Ahhh summertime: hot weather, crowded streets, humidity that makes my hair look like Phil Spector’s… If you can’t already tell, I’m not a huge fan of summer (weird, I know). I much prefer fall and spring where sweaters are my go-to staple and London Fogs are my go-to pick me up. Having said that there are a few perks to summer that I love. Most notably: the smell of freshly cut grass, summer nights cruising in your car, and BBQs! A few weeks ago I went on a tour ofSpringford Farm and picked up some of their ground beef. I decided this would be a perfect opportunity for my first grill of the summer (edit: I don’t actually own a BBQ so my indoor grill will have to do the trick!)

In addition to picking up meat from Springford, I purchased some local produce from Coombs Country Market. All in all I had with me ground beef and fresh eggs (both from Springford), spinach, feta cheese, potato rolls, and new potatoes (all from Coombs). With my ingredients splayed out in front of me, and with a little extra ingredients from my local grocer, I decided to make some hamburgers, smashed potatoes and a cran-apple spinach salad!

First up, I started with my smashed potatoes:DSC_2653
For this recipe you’ll need:

  • BABY potatoes (I bought new potatoes which are much too large for this recipe!)
  • (roughly) 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • small handful of parsley
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • pinch of sea salt
    **now I haven’t put exact measurements up there and that’s just because I was cooking for one, but this recipe is easy enough to adjust for any number of servings!

Steps                                                               (click picture to enlarge)

1. Boil the baby potatoes for roughly 10 minutes. You want them soft, but not completely cooked all the way through. While the potatoes are boiling, pre-heat your oven to 450°F
2. If you bought bigger potatoes, like me, cut them in half. If you followed the directions like a normal person, skip this step.
3. Smash!! I find this easiest if you smash the potatoes on a cutting board, while using a clean kitchen towel between your hand and the potato. Those puppies are HOT! Also you don’t want to use too much pressure when smashing. (You want the potatoes to retain a disc like shape, not the shape of a desecrated heap of mushed potato.) Layer a baking sheet with tin foil, then drizzle some olive oil onto the pan. Next, place your smashed potatoes on the pan.
4. Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with olive oil. Then sprinkle some of your parsley, garlic, and sea salt over-top. Now you’re ready to bake them!
5. Bake for 5-10 minutes (depending on your oven) until your potatoes are deliciously golden brown.

Let’s move on to the hamburger:DSC_2656I borrowed this recipe off of Canadian Living’s website, with a few alterations. Here’s the ingredient list:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 shallot
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • hamburger buns
    ** the recipe says it makes four patties but I was actually able to make six


1. In a bowl, beat egg and water together with a fork.
2. Mix in bread crumbs, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and BBQ sauce. Mix in beef.
3. Shape into four 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick patties (again, I was able to shape out 6 patties!) (Note: you can make these patties ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Alternatively: layer between waxed paper in airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator.)
4. BBQ! Place patties on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning patties once, for about 10 minutes or until no longer pink inside. (As I mentioned, I cooked them on my table-top grill. It took roughly 5 minutes (just make sure the patty is brown all the way through). ASSEMBLE YOUR BURGER!

Last but not least: Cran-Apple Spinach Salad!

DSC_2674For this salad, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green apple
  • handful of dried cranberries

DSC_2676The steps for this are pretty straight forward: Put spinach in bowl, throw everything else in. Voila! Also, as you maybe noticed, I didn’t use any dressing on this salad. That’s because I hate condiments. Of any kind (no joke I eat a Caesar salad with no dressing). So if you want a little spice in your life try adding a raspberry vinaigrette!

After a lot of blood, sweat, and tears I was finally able to enjoy this delicious summer meal:DSC_2689(kidding about the blood, but sweat and tears were definitely involved – it’s hard taking photos while trying to timely cook everything!)

So what’s your favourite hamburger recipe? Do you love the classic beef burger or do you like to mix it up with a chicken or salmon burger now and then??

– Sean xx


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