Friday, August 15, 2008

My Kitchen, My World ~ United States of America

This week for the My Kitchen, My World challenge we are celebrating the Olympics by choosing the country where we are from. Since I am a proud American I decided to make what I think is the All-American meal.

I don't think it gets any more American than grilled cheeseburgers, potato salad, slow-cooked beans, fresh squeezed lemonade, and lemon bars for dessert.

The Hamburgers ~ made with local beef, topped with a local bacon, a couple slices of Tillamook Cheddar, and served on a locally made potato bread bun. Delish!

Ruby Kaye's Baked Beans - Ruby Kaye is my mom!

1 pound navy or pea beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. Discard any discolored beans. In a large bowl, combine the beans with plenty of cold water and soak overnight for 6 to 8 hours.

2. Drain the beans. In a large pot, combine the beans and enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, and cook for 45 minutes or until they are just tender (it may take longer if the beans are old or the soaking time was short). Drain the beans and set aside the cooking liquid.

3. Set the oven at 325 degrees. In a bean pot or deep casserole with a lid, combine the beans, onion, mustard, dark and light brown sugars, molasses, and salt. Add enough of the cooking liquid to just cover the beans. Stir to blend them.

4. Bring the liquid to a boil on top of the stove, then transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes to make sure the beans don't dry. Add more cooking liquid if necessary.

5. When the beans are tender, uncover the pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more to make a slightly crusty top.

6. My mom makes hers in a crockpot. I do the same thing. It is a lot easier.

Simple Potato Salad -


2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
3 to 4 eggs, hard-cooked and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons diced dill pickle
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Cut the potatoes into small, bite-size chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, until just tender. Pour off water, set the pan in a sink or larger pan of cold water to cool the potatoes quickly.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with eggs, celery, red onion, green onions, and diced dill pickle. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Add to the potatoes and stir gently to combine. Fold in the dill and add salt and pepper to taste.

My Agave Nectar Lemonade ~

4 lemons
Light Agave Nectar
1 1/2 quarts water

Juice lemons. Put fresh lemon juice in pitcher. Add water (you may need to add more or less depending on how much juice you have). Sweeten with Agave Nectar to taste. Serve over ice or chill.

It is extra tasty with a couple dashes of vodka. :)

Agave Nectar is one of my most favorite foods on the planet. I almost like it better than honey.

Pucker You Up Lemon bars ~


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 lemons, juiced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/12 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust. At this time I top mine with riwwel.**
4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool.

**Riwwel is a Germans from Russia crumb topping that is used for cakes, pastries, and even some soups! I am very proud of my Germans from Russia heritage (I am 1/2 Irish too) and love to cook the recieps my Grandma has passed down to me. I look forward to sharing them with Agnes.

Riwwel (Crumb Topping) Recipe:

In a bowl, mix 1 c. sugar and 2 c. flour. Add 1/2 c. melted butter and stir with a fork until crumbly. For a crunchy topping, mix 2 tsp. water into the crumb mixture.

It's a good thing we don't eat like this often or I would be as big as a house. The giant burger in the photo was Sean's. Agnes and I had smaller versions. :)

I can't wait until next weeks challenge. I am still trying to figure out what to make!


sefa firdaus said...

the burger looks tempting *yummy*

Natashya said...

Great summertime American meal. I have never made fresh baked beans before.
And the lemon bars and lemonaid, I love lemon - the more tart the better.

Susie Homemaker said...

Wow - you did the WHOLE MEAL! I did burgers too - but your meal looks fantastic!!

Michelle Dargen said...

Thanks everyone!

Grilling burgers is such a great summertime meal. It has been 102 degrees here so I am just not cooking anything inside!

Baked beans are easy enough to make. Just throw everything in the crockpot and walk away. Or, you can just open a can of Bush's Vegetarian beans. LOL

Aunt LoLo said...

Ooh...lemon bars are my FAVORITE. My sweet hubby doesn't like citrus desserts, so I don't get to eat lemon bars that often. (I mean, it's just the two of us and a toddler. If I made a pan, I'd EAT a pan...and that wouldn't be pretty!)

Carol said...

Wow everything looks great--and I have to agree with you agave nectar is amazing!

sefa firdaus said...

I'm glad that you like my country!
You have to explore Indonesia, since we have lots of beautiful places and beaches :)

jodycakes said...

Looking good...nothing like a good ol american meal.