Tag Archives: family fun

Famous Recipes We’re Making at Home, From McDs Hash Browns to IKEA Meatballs

Full disclaimer: I cook. Like, a lot. I’m the type of person who tries not to order too much takeout, I’ll meal plan with my kids and in the pre-coronavirus days, grocery shopping was basically my sanctuary. But you know how when the option to do something is taken away and that just makes you want to do it even more? Enter me and my current obsession with greasy, sweet or downright indulgent fast food. So I decided to pull off a weekend of copycat recipes, in which I replicated some favourite famous recipes from the pre-coronavirus days. Call it a (not-so) fast food culinary marathon, if you will…

McDonald’s Hash Browns

When I first heard that McDonald’s had released their recipes for sausage McMuffins and hash browns I did a freaking happy dance — my kids are obsessed with those golden fried potato parcels. And honestly, even though I typically pass on them, I’ve been imagining biting into those warm, oily things myself. It was a no-brainer to make hash browns my first order of business on a sleepy Saturday morning when everyone was up before 6AM and I had had one too many glasses of mom juice the night before to celebrate the weekend. (While catching up on Real Housewives, naturally).

Ease of Recipe: Honestly? This seemed suspiciously easy. The recipe I found called for one grated potato, one egg, oil and salt and pepper to taste. It didn’t say which type of oil to use or how much salt is ideal. Heck, I didn’t even know how many hash browns one potato would actually make. So I decided that for our family of four I’d go with three potatoes, two eggs and vegetable oil.

The Curveball: You know how McDonald’s hash browns come in those perfect little oval shapes so that they can fit into those grease-catching sleeves? Yeah, mine did not pour out like that. Instead I was spooning bits of potato and trying to shape them into log-like blobs while dancing around, listening to whining kids and trying to avoid all of that splattering hot oil. I’m kind of pumped that my hands are still intact and unburnt so that I can tell this tale today.

Related: From Homemade Bread to Pickles, 20 Recipes to Master While Indoors

“Chef” Notes: In my head, McDonald’s hash browns look like they’re made of little potato squares, not grated spuds. So I tried to replicate that by using the slice function on my food processor and then putting the slices a second time through using the grate function. I still didn’t have chunks, but at least the shavings were small. Then, because I’m well aware water and oil don’t mix when you’re looking for a crispy texture, I rung out the grated taters with a cloth towel to try and remove as much water as possible before mixing them with the eggs. 

Results: Misshapen and under-salted final product aside, these went over quite well with the whole family. I put out a plate of them for breakfast and even though the responsible adult in me wondered if I should cut all that grease with some fruit or something, I got lazy. Kids have had worse than just a plate of hash browns for breakfast before, right? Anyhow, my eldest ate four (FOUR!) of them and asked if we could eat them again the next day, while my picky youngest, who had been clamouring for pancakes, had two. (Probably because I told him they were potato pancakes, which technically isn’t a lie.) Needless to say I’ll be making these again, 100 per cent.

Canada’s Wonderland Funnel Cake

If you’ve ever been to Canada’s Wonderland, then you know that everywhere you look someone is devouring a funnel cake. Like, you almost feel the pressure to eat one as soon as you enter the park because everyone else is walking around with one. Yeah, you came for the rides and atmosphere, but let’s be honest: you also came for that perfectly crispy pastry topped with fruity sauce and a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. So Wonderland was doing the world at large a favour when it released its iconic funnel cake recipe for everyone in quarantine to make at home. Naturally that was next up on my weekend of indulgences.

Ease of Recipe: If you looked at the expansive ingredient list and walked away, I don’t think you’d be alone. You definitely have to plan out making these because the sauce calls for things like strawberry extract, modified corn starch and strawberry glaze, three things I didn’t have, couldn’t find and ultimately decided to omit. The recipe does state that you can use regular old corn starch, although the instructions aren’t very clear on how to make that substitution. I definitely had a moment where I was scooping out gross white chunks of the thickening agent where I thought I may have to start again because my guesswork was off. But I’m happy to report that I eventually figured it out and made a decent, if not a touch starchy, sauce.

The Curveball: Not only do you need a specific list of ingredients to pull off these at-home funnel cakes, but you actually need some sort of a funnel with which to pour out and fry the batter. I didn’t have a squeeze bottle handy so I used a clean watering can with a long spout, which… kind of worked. At least the spout was long enough that I wasn’t scared I was going to burn myself around all of that hot oil. And speaking of the hot oil… once those cakes were fried on one side, flipping them over was akin to a death-defying stunt. Even with my creative use of spatula, flipper and tongs that I had going on, I definitely broke more than one cake while shooing the kids back outside for fear they’d be burnt.

Related: I Tried “Beyond Meat” Meals at 5 Popular Canadian Chains. Here’s How They Stacked Up

“Chef” Notes: The most annoying part about this recipe (other than the length of time it took to make that sauce) is that some measurements are in grams, some are in millimetres and others are in teaspoons. So for example, instead of knowing you need about three cups of flour you have to actually measure how many grams you’re putting into the batter. Luckily I have a kitchen scale so I was able to figure all of that out, but if I were trying to recreate this recipe without one I honestly would have given up. I wondered more than once if they made it hard on purpose so that you would still go to the park for one of these fried cakes if and when it opens back up. This recipe can definitely be simplified.

Results: This recipe was supposed to make 3-4 large funnel cakes or 5-7 smaller ones, but because I had to pour the batter a bit thicker than the park does, I actually used less per batch. I wound up with 12. Some family had stopped by for a (social distant) visit, so they each got to try one. My father-in-law said it was “better than the EX” (apparently they serve them there?) and my brother-in-law ate three, so that’s a win. The kids were just lukewarm on them though and I found pieces of one floating in the dogs’ water bowl a couple of hours later courtesy of my son. Meanwhile, because we had so many extra, my husband also ran one over to our neighbours, but he came back right away for another after they apparently “fought” over the first one. For the record our neighbours are awesome (AND they’re quarantining with young kids), so they definitely deserved a cake each. Long story short? I would probably make these again, but only for a very special occasion. And next time I’ll most likely just throw some jam and ice cream over them and call it a day on the sauce.

IKEA Meatballs

The last time I made Swedish meatballs was when I was still pregnant with my second kid. At the time, my daughter devoured about eight of them and my husband licked the plate clean, so I’m not really sure why I haven’t made them since. Needless to say when I was coming up with famous recipes to recreate at home, including this recipe for Almost Famous Swedish Meatballs was a no-brainer. As in, I was immediately craving them as soon as I decided to make them.

Ease of Recipe: If you’ve ever made meatballs or gravy, then you already know what to expect from this pretty straightforward dish. The only real thing to consider is the amount of ground pork and beef that you’re picking up at the store, because unless you’re going to a butcher then finding a ½ pound packet of pork or a ¾ pound packet of beef can be tough. In my case I just decided to double up on the recipe because leftover meatballs freeze pretty well.

The Curveball: Here’s the thing… if you’re going to make hash browns and funnel cakes on the same day, maybe you don’t want to plan on having these delicious (but heavy) meatballs for dinner. By the time I had prepped them and placed them in the fridge (all 58 of them thanks to my doubling the recipe), I was too full and tired to cook them. Luckily they held up in the fridge pretty well until Sunday night.

Related: Our Fave Food Trends to Come out of Quarantine, From Pancake Cereal to Bread Art

“Chef” Notes: I didn’t actually have two cups of breadcrumbs, so I improvised by throwing a box of crackers in the food processor and mixing them with panko. Had I also cooked the meatballs that same day and not saved them I think it would have been a fine substitution. But because I waited, I think the meatballs were slightly more moist inside than intended, but really we were all fine with it. Because…

The Results: Holy heck I’m genuinely still full of meatballs. Remember how I said I made 58 of them? There are only 16 left in the fridge — forget freezing them. And of those 42 meatballs that we devoured, the kids only had four. They were more interested in the rice and veggie sticks I provided, mostly because the meatballs had a bit of a gray colour from the sauce. (Parsley garnish is pretty for adults, but a real turnoff for tots). My husband and I though? LONG after we were full we sat at the kitchen table sipping some white wine and picking at the tray eating more. And more. And more. It was all kinds of glorious, even as the kids ran around us and we avoided thinking about the dishes that had piled up in the sink. For that memory alone I’ll probably make more of these in the very near future. I do have some extra cream and beef stock to use up, after all…

Starbucks Iced Coffee

If this experiment happened in the fall, putting a pumpkin spice latte on my list would have made total sense. But because the days are super hot and it’s nice to feel like you’re having a cool treat, I went on the hunt for a reasonable iced coffee recipe that would make me feel like I was having some expensive Starbucks concoction. Enter Molly Yeh and her inventive Fresh Mint Iced Coffee.

Ease of Recipe: Honestly the hardest part about this was making the simple syrup, but even that was as simple as it sounds. I did half of the suggested amount because I figured the fridge would be full of meatballs, but it was so freaking good that I’ll probably be making more of it next week to put in my iced coffees all summer long.

The Curveball: This recipe calls for one tablespoon of heavy cream and one tablespoon of simple syrup, but I knew that wouldn’t be enough for my husband, who typically likes his coffee on the lighter and sweeter side. Luckily all I needed to do to fix that was to just add one more tablespoon of each. Easy peasy. It honestly gave me vacation vibes and made me feel like we were at a café, rather than chilling in the yard while the kids drew over all the patio furniture with chalk.

Related: Which Canadian Comfort Food Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

“Chef” Notes: Was I fan of the mint flavour in my coffee? Surprisingly, yes. I actually wasn’t sure if I would be. Did I enjoy when that fresh mint got caught in my straw? Not so much. Next time I may consider playing with the fresh mint by infusing it in the simple syrup and then straining it or else I’ll just skip on using a straw. (But I mean, using a straw is half the fun of an iced coffee in my books).

Results: I feel like there’s a whole new world of iced coffee creations to try out now that I know just how easy this simple syrup business is to pull off. Whenever I’ve made “iced coffee” in the past I’ve always added sugar and the grains are just gross. This was easy, delicious and I didn’t need to invest in a cold brew coffee maker to get it. I’m going to be saving a lot of money on expensive beverages for the rest of the summer, that’s for sure — and I can’t wait to experiment with more flavour combinations. Salted caramel, vanilla swirl, here I come.

All in all it was a successful weekend of “new” recipes that reinvigorated my groove in the kitchen and I wouldn’t write off plotting out another weekend of making at-home favourites in the near future. Except maybe this time, I’ll pick some recipes with a little less hot oil.

Photos courtesy of Amber Dowling

Feeling ambitious? Try your hand at these mini bagels and 12-layer chocolate cake to expand your cooking repertoire (and impress anyone at the table).

How to Host a Successful Chili Cook-Off

Gather your most competitive, food savvy crew, and host a chili cook-off this Family Day. A kind of choose-your-own-adventure style of dining, this cook-off runs on the dishes your family and friends provide, so the more the merrier.

As the host, here are some simple ways to streamline your chili cook-off, including a handful of chili and side dish recipes, along with flexible cook-off guidelines. So roll up your sleeves and put your best chili forward this Family Day. May the best pot win!

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1. Choose a theme and a recipe

We’ve chosen to focus on chili — a one-pot wonder that’s easily transported from slow-cooker or pot, to table. And chili is highly adaptable, with variations like chicken, beef, turkey, veggies, triple-bean and more. Every guest will likely have his or her favourite, something they’re keen to share with the group.

Chili recipes to whet your guests’ appetites:
The Pioneer Woman’s Chipotle Chicken Chili
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
Spicy Black Bean and Raisin Chili with Fresh Pineapple and Tortillas
Rachael Ray’s Zucchini Chili
Chili Con Carne
Hearty Vegetarian Chili with Butternut Squash

2. Invite your family, friends and neighbours
Create an event via Facebook. Even guests who don’t have a Facebook account can be invited by email this way, so no one is left out. Make sure to clearly state what you’re providing (see below) and what they’re providing; a pot of their best chili and a mug.

Since this is Family Day, invite your nearest and dearest to participate, including the kids.

zucchini chili

3. Serving vessels and cutlery
For judging, consider the humble coffee mug when sampling each chili. A mug is easily held (no spills and you can stand comfortably with it), retains heat, and guests can dip and dive into small bites of each chili. Depending on the size of the party, you may want to consider plastic cutlery — here, it’s all about the spoons — and small plastic or Styrofoam sampling mugs.

Encourage guests to bring their own mug to the party (BYOM), or provide a cheap and cheerful option from IKEA or second hand store or simply what you have in your kitchen. Like the menu, the dinner ware doesn’t need to match.

Once the chili judging has ended, provide bowls (ceramic or plastic) for larger servings of favourites. Toppings and sides can more easily be added this way (see below).

4. Keep score
In true sportsperson competitive nature, provide a handmade score sheet to guests.

1. Place sticky note numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) on each pot of chili for easy scoring.
2. One score sheet per pot judging taste (score: 1 to 5, 1 to 10, etc.) plus a written note on what made this chili better/different.
3. Keep each pot’s score sheets in front of the said pot-on-trial for easy tallying post-game.

5. Super sides
Bring these out after judging. Sides are the host’s job — cornbread, salad and, if you have the time, a layered dip, are our chili cook-off top picks. Get the recipe for Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread.

cast-iron-skillet-cornbread

6. Toppings bar essentials
The host should provide the sides, in this case, a topping bar for chili. Guacamole or diced avocado, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, green onion, sour cream or Greek yogurt, pickled jalapeños and corn tortilla chips can be easily assembled and put into small bowls for guests to adorn to their taste. Get the recipe for Guacamole with a Kick.

guacamole-with-a-kick

7. Beverages
This is up to you: BYOB or host-provided. If you’re providing, chili bar must-haves include margaritas, beer, wine (red and white), sparkling water and still water. For those who love cocktails, consider the spicy, truly Canadian classic, the Caesar, or chili and taco partner extraordinaire, the Moscow Mule. For kids and teens, create a specialty mocktail.

the-perfect-caesar

8. Declare the winner, provide a prize
With judgement sampling and post-judgement feasting now over, it’s time to declare a winner. And, while the winner will receive bragging rights among friends, a small prize completes the competition.

Prize ideas: a new wooden spoon, new mug, a second-hand trophy or, for non-material goods, the winner gets to take home the leftovers.

9. Extras to consider
If it’s a one-pot, slow cooker cook-off like this chili feast, you’ll require an extension cord to keep food hot and safe, as well as heat pads as to not scorch your table.

And, though you’ll all likely be too full, dessert is always nice to have on hand for guests with a serious sweet tooth. For the chili cook-off, a Tres Leche Cake keeps the tablescape on-theme and feeds a crowd. Get the recipe for Alton Brown’s Tres Leche Cake.

tres-leche-cake

10. More cook-off theme ideas
Chili isn’t the only dish that works cook-off-style. Adaptable, family-style and build-you-own dishes work best for cook-offs. Here’s a handful of both savoury and sweet ideas to get you started.

Savoury:
Pizza cook-off: You provide the dough, guests bring their best pizza toppings.
Meatball cook-off: You provide the cooked spaghetti, guests bring a pot of their perfect sauce and meatballs.
Soup cook-off: You provide the toppings (baby saltine crackers, toasted seeds, croutons, herbs, pesto, etc.), guests bring a pot of soup.
Taco cook-off: You provide the toppings and taco shells, guests bring a taco filling of their choosing (roasted vegetables, pulled pork, spiced ground beef, grilled onions, etc.)
Grain bowl cook-off: You provide the rice and sauce, guests bring their go-to grain bowl edition.

Sweet:
Cupcake cook-off: You provide the coffee, tea and a cupcake of your own creation (and maybe some sprinkles), guests bring a cupcake of their choosing.
Ice cream sandwich cook-off: You provide a few pints of vanilla ice cream, guests bring their best chocolate chip cookie.

How to Make Green Bin Cookies

What are you craving for an afternoon snack? Maybe you love chocolate chip cookies or perhaps your taste buds are looking for something salty — we know how hard it can be to decide sometimes. With these Green Bin Cookies, you don’t have to make the choice because you can have it all! Treat the kids this spring break with these cookies that include all their favourite snacks. They’re also great for cleaning out leftovers from your cupboards!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Yield: 32 Cookies

888_green-bin-cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup large flake oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup broken salted pretzels
1/2 cup mini candy coated chocolate pieces
1/2 cup good quality dark chocolate pieces
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Beat butter with granulated and brown sugars or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time or until well blended. Beat in vanilla.
2. In another bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture. Stir in pretzels, candy coated chocolate pieces, chocolate covered raisins and marshmallows. Chill dough for 30 minutes or until firm.
3. Using a 1 ounce (2-inch) scoop, drop 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
4. Bake, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden and set, rotating and switching pan halfway through. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Notes:
– Substitute add-ins with your favourite nuts, dried fruit and candies. Try salted peanuts, butterscotch chips and chopped dates.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

12 Great BBQ Joints in Canada

There isn’t a time of year where a good plate of barbecue doesn’t feel right. Here are a few spots to hit up across Canada where you can find authentic Southern-style barbecue and some smoky, finger-lickin’ good meals.

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Brisket Burnt Ends (left) and Pecan Pie (right) from Barque Smokehouse

Barque Smokehouse (Toronto, ON)

There’s a lot to love about Barque — from their lively yet family-friendly atmosphere and wide array of Southern-inspired dishes that aren’t afraid to step outside the box (try the Cuban corn, that’s grilled and finished with feta and lime). The Sunday night dinners offer up an abundance of barbecued goods perfect for sharing with friends. And their brunch? Well, who could say no to Barque’s spin on eggs benny with cornbread, barbecue hollandaise and beef brisket?

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John Catucci Visits Big T’s BBQ and Smokehouse on an Episode of You Gotta Eat Here!

Big T’s BBQ and Smokehouse (Calgary, AB)

A Calgary favourite (and You Gotta Eat Here! alum owned), this barbecue spot now has two locations, as well as a stand at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. You can buy all sorts of Big T’s smoked meats like sausages and bacon or, in my opinion, one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the city, topped with brisket, homemade barbecue sauce and all the fixings.

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Burnt End Poutine from Boneheads BBQ

Boneheads BBQ (Halifax, NS)

What do you mean there’s no lobster on the menu? This is Halifax! Some may scream East Coast blasphemy, but I’m sure if we stuffed some pulled chicken or bacon-wrapped jalapeno peppers in their mouths, there wouldn’t be much complaining. Save some room for dessert here, as the lemon lime icebox pie will call out to you like the sirens to Odysseus.

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Pile of Ribs via Bookers Barbecue + Crab Shack

Bookers Barbecue + Crab Shack (Calgary, AB)

Bookers’ fairly extensive menu goes well beyond the sandwich or smoked meat platters, covering everything from appetizers (like deep-fried pickles!) to crab and shrimp boils, and jambalaya. Any Calgarian will tell you that Sunday night is the best day of the week to visit Bookers, where you can opt for either all-you-can-eat crab or ribs.

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Electric Mud via BlogTO

Electric Mud (Toronto, ON)

Sister restaurant to the taco-centric Grand Electric, Mud is all about embracing Southern cuisine and having a little fun with it. Shrimp and grits, pork ribs and smoked sausage links make for a perfectly meaty start here, but don’t forget to order a side of pickled green tomatoes and charred broccoli salad with red eye gravy for something a little less conventional.

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Kitchen Sink Spud from Hogtown Smoke 

Hogtown Smoke (Toronto, ON)

With a bricks and mortar location on Queen Street East, as well as a food truck by the same name roaming the streets, chances are you’ve stumbled by Hogtown more than once this summer. While the food truck can only offer so much on the menu, look to the restaurant to get a more intense barbecue fix with dishes like the Jack Daniels pulled pork grilled cheese, brisket and pulled pork chili and gigantic beef ribs.

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Pig Out Platter from Hogtown Smoke

Le Boucan Smokehouse (Montreal, QC)

If you find yourself in Montreal and craving some smoked meat (not the deli kind that the city is famous for) and whisky, then Le Boucan should be on your dining agenda. Expect to be served fairly traditional barbecue in a hipster-chic environment, with a nice selection of whiskies and bourbons to choose from.

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Lovey’s BBQ via Bake Eat and Grow/Wordpress

Lovey’s BBQ (Winnipeg, MB)

Head to Lovey’s for a casual meal or grab some barbecue to take home for the family. The smoked chicken wings, brisket, pulled pork, farmer’s sausage and “burnt ends” (essentially the really crispy bits found on the edges of a well-smoked brisket), are all available by the pound to go.

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Meat via Eating is the Hard Part

Meat (Edmonton, AB)

Located just off of the busy strip that is Whyte Avenue, this slightly upscale meat-centric restaurant (if the name didn’t tip you off) serves up those big, smoky flavours of the south in a slick-looking room. No matter what you decide to eat, make sure to slather it in their house-made sauces, and wrap your meal up with one of Meat’s popular Bourbon Banana Splits.

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Memphis Blue Barbeque House via Sean’s Adventures in Flavor Town/Wordpress

Memphis Blues Barbeque House (Kelowna, BC)

Okanagan wineries may steal the limelight in this area of the country, but downtown Kelowna has got some gems too. Just a few blocks from the water, you’ll find this busy establishment serving up their take on Southern barbecue with big, messy brisket and pulled pork sandwiches with sides of pit beans. Grab some food to go and enjoy the sunshine on the beach — but remember to bring some napkins with you!

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Re-Up BBQ via Sean’s Adventures in Flavor Town/Wordpress

Re-Up BBQ (New Westminster, BC)

Originally a food cart in downtown Vancouver, Re-up BBQ made quite the name for itself before relocating and upgrading to a food counter/commissary outside of the city centre. Pop by for a big bucket of fried chicken, some Southern sweet tea, house-made cola (say, what?) and much more.

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Schryer’s Smoked BBQ Shack vua Facebook

Schryer’s Smoked BBQ Shack (Saskatoon, SK)

You’ll have to drive through the North industrial area of the city to enjoy these barbecued goods, but once you arrive, you’ll see it was worth the journey. Find anything to fit your appetite here, from pulled pork to smoked chicken and everything in-between, including their signature Schryer’s Fries that are topped with smoked meat, barbecue sauce and slaw.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Family-Sized Bacon Cheeseburger

Have some fun on the barbecue this summer with this impressive burger that is big enough to feed a crowd! Filled with all your favourite fixin’s, this gigantic burger is not only fun to look at, but it’s juicy, delicious and satisfying too.

big burger

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Big Bun:
14 ounces pizza dough

Horseradish Mayo:
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
3 Tbsp sour cream
4 tsp prepared horseradish
1 Tbsp  chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper

Family-Sized Burger:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound medium ground beef
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated onion
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp steak spice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tsp tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
5 slices cheddar cheese
5 lettuce leaves
1 beef steak tomato, sliced
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked
1/2 red onion, sliced
Pickles
Waffle fries

Directions:

Big Bun:
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll and shape pizza dough into 9-inch round. Place on a parchment-lined pan. Let stand, in a warm place, for 15 minutes or until room temperature.
3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Cool completely.

Horseradish Mayo:
1. Meanwhile, stir mayonnaise with sour cream, horseradish, chives, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Family-Sized Burger:
1. Gently combine lean ground beef with medium ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, eggs, garlic, steak spice, Worcestershire, mustard, tomato paste and paprika. Shape into a large patty, about 9-inch in diameter and about 1 1/4-inches thick. Transfer to greased rimless plate or baking tray.
2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat; grease the grate well. Slide patty onto grill. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until well marked. Slide the patty onto a clean plate and cover with a second clean plate. Invert the patty and slide, raw side down, back onto the grill.
3. Reduce the temperature to medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the center of the patty. Top with cheese; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted.
4. Slice the Big Bun in half, horizontally. Spread Horseradish Mayonnaise on both bread halves. Fill with lettuce, tomato, burger, bacon and onion. Cut into 6 wedges. Serve with pickles and waffle fries.

Notes:

– The mixture can also be portioned into 6 individual patties to make individual burgers.
– If flair-ups occur during grilling, squirt with a spray bottle of water.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. Amanda Riva is part of the Blog Network family.