Friday, September 30, 2011

Neat Sloppy Joes

I am a fan of sloppy joes in general. I grew up eating ground beef and Manwich. When I found this recipe, I thought it would be fun to make the whole thing from scratch, even the sauce! For the most part, I loved it! It was a bit too sweet for me though, so I think I will cut back on the brown sugar next time... and add a tad bit more salt. I know 1/4 cup does not sound like much to begin with, but for my personal tastes, it just ended up being a tad too sweet. It still had excellent flavor though. All of the ingredients blend well together. I did leave out the celery because neither me or my husband enjoys it. I'm considering trying to replace the celery with water chesnuts next time, to give it a little crunch. That could be yummy. ;) The other nice thing about this recipe is the sauce is not quite as runny as most sloppy joe sauces usually are. That's why they are called "neat" sloppy joes. They aren't quite as messy!

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 hamburger buns
Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly browned, stirring to crumble. I like to use a potato masher to even out the lumps. Add onion and celery, cover the pan, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes. Drain off any grease.
Stir the tomato soup (undiluted), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture. Season with salt and garlic powder. Heat to a simmer over low heat, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
Spoon the hot beef mixture onto buns, which may be toasted first, and serve.

Gluten free: Use GF ketchup, tomato soup and worcestershire sauce, as well as GF buns.

Original recipe from

Autumn Spice Ham Steak

I thought this would be fun to try for fall time. And it was very nice! It was easy and light. It was also fun to use apples on the ham instead of pinneapple. I made this for a book club dinner with my mom and sister and we all enjoyed it very much. We ate it with baked potatoes and a fresh salad. Very yummy. I followed the recipe exactly, so please share of any changes you make! Enjoy!

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 (2 pound) ham steak
1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup maple flavored pancake syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the ham on both sides in the butter until browned. Lay the sliced apple over the ham. Pour the syrup over the apples. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are cooked through.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve immediately.

*Tip: this comes together very quickly, so don't make it in too much advance or else the ham begins to dry out and become tough. I barely fried the ham on each side...I did not wait until it was browned and then simmered on low until the apples were done- a few minutes.

Gluten free: Just double check and make sure your ham and syrup are gluten free and you are good!

Original recipe from

Monday, September 26, 2011

Applesauce Bars

Oh, wow were these yummy!! I made them for a family dinner party and they were gone within minutes by both kids and adults! And they are a perfect treat for the Fall as well. Perfect blend of pumpkin and apple flavors with a delicious glaze on top...and so moist too! Loved them.

The glaze is definitely a glaze and not a thick frosting. Next time I think I will try it with a prepared cream cheese frosting! But the glaze was delicious as well.

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in applesauce. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the applesauce mixture until well blended. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Cool in the pan over a wire rack.
In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar and margarine. Stir in vanilla and milk until smooth. Spread over cooled bars before cutting into squares.

Gluten Free: use GF flour.

Original recipe from There was also a suggestion made by another user on the website that you can use an 8x8 pan and make them thicker, more like cake than bars. I may have to give that a try next time as well!

Omelet Wraps

Ok, so I loooove these. They are easy. They are fresh. They are light. They look pretty. And they can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I've made them for my family and for a brunch with a lot of people and they were a HUGE hit.

Here is how I usually make them, but feel free to create your own!!

2 eggs (per omelet)
1/2 tsp chopped parsley, basil or cilantro (per omelet)
salt and ground black pepper
olive oil
Spread: pesto, yogurt, salsa, or hummus
salad greens
Filling: cooked grains, avocado, cheese, mushrooms, ham or turkey

1. Beat 2 eggs with 1/2 tsp herbs and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add eggs, swirling pan to create a thin omelet like a crepe. Cook until just set, 2 to 3 min.
2. Run a spatula under the omelet and carefully slide out onto a cutting board. Repeat with remaining eggs and oil. Divide your choice of spread over omelets and cover with greens and fillings, roll and cut to serve.

And what makes them even better, is they are GLUTEN FREE!! (Except some cooked careful with those.) :)

Original recipe from

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Coming Soon...

I know that I am behind on posting (so busy lately, sorry!!), but I wanted to give you a quick update on what you have to look forward to! I have already tried all of these recipes (some were requests), but just have no time to actually post them this week. The recipes and my reviews will all be available to you by the end of next week. And I will tell you right now, every single one of them is excellent! I can't wait to hear your thoughts and experiences! :)

Zucchini Bread

Applesauce Bars

Egg-topped Soba Noodles

Omelet wraps

Homemade Guacamole

Also, I am currently looking for fun Fall or Halloween recipes!! I have a few already, but I am dying to try something new! If you have any you would like to share, please do! (or requests, too) I love this time of year for baking/cooking! So much fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sweet Potato Burritos

Ok, so I don't know about you, but when I first read the title of this recipe, I scrunched my nose. I did not know quite what to think about it. But I also thought, what a perfect opportunity to try something new and different for the blog! Plus, on the website that I found it at, other people who have tried it, swear by it. So for Labor Day, I decided to hop on the sweet potato burrito train and give it a shot. :)

For the most part, it is fairly easy...just a bit time consuming. You have to bake and mash the sweet potatoes and then you have to mash all of those beans in your skillet when the time comes. It can take a little bit of time. The only change I made was I left out the mustard because my husband is allergic. Other than that, I followed it exactly. The end result: very good. The homemade bean mixture was mine and my husband's favorite part about it. During the bean mashing part, I began thinking to myself, maybe next time I will just buy refried beans and skip this whole ordeal. BUT don't do it. The homemade bean mixture is very good and tastes different than refried beans, so you would have a completely different flavor if you went that route.

As for the sweet potatoes, they definitely mix up the flavor from your usual burrito taste. They add a sweetness and also cause the burrito to be extremely filling. I could only eat one burrito and I was stuffed. I think next time, I will try adding corn to the mixture too, to add a little crunch and texture. :) Let me know what you try!

Once done, I topped them with sour cream...because I can't live without it. :)

All in all, my taste buds were happy and it was something fun and different to try, which I always enjoy!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

(Gluten free- GF tortillas and soy sauce. I used La Choy soy sauce.)

Original recipe from (Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Amish Breakfast Casserole

For Sunday morning breakfast, I decided to do something other than pancakes and eggs. I'm usually not one to cook a fancy husband is the breakfast eater in the house. However, I came across this recipe and couldn't let it pass me by without trying it! It was very easy and yummy. The fun thing about this dish is you can mix it up and add different things to it! The first time around, I followed the recipe (and it was good!), but next time I think I might try adding sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and sausage! Let me know what you try! The other great thing about this dish, is it has it all in one: your potatoes, eggs, veggies, and breakfast meat! (My husband still ate it with waffles of course.) :)

1 pound sliced bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese

1.In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
2.Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

(To cut down on time, I used pre-cooked bacon and just threw my chopped onion and bacon right in with the egg-cheese mixture. I thought it was great, because the onions weren't completely soft. They still had a tiny crunch to them, which I love. If you are not a fan of onions, then definitely saute them so they are soft because then that way you won't know they are there, yet they will add great flavor to your dish.)

This entire dish is Gluten free! Yeah!

Original recipe from

Salsa Chicken

This week, at my book club dinner, I decided to try something new, but it had to be super easy because I didn't have a lot of time. I found this one and was so excited to give it a shot! I followed the recipe almost exactly and thought it was great. (The only changes I made were I sprinkled taco seasoning on each side of the chicken breasts instead of using 4 tsp. I just eyeballed I probably added more than what it called for, but I like flavor!) My two guests who had it as well said they enjoyed it too. My mom also made this for their family and my little brother said he LOVED it. :)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
2.Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts, and pour salsa over all.
4.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear.
5.Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired, and serve.

I served this with Spanish Rice and corn on the cob. Yummy!

(Gluten-free: just make sure your taco seasoning is gluten free as well as your rice, other than that you are set!)

Original recipe from