Tag Archives: kids

Slop, Sloppy Joes

13 Oct

It’s cooling off, thank goodness, which means I am back in the kitchen! The brutal heat of this Toronto summer kept me from really digging in and trying new dishes, often opting for easy sandwiches, wraps and salads that didn’t involve, y’know, moving or turning anything on. But all that is behind us now, so back to hanging out at the stove making tasty dishes!

This recipe makes an enormous pot of Sloppy Joes, one of my favourite things to eat when I was younger. When we were kids, my grandmother would make them when we were up at the cottage and it was such fun to eat this messy, saucy sandwich! It fed a whole whack of grandkids and this recipe will certainly feed a hungry crowd with leftovers. I froze what we didn’t eat in the first couple of days for handy weeknight oh-man-what-am-I-gonna-feed-this-family moments.

Ingredients

2 tb vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, diced
2 sweet peppers, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 heaping tb of chili powder
2 tb cumin
1 tb salt
2 packages ground beef
2 796ml cans diced tomatoes
2 156ml cans tomato paste
1 tb red wine vinegar

rolls, hamburger buns
hot sauce, optional
shredded cheese, optional

Directions

1. Heat the oil in the largest pot you have to medium heat. A Dutch oven would be perfect for this, but a pasta pot would do!
2. Toss in the onion, garlic, peppers and celery. Cook until softened, occasionally stirring, roughly 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for an additional minute, allowing the flavours to brighten.
4. Add the two packages of ground beef, breaking it up as you go. You don’t want to brown the meat here as it will only make it tough, so make sure you keep stirring things around.
5. Once all the pink is gone from the beef, add in the tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Give everything a good stir and simmer for a few more minutes. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Pile a heaping scoop – or two – on to a soft bun. Top with hot sauce and/or shredded cheese if you so desire!

joes

Mango Lime Popsicles

19 Jun

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, SUMMER!

Alright. Glad to have that out of my system.

I’m a woman who likes to have a project and I tend to have several on the go simultaneously. This summer’s kitchen project? Homemade popsicles. Who doesn’t love a popsicle and who doesn’t love being able to customize them in whatever way they choose? Need something refreshing? Berries and watermelon! Sweet tooth ruling your day? Nutella and banana popsicle to the rescue! Throwing a party? Toss in some Kahlua and you are good to go.

IMG_9616

I started with what I had in my kitchen: mangoes and limes. It was ridiculously easy to prepare these icy treats; the hard part was waiting the four hours to eat them. The next time I make them, I think I’ll grate a little ginger into the mix for an added dimension.

Makes 8.

Ingredients

2 large mangoes, peeled and choppedIMG_9611
1/3 c lime juice
1/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
1 c water

Directions

1. Toss everything in the blender and puree.
2. Freeze it all for at least four hours.

They’ll be good your freezer for about four days, but it’s unlikely they’ll last that long.

The foodNURDling enjoying his first (of many) popsicles.

The foodNURDling enjoying his first (of many) popsicles.

He’s baaaaaaaaaack…

21 Oct

The Mexican food chain, Chipotle, is trying to set itself apart – and contribute to awareness of an important issue – by offering one of their most popular options, the burrito, at a significantly reduced price. The catch? You’ve got to come in on Hallowe’en dressed as, “a horrifying processed food product.” Check out their site: http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/fan-antics/boorito/boorito.aspx

Apparently they do this sort of promotion every year, but in the past they’ve asked people to come dressed as their *favourite* item on the menu. What brought this change about? This year they are working with Jamie Oliver and his “Food Revolution” program to promote healthier eating in North America. I have heard good things about the Chipotle franchise though I’ve never actually tried it. I’ve surfed through their website and it certainly appears that they are committed to providing food – not food-like products that only bear a passing resemblance to the animal from which it came.

It seems as though Oliver has found a way around looking sanctimonious in the eyes of Americans: all it took was a funny costume! If only he’d thought of that on his last adventure through the States which rattled a LOT of cages, especially in the blogosphere.  Teaming up with a popular fast food place that uses…y’know…actual food? Good plan. Exposing people’s food ignorance on national television? Not so much. I still stand by my belief that Oliver has excellent intentions, fame-whoring aside. He is using his celebrity to bring attention to the fact that the generation behind us is maddeningly – and frighteningly – unhealthy. He’s trying to help solve this problem and, evidently, has no qualms about looking like a doofus in the process. I like the “whatever works” attitude he’s adopted and this costume plan is similar to his demonstration for children in England, where he presented and blended up the ingredients of a chicken nugget. It was re-volt-ing. Nothing like a little dose of reality that even children can understand.

What do you think, readers? Do you think Oliver should hop back across the pond and keep to himself? Does teaming up with a fast food franchise decrease his credibility or is it a good idea to get the public’s attention?

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