A Public Apology to Foodstalkers

Dear Foodstalkers,

Shame on me. During the most spectacular time of food abundance, i.e., Thanksgiving, I strayed from you. I was too busy eating my heart out to pause and take time to tell you about it, better yet snap a picture. Please take me back. I promise I’ll never hurt you again.
Heart you,

Ms. Em

With that out of the way, I’ll summarize the past few weeks. I made these delectable little bites: Prosciutto Wrapped Figs, stuffed with goat cheese and topped with a honey cinnamon drizzle. Bake them for about 6-8 min. It’s a Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee recipe. Gasp. Turns out her recipes do have a time and place: a  BUNCO party.Cheers!


The Wednesday night dinner group hit up BOGO night at Shiki Sushi in Durham. We were a table of 9, so we tried 18 different rolls family style. Correction: not family style, but every-eater-for-himself style. I saw some cut-throat chopstick moves stealing bagel rolls! Here’s our sushi boat:



Thanksgiving highlights: my mom’s dressing patties smothered in white gravy infused with lots of sage, cranberry conserve (Ina’s recipe), my aunt’s yeast rolls and shrimp scampi at Ciao Pizza. And then there were my mom’s homemade go-to items for simple meals: poundcake, vegetable soup, snowman cheeseball and the most amazing citrus/shallot vinaigrette.

I’m back on the cooking train from a lengthy hiatus of soup, salad and sandwiches since Turkey Day. So last night I made Sara Foster’s Turkey Burgers with a Ms. Em twist. Cool side note: Sara Foster represents my Chapel Hill home (location of Foster’s Market) and my time spent in Birmingham (she was a contributor to Cottage Living)! I love her non-fussy approach to cooking. It’s about the ingredients and simple preparations that enhance the natural flavors of the basics.

If you think about a turkey burgers as really no different than a meatloaf or a meatball, that is, it’s made by all the stuff you add to it because otherwise it’s pretty bland, then you can play around with the ingredients. I adapted Sara’s recipe. Here’s my spinoff:

1.3 lbs. ground turkey meat
2/3 c. bread crumbs (I tossed a whole grain end slice and some Wheat Thins in my blender)
2 shallots, diced
2 T light mayo
1 T dijon mustard
lots of good shakes of Worchestershire
2 T Thai chili sauce
5 basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper

Mix it all up with your hands. Make 4 patties and fire them up in sets of 2 in a hot skillet for about 3 minutes per side. Wave off the fire alarm. And then finish cooking in the oven. My patties weren’t cooking through the middle, but I didn’t want them to brown anymore on the outside, so placing them in a 250F oven for a couple of minutes finished them out just fine.

Burger Night

Burger Night

I ate my burger on a bed of spinach, alongside some grape tomoatoes and topped with a dijon mustard/honey/Worchestershire sauce. And then I also made some sweet potato oven fries (tossed in olive oil and Black Jack’s famous grilling rub for spice). That was a no-joke, economically friendly dinner at home! Nearly everything came from my regular grocery buying (tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes) and stuff that’s on-hand in my pantry. I just had to go fetch the turkey!

Yet another happy turkey day.


One response to “A Public Apology to Foodstalkers

  1. theartoftravel

    I am sooo making the turkey burger!! I will however put mine over a bed of arugula. Minus the pickle as well…

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