Friday, August 20, 2010

Saturday Afternoon QUICKIE - Super Duper Sloppy Joes



Weekly Reminder: What is a "QUICKIE" anyway?...hmmmmm, found this online: "Very little foreplay, quick finish. Usually 5 minutes, start to finish.." Perfect! Since I've demonstrated how blog challenged I am this year, a speedy, once a week drop-in is JUST what the doctor ordered (wink!).
So clear your calendar, I'm all yours for 5 minutes every Saturday afternoon...rawr


Let's get sloppy!...



The end of Summer Vacation also marks the beginning of the Football Season....
We're all currently sweating in near 100° degree weather, but the first sight of that "pig skin" gets our family looking for any excuse to consume chili, beer-n-cheese soup, chowder of any type and of course, SLOPPY JOES! Whether it's in a slow cooker on a beach camp-out, or straight from your kitchen...it's a delicious and QUICKIE meal.

The "base" recipe for my Super Duper Sloppy Joes is from Food Network, courtesy Rachael Ray.
I'm the ultimate recipe tweaker so my version bends toward our family's preference for mega flavor...



No need to ever open a can again! Do it yourself and do it better :)

Super Duper Sloppy Joes serves 8-10
1 TBL. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. ground Bison (lean ground beef or turkey will work also)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper (green or red), chopped
2 TBL. red wine vinegar
2 TBL. Worcestershire sauce
1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce
4 TBL. tomato paste
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
pinch of salt to taste

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil. Add the meat, break it up and begin to brown.
Combine the brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add this mixture to the skillet and combine with the meat. When the meat has browned, add the onions and peppers to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and add the vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to the meat, cook for 5 minutes.
Now, add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, BBQ sauce, ketchup, garlic powder and onion powder to the pan. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes (or until desired thickness). Season with salt to taste ~
Using a large spoon, pile Sloppy Joe mixture onto a crusty roll or onion bun..add shredded cheese and enjoy!

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Afternoon QUICKIE - Crochet Cable Hat



Weekly Reminder: What is a "QUICKIE" anyway?...hmmmmm, found this online: "Very little foreplay, quick finish. Usually 5 minutes, start to finish.." Perfect! Since I've demonstrated how blog challenged I am this year, a speedy, once a week drop-in is JUST what the doctor ordered (wink!).
So clear your calendar, I'm all yours for 5 minutes every Saturday afternoon...rawr


Let's make some head gear - YIPPY!...


Let's do a craft this week!
Okay, please forgive the horrible photo quality above...the important factor here, however, is that the pics here are of a crochet cabled hat that I actually made. The WONDERFUL WEBSITE that I discovered this pattern at last year has a MUCH better pic...however, I'm against stealing...so for now you'll be forced to suffer looking at mine. :)
Trust me, it is NO EASY task creating the cable effect via crochet..but it can be done. What pushed me through this pattern you ask? The fact that I was making it for a gal at my church who was suffering from cancer (her cancer is in remission as I type, yes!!) and this beautiful-fashionable woman deserved to look fab and stay warm at the same time.
So.....I know we're all sweltering while reading this entry, but guess what is around the corner, my friends ~ F-A-L-L!!! It will be here before you know it..so grab your crochet hooks and get ahead of the pack - you can do this! You too can be a Hooker, like me (*smirk*) ~

**NOTE**
In the spirit of blog respect, I've decided not to post the actual pattern in this week's SAQ (Saturday Afternoon Quickie). This LINK (same as above) will lead you to the most updated and printable version of the mentioned FREE pattern AND many other clever patterns.
I will, however, offer you a tip from my experience with this hat...using a "J" sized hook created a very generous sized hat...so if you have a large head or plan on tucking your long hair underneath, then no worries. When I begin my new hat this week, I'm going to try an "I" sized hook to start - then graduate to an "H" when the pattern asks me to size down. I tend to crochet a bit tighter than most...so we'll see if my new creation is the perfect fit!
Also..I used a "G" hook for the last two rows of the brim, as I wanted to give it some "grab" around the face.
Please, please, please send me pics if you try to make this hat! I would love to see your creations ~

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saturday Afternoon QUICKIE - Fresh Apple Pie



Weekly Reminder: What is a "QUICKIE" anyway?...hmmmmm, found this online: "Very little foreplay, quick finish. Usually 5 minutes, start to finish.." Perfect! Since I've demonstrated how blog challenged I am this year, a speedy, once a week drop-in is JUST what the doctor ordered (wink!).
So clear your calendar, I'm all yours for 5 minutes every Saturday afternoon...rawr


Let's make a pie - YUM!...



Well, years ago I was searching for a decent apple pie recipe..and stumbled upon the baker's discussion forum for the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest winners. Ummm..somehow I gained access to the forum (shrugging my shoulders, hands up)...and the recipes they were sharing with each other. Can I ask you, what's a young wife to do...who’s trying to impress her new husband? Take a freakin' peek, of course. Let's just say someone must have caught on to the "security breach", and the next day any further access was denied. That's fine, my brief visit was worth it. Hmmm, let's just say that one of the recipes I "accidently" skimmed over, plus some personal tweaking, inspired my apple pie recipe.
So, if I'm not hauled off to jail for this admission (hello, not my fault you webmasters!)...maybe you'll see more “inspired” pies and cakes here in the future - (wink!)

Fresh Apple Pie
Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
2 TBL. white sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup very cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 TBL. canola oil
5 TBL. heavy whipping cream
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water
sugar for sprinkling

Apple Filling:
6 cups (approx. 7-8 apples) organic Granny Smith apples, pared, cored, and thinly sliced
3/4 - 1 cup of white sugar (depends on how tart apples are)
4 TBL. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 TBL. butter, cubed

In a small bowl mix the first four (4) ingredients (dry stuff). Dump into the food processor. Add the shortening and cubed butter and pulse until you see very small chucks.
In another small bowl mix together the vinegar, oil and heavy cream. Slowly add this mixture while the processor is on low speed. When the crust dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, stop the processor. You can add a TBL of water or more if the dough seems dry...just don't go overboard!
Form the dough into two disks, place between waxed paper..and refrigerate for one hour.
Flour your board and roll out one disk into a 10" round. Place it into a 9" pie plate. Prink the bottom 4-5times with a fork.

Now for the filling..
In a large bowl, mix together the first seven (7) ingredients for the filling. Place filling in the pie plate. Dot with remaining butter. Roll out remaining dough disk and place on top of the filling. Trim excess and seal the edges of the pie. Make four slits in the top crust. Brush some of the egg mixture on the top and sprinkle with sugar.



Bake in the center of the rack in a 400° preheated oven for twenty (20) minutes. Now reduce to 375° and bake for another forty (40) minutes or until the juices are bubbling inside and the crust is golden brown. Cover the edges with foil if necessary to prevent burning.
And POOF...you got yourself a pie!



Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!

What a year!!

I'm still alive!  I realize I've been MIA...this is what happens when real life forces to be reckoned with. ;)  Hang tight friends, ...