Tag Archives: new house

Food Matters Project #34: Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce

It’s another Monday post of the Food Matters Project.  This week we’re hosting the recipe, and have chosen Mark Bittman’s Brown Rice and Lamb Burgers with Spinach, from The Food Matters Cookbook.

To catch up all of our readers, we joined the Food Matters Project with these fellow bloggers last winter.  Each week we have a new host, who chooses a recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.  The recipes are your own interpretation, and it’s great to see the creativity from all of the blogging participants.  To read more about the project, check out the web site here, and this is our schedule.  We’d love to have you join in!

Sam and I had hosted one dish so far on Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Almost exactly a year ago we hosted the Vegetables au Vin with Coq.  If you’d like to see the rest of our recipe interpretations, check out this list.

To host our 2nd recipe we chose another delicious one, although as always, we did make some changes.  As you all know, we recently moved from a condo to a house.  One of the bigger changes (aside from having more space and a bigger kitchen), is that we can finally have a grill!  Our fantastic realtor, Peter Raia, got us a wonderful housewarming gift- a new grill! What perfect timing to enjoy a burger, especially since yesterday DC had amazing weather- sunny and in the 60′s!

Tzatziki Sauce

How did we change the recipe from Mark Bittman’s original?  First, we added a tzatziki sauce, rather than using feta cheese.  We also used less rice (he had 1 cup) and more onion (1 whole one).  The biggest change is he did not use burger buns as we did, instead he placed each burger on the bed of spinach (and more of it, 1 lb).  Check out what creative ideas other bloggers came up with here.

Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach

Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Inspired & Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook

Servings: 4 patties

Tzatziki Sauce
16 oz plain Greek yogurt
9 sprigs of mint leaves
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/4 lemon
1 cucumber, peeled

Spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups of fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Burger Patties
1 1/4 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup cooked rice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground sumac
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

4 burger buns

To make the tzatziki sauce, blend together the Greek yogurt, mint, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor.  Also add in 3/4 of the cucumber and puree it.  Scoop out the tzatziki sauce into a bowl.  Chop the remaining 1/4 cucumber, and add it into the bowl, stir.  The sauce can be made ahead of time, and actually tastes great when it’s served cold.

To make the spinach, add the olive oil to a large skillet and allow to heat up.  Once the olive oil is hot, then add the spinach to the pan.  Stir occasionally until the spinach begins to soften and wilt, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan.

To make the burgers, mix the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: ground lamb, cooked rice, garlic, red onion, cumin, sumac, salt, and pepper.  Mix the ingredients together and form 4 patties.  These can be made ahead of time, or be added onto a grill right away.  Grill to 6-8 minutes on each side, depending on your preference of cooked meat.  If you do not have a grill, you can still make these on a skilled over medium-high heat, cooking the patties for about the same time until they are cooked through.

To make the burgers, place some spinach on the bun, then the burger patty.  Lastly, drizzle with tzatziki sauce.  Feel free to add tomato or onion slices.  Enjoy!

Monthly Review: February 2013

This past month has flown by for us, check out what photos I have captured on my iPhone!

Interested in what we’ve done in past months?
2012: May June July August November December
2013: January

February 2013: Birthday Cards

The month of February started off with my birthday on Groundhog’s Day!  Sam made me a delicious Birthday Fruit Tart (just like last year!).  Do you have friend’s birthdays coming up?  Check out the Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake or this delicious steak meal!

February 2013: running race

With other Back on My Feet members I ran the Love the Run You’re with 5K, sponsored by Pacers!  Although it was a little cold, we had sunny weather that was perfect for a morning run.  In March, I’m running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC.  This Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole is a perfect post-run breakfast!  What races did you run, or are planning on running?

February 2013: Mia

Our friends Stephanie and Jack were out of town, so we got a chance to spend time with their dog Mia!  Isn’t she adorable?  Do any readers out there have dogs?

February 2013: Matchbox

For my birthday lunch, my friend Jess took me to the new Matchbox on 14th.  The restaurant has an open feel, and very well lit- it was great to try some new things on their menu.  I know the sliders and pizzas are the most popular, but do any of you have any favorites?  I’d love to hear suggestions.

February 2013: Valentine's Day

Jess and I also made these fun cookies for our husbands for Valentine’s Day!

If you’d like try a new cookie recipe, try the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies I made!

February 2013: new house

The most exciting news for us this month: we bought a new house!!!  Our 1 bedroom condo sold and we’ve moved to a bigger house!  Yay for extra space!  Still in DC, just a different neighborhood (which means, more adventures)!

February 2013: old kitchen

With the move, we had to say good-bye to our fifth floor kitchen.  This is where the blog started, but don’t worry, we’ll be sticking to the original blog name.  The last food we made there were the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

February 2013: organization

As we’re slowly unpacking all of our boxes, we also got some new housewarming gifts!  Thanks Aunt Kate for these awesome OXO containers- a perfect gift for a new pantry!

February 2013: pizza

We’ve already had some visitors this past week, our new kitchen and living room layout is perfect for entertaining.  Need some ideas for foods to make when you have visitors?  (Above is the Apple & Smoked Cheese Pizza.)

Appetizers: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey; Fig & Arugula Flatbread; Fresh Corn Salsa; Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley; Spinach & Artichoke Dip;

Entrees: Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini; Vegetable Coq au Vin; Baingan Bharta; Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur; Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage;

Brunch: Mushroom Shallot Frittata; Smokey Quiche; Zucchini Bread;

Dessert: Baklava; Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble; Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate; Rum Raisin Ice Cream; Tart Cherry Pie;

February 2013: soup

I finished off the month by checking out a new restaurant in Chinatown- Daikaya (the new ramen spot).  The downstairs opened up on February 14th, and currently they are serving 4 different types of traditional ramen soup.

Over the last 5 years I have learned that DC is a small city.  Turns out my new friend Carol, who I met at Back on My Feet, knows a fellow DC blogger who has been participating in the Food Matters Project.  Also a runner, Meg has her own food blog, Fledgling Foodie.  It was wonderful to finally meet her, and it’s always nice to have more foodie friends!

Can’t wait for all new things in March!  Do any of you have any fun plans?

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

So there is an explanation why Sam and I have been doing a little less cooking…we’ve been busy packing!

Our exciting news is that we’ve sold our condo, and we’ve bought a new home!  We’re still staying put in Washington, DC- but we’re moving to a new neighborhood.  The best part is- our kitchen is getting bigger & brighter!  We’re both very excited for improved photos, how far we’ve come since the start of the blog!

We’ve been packing and trying to clean out our cupboards the last couple of weeks, so we have less to move.  One of the things I had made were these “clean-out the cupboards” chocolate chunk cookies.  They’re a little different- a bit of a nutty flavor from the sesame seeds, and a little extra salt from the soy sauce (yes, you read that correctly).  But they were delicious and soft, not just straight from the oven, but also the next day for an afternoon snack with some tea.

What do you like to eat when you’re packing up and moving?  Any ideas of what should be our first home-cooked meal in the new house?

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from: Joy the Baker

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp soy sauce
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 3 oz dark chocolate bars, broken into small chunks
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Set up the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and beat together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Then add the egg and egg yolk, and beat until fluffy for about a minute.  Next, beat in the vanilla and soy sauce.  Then, add in all of the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.  Beat all of the ingredients until they are mixed well, about 3 minutes.  Lastly, add the chocolate and sesame seeds, and fold together with a spatula.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Once you’re read to bake them, preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray the baking sheet with cooking spray.  Then scoop out a tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a ball and place it onto the cookie sheet.  Continue to do this until you run out of room on the cookie sheet, or the dough.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges.  Remove them from the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack.  Enjoy!