Monthly Archives: April 2012

They may be sloppy, but these Joes definitely aren’t wimpy

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Fun fact: Did you know the original Sloppy Joe sandwich was invented in the 1920’s by a restaurant cook named Floyd Angell in Sioux City, Iowa as a variation of the popular loose-meat sandwich?

Or that they are referred to as “Yum Yums” in parts of the Midwest and “Wimpies” in Pennsylvania?

Or that the term “Sloppy Joe” is not a food at all in Australia but instead refers to a hooded sweatshirt with a furry fleece lining much like wool? Imagine the weird looks you’d probably receive in an Australian restaurant when trying to order a Sloppy Joe with extra pickles.

So, this past weekend I decided to use my new Dutch oven and make my own little variation of the Sloppy Joes: aka the Untidy Teenies. But instead of using ground beef, turkey or cow tongue (yeah, they use that in some parts of New Jersey…. nasty) as the main protein source, I made the animal-friendly decision to prepare them vegetarian and use red lentils and beans instead. And in all honesty, I think they turned out a heck of a lot tastier than other kind of sandwich of this variety, while still maintaining all their awesome sloppy-ness.

And don’t be shy about asking for extra pickles to go along with these babies. Just be sure to also ask for extra napkins. These untidy Teenies have a tendency to spill all over your fleece-lined “Sloppy Joe”.

Speaking of spills, I “accidentally” got peanut butter all over my face after sticking my head in the open jar and mi mama thinks I need a little bath. Hey, that’s what happens when you leave a jar unattended on the coffee table.

Hey can’t a guy get a little privacy!

If baking is an addiction, then call me a junkie

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I’ve been on a huge baking kick lately. Cakes and muffins and granola bars are being churned out of my kitchen pretty much on a daily basis and I can’t seem to put down my mixing bowls and spatulas for longer than 24 hours before I’m picking them up again to create something new. Mi mama and papa are definitely enjoying all my tasty concoctions and it seems their only complaint is not knowing which baked good to choose from amongst the huge surplus… well that and the fact that I’m so busy baking that I’ve sometimes forgotten to prepare anything for dinner. Let’s just say they’ve had a few “gourmet” meals provided by the lovely Marie Callendar. And there may have been a certain chef by the name of Boyardee helping me out once or twice. Hey don’t blame me. I can’t help what those two end up feeding themselves when left to their own devices.

Unfortunately, though, this past weekend I finally hit the creativity wall and I couldn’t for the life of me think of anything to either bake or prepare. Definitely not a good thing for my ego. I am the TeenyLittleSuperChef after all and genius ideas tend to pop into my brain as often and abundant as lame jokes pop out of mi mama’s mouth. I started to freak out a little bit. Now normally when I’ve felt as though I’ve lost my chefing mojo I take some to time to relax and either practice a little yoga or go for a walk down to the dog park, but this particular day I wanted to bake and I wanted to bake right then and there, without waiting for the inspiration to hit me. So instead, I turned to mis padres and asked them for their suggestions. And from what I gathered, mi mama loves strawberries. Mi papa loves chocolate. Obviously, I love mi papa more them both equally, so I decided to come up with a delicious treat that would encompass both of these items. And the outcome was a snack cake that mi papa exclaimed to be “the best baked good I’ve ever come up with!”

Looks like my baking mojo is back! Thank goodness, now I am able to kick back and smell the flowers once again. Speaking of which, check out the muy bonita tulips I planted last fall that have finally begun to bloom.

Gardening is just another little side hobby of mine… TeenyLittleSuperGreenThumb 😉

Is it granola or is it cake? Who cares, it’s delicious!

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Well much like the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, the Easter bunny did not visit our house this year. In fact, up until about an hour ago, I didn’t even know yesterday was anything other than just a typical Sunday. Actually I didn’t really even know yesterday was Sunday but that’s besides the point. There’s just something weird about a giant white rabbit coming into your house while everyone’s asleep and leaving brightly colored hard-boiled eggs laying around for the kids to try to find. Hmmm… what’s that about? I mean, I leave little “surprises” around the house sometimes too, but no one ever seems to get excited about it. I usually get scolded and told that, that sort of thing is only allowed out in our backyard or in a neighbor’s yard while no one is looking. Perhaps I need to start dyeing my “surprises” in bright pastel colors and say that the Passover Puppy left them for everyone to enjoy.

Well despite not knowing yesterday was a day for celebrating bunnies and their hard-cooked eggs, I still somehow managed to come up with a fun little snack recipe that seems fitting for that particular day… granola! (aka: rabbit food). But not just any granola. Banana-Peanut Butter-Coconut Granola baked in mini muffin cups. Honestly, they look a little more like bird’s nests than rabbit food, but still very Easter-like. Kid-tasted and Jesus-approved.

Well mis amigos, I better be going now. I just hid a couple of my Passover Puppy “surprises” out in the backyard and I need to get someone to come out and hunt for them.

Better get your basket, Mama…. or a shovel.

Buckwheat is made of neither buck nor wheat… discuss

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During the work week, mi papa usually has to get up around 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning in order to be at work on time. As much as I love the guy, that’s waaaaaaaay too early for me. Both mi mama and I like our beauty rest (“beauty” might be pushing it for her) so unfortunately for him, he’s most often left to his own devices when it comes to breakfast. I’ll sometimes prepare things like slow cooker oats or healthy muffins the night before so he doesn’t have to put any thought into it the next day, but sadly, I don’t always have the time to do that. Especially on those nights when I’ve just put all my time and energy into preparing a decadent dinner for mi mama and papa and all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a good chew toy and soft lap.

On the weekends, though, it’s much different. Mi papa generally sleeps much later and we tend to awake around the same time. After a quick cuddle and a little trip outside to do my morning business, I’m all set to start cooking up a delicious breakfast for him to eat and enjoy in a more relaxed and cozy setting. Most of the time he requests things like scrambled eggs and a bagel, or stove-top oats with fresh berries, but every once in a while I like to surprise him and his taste buds with something special like waffles and pancakes. This past Saturday morning, in particular, I decided to utilize a new skillet mi mama recently received as an early Easter present from her abuela, Anna, and make mi papa a tasty batch of whole grain pancakes— Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes to be exact. P.S. Did you know buckwheat is not actually a grain? True story, it’s actually a fruit seed closely related to that of a rhubarb plant. Pretty fantastico, huh?

Mmmm, definitely worth waking up for. As if my adorable little face isn’t worth it alone.

Well mi amigos, I must be going now. I’m competing in a wrestling competition this weekend (in the 3-4 lb feather-weight category) and I need to go for my final weigh-in.

Three pounds, seven ounces…. phew!