Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Homemade Sloppy Joes

      Can I start this off with saying, I have never been a huge fan of Sloppy Joes. See, I have a problem with the sloppy part. I hate messy hands! But, this recipe is so amazing that I am willing to suffer through the dirty hands (and table and cups and everything) to enjoy this yummy homemade classic. The store bought version is FINE, but something about making it from scratch adds so many more flavors. This recipe takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and when you've had a long day that can come in handy!


       Finely chop half a green pepper and about a 1/2 cup of onions. Both can be omitted if you have picky eaters but to be honest they probably wont even notice the peppers and onions in this amazingly messy meal. You could also sneak in so many other veggies if you want. Some options are red peppers, mushrooms, shredded carrots, or celery.  Next, heat large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add ground beef (or ground turkey if that's your thing) to skillet and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Let ground beef brown for about 7-8 minutes. Once ground beef is almost cooked all the way through add in peppers and onions and continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes longer. Once ground beef is cooked through drain off grease and return to skillet.

      Once you return ground beef and veggies to skillet lower to a low- medium heat to avoid splatter. Add in tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and Sweet baby Rays BBQ sauce. Mix well, cover and let simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve on a toasted bun. Can be topped with pickles, American cheese, or whatever else you would like!


  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • half a green pepper finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (or whatever BBQ sauce you love!)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Copycat Japanese Steakhouse Style Fried Rice

       Listen, I love going out to dinner with my husband just as much as the next girl. I mean I get to eat and I don't have to deal with dishes, a broom, a mop, ect! But, the frugal side of me enjoys a good home cooked meal that usually tastes better then anything I would ever order at a restaurant. Because of this love for home cooking I am always on a quest to make my restaurant favorites in the comforts of home. My husband and I have been eating at a local chain Japanese hibachi restaurant pretty often lately and lets just say it is not cheap. We give each other this look and then it happens, we both admit that we are craving that yummy fried rice! I decided to try my hand at this addictive fried rice we love so much. I can confidently say I have come up with an amazing competitor! Even the hubby gave me the stamp of approval. I decided to share my new favorite recipe with you call on this glorious Sunday afternoon.


  • 3 cups cooked refrigerated long grain white rice
  • 1 packet fried rice seasoning ( I use Kikkoman fried rice seasoning)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • half a large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (I buy garlic pre-minced in a jar to save time!)


       Now, I feel like this recipe tastes a little more "authentic" if you use real rice and not instant rice. However, to save time instant rice will work JUST FINE! To start, cook the white rice per instructions on packaging. Be sure to lightly salt the water that the rice is boiling in as, this is what will add salt to your final product. Per the instructions on the packaging for the rice I used, one cup of uncooked rice will yield 3 cups cooked rice. Once rice has slightly cooled after cooking, store it in a loosely covered bowl in the refrigerator and let chill. From my experience 1 1/2-2 hrs should be enough time. To make this recipe even easier during the busy work week you could make the rice the night before.

       While your rice is in the refrigerator this is the perfect time to prep your veggies and garlic. Chop onion and carrots. Set them aside together in a small bowl. Mince garlic and set aside in a separate small bowl. Mix rice seasoning in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons water and set aside. Scramble the eggs right before you are ready to start cooking and have them also ready in a small bowl. This recipe is all about having everything ready when you are ready to cook.

       One of our wedding gifts was a really awesome (and huge) wok! So, that is what I used to prepare this recipe. I know everyone doesn't own a wok so a regular old large non-stick skillet will work. Or, a griddle would be fine as well. No biggie to go all "authentic" here. It will turn out just the same. Heat wok (or skillet/griddle) on medium heat. Add in sesame oil. Once heated toss in onions, peas, and carrots. Cook until veggies are tender and onions are translucent. about 7-8 minutes. Set veggies aside (I just pour them in the bowl that the chilled rice is in to save on dishes). Now, add scrambled eggs to wok and cook through. Maybe 5 minutes at the most. Again, set aside (They too can go in that same bowl your rice and veggies are waiting in. No need to be fancy here).

     The next part is where it all finally comes together! Turn up your stove top to a medium-high heat and put 3 tablespoons of butter in wok along with minced garlic and stir until sizzling. Pour in rice, veggies, and eggs. Stir rice around breaking up the grains of rice. Once rice has loosened up pour in your rice seasoning that has been dissolved into the water. Add your soy sauce and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed and the sauces have mixed well with all the rice and veggies. Once everything is mixed add last tablespoon of butter under all the rice. Smooth out rice into an even layer and let "fry" or brown lightly. Stay close at this point. You CANNOT walk away or you will end up with burnt rice not fried. (ewe!) Once the rice has gotten a little bit of crunch and color flip the rice to brown the other side. Again this is not the time to walk away. Now, once your rice has gotten a little color and dried out some (about 7-8 minutes)... YOU ARE DONE! See, not that hard right!


Friday, July 24, 2015

So you want to be a blogger.

          When I was young, say... 10 or 11 I wanted to be a fashion designer. The weird thing was that I never was that in to fashion. I grew up in a single parent home with two younger brothers. I didn't have the means to be "fashionable". I was however very smart in HOW to shop and even how to upcycle items to look pretty presentable. I may have never been trendy growing up but I was always dressed nicely because I always got a little creative. Once I got to high school I realized that my dreams of being a fashion designer and still living in the city I grew up in were almost impossible. However, I knew I was artistic and wanted to do something with that. In high school my schedule was full of any art class that was offered. Drawing and creating always came easy. Even in English class I never had a problem coming up with content for a paper. From then on I decided graphic design was for me! It was creative, yet practical.
          My first year in college graphic design was my major. Again, my days were filled with art classes. I loved it. After taking a break from college for about two years I realized it was time to go back and finish what I started... but my interests had changed. Graphic design seemed cool and all but cooking... cooking had become a passion. I loved cooking for people. Something about home cooked meals made me and everyone around me happy! Cooking was where my heart was. So, I enrolled back in college and did a year with Culinary as my major. It was great! I learned so much.
          After that year in culinary school, I had my son and did not return to college. I eventually started an office job that I was always grateful for but at times made me feel dead inside. All of this creative energy being bottled up. After a few years in corporate America I couldn't take it anymore and left my full time decent paying job to be a full time stay at home mom and wife. I can truly say at this point I have found my calling. I love being here for my husband and my son. (and our 4 month old Boxer puppy we recently got.)
          I purchased a Canon DSLR camera right before I left my job and learned the art of photography quickly. Little did I know God had set me up with a craft to help make ends meet if ever necessary. I have been home for about 9 months now and I have always wanted to start a blog. I feel like I have a lot to share but that no one in my immediate circle could relate. I love cooking, DIY projects, cleaning, playing with my son... none of my friends could relate to any of that. My two best friends who are both wonderful mothers are in different places in life than I am. I needed to branch out but was unable to leave the house at times.
          That's how we ended up here. I know I have great things to share all of you and that you all have great things to share with me. I hope we can become friends. I welcome emails, comments, and shares. I just want to find others like me who enjoy the simple things like no dishes in the sink, red wine, and Pinterest. So, if you happen to stumble upon this very first post of mine. SAY HI! I won't bite I promise... I sometimes talk to myself (jk!... well sort of) and my dog. So, I would love to hear from some of you and what content you would like me to write about. Also, I promise not to talk about myself the majority of the time! (hehe) I really rather NOT! But, I figured we needed to start somewhere so lets start with how I got right here with you.

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