Monday, February 25, 2013

Stormy Sloppy Joe's

I am sitting here listening to the thunder rattle my house and looking at a mini Niagara Falls off my back porch.    My back yard has two lakes in it that weren't there a few days ago and we have more rain in the forecast.  In case you didn't know, I live in the sunny state of Florida, which for the last few days, has not been living up to its name. .   I really love the rain and even thunderstorms (except when lightning is popping close to my house) but I'm starting to feel a little like Noah's wife and wondering if I should get my husband started on a boat or at least head to Walmart and buy a blow-up float.

Since it's so yucky outside, I've decided to make some good ol' comfort food to chase away the rainy day "blahs".  These Sloppy Joe's are finger lickin' good and super easy to make.  Serve with your favorite side dish (french fries, potato salad, tater tots, etc.) and you've got a great tasting meal that really hits the spot.  Hope you enjoy 'em!

Sloppy Joe’s
Sloppy Joe's
1 pound lean ground beef or ground chuck
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar

Hamburger Buns

Toppings (Optional)
French Fried Onion Rings

1)In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the onions, green pepper and ground beef together in the skillet and cook mixture until ground beef is cooked through (no longer pink); drain off grease
2)Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer on low for 30 minutes.    (Makes 6 servings)
3)Serve on hamburger buns or your favorite rolls.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Homemade Ice Cream - YUM.....NOT!

This little story happened over the summer but I thought I would share it since everybody needs a good laugh now and then.  Let me set the stage for you........It was a hot, humid, summer day here in the sunny state of Florida.  It was too hot to do anything outside, even going from the house to the car, I felt like I was going to melt into a pile of Crisco.  That also meant it was too hot to cook.  Our supper menu would consist of the gastronomic delight of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cold lemonade.  Anyway, I got this brilliant idea to make homemade ice cream in my new ice cream maker that doesn't require ice and rock salt (no mess).  So, I pulled out my trusty ice cream recipe that I've used for 20 years and got everything together.  We measured everything out, stirred it all together and poured it into my handy dandy ice cream maker.  I pushed the magic button and eagerly started anticipating some yummy homemade ice cream.  Well, about an hour later, the ice cream machine signaled that the ice cream was ready.  We got our bowls out and filled them up.  My husband was the first one to taste his and he kind of got this funny look on his face but didn't say anything, I took a bite, expecting heavenly taste sensations but was I in for a surprise.  The ice cream tasted like vanilla salt.  YUCK! and DOUBLE YUCK!   Somehow, we added too much salt.  (How do you do something like that?)  I mean the salt is in this tiny little canister with a pour spout and the sugar is in a big canister with a measuring cup.  Anyway, I'm still not sure what happened or how we managed to put too much salt, but that ice cream went down the drain.  I never did get my ice cream that day.  My husband and I still can't eat homemade ice cream without laughing a little over that mishap.  That's the beauty of blunders and bloopers, they make great memories.  

Enjoy life's beauties and laugh at the blunders!  Until next time, Angela.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Easy Cheesy Chicken Braid

Do you ever have a time where you want to impress people with your culinary skills but are either too tired or (in my case) just feeling too lazy to make a big mess in the kitchen?  If so, this recipe is for you.  It never fails to impress and it tastes amazing, and the best's EASY!  I love recipes that make me look like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen and this is one of them.  **For shortcut tip, see below.  Hope you enjoy this recipe and enjoy being awesome in the kitchen!
Easy Cheesy Chicken Braid
Serves:  8-10
1              cup (250 mL) chopped broccoli florets defrosted                       
2              cups (500 mL) shredded cooked chicken breasts
1/2          cup (125 mL) diced red bell pepper
1              cup (250 mL) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2          cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
1              tsp garlic powder
1/4          tsp (1 mL) salt
2              pkg (8 oz or 235 g) refrigerated crescent dough

Smaller Version - Serves:  4-5
1/2          cup (250 mL) chopped broccoli florets defrosted                       
1              cup (500 mL) shredded cooked chicken breasts
1/4          cup (125 mL) diced red bell pepper
1/2          cup (250 mL) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4          cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
1/2          tsp garlic powder
1/8          tsp (1 mL) salt
1              pkg (8 oz or 235 g) refrigerated crescent dough

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine broccoli, chicken, bell pepper, cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder and salt in bowl and mix well.
Unroll one package of the crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of Baking sheet.   Repeat with remaining package of dough.  Pinch seams together to seal perforations.  Spread filling evenly down the middle of dough (long ways).  On longest sides of dough, cut dough into strips.  To braid, lift dough strips across filling to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Bake 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 1 - Mix ingredients together
in bowl
Step 2 - Unroll crescents and
 pinch seams together
Step 3 - Place mixture down middle of dough and cut strips on sides

Step 4 - Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of mixture

Step 5 -  Bring ends together, pinch and flip over
Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until golden brown
 **Shortcut Tip:  This recipe can also be made using Rotisserie Chicken that you buy from the grocery store.  Another one of my shortcuts is that I boil chicken breasts and shred them up into quart size ziploc bags (equals about 1 1/2 - 2 cups) and then freeze them.  It makes casseroles even easier.  I also do this with ground beef/ground chuck.  I brown about 10 pounds at a time, divide it into 1 lb bags and freeze them.  Makes life so much easier when you want to make Sloppy Joes, Spaghetti, Chili, etc.  Anything that requires cooked hamburger, just pull a bag out of the freezer, defrost and you're ready to go.