Beef, Uncategorized

Sloppy Joe’s


I love sloppy joes. There’s so many recipes for sloppy joes out there. Some get so fancy. Honestly, who needs fancy? I just want something simple and easy. Isn’t that the point of sloppy joes anyway? When my oldest graduated, his great grandmother made sloppy joes at his graduation get together. It was a huge hit! It’s become a family favorite.

1 lb ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper

8 oz of tomato sauce, or puree.

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon of crushed garlic

dash of hot sauce

Sauté the hamburger, pepper, and onion until the meat is cooked, and the vegetables are soft. Drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!


Beef Jerky from the Amish Country


So the husband adores beef jerky. Sometimes I think all of my money goes to buy beef jerky. Seriously. I’m not even joking. I have that dead serious, you gotta believe me look on my face right now. It makes me wonder if any other family has a beef jerky addict? When I recently visited Lancaster, PA I bought an Amish cookbook at one of the farms we visited. In this cookbook was this beef jerky recipe. I decided to try it. Hubby really liked it. This came from the cookbook the Lapp family has compiled.

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

3/4 cup water

2 teaspoon garlic salt OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together all the ingredients. This is your brine. Soak meat overnight in the brine. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and lay your meat spaced apart on a cookie sheet. Cook for 2 hours on each side. If your meat is thin, you can do 1 1/2 hours per side.

Beans, Uncategorized

Quick Cuban Black Beans


Part two of Nico’s. I wanted to do some kind of sides and not just do pork from the last post and nothing else.  I decided we needed some black beans. It was really good. All my guys loved it. I love having black beans. I think sometimes it’s an underappreciated bean. I don’t know about others, but this is not something we have at our house very often.

3 cans black beans

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small- medium onion

1 large green pepper, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – minced

1 teaspoon oregano

2 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cumin

In a skillet add olive oil. Add green pepper and onion. Sauté until soft. Add garlic. Drain beans and add to skillet. Add a little bit of water to prevent burning.  Add remaining ingredients. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 10 minutes.



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Pork, Uncategorized

Mojo Pork

There used to be this little amazing “mom and pop” type restaurant called Nico’s. I loved going there, almost every single pay day. It was seriously my favorite place to go. I was devastated when they closed down. I understood though. See the owners were a husband and wife duo. Then one winter, the husband had a car accident in the snow and icy weather and had died. She kept it open for a little while, but eventually she closed the business. It was really his dream, not so much hers, is my guess. No matter the recipe I’ve tried, I still can’t get it made like their recipe. This is the closest thing I’ve found. I’d like to try to cook it in the crockpot, just to make it shred easier like Nico’s did.

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 pound pork shoulder

1/4 cup sour orange juice

1  lime juice

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

 cloves garlic minced

2 leaves bay

In a large pot or dutch oven add the canola oil on medium high heat. Season the pork with the kosher salt and black pepper and brown the pork on all sides. Add the orange juice, lime juice, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaves to a bown and mix it together. Add to the pork and turn until pork is coated. Cover with a lid.  Bake in oven until tender. When the pork is done you can serve as is with the juice on top.


Chicken, Uncategorized

Chicken and Dirty Rice


I love chicken and rice. This is one of my favorite meals. It’s very tender chicken. I usually use chicken breasts for mine. You just have to be careful that it doesn’t dry out. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of a month for us here. I’ve noticed I’ve been wanting more and more comfort foods. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon lemon juice

enough olive oil to make a paste

Remaining ingriedents:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 link of smoked sausage cut into 1/4 inch slices

4 chicken thighs, breasts, etc

1 medium yellow diced onion

1 jalapeno pepper or green pepper for milder

2 celery stalks, diced

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

pinch of red pepper flakes

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup of dry long grain rice

2 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth

combine the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Set aside.

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

add drizzle of olive oil to a Dutch oven and heat over med-high heat. brown the sausage on both sides and transfer to a plate. add chicken and sear for 2-3 minutes.

transfer chicken to a plate with the sausage and use a paper towel to wipe out any black bits from the pan. lower heat to medium low and add the chopped onion, pepper, and celery. sauté for 2-3 minutes. or until soft. add cayenne, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper and stir. add rice and chicken stock. Stir. Let simmer for 1 minute. Add chicken and sausage on top and pour in juices that were left on the plate return to a simmer and cover. bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes  covered. Remove cover and bake about 5-10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

Soups and Stews, Uncategorized

Sausage and White Bean Soup


Today is a little sad for me. Sometimes we need some good ol’ comfort food to just warm our souls. See….a piece of my heart was broken last month. I feel like a piece of my soul was forever taken. My oldest, who is not biologically mine, left. He moved back to Florida to be with his father. I’m happy for him, but sad at the same time. I think a lot of things have now forever been changed. I do think that it’s for the best, but it doesn’t fix my broken heart. Anyway, I decided I needed a little TLC. What better way to cheer yourself up than to have a big bowl of comfort and just focus on yourself for an evening?

1 Tablespoon olive oil

12.8 oz thin sliced smoked sausage

3 garlic cloves

1 diced onion

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

30 oz canned great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

salt and pepper

3 cups baby spinach

Heat olive oil in skillet. add sausage and cook until lightly browned. place sausage, garlic, onions, carrots, celery, beans, oregano, and bay leaves into a pot. Stir in chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. cook in the crockpot for 7-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high. On the stove top simmer for an hour. When done add in spinach to wilt.

Dessert, Uncategorized

Easy Peanut Butter Bars


I’m always looking for new things for my group of boys. Everyone of them loves peanut butter and chocolate anything, pretty much. I’m always excited to make new things for them. I have to watch though, because when the boys really, really like something, then they will eat it all within a short time. This is one of those recipes. I came home from the store the day after and half of what was left, was gone. Says something…

1 3/4 Cup Flour

1 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar

3/4 Cup peanut butter

1 stick of butter, softened

3 Tablespoons milk

1 Large egg

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 Cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Spray bottom and sides of a pan lined with parchment paper or foil with some cooking spray. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then add in wet ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips. evenly spread in the pan. Bake until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. About 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before you cut.

Stays good covered at room temp for up to 5 days.