Home-Cooked Home Run

Home-Cooked Home Run

Photos by Ashley Weingart

Bring the stadium experience to your own home or to the next hometown match-up with these ballpark classics.

Veggie Burger Bar

A game isn’t the same without a burger. Burgers can be tricky on picnics (for fear of spoiled meat) but what if you had a recipe for a meat-free burger that tastes so good, you won’t even think, “Where’s the beef?” With two vegetarians in our house (and three kids who are leaning that way), we’ve perfected the veggie burger. Here’s our recipe:

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Heinen’s Two Brothers seasoning (or Montreal Steak Seasoning)
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup cooked brown rice
whole wheat buns

In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, onion and peppers. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook a couple of minutes longer. Set aside. In a food processor, add black beans, cooked vegetables, worcestershire, dijon and seasonings. Pulse until combined but still chunky. Add bread crumbs and rice and pulse until well combined. Form into patties. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet. Cook burgers over medium-high heat in batches for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve on a toasted bun with all the fixings.

If serving at home, set up a “burger” bar and offer hot dogs, as well (we use Field Roast Vegetarian Frankfurters). Offer tomato, onion, pickles or relish, ketchup, mustard and all your favorite condiments. To take it all with you to the kids’ next game, wrap burgers and dogs individually in foil. Pack up condiments in a lunch box with divided serving sections. Recipe makes 4 large burgers or 6 small.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

For us, ice cream is always a win. However, ice cream is pretty tough to take to away games. Here’s a fun, non-melting twist on ice cream.

1 box white cake mix
½ cup water
2 eggs
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
24 flat ice cream cake cones
2 tbsp. cocoa powder

For Icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 or 2 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix and ½ cup water. Beat well. Add eggs, ¼ cup water, vanilla, and oil. Mix well. Place a sheet of tin foil over a muffin pan. Make a small hole for each cone. Fill the cones halfway with the vanilla batter. Mix the cocoa powder with the remaining cake batter and pour into cones.Place cones in spaces in muffin tin. Bake cones for 20 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Let cool.

For icing, mix powdered sugar and butter using an electric mixer. Stir in vanilla and milk. Mix well. Spoon icing into a plastic sandwich bag. Smush it down to the corner and cut off the corner. Attach a star-shaped decorating tip and pipe frosting on top of cupcake to look like soft serve ice cream. Add desired sprinkles or decorations.

Cracker Jack Snack Mix

Peanuts, popcorn, soft pretzels and of course, Cracker Jacks; they’re all part of the baseball experience. Why not combine these goodies into one delicious snack that’s simple to pack up and enjoy in the stands or from your couch?

8 cups microwave popcorn (kettle corn flavor)
2 cups salted peanuts
4 cups salted mini pretzels
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda

Place popcorn, peanuts and pretzels in a large bowl. Stir to combine. In a small pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda and stir well to combine. Pour “caramel sauce” over popcorn mixture and stir well to coat the pieces. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spread out evenly. Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. Break apart pieces. Serve in individual treat bags or popcorn boxes.

Baseball Pizza

When we go to a ballgame, my kids always choose pizza. Here’s a fun way to do pizza at home and hit it out of the park.

1 frozen pizza dough ball
¼ cup of your favorite marinara or pesto sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup pepperoni or red pepper slices

Thaw the pizza crust. When thawed, roll out or shape into a circle. Spoon marinara sauce onto the crust. Top with cheese. Place pepperoni or sliced red pepper on top to mimic the red stitching on a baseball. Cook according to crust package directions. To take on the road, make smaller, individual-sized pizzas. (You can even use whole wheat pitas for the crust.)

About the author

Ashley Weingart is the mother of three young children and she's always running somewhere. Whether she's chasing after her two-year-old with her craft scissors in his hand, hurrying to get dinner on the table, rushing to finish yard work, or literally running for exercise, she's always on the go. Many of her favorite daily tasks have something else in common; scissors, or sKissors as her littlest one calls them. Garden scissors, kitchen scissors, craft scissors, children’s safety scissors, she's nearly always got one of them in hand. Her blog documents her adventures as a busy mom on the run making time to have her fun. Visit www.runningwithskissors.com. Ashley is on Twitter @RunningSkissors and Facebook at Running with Skissors.

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