For those in the area I have to put in a plug for the Chapel Hill Wine Company. This is the only thing I hate about living on the east side of Raleigh, I am about an hour's drive away from my favorite wine store. The prices and selection are amazing. Their knowledge is great but they never make me feel badly for asking stupid questions. We bought a bottle of red wine called Calma (a Spanish Rioja?) and it was stellar. I picked up a couple bottles of other wine, so I'll make a note of those when we have those as well.
I'm not going to type out a drawn out post about grilling burgers. I assume everyone can handle that! I'm just going to tell you about the "accessories" to dinner. We topped our burgers with guacamole (and also ate a ton of guacamole with chips). We also made a pasta salad for the side. It was a perfectly delicious dinner, and the hubs is a stellar grill man. His burgers were fabulous, but our guacamole definitely took it to a new level.
2 avocados (ripe, but not too squishy)
1/2 small, yellow onion, finely chopped
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
salt & pepper
Scoop out the avocados into a small bowl. Add the onion and garlic and mash the avocado. I prefer to do this by hand with a masher because I like chunks of avocado in my guacamole. Add the juice of one lemon, tasting to make sure you don't go overboard! Add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you continue to taste the guacamole throughout to make sure the flavor is balanced. Just try to leave some for whatever it's planned purpose is!
Make It Up As You Go Along Pasta Salad
The best thing about this pasta salad is that you can turn it into whatever you want. Add or remove veggies, change the dressing, anything you like!
1 orange (or your other favorite color) Bell pepper
1 green Bell pepper
1/2 red onion
2 - 3 tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
1 - 2 tbsp. chopped, fresh basil
1 container/package good mozzarella
salt & pepper
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 package pasta of your choice
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
Chop the peppers and onions (and any other vegetables you choose to add). When the pasta is slightly cooled, add the vegetables and herbs to it and mix in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add some salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Make sure to taste the dressing to make sure it is to your liking before you add it to the pasta. Once you are satisfied, add the dressing to the pasta mixture and chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Before serving add the mozzarella and mix in.
Note: For added crunch I would try some toasted pine nuts or even some drained black eyed peas. Go wild!