the best sloppy joes

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These days I’m thinking about my book. Lots of planning and dreaming and networking and proposal writing in store. I’m excited and nervous and going through the whole range of emotions that go along with this process. It’s been a long road, but an exciting journey. Now that I have a completely clear vision of what it is I want this book to look like and accomplish, the rest is just doing it. Which is good, since I’m an over the top obsessive planner.

I’ve been continuing with the autumn cleaning, some days more enthusiastic than others. Mostly just baby stepping it so I don’t get overwhelmed.

The days are getting shorter and we’re enjoying every last bit of sunshine, but the crazy heat, not so much. We’re still loving dinners on the porch or deck, complete with watching the sun set… glass of wine in hand. It’s still mighty green out there but I have seen the occasional crimson-edged sumac leaf on our morning walks… along with hundreds of bald eagles circling Sorin’s and Barn Bluff.

I’m still on my tomato and zucchini kick. I can’t seem to get enough of this summer’s yummy bounty. I’m saving heirloom tomato seeds in little labeled, craft paper envelopes for next year’s garden. Jeff is building me some raised beds and I am in heaven.

I’ve been talking with some people about another national magazine photo shoot. If all goes as planned, we may be taking a road trip to Iowa. Very exciting stuff. I would LOVE to visit our beloved Harmony (Amish country) and a few other favorite destinations along the way. I’ll keep you posted. It’s a VERY cool magazine btw 😉

Looking forward to this weekend already, even though it’s only Wednesday. I think we’ll be visiting our favorite swimming hole one last time this summer, and taking a drive to Pepin to have lunch HERE… and later visiting the Laura Ingall’s-Wilder house/museum and having a picnic on the grounds. This weekend is Laura Ingall’s Days too, so that might be fun to check out.

Whew… enough about me. LOL… on to the recipe…

Here’s how to make the absolute best sloppy joes you’ll ever eat. No kidding. This is NOT the stuff in the can. Enjoy!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped very fine

1/3 cup green pepper, chopped very fine

1 lb. extra lean ground beef or bison

1 and 1/2 cups organic or homemade tomato ketchup

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and green pepper. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, or until translucent and tender. Add the beef/bison and cook until meat is well browned (about 5 minutes.) Lower the heat and add the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt, parsley, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Cook on low, stirring frequently until heated through and thickened somewhat (5-10 minutes.) Serve on your favorite buns!



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  16 comments for “the best sloppy joes

  1. September 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Sloppy Joes are the best…I haven’t made ’em for 30 years…looks like I’ll have to do ’em again now that I have a really good recipe…back in the day, ***shhhhh**** I used a can of sloppy joe mix!! xo

    • Melissa
      September 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Ally! Hee hee… well, I’m really glad you like my recipe. I’ve been known to use the canned stuff from time to time too 🙂 I won’t tell anyone if you don’t. XOXO

      • September 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        OMG, it’s OUR seeeecrit, my luvveee…lol!! xoxo

        • Melissa
          September 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

          LOL, Alweeeee <3 love you!

  2. Ruth Cobb
    September 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Do you drain the meat after browning? We have a hot dog chili that doesn’t get drained, so I wanted to be sure.

    • Melissa
      September 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Hi Ruth! You don’t need to drain this if you use the EXTRA lean ground beef or bison 🙂 If you only have the fatty hamburger, then, yes I would drain it. Thanks for stopping by. Good question! XO

  3. Shey
    September 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Tried this tonight with lean turkey–it was delicious! My boyfriend and I loved it. Thanks for posting! 🙂

    • Melissa
      September 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Hi Shey! So happy you and your boyfriend enjoyed my recipe! Thanks for suggesting turkey! great substitution for those that don’t eat red meat 🙂 XO

  4. Ashley
    September 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Cooked this tonight for my husband tonight. We needed something quick and easy but not out of a can/box. It was perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Melissa
      September 20, 2013 at 12:26 am

      You’re welcome, Ashley! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting 🙂 I’m so pleased you enjoyed the recipe.

  5. Andrea McConnell
    September 22, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Hi there. I found this recipe through Pinterest and made it for dinner tonight. It was delicious!! I used ground turkey and added some tomato soup (only because I didn’t have enough ketchup) but everything else was by the recipe. My kids devoured them! Thanks!

    • Melissa
      September 23, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Hi there Andrea! Thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment! I am always so happy to hear when someone enjoys my recipes. YAY! and I like your rendition. Glad it worked out for you! 🙂 XO ~M

  6. September 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Made these this evening and they turned out amazing! I was out of tomato paste so I couldn’t use the packet of sloppy joe seasoning that I normally use. I found your recipe, and it worked with what I had on hand. Not surprisingly, it turned out way better than the seasoning packet/tomato paste version! Thank you for the great recipe.

    • Melissa
      September 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Niki! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my recipe! thanks for visiting 🙂 stop by again! xo

  7. January 15, 2014 at 5:34 am

    As an Australian I’ve never actually really known what a sloppy joe was! Curiosity got me and I had to check out your recipe. I think I’m going to have to try 🙂

    • Melissa
      February 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

      OOh! How fun, Steph! I love trying new recipes. You’re in for a treat. XO and thanks for visiting! 🙂

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