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walla walla onions

Beef Contact Grilling

Smokey Bleu Cheese Burgers with Walla Walla Sweet Onions and Horsey Sauce

You might be saying to yourself this doesn’t look like a typical Karista’s Kitchen recipe post.  Well, unique it’s not, but fresh it is!  Yep this was a night that dinner had to happen, but it needed to be simple.  And of course delicious.

Mt. Rainier as I'm looking out my window

Ranger Craig decided we all needed a peak of Mt. St. Helen!

After flying home (4 1/2 hours in Charley), from a fantastic weekend trip visiting my beautiful Taylor family in San Francisco, we landed at our little airport right around dinner time.  The Bennet Crew was famished.

A picture of the two mountains! Beautiful!

I had some grass-fed organic ground beef in the frig, Rogue Smoky Bleu Cheese, Walla Walla sweet onions and some horsey sauce.  Just needed to stop for some buns and we were good to go.  And maybe a beer. :)

Smoky Bleu Cheese Burgers!

Whoo Hoo! Dinner was delightful.  Warm summer breezes, a simple but delicious dinner, ice-cold beer (yes I keep mentioning that beer.  I can’t help it, I really love a cold one once in a while)  and a most fabulous weekend with the family.  Ahhh… life just can’t get any better. 

Smokey Bleu Cheese Burgers with Walla Walla Sweet Onions and Horsey Sauce

Serves 4-6


1 1/2 lbs ground beef

4 ounces Smoked Bleu Cheese, crumbled  (My favorite is Rogue Smokey Bleu)

Rogue Smokey Bleu Cheese

1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute with 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt)

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

3/4  teaspoon sea salt

1 small Walla Walla Sweet onion, thin sliced (these are yummy thick sliced and grilled too!)

Romaine lettuce leaves

Your favorite Horseradish sauce

Your favorite Buns


Pre-heat the grill to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, garlic, salt, pepper and bleu cheese.  If your hamburger mix needs a little extra help to stay formed, add in a whisked egg. 

Form the hamburger patties and transfer them to a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Brush lightly with a little oil to keep them from sticking to the grill.

Grill on each side for about 4-5 minutes or until done to taste.  For a little help, here is a fabulous post all about perfectly grilled burgers.

When the burgers are done, place them on buns and layer with horsey sauce, romaine leaves and sliced Walla Walla sweet onions.  Enjoy!

Beef Contact Kid Friendly

Beef Carbonnade

In typical Tink fashion, my oldest gal texted me to ask if we could have Chinese take out for dinner.  I bet you’re all having a good laugh right now, just as I did.  Yes, my children would much rather have Chinese take out than Mom’s dinner, unless of course it’s turkey and gravy or meatballs and pasta.  I’d like to say they love Chinese take out because they don’t eat it that often, but we live in the Pacific Northwest where delicious Asian cuisine is abundant.  Simply, the Bennett crew just loves Asian cuisine. 

Sadly however, Tink would not get her wish, but instead be greeted at home with the delightful aromas of slow braised Beef Carbonnade.  Beef Carbonnade is said to have originated in Belgium, but also prepared often in Northern France.  This hearty stew is slowly cooked with sweet onions, garlic, fresh thyme and a pint of dark beer or ale.  Some recipes call for a tablespoon of tomato paste or a can of diced tomatoes.  Prepare it simply and it’s still as rich and gratifying as the more complex recipes. 

My dish of Beef Carbonnade was a hit with the Bennett Crew.  Thoughts of Chinese takeout were replaced with happy faces and sweet compliments to the Chef! 

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life.  Happy Cooking!

Serves 4 – 6


1 tablespoon butter

2 -3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

3 lbs Stew beef or chuck roast, cut into 2 – 3 inch cubes

2 large or 3 small yellow onions, sliced (I love Walla Walla Sweets with this recipe)

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 cups dark beer or ale

4 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley for garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 300F. 

Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or oven proof stock pot and brown the meat in batches over medium high heat.  Transfer meat to a bowl and set aside.

Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the pot and add the onions.  Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and brown sugar cooking for another few minutes.  Stir in the flour and mix for a minute or two.  If you are using a gas stove, turn the heat off and then stir in the beer.  Turn the heat back on and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened a bit. 

If using the tomato paste, add the paste and stir.  Place the meat back into the pot or Dutch oven and then add the thyme and bay leaves.  Make sure the meat is nicely tucked into the onion and beer mixture along with thyme and bay leaves. 

Put the lid on the Dutch oven or stock pot and place in the oven for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until the meat is tender.  When the meat is done, taste for salt and pepper.  Place the beef on a large platter, ladle with sauce and sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley.

Serve with roasted baby potatoes, mashed potatoes, egg noodles or creamy polenta.