Homemade Sloppy Joes

This is another family favorite and super easy to make…and quick!

This recipe is from the Heinz Co. but I modified it and changed and added ingredients.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

1 tablespoon shortening
1 LB ground turkey
2/3 cup onion, chopped finely
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1 cup water (I put a little water of the 1/4 cup in at a time
until I have the thickness I want–I do not use all of the water).
1/2 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper (optional)

10 hamburger buns, heated or toasted.

I double the recipe for my family. It also makes great leftovers for lunches.

Directions

Melt shortening in skillet; add meat and next 4 ingredients; cook until meat loses the red color, stirring occasionally. Drain off the grease using a colander. Return meat to pan and stir in water, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup; allow to simmer and stir occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes or until you have reached the desired thickness.

*This takes between 25-35 minutes to prep and cook.

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It’s Friday Night, Do You Know Where My Sanity Is?

My hubby decided to do Valentine’s dinner on Friday since it will be snowing on Valentine’s (which is supposed to last all weekend, which means school will be on a two-hour delay or closed–DARN YOU JACK FROST)!

So, I figure, hey, we are going to my favorite restaurant so it doesn’t matter. We will do some light shopping (putting away clothes for my daughter while they are on sale) and then go to dinner. We’ll be back early enough to put the kids in bed (at least the older one because my toddler is still on “sleep strike”). What could go wrong?

Well…

We didn’t get out of the door as soon as we intended, which almost always happens anyway–I should have seen that coming.

The store was overly crowded, which makes it that much more difficult to navigate a cart AND kids. I had to salvage through the clothing because, as always, when there are items on sale, they hardly EVER have your child’s size.

I get the clothes, other items, and get ready to go. Hubby comes up with daughter. He is in an unpleasant mood because she has been a little monster the entire time she has been in the store. She is almost twelve so I blame it on hormones. God help us all when Auntie Flow pays her a lovely visit. *Cries softly*

I pay for my purchases and head for the door when I realize…

My son’s coat is GONE! He must have flung it out of the cart while I was shopping. So, I go into PANIC MODE thinking someone walked off with it because it is a nice, brown leather jacket. I ask a few people for help. A young male cashier acted as though I was speaking another language so I sought out a woman. Her and another lady aided in my coat retreval. Thank God for honest people. A woman overheard and found the coat. Phew.

(Meanwhile my daughter finds it a “good idea” to walk behind me so I cannot see where she is and I go into yet ANOTHER panic mode because now I think I’ve lost a kid). She’s too old for one of those leash things, right?

So, we make our way back out. It is now seven pm. Did I mention we left at 4:45 in the afternoon?

We are at the restaurant, which looks crowded. My thoughts: Crud. We won’t get a table and will have to wait a half an hour or more with screaming, hungry children. Sigh.

God took pity on me, I guess, because we got a table.

Menus in hand, my daughter proceeds to beg for a massive order, one which we know she won’t eat. So, we get her the smaller version. She INSISTED she would eat what she asked for.

LIES. I know her all too well, but Daddy is a softy.

We wait for our food. My son is still in the “I throw it, you pick it up stage.” So he continuously tosses his sippy cup on the ground along with the silverware the waiter had just placed on the table…within toddler reach–he must not have children.

She gets her food.

“Ew! Yuck. I don’t like this!” Yes, loudly. Why? Because she only has two volumes: Loud and Extremely loud.

At this point I am ready to scream. She begins making faces and picking at her food. Oh, I did give the, “Be on your best behavior and use your manners” speech prior to leaving the house (and reminded before we entered the restaurant). To which she completely ignored.

NEXT TIME SHE IS GETTING THE CHICKEN FINGERS…

On the bright side, we had delicious food and made it home at 8:30.

Because I Said So…

As a child, this phrase was often uttered by my mother…often as in uttered on a daily basis (to all six of us). I swore to myself (my entire childhood infact) that I would never say that to my own children.

Funny how things change.

My step-daughter is almost twelve so the battle never ends. When asked one evening to do something and responding with the infamous, “why,” and after moments of an exhausting debate…those four words escaped my lips:

Because. I. Said. So.

Yep, my mother popped right out. And, without warning. I was mortified afterwards. But, you know, I realize now that it is OKAY. It’s not the end of the world if I turn into my mother. I have a great mother. Growing up, I showed her respect but not enough. As an adult and mother, I appreciate her more. More than I ever have. My hope is to be the best mom I can possibly be for my kids. Sure I lose my cool, I cry, I get frustrated, I have my moments, I can get overly stressed. Why? Because I’m not perfect. I’m human, but I’m doing the best I can.

And that is what I want to tell you all: You are the perfect mother for your kids. Do not allow society and the media to pollute your minds into what the ideal mother is. Honestly, I would love to be like Carol Brady or Joan Cleaver but I am not. I’m just me trying to do the best I can with the precious lives God entrusted me with. So, let’s stop comparing ourselves to fictional characters and be the best mom we can be. That’s true success.

MJ

It’s Your Fault I’m Fat

Let’s face it, the whole “blame game” has become rather old. Yet, people continue it and even conjure up even more clever excuses as to why they gained weight. Now, this does not include those with health issues or disabilities that limit them to exercise–it is actually not their fault; I am speaking of those who willingly make poor food choices or elude exercise. Many people, mainly celebrities, blame it on pregnancy, their fitness instructors, their stylists…one celebrity even blamed God! Ha! Go figure…although I have to give her credit for that–it was clever. Yes, God forced her to shovel those extra calories into her pretty little mouth, just as my son forced me to eat a lot of Mexican food and Doritos most of my pregnancy (those were my choices). I, personally, do not see a problem with heavyweight people. Beauty is only skin deep and should not be determined on how one’s face is formed or whether he/she is muscular or wears a size 2.

What irks me is the fact people do not want to accept the fact that the weight gain is their fault and their fault alone. Sometimes, even spouses are blamed. My hubby playfully accuses me of his access weight gain. “Honey, it’s your fault because of all the good cooking. I used to fit into a size 32 before we met.” My response: “Well, then, stop eating.” LOL!

I have seen several lawsuits against fast food chains, one in which was successful. I was shocked! No one forced him to consume hamburgers and fries on a daily basis. Unless they secretly tied him up, pried open his mouth and force fed him greasy burgers and overly salted fries, meanwhile telling him that if he doesn’t eat it, he will surely die, he has no ground to stand on. And the lawsuits continue. So, in light of all the ridiculousness, I decided to compose a list of possible lawsuits, just for fun.

1. Hersheys and Tollhouse. Cause: temporary acne and weight gain due to the deliciousness they contain.

2. The companies I purchase my high heels from for making my feet sore by the end of the day and occasionally causing blisters upon purchasing new pairs.

3. Pinterest. For being mildly entertaining, thus consuming my time when I “could” be doing something more productive.

4. General Electric. For occasional fingertip burns when pulling something from a hot oven. Reason: Momentarily slight pain and suffering.

5. Icecream companies. Cause: headaches attributed to ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus.

6. Better Homes and Garden among my other magazines. Reason: Occasional paper-cuts due to slick edges of pages.

7. Disney. For creating magical, child-captivating movies and incorporating catchy songs that my children continuously sing and/or watch repeatedly, thus resulting in loss of sanity to parent or caregiver.

Hmm, think I stand a chance?

MJ

Why I Love My Crock-Pot/Slow-Cooker

Today, I will be using my beloved crock-pot or slow-cooker, as some call it. I am not ashamed to admit that I use my crock-pot quite often. Why? Because it is convenient and this Momma can have dinner cooking while she tends to other things (such as my home which never stays clean).
I recently read an article stating people rarely use slow-cookers and that they serve no purpose. Say what?! Whomever wrote it probably does not have children nor leads a busy life, but that is just my opinion because, otherwise, he/she would love it just as much as I do. Am I right?
Even before the birth of my son, I placed our dinner into my slow-cooker the night before, left it on low all night, turned it to warm the next morning and went to work. After a 10-hr shift, I was not in the mood nor could muster the energy to fix dinner, and take-out gets old, not to mention expensive, after a while.
Crock-pots aide in my multi-tasking. And, I am a multi-tasking machine…or at least I try to be. Example, as I write this, my one-year-old naps in my arms. It’s a bit awkward, but I bask in the moment because one day he will be too big for this and refuse my mommy cuddles.

Did I mention I have more than one? All various sizes of course. Do you have a crock-pot? If so, what sort of meals do you prepare in it? And, if you don’t, I suggest purchasing one.

“But She’s Special Needs…”

Today I had to take my step-daughter to the ear doctor.  From the moment we were about to depart she decided she was going to misbehave and give me nothing but attitude. She continued this behavior even after we arrived.  As soon as I corrected her, I was given evil glares by people.  Many people, these days, think that a special needs child should get away with murder. I am not one of those parents, so excuse me if I feel the need to correct my mouthy child.  Special needs or not, she hasn’t any right behaving in an inappropriate manner to anyone, anywhere nor does she have the right to disrespect me or choose NOT to listen.

She thinks she is funny when she behaves this way and sasses us.  She isn’t.  Could this behavior be influenced by peers at school? Possibly. Is it due to the fact she has been shuffled from place to place and to different families a majority of her life?  That could be it as well. But, one factor does remain:  She has been babied a majority of her life and her unruly behavior, ignored.  And so begins the journey of correcting it.  Is it an easy road? No. But, nonetheless, it is a road we must endure and travel so she can blossom and mature into the young lady she is capable of being.  And, yes, I secretly hope she comes to understand and thank us someday.

But, in the meantime, we will ignore the snorts from others, the glares, the “I can’t believe she is disciplining that special needs child. The poor kid” thoughts from others.  Why? Because we do not agree in treating her differently than any other child.  Because although she may struggle academically, her thoughts, actions, and desires are that of any other child her age because we see it. We experience it. We live with it.