Oh, McDonald's punters, it's been a rough couple of weeks, hasn't it?
Those golden arches have been as dull as ever and walking past them on your Government approved daily walk leaves a pain in your gut that just won't go away.
How did we ever get through it last year?
What's even tougher is while we Jafas (and Northlanders) are taking one for the team of 5 million and sticking out level 4 for another couple of weeks, the rest of the country has the audacity to rub their level threedoms in our face. The drive-through lines might be long but that greasy fast food (that you didn't cook yourself) sure looks good.
I know what you're thinking, why on earth would I highlight your pain and make you think about McDonald's when you're already missing it more than your friends?
Because it's not all doom and gloom and with every low there comes a high and thanks to trusty and reliable Kiwi, someone has come up with a solution to your Big Mac-sized problem.
Alex's Kitchen Story, a fuss-free Kiwi foodie has heard your prayers and answered them with this simple yet mouthwatering fakeaway recipe.
Alex prides herself on sharing easy to follow recipes that are full of simple ingredients and packed with flavour and nutrients.
And now, when we needed it most, she has shared her version of the iconic McDonald's burger. Donned the 'Big M-AKS' – a nod to her IG name, her re-creation of the mouthwatering Big Mac is what you've been missing in your life and just between us, it might taste better than the real deal.
Don't take it from me though, try it yourself, here's what you'll need:
500g beef mince
1 tbsp panko crumbs
2 sesame buns
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 baby pickles
1 red capsicum
1/4 brown onion
6 cucumber slices
2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
4 slices pre-sliced cheese
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Place capsicum on a tray and put in the oven for 30 mins. While you're waiting, grate beetroot and add to a bowl with the mince, egg, and panko crumbs. Mix with your hands until well combined, then divide into 4 parts.
3. Roll into balls and set aside. Dice onion and slice the lettuce set aside.
4. Remove capsicum from the oven. Remove the stem and seeds and add to a blender with mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. Dice the pickles and add to the blender, blitz until smooth then set aside.
5. In a heated non-stick pan, place the meatballs, and using a jar or mug, flatten down until thin. Cook until browned, then flip and do the other side. Remove from the pan once cooked.
6. While they're cooking, slice the bun into 3 parts and place two slices of cheese on the base, place all parts in the oven to warm until the cheese melts (approx. 3 minutes) Remove the bun and begin the build.
7. Spread sauce on top of the cheese, followed by lettuce, one of the burger patties, onion, then the middle burger bun, more sauce, the second burger patty, more lettuce, more onion, pickled cucumber slices, then finally add more sauce to the top of the bun and add it on top. Serves 2.
So there you have it, with nowhere to be and no one to see, why not give these babies a try tonight and enjoy the euphoric taste of McDonald's once again.