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!

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Pizza Dough

I love making pizza dough because there are so many things I can do with it: pizza, of course…but also stromboli, hotdog and hamburger buns, pigs-in-a-blanket, and pizza balls. I made a double batch a few days ago for pigs in a blanket, and today I’m using the rest to make pizza balls. Last week I made mozzarella cheese, so I’m fully expecting them to be extra delicious! But the base of it all is the dough, so here you go:

Ingredients:

-1 pkg (2 1/2 t) active dry yeast
-1 t sugar
-1 c warm water
-2 1/2 c flour
-2 T olive oil
-1 t salt

Directions:

In a large bowl (I put everything straight into my kitchenaid mixer bowl), dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand for about 10 minutes in a warm place. Add oil and salt, mix well, then add flour. I add a cup, beat it, add another cup, beat it, then add the final half cup and knead for about 5 minutes. The final dough should be very slightly sticky to touch, but hold its shape. Oil the bowl and cover with a warm, damp paper towel. Let it rise until double, about one hour. (I like to turn the oven on to 350°F for about 1 minute, then turn it off and put the dough in. That gets the environment warm, and the closed door holds the heat in and keeps drafts out. Just make sure not to leave the oven on too long; if it is too hot it will kill the yeast and the dough won’t rise.)

When the dough is about doubled, take it out and punch it down. From there, use your imagination!

Makes 1 large round pizza, 12 pigs in a blanket, an 8×8 pan of pizza balls, a dozen rolls, or 1 stromboli.

***I frequently double this recipe and put half the dough in the refrigerator for use a few days later on another meal. It also can be frozen for longer storage–just thaw completely at room temperature before using.