Homemade Sloppy Joes

Raising three little boys, quick economical meals are something that are a constant around here. We love tacos, and my version of a homemade Hamburger Helper is always a hit, and who could forget spaghetti? But on this particular evening that I’d taken out some ground beef, I wasn’t feeling any of those options.

I decided to whip up a from-scratch version of the classic Manwich sauce in a can, and made homemade Sloppy Joes. They took just a few minutes to throw together, out of ingredients that I usually always have on hand. A little bit of tang and a little bit of sweetness to the sauce hits all the right spots on the flavor scale, everyone really enjoyed them!

I think this would be a great option for a cookout instead of burgers. The beef could easily be mixed up and kept warm in a slow cooker for serving. I kept it simple and served with some potato chips and my favorite coleslaw.  In fact, I put a spot of coleslaw on my sandwich. Don’t knock it till you try it!

Source: adapted from Allrecipes

Garlic Herb Salt

Back at Christmas time I bought an insane amount of pre-peeled garlic due to poor grocery shopping planning, and needed something to do with it. I’d remembered a recipe they’d talked about on The Splendid Table a while back for homemade seasoned salt using fresh garlic, and decided that since I had a plethora of the stuff that I needed something to do with…this was the perfect opportunity to try out said recipe.

You guys, it’s been pretty much the only seasoning I’ve used since then – save chili powder and cumin. Not a meal goes by that I don’t find myself dipping into the stuff. I keep a mason jar curing of it at all times, just because it’s so perfect to use on everything – any protein under the sun, to any vegetable or starch you can throw at it! It really heightens the flavor of whatever it is you use it on, without overwhelming it…which many store-bought seasoning blends tend to do!

I roasted the garlic first – to intensify and deepen the flavors. Then, toss it into bunch of salt along with some freshly chopped herbs. Any mix of your favorite will do – I’ve been using rosemary and thyme recently, just because it’s been pretty readily available during the cold months.

However now that it’s warming up and I’m starting to think about my herb garden – I’m looking forward to experimenting with different blends of herbs this season. I also think that bit of citrus zest would also be a welcome addition to the party! Or maybe a smidge of lavender for an Herbes de Provance twist? Have fun with it, you can’t mess this one up!

Source: adapted from The Splendid Table

Salisbury Steak Meatballs
I’m such a sucker for any form of comfort food. I’ve been feeling a little gypped this winter, as it’s been unseasonably warm for most of the season. But, I haven’t let it stop me from enjoying a few of my favorites.

One dish I loved growing up was noodles and gravy. It was so easy, so filling, so comforting. Growing up, I stayed with an elderly couple before and after school in the afternoons until my parents got off work. It was something they’d often make for a quick meal, and I remember them always using No Yolks® noodles.

So when the brand reached out to me about creating a comfort food recipe to share with my readers using their noodles – my mind immediately flashed back to that childhood favorite. But, I wanted to elevate it a little bit to create a more grown-up version…

Salisbury steak has always been a favorite in our home, so that flavor combination rolled up into a delectable meatball, and served over a bed of perfectly cooked and firm egg noodles? It’s absolute heaven. The beefy flavor from the mushrooms and the savory flavor of the sautéed onions is perfection. And, the meatballs stay incredibly moist simmering in the sauce. It’s everything I loved and remembered about the meal in my childhood, only incredibly better!

A key component of the dish that shouldn’t be overlooked is a good, quality noodle. No Yolks has always been the gold standard in my kitchen.  They always retain their firm texture and shape, even in something like a soup. That is something that’s hard to come by in an egg noodle! Not to mention the fact that they are low in fat and have zero cholesterol.  What more could a girl ask for?

For more comforting recipes using noodles, visit No Yolks® for some delicious ideas.

What was one of your favorite comfort foods growing up? Leave a comment with the answer to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Soprano's Sunday Gravy

I’ve talked before about my love of all things mafioso. While I was always a fan of the classics like Goodfellas and The Godfather trilogy, it was really The Sopranos that really cemented that love. One of my favorite cookbooks is The Sopranos Family Cookbook. Every single recipe I’ve tried from it has been wonderful. The first one that I ever made from it’s pages is this recipe for Sunday gravy…

Italians call a meaty sauce that’s been simmered all day a “gravy”. This one is made with the addition of country pork ribs, sausage, and veal – which I leave out (I just can’t get past the baby cow thing). Now, if you’ve never added pork to your red sauce – with all due respect, but you’ve sorely been missing out. It adds such a wonderful richness and complexity that is unparalleled. Sausage is great, but the pork ribs are really where it’s at.

It’s wonderful simply tossed with pasta, or if you want to doll it up even more you can add mozzarella cheese and mini-meatballs to make Ziti al Forno. No matter what you do with it, you can’t go wrong with this sauce. It’s really a staple. Do yourself a favor and make it soon, you won’t regret it! Bada-bing.

Source: adapted from The Sopranos Family Cookbook