Sloppy Joes

12 11 2013

Are you a fan of the can of Sloppy Joe mix? If you answered yes or no you will love this homemade recipe. I have never been a fan of the can stuff, it always had a weird taste to me. My husband loves it! After I made this recipe my husband now has a new favorite Sloppy Joe recipe and for me this version doesn’t have a weird taste. Instead it has a layer of flavor that you can’t get from a can. The recipe I used is The Pioneer Woman’s recipe and what I love about it is you can control the heat. Make it as hot or mild as your little heart desires.

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Sloppy Joes

~ 2 1/2 lbs. ground beef

~ 1/2 of a large onion, diced

~ 1 whole green bell pepper, diced

~ 5 cloves of garlic

~ 1 1/2 cup ketchup

~ 1 cup water

~ 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

~ 2 tsp. chili powder (more to taste)

~ 1 tsp. dry mustard

~ 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (more to taste)

~ Worcestershire sauce, to taste

~ 2 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)

~ Tabasco sauce (optional; to taste)

~ salt to taste

~ fresh ground black pepper, to taste

~ rolls

1. Add ground beef to a large skillet and cook over medium high heat. Cook until brown then drain most of the fat off.

2. Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

3. Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Tate and adjust seasonings as needed.

4. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls and top with a slice of cheese. Enjoy!

Click Below to Print Recipe

Sloppy Joes

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You’ve Been BOOed!

7 10 2013

One of my favorite things about teaching was the excitement and anticipation that came with every holiday. Every holiday there was always something new and exciting to be done and the kids loved every moment of it.

At our school the teachers would BOO other classrooms. They would leave a decorated basket with enough treats for the entire class by your classroom door. The class would find it and enjoy the treats then you would go BOO another class. So that everyone got BOOed you would hang a sign out side of your class saying that You’ve Been BOOed. It was all done in secret and was such a fun way to start getting ready for Halloween.

One year out neighbors even started this and I remember the kids from down the street rang our door bell and left us some homemade cookies for us to enjoy. We only had a baby at the time but we had so much fun finding another house to go BOO.

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This year I began the BOOing in our neighborhood. I found some cute Halloween buckets at Target and stuffed them with glow sticks and a candy corn/pumpkin candy mix.

boo printable

I also included a copy of a cute little poem that tells you how to play that I found over at Centsational Girl.

You also have to include a copy of the We’ve been BOO’ed sign that they are to hang in their window or on their front door so that others know that they have been BOO’ed. I found this one over at Printables by Colette.

Once you have it all ready to go the fun begins. You take the kids out and you leave it on the doorstep, ring the bell, and then get away before they open the door. BOOing someone else is always kept a secret!

My kids had so much fun delivering these and now they are anxiously awaiting their chance to get BOOed.

If these weren’t cute enough head on over to It’s Written on the Wall and check out 16 versions of You’ve Been BOOed!

Hope everyone has great fun being BOOed and BOOing others! Happy Halloween!





Chocolate Surprise Muffins

3 10 2013

So my baby turned 4 a little less than a week ago and I made these amazing Chocolate Surprise Muffins for him to take into his Preschool. I frosted them and made them into cupcakes for all the kids to enjoy. This recipe comes from the Cake Mix Doctor and is super easy to make. I first had these at my sisters house and I am not a fan of chocolate but they were so good I ate two! You Defiantly give them a try!

Chocolate Surprise Muffins

Filling:

~ 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature

~ 1/3 cup sugar

~ 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

~ 1 large egg

~ 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Cake:

~ 24 paper liners for muffin pans

~ 1 package (18.25 oz.) plain devil’s food cake mix

~ 1 1/3 cups water

~ 1/2 cup vegetable oil

~ 3 large eggs

1. Place the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and egg. Beat on low until the egg is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set the filling aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

3. Place the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each liner two thirds of the way full. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the filling onto the center of each muffin. The filling will sink into the batter as the muffins bake. Place the pans in the oven.

4. Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, about 23 to 27 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

* You can frost these and they make wonderful cupcakes or enjoy on their own.

Click Below for the Recipe

Chocolate Surprise Muffins





Grilled Blue Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Onions

1 10 2013

Like many of you I have about a thousand recipes pinned to my Pinterest board. In an effort to stop eating the same old same old I have been working on trying to eat our way through some of these Pinterest recipes and either keep them if they are good or unpin them if they are not a favorite of my family.

After a few Pinterest fails we finally found a recipe that we all loved. This recipe came from James & Everett what’s cooking at home and will now be something that we make every time we grill. I might even consider starting up the BBQ just to make these!

Grilled Blue Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Onions

~  4 large sized sweet onions (Vidalia, Maui Sweets, sweet yellows, or any favorite of yours)

~ 1 stick of butter

~ 2/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

~ 4 strips bacon, crumbled (or as much as you like)

~ salt and pepper to taste

1. Trim the ends off of the onions and peel. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the inside of the onion to create a cavity.

2. In a small bowl mix together butter, cheese, and bacon. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

3. Stuff the mixture into the onions, completely filling the center.

4. Place each onion on a square of aluminum foil. Wrap up onion creating a sealed pouch. Try to keep the aluminum foil from touching the onion and make sure the top is sealed completely to keep the steam in.

5. Heat your grill on high. Reduce heat to medium low and place the foil pouches directly over the heat. Close the lid of the grill and cook for 30-40 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your onions and your grill. Resist the temptation to open the grill and the pouches.

6. Remove from grill and allow to stand for a full 5 minutes before opening the pouches. Be careful the steam from the pouches will be hot.

7. Using tongs carefully transfer the onion onto a plate or bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle any remaining butter from the bottom of the pouch over the onion.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Grilled Blue Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Onions





Johnny Appleseed Day

30 09 2013

It has been a few years since I have been in the classroom and when special days come around through out the year I really do miss all the fun things we did. Luckily I help out with a local Stay at Home Moms Group where I can plan these fun activities for our group to do. It helps channel all my teacher energy into something.

September 26th is Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday and a great way to celebrate him as well as start celebrating the beginning of Fall. We celebrated it by doing some apple painting, making a cute apple out of a paper plate and making some really cute Apple sun catchers. The kids all had a lot of fun and the great thing is that all of these activities are great for kids of all ages. We had little 14 month olds all the way up to preschool aged. My daughter who is 6 even had a blast at home doing the crafts.

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To make the apple sun catcher I found a template online here and then printed that on cardstock to make my master.

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I then traced it onto black construction paper and cut out all the apples. If you have older children have them cut out their own apples. It is great practice using scissors.

I then cut out pieces of clear contact paper (you can find this at your local Wal-Mart or hardware store on the aisle that has the kitchen organization) large enough to fit the apple. The kids then placed their black apple onto the contact paper and filled in the inside with small pieces of tissue paper. Once they were done we placed another sheet of contact paper over the top and cut out the apple. Then you can tape it to a window in your house and you have a cute apple sun catcher.

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We also made apples out of paper plates. Just cut away the sides so that it looks like the apple has been eaten and those become the leaves. The kids sponge painted red on the large cut out and green on the 2 smaller cut outs. We then made the seeds out of black paint and their cute little fingers. Once dried staple the leaves to the top. Easy and super cute.

Hope this gives you some great ideas for Johnny Appleseed day or just fall crafts in general.





Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake

24 04 2013

Every since I was little I can remember my grandma making this amazing Icebox Cake’s and if you talk to my mom she can remember her grandma making them as well. They are super simple to make and only require a few ingredients but they will defiantly have people coming back for more. I made these to take to an event and my husband got so upset that I was taking them and not keeping them at home. The next day I had to go out and get some more Chocolate Wafers to make them again for him.

The key to this recipe is finding the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. They are usually in the cookie aisle and usually on the top shelf. Now not all your local grocery stores will carry them so don’t be surprised if you have to go to a large chain. My local Winco didn’t have them but Savemart did.

Recipe: Chocolate Wafer Icebox Stacks

Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake

~ 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream, plus additional for thinning

~ 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar, plus more to taste

~ 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

~ 1 (9 oz.) package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers

For Garnish: chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate shavings, or leftover ground wafers

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream until it just starts to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue whisking until soft to medium peaks form; the cream should be floppy and light.

2. Place a chocolate wafer on a sheet pan. Drop a rounded teaspoon of whipped cream. Use the back of the spoon to pat the mound of whipped cream into a flattened disk, leaving about 1/8 inch space around the edge of the cookie. Gently press another wafer on top of the whipped cream until the frosting is flush with the edges. Continue until you have stacked 3 cookies to make one “mini” cake, finishing off with a coat of whipped cream.

3. Repeat the process with the remaining chocolate wafers. If the whipped cream starts to firm up while you are assembling the cakes (you want it to be fairly loose), stiff in a tablespoon or two of heavy cream as needed to keep it malleable.

4. Transfer the sheet pan to the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 6 hours, but preferably overnight. Garnish cakes with chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate shavings, or leftover ground wafers before serving.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake





Bacon Gorgonzola Chicken Salad

22 04 2013

I know I have been missing in action for a bit. Things have been crazy and really I have just been cooking some of our favorite recipes and not trying a lot of new stuff lately. However when ever there is a potluck or reason for me to bring some food I tend to try new dishes to see how they turn out. This Bacon Gorgonzola Chicken Salad that I found over at Picky Palate was one of those.

Since I first made it I have made it at least 3 more times and every time it has been a hit. If you are short on time stop by your local grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken to make things even quicker. I baked a few chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper and then shredded it up since I had the time and the chicken already.

If you are worried about the gorgonzola over powering this chicken salad, don’t be. That was one of the things that I liked the best about it, there was just enough flavor from the gorgonzola without it taking over. Even my husband who is not a fan loved this recipe so give it a try and you might be surprised!

 

Bacon Gorgonzola Chicken Salad

~ 3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast, about 2 chicken breasts

~ 8 strips cooked crumbled bacon

~ 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

~ 3/4 cup finely chopped celery

~ 1/2 cup mayonnaise

~ 1/2 cup prepared blue cheese dressing, I used Bob’s Big Boy Blue Cheese dressing

~ 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

~ 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

~ 1/4 tsp. garlic salt

~ 1 pkg. King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and season with additional seasonings if needed.

2. Slice King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and place a heaping tablespoon of Chicken Salad on each roll to serve.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Bacon Gorgonzola Chicken Salad








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