Tag: food

What’s for Dinner?

Fried Chicken Dinner

My wife has an ingenious system for labeling our dinner leftovers.

   When we were first married, she would carefully annotate a label on food storage containers in large, clear letters: “Meatloaf,” or “Pot Roast,” or “Steak and Vegetables,” or “Chicken and Dumplings,” or “Beef Pot Pie.” etc. She knew exactly what we had in the freezer.

  The problem was, every day when I came home from work, she would ask me what did I want for dinner? I never asked for any of those meals. I never told her “meatloaf,” or “pot roast,” or “steak and vegetables.” Let’s face it, leftovers are leftovers, and there’s a reason that they’re ‘left over’.

  That’s when she started labeling the leftovers with the new system. She decided to stock the freezer with the things I like, the things I requested. Today, in our freezer you’ll see a whole variety of labels. You’ll find dinners with neat little tags that say: “Whatever,” “Anything,” “I Don’t Know,” “I Don’t Care,” “Something Good,” or just “Food.” No more frustration at dinner time. Now, no matter what I reply when she asks me what I want for dinner, it’s in there!

The Ozzie Burger

When I traveled to Australia back in 2000, I was told that whatever I did, I had to try the traditional ‘Ozzie’ or ‘Aussie Burger.’ I had never heard of an Ozzie Burger’ but I was up for it. I had already tried several different foods while I was there; the traditional – fish & chips, and veal, and non-traditional – crocodile, emu, camel and kangaroo, but the one that impressed me the most was the Ozzie Burger.

I ordered my Ozzie Burger in the Victoria’s Cross area of Sydney. When my waitress took my order, she glanced around and asked, “Are you going to eat this by yourself?” What an odd question. “I thought I would, why?” I replied. “It’s pretty big,” she said and was off to the kitchen.

Australian “Ozzie” burger, stacked beef, cheese, tomato, greens, bacon, beets, pineapple and fried egg

It was one of the biggest sandwiches I have ever seen in my life. It had several layers of different food items on it. It towered a good four inches above the stack of chips (french fries) on the side. It reminded me of Dagwood’s sandwiches in the comic strip, Blondie. I could only eat about 3/4ths of it, but the memory will last a lifetime.

  The traditional Ozzie Burger is an over-the-top cheeseburger topped with unusual, but complimentary toppings: a fried egg, pickled beets, and pineapple rings for example. Don’t dismiss the beets – they are very good and taste a lot like cucumber pickles. Big cucumber pickles.


Here is a recipe for an Aussie Burger (makes 2):

  • fresh ground beef (use 16oz beef for 1/2 lb burgers, 12 oz beef for 1/3 lb burgers, or 8oz for 1/4 lb burgers)
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried chili peppers
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 slices sweet Vadalia onion
  • 2 fresh pineapple rings
  • 2 slices aged sharp cheddar
  • 2 eggs, fried over-well
  • 4-6 slices bacon or 2 slices ham
  • 2 leaves of Bibb or Romaine lettuce
  • 6-8 Spinach leaves
  • 4 slices of pickled beet
  • 2 slices beefsteak tomato
  • 2 toasted hamburger buns

Set your outdoor grill or oven broiler for high heat. In a bowl, combine the beef, oil, chili, and garlic; season with salt and pepper and form into two patties.

Fry the bacon or ham until done, then set aside. In the bacon drippings, fry the onion and pineapple just until browned on each side. Next, cook the eggs until almost done, then sprinkle with water and cover, remove from heat. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Toast the buns with a light coating of butter.

  To Assemble sandwiches: Set bottom of the bun on a plate, cover with mayonnaise and top with a burger. Add one fried egg, a slice of cheese, a slice of ham or slices of bacon, fried onions, one or two slices of beet, a slice of pineapple, a slice of tomato, and spinach and lettuce. Spread the top bun with sauce (ketchup), mustard, and relish as desired. It is a satisfying dining experience.

Fair dinkum!!



McDonald’s Monopoly game piece – peel it to win

MacDonald’s launched their 20th annual Monopoly game contest in 2012. When you buy certain food and drink items from McDonald’s, you get two or four game pieces attached to the packaging. You peel the game pieces off to reveal either an instant win coupon or a monopoly property card that you can try to collect for a big prize.

  My daughter has always been lucky when it comes to games of chance. One Christmas, when she was about 10, she wanted to hang around the department store after we bought our Christmas gifts so she could win a door prize. I tried my best to discourage her so we could go home, but she begged, and so we stayed. She won the door prize — a diamond tennis bracelet worth about $200.

  The other night, we were eating at McD’s, and my daughter pulls her Monopoly game pieces from her drink cup. A WINNER! She wins a free Tropical Smoothie.

Now remember, my daughter is very lucky when it comes to games of chance.

   She goes up to the counter to claim it, and she comes back with a Tropical Smoothie for me and a large vanilla milk shake for herself. “What happened?” I asked. “The guy behind the counter made another customer the wrong drink, so he let me have it for free.” WINNER! Oh and, by the way, the milk shake he gave her had two more Monopoly pull-off pieces. You guessed it. WINNER! – She wins a free order of fries to go with that milk shake and smoothie.

   So what did I get on my drink cup Monopoly pull-offs? Luxury tax and GO STRAIGHT TO JAIL.