Yesterday my kid came home and told me that they’d had a lockdown. It happens more than it probably should (#armylife) and thankfully it’s always nothing.

Really, it’s usually a parent threatening to punch the principal or something. 

And no, it’s never been me.


Anyway, I asked what happened and he said, “There was a mountain lion! I saw it’s footprints on the playground on the way home!”

I was all, “Yeah….” and sent him upstairs to do his homework. So I went to my husband and said, “Hey, he said they had a lockdown because of a mountain lion.”

And he said, “Yeah, it’s possible. We see all kinds of things on the ranges.”

“What? Like they just come through the gate? That jerk wouldn’t let me through unless I took my sunglasses off the other day. But they’re letting mountain lions in?”

“Uhhh, a mountain lion could jump the fence. Pretty awesome, huh?”

And now I’m terrified. Of mountain lions. Hanging out in my backyard.

So in honor of the kid that may be telling me the truth or may be just trying to really scare his mother, I made something I knew he’d love.

Burger and Fries Pot Pie!

It’s really simple and my kids all loved it. It’s ground beef with some diced tomatoes and cheese and then it’s all topped with crinkle-cut French fries. How can that be bad? We won’t talk about how many French fries I stole off the top. 

Click for the full recipe



I’m sorry for clogging your arteries first thing in the morning.

See, this is why I stick to pretty basic stuff on the blog. Because when someone gives me permission to go nuts, I do.

This is all Kita’s fault. She has been hosting an epic Burger Month and literally said to us “Make it epic!”

So. Much. Pressure.

I don’t know if Colorado Omelets are actually a thing or just a thing that IHOP created to have something else on their menu but basically it’s an omelet filled with beef, bacon, sausage, green peppers, onions, cheese and then you cover it in salsa.

I love them.

I love them so much that I made them into a burger.

So the burger has the beef in the burger (duh), the bacon, sautéed green peppers and onions, white cheddar cheese, and a yolky egg on top. And then you pour salsa all over it.

(I had sausage links cooked up but decided I needed to rein myself in.)

It’s messy and delicious and as someone who believes that more is more on burgers, I was a big fan. A big, messy fan.

Check below the recipe for a fun giveaway!

Click for the full recipe


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We are approaching one of my favorite seasons: burger season!

I just love that time of year. The sun stays up a little longer which means you have extra time to get your burgers grilled and it’s just warm enough to enjoy your burger on the back porch.

We had snow two days ago. So yeah, I’m ready to #SayCheeseburger!

That also explains why I made my burgers on the stove instead of the grill. But you can definitely grill them if you’ve already escaped winter!

I went to Walmart earlier in the week with a mission to get ingredients for a classic cheeseburger. I think everyone in the world has a different opinion on what a classic cheeseburger includes. For me, the classic cheeseburger is meat, cheese, and veggies.

And bacon.

Bacon’s a classic, right?

So I picked up everything I needed including Kraft Lite Mayo and Velveeta Slices. If you haven’t tried the Velveeta Slices on a grilled cheese, please do me a favor and go buy some now. I won’t make a grilled cheese without it!

But this is about burgers.

I think burgers get better the more stuff you put on them so I loaded mine up. But you can, of course, leave stuff off or add more. I left the burger patties themselves pretty plain – just ground chuck, salt, and pepper – so add whatever flavor you want on top!

My trick for keeping bacon from sliding right off your burger? Put the bacon on top of the burger and the cheese on top of the bacon. The cheese gets gooey and melty and keeps the bacon in place! 

What’s YOUR idea of the Classic Cheeseburger?

Classic Cheeseburger

8 burgers


3 pounds ground chuck
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 sliced bacon, cooked
1/2 cup Kraft Lite Mayonnaise
8 Velveeta slices
8 burger buns
lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard


  1. Divide the ground chuck into 8 even portions. Shape each portion into about 3/4 inch-thick burger. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add 3 burgers and cook until deeply browned, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook until done, another 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Top each burger with a slice of bacon and then a slice of Velveeta. Cover and heat another minute, just until cheese in melted. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining canola oil and burgers.
  4. To assemble burgers, spread about 1 tablespoon of Kraft Lite Mayonnaise on each bun. Top with bacon and Velveeta-covered burger. Add other toppings as desired.

I have written this post as part of #CollectiveBias.


Last week we passed the 2 month mark of my husband’s first deployment. I had been going over and over a post I wanted to write about it.

A post about how I had reached a comfortable spot. A spot where I didn’t worry.

I wanted to tell others who were starting their first deployment that the first week is worse than you can imagine (sorry) and even though you feel like you’ll never pull out of the funk, you will. I wanted to tell them that there will be a day when someone will say “Your life doesn’t stop just because he’s deployed” and you won’t yell “BUT IT DOES!”

I wanted to tell you guys how the day after my husband deployed I was emailing with a friend whose husband had already been gone a few months and she said, “Just remember that 90% of the time they aren’t doing anything and the other 10% they’re doing exactly what they were trained to do” and it helped me more than she’ll ever know.

And then the company my husband is attached lost a soldier on Friday.

I know that there isn’t a situation in the world that is made better by worrying and yet that’s all I’ve done for the past few days. I worry about my husband, about our friends who are also deployed, about the family who’s having to deal with the loss of their soldier, about anything that could possibly be worried about.

Gosh, I hate to be such a downer but I really struggled this past weekend. It’s hard to know that a member of the 1-12 Infantry family is now without her husband and 2 kids without their daddy. But that’s the reality of war and I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it.

I’m posting these burgers today because my husband would hate them! He would probably refuse to eat them and then whine to his friends about how I tried to poison him with *gasp* peanut butter burgers.

But I loved them! And even my kids enjoyed them! They peanut in the burgers isn’t super obvious so if you wanted to serve them to someone who doesn’t like “weird” food, just leave the sauce off and they probably wouldn’t be able to pick peanut butter out as an ingredient.

Happy post tomorrow, I promise! It involves bar cookies!

One year ago: Sticky Fingers Bars
Two years ago: Pecan Brownies
Four years ago: Homemade Fig Newtons

Thai Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


For the peanut sauce:
3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 - 2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (like Sriracha)
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
For the burgers:
1 pound ground turkey
½ cup grated carrot
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
hamburger buns
lettuce (or toppings of choice)


    To make peanut sauce:
  1. Combine peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon water, garlic, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, honey, and ground ginger in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth (if you’re using chunk peanut butter, don't process until all the chunks are gone - the peanuts make it better!). If it's not coming together for you, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of water until it reaches the desired consistency. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of the sauce - you will use the rest in the burgers.
  2. To make the burgers:
  3. Combine remaining peanut sauce with ground turkey, grated carrots, sliced green onion, chopped cilantro, salt and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Mix until just combined and form into 4 equal patties.
  4. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Cook patties for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
  5. Put the burgers on buns and top with peanut sauce and any other toppings you desire.


Last week a huge box of Nature’s Pride buns and rolls showed up on my doorstep courtesy of Foodbuzz. There was only one thing to do with all that bread: a burger party!

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t cook the burgers. It was my birthday and I don’t really enjoy cooking burgers so my husband was nice enough to do that part for me. I did make the BBQ sauce, onion rings, and pickles though.

The burgers were great! The meat itself was just seasoned with salt and pepper since there was so much extra goodness going on. The BBQ sauce was smoky and spicy thanks to the chipotle pepper. The bacon added more smokiness and along with the onion rings, provided a great crunch. And the sharp cheddar? Can you really go wrong with sharp cheddar?

Now let’s talk about the onion rings.

In my world, there are 2 types of onion rings. Fast food onion rings and diner onion rings. The fast food ones are limp, soggy, and almost feel like they have a bread crumb coating. The diner ones are fresh, crispy, and the epitome of amazing. These onion rings are total diner rings but better. If I had known how easy it was to make great onion rings, I wouldn’t have been making late night Burger King runs when I was pregnant.

I was going to take better pictures of the rings but by the time I got the baby asleep and made it back into the kitchen they were gone! So you get my “draining on a paper towel” picture.

All in all, a delicious burger. Too much BBQ sauce though. It made a bowl full and we hardly put a dent in it.

Cheyenne Burgers

from Bobby Flay


For the burgers:
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
salt & pepper
For the onion rings:
2 cups canola oil
2 large onions, sliced into rings
2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper
For the smoky barbecue sauce:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon molasses
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


    To make the burgers:
  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Season ground beef with salt and pepper. Shape into 8 burgers. Cook about 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Top burgers with bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, onion rings, BBQ sauce, and any other toppings you desire.
  2. To make the onion rings:
  3. Heat oil in a large pan to 360 degrees.
  4. Put flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Do the same with buttermilk in a separate bowl.
  5. Dredge onion rings in flour, dip in buttermilk, and then dredge in flour once more. Fry until golden brown, turning once or twice, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt.
  6. To make the smoky barbecue sauce:
  7. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion; cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup and 1/3 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper); simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a food processor; puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl; cool to room temperature. Spoon on burgers