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Why I Almost Spent The Night Hiding In Pottery Barn

Scott and I went to a cooking class at the mall this week.  We’re hip like that.  We like to sauté stuff where we can keep an eye on emerging fashion trends.

On the way there, we saw children buying stun guns and swords at a place called “The Knife Factory.” 


I’m not kidding.  And while I was in the bathroom, Scott saw a high school freshman walk out of there with a can of mace.

I kinda thought we were going to die outside the Piercing Pagoda.

We didn’t.  But I was still in a state of shock when we got to class.  I chatted with an older gentleman but I wasn’t really listening, and when he said he was related to Thomas Jefferson, I said:

“Oh, cool.  I’m a descendant of Pocahontas.”



Not related to Pocahontas.

It just popped out.  It was a thing we said when we were little.  Every girl who grows up in Virginia pretends to be related to Pocahontas.

Scott looked at me like “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”


I wanted to take it back but the man kept talking, and pretty soon I heard myself say “YES, ON MY MOTHER’S SIDE” and Scott looked at me again like “REIN THIS IN” and just as I was about to excuse myself and hide in the bathroom at Pottery Barn, the instructor started sautéeing radishes. 

Thank God, because I could have kept going.

As soon as the class was over, I shot out of there with my new Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.

In that cookbook I found a recipe for meatloaf burgers.

I turned them into meatloaf sliders and added the piquant sauce that Scott’s mom, Cindy, puts on her meatloaf.

And I topped each slider with a tangy sautéed radish.

They were freaking fantastic.

The flavor of the radish mellows out during cooking and you wind up with a slightly sweet and slightly vinegary glaze.  They don’t taste full-on pickled, and they’re still a little bit crisp.

The meatloaf sliders. . . well, they ruined hamburgers for me forever.

Meatloaf Sliders with Piquant Sauce {Download & Print Recipe}

(Adapted from a recipe for meatloaf burgers in the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook and Cindy’s recipe for piquant sauce)


For the sliders:

1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

3/4 lb. ground beef chuck

1/4 lb. ground pork

1/4 c. dried bread crumbs (such as dried Italian-style bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs)

a scant 1/4 c. milk

1 tbsp. ketchup

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. dried sage (optional)

12 small slices of your favorite cheese (optional, for melting on top of the sliders)

12 soft dinner rolls or slider-sized hamburger buns

toppings such as tomato, lettuce, etc.

For the piquant sauce:

6 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 c. ketchup

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 tsp. dry or prepared mustard (I prefer dry)


First, make the piquant sauce.  Combine all the ingredients for the piquant sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar has dissolved and the sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Now make the sliders.  In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sauteed onions, beef, pork, bread crumbs, milk, ketchup, mustard, salt, thyme and sage (optional).  Mix to combine, and then shape into patties about 3/4″ to 1″ thick and the size of the slider buns.

You can cook the sliders on a grill or in a skillet with a lid on the stovetop.  Oil the grill grates or the skillet and preheat to medium heat.  Cook the sliders, covered, about 4 minutes, or until they’ve formed a crust on the bottom.  Turn the sliders over and grill about 3 minutes longer, covered, until they’ve formed a crust on the other side.  Top with the cheese and cook for about 1 minute more, covered, to melt the cheese.  Check a slider for desired doneness, and if they’re ready, remove from the heat.

Place sliders on the buns (which you can toast, if you want) and smother in piquant sauce.  Serve with any other desired toppings or condiments.


About 12 sliders


The original recipe is doubled, with slightly longer cooking times, and makes 6 full-sized burgers.


Sautéed Radishes {Download & Print Recipe}

(from the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook)


1 tbsp. unsalted butter

12 radishes, quartered (a scant 2 c.)

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. cider vinegar


In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the radishes and salt and cook, tossing frequently, until the cut sides of the radishes have browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the sugar and vinegar and cook, tossing, until the radishes are tender, about 2 minutes.

My notes:  The vinegar and sugar will turn into a very light glaze toward the end of the cooking.  These radishes are delicious cooled and tossed with goat cheese.  Or tossed on sandwiches.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

60 Comments Post a comment
  1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

    I have almost nothing to compete with your nunchuck kids. Except…last night, apparently while I was asleep (I have no memory of it), I poked my wife in her face three times. I didn’t even have nunchucks.

    Okay, that is all.

    Except, these burgers look to DIE for!

    March 17, 2012
    • Jen, I made the sliders on Wednesday without the piquant sauce and then I made them again on Thursday with it. After I photographed them that afternoon and took a bite out of one in the back yard, I cursed. It was so good that I actually had to describe it (to no one in particular) with expletives.

      Sounds like you should make them for your wife, to make up for the poking.

      March 18, 2012
  2. I really enjoy your posts,I love the recipes and your lovely dogI

    March 17, 2012
    • Why thank you so much for saying so! I’m so glad. And yes, the dog’s a keeper. 🙂

      March 18, 2012
  3. We don’t have a Knife Factory here in New Hampshire…so for the time being we will be safe from knife wielding, sword bearing, stun gun toting children. What I’m even happier about is that I have your great recipe.

    March 17, 2012
    • Karen, I am glad to hear it. You might want to get on the board of directors of your local mall or something, so that you’re in a position of authority when The Knife Factory eventually tries to set up a location near you and your loved ones. Just thinking ahead, you know, for your comfort and safety.

      March 18, 2012
  4. a #

    Don’t you watch the news? Every teenager needs a stun gun. If it’s not the cyberbullies, it’s the molesting teachers, coaches, or religious leaders. Or abusive parents.

    Pocohontas? Hahahahahaha….

    I think it’s kind of odd that I really have no idea how radishes taste. Surely, I’ve had one sometime.

    March 17, 2012
    • If I had kids, I think I’d teach them a random skill that would cripple any of the sickos they might encounter. Like how to lasso. Or how to defend themselves with nothing but a stapler and a credit card. You know–things people wouldn’t expect. I worry that if my kids had a stun gun, they would stungun me whenever I confiscated their cokes and made them drink 100% fruit juice, you know?

      It’s hard even to describe how radishes taste–just a little peppery and bitter, I’d say. Which makes them go great with creamy dips on appetizer platters, I think. And when they cook they mellow out. Let me know what you think if you ever try one!

      March 18, 2012
  5. You are too funn! We just meandered through Pottery Barn today it was practically empty because of the St. Pattie’s Day parade going on outside which was nice for a change…except there was a really annoying employee that seriously would not. shut. up. I know, I’m horrible. But seriously?

    The first sign that I’m getting annoyed AND old I guess.

    Your Pocohontas story…ha! I’m still laughing. 🙂

    March 17, 2012
    • See, that’s part of why I don’t like going to the mall. Because I really want to be nice to people, but I get tired and annoyed there and it doesn’t always bring out the best in me!

      So glad you liked the post!

      March 18, 2012
  6. Never in my life thought to saute a radish. Lern suh’in new ever day… Today I also learned that our neighbor’s gardener has been throwing garden clippings rubbish (including half a damn tree) onto our property. The radish thing didn’t make me nearly so angry… In fact, it made me pretty happy. My boys want hot dogs for dinner tonight. Maybe they’ll get a radish to go with it…

    March 17, 2012
    • Brooke, that IS annoying. A lot of people in our neighborhood use leaf-blowers and I always have this morbid curiosity about whether their leaves are getting on my lawn. And I don’t even care! I don’t care if my lawn has leaves on it! But I still don’t like it. What’s wrong with me?!

      March 18, 2012
  7. 1. I’m quite sure EVERY kid in my neighbourhood has a weapon.
    2. That’s why I try to smile at every kid who looks menacing as they pass by my house. And also, keep a knife up my sleeve.
    3. Those sliders are rocking’ my world. Like, I just drooled on my laptop.

    March 17, 2012
    • Man, if you’re always wearing tights and leotards and ballet slippers (as I imagine you do. Like everywhere, all the time) then I bet you could pack a LOT of heat. You could put a garter under your tutu with some guns, and you could put knives under your sleeves and on the bottom of your shoes. You’d be so money. You’d have to stop drooling, though, because that would make you look kind of rabid and it could give you away.

      March 18, 2012
  8. Thanks for sharing – Have a Great Weekend!

    March 17, 2012
    • I’m thrilled you read it. Thank you and have a great rest of your Sunday!

      March 18, 2012
  9. When I was in Ireland on a Ghost tour last October, our group was overpowered by 30+ little Irish children who apparently had a bone to pick with us. We saw them climbing over fences, creeping out of bushes, and I think I saw one crawl out of a trash can. Like something straight out of a horror movie. A bigger kid ran into the group and shouted “Which one o’ yers been toochin’ me coosin?” They tried to beat up a guy. Though they didn’t have any weapons, they did have little leprechaun fists.

    So I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s okay to be afraid of children.

    March 18, 2012
    • Molly, What in the WHAT? Were these kids employed by the ghost tour company? Like, they were paid to freak you out? Your story is why I prefer to stay in pubs when in Ireland. That way, a big burly Irishman stops the leprechauns at the door and I remain safely inside drinking my beer and singing songs.

      Your tale reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes of all time:

      Right? It’s perfect for your story!

      March 19, 2012
      • mallory #

        The fact that this is one of your favorite movies of all time tells me that we would be BFFs. Do tell: are you ALSO particularly fond of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story?!

        March 19, 2012
        • We totally would.

          It’s been a while, but yes, I like Dodgeball too. I just love Will Farrell. We watched Talledega Nights before going to Talledega this year, since it’s not far from where we live. The scene where they’re saying grace at the dinner table is another one of my favorites.

          March 21, 2012
      • I know right?! And they weren’t employed! Not even a little bit. Our tour guide,this little twenty-something girl, actually brought her boyfriend along on the tour for protection because apparently this has happened before?? So when we saw what was goin’ down, he was already 3 steps ahead phoning the cops. Lesson: Children are not to be trusted. Or…children must earn your trust (is probably a more diplomatic conclusion).

        Also please know how thrilled I am that my story reminded you of that scene. Supa thrilled. It is an honor among honors. So thanks.

        March 23, 2012
        • Dude. WHAT? There are so many more life lessons in the details of this insane tour you went on. For example:

          1) Don’t take a job where you KNOW IN ADVANCE that you’re going to need to call the police.

          2) Don’t date a girl who asks you to do her job with her because someone needs to have their hands free to call the police.

          I mean, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel with that girl.

          March 25, 2012
  10. Ah yes, the “I’m a descendant of…” game. My contribution is a long-ago connection to Rasputin (my great-great someone or another was his official translator). Usually sharing this information elicits a “cool” or a “whoa” but I was not expecting this one particular gentleman I told this to at a party to be a close-talking Russian scholar who then held me hostage in an hour-long explanation of the Romanov family tree. I feigned interest and occasionally commented with small ‘facts’ I scrounged up from childhood memories of watching “Anastasia.” Alas, this party was radish-less.

    Love your blog and your recipes, not to mention your L.C. quote below. Oddly enough, I am singing that song this evening for a candlelight service!

    Happy Sunday, dear eggton. 🙂

    March 18, 2012
    • Hello there! I love your website, and the description of you on the left. Thanks for the kind words you left here.

      Your Russian scholar sounds like a nightmare. I grew up in the same town as an old woman who claimed to be Anastasia (they eventually did DNA testing and she was debunked). She was married to a man who had the same name as my dad, and we used to get phone calls all the time from reporters and documentary producers (she was quite a character in her own right– had hundreds of indoor cats or something). It was fun answering those calls as a kid. 🙂

      I hope the candlelight service was lovely– strange, indeed, that you were scheduled to sing the song! Wish I could have heard it.

      March 19, 2012
      • They should have made a documentary about her – like the Russian version of Grey Gardens. Glad you like the blog – stop by anytime!

        p.s. The singing went really well – it doesn’t get much more satisfying than singing Leonard Cohen by candlelight in a chapel with great acoustics to an audience who really knows how to listen and eating cake afterwards.

        March 19, 2012
        • Ah yes, Grey Gardens was so haunting!
          The singing sounds just lovely. Bravo.

          March 25, 2012
  11. I have never liked radishes. Now I am wondering if maybe I don’t like them because in general I don’t like raw vegetables and no one has ever had the sense to tell me to COOK them.

    (By the way I have to restrain myself from commenting “OMG THAT DOG” on every single post.)

    March 18, 2012
    • Hey there! You’re not the only one– I know people who hate radishes, too. They’re kind of peppery, like arugula, you know?

      I myself said OMG THAT DOG a lot this weekend. Scott got her a baby pool and she was hilarious about it. Whenever we’d throw her the ball, she’d go get it and go out of her way to walk through the pool before bringing it back to us. She’s so weird.

      March 19, 2012
  12. shannon #

    the Knife Factory! i think those disappeared from around my area a long time ago…and i’m not sad about it. not one bit.
    i’ve always wanted to take a cooking class at Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma; however, i’m afraid i’d be the one lying to complete strangers about my lineage. These radishes and that meatloaf burger may make me reassess the risk. i’m so going to try this. i’m a fan of radishes anyway, and i’m pretty sure you just made them even better.

    March 18, 2012
    • Hey Shannon, Scott’s dad and stepmom got us a gift certificate to Williams Sonoma for Christmas, so that’s where we took the cooking class was (Pottery Barn’s bathroom was next door:). I thought it was cool that the WS near us has free technique classes on Sundays. I think in the future I’ll just do that.

      I’m glad you like radishes! These are so easy. I love recipes that don’t require chopping onions–that’s my least favorite thing to do in the kitchen.

      March 19, 2012
  13. April was in CT now CA #

    Burger. Must. Have. That. Burger. I have never been fond of radishes, but I’m going to have to buy a few and try this because you just never know!

    We had a knife store back in my hometown that closed down shortly after hosting a back-to-school sale. Not the best marketing strategy, even in the south.

    March 18, 2012
    • April, the back to school sale is HILARIOUS. I’m so glad that you, more than anyone, know what I’m talking about. Ha!

      March 19, 2012
  14. Just discovered the blog through foodgawker and I’m already planning to make this for dinner tomorrow. Not outright saying it’s going to outdo my mother’s meatloaf, but I think she’ll be surprised next time I go home to visit.
    And that is so funny about how you told a total stranger you were related to Pocahontas. I recently had to stop myself from getting too far down a tall tale about how I was a freelance sportswriter who only wrote about Cricket.

    March 19, 2012
  15. Nick, I’m glad you took time away from your cricket coverage to stumble here.
    Yeah, the thing about this recipe is that it TOTALLY outdoes a burger. It doesn’t outdo your momma’s meatloaf, which would be delicious if cut into squares and put on a bun. But the thing about it is it’s so FAST. Meatloaf has to cook for almost an hour, right? You can make this in a jiff, and it’s WAY better than a regular hamburger. We made it once without adding the sauce we put on meatloaf. Then we made it again with the sauce and it was so good that I shouted expletives in the back yard.

    March 19, 2012
  16. Yikes! What a night! Next time, tell the name-dropper you’re related to Bruce Lee and get a pair of nun chucks for yourself. I hear they make a lovely filet knife in a pinch.

    March 19, 2012
    • This is really sage advice. I was eying Williams Sonoma for tools that would be useful in case of an invasion. You could MESS SOMEONE UP with a cast iron pan.

      Not that I would do that. Just sayin’.

      March 21, 2012
  17. Oh I’ve been wanting to get that cookbook! You should definitely post more recipes that you try from it so that I can live vicariously….until I get it. Or at least say if it’s worth getting. I used to think that my dad and his friends were in the Greek mafia when I was a kid. I really believed it too. Because they would always get together in restaurants…like the Mafia in the movies do, so logically… made sense. Turned out they just liked any excuse to get together and eat.

    March 19, 2012
    • I do think it’s probably worth getting– it’s a gorgeous book, first of all. It has spots for you two write your own notes about the recipes, and lots of pretty pictures. The apple turnovers I posted about last week were from there, and they were great. I also made an asparagus torte from the Beekman book, but I didn’t like it. It was really time-consuming, it made TONS more quiche than it said it would, and it tasted kind of boring. At the cooking class I went to, we made a goat milk yogurt panna cotta with strawberries from the book and I didn’t like that either, but I don’t like panna cotta or flan anyway. So maybe it’d be best to check it out if you’re in a book store sometime and see what you think. I plan to make more recipes from it and I’ll keep you updated!

      Your family, with their Greek mafia-style meals, sounds awesome, by the way!

      March 25, 2012
  18. I come, I read, I laugh, I fling snot onto my keyboard, and I leave. I don’t cook unless I have to so I don’t even read the recipes. I just drool on the pretty pictures and pretend my husband will suddenly develop an interest in cooking.

    So, I’m purely using you for the entertainment value. Wanted to let you know.

    March 20, 2012
    • Lori, I’ve been reading your blog and it’s fascinating. You’ve accomplished so much with it (and in life generally). I’m so glad you commented–now I know where to find your work in the future.

      I saw you’re from Washington. We thought about moving there and I signed up for the bar, and then we decided to join Scott here in Alabama. We loved Washington state on our visits, though.

      Take care, and thanks again.

      March 21, 2012
      • The bar? The kind that serves bourbon or … don’t answer that. It’s rain-snowing sideways here. Alabama sounds lovely too, at the moment. If you ever come to Washington I will let you stay here for free if you will just cook me something.

        See you soon.


        March 23, 2012
  19. Thunder so looks like she will not forgive or forget those dressup shots. She may be plotting her revenge.

    March 20, 2012
    • Correct. These photos are in part why we had to get her a baby pool. To make up for it. 🙂

      March 21, 2012
  20. wow, scary mall store! i didn’t think ANYTHING would ever make me want a radish. i was wrong. this look amazing.

    March 20, 2012
    • Radishes are funny, aren’t they? Some people hate ’em. I like fennel but I hate all things liquorice. Weird.

      I love your haircut in your picture with your adorable child. Love it. That’s how I wanted my bangs to look but the execution was a little. . . flawed.

      March 21, 2012
      • i have a friend who eats them raw. just crunches into them in full sight of everyone. it sends shivers up my spine. i’d (seriously) never given any thought to cooking them.
        thanks so much! it looks nothing like that anymore because i’m terribly lazy and that cut requires regular trips to the stylist!

        March 23, 2012
  21. I’m related to 1) one of the Ramone’s (though he tries to deny it) and 2) Attila the Hun. Honestly. That confessed, I LONG for a knife factory. Shiny things. . .Anyhoo, one of my posts some months back addressed my mother’s meat loaf, and God rest her sainted soul, its shortcomings. The only spice on her table was salt (thus the soul-resting part). But, the brothers are coming for Easter, and I’m getting these meatloaf sliders on our menu. I bet they are AWESOME with cold beer. (I’ll let you know.)

    March 20, 2012
    • They were SO awesome with beer! I hope the brothers love them (hey–if you printed the recipe out right after I posted it, there was an error. It’s 1/4 c. bread crumbs, not 1/2 c.– I fixed it.) I am going to dig around for your post about your mom’s meatloaf. For better or for worse, a meatloaf post is something I want to read!

      March 21, 2012
  22. kat #

    omg yum!! this would be perfect with leftover meatloaf! thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    March 21, 2012
    • Kat, leftover meatloaf on slider buns would be out of this world. Why have I never had it before? Why isn’t it sold in restaurants? It might be even better than a meatball sub!

      March 21, 2012
  23. Poor Thunder – as some who has gone on record for dressing one of her dogs – I recognize that expression – that is the “you are humiliating me – so help me I will poop in your shoes for this!” expression
    Check your footwear…

    March 22, 2012
    • Hee hee. We waited until she was really sleepy to take that picture. It made it really easy to get the shirt on her, but it made her look even more pissed to be wearing it!

      March 25, 2012
  24. I have never experienced a sauteed radish, but it’s definitely a good suggestion for livening up a salad. Oh, and the sliders might have made me drool on the keyboard. It’s okay though, I used my shirt to clean it up. It’s okay, my mom invented shirts, so I have a lot. (what?)

    March 23, 2012
  25. Two things:

    1. Amazing cookies and cream frosting you’ve got on your site. Yum.
    2. you absolutely cracked me up with “It’s okay, my mom invented shirts, so I have a lot. (what?)”

    Thank you for both things.

    March 25, 2012
  26. Jen, from Juanita’s Cocina, just directed me to your site. Great, another blog I am going to have to religiously follow. (sarcasm) I’ve only read two posts so far, but they had me holding my sides from laughing so hard and the rest of the people at work looking at me strangely (ok, they all look strange to me anyway, but that’s beside point) Can’t wait to read more.

    March 27, 2012

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