Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goodbye to Summer Lunch

With the first day of autumn coming in a week, I decided to make a delicious “Goodbye to Summer” lunch.  Honestly, with the heat this year, it isn't so sad to have summer leave.  There were no convenience items on hand such as buns and patties, so I decided to make hamburgers and buns from scratch.  I also came up with a fun pasta salad to go with it.  There was a can of baked beans so I cheated and used them.  If you feel so inclined to have your own “Goodbye to Summer” meal, I have included the recipes.

Hamburger buns:


·         3 cups warm water

·         4 tablespoons molasses

·         1/4 ounce fresh yeast

·         3 tablespoons olive oil

·         8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface


1.        In a large bowl, mix together water, molasses, yeast, and oil until yeast has dissolved. Slowly add flour, mixing until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth, about 30 seconds.

2.        Return dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic wrap onto the surface of the dough. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3.        Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Divide dough evenly into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Place balls of dough on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart and cover with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm place until doubled in size.

4.        Fill a spray bottle with cold water and generously moisten each ball of dough (Sprinkle Poppy Seeds or Sesame Seeds if desired) Transfer to oven and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets

The Dough rising

Ready to go in the oven

Beautiful finished buns


Really Good Hamburgers:


  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon steak sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 8 cooked bacon strips
  • Optional toppings: lettuce leaves and tomato, onion and pickle slices


  • In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.
  • Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 3 in. from the heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Top with cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with bacon and toppings of your choice. Yield: 4 servings.
Here is my chopped garlic for the hamburger patties.  My hands smell so good from chopping it, I just want to eat my fingers.  Gross.

Penne Pasta Salad:

½ box penne, boiled and cooled

½ chopped cucumber

¼ c chopped onion

1 sm chopped tomato

1 cup mayo

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Mix the pasta with the mayo, sugar, salt and pepper and basil leaves.  Fold in the veggies.

I also marinated some cucumbers to go on the hamburgers.

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