Make Your Own Veggie Burgers!

The most I expect you to walk away with is a vague idea of how to make your own veggie burgers. I hardly ever use recipes, and when I do, I don’t follow the directions. That’s why this tutorial is lacking specific measurements, but it still resulted in the best veggie burgers I ever made.

First you start with your basic ingredients: a can of beans, a can of mixed vegetables, and a cup of cooked rice.

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Next, use a food processor to puree the beans:

ImageDrain the can of vegetables and mix into the bean “base.” Here’s where the guesstimating comes in. In order for the patties to hold their shape, I used whole wheat flour to give the mix a thicker consistency. Just add a little at a time until you’re happy with the “stickiness.” This is also where you rummage through your fridge and start finding random leftovers to throw into the mix: I chopped up half an onion and threw in a handful of sprouts!

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Last thing you need to add: condiments! I used a few shakes of paprika and crushed red pepper to give it some kick.

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Scoop dollops of burger mix into your hand and shape into patties. It might get a little messy (sprinkling flour on your hands will reduce the amount that sticks to your hands) but it wasn’t too much of a problem for me. Fry those babies up in some olive oil on low-to-medium heat! Flip them over carefully: they’re fragile until they’re fully cooked.

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When they’re done, put them on whole wheat burger buns, top ’em off with even more veggies, some ketchup & mayo and bon appetit! One can of beans yields about 10 patties, so it’s awesome for parties or if you just don’t want to worry about making food for the next three days. :-)

mariana

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DIY: Chevron Scrapbook

It took me a while to hop on the chevron-patterned bandwagon. It may be “so five minutes ago,” but I was waiting for hipsters to stop liking it.

While packing up my classroom for the summer, I found an old scrapbook. Like many scrapbooks, it had a hideous cover…

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but it wasn’t anything a little paint couldn’t fix. I went with chevron because it is a simple, timeless pattern, and I decided to use a palette I’ve recently become obsessed with: gray-white-yellow.

Step 1: Bury the ugliness under a couple of coats of acrylic paint!

ImageHide the hideousness! Obviously, use a color from your predetermined palette for this first coat… I was very apprehensive and I decided I didn’t like this purple after I measured and penciled the pattern.

Step 2: Start measuring!

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I have no idea how to explain how I managed this. If you’re going to attempt to create your own chevron pattern, I recommend this tutorial: http://makesmeblush.blogspot.com/2010/10/chevron-tutorial.html

Step 3: Masking tape is your friend!

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I used masking tape to create a “stencil” for the first stripes I was going to paint. Painter’s tape is supposed to be the ideal choice but it’s pricey, so if you’re using masking tape, press down well for crisp lines and peel away carefully. Wait for the first stripes to be completely dry before you lay down masking tape over them to paint the next color.

Make sure to apply at least two coats using a foam brush if you have one!

Step 4: Seal the deal!

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To keep your paint from chipping, apply two coats of matte varnish. Love that stuff. :)

Done and done!

The scrapbook cover is now hip!

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DIY: Painting Furniture

If you’re like me and you need to personalize every single thing you own, painting furniture is an easy way to infuse your household environment with personality.

Let’s start with this practical, boring chair that I found by a dumpster.

Before: Boring! Zzz

Free: Good for your wallet and the planet.

{I forgot to take pictures, but the procedure was fairly simple. Bear with me.}

I wanted to create a random, horizontal stripe pattern using different shades of green paint. I marked opposite sides of the seat using a pencil in 2cm increments and used masking tape to create the stripe borders, then filled in with paint. Once all the stripes were done, I applied three coats of matte varnish.

Here’s a close-up of the finished seat:

So hip!

Not too shabby.

For the insignificant cost of craft acrylic paint and some varnish, I turned a dumpster find into an eye-catching accent chair. If you want to give furniture painting a whirl, I suggest checking out Craigslist for curb alerts!

Another angle.

Feast your eyes!

      Happy painting! :-)

     Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.