Thursday, June 22, 2017

Big Mac Salad

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My husband and I have been trying really hard to lose weight and eat better for most of this year. We followed a pretty strict Ketogenic diet for about 3.5 months that unfortunately failed on vacations and we haven't quite gotten back to it.

However, we've kept a lot of the same mindset and try to be as low-carb as possible without fully giving up carbs again.

So, what is it about any sort of attempt to eat healthier that automatically makes you want a burger? When on Keto, we often did open faced/no bun knife and fork burgers and that was great.

But even still -- where's my McDonalds Big Mac!? In reality, we rarely even eat fast food (living in Germany, it's not easily accessible, thankfully) but now of course, just because we're actively avoiding it, we need it!

So while trying to stick to our goals, but all the while wanting to make love to a Big Mac, the Big Mac Salad was born.

A Big Mac is unique compared to some other fast food burgers because of its copious amounts of lettuce as well as its 'special sauce', so it made the most sense to do it as a salad.  Here's what we did:

Big Mac Salad
(serves 4 as a main dish salad)

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 cups thinly shredded lettuce (try a blend of iceberg and Romaine)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup diced dill pickles
small white onion, diced

"Special Sauce" Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise (homemade would be great!)
2 tsp yellow mustard
½ tablespoon ketchup
1 tsp white vinegar
1 ½ tbsp sugar or substitute
½ tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp diced dill pickles

Mix dressing ingredients together well, let chill in fridge until about to serve.

Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet, seasoning with salt and pepper. Break it up into crumbles. Let fully cook, and drain excess fat.

Combine remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl, including the cooked ground beef.

Toss with chilled dressing and serve!

We were blown away how much this really tasted like a Big Mac. No one missed the bun at all!
I can't wait to make this many more times this summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Party in Your PJs! #163

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on three different blogs each week.   In addition to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle, you'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma Ideas, and here!

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Sadly, we are saying goodbye to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle at the end of June, so that she can make some room in her life for other things (have you seen her cookies?? I don't know how she does it all!).

Nina from Grandma Ideas will take over leading this wonderful party and we’re looking at selecting one or two new hosts by the end of June.

If any of you, Dear Readers, would like to be a host, please send an e-mail to nina (at) Please include a link to your site.

That’s coming up really soon so send her an e-mail really quick!

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle 

Kim is a small town girl who love simple things. Simple cookies, simple crafts and simple people. She is a wife, mother to one son and two adorable fur babies. Slightly addicted to reality TV and sitcoms, but she loves curling up with a good book or a good walk while listening to podcasts. You can find her at The Cookie Puzzle, where she shares her love for cookies and crafting. 

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at

Features from Last Weeks Party!

 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #117

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this week:

And now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!

How to Fix Sun-Damaged Furniture // Find It, Fix It or Build It
"If you’re tempted to get rid of outdoor furniture just because it’s faded, read this post and check out the before and after pictures first! All these chairs needed was a coat of stain and a few screws tightened."

Luxury Linen Inspired Homemade Pillowcases // Of Faeries & Fauna
"There are some exquisite gorgeous linen shops locally and the linens are stunning, but the prices startled me.  I cannot imagine allowing a guest to sleep on $110 pillow case.  But with a hour of my time and some cotton summer blouse material they are going to sleep on what looks like a $110 dollar pillow case."

15 Minute Morning Glory Embroidery Hoop Wreath // My Thrift Store Addiction
"... a super simple wreath created with two thrift store finds... an embroidery hoop and morning glory floral garland."

Pretty & Practical Bookcases the Easy Way // The Boondocks Blog
"Pretty and practical bookcases the easy way, because we don't want thing to be too hard!"

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie // Simply Stacie
"This recipe for Frozen Peanut Butter Pie was submitted by Dawn of Words of Deliciousness in the Desserts Category in the zuuzs Grand Spring Recipe Challenge!"

Chicken Taco Dip // A Fireman's Wife
"This Chicken Taco Dip will be great to bring to your next summer BBQ or pool party.  Serve it with some tortilla chips for the perfect yummy appetizer!"

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Quesadilla Taco Burgers


Sometimes, I eat really well and try to be as low-carb as possible.

Sometimes I use entire quesadillas in lieu of bread! HAHA!

Ok, so really this was a first, but I can't keep it to myself.  If you look around the Internet, this insanity is actually trending, and seems to even be featured on the Applebee's menu - but I live in Germany and haven't seen the inside of an Applebee's in years, so I have no idea if this version is anything like their's.

I do know it was a huge hit at our dinner table, though!  Here's what we did:

Quesadilla Taco Burger
Makes 2 (Serves 4)

1 lb ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
8 (6 inch) Tortillas
Oil for pan
8 oz shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and pepper jack)
burger/taco toppings – lettuce, tomato, onion, etc
Sliced jalapenos – Optional

Mix a packet of taco seasoning into your thawed ground beef, along with 2 tablespoons water.

Split the seasoned meat in half and form two large patties – it will shrink a little while it cooks, so make each patty slightly larger than the quesadillas.

You will likely want to cook them one at a time due to space in pan. For a nice medium rare finish, cook for 4-5 on medium heat, flipping once. This can of course be adjusted for desired taste.

Set cooked burgers aside; it's time to make the quesadillas! Wipe out the pan used to cook the burgers, and heat just enough oil to coat the pan. We chose to use avocado oil.

Place one tortilla in the pan. After a little browning, top with shredded cheese and jalapenos (optional) and an additional tortilla. Flip over to brown the other side.

Repeat this to create a total of 4 quesadillas.

Now you can build your taco burger as you wish!

We slathered one side of each quesadilla  'bun' with sour cream, just as you would mayo in a normal burger. Add a burger patty and then desired toppings. We topped  that with lettuce, onion and tomato, and then a second quesadilla.

Makes 2 burgers.  

Slice each quesadilla burger in half to serve.  Each burger is easily split between two people, and even that half was a bit much for me.

In the future I will add avocado/guacamole and salsa! Another change I will make is only adding Jalapenos to one of the quesadillas, not both. It was a bit spicy!

Oh yes, this will be happening again. Mmm....