Olympics III

The 2012 London Olympics are finally here.  I’ve been looking forward to this date.  From July 27 to August 12, 2012 probably 24 hours a day you can watch every sport imaginable for the summer games!  All the hype and press about who our team representatives will be, what the USA is wearing (not to mention where it was made), the anticipation about London being prepared and secured will all be answered and tested during those days.

The USA has been in every Olympics since 1896 except for 1980 when it was boycotted.  Teams USA have won 930 gold medals, 729 silver medals and 637 bronze medals in the summer games.  Jolly good show!   Now on to London!  Tally ho! 

I tear up whenever I hear our national anthem played and watch those kids beaming with pride and satisfaction as they are honored for their dedication to their sport.   The hours of hard work and dedication finally pay off and they are amazing to me. It is sort of like writing a food blog. (NOT)  When I get tired I just skip a few days!  I bet they don’t have that option.

Keep a chart of the US medal count at your house to keep your kids involved in watching and learning what those swimming lessons or sports teams they play on can lead to in the future.  Every one of those Olympians started somewhere.

I thought a week of menus and blogging everyday with recipes from various countries would be my 2012 Summer Olympics!  No gold medals will be awarded.  I don’t have a uniform I have to wear, although when I get home from work I have a uniform I put on for the garden or kitchen.  It is not to be photographed and certainly it is not stylish – rather cool and comfy!  This will be fun to see what I come up with and how much stamina I can show.  So I better get busy cooking, photographing, and blogging.  As the tv announcers would say, “Stay tuned for more from El Paso.”

Today’s menu will represent the USA.  Burgers and dogs on the grill, baked beans, and apple hand pies a la mode will be our menu. (Heavy enough on the carbs?)  This is a typical US menu though, don’t you think?  I will use turkey for the burgers and chicken for the dogs and whole wheat buns and frozen yogurt rather than ice cream to go with the apple pie.  Those are good diet choices, right?  But the intent is there and you can certainly amend the choices of products to fit your family’s preferences.


USA Gold Medal Turkey Burgers (not the country)

  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red onion or shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • 8 slices deli sliced pepper jack cheese
  • 4 whole wheat buns

Chop the garlic and veggies. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towel until ready to use on the burgers.

While the bacon cooks, combine turkey meat, garlic, onion, cilantro, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, Tobasco hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts and form meat into patties. Prepare the grill with a little vegetable oil on a cloth so the turkey does not stick to the grill. Cook on the grill over medium high flame for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Place sliced cheese over the patties in the last minute or so of cooking.

Pile on the whole wheat buns with your favorite condiments: mustard, mayo, catsup, pickles, relish, tomatoes, lettuce. 1 slice of bacon halved is a great addition, but can be omitted if you choose.

Best All-Round Dogs on the Grill

  • 1 package hot dogs (your fav)
  • 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns
  • Butter at room temp
  • Wooden or metal skewers
  • Condiments:
    • Red onion, finely diced
    • Pickles, finely diced
    • Grape tomatoes cut in quarters

Skewer the hot dogs to allow for easy turning and it keeps the hot dogs from curling.

Cook over medium-high flame turning about every 2-3 minutes until your desired charred level is reached. (one of my granddaughters doesn’t want anything “burned”)

Spread each bun with a little butter to aid in the toasting and adding a bit of good taste too. Toast the buns on the grill while grilling the dogs.

When the dogs are done use the bun to pull the dogs off the skewer. Add your condiments and an instant meal is ready to go in your hand.

Next is a very quick and easy version of baked beans. I have dressed them up a little over the years. My husband introduced these to me. He thought he was a gourmet cook. Whenever he made something it involved every spice in the kitchen and I had to taste it several times before he considered it ready.

Hank’s Gold Medal Baked Beans

  • 2 cans Van de Kamp’s pork and beans
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (I use the Splenda brown sugar blend)
  • 1 small medium onion sliced thin
  • 1 green or red bell pepper seeded and sliced into strips
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1-2 tomatoes sliced thin


Put the beans, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, well-mixed into a glass baking dish with a top or use foil when baking.

Add the onion, pepper, tomatoes and bacon in layers. Cover and bake at 350° for about 30 minutes until bubbly hot and the bacon looks cooked. Remove the cover and continue baking for 15 minutes to brown the bacon.

Let these cool before serving. These can be served at room temperature.

I’m not going to elaborate on the oven fries, except to tell you that you can also choose oven baked sweet potato fries. These come in a bag in the freezer section of your grocery store and are perfectly acceptable substitutes for the deep fried deliciousness of real French fried potatoes (which should be used when the menu for France comes up.) We can substitute potato chips if you prefer.

Last, on to the apple pies. This is a shortcut to what my mom would make. If she were here we would let her make one for us. She made the best pie crust. I even ask her for the recipe once and she looked at me and said, “I don’t have a recipe.” So I watched and made notes, but they still don’t turn out like hers. I use the premade, store bought pie crusts and they work just fine (if you don’t have Momma’s to compare them to).

The All American Gold Medal Apple Hand Pies with Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 1 package store bought pie crust
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg well beaten


On a board lightly dusted with flour lay out 1 pie crust. Use a plate to cut out small circles of pastry dough abuout 5-6” in diamerter. Place the circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon about ¼ cup pie filling in the center. Add a piece of butter and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar mixture. Brush the edge with the beaten egg. Fold the crust over to form a half-moon shape. Seal the edges by rolling the edges back on the pie or use the tines of a fork. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle with a little more of the cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown and it may crack a little.

Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite vanilla flavored ice cream. Last week’s blog has a great recipe for homemade vanilla custard ice cream. Check it out. http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/?p=1016

Now, get busy before the opening ceremony starts! Be prepared to have your family elevate your menu and meals to a gold medal stand!

Hooray for the red, white and blue and you!

I am sharing this with Six Sister’s Strut Your Stuff Saturday.  One of my favorite parties of the week.  I am not alone as I was ready right at 8 and 25 people were still in front of me.

Good for July but still good for the Recipe Roundup in September!