Spicy Burger & Oven Fries

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Maybe, I really miss American food.

Maybe, I just want a burger with my coke tonight.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’ve been binge-watching the Gilmore Girls too much.

Anyway, since I’m out of sugary treats (‘Thank God‘ – my teeth and thighs are thinking), I have to turn to savory. Hence, my need for a dinner slightly fattier than usual. I’d even dare to make a Santa Burger, if the weather wasn’t this hot and summery. So, I’ve decided that tonight calls for a spicy burger. However, since the spicy sauce is store-bought, the whole dinner will take about 15 minutes to make, from start to finish.

I used Italian bread – quite literally, since I live in Italy, –  and small tomatoes – because they were the only ones I had handy.

The spicy sauce I chose for tonight burger is called Hot Chicken Salsa (Calvé), which is basically a cayenne pepper sauce.

You can use a sauce of your choosing or mayo and ketchup.

The recipe is for two burgers (multiply accordingly).

Here goes:

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Spicy burger & oven fries

 

2 bread rolls

2 hamburger patties

2 cheese slices

2 small tomatoes, or 1 big

Lettuce (optional)

Spicy sauce

 

2 average potatoes

Salt

Rosemary

Olive Oil

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 390 degrees (200ºC).

Gather your ingredients.

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Slice your potatoes into either fries or potato chips (for the fries, I use the KitchenAid). Line a pan with parchment paper, put the potatoes on it, drizzle some olive oil on top, add a dash of salt and some rosemary. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes!

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In the meantime, cook the patties on the grill pan on low heat.

Slice the tomatoes and have the cheese slices ready.

If the buns are hard or gummy, that is if they are not fresh, put them in the oven with the potatoes for just 3/4 minutes.

Remember to turn the patties and, when they are almost ready (I like them well-done), ease the two slices of cheese on top of each.

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Take the bread rolls out of the oven and have them ready on the dinner plates.

Put the patties with the melted cheese on the bottom half of the bread rolls.

Top with tomato slices, lettuce, and spicy sauce.

Take the fries or potato chips out of the oven, divide them equally on the two dinner plates.

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And ‘tada!’

Accompany with cold soda or beer.

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Enjoy your dinner!!!

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Heartwarming Lemonade

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Christmas holidays are well over, but, baby, it’s cold outside!

It is true, there are many ways to stay warm:

a crackling fire would be at the top of my list, if I had a fireplace,

a hot chocolate is another of my favorite go to, but it usually comes with a strong sense of guilt,

a cup of tea is always a good idea…

However, there’s another underestimated drink that helps make everything better: some hot lemonade.

Max always makes me a mug of hot lemonade when I’m upset or when I’ve had a particularly bad day, and it’s soothing effect is undeniable. Plus, it’s rich in vitamin C and works wonders with stomach aches.

It’s a sweet and sunny beverage, perfect to cuddle with, especially on rainy days, with a book or a cookie.

Thirsty yet? Go put the kettle on!

Here’s Max’s best concoction:

2 cups of hot water

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice

et voilà,

easy peasy lemon squeezy!

 

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 Stay warm!!!

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The Toughest Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, especially to those among you who find it hard to feel grateful this year.

Being Italian, I never get to celebrate this day, and it is so inherently North American that it would be even silly to do it.

However, just like every other year, this holiday got me thinking.

What would I say thanks for right now, if I were asked around a table? What can you be thankful for when you have gone through something terrible?

I am not at all thankful for this past year, because even though it had some good things in it, the pain I went through goes far beyond all the good that happened.

I would gladly give back every accomplishment, every good moment and trade it for what could or should have been.

But as much as I would love to, I cannot unlive what happened.

The only way to go forward, the only way to find a hint of gratefulness for what has been, is to gain the most from what the experience you went through left you. Let your new scars become your new strengths.

All this grief has taught me something. Thanks to it, I have learned to drastically re-evaluate my priorities. I have learned to let go of petty things and to love the little things just that bit more. I have learned that destiny has its way no matter what you do, and for this reason, it is better to live more and think less.

For these lessons, I am thankful.

And I’m also grateful I still have hope.

 

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ANCHOR DOWN!

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Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN.

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For our first football game as spectators, we have to say that it was awesome!

In a really exciting match, the Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the praiseworthy rivals from Wake Forest University, NC, the Demon Deacons, with a final score of 23-21.

 

 

A wonderful fall Tennessean day was the perfect setting: blue sky, with only a few light clouds, and a very pleasant sun which warmed up the fans (us included).

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Sight of Vanderbilt Stadium’s west seats and of all the fans who are supporting the Dores with the hand sign
that with thumb, index and middle fingers creates a sort of monogram V-U (Vanderbilt University)

And for those who are wondering: «Why, what is the connection between “anchors”-“commodores” and Tennessee?», we have the answer.
“Commodore” is the nickname given to Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of this University, for his great skills as steamboat entrepreneur, and the anchor symbolizes strength and stability against any opponent in any situation.

For this reason we join Vandy’s victory shout, cheering the Dores in this very important win, that makes them eligible for one of the College Football Bowls, post-season games which take place between December and January. Therefore:

ANCHOR DOWN!!!

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Henrik Stenson on the top of the world

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Jumeirah Golf Estate, Dubai.
After 72 exciting holes the 2013 Race to Dubai has come to an end.

Our congratulations and admiration go to Henrik Stenson, who achieves the supremacy in the European Tour with 263 strokes (-25 for the tournament: 68-64-67-64).

Great players’ efforts like Luke Donald’s, Lee Westwood’s, Justin Rose’s, Rory McIlroy’s and Ian Poulter’s didn’t succeed: Poulter can’t do anything else but establish himself in the 2nd place, six strokes from the Swede.
Let’s give some numbers: only two bogeys during the four days (18, first round and 10, third round), 25 birdies and one eagle on the last hole of the whole season.

This extraordinary performance is the right crowning achievement of an impressing year for Stenson, who decided to equally divide his time between European and PGA Tours (with 17 and 18 events played respectively), reaching amazing results in both Tours.
Counting only the top places:
_ Shell Houston Open: 2°;
_ Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open: 3°;
_ THE 142nd OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: 2°;
_ WGC – Bridgestone Invitational: 2°;
_ US PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: 3°;
_ Deutsche Bank Championship: 1°;
_ TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola: 1°;
_ DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, DUBAI: 1°.

But, as the PGA Tour website emphasizes,  with today’s victory Henrik Stenson becomes the holder of another very important record: he is the first player to achieve the top of the order of merit not only in Europe, but also in the USA.
With his 9th place in the 2013 FedExCup ranking, after the 18 events played, the play-offs give Stenson the chance to snatch the 1st place from Tiger Woods, another leading figure of the PGA season with five victories.

It is not right to finish with Woods, however.
The only, true protagonist of the entire 2013 world golf season is Henrik Stenson, the new no.3 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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A Big Day for Nashville: CMA Awards kicked off by Country star Luke Bryan

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Wednesday 11/6 at 6 am: the intersection at Broadway and 5th is closed to traffic and in the middle of the Bridgestone arena plaza there’s a stage all lit up. The CMA Awards are tonight, and the town is already in a “country” mood.

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In about half an hour Robin Roberts, from Good Morning America, and Country music star Luke Bryan, with the help of a good number of party crashers, are going to wake up Broadway. Not that this street needs it, the neon signs are always on.

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6.30 – 8 am: Luke Bryan performs three and a half songs over about an hour and a half. The fans don’t like the intervals, but wait patiently, ‘cause when Luke Bryan starts singing you feel like part of something special. And it is! It’s going on right here, in this relatively small plaza, but it’s being broadcast on national television. I mean, that’s cool, right?

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As for me, I grab the opportunity to see how this kind of show works. The waiting when the cameras are off air and the cheering when they are on is like being behind the scene and in front of it all at the same time!

But what about Luke Bryan? He warmed the audience with a few seconds of ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me)’ (he definitely shook it for the ladies!), then went on to sing ‘Crash My Party,’ ‘I Don’t Want This Night To End,’ and ‘That’s My Kind Of Night.’

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I’ve gotta say, “Pretty nice way to get my day started!!!”

SPOILER ALERT!

Robin Roberts announced ‘Highway Don’t Care‘ by Tim McGraw, featuring Keith Urban and Taylor Swift, has won the CMA Award for the Musical Event of The Year & Video of The Year. I was quite disappointed, because I don’t think it’s that great of a video. What do ya think?

The CMA Awards will be broadcasted tonight on ABC at 8/7c, and I’ll be live-tweeting!

Follow us @lifelemonsblog

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Halloween 2013: bleeding advices on how to carve a pumpkin… (under 1 not admitted)

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Halloween 2013: Nashville, TN.

Here we are, again!
After almost three weeks of absence due to intense traveling in Washington DC (a post will follow, K.I.T.), we are now in Nashville, about to experience our first real American HALLOWEEN!!!

So, the first thing we had to do to really live the experience was to carve a pumpkin!

And then we thought: why not use our pictures to create a last-minute super-quick guide to pumpkin carving?

Here we go!

1. First of all: gather all your pumpkin carving tools (if you don’t have any, you can just use your regular kitchen knives and a spoon) and put your pumpkin on a trash bag or something you can either throw away or wash.

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2. Cut out the top of your pumpkin and set it aside (beware the pumpkin-eatin’ dog).

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3. Scoop out all the filamentous inside (maybe a bit smelly).

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4. Put your own pattern (you can draw it, download it, whatever) on your favorite part of the pumpkin, fix it with tape or hold it still and start cut the outline throught the paper with something sharp (watch your fingers: you do not want your pumpkin chewing one of them).

                   
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5. Let’s get carvin’ the pumpkin! Once cut, push the pieces you want to remove inside.

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6. Clean the inside edges to make your pumpkin look great for its important day!

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7. Admire your creation and make it glow putting a candle in it!!!

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERY-DEAD-BODY!!!

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