Bison Slider Recipe

Kansas Bison Burgers + Slider Recipe

In February, I took a road trip across eastern Kansas to experience the unique bison burger recipes and craft beer the state had to offer.

And to write a guest blog post for TravelKS.com: Four Kansas Bison Burgers Worth Stopping For.

I ate at Wahoo Fire + Ice Grill for a West Coast-inspired burger; at Blanc Burgers + Bottles for a tangy, sweet, spicy, savory burger I looooooved; at Merchants Pub + Plate for a new recipe bison burger with the most flavorful sauce; and at my all-time forever favorite Public at the Brickyard for the sweet and tangy Prairie Sliders (and a surprise bison chili!).

(Have you noticed how much more often “+” is used instead of “&”? Not that I mind. I’m not a fan of the ampersand, but + has taken over.)

All in all, you could have said that – after four bison burgers and driving 500 miles in two days – I’d be sick to death of bison, but… of course… I had to make my own.

And I had to make them spicy.

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Homemade Bison Burgers
Ingredients

  • 1 lb. natural ground bison
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 Tbs. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Slider buns

Directions
Process the garlic, Chipotle peppers, olive oil and salt and pepper until you get a slightly chunky sauce.

Garlic, Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce with salt, pepper and olive oil

Mix the sauce with the bison, beaten egg, diced peppers and onions, cheese and a bit more salt and pepper, and then form into sliders.

Raw bison burger sliders

If you’re also good at baking – which, by the way, I’m not – you could also make your own slider buns. I popped a few store-bought buns in the oven to give them a nice toast.

Store-bought slider buns in the oven

Otherwise, go straight to searing these beauties in a cast iron skillet on high heat. A little lubrication in the pan doesn’t hurt. I used olive oil.

Bison burger sliders on the stovetop

Bison is pretty lean so make sure you don’t overcook the sliders – or they’ll taste like sawdust.

Bison Burger with Salad

Serve your bison slider with hot mustard, mixed greens and a side salad – complete with roasted chickpeas, almonds, sunflower seeds and Kalamata olives. Dress to your desire and consume.


I also wrote a blog post about craft beers in Kansas that hasn’t published yet so keep your eye out!

Onions, peppers and zucchini recipe

Recipe: Avocado Lime Chicken and Vegetables

Just look at how wonderful and beautiful this California Chicken Veggie Grilled Pasta Bowl is.

LOOK at it.

My attempt did not turn out as pretty… or at all pretty. (I won’t even show you what it looked like with the avocado cream sauce. For some reason… it turned… like yellow.)

I mean… look at it…

Avocado lime chicken recipe

Probably because I didn’t have all the ingredients necessary, as per usual.

Probably because I cooked it up faster than I should have.

Probably because I wasn’t being good to the food.

Probably because all the zucchini sank to the bottom of the pot and got kinda stuck…

It didn’t taste bad though! How can it when you start with some of my favorite ingredients: onions and peppers and a surprise appearance by zucchini!

Onions, peppers and zucchini recipe

Suffice it to say I sauteed onions, peppers and zucchini, added spiced chicken, and then combined it all with the pasta and an avocado cream “sauce” usually reserved for my Black Bean Soup.

So… I achieved edible.

Meh.

Recipe fail but tummy win. I’ll take whatever I can get.

Check out Whole and Heavenly Oven for more great recipes. I’m kinda in love with it right now.

Crockpot Jambalaya Soup Recipe

Recipe: #mondaymealprep and Crockpot Jambalaya

To plan weekly meals takes time.

To plan weekly meals you intend on prepping same-day takes even more time.

To plan weekly meals you intend on prepping same-day AND staying sane means… well, for me, it meant fail.

I usually take about four hours on a Sunday finding coupons and store deals and planning my husband’s and my weekly dinners, planning for enough leftovers for us to each take another meal to work, and then going grocery shopping in the hectic afternoon crowd at Dillon’s.

Oh, joy, Sundays.

Well, last week, I wanted to pre-plan and pre-prepare our week of meals so I would have less cooking and cleaning to do during the week.

I won’t lie.

It was pretty awful and exhausting, and I’m not sure I want to do it again.

Of course, I might just need more practice. Blargh.

My meal list:

  • To-Go Breakfast Sandwiches
  • Crockpot Jambalaya
  • Roasted Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions with Red Potatoes
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup in the Crockpot

I also planned a crockpot-cooked Braised Venison meal that went HORRIBLY wrong. We’re not going to talk about it.

Ever.

My grocery list:

  • Too long to type
  • Too long to think about

Out of four meals, I only had the breakfast sandwiches and two others prepped by 6 p.m. And I was pooped!

Egg Sausage Breakfast Sandwich on English Muffin

Roasted Italian Sausage with Peppers, Onions and Red Potatoes

I froze the breakfast sandwiches and the Roasted Italian Sausage Pepper Bake for later. (In the future, I won’t freeze the onions and peppers for these. I’ll just refrigerate them. They burned and turned to mush when I cooked them.)

Double blargh…

Fail or not, I got out of this weekend of prep 10 Berry Banana Smoothies, six delicious breakfast sandwiches, one bake and one crockpot.

I guess I can’t complain!

Holy Trinity Cajun Mirepoix

Crockpot Jambalaya
Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 6 oz. andouille sausage, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (Check out this recipe for it!)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cup cooked long-grain white rice

Directions
Adapted from The Judy Lab via Delish

The night before you want to have Crockpot Jambalaya, do the following:

Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat into a storage container for refrigeration. (You could also do this night of, if you want.)

Season the chicken with the homemade Cajun spice, and then saute until browned. Add to your large crockpot.

Saute the andouille sausage until just darkened. (My husband and I like it best when the edges are nearly black.) Add to the crockpot.

Saute the chopped onion, peppers, celery and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then add those to the crockpot, too.

Saute the shrimp in olive oil with salt and pepper until just pink, and then remove to a container you can refrigerate. (You can also do this night of, if you want.)

Add the remaining ingredients, except the rice and shrimp, to the crockpot.

Shove everything into the refrigerator until the next morning.

On your lunch break the next day, start your crockpot at about noon or 1 p.m. Add the rice and shrimp when you get home from work and leave it be until they’re heated through.

Aaaaaaand enjoy!

Pretty yum, even without a proper roux…

Recipe for Crockpot Jambalya Soup

Recipe for Banana Berry Smoothie

#sundaysmoothieprep: Banana Berry Smoothies

A tried and true standby for preparing smoothies without a whole lot of thought: Banana Berry Smoothies.

Banana Strawberry Blackberry Blueberry Raspberry Smoothie

Banana Berry Smoothies
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen berries (I used two large frozen strawberries and 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.)
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1/2 handful (about 1/4 cup-ish) baby kale
  • 1/2 cup almond/cashew milk blend
  • 1/4 cup green juice (I used something bottled by Odwalla, but Bolthouse and others have good options, too.)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp. chia seeds

Directions

Pour all into a blender and liquify!

Makes about 10 12 oz. mason jars (above the 12 oz. line).

Orange juice, green juice, almond and cashew milk, berries, banana, baby kale and chia

Banana, berry, smoothie, recipe, ingredients, green juice

 

Corned Beef Hash

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Because St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Thursday — figures — Wichita held its festivities the weekend before with bar crawls and a parade.

I avoided the bar crawls and missed the parade (on purpose… crowds) because I really only wanted one thing.

Corned Beef Hash.

Where does one go to get a great Irish-themed meal on St. Patrick’s Day?

One goes to the Public.

Public celebrated Opening at the Brickyard Saturday, March 12, welcoming spring-like weather in early March and crowds of green-clad patrons excited for Irish fare and Irish beer.

Public Oldtown Wichita KS
An empty patio, but wait…

 

St. Patrick's Day crowd in Wichita Kansas
Full patio! With bagpipers!

But I did not get an Irish beer.

I know, I know! I should have ordered a Guinness or an Irish Red or something… but I really wanted an IPA, and Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point out of San Diego was on tap.

Craft Beer Dedicated to the Craft
So delicious IPA by Ballast Point.

Of course, I had to have one. (It was awesome, by the way.)

I also had to have Corned Beef Hash, and I’m a lucky duck because I got to watch my meal being made by Public Chef and Owner Travis Russell in the Brickyard’s super awesome food truck — a refurbished trailer that I think really needs a name.

Public at the Brickyard Food Truck Trailor in Wichita Kansas
What do you think? Betty? Stella? Frank? I’ll have to ask if it already has a name…

 

Public Oldtown Chef Owner Travis Russell cooking in Wichita Kansas
Hash on the grill!

 

Public Old Town Wichita Kansas
Looking at this menu makes me hungry again.

 

Corned Beef Hash at the Brickyard
zomg. Corned Beef Hash.

Super tender beef. Amazing flavors. I want to eat this everyday forever.

I happily also ran into a friend and listened to some pipers!

skinnyshae St. Patricks Day

 

Bag pipers play at the Brickyard in Wichita Kansas

 

 

My husband and I also celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on the actual St. Patrick Day with a kilt, a checkered hat and a Wichita State University game.

St. Patricks Day Date in Wichita Kansas
We went out. In public. Together. That nearly never happens. Go couple!

Neither of us wore green.

Oops…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Er… late.

Fitbit Charge Floors Tracked

500 miles, 41,071 steps, 2 days

Last weekend, I went on a road trip through Eastern Kansas to gather information and prepare for an upcoming guest blog post.

I’ll tell you about that later…

What I want to talk about now is my Fitbit Charge, and how I’m really really glad I waited through the weekend (full of beer and food I didn’t want to calculate) before considering logging calories consumed and burned.

I put 502.9 miles on my car and racked up more than 41,000 steps in two days. Sounds great, doesn’t it? All those steps!

Unfortunately, my goal alarm buzzed on my wrist after I’d been driving for an hour both times. After the first 10,000 “steps,” getting 9,000 or 12,000 more wasn’t too hard, especially because I was driving for hours and hours and hours.

Fitbit Charge Steps Tracker
22,000 steps on Saturday and 19,000 steps on Sunday

Fitbit Charge isn’t supposed to track steps when you’re not stepping, and it isn’t supposed to track floors climbed when you’re driving through the Flint Hills.

Fitbit Charge Floors Tracked
196 floors on Saturday and 197 floors on Sunday

According to Fitbit Charge, I climbed 393 floors this weekend. Somehow, I’m still walking…

According to Fitbit Help:

Your tracker is a smart device that has been designed not to pick up your steps in these activities. It has been tested against driving, buses, trains, and other public transportation and should not give you extra steps when you’re traveling. On bumpy roads you may get extra steps but these should not make a big difference in your overall stats.

I’m going to take a guess and say that more than 41,000 steps and nearly 400 floors has affected my overall stats substantially.

So I had to go delete everything, which wasn’t easy.

There’s no way to delete steps and floors. Instead, you have to negate them. Basically, I had to enter “driving” as an activity to remove the extra steps and floors my road trip earned me. Since I don’t exactly remember when I left each location — I was ahead of schedule most of the trip — I had to wing it in how long I was actually driving.

After a few attempts, I’ve settled on about 4,600 steps each day and 10-15 floors each day, which wouldn’t be inaccurate considering most of the locations I stopped at had second and third floors.

Unfortunately, I cannot delete the badges I’ve earned.

Fitbit Charge 20,000 Steps Badge

I haven’t reached 20,000 steps in a day. I don’t deserve this badge, but I can’t get rid of it.

Sigh.

I guess today is a lesson on how to fix steps and floors climbed and miles traveled on your Fitbit Charge.

Mostly, I’m just a little upset that the tracker didn’t figure out I wasn’t stepping.

Or climbing.

Or moving my arms at all.

Because driving.

Smoothie (8)

#sundaysmoothieprep: Peanut Butter Banana Fluff

If you mix the appropriate amount of peanut butter, banana, almond milk and Greek yogurt, you will get fluff.

IMG_20160119_114110

 

And it will make your snack tummy a happy tummy. Or your breakfast tummy. Or your lunch tummy. All happy.

Peanut Butter Banana Fluff Smoothie
serves 2 12-oz. mason jars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup Bolthouse Farms Protein PLUS Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Cheribundi tart cherry juice
  • 5.3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil

Directions
Blend and enjoy!

Of course, I had extra after filling my two mason jars to the very top. I drank it for a snack before bed, but I think this would have been amazing added to oatmeal.

No joke.

It was like a marshmallow.

peanut butter marshmallow.

Fitbit Activity Tracker Floor

Climbing floors to sit down + WSU basketball

To get the most out of your Fitbit Charge, you have to enter certain information manually, such as your calories consumed and burned and how much water you drink and whether or not you slept when you weren’t wearing it.

I did really well at tracking my water and my workouts for the first few weeks. I’d happily drink 64 ounces of water just to tap those little blue cups! I honestly don’t know why it was so satisfying.

Fitbit Charge Activity Tracker
I’m not doing too well now…

Unfortunately, I’m terrible at keeping records of calories consumed and calories burned.

Fitbit Charge Activity Tracker
-11,626 calories… NEGATIVE 11,626 calories. Not sure if you caught that.

I’m especially terrible at keeping track of calories consumed when I eat food that I make.

You know.

Because I made it.

Barcode free.

I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not good at calculating these things, but I am trying.

Well, I’m going to try.

Next week. (No one starts things on Fridays.)

 

Luckily, Fitbit Charge does track steps, floors and sleep automatically. (If it didn’t, no one would buy it.) From what Charge records of my daily activity, I climb a lot of floors just to sit down for hours.

Fitbit Activity Tracker Floor
Nearly always more than 10 (after I figured out that little “wind” problem).

Look at all those floors!

My office is on the third floor in my building, and I climb the stairs at home often enough to make this reality. Today, especially, because the water in my building has been shut off for maintenance and I had to go to a different building to… use water services… and then climb back up to my office.

So. Many. Stairs.

Buuuut…

Fitbit Charge Tracker
Wow.

Look at none of those steps… I have only hit 10,000 steps twice in the last 28 days. TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS. Face-to-palm, that’s depressing!

I vaguely recall thinking this would be easy. (Not so vague, actually, I said it.)

Now, I’m swallowing my words.

Getting 10,000 steps a day should not be this difficult, but then I remember that I have an office job, and my office job happily plants me in front of a computer for eight hours a day. I might be a wind storm of picking up, doing chores, cleaning and cooking when I get home, but after it’s all said and done, I sit back down.

One day, I walked around my house at 9 p.m. picking things up one at a time and putting them away just to hit 5,000 steps that day.

What’s worse? My sleeping.

Lately, I’ve had just the worst time falling asleep and getting up in the morning. When once a 5 a.m. wake-up call was doable (still really awful), now a 6 a.m. wake-up call is IMPOSSIBLE.

I hit snooze for days.

Fitbit Sleep Tracker
See the red? That’s me hitting snooze every five minutes until I’m forcibly removed from bed by my sleepy husband.

Sometimes I do fall asleep quickly. For instance, last night I went to bed at 12:07 a.m. — stayed up too late, I know — but it took me exactly zero minutes to fall asleep.

Sleep tracker

And I actually remember this! I put my phone down, turned off the light, and then nothing… Usually, I have thoughts roaming around in my brain distracting me from sleeping.

Not last night.

Last night? Done.

Not even a dream (that I can remember).

Now, I also see that I only got five hours and 37 minutes of actual sleep. Red littered throughout the blue timeline noted as restless is just me getting hot, kicking off the covers, getting cold, going to find the covers, getting hot, repeat — all in a fog of still pretty much asleep.

Why was I so tired? Not only because I stayed up too late, but also because of LIVE ACTION BASKETBALL!!!

My dear, sweet, lovely, amazing friends took me to the very first Shocker basketball game I’ve been to since my undergrad at Wichita State University.

Koch Arena Roundhouse Wichita State University
Dunk counter at 10 and winning 99-68… it was a pretty amazing game! And I’m so, so, so happy I got to go!!!

So I was a tad wired.

I’ll do better, starting Monday ;)

 

Other happenings?

shorts in february
It’s sunny and 75, and I’m in shorts and flip-flops in February.

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day from skinnyshae

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I must admit… my husband and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day.

One year, he sent me flowers Feb. 13 with a note that read “Valentine’s Day is dumb so here’s flowers for the day before.”

Another year, I got him a card Feb. 15 that sang some love song or another that read “Valentine’s Day is dumb so here’s a card for the day after.”

So, in true spirit of our marriage, we made last-minute date night plans for… yesterday.

Our mission: Eat tacos. See Deadpool.

Our success: We got tacos at District Taqueria. I ordered the Chips and Queso I’d fallen in love with during Wichita Restaurant Week, and we each ordered two tacos.

image

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image

I got the Barbacoa and the Carne Asada. My husband got the Barbacoa and the Pork Carnitas, which I again failed to order.

Jeesh.

The tacos were delicous. The service was perfect — seriously amazing service — and we were in-and-out in less than 30 minutes.

Our failure: All showings of Deadpool were sold out.

GAH.

Because my husband and I have worked weekends and nights, we don’t usually go out on Friday and Saturday nights. Instead, we prefer a nice Tuesday or Thursday date night because there are generally less people everywhere.

At the movie theater last night, I realized I’d forgotten there are actually a lot of people in Wichita.

And they all wanted to see Deadpool, too.

Our day-before-Valentine’s-Day date night might have been a little ruined, but I slept for 12 hours last night and have been working up a storm for the better part of the morning at Reverie Coffee Roasters.

image

I’m prepping a guest blog post, and I’ll give you a little hint to what it’s about:

image

Here’s to the road trip I’m about to enjoy most thoroughly and to you, a delightful Valentine’s Day.

Smoothie (9)

#sundaysmoothieprep: Berry Delicious Smoothie

There’s blueberries.

There’s bananas.

There’s Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness.

And it’s purple and delicious.

Smoothie (10)

Perfect for my birthday! February babies celebrate with purple.

Berry Delicious Smoothie
Berry Delicious Smoothie and Berry Stylish Lipstick for my very purple birthday!

Berry Delicious Smoothie
Ingredients
serves 2 12-oz. mason jars and 1 8-oz. milk bottle

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness
  • 16.9 oz. coconut water
  • 5.3 oz. plain Greek yogurt (1 container of Fage)
  • 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice

Directions

Blend and enjoy!

You will have slightly more than the servings indicated above. I recommend pouring it into a glass and drinking it right away.

Because yum.

Princess Bride
Birthday girl picks the movie! Of course, Princess Bride.

 

Birthday girl also needed to tackle the laundry... piling it on my table seemed appropriate.
Birthday girl also needed to tackle the laundry… piling it on my table seemed appropriate.