Ah play dates. I genuinely like having kids over to play after school. I think it occupies my own two and I can get to know their friends, see how my own kids interact with others. I find, generally, it’s best to have low expectations with kids’ tastes when it comes to dinner. Not only are they distracted by the excitement of sitting at someone else’s dinner table and eating other people’s food but they may be overwhelmed or just not that hungry – especially if you given them a snack when they all got home.
So, after a succession of meals that went down like a lead balloon with other people’s kids (no problem, but I always tell the parents as I don’t want them to go to bed without eating) I lowered my expectations and either made sandwiches with crisps and salad / fruit (party tea), or just whack a few frozen pizzas in. Homemade pizzas do go down well, but I find the faff of making them a bit much when there are 4 kids running riot (I have done it though, and the kids bless them loved the pizzas). Alternatively, sausages, homemade chips and beans is an option, as is a classic like spag bol.
On this occasion I had some mince I needed to use up and I’d seen a recent US video making something similar to these. They went down a storm. Give them a whirl at your next playdate! I even prepped them ahead so all I had to do was pop them in the oven. Serve with some basic salad bits and homemade chips. And ketchup, obvs.
Makes: 6 burgers
Takes: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 450g beef mince
- 1 onion,diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon dried herbs (I used oregano)
- 1 tablespoon of hot dog mustard (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 packet of 6 white burger buns (soft ones that are joined together)
- Grated cheese, large handful
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Fry off garlic and onions until soft. Add mince and brown. Tip in herbs, seasoning and mustard and heat through. Set aside. Drain once it’s cooled a little.
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Slice the buns in half (try to keep them together). Pop them in a baking tray that fits them all in snugly.
- Sprinkle the meat mixture on top of the buns.
- Add grated cheese.
- Pop tops on and paint with melted butter.Cover with foil.
- Bake for 20-25 mins. Take the foil off for the last 5-10 minutes to get a crispy topping.
- Serve with chips, salad and sauce!