Wednesday 18 February 2015


The world is white.  And I’m not talking about the snow.  We’re living in a world of salt.  It covers the roads and sidewalks.  The cars are coated in a gritty layer of it, inside and out, where it rubs onto coats and pants, so that we walk around wearing it.  We bring it into the house on our boots.  There’s no escaping it.  I thought about going through the car wash the other day, but with -35°C temps outside I decided that I didn’t want to risk freezing the doors shut.

This is winter.  The cold, the snow, and the salt, and all things white.

And when we're dealing with extreme cold outside, there's a lot of this going on inside.

Instagram lately.  There's a lot of food happening.  Along with some hockey, a boreal forest diorama, and a frozen lake.

I feel like I've been in hibernation mode.  I guess that's winter.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Sloppy Joes

So, I made Sloppy Joes over the weekend.  And they were amazing.  I can’t remember the last time I made them.  I seem to recall they weren’t very good, and there was much moaning and groaning and scraping of uneaten food into the garbage.  Last week, out of the blue, one of the kids asked me to make Sloppy Joes for dinner. 

Hmmm, OK.

Comfort food is what we need when the temps are plummeting to -30°C outside.

I searched recipes until I settled on the Pioneer Woman’s version.  I had all of the ingredients and her recipes haven’t failed me yet.

I was tempted to skip the green pepper, because no one really likes it, but decided instead to chop the green pepper very fine, so as to make it barely visible.  I think it adds necessary flavour, so a small dice allowed me to sneak some green pepper past my kids.  I added celery because I had some that needed to be used up, and because I can't seem to follow a recipe without straying from it.

The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.  I used an entire can, because I clearly wasn't paying attention.  The end result wasn’t overly tomato-y, and it was just so incredibly good that I’ve left the one can of tomato paste in the ingredient list.  Added bonus: no half-used can of tomato paste lurking in the fridge becoming a science experiment.

This combination of ingredients and spices made the best Sloppy Joes I have ever eaten, perfectly sweet and spicy, and not too saucy.

Sloppy Joes


3 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 whole medium/large onion, diced
1 whole large green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Kaiser Rolls, lightly toasted


Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until brown, breaking up large pieces while stirring. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Lightly toasting the buns prevented them from getting soggy as soon as the meat mixture was ladled on.  If your toaster has a bagel setting, use it.  It will only toast the insides of the buns.

Some of the kids chose to add shredded cheese, lettuce, and extra hot sauce… but I thought they were perfect just as is.

This served all eight of us, with leftovers to snack on the next day.

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