“Snap back to reality”

I went back to work today, and it was somewhat depressing. For one, it’s Monday, and Mondays suck 99% of the time. For another, I’m missing my mom. And I should’ve had a decent weekend. The weather was nice, yesterday was mine and Jay’s anniversary, and while we didn’t end up going out (no money in the budget for it), we had a nice dinner at home, complete with decadent dessert:

Yes, the infamous “Slutty Brownies.” My eldest niece actually gave me the suggestion awhile back, and I had originally planned to do them with homemade cookie dough and brownie batter. Laziness got the better of me, though, and I used boxed mixes instead. Not a big deal. But believe me, this is a dessert where a little bit goes a LONG way. I ate two of them with some vanilla ice cream, and almost immediately slipped into that “I’ve eaten too many rich foods” post-dessert coma.

This morning, though, I decided I needed a kick in the pants, and hopped back on the Jillian Michaels bandwagon. I re-started Ripped in 30 Days. I had to stop it a couple months ago because I threw out my back, and I’ve been procrastinating getting back into it. I made the decision last week that I’d start it back up once my mom left to go back home. And it did indeed kick me in the pants, but it’s what I needed. My goal is to be on the last week of it by my birthday.

I really really wanted there to be an opportunity for Buffalo Wild Wings (I swear, I think I have an addiction to that place!)…But as we didn’t go out for our anniversary, there wasn’t an option for going out tonight either. I think I was just craving something spicy, because as I was scrolling through a couple recipe websites, looking for something to make for dinner, I suddenly decided on Barbecue Cheeseburgers with Potato Pancakes.

I mixed shredded cheese in the ground beef, and since I didn’t have buns or fries, I just left them on top of the potato pancakes. I also made some tangy, spicy homemade barbecue sauce to top the burgers. Everything mixed all together was PERFECTION as far as spur-of-the-moment comfort food goes. I’m glad the bambino didn’t finish his dinner, so I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Yield: 4

Barbecue Cheeseburgers with Potato Pancakes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 C cold mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  • Vegetable, canola, or olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 C ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, to taste


Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Mix together the ground beef, shredded cheese, 1 tsp. each of onion powder and garlic powder, and 1 Tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce. Form into 4 patties, and cook 6-7 minutes per side.

Pour about 1/4 C oil into another skillet and heat over medium heat. Mix together the mashed potatoes, egg, flour, 1/2 tsp. each of onion and garlic powder, and dried parsley. Drop by large spoonfuls in the oil, and spread mixture out into pancakes. Cook until browned on each side, being careful when flipping.

Whisk together the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and onion powder. Add in hot sauce to taste, then microwave for 1 minute, just to heat through. Whisk again before serving.

To assemble, place two potato cakes next to each other on a plate. Top with a cheeseburger, and top with a couple spoonfuls of the barbecue sauce.

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The sauce was probably the best part–I think I probably used about a teaspoon of hot sauce when I made it. I probably should’ve eaten something a little lighter, since I’ve got a weigh-in tomorrow, but this was just what I needed today.