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The right food for the right slot

Updated: May 14


If you’ve been like most people through this recent ordeal, then you’ve probably spent a lot of time at home lately… Like me, maybe you’ve been playing slots at home, or scratching lottery tickets at home, or playing my free slot app at home, or just lounging at home, but I bet there’s something you’ve definitely been doing a lot more of at home: cooking. Me too. And call me crazy (or just slot-obsessed), but I like to let my favorite slot machines inspire the kind of food that I make. I’ll show you what I mean, and maybe you’ll decide to try out some of these recipes yourself, too, even after stay-at-home orders are fully lifted…

First, right before the outbreak, I spent a lot of time playing this Tailgate Party slot machine. And since you can’t have a proper tailgate party without burgers, I was inspired to try this burger recipe I found at www.TheWholeSomeDish.com:

Ingredients:

· 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean 20% fat ground beef or ground chuck

· 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

· 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt

· 1 teaspoon garlic powder

· 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

· Optional: 4 slices of cheese

· 4 hamburger buns

· Optional: hamburger toppings - lettuce tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.

Instructions:

(1) Preheat the grill to 375 degrees F (medium-high).

(2) In a large bowl, add the beef. Sprinkle evenly with the Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Use your hands to mix the ingredients until they are just combined.

(3) Divide the meat mixture into fourths. Take 1/4 of the meat mixture and use your hands to press it into the shape of a hamburger patty that is about 3/4 inch thick. Make an indention in the middle of the patty to prevent bulging in the center of the hamburger as it cooks. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture, making 4 hamburgers.

(4) Place the burgers on the grill. Cook 4-5 minutes on the first side. Flip the burgers over and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, until the burgers have reached the desired doneness.*

(5) If adding cheese, lay a slice of cheese on each burger patty about 1 minute before taking the burgers off the grill, so the cheese has a chance to melt.

(6) Serve the burgers on hamburger buns with optional hamburger toppings.

Notes:

· * I usually cook for 4 minutes on each side for medium-well burgers.

Perfection, trust me. And while some people like to have their burgers with fries sometimes (including me), this crazy FarmVille slot experience has me thinking that maybe veggies are the better option. So lately, I’ve been killing it with this grilled veggies recipe I found on www.TheFoodNetwork.com:

Ingredients:

· 3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved

· 3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles

· 3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles

· 3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles

· 12 cremini mushrooms

· 1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed

· 12 green onions, roots cut off

· 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

· Salt and freshly ground black pepper

· 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

· 2 garlic cloves, minced

· 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

· 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves

· 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Instructions:

(1) Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat).

(2) Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly.

(3) Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

(4) Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over…

a. about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers

b. 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms

c. 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions.

(5) Arrange the vegetables on a platter. (The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.)

(6) Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend.

(7) Add salt and pepper to taste.

(8) Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables.

(9) Serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

And finally, when you don’t think you can eat anymore, it’s time for a homemade dessert. I can’t stop playing the Candy Crazy slot machine from my app (which you can download and play for free here), but I’m not about to dive into making homemade candy. Generally, I prefer cake. So here’s a great (and pretty easy) recipe I found on www.AllRecipes.com for a killer chocolate cake:

Ingredients:

· 2 cups white sugar

· 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

· ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

· 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

· 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 2 eggs

· 1 cup milk

· ½ cup vegetable oil

· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

· 1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

(2) Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.

(3) In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

(4) Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer.

(5) Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

(6) Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick.

(7) Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

And there you have it. Three great recipes inspired by three great slot machines. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and let me know how your versions turn out. Whether you’re locked up at home, or relaxing after a crazy session at the casino once this whole thing is fully over, you can’t go wrong if you pair up the right food with the right slot.


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