Friday, July 25, 2014

Sloppy Joes and Summertime at Lake Michigan

Homemade Sloppy Joes - a family favorite!

It's finally Friday, me and my gang will soon be leaving for a week in the beloved North Woods!  I can't wait for the peace and serenity of the water, woods and wildlife.  Actually, I'm not even sure if I will have wi-fi, so if I fall off the grid again, you'll know why.

The idea of no wi-fi kinda stresses me out...I can certainly go without Facebook, but I'm not sure how I feel about not having creative recipe ideas at my finger tips.  I guess some time unplugged will be as good for me as for the kids, more time to read and relax.

Speaking of water, I have to share with you our recent visit to Manitowoc, WI and Lake Michigan, my old stomping grounds.

Growing up near the lake, I certainly took it for granted.  We would swing by the marina and lighthouse regularly, either as a special visit or just because we had some time to burn.

Well, this most recent walk down memory lane was met with the same joy and excitement from my kids as I recall from my childhood...which makes it even more precious!

Ryker, Landon, Alayna and I on our way to the Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse. 

The kids were super excited about watching all of the seagulls catch fish while we strolled the pier.

Another favorite memory of mine is scrambling along the boulders which create the breakwater.  The kids enjoyed this as well, I was very proud of them for cruising along and enjoying the adventure.

Landon, Ryker and Alayna sharing my enjoyment of the rocks!

While out on the rocks, Ryker spotted what he believed to be a pirate ship! 

Grandpa giving Landon the low-down. 

The Denis Sullivan eventually came into the marina and we got to see it up close. 

Finally, before we left the lake shore, the SS Badger Car Ferry also arrived.  So, we got to take that in that sight as well.

I'd say that was a very productive morning at the lake shore.

For the last number of years, I have only been back to Manitowoc in the winter, this last visit reminded me of the fabulous enjoyment of the lake shore and that I should get up there more than once a year!  

OK, back to reality and the land of feeding my family.

These Home-made Sloppy Joes were made recently on a night when I was headed out with the girls, so that the family could serve themselves in my absence.

Started with about 2.5 lbs of ground beef, browning over medium heat.  

Next added 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 3 stalks of celery (don't be afraid to use the leafy part) and 1 can of diced tomatoes (clearly this was made before my garden was ready to provide me with fresh produce).  

Let that cook for a bit for the veggies to soften.  

As for the sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 cups ketchup, 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and salt were added. 

Starts out a little saucy, so let it simmer down to desired consistency. 

Here is the consistency I desire!

I love to serve my sloppy joes with tortilla chips and often times I just skip the bun all together! 

They can be enjoyed with a bun, with a fork or with a chip…
Kind of like green eggs and ham! 


2.5 lbs of ground beef
1/2 cup of chopped onion
3 stalks of celery - chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt - to taste

Brown ground beef, add onions, celery and tomatoes to cook a bit. 
Mix up the sauce, pour over the meat and simmer to desired consistency.  

Serve up immediately or throw in a slow cooker for later.