Loose Meat Sandwiches

So, if you’re all like ‘loose…whaaat?’ Then I’m with ya. That was my first response when I saw it a while back on Pinterest. Being the Southern gal I am, loose meat is not something I’ve heard of or eaten before, and honestly, it doesn’t sound all that appetizing. But neither does Dump Cake or White Trash Mix and those are the bomb. Apparently loose meat is a mid-western thing. I was curious and decided to give it a try.

loose meat prep

Basically, it’s ground beef, simmered in water, broth and seasonings until the water cooks out and the meat is left very flavorful.  It kind of looks like a Sloppy Joe, but does not taste like one. It is somewhat reminiscent of Cincinnati Chili in the seasonings used and cooking technique, but without the tomato base. In other words…it’s unique and you just need to try it!

loose meat sandwiches

The best thing of all is that my kids liked it. ALL THREE of them. That in itself is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

little man loves loose meat

Even more incredible is that my 7 year old, who eats very little meat, LOVED it. He ate two the first night, and ate leftovers on two other occasions. I was thrilled to get some meat in that kid. Don’t be jealous over my ‘fine china’. And please ignore my son’s lack of clothing. Dressing for dinner is optional around here. Dressing at all is optional in his opinion. Ahhh, to be 7. And have no body fat.

Loose Meat Sandwiches

Loose Meat Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lean ground beef*
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 chicken boullion cubes
  • *NOTE: Very lean meat is needed for this recipe because you do not brown the meat & drain it ahead of time. I used 93/7.

Instructions

  1. Bring ground beef, chopped onion and water to a low boil on medium high heat, in a large skillet. Be sure to mash/break up the ground beef as it is cooking.
  2. Stir and cook until the ground beef is no longer pink.
  3. Once meat is cooked through, add the vinegar, sugar, soy & Worcestershire sauces, along with the rest of the seasonings and bouillon.
  4. Continue to stir often on a low boil, until most of the water has cooked out and mixture thickens.
  5. Scoop 'loose meat' onto rolls and serve.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/loose-meat-sandwiches/

Recipe Source: Southern Plate

A sturdy roll/bun is recommended otherwise it’s going to get soggy & fall apart. I’m not a fan of soggy bread, so I made sure to cook my beef until almost all of the water was gone. You can leave some “juice” and strain the beef out if you would rather. The bun will soak up some of that broth and I’m sure is pretty good that way too. I used the new King’s Hawaiian Hamburger Buns. Traditionally, loose meat is served with pickles and mustard, which I liked. My son opted for ketchup….which he puts on pretty much everything.

So what about you? Familiar with loose meat? I love discovering & learning about popular regional foods.

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) Sew Crafty AngelThe Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap Crafts (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

2015 – a look back

IMG_9763

Wow. Just wow. Where did the year go?! It flew by so fast, and I have to say, I’m kinda glad to have it behind me. I’m grateful to have made it through another year, but it has been a sad one. Cancer reared it’s ugly head on more than one occasion and we lost two members of our family, on my husband’s side. One of my dear friends also lost her mother, while another lost her mother-in-law. To say that I hate cancer is pretty much the understatement of the year. I have to remember our blessings however, as my dad saw his 5 year anniversary of being cancer free this year!

Key Lime Pie

I also had lots of “technical issues” this year…my computer gave me lots of problems and then finally quit all together. It really hindered my blogging, but now….Hello MacBook! I love you, but do not really know how to use you to your fullest potential yet.

IMG_9694

My son had a horrible time with his asthma once allergy season started. He missed lots of school and that also put a stop to my blogging time. Thankfully, after many, many doctor visits, it seems to be back under control. Thank goodness for insurance. As aggravating as it is, it’s nice to have when you are making weekly (if not more) trips to the doctor.

breathing treatment

On the upside (I hope), Makin’ it Mo’Betta became a “dot com”. The move was a great big B word. Thankfully I got help from Dynamics of Design and they were able to get me up and running. I’m still trying to work out the kinks, but if you’re here, then YAY! Thanks for following my sporadic posting and meanderings!

IMG_9685

Throughout all my inconsistent posting however, I just found out that I am in the Top 100 Bloggers on FaveHealthyRecipes.com and AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com! I’m honored! Check out the Top 100 Most Popular Healthy Recipes and the Top 100 Casserole Recipes, and you will see that I am pleased to be in such good company & honored to have made the lists.

AFCAS Blogger Button 2015-14 FHR Blogger Button 2015-16

So, I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and that 2016 brings good health and happiness to all. I have made just a couple of resolutions…one, to be a more consistent blogger! And two, to purge my house of clutter. We have too.much.stuff.  Of course, there is always that “I want to lose 10 lbs” thing. Actually, it’s more like 15…but I’m not even going to make that a resolution. I’ve been dealing with that since I had my first child…Almost 15 years ago!

IMG_9747

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

This post was sponsored by MINH® Mini Chicken Egg Rolls and I was compensated to write it. Regardless, what I have written reflects my own opinion and experience. I hope you find it useful.

The holidays are in full swing, and with that brings social gatherings. And obviously you can’t have a get together without lots of good eats…otherwise it’s just a meeting. (Ok, so I’m sort of paraphrasing Julia Child, but she definitely had a point.) I love party food (aka appetizers, appies, finger foods, or hors d’oeuvres <– hardest word ever to spell)

Egg rolls w sauce collage_Fotor

Sometimes we have hors d’oeuvre night where we just have a bunch of party food for dinner. My kids love that (for obvious reasons.) It’s mainly for “special occasions”. Anyway, as much as I love making everything from scratch, like homemade egg rolls, I often just don’t. have. time. So, I was thrilled to find these MINH® Mini Chicken Egg Rolls at Sam’s Club.

Minh at Sams

They are affordable, you get a bunch in a box, and most important – they are delish!

egg rolls labeled photo

They are the perfect size to serve at a party too. They bake in the oven in under 15 minutes, and come with a tasty sweet chili sauce.

party egg rolls

I’ve sprinkled this platter with dried cilantro and red pepper flakes (green & red!) but it could be easily omitted, or just added to the sauces. You could also use basil I think, but I would not recommend oregano (personal opinion).

Egg Rolls

Along with the sweet chili sauce, I wanted a white sauce (I almost made it green with the addition of green dragon sauce, but I wasn’t sure if it would look appetizing.) This is a mild, creamy, slightly sweet sauce that pairs well with the egg rolls and perfect for those who have a low heat tolerance (everyone in my house except me!), but you can easily spice it up by increasing the chili paste or adding red pepper flakes.

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

Creamy Hoisin Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Paste (increase for more heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • dried cilantro/red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (for the flavors to 'marry')
  3. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/creamy-hoisin-egg-roll-dipping-sauce/

 

In addition to mini egg rolls, my other “go-to” party foods are sausage balls (these are a must at Christmas and New Year’s!), Creamy Sausage Dip, Chips with restaurant style salsa, chips and dip, cheese and crackers, and at Christmas, there will be fudge on the dessert table, along with these…022

Pretzel Treats…my kids LOVE these. Obviously, we don’t usually have fancy parties. We have family, kid-friendly parties! What’s your favorite party food?

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars & GIVEAWAY!

I was provided with a Krusteaz Holiday gift pack to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

My Christmas baking list is quite long (shortbread, gingerbread, fudge, sausage balls, and so much more!) & I have been in a cookie baking frenzy. Well, I was. Until my 7 year old had a terrible asthma flare up that has been going on for weeks now. Several doctor visits, multiple medications, and let’s not forget – NO SCHOOL. I have three kids, and one of them is not in school with only a couple more weeks till Christmas! Do you see where I’m going with this?

Cookie gifts

BUT, there is one thing I do not need to panic over, and that’s the holiday treats. With the help of Krusteaz Cookie Mixes, we can have all the fun Christmas cookies, without all the time & effort on my part. Not to mention, I don’t have to stress over gift giving. I have a few options to share that will help you if you are short on time this holiday season as well. And seriously, is there ever enough time?!

Oatmeal Scotchie Food gift

Food gifts do not always have to be prepared ahead of time. Many people have lots of goodies on hand during the holidays, so packaging up mixes that can be easily prepared later is a fun gift. You can mix up a homemade cookie mix, or you can save yourself some time and package up a Krusteaz mix. Just place in a mason jar (because everything looks cute in a mason jar) add a bow and some instructions on how to bake! I added red, green & chocolate chips to the above jar of mix. You could also layer the chips in the jar with the mix. (Provided you don’t start layering, then knock the jar over so that they get mixed up. Not that I would know about that. *ahem*)

You can also add some Hot Chocolate Mix, because we all know hot chocolate goes great with cookies!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

On the other hand, baking up treats to take to a friend, neighbor, teacher, etc. is always fun too. Save yourself some time with shortcuts, like using Krusteaz Shortbread Mix to make these yummy Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • Krusteaz Shortbread Cookie Mix
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 bag caramels (I used Kraft Caramel Bits)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line an 8 x 11 or 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper (to easily lift bars out of pan for cutting)
  3. Mix cookie mix with softened butter (as directed on package).
  4. Evenly press cookie mix into prepared dish.
  5. Bake until done - time will depend on size of pan used. Check for browning around edges and fully cooked in center. Remove from oven.
  6. Microwave caramel and milk in a microwave safe bowl according to package directions.
  7. Once melted, pour over baked shortbread.
  8. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired for a salted caramel bar.
  9. Let cool a few minutes so caramel is slightly firm to touch (you can stick this in the fridge to speed it along! This just keeps the chocolate from sinking into caramel.)
  10. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl according to package directions. Once melted, pour over caramel. Top with sprinkles if desired.
  11. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/chocolate-caramel-shortbread-cookie-bars/

shortbread bars

The pan size will determine the thickness of the crust. I used an 8 x 11. You could also add nuts. I added just a few to one end, since my son is allergic.

Christmas Food Gifts

Package your treats in a food safe container, lined with festive tissue paper and a cute tag! My tags & tissue paper came from Zazzle.com, and the little tree clips and plastic container came from Target.

Krusteaz & I would like to help decrease your holiday stress level as well! We have a huge cookie prize pack to giveaway! It includes:

Krusteaz

  • Two boxes of the following mixes: Shortbread, Gingerbread, Snickerdoodle, Butter Vanilla Sugar and Oatmeal Scotchie
  • Some fun holiday baking items like an apron, tote bag, cookie cutters, frosting decorating pen and a mason jar (for gifting and storage!)
  • Holiday cookie recipe ideas for inspiration

Please enter via the rafflecopter form. This giveaway ends soon so that we can (hopefully!) get the winner their cookie prize pack before Christmas (No guarantee on that.) Open to US residents, 18 years or older.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed Contessa, The Dedicated House, Skip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Green Chile Chicken Casserole

Have you ever been torn between two similar recipes and couldn’t decide which one to make? That was my dilemma when craving comfort food not long ago. I wanted chicken…but was it going to be Chicken Casserole or Cream Cheese Enchiladas? I decided to take a little of both recipes and create this Green Chile Chicken Casserole –

casserole

It was warm & comforting and everything I love about a casserole! I’ve posted this recipe over at Eat at Home, where I am a contributing writer. I’d love for you to head over there and check it out!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This isn’t so much a recipe as an idea. I’ve seen it around Pinterest, along with everything else people are putting in the waffle maker. It does kind of make me want to waffle everything. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I made these Cinnamon Roll Waffles for my kids on Halloween morning. Because they weren’t going to have enough sugar that day. Hashtag: WTH was I thinking?! Of course, they loved them.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles Pin

I’m assuming you could make these with homemade cinnamon rolls, but y’all know that’s not how I roll. Roll…get it? Cinnamon roll? Hahaha, I crack myself up. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time I’ve made that joke on here. #Lame. {Moving on…} I will bust out with Quick & Easy Cinnamon Rolls on occasion, but for these, I used canned cinnamon rolls by Pillsbury. The ‘syrup’ is just a little of the icing that comes with them. Then we added sprinkles. Because it was Halloween and sprinkles are fun. (Even though I think they taste nasty. Kids like ’em however.)

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 can cinnamon rolls
  • icing that comes in can
  • sprinkles (optional)
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat waffle make according to manufacture instructions.
  2. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Place cinnamon rolls in waffle maker (leave room for them to flatten out, my waffle maker is small so I could only do one at a time)
  4. Close lid and cook until top/bottom are golden brown.
  5. Remove from waffle maker & add a teaspoon or two of icing. Let melt.
  6. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/cinnamon-roll-waffles/

Enjoy!

 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Grilled Mongolian Chicken

I love lots of Asian inspired foods, and I have found that it is relatively easy to make many of my favorite dishes at home. I probably make Baked Egg Rolls at least once or twice a month, and I love Bourbon Chicken and Sesame Noodles. I discovered San-J Tamari Sauce a while back and have been using it ever since, so when they contacted me about trying their new line of Asian Cooking Sauces, I was happy to oblige!

SanJ Sauces

These are the three I chose, but there are more options available. I’m on a mission to try them all! The first one I used was the Mongolian Stir-Fry & Marinade Sauce. I simply added the sauce to boneless, skinless chicken thighs and froze them. When ready to use, I let the chicken thaw in the refrigerator overnight, which also gave it time to marinate well.

Freezer meals

I cooked these on the grill, which is my favorite way to eat chicken thighs. The thighs are great for grilling due to the higher fat content, and they really absorb a lot of flavor from whatever marinade you choose.

Grilled Mongolian Chicken Pin

These were juicy and flavorful! I served them over brown rice, with a little added spicy chili paste. So good! I am planning on adapting this Pineapple Chicken into Orange Chicken using the Orange Sauce next. It’s my oldest daughter’s favorite, so at least I will be guaranteed to make at least one family member happy at the dinner table! Sometimes (most times) it’s a struggle. *sigh*

Grilled Mongolian Chicken

Grilled Mongolian Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 bottle San J Mongolian Stir-Fry & Marinade Sauce

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a gallon size Ziploc bag, add sauce.
  2. Seal* and place in refrigerator to marinate (the longer it sits, the more flavor the chicken will absorb. I recommend at least 4 hours.)
  3. Remove chicken, discard extra sauce.
  4. Cook on preheated grill until internal temp is at least 165 degrees F.
  5. Baste with extra sauce while cooking if desired.
  6. *Chicken can also be frozen at this point. Thaw in fridge when ready to cook.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/grilled-mongolian-chicken/

San-J provided me with samples to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Wine Jelly

This wine jelly is perfect for the holidays. Or any day in my opinion. It can be served at brunch with croissants, etc. or it can be served over cream cheese with crackers for a nice appetizer.

wine jelly

It’s relatively easy to make and you can use red or white wine. Another plus is that you can use cheap wine, no need to use anything expensive. So, cheap and easy. The way I like it. *ahem* I’m talking about recipes of course.

Wine Jelly

Wine Jelly

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups wine (I used Merlot)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 box dry pectin (my box was 1.75 oz.)
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar

Instructions

  1. Bring wine, lemon juice and pectin to a boil in a large pot, stirring frequently.
  2. Add sugar, stir until dissolved.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat. Skim foam off top if needed.
  5. Add hot wine to sterilized mason jars, leaving 1/2 inch space at top.
  6. Put lids on jars and process in water bath for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from water bath and let cool for 24 hours.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/wine-jelly/

Recipe Source: Allrecipes

This makes a nice gift for the holidays, and I loved the flavor. I look forward to making it again, experimenting with different wines.

This post was featured at: VMG206

Feature 300x300

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be Mopping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Naptime  Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206The Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

This Pecan Pie Bread Pudding could also be titled Best.Thing.Ever. I know that’s a strong statement to make, but geez…it was pretty darn tasty. If I do say so myself. And I do. Because I have a blog and that’s sort of my job…to let y’all know when something should be put on your “to make” list ASAP. This would make an excellent breakfast/brunch dish for the holidays too. Just sayin’. Since it’s already NOVEMBER! (Don’t ask me how that happened already!)

pecan pie bread pudding - before

I’m calling this breakfast, but slap some vanilla ice cream on that bad boy and it could become dessert. I think I ate it for every meal until I gave the last two pieces to my parents so they could experience it’s awesomeness. And the fact that I couldn’t button my jeans. Calorie friendly it is not.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding - after

It’s like pecan pie and French toast casserole got together and had a baby. A sweet, delicious, nutty baby.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

This is what dreams are made of right here.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 8 cups bread, torn into bite-size pieces (I used Challah, could also use Italian, French, King’s Hawaiian, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white (granulated) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple or vanilla extract (I used ½ teaspoon of each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Pour your bread pieces into the baking dish. It will be very full, gently press it down into pan.
  4. Drizzle melted butter over bread.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, corn syrup, sugars, extract(s), salt (if using) and cinnamon.
  6. Stir pecans into sugar mixture, then pour over bread. Gently press the bread down into the pan so everything is coated.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/pecan-pie-bread-pudding/

Recipe Source: Something Swanky

Once done, you can use the parchment paper to lift the casserole out for easy cutting. Enjoy!

This recipe is featured at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage & Diana Rambles!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage   PIN MEme

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) Nibbles By NicThe Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be MoMypping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Mandy’s Recipe BoxSowdering About in SeattleNaptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206Anyonita NibblesThe Cookie Puzzle (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily DishThe Diary of a Real Housewife,Play.Party.Pin