Category Archives: Mom’s Cooking

Tuna Burgers

This is one of my favorite childhood meals that I continue to make when I want a quick home-cooked meal.  My mom used crushed saltines instead of the breadcrumbs, and she also added relish to the mix–which is definitely reminiscent of 1980’s food culture–but this is my own updated recipe.  

You’ll only be able to make 2 average-sized burgers from this, so just double or triple the recipe if you are cooking for more than two people.  If you use homemade breadcrumbs, as I do when I have them on hand, then add 1/2 tsp or more of salt, and your choice of Italian seasonings to taste.  Store-bought breadcrumbs already contain all that good stuff–and some bad stuff too, but they are a nice staple to have on hand in the pantry for emergencies.  

Serve on a toasted bun, or wrapped in romaine leaves with avocado and sprouts.

1 can tuna, drained
1 egg
1/4 C finely chopped onions
1/2 C Italian-style breadcrumbs (homemade or store-bought)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T olive oil, for pan-frying

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the egg into the tuna with a fork.  Add onions and garlic.  Mix again.  Add breadcrumbs and mix with hands until moist and evenly distributed.  Split the mix into two evenly-sized balls, and mold into patties.  Let sit for 3-5 minutes so the breadcrumbs become completely absorbed.

Heat the olive oil in a no-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the burgers, and pan-fry until golden brown, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.

Serve on a toasted bun, or wrapped in romaine leaves with avocado and sprouts.

Grandma Sally’s Granola

My Grandma Sally always had like a 2-gallon barrel of this stuff on hand for my grandfather (who’s name, incidentally, was Linus!), and my mom has mimicked the recipe for as many years as I can remember because my dad likes it so much.  I make it occasionally because it’s excellent in yogurt, and even better on top of ice cream.  Its primary function is as a cereal, though.  If you bake it for about 10 minutes, its really easy to mold into granola bars before it cools completely (although, I prefer to make granola “rods” so I don’t have to shape the bars into squares) and wrap in wax paper for a snack during class or work.  Just pack the mix tightly as you shape.

I’ve been experimenting with the recipe using spices (cinnamon, cloves), different types of fruit (dried bananas, figs), grains (quinoa) and seeds, etc…but I’m not quite ‘there’ yet.  The photos for this image include sesame seeds*, which add a nice nutty flavor.  

6 C old fashioned oats
1 C Fiber One (my mom has altered the recipe by using Kashi GoLean Cereal)
1 C wheat germ (I prefer the taste of honey crunch style in this recipe)
1 C sunflower nuts
1-2 C walnuts or almonds, chopped
1/4 C sesame seeds (optional)*
1 C dried fruit (raisins, chopped dates, bananas, etc.)

1 C canola oil
1 C honey
1 C brown sugar
2-3 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Mix together dry ingredients (except fruit) in large pan or bowl.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring canola oil, honey, and brown sugar to a boil for 10 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla, and stir thoroughly.

Pour the freshly boiled sauce over the dry mix.  Mix thoroughly with a big spoon.  There should be plenty of sauce to make the mix completely sticky.  Spread mixture onto a large lightly greased cookie sheet (12″ x 18″ x 2″ -ish in size).

Bake 10 minutes if you like soft granola, or 15-20 minutes if you prefer a crispier granola–be sure to monitor and stir periodically for crunchy granola, as it could become overdone very quickly.

Add dried fruit (like raisins, chopped dates, or dried apples) as granola is cooling.  Store in a cool airtight container, like an old gallon ice cream bucket or a nice tupperware bowl/lid combo.  I’m not sure how long this stuff keeps, but I do know that my mom makes GIANT batches of this stuff that lasts for a month or so, and it always tastes fresh.