How To Make The Perfect Hamburger Patty

In this house we eat hamburgers a lot. Not only because we love them, but also because since we went paleo they are one of the easiest things to cook up ahead of time and have on hand for a quick protein hit when hunger strikes or a post workout snack.

hamburger patty 3

Before I got married my hamburger patties resembled something more like awkward, lumpy ovals than anything close to the uniformly pressed patties you see in that picture above. I can’t even pretend to take credit for it – it was Kevin’s genius idea. Pretty sure that’s his military background taking control there. And so today I decided to share that idea with you! That’s right, YOU! Want to know the secret to these patties?

hamburger patty can

That’s right. It’s a tuna fish can. Well, actually it’s not. It’s a salmon can from Trader Joe’s…and the only reason I mention that is because I think it’s a little deeper than a standard tuna fish can and is therefore perfect for making hamburger patties. (Again – Kevin’s idea. No idea how he comes up with these things, but I like it!)

hamburger patty 4

Like I said, we like to buy a couple pounds of ground beef and cook up a whole bunch of burgers so we have easy grab and go foods on hand throughout the week. This past shopping trip we bought a family pack of 4 pounds of beef at $2.99 per pound…compared to buying the one pound packages, which were on sale for $4.99 each. Seriously? With the amount of meat we eat in this house, we’d go broke in a couple of weeks at that rate! Our four pounds of ground beef made approximately 16 patties, which is perfect.

hamburger patty

Originally I had planned on posting step-by-step directions to the hamburger patty press process, but then I remembered I can take video on my phone and decided to do that instead. This is my first attempt with a video on the blog, so let’s hope it works! Enjoy!


So basically, here’s the deal. Place a large piece of saran wrap over the can so that it hangs off on both ends. Using your hands, form a handful of hamburger into a ball and stick it in the can. Cover with one of the ends of the saran wrap and put the lid back on the can. Being extremely careful with the lid, press down (with force), hard enough to pack the meat. Remove the lid and the saran wrap and pop out your perfectly formed hamburger patty! And there you have it! Piece of cake.

I served our first few hamburger patties on a bed of baby spinach and topped with spicy mustard, roasted red peppers, and avocado. Yum.

hamburger patty final

What are your favorite burger toppings?


Grain Free Pumpkin Bread

Or, as I was originally going to call it, “The Day My Pumpkin Muffins Turned Into Pumpkin Bread”.

grain free pumpkin bread

I say that because originally I wanted to make pumpkin muffins using my recipe for grain free banana pecan muffins, but I didn’t want to post the same recipe with the only difference being pumpkin instead of banana. So instead I improvised the banana muffin recipe and just sort of threw stuff into a bowl hoping for the best. I think it would have worked…if I hadn’t forgotten to melt the coconut oil, which turned the consistency of my mix from “thin and perfect for muffins” to “thick and maybe not right for anything”.

Another idea I had was to try to turn it into pumpkin cake, but because I wanted a mix that wasn’t super sweet, I didn’t think a cake would turn out. So I dumped the entire thing into a loaf pan and sent up a quick prayer that this would at least turn out to be edible.

grain free pumpkin bread 3

And edible it was! The bread turned out to be the perfect consistency – as you can see in the pictures, the slices held up extremely well – not too dry or crumbly as can often be the case when using almond flour as a base for baked goods. And because I purposely kept it on the savory side (my only sweeteners were a half cup of homemade applesauce and a half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice), this bread was the perfect accompaniment for a steaming bowl of hearty chili, which Kevin made for dinner one night last week. I also ate plain slices of it slathered with some partially melted kerrygold butter, which was equally delicious, but the hint of pumpkin and spice mixed with the heat of the chili was a combination that can’t be beat.

grain free pumpkin bread 2


yield: one loaf

prep time: 5 minutes

cook time: 40 minutes


1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup applesauce (homemade is best)

1 1/2 cups almond flower

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

4 eggs

4 tbsp coconut oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of a loaf pan with melted coconut oil – bottom and sides. In a bowl, mix all ingredients and stir to combine until a thick mixture forms. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

grain free pumpkin bread 4

Can you tell I found the Halloween themes on PicMonkey?

Tomato Basil Pesto Eggplant Roll-Ups

So here I am going on and on about how much I love fall and I’m ready for chunky sweaters and boots and scarves and cooler weather…and I wake up this morning and it’s already hot and humid.

At 0600.

tomato basil eggplant roll-ups

Funny how that works, huh? But it got me to thinking. As hot and humid as it was today (high of 95 – ugh), I realized that I’m not ready to let go of summer just yet. Yes, I love fall. I love the colors. I love the weather. I love huddling around a crackling fire at my parents house with a nice toasty marshmallow hanging off the end of a stick that will ultimately end up being fried to a crisp because I’m horrible at toasting marshmallows. But I also love summer – long days, sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine watching a gorgeous sunset with The Husband, going for runs in shorts and a tank top (as opposed to the multiple layers I will be wearing come January!).

And I love adorable little appetizers like these tomato basil pesto eggplant roll-ups!

tomato basil pesto eggplant roll-ups 3

Aren’t they adorable? And they look so summery with the nice green spinach and the pop of red from a roasted red pepper strip on top. And eggplant! I love eggplant. Although to be honest, I’m not sure if eggplant is a summer vegetable or a winter vegetable. Typically when I think of eggplant I think of winter – usually in the form of eggplant parmesan or a big bowl of ratatouille with crusty bread. But there are days when eggplant makes me think of summer – usually in the form of chilled eggplant dip with cruidites or something like these roll-ups.

(By the way, I just googled “when is eggplant in season” and found out it’s actually a summer and early fall vegetable. So basically, this is the perfect time for an eggplant recipe! Win!)

By the way, did you know that the eggplant is botanically classified a berry? And it’s referred to as a fruit? Wikipedia told me so.

tomato basil pesto eggplant roll-ups prep

Anyway. Ever since we roasted some eggplant rounds with the sundried tomato basil pesto I made I’ve been craving the flavor combination. So this past weekend I found myself with some free time and an eggplant and, well, this is what happened!

The best thing is that these little appetizers (I would definitely make them as an appetizer or a side dish – because unless you eat an entire eggplant worth, I don’t think they’ll serve as a meal. At least not for The Husband and me.) can be eaten hot or cold! The Husband waited only long enough for me to take the pictures before he swooped in and we gobbled them up. But I had a couple extra slices of eggplant left over and filled them up and took them in my lunch the next day and they tasted just as good cold!

Make them!

tomato basil pesto eggplant roll-ups 2

Tomato Basil Pesto Eggplant Roll-Ups

makes approximately 8-10 roll-ups (depending on the size of your eggplant and how thin you cut your slices)

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 10-15 minutes


1 medium to large eggplant

1 cup sundried tomato basil pesto

baby spinach leaves

roasted red pepper strips

olive oil


Slice your eggplant into thin slices – the thinner the better. Next, brush the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (Tip: use more olive oil than you think you’ll need – you’ll need it to grill the slices). Next, heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, grill your eggplant slices evenly on both side and set aside. Once cooked, spread some pesto on each slice and top with some spinach leaves. Roll the eggplant and garnish with red pepper. (Alternatively you can add some red pepper slices inside the roll-ups). Serve hot or cold.

tomato basil pesto eggplant roll-ups 4