Recipe: Sloppy Joes

My dear blog readers…..I should have said: NEON ORANGE Sloppy Joes!  I have trouble shooting food photos! (I’m sure you’ve noticed!)  This is an area of my photography I’m working on, desperately!  I even created a make-shift light box this time…..and you can see how well it worked!  😉  So…apologies to all of you….the recipes I post REALLY ARE delicious!  They just look awful!  😉  Bear with me….I’ll tackle this project and hopefully you will see food that looks like real food someday!


 Sloppy Joes

* a recipe from my mom ❤

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 ¼ cups ketchup
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard (ground)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons white granulated sugar

Brown the beef in a frying pan and remove any fat/grease.  Add the ketchup and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes on simmer/low.  (check to make sure the flame isn’t too hot, as it can burn)
Traditionally, sloppy joes are served on hamburger buns.  But try soft flour tortillas for a change.

This recipe has been a favorite in our family for a long time.  I can remember eating it on camping trips when I was a child!

Enjoy~ and have a great start to your week!


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Sour Cream Coffee Cake~

Hello good readers…..
I have a traditional recipe to share with you.  It’s a popular recipe; it’s easy to make and nice to give to others.  Sour Cream Coffee Cake has sour cream, butter, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and flour in it.  See…..not many ingredients!  In fact, tonight, while I was making the first coffee cake, I set out the ingredients for a second one.   We gave the first one to friends and we’ll use the second one for our family during the holidays.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Oven: 350 degrees.

1 cup (or 1/2 pint) sour cream (I used lite)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup  (one stick) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar (white granulated)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together in a small bowl and save until later:
1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Grease a tube pan, bundt pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.  Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Mix together the sour cream, margarine, sugar, and eggs.  Then mix in dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and baking powder.  When all is well-mixed, spread 1/2 the batter in the greased pan.  Then sprinkle 1/2 the cinnamon/sugar mixture over that layer.  Using a knife, swirl or twist knife through batter so cinnamon/sugar is cut into the batter.
Add the rest of the batter, spreading over the first layer, and then add the rest of the cinnamon/sugar.  Repeat with the knife, twisting it back and forth to mix the cinnamon into the layer.  This will give a bit of a marbling effect to the cake.

Bake cake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  However….if using a 9″x 13″ pan, cut the time to about 35 minutes…..and check the cake.  If a toothpick comes out clean, cake is firm to the touch, and cake is pulling away from the sides, take it out to cool.  Tube pans, bundt pans and deeper pans will need to go the full 45 mins.
Additions can be pecans, walnuts or almonds, mixed in with the cinnamon/sugar topping.
FYI: I used a 9″ x 13″ pan.



We love Crack (ers)!

Yep that’s true.  My family is addicted to Crack!  Crackers, that is.  To be more specific: Chocolate Caramel Crackers!   And you will be too, once you try these wonderful treats.  They last about a week in a covered container, according to the recipe.  But…..we’ve never tested that theory because they’ve never lasted that long around our house!

Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers) will make a great gift for family and friends.  Bonus: it’s not a difficult recipe to make.

For years I had been making a similar recipe with saltines and graham crackers.  But when I subscribed to and tried their recipe….I was, well….smitten with it!
Smitten Kitchen is a wonderful site for foodies.   She writes with a great sense of humor while giving tutorials on cool recipes.  Click here to see the Smitten Kitchen site.


Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)
Adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from Marcy Goldman who is the genius that first applied this to matzo crackers

4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with sides (or 11 x 17  jelly roll pan) completely with foil, and then line inside the foil (the base) with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Line the parchment paper with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you’ll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a section between perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]  Note:  I use a serrated knife to cut saltines in half, to fit in the end of the pan.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken & foam a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)

Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.

 Enjoy!  I’ll bet you’ll have a new addiction soon too!  ~and thanks to for this recipe.

Comeback Sauce

Hello dear blog readers!  Thank you for coming to visit.
I have a great recipe link for you!  It’s called “Comeback Sauce“.   I made some today and it is quite delicious.  According to the website where the recipe came from, we are to leave it alone until the flavors have had time to mingle or “become acquainted”…..which is just overnight!

Comeback Sauce has just ten ingredients and goes together quickly.  It’s good on fish, meat, chicken, salads, sandwiches……in fact, the website says it’s good on everything except: Cheerios!  My husband and I tried some tortilla chips with the leftovers in the bowl and it was very good.   One recipe will fill a pint canning jar.  (on the left in photo)

For the recipe, I’m giving you the link to the website, which is:

Click here and it will take you to directly to the recipe.

This makes a great gift for Christmas.  Because it calls for catsup and chili sauce, it will last in your refrigerator as long as those items will.
Thanks to Syrup and Biscuits for the recipe!

And thanks to you for stopping by!


Gifts in a Jar!

 Give these away for Christmas presents and make extras to keep for a treat for yourself!   😉

Gifts in a Jar: Double Fudge Brownies and Bavarian Mint Coffee.

(I’m apologizing for the photo.  Nothing RED went into either jar!  It seems as though the glass jars were reflecting the red cloth I had them posing on.  Baaaahhhh…..  So tonight we are pretending the colors are correct!!)  Thank you!


eeeewwww…..not liking that pinky color!  lol  Ok, here are the recipes for Double Fudge Brownies (large qt size jar) and Bavarian Mint Coffee (small half-pint jars).

Double Fudge Brownies
*Put ingredients in jar in this order.
1.  1 ½ cups sugar
2.  3/4 cup cocoa powder  (clean inside of jar with a small pice of a damp paper towel wrapped around a knife after this layer)
3.  3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4.  3/4 cup chocolate chips
5.  1/2 cup chopped pecans (I put mine in a small snack bag in case the person does not like them)
**Layer the ingredients starting with the sugar on the bottom,  into a wide-mouth 1 quart canning jar.  Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.  Put the top and band on, and attach a tag with the mixing and baking instructions (below).
Double Fudge Brownies
Makes 24 bars

1 jar Double Fudge Brownie Mix
3/4 cup softened butter or margarine
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and eggs.  Add the Double Fudge Brownie Mix and stir until the mixture is well blended.  Spread batter into a lightly greased or sprayed 9×12 inch pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Cool in pan.  Cut into 2 inch squares.   Note: Mix in jar is shelf safe for six months.  If using the nuts…use by 3 months.  Enjoy!!!

Thank you to Gifts in a Jar, distributed by CQ products.
Click here to go to their website.

Bavarian Mint Coffee

1.  ¼ cup instant nonfat powdered dry milk.
2.  1/3 cup granulated sugar
3.  1/4 cup instant coffee
4.  2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
5.  2 hard peppermint candies, crushed

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, chopper or blender.  Mix well to combine flavors and until mixture is a fine powder.  Store in a tightly covered container.
Makes 1 cup dry mix.

**Attach these directions to the jar:
Bavarian Mint Coffee
To serve combine 3 Tablespoons of mix with 1 cup boiling water; stir to blend.  Enjoy!

Thank you to Judy Wesener, “Hot Beverage Dry Mix Recipes” (and more) for sale on Amazon.

Enjoy making these gifts.
They are great for so many reasons:
1. The interiors are consumable and exteriors recyclable (glass)
2. They are an easy gift to make/can make several at once.
3. The recipient can use them whenever they wish.
4. They are a “feel good” gift….
5.  They don’t need to be returned!

Sorry for the long post today…..I hope you can make use of it!

Craft~Snowman Pin

Hello to my favorite blog readers!
Today I have the directions for a snowman pin you can make.  It’s easy to do, in fact, my kindergartners used to help make them as presents for parents.  This is a good craft activity for those in any age group.  It also makes a great gift for someone.


I just have one caution: if a child is doing the project, I’d make sure an adult uses the hot glue gun for safety reasons.  ** However…you may know of a great glue to use instead of hot glue.  If so, let me know!
Snowman Pin 
Materials Needed:
1. Two white buttons, one smaller than the other. Both buttons must have TWO holes only.
2. A piece of tagboard or white felt, as long as your pin needs to be, or long enough to cover where the two buttons come together.  (the snowman’s “neck”!)
3. A piece of black felt, cut in the shape of a hat.
4. a pin …..the kind with a flat back
5. a short piece of pipe stem…red or green.
6. hot glue gun, scissors.

See materials below:


1. The head of the snowman should have his button hole “eyes” horizontal, and the body should have the button holes in a vertical position for “buttons”.
2. Flip the two buttons over so you can work on the back.  Use the tagboard or white felt rectangle to bridge the two buttons together across the snowman’s “neck”.   Hot glue the tag/felt to the back of the two buttons, approximately in the middle.  Let that cool.
3. Hot glue the pin over the tagboard or felt piece.  The opening of the pin can be either at the top or bottom….it’s your choice.   Let it cool.
4. Take the pipe stem and wrap it around the snowman’s neck (it will have to go through the pin in back).  Twist the stem a couple of times and then separate the ends, so it looks like a scarf blowing in the wind.
5. Cut a hat shape out of the black felt and glue it on the snowman’s head.
Woo hoo….You’re done!

As with anything else, you can change this to make it your own…have fun and be creative!

Thanks for visiting….


Hamburger Soup~easy and delish!

Good evening dear readers~
I have a great recipe for you tonight.  Hamburger Soup is one of our family’s favorites.  It’s easy to put together and it simmers for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.   It’s a good one to make after coming home from work; add bread and a fruit salad and you’re ready to eat!   If you do some of the chopping ahead, it will go even faster.   It’s simple and delicious!


1. 1.5 lbs hamburger (ground beef)
2. 3 cups water
3. 3 medium carrots, chopped, about one cup (we leave baby carrots whole)
4. 2 medium stalks of celery, chopped, about one cup
5. 1 large potato, cut into 1/2″ pieces, about one cup
6. one cup chopped onions
7. 2 teaspoons salt
8. 1 teaspoon bottled brown bouquet sauce.  (I’ve never used that….instead I use Worcestershire sauce and put more than 1 teaspoon in…put it in “to taste”)
9. ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
10. one bay leaf
11. 1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
12. one 28 oz can whole tomatoes (we use stewed)

Cook and stir hamburger in Dutch oven, or at least a 4 qt pot, until light brown; drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients; break up tomatoes with fork (if you use whole tomatoes).  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer just until vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes, depending how small you cut them.   Serves 6.  (about 1.5 cups each)

*this is another recipe that lends itself well to variations.  If we don’t have carrots, we’ll toss in green beans.  We sometimes use what we have in the fridge….I guess it could be called: Leftover Soup!
I gave you the original recipe from my very old Betty Crocker cookbook.  I also gave you our adaptations.  We sometimes add one or two cans of beef stock in place of the water.  If the soup tastes weak, I add a few tablespoons of ketchup.  Whenever I make something with tomatoes I always add a teaspoon of sugar.  This helps cut down on the acidity.
You can play around with the ingredients.  Add garlic, try ground turkey….be creative!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Good night and thanks for stopping by~

Corn Chowder

Six ingredients!

Boil together: 1 pound potatoes, cut into 1/2″ chunks.  Any kind of potato: white, red, Yukon gold…

2 cups baby carrots, sliced

2 cups chicken broth  (vegetable broth will work also)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in: 2 cans (15 oz) creamed corn

3/4 cup light cream, Half & Half, or whatever you choose.  (make sure it’s not boiling at this point)

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Serve!  (serves 4)

If you need to reheat, do not bring to a boil.  Just return soup to a hot temperature.  Enjoy!!

Salsa Dip!

If you like easy meals like I do, you’ll love this dip!   It’s a family favorite.  All you need is cream cheese and salsa, and your choice of dippers.   Here’s the recipe:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Salsa Dip

                                                                                                                       *  2- 8 oz blocks 1/3 less fat softened Cream Cheese                                                                                                                                                      *  almost 2 cups Medium Chunky Salsa (to taste)

                                                                                                                        Mix both together with a fork until well blended.  Serve with                                                                                                                           chips,  crackers, vegetables, whatever you choose. 

                                                                                                                           You can vary the taste by using hot salsa.  Enjoy!