Pimento Cheese Sloppy Joes

Yes!!! Finally I have done it!!! I have made my daughters’ beloved hohum sloppy joes that they love so much actually taste AMAZING!!! Sloppy Joes are not a pretty dish. There are tons of recipes out there that look great. I wanted to try more, but my girls stand by the recipe their daddy first made.

My husband remembers having this as a child. The only sloppy joes I had were in the school cafeteria and avoided at all cost. Maybe it was Manwich… Not sure, but I don’t ever remember my mom making a Sloppy Joe. And I thank her for that.

I had to figure out a way to make me like them more without adding cooks onions, peppers, or tomatoes that may give it away. I found a solution; tomato paste, barbecue sauce, onion and garlic powder and pimento cheese. The kids didn’t eat it with pimento cheese, but I will be happy to hog all the cheese for the time being. For real…TRY THIS COMBO!

Sloppy Joes- all my ingredients are now eyeballed and to taste, but these are pretty much the right portions- taste everything and add if needed.

1 pound ground beef
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
a generous shake of liquid smoke… Once I ran out and used worcestershire sauce and no one noticed.
a few shakes of onion and garlic powder- the real thing would be better, but I am easing them in to the idea of a different sauce…
pimento cheese- I used 2 tablespoons of Palmetto’s Bacon Cheese. I have made plenty of pimento cheese. Homemade pimento cheese is easy and delicious, bit this is a great premade brand.

Directions- Brown your ground beef. Drain any grease leftover. Add all your ingredients. Warm on low. I toasted MY bun, but the girls like theirs untoasted. I also made some Annie’s Mac and Cheese and canned baked beans.

The Girls’ Plates

My Plate

Italian Sausage Sandwiches

This sandwich was amazing. Now, it is not like your regular sandwich. You cannot really eat this with your hands. You gotta get in there with a knife and fork. It is a cross between a meatball sub and a sausage and peppers sub. Just do me a favor and make this. Soon. Did I mention it has cheese? Ooey Gooey Cheese. Clean plates all around!

Italian Sausage Sandwich


small onion, chopped
2 heads garlic, chopped
1 container mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
5 Sweet Italian Sausages cut up in 1 inch pieces- You could substitute chicken or turkey sausage
4-6 hoagie rolls
1 container of marinara sauce- You could make your own, but for a quick meal, use your favorite jarred sauce. I actually found a sausage and peppers marinara that was perfect (Publix brand).
1/2-1 cup of mozzarella cheese- feel free to use as much as you like


Preheat broiler to high
Hollow out the top halves of rolls. Arrange rolls on baking sheet. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted. Set aside for the time being.
Heat a large skillet or pan over med. heat. Add some veg. oli to the pan and let it get hot. Add your onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add your sausage pieces to pan; cook about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, peppers, and marinara; bring to a boil. Reduce heat,and simmer 5 minutes or so until peppers are tender.

Arrange some of the sausage mixture on each half of roll. Add plenty of mozzarella cheese on each sandwich. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy! 010



Meal Planning 4/12/14

So sad my spring break week is coming to an end. Just gotta make it 6 more weeks until summer! The weather here is beautiful, despite the high pollen count. This past week we planted a veggie and herb garden. It looks great and can’t wait to see everything bloom and grow. I am also looking forward to the nearby farmer’s market opening up soon! Spring is a great time of year!
Here is my meal plan for the week. Hope you guys have a great week!

Sat- Italian Sausage Sandwiches
Sun- Sloppy Joes
Mon- Chicken and veggies with couscous
Tuesday- Tacos


Wed- Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Kind of like this, but with shrimp instead of chicken.


Thursday- Clean out the fridge night
Friday- Out

Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

Stuck in a lunchtime rut? This week I have had cheese and Triscuits almost everyday for lunch. So today I came up with this easy beauty. Bruschetta- pronounced bro͝oˈsketə/- or sometimes by Americans- bro͝oˈshetta is a toasted Italian bread drenched in olive oil and served typically with garlic or tomatoes. You can really top it with anything you like, but this garlic and tomatoes are the norm. We also make this sometimes with mozzarella, tomato, and basil. No matter how you say it or prepare it, these yummy toasts are quite satisfying for a snack, lunch, appetizer, or side dish for dinner. I served with mine with a side salad.

Balsamic Tomato Bruschetta

Turn oven on broil. Take some sliced baguettes, rub on some garlic. Drizzle on some olive oil. Top with sliced or chopped tomatoes that have been lightly dressed with some Balsamic Vinegar. Cook for just a few minutes. Keep your eye on these guys so they don’t burn. Add to a side of pasta, salad, or just enjoy as a snack!


Chicken Pot Pie

Hey guys! So other night I made roasted lemon rosemary chicken. I actually made 2 chickens, so I had one left over to do something with. It was moist and delish, so I was trying to think of a different way to repurpose it into something different for dinner tonight. I researched a few recipes and came across a few pot pie recipes. SOLD! My parents took the girls to the zoo today, so I knew they would be bringing them back tired and hungry (my parents and the girls). I had enough to invite everyone over, and I even had enough leftover for my parents to take to my brother who could not join us. Step away from the frozen pot pies and be empowered to take charge in your own kitchen. After all, these are easy as pot pie to make ;)

First, start with a cooked chicken. You could use a rotisserie, poached chicken breast, leftover chicken of some sort, like this…

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Stuff your chicken with a few halved lemons. Put rosemary leaves under the skin, and rub the bird with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook on 450 for about 25 minutes. Drop temp to 400 for another hour or so. Mine ended up being undercooked, so I needed to add it in another 30 minutes. Always use a oven thermometer or a meat thermometer.

chicken 2

Chicken Pot Pie

4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion diced
4 carrots diced
6-8 small yellow potatoes diced
1 container of mushrooms sliced
2 stalks of celery sliced
1 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups chopped/diced/shredded cooked chicken
fresh herbs- rosemary, oregano, thyme, etc
salt and pepper to taste
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
salt and pepper to taste


In a heavy stock pot or med-large sauce pan- melt butter and cook veggies (not peas) on med. heat for about 10 minutes or so. Add flour, salt and pepper, mix until pale yellow, about 6 minutes. Add broth and whisk frequently. Bring to a boil and continue stirring until it thickens. 5-10 minutes. Stir in chicken, frozen peas, and herbs. 017

Potion out your mixture in your ramekins and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (can be done up to 1 day).
Preheat oven to 375
Take your puff pastry and portion out what you need. Vent the pastry with 3 or 4 slits. Put on top of ramekins. Stir your egg yolk and water and use a pastry brush to cover each top.


Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake about 30 minutes or until puff pastry turns golden brown. They will be super hot, so let cool and set for 5-20 minutes before digging in. For the girls, I cut into them to let the steam escape a bit Enjoy!!!019


Braised Beef Short Ribs

Howdy partners! Another night of beef; steak one night (and leftovers at lunch) and now beef short ribs. This is a great one pot meal and cook for a few hours and forget about it kinda meal. So good! The girls cleaned their plates of beef and asked for seconds before they finished their masked potatoes and veggies! Even better than my totally awesome best pot roast that you have ever tasted dinner. http://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/03/23/beef-pot-roast/ I got the inspiration at the meat counter at Whole Foods. “How about short ribs? They will be so amazing!” Sold! I honestly didn’t measure anything in this recipe. I made guesstimates to how much I added. Please feel free to add or subtract anything if you need to. Different kitchens, different cooks! =) Hope you guys give this a try…it made my soul happy!

Braised Beef Short Ribs


1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 glasses red wine (or white will do, or beer)
1 cup beef stock (or chicken stock- life will go on) More if you don’t add wine/beer
2 tablespoons flour
fresh herbs- straight from my garden…oregano, basil, thyme, and marjoram- use dried herbs if that is all you have-
5 Beef Short Ribs


Salt and pepper both sides of your short ribs. Dredge your short ribs in a bit of flour. Shake off any excess flour. Brown all sides in a bit of oil in a super hot pan.




Take the short ribs out and set aside. Add your chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes and add your mushrooms. Cook down for another 5 minutes. Add your tomato paste and worcestershire sauce. Stir and blend together.

Add your wine and beef stock. Mix together well. Then take out a couple of ladles of the sauce and place in a bowl. Whisk in your 2 tablespoons of flour. Then add back in your sauce. This will help thicken your sauce, aka gravy. Add back in your short ribs. Cook for 2 1/2-3 hours. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta and a side veggie. Ours was green snap peas. Heaven!

Meal Plan 4/6/14

Spring Break!!! I am so excited to stay home with my girlies this week! Hope everyone is enjoying this sun and warmer weather. Good riddance, winter!

Sunday- Beer Battered Fish, pan roasted potatoes, and skillet green beans



Monday- Braised Beef Short Ribs, mashed potatoes

Tuesday- Lemon Rosemary Chicken with risotto and broccoli
Stuff your chicken with a few halved lemons. Put rosemary leaves under the skin, and rub the bird with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook on 450 for about 25 minutes. Drop temp to 400 for another hour or so. Mine ended up being undercooked, so I needed to add it in another 30 minutes. Always use a oven thermometer or a meat thermometer.
chicken 2


Wednesday- Date Night

Thursday- Leftovers/Clean out the Fridge Night

Friday- Family Fun Night

Hope you guys have a great week!

Hook your Mate Meal

Hello lovers! I know there are lots of you out there who are in love and happy as a clam. I know some of you who are pretty sure you met your match, but there is no ring or serious commitment quite yet. There are some who even have their sights set on a guy or girl who they want to hook permanently or even just want to hook-up with. Never fear! Food is here! Cook for your main squeeze and you are sure to win their hearts! A nice bottle of wine or a few bottles of your favorite beer couldn’t hurt either!

Now, I know this is a no brainer, but most guys and many girls I know, myself included, love a nice steakhouse meal. I am no stranger on this blog to cooking lots of different cuts of steak. Just last week I made it. Tonight I made it again. We all went to the store today, and Publix had Ribeye on sale. Duh! Of course we bought some. My hubby had a hockey game this afternoon, so I knew it we would have a late dinner. I made med. rare ribeyes, creamed spinach, and au gratin potatoes. I have made variations of all of these on this blog. Here are my pics tonight and how I made them tonight.

Steak- Depends on your cut of steak and how you like them cooked. I like mine just past mooing, so if you like it more done, just cook it longer! =) Just a couple of examples…



Au Gratin Potatoes- serves 4
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large russet potatoes, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 cup grated cheese- I used a combo of colby jack, mild cheddar, and gruyere. What an amazing combo!

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Heat cream, butter, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, layer a greased 8″ × 12″ baking dish or med. sized cast iron skillet alternately with potatoes and ¾ cup of the cheese.

3. Carefully strain heated cream over assembled potatoes, then sprinkle potatoes with remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and continue baking until potatoes are tender and gratin is golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Allow gratin to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Creamed Spinach
1 tablespoon of bacon grease/butter/veg.oil
1/4 onion chopped
3 cloves crushed and chopped garlic
1 large container or bunch of fresh spinach (I used a large container of baby spinach)-
2 tablespoons of cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat your pan on med.low heat with bacon grease/butter/veg.oil. Add your onion and garlic to the pan and cook down for about 5 minutes. Add your spinach and cook down about half way. Add your cream cheese. Melt down and add your cream. Mix well and take off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let sit about 5 minutes or so.


Easy Stove Top Pork Chops

So easy it is ridiculous…

2. Salt and Pepper some bone in thick cut pork chops.
3. Coat them with olive oil.
4. Put in the pan and cook on first side for about 12 minutes.
5. Turn over and cook until internal temperature reaches 150. Take out and let rest at least 10 minutes. It will continue to cook (carry over cooking) until close to 160. It will be super safe to eat! Super moist and juicy. I served with my leftover Spaghetti Pesto from last night.