Quick Eats: Fried Shallot Cheeseburger

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It doesn’t look like it or feel like it- but Summer is here in New England and we’re all trying to get into the spirit of things despite the most recent onslaught of torrential downpours and temperature drops. I’ve broken out my maxi dresses for work, my sandals for the weekend, and have been feverishly searching for the best alcohol-infused Popsicle recipes to make in my kitchen in what little spare time I have these days.

One of the telltale signs of the season is the abundance of cookouts and backyard BBQs on the nicer, sunnier days. Unfortunately, we haven’t had one of those in a while- so I’ve resorted to cooking up burgers, fries, and mixing some milkshakes in the comfort of my kitchen and making the best of things. I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with some of the recipes in my recently purchased Shake Shack cookbook- and thought I’d share a slightly modified version of one of my favorite concoctions so far.

I love anything with onions, so this recipe was a must-try the second I spotted it in the book- and the sauce I coated the potato buns with? SO good.

Best of all? These are super easy to make!



  • 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonaise
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoons of Heinz ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher dill pickling brine
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper.


  • 4 hamburger potato buns
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of the mixed sauce (“Shakesauce”)
  • 1 pound of very cold ground beef, divided into 4 pucks
  • 1/2 pound of thin, fried shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of your cheese of choice (for this particular attempt, I stuck with American cheese!)



1. Put all of the ingredients (listed above) in a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

2. Chill the sauce for about 15-20 minutes prior to use. Any extra sauce will keep, if covered and properly refrigerated, for up to one week.


1. Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium-low heat until warm. Meanwhile, brush the insides of the hamburger potato buns with the melted butter. Place the buns buttered side down and toast until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Transfer the buns onto a plate and spoon your mixed and chilled “Shakesauce” on the top bun.

2. Increase the heat to medium and heat the griddle until hot (2-3 minutes)

3. Evenly sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top of each puck of ground beef.

4. Place the pucks on the griddle, seasoned side down. Using a large, sturdy metal spatula, firmly smash each puck into a 1/3-inch thick round patty. Pressing down the spatula with another stiff spatula helps flatten the burger quickly. Evenly sprinkle more salt and pepper on the patties.

5. Cook the burgers until the edges beneath are brown and crisp, and juices on the surface are bubbling hot (about 2 1/2 minutes). Slide one of the spatulas beneath the burger to release it from the griddle and scrape up the caramelized browned crust. Use the other spatula to steady the burger and keep it from sliding. Flip the burgers.

6. Put the cheese on top and cook the burgers for one minute longer for medium, and longer for a more well-done texture. Transfer the cheeseburgers to the prepared buns- top with your fried shallots- and enjoy!

Crispy, tangy, and with just the right amount of spice- these burgers are pretty great and are definitely something I plan to bust out at my next outdoor get together with my friends- assuming it ever stops raining!


Backyard BBQ

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Good morning! Although today has some somber undertones (today marks three years since my father passed away,) I’m planning to spend the afternoon- graciously freed up by my boss who gave me the day off- with my mother so that neither one of us has to be alone right now. I know my dad would want us to have fun together today- so we’ll be doing some shopping and going out for dinner in-between what I’m sure will be a few tears and plenty of reminiscing.

This past weekend was purely about having silly fun, however- when a group of friends and I spent Saturday afternoon and well into Sunday morning having a backyard BBQ at the waterfront home of our friend’s boyfriend. We all brought a little something to eat (and boy, did I eat so. much. food.) listened to music, made a big slip & slide out of a huge tarp, some dish soap, and a sprinkler- and lit a campfire as the sun began to set.


My friend Stef had brought her projector, and using an ironed sheet and some extension cords- she managed to rig up a big screen movie theater for us on the back deck so that we could watch terrible horror movies on Netflix (my specialty!) while roasting marshmallows on the fire and passing the bug spray to one another.

I really hope to have more nights like that in the coming weeks. It’s one of my favorite things about the Summer- just laid-back, inexpensive fun with good friends, good food, and a few drinks.

With July underway and 2015 being more than halfway over, I like to re-visit the resolutions I’ve made for myself for the year and map my progress as I move forward through the Summer. It’s a great way to stay focused and refresh yourself on your goals and aspirations for the year so that you don’t give up!

While I’ve definitely been getting into better shape, am far more organized in most aspects of my life than I was prior to New Years- and have low-key been researching different houses and condos in and around the San Diego area for a potential move- I have yet to complete my Route 66 road trip. I have it mapped out, I have the finances (mostly) planned- it’s just a matter of making the time!

I still have a few months left to do it, so I’m not completely discouraged- but I’ve come up with a couple of backup plans for some long-distance vacation destinations should I have to postpone the great cross-country journey until next Summer or Fall when work isn’t so busy. I’ve been eyeing a week in New Orleans this fall, for example- and although I’d like to save a trip to Hawaii to commemorate my turning 30- my wanderlust is kicking in a little, so I have a feeling I might be checking that out sooner than later!

Overall, though- I’d say I’ve made some really great progress with what I set out to accomplish this year. Now that I’ve reflected and have seen how far I’ve come in just a few short months- I’m ready to continue working towards achieving most- if not all- of my resolutions again.

‘Til next time!