Friday, June 9, 2023

What’s for dinner?

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Burgers on the grill and tortellini and green beans on the side!

With springtime making its appearance every other day around here I thought it was time to try to take advantage of it. So, what does that mean? Well, it means we are making burgers on the grill and a delicious tortellini and green bean side dish!

All-American Hamburgers:

There are few things as American as hamburgers and this recipe is a perfect one to follow!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 4 slices process American cheese or cheddar cheese, halved diagonally
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese, halved diagonally
  • 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • Lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, and onion, cooked bacon strips, ketchup and mustard, optional
What is for dinner?All-American Hamburgers


  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 4 patties. Grill burgers, covered, on a greased rack over medium direct heat until a thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear, about 6 minutes on each side.
  2. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with 2 triangles American cheese and 1 triangle Swiss cheese. Serve on buns; if desired, top with lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, ketchup, or mustard.

All American hamburgers are perfect for first-time grillers. I am not very experienced with the grill so I usually have my husband do the grilling but, I could handle burgers for sure! I was unable to include all of the ingredients listed above simply due to grocery restrictions during this time. So, I had to leave out the swiss cheese, Worcester sauce, lettuce, tomato, and bacon. But, I have made them completely as directed in the past and I can say they are incredible!

Tortellini with Green Beans and Lemon


  • 1 (19-oz) pkg frozen cheese tortellini
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (12-oz) pkg frozen green peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Tortellini with Green Beans and Lemon


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter with oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans and peas; cook, stirring often, 6 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often for 1 minute.
  3. Add dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add pasta, cheese, and enough pasta water to make a thin sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I love love love this recipe! It combines comfort food with spring freshness! It’s so delicious and perfectly paired with the all American burger recipe that I just knew I had to make it for dinner tonight. However, I didn’t have green peas or fresh dill on hand, though like the hamburger recipe I have made it completely as instructed in the past and it’s just heaven!

Consider pairing this springtime dinner idea with this delicious (adults only) drink!

Strawberry Gin Smash


For a pitcher:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 limes, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups gin
  • 3 cups club soda
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

For a single drink:

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 3 fresh strawberries, 2 hulled and sliced and 1 reserved for garnish
  • 3 ounces gin
  • Club soda
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish
Strawberry Gin Smash


For a pitcher:

  1. Muddle the sugar and limes in a pitcher that holds at least 8 cups (64 ounces). Set aside 6 to 8 small strawberries and make a small slice in their tips. Hull and slice the remaining strawberries and muddle the slices lightly with the sugar and lime juice.
  2. Stir in the gin and club soda and pack the pitcher full of ice. Add mint sprigs to garnish. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a strawberry, slotted onto the edge of the glass.

For a single drink:

  1. In a tall glass, combine the sugar and a squeeze of juice from the lime wedge. Muddle with the back of a spoon to dissolve the sugar. Add the sliced strawberries and lightly muddle.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and add the gin. Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with the last strawberry and a sprig of mint.

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