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One of the most ridiculous struggles at the homestead involve tussling over the grill.

I have yet to completely master the art of outdoor cooking, but I want to experiment with all things.

The friend, on the other hand, wants to do all of the grilling. But he is reluctant to go far beyond massive steaks, burgers and hot dogs.

When I decide to do something, the friend thinks that I should therefore be responsible for the outcome. But I prefer to do the preparation, then bark orders from the dry, no bugs interior while sipping a cocktail.

On Sunday, we tried for the second time a recipe we both had seen on social media. Apologies to all foodie followers, but social media is not always the best source for recipes. Plenty of fails at my house have come from incomplete directions or an unintelligible ingredient list. And I'm not going to watch someone in the woods on YouTube tell me how to cook.

There have been successes however. I fixed a six-ingredient social media recipe a week ago, and midway through the cooking process, I was positive it was going to be a fail because it didn't look right in the slow cooker. It was Fiesta Ranch Chicken, with chicken breasts, dry Fiesta Ranch seasoning mix, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and a block of cream cheese. Served over rice, it was a delicious meal.

So the friend and I figured this out together, and got close enough to print. The beauty of the recipe, of course, is that you can completely personalize it to your own taste. We made one batch with jalapenos (for him) and one with bell peppers (for me).

Beer Can (Water Bottle) Burgers

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Bacon (2 slices per burger)
  • Chopped onion
  • 1 large can mushroom stems and pieces, drained well
  • Chopped jalapeno or bell pepper
  • Cheese slices, halved vertically

Season beef as you wish and form into large balls, about baseball size. (We got three out of 2 pounds of 93 percent lean).

Spray nonstick cooking spray on the bottom third of a full beer can or 1-quart water bottle. Using pressure, press and turn can or bottle down into middle of burger. Remove can or bottle. Reform patty with fingers so that it is round and holds together around edges. Using two strips of bacon per burger, wrap burger with bacon.

Meanwhile, saute onions, mushrooms and peppers on stove top. Place one half-slice cheese in bottom of each burger bowl. Fill with approximately 1/3 cup of filling or to very top of burger "bowl." Because of their size and density, they take quite a while to cook, depending on your grill and temperature. Cook to 160 degrees using meat thermometer. When thoroughly cooked, place another half-slice cheese on top and grill until cheese melts. Serves 3.

Serve with green salad for a filling, delicious meal.

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS.


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