in my cupboard: the walnut burger

I will admit that I’m not actually a huge fan of walnuts, so I wasn’t instantly drawn to the Walnut burger but I had the chance to sample it at a food show and it really is delicious. It is so different from the other “veggie” aka soy burgers I’ve had – in a good way!
This burger was made famous at the Trempealeau Hotel restaurant in Trempealeau, WI and is their top-selling item. They serve it on a whole-wheat kaiser roll with sprouts, tomatoes and mayo along with a variety of other ways (think stuffed mushrooms, walnut balls and spaghetti, etc.) I’m also trying to send my parents there for a weekend (the hotel looks adorable) if they can ever get away :)
I know they will be available around the Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa area so check your local co-ops!

I served mine with a salad, broccolini and a spicy sriracha remoulade sauce. In the sauce: 1 Tbsp. sriracha sauce and 1 Tbsp. mayo.
Walnut Burger Ingredients:
Walnuts, cheddar cheese, low fat mozzarella (we are in Wisconsin here….), bread crumbs, onions, tamari, organic eggs, canola oil, herbs and spices.


As I was reading an article in the most recent Gourmet, it occurred to me. I was meant to live in the 50’s, host fabulous cocktail parties – complete with a too-cute dress, apron and heels – a dirty martini in one hand and a tray of hors devours  in the other…and while this sounds great to me in theory it didn’t take me too long to realize I would be forced to live without things like my iphone, laptop, blogs etc so I quickly got back to reality. But it is true, there is nothing I like more than having friends over for some cocktails and hors devours.

Here are some of the snacks I made last week:
Roasted & Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes
Eggplant Caponata with Olives & Leek Goat Cheese (amazing)
Italian Meat & Cheese Tray: Marinated fresh Mozzerella, Truffled Italian Cheese & Herb Encrusted Salami
Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Dip and veggies
Everything all together….

june cheese plate

Carr Valley MenageThis is a mix of cow, sheep and goat milk that is unbelievably creamy. Carr Valley, a local Wisconsin cheese company can pretty much do no wrong. I grew up eating the Carr Valley cheddar and swiss and I never really even knew until recently that they had artisanal cheeses – which I’ve definitely been enjoying! Try this one out!

Goat GoudaThis goats milk cheese was such so smooth! I love goat and gouda so why not try them together? I of course adored it – it would be great paired with other flavorful food as the flavor wasn’t overpowering at all
Young Manchego - Ohhh Manchego, I must admit, prior to this Spring I wasn’t very familiar with you, but now I can officially say that I have fallen for you and you are one of my favorites. Next time I would like to try an aged Manchego.

eating experiment

As my grocery trips have started getting more and more expensive I wondered how I could reign it in a bit – I know people do this all the time – my parent’s called it an “austerity program” and I didn’t even have the slightest clue on how to spell that, so that tells you how many “austerity programs” I’ve been on in my adult life.  :(  Sorry Dad, I really am trying this time!!!

My problem? I LOVE the grocery store, high-quality, organic food, trying the newest and greatest foods, and oh yes, my love of expensive cheese. So, could I possibly spend $50 a week on breakfast and lunch (for myself) and dinner for two? I will start off easy (Sunday night – Thursday night) so 4 breakfasts, lunches and dinners (only 4 days because I’m at camp on the weekends) and I’m cheating a bit because I already some dinner ingredients that I didn’t use this week. So I’ll aim for $40!
I would love any grocery store budget tips if you have them!