Super Bowl Sunday

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! In our house Sunday equals football and food! With the end of football season fast approaching, so is Super Bowl Sunday. And Super Bowl Sunday is basically a holiday, at least when it comes to the food. The combination of the food, the commercials, the halftime show, and of course, the football game itself, makes Super Bowl Sunday a family affair. Todd and myself are big football fans, and obviously big food fans as well. We like to go all out for Super Bowl Sunday, try new recipes, and create a big, tasty spread. Last year, we made a bunch of different recipes, and tried a different dish each quarter.
This year, money is pretty tight, and we are on a very strict budget, and there is not much wiggle room in the budget for a big spread. So instead of picking 5 or 6 different recipes to prepare, we decided that we would make just one dish this year. We had several to pick from, I mean, my Pinterest appetizer board is full of strong Super Bowl party worthy contenders. Between the toasted ravioli, the french dip crescents, the cheesy pesto bread, and more, we had so many options. We decided on a beef enchilada dip recipe I found on Pinterest. All we needed was ground beef, enchilada sauce, cheese, an onion, garlic, and tortilla chips. It is a simple recipe, that fit into our budget. Todd made it the other night, it was quick and easy. He used a little more cheese than the recipe called for because…well, it’s cheese, and sometimes a recipe is just a suggestion. Other than the amount of cheese, Todd followed the recipe (which is a miracle in itself), and we sat down on our couch with some of this delicious dip on a Friday night, and the fat kid happy dance soon followed. We were very happy with the way it came out, it was hearty and cheesy. It is definitely a recipe we will make again. If you are tight on a money, but need a dish to bring to a Super Bowl party, or any other Sunday Funday you have planned, this is a yummy, affordable option.

Here is a link to the recipe on a website called Add A Pinch:

Beef Enchilada Dip Recipe

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Burger Time

As I type the title of this blog, the lyrics from MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” rolled through my head. I mean, I’m from the Oak town, and a good burger makes me say “Oh my Lord!” When we go out on our foodie adventures, we are always on the hunt for an excellent burger. Todd has talked endlessly about wanting to make a trip to Bobby’s Burger Palace in Las Vegas or Michael Symon’s B Spot Burgers in Cleveland. Everyone has a their favorite burger place. When we asked our friends, we got all kinds of answers. In Colorado Springs, a long time favorite was Conway’s Red Top, before it closed. We heard about a place called Blake’s Lotaburger in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a place called Hinkles in Madison, Indiana, and a place called St. John’s Bar & Grill in Sunnyvale, California. Most burger lovers will ramble on and on, affectionately about their burger mecca.

My favorite burger is from Nation’s Giant Burgers back home in the Bay Area in Northern California. They are just simple burgers, no crazy toppings, no fancy buns, just a huge, juicy burger. I always chose to get mine topped with mayo, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and bacon. Todd’s favorite burger spot is Bingo Burger. He is a lover of green chiles, and they mix the Pueblo green chiles into the meat mixture. It doesn’t hurt that Bingo Burger is a Colorado owned business, and they use locally-sourced ingredients. When Todd and myself started dating, his sister, Brenda, told us about a place on the westside of Colorado Springs to try for a good burger. We did, and we loved it! It was called The Dive, in an old converted house near Old Colorado City. Sadly The Dive closed in 2018, and now we must find a new burger spot, so feel free to send us your recommendations!

The beauty of a burger is that there are endless configurations. Different combinations of meat, different toppings, and different types of buns. You could have a burger made off 100% ground chuck, topped with pepper jack cheese, avocado, and tomato, on a sesame seed bun. Or you could have a burger made with bison meat, topped with lettuce and caramelized onions, on a potato roll. There are endless options!

Todd and myself decided to try a multitude of burgers, well not a multitude, but three different kinds of burgers to decide which we liked best. We tried an all ground beef patty, a 50/50 mixture with ground beef and ground pork, and a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground lamb. All the meat was from King Soopers, the ground lamb was organic, and the ground beef was 80/20. Each patty was seasoned the same way, with salt, pepper, and Old Market All-Purpose Seasoning from Savory Spice (located in downtown Colorado Springs). Each patty was also cooked in a cast iron skillet, and served on a buttered and toasted potato roll. And, since a burger is always a better as a cheeseburger, each burger had a small piece of Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses. Todd seasoned and shaped each burger. We did smaller than normal patties, just a little bigger than a slider. We tried each mixture and here is what we decided. Our least favorite was the all ground beef patty, it was good, but nothing spectacular. Second place, goes to the ground beef and ground pork mixture. Todd normally makes our burgers with this mixture, and it is more affordable than the beef & lamb mixture. The ground beef and ground pork mixture makes for a nice, juicy burger, with a lot of flavor. Our favorite of the three was the ground beef and ground lamb mixture. There was a boldness from the lamb, and a rich flavor that was unmatched by the other two. Even though it wasn’t as juicy, the flavor was amazing. Todd said that the ground beef and ground lamb was his hands down favorite, but next time he uses the ground lamb in a burger, he will try some different seasonings, maybe a little more Mediterranean flavors.

In the Low Class Foodies house, burgers are a beautiful thing, and we will honor them as such. After our little experiment, one thing we both agreed on, was that the only thing missing from these delicious burger bites, was bacon! Now we must decide which bacon is best on a burger…but that is for another post!

And just for a little fun…

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Mom’s Poor Man’s Stroganoff

This coming Wednesday will mark 12 years since my mom passed away. I miss her terribly, every day. When I want to feel close to my mom, I start cooking. Food was always an expression of love in our house. The kitchen was the heart of our home, full of joy, sadness, laughter, and tears. Most of my memories, with my family take place in the kitchen. My mom was not a fancy cook, she cooked out of the necessity of feeding her family. She worked multiple jobs, she was extremely active with our church, and she had very little free time, so cooking dinner was a duty, not a task she loved. Most of our dinners were quickly made meals, recipes from the branded cookbooks you picked up at the register in the grocery store. There was the cheeseburger pie, this was the dish I used to frost with sour cream and cover in salt to make it edible. Her burgers were always cooked in the oven and dry, and if they were served close enough to pay day there was a little bit of charred bacon on top of the burger. I could never forget the random dinner she made once of cheap ramen noodles, bone-in chicken thighs, and a weird cream sauce, I have absolutely no words to explain this dish. These dinners are things I never want to eat as an adult. But there were still a few dishes she made, that I loved. These are the dishes I’ve made for Todd. I have made him stand in the kitchen with me while I cooked so I could tell him stories about my mom,whom he never got to meet. I’m still bummed that I never got her recipe for her tuna casserole, or her party punch. But I did learn to make her version of beef stroganoff. Traditionally, beef stroganoff is a fancy dish, a dish that could be found on the menu of the Russian Tea Room in New York in the 1930s. My mother’s version was not fancy, but it was a staple in our home during my teen years, and really simple to make. This past week, I decided to make my mom’s stroganoff for my lunches to take to work. There is something magical about any dish that can provide the fuel needed to get through the work day, and provides one with some beautiful memories of a loved one.

This is a super easy dish to make, and doesn’t take very long to prepare. First things first, we put our stroganoff over rice. Most people use egg noodles, which is perfectly fine, but I prefer rice. I made the rice in our Instant Pot. Most recipes for rice in the Instant Pot call for a 1 to 1 ratio, I however do 1 ½ cups of water to 1 cup of rice. I do this partially because of the altitude here in Colorado and I like really moist rice (I think this makes a big difference, especially when reheating in a microwave). I cooked the 2 cups of rice, with 3 cups of water on manual for 8 minutes, and then did natural release for 15 minutes before manually releasing the last bit of pressure. As for the sauce, I choose to use ground turkey, my mom used ground beef, it is a matter of preference. When seasoning the meat, I use granulated garlic, black pepper, sea salt, onion powder, italian seasoning, and minced garlic. In the pan, add oil (I used avocado oil), just once around the pan. Season the meat to your taste, I use the garlic heavily, I can always hear my mom telling me to add just a bit more garlic. Cook the turkey through and drain on a plate with paper towels. Put the meat back in the pan once drained, add 1 cup of sour cream, a 10.5 oz can of cream of mushroom soup, and a drained 13.25 oz can of sliced mushrooms (you can use fresh mushrooms that you saute or less mushrooms if your prefer). Mix all together on medium heat. Add more seasoning, to make sure it is seasoned all the way through. Let the sauce come to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Spoon over rice, or noodles, your choice.

It wasn’t until several months after my mom’s passing that I began to realize, that we didn’t keep any of her cookbooks. I wish I had thought of going through her stacks of recipes. Passing on family recipes to the next generation is a beautiful way to share your family’s history. I’ve watched my sister pass on our family’s food traditions to her boys. They love our mom’s lasagna toss dinner, that my sister makes for the boys, they call it Diego’s Pasta, it has kept my mom’s legacy alive through pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese!

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Sandy’s Restaurant – Colorado Springs Review

We love going out for breakfast, I mean LOVE going out for breakfast. Especially, a small, locally owned place, with good, hearty food, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! Sandy’s Restaurant in Colorado Springs, is that place for us. We have never been disappointed, and we love the cozy feel we get every time we go in. We have been in several times since we found Sandy’s a couple years ago, and it is our favorite breakfast spot close to home. Most of their menu is homemade, and it tastes as such. This last time we went in, on New Year’s Day, I tried something new, I got the Chili & Cheese omelet with hash browns. The omelet comes in two sizes, the full size has 6 eggs, and a small size. I got the small size, the waitress called it the half-size, so I assume it has 3 eggs, but don’t quote me. It was smothered in their homemade red chili and, of course, cheese! The hash browns were perfectly cooked, and golden brown. Todd got a create-your-own omelet with bacon, ham, sausage, cheese, and smothered in their green chili. He also substituted the hash browns with french toast. Every time we go to Sandy’s he gets something smothered in green chili, he describes it as having good flavor and mildly spicy (he likes spicy foods). He says it has just the right amount of heat for breakfast. The food is always good at Sandy’s, and the atmosphere is comforting and welcoming. We will most certainly be back, over and over again. If you are in the area, swing by and try them out. Sandy’s is open early, and open for breakfast and lunch. They are located at 6940 Space Village Avenue, near the Peterson AFB North gate.

As big supporters of local businesses, one of our favorite things about Sandy’s is that they have been a part of the local community in Colorado Springs since the 1970s. When their regulars walk in, the waitresses know them by name and know where they like to sit. I could hear the conversations between the people who worked there and their customers, and it sounded more like old friends than a business conversation. We happily recommend trying out Sandy’s if you are in the area. It can get busy, so it may be a bit of a wait, but it is certainly worth the wait. You can check out Sandy’s at their website at https://sandys-restaurant.business.site/ and you can find them on Facebook.

Check the gallery for more pictures from our New Year’s day breakfast!

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