"only You can make every new day seem so new" ~Five Iron Frenzy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays - Sloppy Joe DiMaggios

I got this recipe off Rachel Rae's 30 Minute Meals (she had it paired with this sweet corn salad that looked delectable).
I made it for my husband's birthday a couple weeks ago and it was a pretty big hit.

It's real simple to make and puts a fun, tasty twist on sloppy joe's.
It's also great for the summertime - great for cookouts and family get-togethers because you can double this recipe and make enough for a small army.

1.  Brown about 2 pounds of ground meat in a large skillet - seasoned with a little grill seasoning and lots of chili powder.

2.  Push meat to the sides of the pan, and add 6 chopped hot dogs in the middle (size of the the chopped pieces is really up to you - I like mine smaller).

3.  Add in 1/2 chopped onion (again - to your preference - I prefer my onions to be more finely chopped).

4.  Turn heat down to low/med-low and cover to let onions cook more quickly.

5.  I transfered mine to a crock pot and it did well in there - I had made it hours ahead of time, so wasn't too concerned about the onions cooking through (which can take a bit) - I just let them finish cooking in the crock pot.

6.  Serve on hamburger buns and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

The idea of these sandwiches is that they're supposed to taste like a ballpark - you've got the chili-seasoned meat and cheddar cheese to bring in that chili cheese french fry and/or hotdog flavor, and - well - the hot dogs themselves.

 (ps-that drink in the background - awesome. I will share another time)

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about putting hot dogs in a sloppy joe, but trust me. It is delicious - even if you're not a huge fan of hotdogs.

This recipe made enough to feed 8 of us - and that was with the guys going back for seconds, thirds, etc!

Oh! and Rachel Rae had this fantastic tip for left-overs - cook up some macaroni noodles and mix them in to make a sort of "sloppy joe goulash." Unfortunately, I didn't have any left-overs to try this with!

Much Love to All!
Happy Eating!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays - Easy Red Velvet Cake

Adam's grandmother has this delicious recipe for red velvet cake made from scratch.  Recently, however, Adam found a way to make the cake that is much simpler - and I modified it to make it much richer so that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between this recipe and his grandmother's. 

-One box of white cake mix
-The ingredients indicated on the cake mix (mine called for 3 egg whites, oil, and water)
-1 oz. bottle of red food coloring


1.  Mix together the white cake mix as directed on the box - replace the water (or milk - depending on the brand of cake mix you get) - with 1/2 buttermilk, 1/2 water/milk (my recipe called for 1 1/2 c. water - so I did 3/4 c. buttermilk and 3/4 c. of water).

2.  Set cake batter aside.

3.  Mix 2 Tbsp. of cocoa with the 1 oz. of red food coloring - once bottle is emptied, fill with water and add to cocoa mixture.

4.  Combine cocoa mixture with cake batter.

5.  Divide equally into 2 round, greased and floured, cake pans - bake as directed on the cake mix box.

6.  Once baked, removed from oven and let cool before removing from pans.

Now the icing is what really makes this cake special - so I can't really leave the icing recipe out of this post.  So here it is:

Red Velvet Cake Icing


1 1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
a generous 1 c. of shortening (close to 1 1/2 - gotta love grandma's recipes)


1.  Whisk together milk and cornstarch in a small pot over heat until thickened (usually takes bringing it to a boil to make it thicken) - add vanilla.

2.  Chill in the refrigerator until it forms into a gelatin.

3.  In a large boil, mix together granulated sugar and shortening until creamy - add gelatin and mix thoroughly.

Now all you have to do is frost your cake generously!


dance your way back to zion

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays - Oatmeal Pancakes

I posted this recipe back in February, so I thought I'd share it again for Tasty Tuesday :O)

I've had some more time to experiment with this recipe since I posted it last and here's an added tip:

-Though you cook these like "normal pancakes," make sure that you turn your burner down a little lower than you would for other pancakes.
These are truly very thick and delicious - meaning you've got to give the centers time to cook - so make sure to turn the burner down a bit.

Also these are extremely filling! 2 of them usually fill me up - but I'll eat 3 if I have to :O)

Happy Cooking!

Much Love to All.

dance your way back to zion

Monday, June 6, 2011

Final Thoughts on Harry Potter

I apologize for my rather lazy blogging habits lately - it's been nearly a week since I've posted in either of my blogs, which is quite a dry-spell for me.


I have mentioned before my two favorite fantasy series - Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.  Having Tolkien and Lewis as standards against which I measure other fantasy series, it is extremely difficult for me to admire another author.  In the case of Harry Potter, in particular, I was fully prepared to enjoy the story - however, I was NOT prepared to be so impressed with the author.  These are truly very well-written stories and I love reading them.  Some people don't require "good writing" to enjoy a book - I do. I enjoy and bask in exquisite writing like some people do in excellent music or superb cuisine.  These books are definitely something I can go to in order to satisfy that hunger.

What makes these books, in my opinion, "good writing?"

-The character development - the characters are not static - they have depth and complexity.  Especially the main characters - they change as adolescents so often do as they grow older and gain more experiences.  They are also very true to life - I often found myself mad at Harry and Ron for all the stupid-teenage-boy-stunts, and I didn't think it was possible to hate a fictional character as much as I hated Umbridge.

-The themes are plentiful and fully carried out - friendship, trust, loyalty, love - these books have a lot to say about all of these and more.

-Rowling's attention to detail, and her style of writing in general, pulls you into the story and takes you on an emotional roller coaster - I laughed out loud (literally, not just "lol"), welled, gasped, sobbed, and often found myself on the edge of my seat, holding my breath.

All of this and more really helps a story to come to life and I think that JK Rowling did an absolutely fantastic job.

I am currently re-reading the books - quickly, before I have to give them back :P and I cannot wait to finish this story again and gain a more complete view of how everything ties in together towards the end.

My husband doesn't understand how I can re-read books - when I already know how they end.  I guess I should ask him why he listens to a song a loves more than once - to enjoy the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that he knows he loves? Same reason why I read a book again - to enjoy and bask in the excellent writing.

Much Love to All!