Mixed Bag (Part 7): Burgers, Brioche, Baked Chicken, and (Date) Bars

Half of these recipes are from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Country. The chicken is from the Food Network Magazine and the last one was a random blog I used to make something date-related for the Fudgelet. None were super successful, as you will see below. All are B-related! Maybe these are B recipes for their grades, too.


Let’s start with the burgers. They are simple for ingredients, just the ground beef, salt, pepper, and onions with some oil.


I made them twice. The first time, the onions didn’t cook enough for our liking, and so I switched to shallots and cutting them smaller, as well as starting them before the burgers. Somehow, the burgers ended up a bit overcooked that time, which didn’t make sense since I started them later. They just didn’t cook evenly. Maybe keeping the burgers thicker would have helped?

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Now let’s look at the next recipe…


It looks pretty, doesn’t it? This baked chicken is a healthy dish which has potential. One major change I would make is roasting all of the food together. You brown the chicken in the pan to start, and it gets overcooked in the oven. And then the vegetables don’t cook down enough. So, I would just do it all in the pan in the oven to keep it simpler.


Another issue was keeping the garlic cloves whole. They didn’t roast properly and remained almost raw. Not yummy.

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Otherwise, the combination of asparagus with the potatoes, chicken, and tomatoes was a great spring dish (when I made it), along with the parmesan and lemon in a topping you sprinkle on near the end of baking.

Next, let’s tackle the date bars. I actually made these to imitate some store-bought bars that the Fudgelet liked but were a bit pricey and hard to find. Welllllll these weren’t the same. At all. I ended up using them on top of my overnight oats, sprinkled on. They are okay, but a little off for texture and taste (for me). Some parts were too chewy, some were too hard, and some is too soft. Odd.


It starts with dates…


And chia seeds which I am not sure about yet…


There is some blending.


And mixing.

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Don’t the chia seeds seem odd to you? Or is just me?


Then you bake them.

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Like I said, I’m still undecided.


Finally, the most successful of the bunch…the bread.


I don’t know what happened, but my dough looked nothing like the dough in the episode. Not nearly as smooth.

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I used the melted butter which was their special secret to make things easier and faster.


I tried to be careful with the dough and not overwork it.

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It just doesn’t look right.


An egg wash does make things prettier.


The bread tasted eggy and buttery but should have been softer (I felt).


So, there you have it! Another installment to help me catch up on what I’ve been making.


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