Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Sloppy Joes

I have no idea why, but I had a taste for Sloppy Joes a couple weeks ago. This has never happened before. I've never even liked Sloppy Joes! But, for some reason, I just needed to make them. Maybe it was because I ran into my husband's cousin's wife (my cousin-in-law?) at the grocery store a few weeks ago and she said the store's brand of Sloppy Joe mix was really good. Did that somehow make it's way into my subconscious and put the meat mixture into my brain's 'food idea' area?

Whatever the reason, I'm sure glad I made them. Now, I don't normally make things like this, but every once in awhile I'll try my hand at one of those 'staple' foods (ie, my Homemade Hamburger Helper from not too long ago) that you grew up on. Yes, I grew up on Sloppy Joes, but (sorry, Dad) I've never been a fan. I don't know why I didn't like them - I guess it just wasn't my thing.

Well, the Sloppy Joes I made changed my mind completely. I made up a sandwich and it was sooooo good. (Apparently so good that I needed multiple o's to describe it.) I had a feeling that my little guy would like it, too, so I thought, "Why not." He even helped me cook dinner which helped him want to eat it. He's always more willing to taste the food if he helps make it. (So get those kids cooking with you!)

His favorite thing to do is cut up whatever is going into the pan. He has his little 'toddler' knife and he stands on a chair next to the kitchen counter and slices or chops away. It's adorable. And it sure makes this mommy proud! I let him put things in a measuring cup and empty them in the pans, too. It isn't anything major, but it's enough to make him feel like he's a big help. I gave him a taste of the mixture after everything was in and he said, "That's really good. You should put some on a plate for me." Yeah...I knew it'd be a hit after that.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground chuck (or other lean meat)
1/2 c onion, diced
1/4 c green pepper, diced
1/4 c red pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c ketchup
1 1/4 c tomato sauce
1 TB tomato paste
3 TB water
1 tsp worcestershire
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB brown sugar

1. Brown meat in a large pan over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off the excess grease/fat.
2. Add the onion and peppers to the pan and cook over med-low until the vegetables are starting to soften.
3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
4. Put in the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes or until everything is thick and bubbly.
5. Serve on kaiser rolls* or hamburger buns*.

*Tip: If you butter and toast your bread first, it won't get soggy from the sloppy joes.

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