Bleu Cheese Burgers and Identity Issues

Hello! I want to share a recipe with you for two reasons: (1) It’s darn good and (2) It’s helping me see and admit what issues I need to work on in my life.

I’ll cover the light and airy part of this post’s topic first. However, it is a burger with cheese, so it’s not that light. But you get what I mean!

My burger philosophy is this:

Burgers should be small, so you can eat more than one, and so they don’t get dry in the middle. Also, they should always have interesting things added to them, often in the way of a theme, like mexican, bleu cheese, or ham and cheese (!).

I started with this recipe for blue cheese burgers, and changed a few things:

  • I spelled “blue” differently.
  • I reduced the amount of beef from 3lbs to 1lb.
  • I did not measure anything that I added, and I’m pretty sure I still used close to 4oz of crumbly blue even with the reduced amount of beef.
  • I definitely used more hot sauce (Frank’s) than it called for, and less salt (a dash) and less pepper (a couple dashes)
  • I think I used about a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce (Annie’s, because it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup) and a teaspoon of dry mustard.
  • I used dried minced onion instead of chives.
  • I bought fancy blue cheese and sliced it to put on top, and then crumbled some bacon to sprinkle on too.
  • I used coconut flour flatbread for the buns (and left the lids off mine). Note: I did not add pizza seasoning to the bread, and doubled the amount of parmesan cheese in it because Kristen doesn’t like coconut flavor. My liquid of choice in it is half and half.
That's the Santa Monica Pier in the background---view from Kristen's living room

If you’re into precise measurements, how’s that for an annoying recipe? I think you could really guesstimate and change the ingredient amounts significantly and these would still turn out great.

I think the view in the background makes them even more wonderful, and distracts slightly from the blurry picture. Kristen loved them. She accessorized them with red wine, and ended the meal with pb cups.


Now here’s part 2 of this post: My Identity

I have one, I swear. It’s just kind of lost at the moment. I’m going to be honest about this because I think it might help me figure this out and work on it. And if you have advice, I welcome it. Please don’t be too mean though—I’m stressed out about it and I’ll probably cry.

I’ve always been a people-pleaser and someone who wants to blend in and not be actively noticed (in other words, I want what I am passionate about in life to be impressive and noticeable, but in a calm and respectable way—not a LOOK AT ME AND WHAT I’M DOING way). I realized at some point that I had to be less private because I’m so passionate about what I do, the information I have to share, and, well, food, that I needed to put myself Out There a little bit to enhance the impact of sharing these things.

At the same time, in my personal life, I disappeared a little bit. The reason was mostly a combination of situations and personality (mine), not because anyone didn’t want me to be myself or show it. I can kind of see what happened–when my sister died and I moved back to NY to help with Matthew, the world (my life) became about meeting his needs. Obviously that is one of the best things that ever happened to me—and although I got to be a fill-in Mom, I also did not get all the benefits of being one (for example, I’m not recognized as a Mom or as having that purpose as a valid reason for sacrificing my own career and needs). My parents had needs that surpassed mine for a long time too—ones that were recognized more than mine (specifically, losing their daughter and ending their marriage). Must be I got used to the trend that was happening, and I continued it on my own.

In some of my mind-body training, we did geneology mapping, and I was identified as the “forgotten family member” in my family. I liked the validation, but I still didn’t really believe it or reflect effectively on what it meant. In relationships I’ve been in since 2003 (there were 2 that actually count for something), I was so intent on making a person happy that I stopped having many of my own preferences. This was ok for a while, but in both cases it eventually made it impossible for me to have preferences, and in one case it made me have less of a say in decisions altogether.

I’m single now, if you didn’t guess that already. I moved in with my cousin here until I find a place to live (I’m looking at a place tomorrow morning), and I plan to stick around here for at least 6 months (2 is not enough to figure things out). Initially, this is a dumb financial move (add a “1” to the front of every expense I have and that about covers the upgraded cost of living), but in the long run the potential is greater. I’m ok with short-term uncertainty for long-term benefit. I’m pretty good at not being a victim or getting stuck in my ego (mostly). But I have to not live with my cousin because I can’t get my identity back while I do—it’s not her fault at all, it’s just my personality. She and I are really close, and I want her life to be perfect. And really, I don’t have much of my own life (friends, schedule, etc.) yet, so I’ve slipped into hers a little bit.

So how do I relate that to blue cheese burgers? Well, it’s about why and how I decided to make them. And when. Because it had nothing to do with my preferences (that I didn’t voice), and I didn’t mind ignoring my preferences at all. For one meal, obviously that’s no big deal, but I’ve been making a life out of living that way.

I’m admitting it so that I can work on it!

What do you think? Do you have any habits you’ve developed that you need to change in order to be your happiest or reach your potential or goals?


11 thoughts on “Bleu Cheese Burgers and Identity Issues”

  1. JL @ Healthy Heyday

    Great post, Lisa! Kudos for sharing your personal feelings about relationships and your identity. To tell you the truth, you’re not alone. I’m sure this post will hit home with many (me included). I admire your strength and your desire to find yourself. While you are in Cali, hopefully we could meet up sometime. Have a great weekend!

  2. cathy@1970kikiproject

    lisa, thank you for sharing straight from your heart. i am so glad to hear you are making a six month commitment, at this point. cali is GOOD for you!! i am sorry about some of the recent changes in your life – i can relate…and it’s tough at times, but you do learn so much about yourself when you have time to focus on yourself (and i don’t mean being selfish, just having reflection time).
    have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Lisa, i (we) have been in a very similar stage. Hence the stint in NZ. And now i long to go back because i feel like i was just starting to find my identity there. Cali is gonna be good for you!

  4. Carrie @ Carrie on Vegan

    I love your honesty, Lisa, and I identify with some of what you wrote. At 37 years old, I’m finally starting to get comfortable in my skin and figuring out how to live happily in this world according to what I want out of life. I think it’s awesome that you’re giving life in California a trial run; it’s a pretty special place and you’re a pretty special person!

  5. I love your burger philosophies. Brilliant. Although I do enjoy a GIANT burger every once in a while 🙂
    Your honesty in this post is amazing. You are so strong, much stronger than I am, I’ll admit. you’ve come so far after your loss, and I can completely understand how you’d have some identity issues at this point in your life. Who wouldn’t?! You’ll find it. It doesn’t happen over night, as you know. It takes time and patience, which you have.
    Good luck on the home search!!

  6. God I love your perspective and candid words here. Seriously I wish we could get together and chat about this for HOURS. I love all of this self discovery you are putting yourself through…it is TOUGH STUFF for sure but it’s absolutely what you need to do now that your life is, well, YOUR life again. At least for the next few months out there. That’s the difference – for the past few years your life became a subset of other people’s lives (if that makes sense) and now is your time to rediscover who you are today, here and now — and not to forget your past because its what has shaped you into who you are today — but to use what your past has taught you and to reshape your life into what you want it to be now. For you. Only you. xo!

  7. I”m not sure sometimes- once in a while I get stuck in one of these ruts, and usually the way I find my way out is making a change in my life. My change right now is that this next week I start a new school program in homeopathy. I am so excited, but haven’t had the “student” part of my identity for several years so it will be different.

  8. So I love your burger Philosophy. I never thought to make them smaller so they don’t dry out.

    On a more serious note – I think California is going to be great for you. I hear that most people don’t know their true identity until well into their 30’s and it sounds like you’re on the right path. I can’t wait to read more about you’re adventures in Cali 🙂

    I wish I had plans to visit my brother in LA soon. Wish you were there last year at this time!

  9. Well, motherhood easily strips one of their own identity (I’m often just Danny’s Mommy, not Michelle) so I can relate. Having your own goals, interests and time to pursue them is so important! Also, blue cheese burgers. They are also important 🙂

  10. Oh boy, am I craving a burger now. They look amazing, and I love your touches on the meal, like the coconut flatbread and your amazing pb cups for dessert.

    You are amazing for writing this post and sharing your thoughts with us. I think right now you’re doing the best thing you can for yourself by giving yourself a little room to breathe in a new place. Sometimes a fresh start is the best way of re-discovering what you truly want. I’m glad it’s for 6 months too — that’s a significant amount of time without being too overwhelming. xo

  11. I’ve noticed over the past year I have put some of the things I enjoy on the back burner and I am trying to ensure I stop that!!

    These burgers do look delicious! I loveee blue cheese!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *