Ranch Burgers

I found this recipe on All Recipes and it was such a hit I have made it several times this summer. For just me and my husband, I usually do just one pound of beef/half the recipe, and make 4 burgers. Last week, with family and friends also here, I used 3 pounds and upped the other ingredients a little. It’s a pretty flexible recipe, but downright delicious and super easy!

Ingredients:

– 2 lbs. ground beef
– 1 1-oz pkg. (3 T) ranch dressing mix/powder (I buy mine in a jar from Sam’s Club)
– 1 egg, slightly beaten
– 3/4 c finely crushed saltine crackers
– 1 onion, chopped very small (depending on how much onion you like, you might not want a whole one. And be sure to chop the pieces as small as possible. If they are too chunky, the burgers will not hold together as well)

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and form into patties of whatever size you like. Cook to taste–we like them grilled and pretty well done. I usually add a couple slices of sharp cheddar at the end, and we like to toast the buns on the grill right at the end too.

Serve with homemade rolls, mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mustard, relish, ketchup, pickles, or whatever else you like with your burgers. Enjoy!

Sloppy Joes

Today we had a big storm, with lots of thunder and lightning and an inch of rain. It was a good evening for Sloppy Joes, so that’s what we had! I found a recipe in a cookbook, but then the more I looked at it the more ideas I had…so this recipe is actually my own creation. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients:

-1 T olive oil
-1/2 c onion, diced
-1/2 c sweet pepper, diced
-1 stalk celery, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c tomato product*
1/4 c water
1/4 c ketchup
1 T worcestershire sauce

6 rolls, split (I used the rolls from my pizza dough recipe)
12 thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese

*tomato product: you can use tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, leftover chili, salsa, or whatever you have and is convenient. One of the great things about Sloppy Joes is how flexible they are. This evening I had a quart jar of homemade salsa I wanted to use up, so I put in 1 1/2 c of that. It made for a wonderful flavor base and I would definitely do it again! Just keep in mind that the texture of your finished product will change depending on what you put in.

Directions:

Sauté onion, celery, and pepper in oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When they are cooked to desired softness (remember they will cook a little more in the final stage), pour into a bowl and set aside. Brown ground beef in skillet with a little water, breaking into small pieces. Add vegetables back in, along with the tomato, water, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until it reaches desired consistency. Since I used salsa and the mixture wasn’t very watery, I cooked it over low heat to blend flavors, but didn’t leave it on very long as it didn’t need to cook down.

Toast the buns cut side up. I served them with a little butter on the bun, sloppy joe, then a slice of cheese on top. I also made french fries with potatoes from our garden, and we had peach pie and homemade ice cream for dessert. What an evening!