Tex-mex Cheese Burgers

Discovered the StartCooking.com video blog a couple of days ago and saw this great recipe for Tex-Mex Cheese Burgers and had to try it.

Since I can’t leave a comment with either Firefox or Safari, I’m writing a post reviewing the burgers.

The flavor is great on the burgers. The sauce is good too, but can overwhelm the burger if you put too much on it. I put a little over a tablespoon on mine. Having the cheese – specifically the Mexican cheese – gives a great subtle flavor. It tastes Mexican without tasting hot.

I made two changes. I used a red onion because I had half a one already and it added bite and flavor. I also left the ketchup out of the burgers because the Mrs is allergic to it. But there isn’t much of the red stuff in the burger itself and there is plenty in the sauce.

Only caveat I would give is cooking 4 minutes to a side over medium high heat will leave the burgers plenty rare. Now I like my meat that way but the Mrs would find them way to red.

The Art and Science of Photography

Photography is both an art and a science. The art is your vision. Being able to see the photograph before you take it. The science is being able to translate that vision into a compelling photograph.”

– Bob Crisp, Nikon Understanding Digital Photography

Blogroll Update

This hasn’t happen in forever, but I realized I could export my Google Reader blog list as and OMPL file an I already wrote a script to convert that to HTML. So I dug it up and updated my blogroll. There are a lot of people on it now that weren’t on the old one but that I read daily.

It Really is an Eating Plan

Some diet/self-help gurus tell you to call a diet an eating plan. They says diet has too many negative connotations. Like the fact the first three letters spell die.

I always thought this a little silly. I mean you are cutting foods you want either way. That’s what makes a diet hard, no matter what you call it.

Well Monday I started an eating plan. It actually isn’t a diet, because I can eat most anything I want.

As long as I cook it.

No eating out. No frozen dinner either. It has to be made from basic ingredients. Not necessarily scratch, but nothing that has been cooked already.

The big change and challenge for me is lunch. This means I have to bring my lunch to work and that is news. And it can’t be something frozen just to be heated in the microwave. So yesterday it was left over Paco Pibil. Today it is Asian Chicken Spaghetti, my own invention.

Saute some cubed chicken breasts in peanut oil with crushed chilli peppers.
Make whole wheat spaghetti.
Each of those go in separate containers and are take to work. Along with some raisins and a little container of peanut oil.

At lunch time, put a little water in the spaghetti and microwave for 1 minute. Microwave the chicken for 1.5 minutes.
Pour about 1 teaspoon of peanut oil on the spaghetti and mix to coat. Add chicken, raisins and sunflower kernel I have in my desk.

Quite taste, though I think it needs more chili peppers for some bite.


I was surfing around and ended up at a Yahoo story about Kiva.org, a website that matches lenders with entrepreneurs around the world. The idea is that in other countries – what we often call the third world – small businesses need microloans, and we can make minor loans to them. They partner with microlending organizations in the target parts of the world so your money is watched over by local organizations.

It isn’t considered a charity by the IRS because you are loaning the people the money, so no tax deduction. Nor do they charge interest. It is an altruistic act to do the loans.

I invested $25 to help a Ukrainian woman expand her retail business. Go check them out yourself.

Puerco Pibil With A Little Bite

So our small group from church was coming over for dinner last night and I was going to cook. My wife can’t eat night shades because of an allergy. Nightshades include tomatoes and potatoes as well as all hot peppers. Filmmaker Roberto Rodriguez has a 10 minute cooking school on the Once Upon a Time in Mexico DVD on how to make Puerco Pibil. This is a slow roasted port dish. So I decided to make it for the small group because she can’t eat it if I make it just for the family and the dish makes quite a bit of food.

My writing down of the recipe has be writing “ancho” seeds. Now an Ancho is a dried pepper. Well I couldn’t find any of these seeds on Sunday night. So I thought the ancho is there to provide some heat if it comes from a pepper. So I substituted crushed red peppers instead. 5 tablespoons of crushed red pepper. In addition to the 2 habinero peppers in the recipe.

Let me tell you the flavor of this fall apart when you poke it with a fork pork is incredibly good. I told the people the pork had “a bit of a bite”. When I sat down to the table after everyone else was already eating, some people had tears in their eyes. 🙂 It was hot.

I ate the last of it today for lunch. Now I have tears in my eyes.

The really funny part is the recipe doesn’t call for ancho seeds, but rather annato seeds. Which are there primarily to provide the red color.

So I’ve never made it right and it doesn’t need to be anywhere near that hot.

Here’s the YouTube video of the 10 minute cooking school.

Kimberly: Petting a Cat

Did I mention Kimberly has a rather rude sense of humor. This stray cat came up while she was changing into her armor and had to be petted. I leave it to you to guess how she described what she was doing.

Petting cat