I mentioned in my last post that I’m back in school this year. Working full-time and being a full-time student is no joke, and I’m not kidding when I say that I guard my free time as if it’s made of diamonds. I don’t know how anyone does it when they also have kids – just having two dogs is enough for me.
And even though I’ve been consciously trying to manage my time and fit in fun things on the side (happy hour! concerts! pizza night (every Friday)!), it’s still amazing to me how quickly this year is flying by. There are only two more months before our cohort graduates, and it feels like we just started last month! I’m a total broken record on that point, so expect to hear me say that fifty or so more times before August.
Speaking of fitting in fun times, last night I actually managed to squeeze in a quick happy hour before running to Trader Joe’s (no, my love for that place has not dimmed in the least, have no fear) and making dinner.
Now, I’ll say that I try to be in bed by 9:30 so that I don’t feel like death when the alarm goes off at 4:55am the next day, so to accomplish all of those things in one evening is a FEAT.
So, this happy hour. A colleague of mine is leaving and as a farewell a few of us hit up a rooftop bar near our office. Let’s talk about how happy I am that I work within spitting distance of places like this:
The bar, The Ivy Sky Terrace, is located on the roof of the Ivy Hotel. Since I moved to a new office for my new position, I can no longer see it from my desk, but last summer I would stare longingly at it around 4pm when people would start filing into those comfy seats with their drinks and bar snacks. It was high time that I ventured over, especially since summer seems to be cooperating these days.
Hello, friend. Thanks for coming.
(That makes it sound like I was alone with my drink. I promise I wasn’t.)
BUT, as amazing as that glass of sangria was – and was it ever amazing – my dinner was pretty awesome, too.
My dinner planning usually goes something like this:
- It’s noon and I haven’t eaten lunch and I’m hungry and the salad I brought sounds boring so I’m going to think about dinner.
- Oooh, fried chicken would be good. I love fried chicken. Or fried anything.
- But I’m not about to fry chicken on a Tuesday. That would be madness.
- I should grill. It’s nice out and the propane tank, she’s-a full.
- I could grill some chicken, I guess. That sounds boring…what else – ooh BURGERS.
Followed by 8 or 9 more steps in which I debate toppings and sides and bun v. no bun (last night was bunless, for the record – I’m trying to ditch the refined carbs, at least after 3pm), etc. It’s a really special process, let me tell you.
So, I picked up some extra lean ground turkey (2 packages because we eat MEAT), and some fun extras and made a very loosely interpreted version of Courtney’s Chicken Caesar Burgers.
That woman is onto something with the dressing added TO the meat mixture before grilling. Genius!
Here was what was in my mix:
- 2 pounds extra lean ground turkey breast
- 2 chopped scallions (green onions)
- 1 jumbo egg
- a small handful of shredded mozzarella (maybe 1/3 cup)
- a small handful of panko breadcrumbs (again, maybe 1/3 cup)
- ~2 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Goddess salad dressing
- a good dash of garlic powder (about 1/2 teaspoon. There’s already garlic in the dressing, so use less if you’re not as huge a fan of garlic as I am)
- sprinkle of salt + pepper
Then mix it all up, make ~8 burgers, throw them in the fridge while you preheat the grill (medium-high, please), feed your dogs, and prep your salad.
Spray each burger with some cooking spray and toss them on the grill (close the cover!) for about 5-6 minutes a side.
I served them with a salad dressed with Goddess dressing (hey cohesive flavors!) and a squirt of ketchup. Bam. Dinner. Done.
The moral of the story: ground meat+salad dressing = good burger. You should try it!