Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pioneer Woman's Sloppy Joes

This week on The Pioneer Woman's show on the Food Network she made sloppy joes. I had been thinking lately that sloppy joes seemed like an easy dinner to make one night after a busy day at work, and had been thinking about picking up some Manwich, but after watching The Pioneer Woman make them from scratch I thought I can do that! And I had almost all of the ingredients on hand, just needed to pick up some ground turkey and a bell pepper.

What's great about this recipe is that you can season it to taste. I used a little more Worcestershire Sauce to give it a little more tang. It took a little more time than Manwich because it needed to simmer on the stove for about 15 mins, but it gave me time to clean up the kitchen before dinner was even done. That is kind of my goal, to have a clean kitchen before dinner is finished cooking so that there is no clean up after dinner. Don't you just hate looking at a messy kitchen right after you had enjoyed a great meal. What a buzz kill! :)

I also fixed some steak fries. I just cut up some potatoes (leaving the peel on) into fry like sticks, drizzled with a little olive oil, and then sprinkled some steak seasoning, salt and pepper and baked at 400 degrees until crispy. This took like 30 - 40 mins. I didn't really time it, just kept an eye on it until they looked like fries.


Pioneer Woman's Sloppy Joes
Original recipe here
Makes about 3-4 medium sized sandwiches

  • 1 pound Ground Beef or Turkey (I used turkey)
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste (I used about 4 or 5 shakes)
  • Tabasco Sauce, To Taste (I used about 2 or 3 shakes)
  • Salt, To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Kaiser Rolls


Add ground beef/turkey to a dutch oven over medium high heat. Cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

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

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add Worcestershire and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Spoon meat mixture over the rolls and enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Chili & a Weekend Update

I have been craving chili lately, and with the temps dipping into the 60's/low 70's this weekend, I thought it was somewhat appropriate to make.

I also came across this recipe and was intrigued by the thought of sweet and spicy chili. I never really thought about sweetening up chili, but OMG this was amazing. Probably my favorite chili recipe so far. I am not a huge lover of chili, and really only get a craving for it about once or twice a year, but I already can't wait to make this again, and I think this will become one of my staple fall/winter recipes.

I tweaked this recipe a little just based on my tastes. I don't like a lot of beans, so I only used one can, and I eliminated the onions based on a food allergy. I also used ground chicken since I found a great deal at the store, but you could use ground turkey or beef. I also cut back a little on the cumin because I a not a huge fan of that spice.

To round out my meal, I made some boxed corn bread and added 1 large jalapeno finely diced to give it a little kick.

The flavors in this chili are so rich and kind of reminds me of a smokey BBQ sauce with the addition of the brown sugar. I made this in a dutch oven on the stove top, but it would be really simple to throw everything into a crock pot first thing in the morning and have a great smelling house and tastey dinner when you return home from work. It's a recipe you should definitly try!!


Sweet and Spicy Chili
Adapted from Lolly's Sweet & Savory Treats
Makes about 6 large bowls
  • 1 lb lean ground Chicken, Beef or Turkey
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1-29oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes with Green Chiles
  • 1-15oz oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1-15oz can Whole Kernel Corn, drained
  • 1-15 oz can Light Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ¼ cups Water
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 5 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup White Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • ½ Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 Bay Leaves
In a large pot, brown your meat and then drain. I also threw in some garlic with my meat as well half way through the cooking process. Then add in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, corn, water and the rest of the seasonings. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low so it can a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours, stirring about every 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

I had some cheese and tortilla chips on hand to serve as well, but the chili was so good as I was tasting it throughout the day that I totally forgot to add them as well.

In addition to making chili and making the house smell oh so good...I also worked on a little sewing project with my Mom, which I will share a little later this week, cleaned and organized a bit, and had dinner with some friends. Overall a great weekend! I am so excited about Fall being just around the corner and am aready in full Fall decorating mode. Am looking to pick up some room diffusers in some fun fall scents and making everything smell all pumpkin and spice!

Hope you had a great weekend and check out more weekend updates over at Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Favorites: Tailgating Fun!

Since we are at the beginning for football season, I thought I would share some of my favorite football themed Pinterest finds. Sorry if many may revolve around one particular team...Go Bucks!

Perfect Tailgate Set-up: Doesn't this look like the perfect tailgate set-up? Just adjust the colors for your favorite team and you are ready to go!

Perfect Tailgating Outfit: Love everything about this outfit! From a fun team shirt, to the ability to layer for those colder games, to the fun accessories. I especially love that jacket!

Perfect Tailgating Dessert: You will never go wrong with brownies, and how cute are these football shaped brownies?!? And with just the touch of icing, these would be perfect for any sweet tooth!

Perfect Tailgating Shoes: I totally love my Toms, and I have a red pair for football season. Who knew that they had this scarlet and gray version. Comfy and stylish for cheering for your favorite team.

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

Perfect Tailgating Spread: Each one of these items is making me super hungry and ready for the next foodball party. I especially love those chocolate covered strawberries.

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

Perfect Tailgating Jewelry: Isn't this so cute! I have seen these necklaces in other states, and knew that they had one for Ohio, but this is the first time I have seen one. Will need to look into getting one of these.

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

Perfect Tailgating Food: More great tailgating food. Love the picnic basket to carry it all, and sliders and chili are just perfect for fall.

Perfect Tailgating Decor: I love making seasonal wreaths for my front door, and this one is perfect for football season, and looks easy to make. Now off to find some buckeyes.

Perfect Tailgating Manicure: Although it looks a little complicated for my abilities, how fun would this manicure be to sport on game day?! I may have to try this out very soon; I think I can handle the polka dots :)

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

What's some of your favorite things for tailgating?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer 2012 Recap

Fall is my all time favorite season, but I can't help but do a little reflection on such an amazing summer before I get all into the fall season. Here is my summer in Instagram pictures:


We started off summer with a Columbus Clippers game...


...and rocked our new Clippers hats!


I planted an herb garden with some of my favorite herbs:
cilantro, thyme, oregano, rosemary and chocolate mint...


...and also had fun sprucing up my patio with lots of flowers.


We enjoyed a long weekend at Hocking Hills...


...and then I had my first shooting range experience, and didn't do too bad!


We went downtown for Red, White and Boom (I hadn't been in oh so long)...


...and enjoyed a spectatular fireworks show


We then had a fun 4th of July pool party my my place with these guys...


...and this little sweetie.


We enjoyed great food at the 2nd annual Columbus Food Truck Festival...


...and I went to see the Summerland Tour with my work colleagues
and enjoyed listening to bands from my college days (oh to be young again!)


We went to the Ohio State Fair...


...and enjoyed one of these! Yum!!


One of my good friends had a baby shower...


...and the next day had this little cutie (Miss Avery).


We got a little dirty at the Color Me Rad 5K (my first 5K!)...


...and celebrated Izzie's 3rd birthday!


We also got all dressed up for a wedding...

...and enjoyed a couple of bike rides, this one to the Park of Roses.

Overall it was a great summer, and although I love all the sunshine and pretty flowers, I am excited to see what our next season will bring!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Pumpkin Spice Latte Week!!


They are back!! Have you had your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season? P.S. I hear the Salted Carmel Mochas are also amazing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 Eat Local Challenge

As the daughter of small-business owners, I am a huge advocate of buying local. And since I love to eat, it only makes sense to eat local as well!

When I came across this challenge, I thought what a great idea to not only help out the community, but to also help me become more familiar with what's available locally in our community as well. Plus it's always more healthy, and usually more tasty, to purchase local foods.

Local foods are heathier because they are freshly-picked and are more rich in nutrients and vitamins. You can find the following foods local to Ohio: tomatoes, peaches, corn, beets, beans, and more!

The Eat Local Challenge is a way to get the community involved and excited about eating local food. According to their website, the Eat Local Challenge will feature a range of challenges throughout the year that everyone can participate in to learn more about our rich Ohio agriculture, local farms and food resources and just why eating local matters.

Starting August 11 (through Sept 8), they will be giving away weekly prizes to one person who has entered the challenge by posting a picture of their local food activity on Facebook, Twitter, or emailing to them directly. At the conclusion of the four-week challenge, they will draw names from all participants for the grand prize!

Here are the details to enter:

  1. Fill out a pledge card at one of our partner locations during Local Foods Week (August 11-19) or download a PDF card online.
  2. Snap a picture of yourself completing one of the local food challenge activities—we want to see you in action!
  3. Share on social media using any one of the following ways: a) upload your picture to Facebook and tag @LocalMattersOrg, b) tweet your picture with the hashtag #EatLocalOH, or c) email it to us directly at
  4. Spread the word! Tell your friends about the challenge and join us for some great events during the fourth annual Local Foods Week, August 11-19.
Some of the challenge ideas you can do are:

  • Taste an Ohio-grown or locally-produced product that you have never had before.
  • Visit a farmers’ market with your friends or family to experience foods picked at their peak flavor—and don’t forget to shake hands with the farmer who grew them!
  • Dine at a restaurant that serves locally-grown foods. (Try one of Crave Magazine’s Farm-to-Plate Week restaurants or go to for a list of restaurants that serve local year-round).
  • Participate in the Urban Garden Bike Tour, the Foodie Spelling Bee, or one of the other exciting events during Local Foods Week.  See for the full schedule of events!
  • Share a picture and recipe that uses local foods on Facebook, Twitter, or email it to
  • Volunteer at a community garden near you, or join the dynamic community of Local Matters’ volunteers! Visit to learn more.
  • Harvest from a you-pick farm to connect with foods where they grow! For a list of you-picks visit
  • Host a get-together with friends or family that celebrates Ohio food in season! Visit for some Local Matters recipes!
  • Speak up for local food in your school or workplace as an option for meals or snacks. For suggestions on how to take action for local food, visit

Or you can:
  • Do your weekly shopping at a Farmers’ Market
  • Challenge yourself to prepare a dinner using as many local ingredients as possible (and then of course, feast!)
  • Visit the farm of a local food that you purchased.
  • Try a vegetable or fruit that you’ve never tried before!
  • Host a barbeque using local Ohio meats (try Bluescreek Farm Meats or Weiland’s Gourmet Market)
  • Learn to can or preserve local foods so you can enjoy your jam all year long!
  • Go berrypicking at a “U-Pick” farm
  • Plant a fall garden.
  • Buy a share of a farm through a CSA (community supported agriculture).
The activities I want to participate in include going to a U-pick farm, shopping at a local farmer's market, and making a meal using as many local ingredients that I can find. I'll be sure to share my recipe with everyone here on the blog.
Check out their webpage for more details, and if you can, be sure to sign up and take on the challenge. Let me know if you do. I would love to hear about your results!

Also, heads up that this is Local Matter's 4th annual Local Foods Week (August 11 - 19, 2012). They have a lot of activities going around town this week with their sponsors, so check out their website for more details.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wine Tasting at Wyandotte Winery

On Saturday, Mom and I had a girls day to celebrate my birthday, which was last week. I have always wanted to take her to Wyandotte Winery, which is only a few mins from my house, for a wine tasting.

Wyandotte Winery is a local winery that has been around for 30 years. It's actually a winery, not a vineyard, so they do not grow their own grapes. Although back in 2009 they did plant their first vines, but they will not be ready for harvest for a couple more years.

One of the things that I love about this wine is that all of the labels are watercolors from local artist Bonnie Weir, and they depict images from around Columbus.

Some of my favorites from the wine tasting are (please note all pictures and some of the descriptions are from Wyandotte Winery's website):


This wine is a Riesling and it is a very crisp and clean white wine. This wine is semi-dry, but with bursts of the flavors of fresh pears and citrus. I liked it because it wasn't too sweet, but it wasn't too dry either. I don't particulary like really dry wines. This is a perfect mix of sweet and dry.

The artwork is on this label is one of the old brewery buildings in German Village.  The floral is Edelweiss.

Apple Hill
This wine is made from the freshest apples from Apple Hill Orchards located near Mansfield, Ohio. This wine is crisp and tart, but with a nice sweetness, and it has just the hint of cinnamon. My Mom and I decided this would be a great wine at Christmas because it reminds us of cooking hot apple cidar on the stove during the holidays.
The barn in this label is a reproduction of the old barn that you first see when you vist Apple Hill.

Raspberry Summer
This wine is made from 100% raspberry juice, and this wine is like drining summer in a bottle! It was a nice sweet wine that would be good to drink on it's own or with a dessert. It kind of tasted like raspberry juice and I can't wait to open this up and drink it on the patio in the evenings.

The artwork is of the Red, White, and Boom fireworks celebration, a tradition on the riverfront in downtown Columbus on July 4.

This is actually the 3rd time I have been to this winery, and you can read my other review from last year here.

So for the tasting you can try 5 wines for $5, 10 wines for $10, and you get about 1 oz of wine per tasting. It's equal to about 1.5 glasses of wine if you do the full tasting. We actually did the full tasting, but they let us share, so we actually tried 5 wines each, but then shared sips of our glasses with each other. We also ordered a fruit, cheese and cracker platter for $5, which included cheeses from Ohio.

We had a fun time, got a little tipsy, and helped support a local business. It was a great day and I highly recommend anyone in the local area to stop by for a tasting. They have tastings on Tuesday through Saturday from 1 - 7 pm. and they also offer tours at 12:30 and 3:30 pm on Saturdays. Next time I would like to try a tour. It's perfect for a girls day, or even would be fun as a kick-off to date night!