Babies & Burgers

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I am back after some much needed private time mostly spent in the garden and anticipating the birth of my grand-daughter. She is due in about 3 weeks.  What do you think of my grandma name, ” KiKi” (pronounced key-key)? Makes sense since my last name is Keys. Right? Anyway, the new life that springs from the dirt in my yard absolutely rejuvenates me, so I can’t even imagine what I will be like with a grandchild. I hope she will like to garden and grill with KiKi. Can’t you just hear her little voice saying, “mom, let’s go to KiKi’s house.”

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Japanese Primrose about to bloom

It’s May. The sun is shining and it’s time to get a pedicure, some new sunglasses and fire up the grill. Did you know that May is National Burger Month? While you are pouring yourself a cool beverage let me show you just how easy and delicious a burger can be compliments of The Kansas City Steak Company. Yes, they sent me free burgers, but opinions are mine….all mine.

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Today, I am writing about The Kansas City Steak Company Steakburgers. You may remember me telling you about this mail order company after my return from the Food Fight Write Blogger Summit and World Food Championships (WFC) last November. Back then I competed in a food blogger competition grilling up the company’s tender filet mignon and then cooked their flavorful ribeye steaks to create my winning sandwich at the WFC.

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Smokehouse Steak Sandwich

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When the company offered me a chance to try their steakburgers it was husband (grandpa) that was all in this time. He’s such a carnivore. Anyway, 1 dozen steakburgers arrived, well packed and frozen with dry ice. Each vacuumed sealed package contained 2 (4.5 oz each) patties separated by a square of wax paper. Also included was a pack of steak seasoning, a recipe pamphlet and a steakburger preparation card. Did I say easy?

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The patties can be cooked from frozen which makes them quite convenient for a last minute meal option, but since I had time I chose to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. As per the instructions I seared the patties for 1 minute per side on a smoking hot grill and then I transferred them over to the cool side of the grill (indirect heat) for another 6 minutes per side.

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This method of grilling works well as my burgers were fully cooked to an internal temperature of 160F. and perfectly juicy. Going forward I will cook all my burgers this way. As far as flavor, I did season the 100% beef burgers, just prior to grilling, liberally with the accompanying steak seasoning and found them deliciously salted with a little peppery-garlic kick. A toasted bun, a little lettuce and a squirt of jalapeño ketchup completed the picture.

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What are you paying for ground beef these days? Around here it’s anywhere between $3 to $4.00 per pound, so these premium steakburgers are a comparable value except that they are delivered right to your door and ready to cook whenever you are in the mood for a perfectly juicy and flavorful burger. Need more incentive to order? Go to the web site and order anything you want up until June 30, 2016 and use the code 25FREE and get a whopping $25.00 off your order plus free shipping. Stock up! so you can shop and cook less and play with your children and grandchildren more. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Here is a recipe for my signature french fries. They are sliced super thin (julienne), chilled in water and then deep fried until golden brown. If you like a crispy burger topper or side these are the fries for you.

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Crispy Potato Strings

1 russet potato, thin julienne

Smoked salt

Canola oil for frying

Soak potatoes in cold water for at least 15 minutes; rinse and pat dry. Fry potato strings in 350F hot oil for 1 minute or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel; sprinkle immediately with salt

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P.S. Moving forward I hope to keep up with you and the blog at least on a monthly basis because I honestly love sharing my recipes and snippets of other good things with you.

Food Fight Write 2015 Bloggers’ Summit

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Along with Kansas City Steaks the Saucy Mama Team sponsored a bloggers’ challenge cook-off

My blogging schedule is a bit off kilter due to traveling a bunch in the month of November. Bare with me as I hope to get back on track to my usual Sunday posts come December. In the mean time check out this photomontage of my recent blogger escapades. Here is a view of the 3 day 2015 Food Fight Write Bloggers’ Summit starting with a fabulous media tour and lunch with Shamu and friends at Seaworld.

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We learned lots of fun facts about how well cared for these beautiful animals are. How about some fresh ground organic avocado for the aardvark? We should all eat so healthy.

Naturally, we did eat well. Not only an abundant taste of the park at Seaworld, but also some very special locally grown offerings from My Yard Farm including a fresh picked spicy micro green salad featuring their juicy heirloom tomatoes. I am looking forward to growing my own come Spring.

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Happy Egg Co and Tuttorosso tomatoes started us off with breakfast one morning while later that day we grilled up some fabulous filet mignon courtesy of Kansas City Steaks. We also sampled several flavorful Saucy Mama products in preparation for a blogger throw-down. More about that later.

IMG_7793Always up for a good hayride, Long and Scott Farms welcomed us with open arms and interesting details about how to grow sweet corn and cucumbers. They also feature a giant 7-acre “Salute to our Armed Forces” corn maze. Automatically, I love them.

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Next up on the schedule (are you tired yet) is a visit to one of Orlando’s premiere destinations,  The Champions’ Gate Resort for Inspired Home workshops. This is a blogger’s paradise of collaboration and learning (think periscope, instagram and video) in addition to a mix and mingling of food, lifestyle and brand influencing.

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This is how a real brand influencer does it. So inspiring and professional and gets me right into the holiday spirit.  Kraylfunch.com

The summit culminated in The Bloggers’ Challenge giving each participant a chance to experience first hand the reality of cooking competition. How to develop a recipe and orientation to the Kenmore Pro kitchen arena were hot topics as well as tips on timing, presentation and judging. While a few of us were already competitive cooks most of the bloggers were not. It was a wonderful way for them to gain insight into this growing world of food sport and as influencers maybe encourage brands to sponsor competitive cooks just like Nike might endorse a pro athlete. Sign me up! And check out my instagram @goodgriefcook to see some fun gadgets received in my Inspired Home swag bag.

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Congratulations to my friends, Cho Wut Yee who took third and Rebecka Evans who took first in their first ever cooking competition. So proud of you ladies. ~Photo by Rebecka.