Dine With Diana: Easy Gourmet Burgers for Fourth of July BBQ

[Source: stltoday.com]

It’s almost the Fourth of July and we all know that probably means there is a BBQ in your near future. I don’t know anyone who can work a grill quite like my hubs (sorry dad).

This morning I begged hubs to let me share his proprietary grourmet burger recipe with you. He relented. I’m actually not a huge burger fan to begin with, unless it comes from Shake Shack in NYC, except when my hubby is grilling away!

Hope you love it as much as we do! It’s actually super easy. The hardest thing about it might just be convincing you own husband that this recipe tops his own. The men I know can get pretty caveman-like when it comes to their grill.

Happy Fourth of July BBQ!

Xo,

Diana

Totsy’s Chief Mom’s Hub’s Gourmet Burger

Ingredients:

*Makes 6 HUGE burgers (the size is part of what makes them so gourmet)

  • 2lbs ground beef (best quality you can get that has a little fat to it-needed for good juicy burgers)
  • Grated rind of 2 limes
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 4 slices of bread cut into small cubes
  • Italian herb mix-dried
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Buffalo mozzarella-usually comes packed in water OR you can use your favorite cheese-personal decision
  • Brioche hamburger buns
  • Pesto as a condiment particularly if you use the mozzarella cheese
  • All other condiments to your burger liking
  • Hubs does amazing caramelized onions on the side-I’ll have to ask if I can share that recipe next time!

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill
  2. Mix ground beef, lime rind, onion, dried Italian herbs, bread cubes, and salt & pepper until well blended
  3. Hand-pat into 6 very large patties
  4. Cut a hole into each patty and fill with the buffalo mozzarella or your favorite cheese.
  5. Cover the cheese hole with meat before grilling
  6. Grill about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until desired doneness is achieved
  7. Do not flatten with spatula while grilling because that lets the juice flow out and creates a dry burger
  8. Toast brioche buns on top level of grill to desired toastiness
  9. Place burger on bun and dress to your desire
  10. Pesto works well as a condiment with the fresh buffalo mozzarella

ENJOY!

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DIY: Rainbow Bubble Snakes

What’s more fun than bubbles?! Rainbow bubble snakes, that’s what! When stumbling upon this craft idea from Housing a Forest, the only thing that came to mind was how awesomely fun this looked and how much kids (and adults) would enjoy it. It simple and most of the materials are most likely already lying around the house!

image from Housing a Forest

Materials:

  • empty water bottle
  • duct tape
  • sock
  • dish soap
  • food coloring

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bottom of the water bottle off
  2. Slide sock over the bottom of the bottle
  3. Use duct tape or rubber band to secure sock
  4. Pour dish soup in bowl w/ a little water and mix
  5. Dip sock bottle into mixture and gently blow
  6. Drop food coloring on the sock covered end for rainbow bubbles
  7. Prepare for non-stop fun!

For more fun ideas for the kids visit Housing a Forest!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan), Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).

Who Says Diaper Bags Are Just for Moms?

Before the Daddy Diaper Pack, made by DaddyScrubs, Aaron (one of our Totsy Dads) used an over-sized, bulky shoulder strap bag that was inefficient and annoying. Sound familiar? We know that when you have kids in tow, you need to be able to move around freely, know exactly where the diapers are and pull out snacks when the tantrums start. This is where the Daddy Diaper Pack comes in!

Not only do the customized straps and clips make putting on and taking off the backpack super easy, the Daddy Diaper Pack is also designed to allow less fumbling when you need to locate anything from your keys, which can be stored in the front, small compartment, to baby bottles, which can be placed in the larger side pockets.

“The design of the pockets forces me to be more organized and efficient about what we put inside, which makes traveling much easier when there’s a crisis,” Aaron said.

Ultimately, Dad’s need diaper bags too. Aaron believes that “This backpack is the best pound-for-ound backpack in the market. It holds much more than I expected, but is still compact, lightweight, and easy to access.” Well said!

Convinced? So are we! If you want to give the Daddy Diaper Pack a try, buy it here.

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan), Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).

Facebook 300K Sweepstakes Terms & Conditions

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Totsy Inc. (“Totsy” or “Administrator”), and not to Facebook.  By fulfilling the entry rules, you are agreeing to participate in the Sweepstakes.

Official Rules

As Totsy’s Facebook fan page grows organically, the Administrator will unlock a series of prizes. Administrator will encourage fans to share the Sweepstakes page with their fellow Facebook friends, but sharing the page is not required for prize eligibility. Sharing does not increase a user’s chance of being selected in the random prize drawing, however sharing can be executed an unlimited amount of times. Participation constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes.

1)       Potential Prizes

There will be three total prizes:

1)     10% off Totsy promo code, eligible to any Totsy member, 1 use per customer. Valid until July 29 11:59 EST. Cannot be combined with any other promo codes or offers, EXCEPT Totsy automated Free Shipping Offers.

2)     A $10 Totsy credit will be issued to 50 random Totsy members from the Totsy Facebook fan base. Winners will be notified via their Facebook email address.

3)     One random winner, chosen from the Totsy Facebook fan base, will win an Easy Walker stroller valued at $800. Winner will be notified via their Facebook email address. The Administrator will ship the prize directly to the winner.

All prizes will be administered once the required amount of fans is met/exceeded. The Administrator will be responsible for prize delivery.

2)       Entry

Visit the Totsy Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/totsyfan and click on the “FB 300K Prizes” tab located on the page. Once users have access, users will have the option of sharing the tab page to help increase Totsy’s fans in order to unlock the three aforementioned prizes. Sweepstakes valid until September 1st, 2012, “The Cut-Off Time”.

3)       Eligibility

By being a fan of Totsy’s Facebook page you are eligible to win prizes from this Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older as of the Cut-Off Time. The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Sweepstakes.

Multiple participants are not permitted to share the same email address. Any attempt by any participant to obtain multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that participant’s plays and that participant may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Administrator is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible or misdirected registrations, which will be disqualified. In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the registrant or player. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder. All entries become the sole and exclusive property of Administrator and will not be returned.

4)       Drawing

Winners for prizes 2) and 3) will be chosen at random through the Totsy Facebook fan base.

The Administrator shall have no liability for any winner notification that is lost, intercepted or not received by a potential winner for any reason. If, despite reasonable efforts, a potential prize winner does not respond within five (5) days of the first notification attempt, or if the prize or prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to such potential winner, such potential winner will forfeit his or her prize and an alternate winner may be selected. If any potential winner is found to be ineligible, or if he or she has not complied with these Official Rules or declines a prize for any reason prior to award, such potential winner will be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected. Administrator may successively attempt to contact up to five (5) potential winners for the prize, and if there is still no confirmed winner of the prize in question after such attempts have been made, such prize may go unawarded.

5)       General Conditions

Administrator reserves the right to cancel and/or modify the Sweepstakes, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failure or any other factor beyond Administrator’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Sweepstakes, as determined by Administrator in its sole discretion. Administrator reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Administrator reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Administrator’s failure to enforce any term off these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

6)       Limitations of Liability

The Released Parties (as this term is defined under Section 7) are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether cause by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) technical failure of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware of software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. If for any reason an entrant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, entrant’s sole remedy is another entry in the Sweepstakes play, provided that if it is not possible to award another entry due to discontinuance of the Sweepstakes, or any part of it, for any reason, at its discretion, Totsy may elect to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded.

7)       Entry Conditions and Release

By entering, each entrant/participant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Administrator which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Sweepstakes; (b) release and hold harmless the Administrator  and each of their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies, the prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Sweepstakes, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy, defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a participant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Sweepstakes, acceptance or use or misuse of prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, exploitation or use of entry, defend and hold harmless the Administrator from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities arising out of or relating to an entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes and/or the entrant’s acceptance, use or misuse of prize.

8)       Choice of Law and Jurisdiction

These Official Rules are governed by New York law, excluding its conflict of laws rules.  Any dispute arising out or in connection with the Sweepstakes, or these Official Rules, shall be brought exclusively before the Courts of the State of New York, in the county of New York.

How To: Bumblebee & Ladybug Bird Feeders

Get creative this summer and make your own adorable bird feeders. This craft is a little much for the kids to handle on their own but they can still watch, learn and enjoy! The little ones and the birds are sure to love the finished products! Enjoy this super cute idea from Mama’s Nook!

Materials:

  • Paint Cans
  • Spray Paint
  • Wire
  • Piece of screen or netting
  • Wooden Dowel
  • Steel Washers
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Painters Tape
  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. Remove handles from paint can with pliers
  2. Drill two small holes in the side of each can-one of towards the top and one towards the bottom (these holes will be used to insert wire to hang them
  3. Spray-paint the cans, lids, and dowel black. Let them dry
  4. Cut four pieces of wire and twist them to form circles for the “wings”. Then cut four pieces of screen or netting to the same size as the wire circles.
  5. Lightly glue the screens or netting to the wire circles. Let them dry.
  6. Use painter’s tape for the bumblebee’s black stripes. Apply circles of tape to the ladybug for the black spots. Then apply yellow spray paint to the bee can and red spray paint to the ladybug can. When the paint has dried, remove the painter’s tape
  7. Cut large holes in the center of the plastic lids
  8. Glue steel washers just above the large holes in the plastic lids for the eyes. Let it dry.
  9. Cut the dowel in half. Use an awl to help create holes in which the dowel halves will be placed. Poke these halves into the lids below the large holes created in Step 7.
  10. Insert the ends of the wings into the holes created when you removed the paint can handles in Step 1. Then cut additional pieces of wire and insert them into the holes you drilled in Step 2. (These will be used to hang the birdhouse.) Finally, put the lids on top of the cans and hang!

Image: 1

For more awesome craft ideas visit Mama’s Nook!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan), Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).

Dessert in a Flash

With the kids constantly running around, sometimes it’s hard to whip up something beautiful and delicious for guests. I found this super-easy and devilishly good looking dessert that will take no more than 30 minutes to throw together.  You’ll be sure to impress your guests and still have time to throw the clothes in the dryer.  Check out this 5-minute Cinnamon Tortilla Sundaes recipe – thanks to RealSimple.com for the inspiration!

 You’ll Need

  • 4 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Sundae toppings: chopped peanuts, maraschino cherries, hot fudge sauce, sprinkles, etc.

Step-by-Step

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Brush both sides of tortilla with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
  3. Bake tortilla on 2 baking sheets, switching the sheets halfway through until golden – approximately 5-7 minutes on each side
  4. Cool; break into pieces.
  5. Arrange on a plate
  6. Top tortilla pieces with ice cream, fudge, cherries, etc

ENJOY!

The sun has reached it’s highest point in the Northern Hemisphere sky, the Solstice has come and gone, and Summer…is …officially …ON. I know, some parents meet this time of year with an ironic mix and delight and dread, as the summer vacation brings with it 2+ months of unadulterated family time, in other words, you’re on your own! Make your life a little easier with this refreshing summer pasta salad that requires very little preparation, and will feed an army.

[img src: md-recipe-collections.blogspot.com]

Al Fresco with Autumn: Italian Style Pasta Salad

Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 6-8 (party size)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. fusilli pasta, cooked
  • ½ bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed al dente
  • ½ can garbanzo beans
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¾ cup feta cheese

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • chili pepper flakes (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large serving bowl.
  3. Stir in dressing slowly and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan), Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).