I order a beer (more on that later), get all plugged in and set up… for it to not work!  UGH!  So what happens?  I ask my server.  Here’s how it goes:

Q:  What’s the Wifi name here?  A:  World Café Life.  No password.

Q:  Hm, well I can’t find it, why can’t I connect?  A:  Um… I don’t really know

Q:  Is there any way to fix it?  A:  Um… I don’t really know…

 HA.  Of course.  I’m sure she was thinking the same thing I do at work.  I decided to stop bothering her and get some other stuff done (writing all of my blog posts on Word Documents with NO research capabilities or Facebook distractions… this could be a good idea after all).  And, not to mention, I tried my very first Samuel Adams Octoberfest Beer… omg.  I like it.  Yay!

 END RANT.

If you didn’t believe that I drank Oktoberfest beer. 🙂 I really liked it!

One restaurant I’ve been itching to try for a few years now is Bobby’s BurgerPalace.  This is Bobby Flay’s burger joint in (again) University City Philly, where the smarty-pants Penn students hang out.  While I didn’t feel smarter eating here, I sure as hell felt satisfied!

Looooove him! Especially his role as himself dating Mrs. Ari in Entourage 🙂

Dave and I tried out Bobby’s Burgers with my friend Sam and all three of us ordered a Burger and Fries.  Okay, so we definitely should not have all gotten fries.  They were way too big, but they were so good.  OMG.  Sam ordered the Sweet Potato fries and a Burger with Avocado Relish, Goat Cheese, and some kind of Meyer Lemon Honey Mustard.  Wow.

Her burger looks ridic. It was.

Both the boyfriend and I picked the Dallas Burger which was Spice Crusted and served with Cole Slaw, Monterey Jack Cheese, BBQ Sauce, and Pickles.  Wow.  The spice crusting of the burger was awesome and super flavorful.

WOW, almost forgot to mention, um… my burger was “crunchified”.  If you watch Food Network, you probably know what this means.  Yup, my burger had POTATO CHIPS smushed on top between the burger and the bun.  It was so. Good.  Wow.

There she is! My Crunchified Dallas Burger

This burger is crunchified!!!

The most exciting thing about BBP would have to be the the different sauces available at your fingertips, ready to smother your burger and fries.  There was your regular Ketchup and Yellow Mustard, of course… but there was also a “Burger Sauce”, a green bottle called “Hot Sauce” and two others too.  I am a big big fan of sauces, so I loved this part, of picking which bite to eat with which sauce.  For this reason and this reason only, I would order a regular burger next time instead of having the extra spices on there with the Dallas Burger.

MMM ready for another delicious bite!

The verdict:
I really liked Bobby’s BurgerPalace.  I’d like to say that I would come back in a flash, but in all reality, who can eat an entire serving of fries and a crunchified burger more than once or twice a year?  I can’t!  Although I probably won’t be back any time soon (just because of my fat-girl-guilt) you should totally go.  It’s delish.

Trader Joe’s Mahi Mahi Burgers

OOOH.  Just tried an awesome new Trader Joe’s product:  TJ’s Mahi Mahi Burgers.  TJ’s sells a box of 4 of these frozen burgers for $6.99, so it’s a great deal and it’s pretty delicious.

The first time I tried one of these burgers, I seasoned it just a touch and ate it plain.  It was so good!  The burgers are already pre-seasoned so they are nice and yummy- you don’t have to do anything else to them while cooking if you don’t want to.  This time around, I cooked the Mahi Mahi burger on the stovetop with some Sweet Chili sauce and Teriyaki.  I toasted a Whole Wheat English Muffin and sauteed some Zucchini on the side.  Delish!