I've been a long-time fan of Sandra Lee...I love her cookbooks, her television shows, magazines, and of course I'm a big fan of her cute, matchy-matchy tablescapes that coordinate with her kitchen. I'm also not ashamed to say that I've been a fan of her semi-homemade (70% pre-packaged products and 30% fresh items) recipes for many years.
Recently, I've been following her announcement on her Facebook that she received a breast cancer diagnosis after a routine mammogram--which was followed by a lumpectomy, and then a double mastectomy during this past week. My heart goes out to her and to anyone battling breast cancer...or any kind of cancer. Many people battling this disease will be helped by her Sandra's openness and her sharing with the public of her personal experience and journey to recovery.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I am preparing some of her recipes. The Cheeseburger Bites* are so good. These are little tasty sliders, with a meatloaf-flavor twist. Mama likes small portions, so these were perfect for her with a little bit of cole slaw.
My Cheeseburger Bites
In Sandra's words, "It's Cocktail Time!" She now has her own Margaritas in the bottle...Key Lime or Strawberry. We'll be sippin' the Key Lime Margaritas this weekend too!
*Recipe for Cheeseburger Bites:
1 1/4 lbs extra-lean ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tblsp meat loaf seasoning
1 package (7 oz) sunburst-shape cheese snacks (I used sliced American cheese)
8 hamburger buns, split iceberg lettuce leaves, cut into 2-inch-wide pieces
6 tblsp Thousand Island salad dressing
16 cherry tomatoes
16 pickle chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, ketchup, and meat loaf seasoning with wet hands until well combined. Form into 16 patties slightly larger than 2 inches wide. Place patties on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Top each patty with cheese, return to oven, and back about 2 minutes more or until burgers are cooked through and cheese has melted. While burgers cook, arrange halves of hamburger buns on a cutting board, cut sides up. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut mini buns from the large hamburger buns. To assemble mini cheeseburgers, cover bottoms of mini buns with lettuce, a patty, and about 1 teaspoon salad dressing. Add bun tops. Skewer 1 cherry tomato and 1 pickle chip on each of 16 long cocktail toothpicks; push through the centers of assembled burgers.
Makes: 16 mini burgers
Keep it Simple, Keep it Smart, Keep it Semi-Homemade!
I'm sure even Sandra's harshest critics join me in sending gentle hugs and prayers to her for a complete and speedy recovery!