Recipes for Writers (& Other Busy Folk) | Sloppy Joes

DSC02405I may be breaking some kind of rule here. The recipe I’m sharing today is a family recipe. I stole it from my mom and I’m giving it to all of you. If I get in trouble with my mom, I’m going to say I was hacked and delete this post. Though writing that out may nullify any claim that I was hacked. Anyway, this is the best recipe for Sloppy Joes that I’ve ever eaten and it seemed like more of a violation to keep it to myself than it would be to share it.

Also, sometimes I want access to recipes while I’m away from my cookbook at home and putting them on my blog is an easy way to reference them if that happens. But this way you can enjoy it too.

If you do try this recipe, drop me a note in the comments and tell me what you think!

Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. mustard

Recipe Yield – 8-10 Servings  |  Prep Time – 10 minutes  |  Total Time – 25 minutes

Directions

Brown the ground beef and drain it. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer on medium/low heat, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. Slap it on a bun and call it dinner.

Icebreaker #10 | What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

This is the tenth installment of my Icebreaker series. Grab the milk.

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

When it comes to breakfast, eating cereal is a race against time. You only have so long for even the most delicious of breakfast delights to transform into nasty inedible mush.

For example, Cinnamon Life cereal is delicious, but you have maybe one minute before things get gross. For Cocoa Krispies, thirty seconds.

oatmeal_squaresBut then I found Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

Oh man.

Not only are they tasty, they don’t immediately turn into a paste-like sludge like most of the competition. The window of opportunity is closer to four or five minutes, and that is really important when you have small children who somehow time their neediest moments to sync up with when you pour milk on your cereal.

Quaker Oatmeal Squares come in a variety of flavors, but I prefer the brown sugar. And I’m not sure if it is a good thing or not, but my kids really like it too. So on the upside, it is considerably healthier than a lot of cereals whose first five ingredients are sugar. On the downside, I have to share it, and as a recovering selfish person, I struggle sometimes.

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

Recipes for Writers (& Other Busy Folk) | Oreo Truffles

Nothing says “writer fuel” like chocolate covered cookie balls, and my go-to solution is the blessed Oreo Truffle.

photo by: Kraft

photo by: Kraft

Whether it is for a holiday get-together or sustenance for a few more calorie-enriched chapters in your book, nothing beats this recipe. Plus, if you bring in a plate of these bad boys to your work, you’ll be more popular than a generous boss at bonus time.

Seriously. They are good. And perhaps better, they are easy. Just a few ingredients and a careful eye to make sure that you are melting chocolate and not scorching it.

We got the recipe from Kraft, so don’t get mad at me if your waistline grows in proportion to your truffle consumption. Blame them.

Oreo Truffles

Ingredients

  • 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
  • 1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 pkg.  (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted

Recipe Yield – 48 Servings  |  Prep Time – 30 minutes  |  Total Time – 1.5 Hours

Directions

Save out a handful of cookie crumbs. Mix cream cheese and remaining cookie crumbs until blended.

Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments so it doesn’t burn.

Shape the cookie crumb/cream cheese mixture into 48 (1-inch) balls. Use a couple of forks (like the mouth of a crane, not stabbing them) to dip into melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. (Hint – You’ll want to sprinkle as you go because the chocolate will dry fast and then your crumbs won’t stick to the truffle top).

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. If you want to save time, you can throw them in the freezer for about a half hour. Keep them cold until you are ready to serve them. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories 100; Total Fat 6g; Saturated Fat 3.5g; Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 60mg; Total Carbohydrates 12g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 1g; Iron 4%DV

Recipes for Writers (& Other Busy Folk) | Taco Soup

A while back, I put a recipe up here for Shredded Pork Tacos. I shared the recipe because it is a delicious meal that doesn’t take much work. And when you are busy writing or working or whatever, you may need such a quick meal up your sleeve. Today, I’m sharing another one of my favorite quick meals: Taco Soup.

My wife and I got the recipe for this from a Kraft Foods magazine, but we’ve altered it to fit our tastes a bit better. And in addition to being tasty and quick, this recipe make a good amount of leftovers that warm up well on cold autumn days. Enjoy!

Photo by: Kraft

Photo by: Kraft

Taco Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of mild chili beans
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of corn
  • 2 – 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 package of taco seasoning (my family likes the Hot & Spicy seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • shredded cheese to top

Recipe Yield – 8-10 Servings  |  Prep Time – 5 minutes  |  Total Time – 25 minutes

Directions

Brown the ground beef with the chopped onions. Drain it. Add all remaining ingredients except the shredded cheese. Bring to a boil. Simmer on medium/low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put it in bowls, top it with cheese, eat it.

Recipes for Writers (& Other Busy Folk) | Shredded Pork Soft Tacos

If you are looking for a meal that will taste great AND require almost no prep time, try this. It is honestly the best taco meat recipe I’ve ever tasted.

PrintMy wife and I eat this meal fairly regularly as we both work full-time and have two kids who require attention (not to mention our other interests). It comes from Don’t Panic–Quick, Easy, and Delicious Meals for Your Family by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell & Bonnie Garcia, published by Revell Books, an imprint of Baker Publishing Group.

Shredded Pork Soft Tacos

Meat

  • 3 lbs. country-style pork ribs
  • 1 T. oregano
  • 1 T. coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 t. kosher salt

Tacos

  • flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • tomatillo salsa (a green salsa that goes great with pork)
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • cheese
  • sliced avocado (optional)

Recipe Yield – 8-10 Servings  |  Prep Time – 5 minutes  |  Total Time – 6-8 Hours

Directions

Place ribs in crockpot. Sprinkle seasonings over meat. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until meat is tender and can be shredded with two forks. Remove bones and extra fat from meat.

Assemble soft tacos using tortillas, salsa, and favorite toppings.

Hint – No extra liquid is needed when cooking these ribs!

Nutritional Information (per serving of meat): Calories 406.0; Total Fat 29.3g: Cholesterol 118.3mg; Sodium 545.7mg; Total Carbohydrates 0.7g (Dietary Fiber 0.4g); Protein 32.6g