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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bacon Ranch Sliders - Creation Stage Recipe

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to say I was selected as one of Canada's top online influencers to participate in this years Hidden Valley RanchTM Ranchify Recipe Challenge.  This is the second year running for me.  Last year's entry for the Hidden Valley RanchTM Recipe Challenge was Grilled Zucchini Boats.  Although it was not a winning entry, it is still a very good recipe perfect for summer time grilling.  This year only one recipe can be submitted so I've been busy working on a few to narrow down my choice.  The deadline is July 1st at 12 AM.  The recipes will be judged by Chef Ned Bell.

bacon ranch patties in grilling rackNote:  This is a recipe in the creation stages with the goal of a possible entry into a contest.  No creation stage recipe will be posted here however, the final recipe may appear here after the entry deadline closes so please check back. 

Mini burgers aka sliders have become rather popular so I decided to create slider recipe, more specifically a bacon ranch slider recipe.  I started with hormone free, grass fed lean ground beef to ensure a high quality burger pattie.  While I won't disclose all the ingredients that went into the patties, I will tell you that I used no fillers (eg. bread crumbs) so they are all beef patties and I used Hidden Valley RanchTM Spicy Creamy Dressing & Dip as an ingredient.  Additional ingredients and a spin on the patties remain a secret for now but don't worry as I will tell you what I did in the final version after the contest closes.

I shaped the prepared meat mixture into large meatballs then flattened to fit into the mini burger grilling rack.  This helped me keep the burger patties uniform shaped while making it easier to grill.  The grill rack is made by Cuisinart but other brands are available.  These can be found in the grilling section wherever outdoor grills are sold.

mini sesame seed burger buns
Sensations is a Sobey's brand.  We no longer have a Sobey's close by but during one of my recent travels I found one.  Sobey's tends to have a few extras that No Frills doesn't.  Anyway, I spotted these cute mini burger buns with sesame seed tops. I thought they would be perfect for my contest creation stage recipe

Buns plan an important role in any burger.  I chose this bun because it was cute and perfectly shaped so each slider would look the same for presentation.  Each bun measures about 2½ - inches in diameter and about 1½ - inches combined thickness.  A package of 12 cost $2.79 so they are a bit pricer than regular burger buns.  I was after a particular look for this contest creation stage recipe with the full intentions of substituting a homemade bun for the final recipe.

bacon ranch patties on the grill
Homemade burger patties should not look like those used in fast food restaurants.  There are burger presses on the market that will allow you to make your own burger patties, uniformly shaped and perfect for freezing but honestly, hand shaped gives a nicer homemade touch.  A grilling rack simply keeps the smaller burgers in one piece while grilling, making them easier to turn.

I sprayed the inside of the rings with cooking oil in a health mister help prevent the patties from sticking.  I grilled the patties on medium high direct heat turning once.  I liked the hash marks the grill rack gave the patties!

bacon ranch sliders
I tested the patties on lightly toasted and toasted buns.  I topped each slider with Asiago cheese and a dollop of ketchup - simple and easy.  The end result was quite delicious!  The patties were nicely flavoured, tender and juicy.  I immediately knew I was heading in the right direction with this recipe!

Regardless of the initial success that my husband declared a winner, I knew I would have to get a bit more creative if I wanted a winning recipe.  So it was back to the drawing board, armed with a few tweaks to test.  Ketchup was ok but common.  I had something else in mind!  The buns were good and while I liked the texture from toasting, I had plans to kick them up a notch.  I was off on a culinary adventure.  Stay tuned...

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