My mom adventures in Fort Collins


Kitchen success: Good ol’ sloppy joes

Just stop and recall from your memory the lyrics to Adam Sandler’s Lunch Lady Land…

Do you have it stuck in your head yet?

I found this great recipe for Sloppy Joe’s on thekitchn.com over here, and I have tried it with and without the “secret ingredient” (okay, okay, it’s mushrooms). Though I very much enjoy the mushrooms, not all kids do. To ensure that the sauce is saucy enough, if you forego the mushrooms you may want to add another can of tomato sauce or a bit of water (and adjust your seasonings accordingly).

Start by browning 1 lb. of ground beef (more is nice if you opt not to include the mushrooms)

Start by browning 1 lb. of ground beef (more is nice if you opt not to include the mushrooms), and remove from the pan to drain on paper towels

Onions and celery to start, a "standard" beginning

An onion and two celery stalks to start, a “standard” beginning

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Add a 10 oz package of mushrooms.The mushrooms do add an interesting element–this is not your standard Sloppy Joes recipe after all!

Add two cloves of minced garlic. Return the ground beef to the pan and add a 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tablespoon of sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Let the meat and sauce mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors meld, but check to make sure you have enough sauce and adjust accordingly. (I learned the hard way that the mushroom-less mixture doesn’t have enough liquid, and wound up with a pound of burnt sloppy joe’s.) Alternatively, you could always do this part in your slow cooker and allow the mixture to cook on low for an hour or two.

You collaborating partners: ketchup, tomato sauce, worchestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar

You collaborating partners: ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar

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The finished product: saucy, savory, delicious Sloppy Joe’s

And the best part? This makes the perfect freezer meal. They also travel very well in ziplock bags over to a friend’s house (think: new baby, recent surgery, big move, etc.).

Put the meat mixture in a freezer bag and freeze flat, then deliver to a friend along with hamburger buns

Put the meat mixture in a freezer bag and freeze flat, then deliver to a friend along with hamburger buns

Sometimes comfort food is the perfect food!



I’m not really a Wallflower, but I’ll try

Have you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? I am not quite sure why, but I only recently read this book. Well, I actually devoured this book. In any case, I have been inspired. Also, I haven’t written a post in a long time. So, let’s see if I can merge these two things…

March 13, 2013

Dear friend,

I have had every intention of writing to you, but this is my first attempt. Time has been scarce, it seems. But when I think about it, time has also been plentiful. How is that? That time can seem infinite and also so limited?

Family is weird and lovely. But mostly lovely. I felt drawn to go visit my father for his birthday this year. He happens to have been born on Valentine’s Day, which is kind of weird but he can’t help it. The kids and I took a trip to Wisconsin for five days, and Cory stayed home because he doesn’t have the same kind of flexibility that I do as a stay-at-home-mom. I did enjoy the face time, and the kids enjoyed the toys my parents bought them.

My dad and me

My dad and me (self-held camera shot)

On the day that we left Wisconsin, my dad traveled about 60 miles to spend time at a hospital where he saw a ton of new doctors and had a lot of new tests. I kept waiting for him to call me, but mostly I called my mom to find out how he was doing. He spent 11 days in the hospital and came home with new medicine and new information. The new doctor suggested that he could have a heart pump, or an LVAD as the heart pump is commonly known. I read a bit about the LVAD, but mostly I can’t stop thinking about the plotline on “Grey’s Anatomy” where Dr. Izzie Stevens falls in love with her patient Denny Duquette and she cuts his LVAD wire so that he can be moved to the top of the heart recipient list.

Oh, Denny and Izzie... why'd it have to go so WRONG??? From greysanatomy.wikia.com

Oh, Denny and Izzie… why’d it have to go so WRONG??? From greysanatomy.wikia.com

My older daughter has been really anxious about school. Many mornings have been difficult these past few weeks.

“I don’t want to go to school today.”

“It’s hard to go to school when you don’t want to go but sometimes we all have to do things that we don’t want to do.”

“I won’t go to school. If you make me go to school, I’m going to steal all the jewelry out of your jewelry box.”

“That doesn’t make me want to keep you home from school.”

Acting not at all anxious with Papa

Acting not at all anxious with Papa

My younger daughter does not like to wear pants. She likes to wear skirts. The skirts have to twirl, though. She will wear the skirt all day and then put it on over her pajamas. She sleeps in a twirly skirt over her pajamas, and it’s probably not comfortable but she does not seem to mind. Other people think she looks nice, though, and they will comment. When they say, “Oh, how sweet!” I really just want to cringe and say, “She actually slept in that stupid skirt last night.”

But I don’t.

One of the "twirly" skirts

One of the “twirly” skirts

I am very annoyed with daylight savings time. I read a poster in a Jimmy John’s not too long ago. The sign was a list of some wisdom of Dave Barry. I really like Dave Barry. It said things like, “There comes a time in life when you stop making a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.” But one thing I remember is that it also says, “No one can ever give you a good explanation for why we observe Daylight Savings time.”

I agree with Dave Barry on that.

I have been leaving messages for a woman who works at our credit union. She is never there, but I keep hoping that she will return my message. I had my debit card stolen out of our truck two weeks ago. The first person I spoke with at the credit union led me to believe that this was no big deal. I’m pretty sure that $2100 should be reinstated on our account. I  didn’t spend $2100 at Target, but someone did. My husband filled out the card dispute form and he even turned it into a PDF, which I found pretty impressive. Why does the credit union need to take two weeks to reinstate the money?

Good thing I don’t actually need money to survive.

That was supposed to be a joke. But maybe no one even laughed. I don’t know why I’m saying this. I really just wish that I could write a post in order to move my blogging process along. I really hope that this post did accomplish that.

Love always,

Jayme