Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sloppy Joes

So sorry I haven't been keeping up with the blog... What can I say?  Life intervenes sometimes.  I have been crazy busy with work, the kids, church and school.  That being said... Perhaps I have found a balance (and if not this term is over in two weeks and I will go from 4 classes down to 2).  

Now for the Sloppy Joes... I took these to church back in August for a potluck and I think they were a big hit.  I love homemade Sloppy Joes because you can make a mess of them for fairly cheap and feed lots of people.  My girls have gotten spoiled with homemade and won't touch Manwich now for anything (which is what I grew up with).  Thanks goes out to my friend Stacey who pointed out that I could make them better without that nasty can years ago... I have my own recipe down pat now and thought I would share with you.

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 1/2 pounds Ground Turkey  
  • 1  Onion, Diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 3/4  teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • Worcestershire Sauce To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • Tabasco Sauce, just a dash
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • buns
  • Butter

Add butter to a large skillet, Add ground beef and turkey cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard, put meat in the crock pot.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic to skillet (add some olive oil if you need to). Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft, put in crock pot. 

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco. 

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Turn crock pot on low and let it simmer as long as you like (it can go all day, just watch the fluid level so it doesn't burn).
Spread on buns.... If you are serving small kids you can try hot dog buns instead of hamburger,easier for them to hold. :) 
 This is easy to double (note this is a doubled recipe in my large crock pot for church).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cheat Dinner

Well, most of you follow me on facebook so you are aware that I have been out of commission for a week.  For those of you that don't know... I haven't posted because I have been at Children's Hospital with my middle daughter.  She's going to be fine Thank God.  We got home last night and ate pizza for dinner.  Today I'm still exhausted (can't imagine why).  So I'm going with a cheat meal... that means I'm using some canned ingredients and some frozen ingredients to throw together a dinner for my girls.  It takes almost no effort, but it is still yummy.

Easy Minestrone Soup

  • 2 cans minestrone soup
  • 3 cans water
  • 2 packets of beef flavor boost (swanson... it's what I have)
  • 2 cans beans
  • 2 cans rotel
  • 2 packets of frozen pre-cooked italian hamburger meat
  • 1 can of mixed veggies
  • 1 can of mushroom pieces
  • 1 bag of small shell noodles
Combine all the ingredients except the pasta in a large soup pan.  Add seasonings if you think it needs some.  Bring to a simmer and cover and cook on low as long as you like.  Mine will simmer till the girls are ready for dinner.  About 10 min before you want to eat bring it to a boil, add the shells and let cook.  Once they are cooked serve.

I'm serving it tonight sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and corn bread.  If you are confused by the frozen pre-cooked meat let me explain.  Every so often when I see ground beef on sale I purchase a bunch.  I saute onions, peppers and garlic and brown up the meat.  Then I freeze it in 2 cup portions for when I need precooked meat (spaghetti, soup, etc...).  I do the same thing except adding black beans, corn and green chilis for mexican spiced meat.  It saves me time and makes things easy when I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School... finally

So my kiddos went back to school today.  It was two weeks later then normal thanks to construction.  I have always celebrated back to school by making them some home made cookies.  I wasn't sure I would have time today because I had to work for a few hours.  However, I made it... They came out of the oven right after my middle schooler got home.  (So grateful the buses always run late the first few days)

These are my girls favorite cookies, and are somewhat healthy...

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1-¼ cup Butter (2 1/2 Sticks)
  • 1-¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1-¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2-½ cups White Whole Wheat Flour  (If you don't know what this is... it's half white, half whole wheat.  You combine them yourself.  It add some nutritional value).
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1-¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 2-½ cups Quick Oats
  • 2-½ cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well, then stir in chocolate chips. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto greased (or lined) baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minute

Now.. If you are like me you may not have thought to lay that butter out to soften.  Don't fret my friends...  Pop your sticks of butter on a plate (in the paper) and nuke them for 15 sec.  That should soften them enough to allow you to cream (mix) the butter and sugar together. 

Enjoy!  Posting tomorrow... Sloppy Joes for a crowd.