Disclosure: Some posts on this blog are sponsored, meaning that I received goods, services, or monetary payment for my writing. My opinions however, are not 'purchased' and are always 100% my own. Posts contain affiliate links that I earn a commission on. This disclosure is done in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sapporo Surf and Turf Burger Recipe - Happy #NationalHamburgerDay!

Sapporo Surf & Turf Burger Recipe #NationalHamburgerDay

I was recently asked to create a recipe using free samples of Sapporo in honor of #NationalHamburgerDay, and because I love to cook, I jumped at the chance!

After drilling my friends for ideas and finding out what toppings they love best, I finally pulled together this beast of a burger. Special thanks goes out to my good buddy Mike Pinchak for being my sounding board & awesome idea-man on this one.

To be honest, I didn't know how this one would turn out until I took the first bite, but this is hands-down the BEST burger I've ever cooked, and it's the best I can remember having in a long time. (That's including restaurant burgers!)

So fire up the grill and get ready to sink your teeth into burger-heaven.

Sapporo Surf & Turf Burger

Serves 6

Ingredients for Meat Mixture:
  • 2 lbs ground hamburger (I used a mix of 85% & 92%)
  • 1 tablespoon steak sauce
  • 1 packet dried onion soup mix
Ingredients for Toppings:
  • 1 cup dry batter mix (I used McCormick's onion ring mix) 
  • 3/4 cup Sapporo beer
  • 1 4oz package petite cooked shrimp
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 slices of havarti cheese
  • wasabi mayo (this can be purchased in the condiments section of most grocery stores)
Additional:
  • oil for frying
  • onion kaiser buns

Directions:

Heat the oil in a frying pan to medium/medium-high heat.

Mix the dry batter mix and Sapporo beer together in a small bowl. When the oil is heated through, dip the onions and then the shrimp into the mixture and gently lower into the pan. (Make sure to shake off the excess batter before placing it in the pan or you'll just have a goopy mess!)

Fry the onions and shrimp until golden-brown, then place on a plate to cool.

Mix the hamburger, onion soup mix & steak sauce together and then form into 6 patties.

Cook the hamburgers over medium-high heat on the grill or in a pan. Cook time will vary depending on how well you like your burgers done - just make sure to flip every so often so that the meat doesn't burn! (It took me around 14 minutes in a pan on the oven to get mine to medium-well.)

Toss the wasabi mayo with the fried onions and shrimp in a small bowl while the burgers are cooking.

Place a slice of cheese on the top of each burger during the last few seconds of cooking, then transfer to buns.
(I used onion kaiser buns, which I find delicious!)

Layer some of the onion & shrimp mixture onto the top of each burger, then serve.

Enjoy!
#NationalHamburgerDay Sapporo Beer Hamburger Recipe

Connect:

You can connect with Sapporo by visiting them at SapporoBeer.com. Or, check them out in social media on Facebook or Instagram.

Have you ever tried Sapporo before? What are your favorite burger toppings?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How-To Clean Microsuede Furniture

How do I clean microsuede?

I have longed for a red couch my entire life. When my husband and I (FINALLY) got our own apartment (sorry mother-in-law, we couldn't live with you forever!) the first piece of furniture we bought was that couch.

And I immediately regretted it.

Whoops.

You see... as a first-time furniture buyer/long-time window-shopper I was intricately prepared to negotiate a good deal, find the best quality furniture for the lowest price, and figure out how to score free delivery.

What I was not prepared for was taking care of the actual furniture, and it somehow completely slipped my mind that my husband and I were not the only two human beings that were about to sit on this lovely, red, microsuede couch.

Let me just spell it out: Microsuede and preschoolers do NOT mix.

Red microsuede couch

My couch made it an entire day before my 2-year spilled something all down in the cushions, and before the week was out my couch reminded me of a Dr. Seuss poem. (One spot, two spot, red spot, blue spot. Old spot, new spot, spot shaped like a tree. Milk spot, splat spot, spot I think is pee...)

To make things worse, my couch cushions are not removable. *facepalm*

How do you clean microsuede?

I had no idea that trying to clean a couch made of this material would be so difficult. And because my kids are little monsters I was needing to clean it frequently. I finally came up with a method that doesn't destroy all those little fibers, returns the material to its previous texture, and actually gets rid of all the stains & spots.

Cleaning items from Dollar Tree


Fair warning, as with most fabric-related cleaning, please make sure you test this method out on a small spot before you do your whole couch.


You'll need:

All of the below stuff can be purchased at the Dollar Tree (or another dollar-type store). I highly suggest you purchase it there, not only because it is inexpensive (only a dollar!) but because each of the items is just right for this type of cleaning job. (And no, I'm not being paid by Dollar Tree.)

  • kitchen-towel or rag in a color similar to your furniture
  • bristle-brush
  • carpet/fabric cleaner

Instructions:

  1. Sparingly spray the fabric cleaner onto the spot that you need to clean. (A little will go a long way, so make sure you only spray once or twice!) The reason I suggest this item be purchased at Dollar Tree is because the formula is not so strong that it will destroy your fabric.
  2. Quickly (but gently) use the bristle brush to swipe over the fabric before the cleaner can soak in deeply. Lightly swipe over the stain in different directions to avoid breaking down the fibers. Again, this item should be of the dollar-variety so that the bristles are not so stiff & strong that they are ruining your fabric.
  3. Lastly, use the towel or rag to soak up any excess wetness. Make sure the towel is the same color as your furniture so that if there is any transfer of color it won't be noticeable (and it will actually help to cover up any previous stains).

Do you have a piece of furniture that is difficult to clean? What tricks have you tried?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for writing this post and, as always, my opinions are my own.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Easy Way to Clean Oven Burner Drip Pans


When it comes to cleaning, needing to scrub at oily or baked-on messes probably falls somewhere in the least-favorite category. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we can just ignore those messes forever. (Well, we could. But then there would be ants.)

Out of all the uck-worthy-baked-on-scrub-chores, cleaning the oven & burners probably irks me the most. I hate using the harsh chemicals (even though they tend to work pretty well) simply because it bothers me to put such a hazardous liquid next to where I'll be cooking my food. (Not to mention that if you miss a spot when you take the chemicals off, it heats up when you start the oven and causes the kind of fumes that'll singe off your nose hairs!)

Thankfully, there still exist a few clever little tricks using good-ole natural ingredients that will take care of problems like this easily & quickly! This method of cleaning oven burner drip pans has been passed down by many of my fellow green-clean loving friends, and I've always had great success with it.

What you'll need:

  • baking soda
  • a steel wool pad, like a Brillo pad (I get mine at the Dollar Tree for a buck a box)
  • gallon-size plastic bag
  • apple cider vinegar
For the apple cider vinegar, I personally like to use the organic kind with 'the mother' in it from Bragg. If you aren't sure where to get it or can't find it at your grocery store, I've listed a couple places below that you can purchase from. (As a bonus, any sales commission from these links go to supporting my site, so please consider buying here to help me keep my blog going!)

Target sells Bragg in a 32-ounce bottle. They also allow you to purchase the item online for in-store pickup so that you don't have to search through the store or wait in line to pay. You can buy from Target by clicking HERE.

Amazon also sells Bragg, but they have the 16-ounce and 32-ounce sizes available. You can purchase either of them by clicking one of the picture links below.


                                                   

How to Clean Oven Burner Drip Pans:

  1. First sprinkle your drip pan with baking soda. Sometimes I like to rub the baking soda into the pans if there is a particularly grease-laden spot.
  2. Place your baking-soda covered drip pan into the plastic bag. Add 1/4-cup to 1/2-cup apple cider vinegar depending on how big the drip pan is. The baking soda on the pan should begin to bubble right away.
  3. Close the plastic bag and try to get out as much air as possible so that the pan is practically marinating in the apple cider vinegar & baking soda mix. Arrange the bag so that the liquid is inside the pan as best you can so that the greasy areas are able to soak in the mixture.
  4. After the pan has soaked for 5-10 minutes, remove it from the bag. Without rinsing the pan, use the steel wool pad to rub away the grease and baked on food. It should come off fairly easily and allow you to get those pans shinin' in no time!

Do you love natural cleaning methods? What's your favorite 'green' clean tip?
Chat with me in the comments below, I love hearing from my readers!

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for writing this post and, as always, my opinions are my own.