Burger Crawl: Beer Bros.

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Next stop on the burger train is Beer Bros. This one was my suggestion because I recalled loving it in my much younger days and had a special fondness for the beet ketchup in particular. Probably no surprise here, but Beer Bros. incorporates beer into their food; like the stout mayo and wheat ale bun our burgers were on.

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The Burger: Three of us tried the Beer Bros. Burger with smoked white cheddar and thick cut bacon and one tried the All Day Breakfast Burger, which also included a sunny side up egg and sauteed mushrooms.

The Bun: A wheat ale bun, super fresh, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. It tasted homemade. We all liked this bun, although it did not hold up well for the Breakfast Burger which seemed to be because of the juicy sauteed mushrooms on that one.

The Patty: Thick, juicy and well-seasoned. We did agree that this patty was the most processed we’ve encountered so far.

The Cheese: A $1.50 add-on to the Bros. Burger; we tried the smoked white cheddar, which was fabulous. There was a blue cheese option also.

The Sauce: Stout mayo, which we loved. Two of us agreed that mustard would have been good here.

The Veggies: Sliced pickles, thickly sliced red onion, tomato and leaf lettuce. The Breakfast Burger had sauteed mushrooms, too.

The Extras: The bacon was SUPER thick cut and a $1.50 add-on to the Bros. Burger. The girls weren’t fans but the guys loved it.

The Side: We tried the thick cut, skin-on fries (delicious with the sides of stout mayo and beet ketchup for dipping), Caesar salad (“looked better than it tasted”) and the poutine (a small portion, called “underwhelming”).

The Price: $16 for the Beer Bros. Burger before add-ons and $20 for the All Day Breakfast Burger; poutine and Caesar salad were upgraded sides.

The Place: Beer Bros. Gastropub & Deli, 1821 Scarth Street, Regina

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Where we should try next? I’d love to hear from you.

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Week #9 Meal Plan

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Tom and I are doing a bit of a “clean eating challenge” this week. We’ll eat really similar to how we did on the Whole30, although this time we will include beans, corn and peanuts, as well as a small amount of natural sweeteners. When eating this way, I find assigning meals to specific days challenging. I tend to lack energy the first bit when cutting out carbs and knowing that, I like to make things as simple as possible on myself to ensure we stay on track. I’ll just have lots of cooked meat, eggs and fruit and vegetables ready to go so we can throw together whatever we feel like on the fly. Here are some recipes I plan to make this week:

Slow Cooker Bacon and Chicken

I’ve wanted to make this forever and I think having a big batch will be handy to throw on salads, wrap in lettuce leaves and mix with veggies for stir-fry.

Portable Western Omelets

Tom LOVES these. They make a really convenient breakfast on the go with lots of protein. The crispy ham edges are my favorite part. They also freeze well.

Simple 3 Bean Chili

This is our favorite basic chili recipe and the leftovers are awesome. I’ll make this when our bacon chicken runs out.

Homemade Peanut Butter

I’ve wanted to try making my own peanut butter since we got our Ninja and store bought is typically loaded with junk so now is the time!

Easy Green “Juice”

I make this almost every day. I like to add matcha powder for an extra energy boost and I also do half orange juice and half water now.

Greek Salad Dressing

I love making my own dressings at home. It’s another good way to avoid extra chemicals and preservatives.

Oven Roasted Lemon & Herb Potatoes

I make these potatoes often, but I’ll be eliminating the feta this time.

 

What are you eating this week?

 

 

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Cheesy Breakfast French Breads

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This is what I would consider an ideal breakfast. The holy grail combination of egg, cheese and bacon. Good, crusty bread. And an extra creamy layer of cheese for good measure.

I was brainstorming on a fun weekend breakfast idea recently and remembered that I hadn’t made a new French bread recipe in ages. I was on a huge kick for a while, probably to the point of annoying you. I still can’t even look at the photos of the Barbecue Chicken version without salivating. So, so good and easy. I’ve made those a hundred times and everyone loves them.

This breakfast version is just as simple to throw together and I happen to think it would also be great for brunch, lunch OR breakfast for dinner. Just serve some fresh fruit on the side and you’re golden. What really takes them over the top is the herb and garlic cream cheese I spread over the bread before adding the other toppings. The cream cheese melts into the eggs and it is to die for, seriously. Don’t you just want a big crunchy, cheesy bite?!

Cheesy Breakfast French Breads

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 French baguette, split
  • ½ package herbed cream cheese, softened
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 ½  cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green onions for sprinkling

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Slice your baguette in half lengthwise and spread your softened cream cheese evenly on both sides. Set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook your chopped bacon until it is just cooked but not crisp yet. It will finish cooking in the oven. Remove the bacon from the pan and wipe out any excess grease if necessary. Add your eggs to the skillet and scramble them, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper.

To assemble the French breads, layer the scrambled eggs on top of the cheesy bread and then cover evenly with the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the cooked bacon and chopped green onion on top of the cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted and edges of bread are crisp. I also like to broil for 1-2 minutes at the end.  Cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve.

Notes:

For the cream cheese, I used Boursin Herb & Garlic but Philadelphia has great flavors too. I love the Chive & Onion.

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Creamy Stovetop Shells & Cheese (with bacon!)

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I’ve had the worst mac and cheese craving for WEEKS. I don’t know how, because every food that exists has been readily available for the last month, but I still wanted some mac and cheese. Not Kraft Dinner either, although I’m definitely not above eating good old KD every now and then. I wanted a super creamy from scratch version. And with shells, because I love them.

I got my chance to whip it up when I heard my brother-in-law was smoking pulled pork for New Year’s Eve. My Main Taste Tester asked if we could bring fancy mac and cheese as our contribution to the meal and I had to agree that mac and cheese and pulled pork are kind of a match made in heaven. I wanted this dish to be similar to that of our favorite local BBQ joint. They have a not too thin, not too thick bright cheddar sauce with a little bit of heat and a garnish of extra shredded cheese and green onion. We love that mac and cheese and I felt that this came pretty darn close! It hit the spot.

The only thing that could be better? I added bacon on top. You need it!

 Creamy Stovetop Shells & Cheese (with bacon!)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 500 g. dried shell pasta
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 tbsp. reserved bacon grease
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • ½ tsp. dried mustard
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Diced green onion for garnish
  • Extra shredded cheddar for garnish

Instructions:

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Once boiling, add your pasta shells and cook to al dente, then drain.

While the pasta cooks, fry your bacon over medium heat until crisp. Once cooked, set it aside to cool and reserve 1 tbsp. of the bacon grease.

In a large saucepan, melt together the reserved bacon grease and the butter. Once melted, add the flour and cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the mixture darkens to a golden color. Add the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the cheese and spices and mix until totally melted and smooth. Add salt to taste. At this point, you can add a little more milk to thin your sauce if desired. Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta.

Chop your cooled bacon. Garnish each serving with chopped bacon, extra shredded cheddar and diced green onion.

Note: I chose not to list a specific salt quantity in the recipe because the amount of salt in the bacon and cheese can differ so much. I used about ½ tsp in mine but use what tastes good to you!

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Turkey Bacon Club French Bread Pizza

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Happy New Year! I hope you had a great one. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday and I always make it a priority to have something memorable going on. My evening was spent with my family in Manitoba and it was relaxing and fun filled. We did a lot of cooking and a lot of eating over the weekend, including a New Year’s Eve BBQ feast and a New Year’s day turkey dinner. The next day, I was feeling inspired to create something with the turkey leftovers and decided my crew needed to experience the wonder that is French bread pizza.

Yes, another year, another French bread pizza. I just can’t quit them.

I layered the French bread with the leftover turkey, bacon and cheddar and I used a chili aioli as the sauce for a little zip. It worked perfectly but regular mayo would be fine too. These were so fab. Everyone LOVED them, especially the boys. They made for a perfect easy lunch for all of us. I know everyone’s jumping on the diet train right about now but why don’t you give these a whirl first? It’ll be our secret.

 Turkey Bacon Club French Bread Pizza

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 large loaf French bread
  • 2/3 cup chili aioli (or mayo)
  • 2 cups leftover shredded turkey (or chicken)
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, diced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the loaf of bread in half and place on a large cookie sheet. Spread the aioli evenly over the bread. Sprinkle each loaf with the turkey and bacon, then finish with the cheese and green onion. Bake for 10 minutes and then broil for 2 minutes. Once cheese is bubbly and golden, remove from the oven. Wait a few minutes for them to cool, then slice and devour.

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