Friday, July 27, 2012

Sloppy Erica's...I mean Sloppy Joes!

When I was a kid, my parents used to make Sloppy Joe's from that canned Manwich (that we called Mammwich) stuff.  I was never very fond of Sloppy Joe's as a result.  This week my friend invited us over to dinner and told me when we arrived that we were having Sloppy Joe's.  My stomach immediately seized and I was worried I was going to gag.  LOL!!!  But when I saw fresh ingredients on the counter top, my stomach unclenched a little.  This is a fun recipe my friend Erica found from a crock pot cook book (Crock Pot's Busy Family Recipe's), but being impatient like me, we cooked it on the stove top to make it a faster recipe.  HOLY MOSES!!!  I am a fan of Sloppy Joe' fact, I think I'll stop calling them Sloppy Joe's and call them Sloppy Erica's to honor my friend for introducing me to this recipe!

Campfired -Up Sloppy Erica's Joes:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we used KC's Masterpiece)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (8 ounces) baked beans
6 kaiser rolls, split and warmed
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)

Brown ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic 6 to 8 minutes in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up meat.  Drain and discard excess fat.  Transfer to Crock Pot Slow Cooker (which we neglected to do).

Combine ketchup, barbecue sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and chili powder in a small bowl.  Transfer to Crock Pot slow cooker (we just added this to the meat).

Add baked beans.  Stir well to combine.  cover, cook on HIGH 3 hours.  Or just simmer on the stove until you so damn hunger you can't stand it!

To serve, place 1/3 cup Sloppy Joe/Erica mixture on bottom halves of rolls.  Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, before covering with roll top.


The BBQ flavor through out this recipe takes these Sloppy Joe's OVER THE TOP!!!  I am a sucker for BBQ so this made me feel like I was eating BBQ beef. I want more!!!

Thanks so much for having us to dinner, Erica!!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ciabatta Bread!

Alex got me a Pannini cook book for my birthday last year that has some SWEET recipes for BREAD.  Not  recipes for sweet bread, but SWEET recipes for BREAD!  I don't generally have much luck with bread.  I can make it, it is good enough to eat, but it isn't beautiful and fluffy and light.  People have always told me my yeast must be old, I'm kneading it too much or its because I'm at altitude.  Well, I have used fresh yeast and I try not to have a relationship with my bread in the making stages and I still end up with dense bread.  I'm not complaining, I am totally down with dense would just be cool to be able to produce Wonder Bread like bread from time-to-time.

Well, this bread was no exception.  It turned out rather dense as well...again, not complaints...just dense.  I was going to make pannini's with this bread, but it turned out as PERFECT bread for hamburger buns!

Cibatta Rolls (from Panini from the publishers of Fine Cooking):
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon tepid water (70 to 78 degrees)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan and brushing the rolls

Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add the yeast, flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil and stir with a rubber spatula just long enough to blend into a dough.  With a dough hook, mix the dough on low speed (2 on a KitchenAid mixer) for 3 minutes.  Turn the speed to medium high (8 on a KitchenAid mixer) and knead until it clears the sides of the bowl and collects on the hook, becoming smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes more.  at this speed, the mixer will "walk," possibly off the counter, so do not leave unattended.  

Oil a 7x11- inch baking dish.  Scrape the dough into the dish and pat with coiled fingertips to flatten it.  Let it rest and relax for 5 minutes, then use lightly oiled fingertips to push and stretch it across the bottom of the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it has more than doubled in volume and reaches the top of the pan, about 2 hours.

Lightly oil a large baking sheet.  Uncover the dough and place the baking sheet, right side down, on top of the dough.  Invert the dish on to the baking sheet and sake once or twice to release the dough onto the sheet.  

Use a sharp chef's knife to cut the dough into 6 squares, and use the edge of the knife to push the squares 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Put 4 short drinking glasses near the corners of the pan and drape a sheet or two of plastic wrap over them so that ti covers the dough pieces and keeps them moist but does not touch them.  Let the dough pieces stand until they have expanded by about 50 percent, about 40 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Remove the plastic and glasses and bake the rolls until dark golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Brush the hot rolls with olive oil.  Let cool completely on the baking sheet before slicing with a sharp serrated knife. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gluten Free Strawberry Pancakes...The Best Yet!

It is a Sunday morning tradition to make a yummy breakfast at our house.  We are getting ready to move and have been trying to clean out our freezer and pantry of food so we don't have to get rid of it so we made Gluten Free Strawberry Pancakes!!!

Alex is a pancakes eating MONSTER, but always feels a little barfy after eating his weight in pancakes so we decided to try out Bob's Gluten Free Flour when making our Sunday morning treat.  I am not a fan of complicated meals, so the recipes for gluten free pancakes that include xanthum gum and almond flour are lost on me.  Bob's is a PERFECT substitute for flour.  The only draw back is that gluten free products have a tendency for an AFTER TASTE.  I can't even describe what that taste is just...something.  So when I make gluten free pancakes, I always make sure they are flavored in some way.

Gluten Free Strawberry Pancakes:
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 cups Bob's Gluten Free Flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon baking powered
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup strawberries, chopped

Mix all the ingredients together and cook on griddle over medium heat.

The addition of the almond extract brings out the sweetness in the strawberries.  Alex actually told me this recipe was the BEST gluten free pancake recipe YET!   YEAH!!!   

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chica Birthday Cake!

My daughter is CRAZY about Chica the Chicken from Sprout.  I don't know what it is about that chicken, but she is stickin' CUTE!  For her birthday this year, my daughter asked for a Chica birthday party.  I thought this was a GREAT idea, until I realized Sprout has all the rights for Chica and they don't play nicely because they don't share those rights with ANYONE!  That meant no, birthday plates, cups, party hats, decorations...NOTHIN'!  However, every good Mama takes the challenge and meets it head on!  I take it back the part about sharing, Sprout does share the rights to Chica, sort of.  They have a whole Chica Birthday section on their web site with lots of printables and fun ideas for your child's party.  But online printables didn't solve the problem that I didn't have a birthday cake.

Last year for my daughter's birthday I tried my hand at one of those topsy turvy birthday cakes and it failed miserably!!! I didn't weight it properly and 10 minutes before all the guests arrived, the top of the cake fell off.  After further forensic evidence, it appeared the top part fell off the cake while the second tier was splitting in two Titanic style.  It still tasted good, so no harm, no foul.

This year I was determined I would not experience birthday cake tragedy.  I planned, I visited Joann's to get the products professional cake makers use...this cake was going to be 'the pinnacle of my distinguished career' (in the words of Sebastian from the Little Mermaid).  It actually turned out GREAT.

At least this year the cake lasted until the guests arrived. :)

I am already planning the architectural structure of the cake for next year.  Everyone hopes to be invited back next year so they can see if the cake actually make it. :)  Moral of this story?  Cakes do not balance on one post in the center of the cake. I promise I'm a bright person...I need to stop skimping on the architectural planning of my birthday cakes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Little Bites of Meaty, Cheesy Goodness!

I attended a potluck breakfast awhile back and one of the ladies brought an amazing recipe that contained three ingredients, Sausage, Cheese and Bisquick.  I know what your saying...REALLY?  What is the binding ingredient?  That doesn't sound crazy flavorful!  Guess what?  These babies are FLAVOR BOMBS!  I saw several variations on for this recipe ranging from the amount of Bisquick to the cook time.  Since I couldn't remember the recipe my potluck friend told me, I decided to do a combination of several different recipes from

Bisquick Sausage Bites:
1lb Jalpeno sausage
2.5  Cups cheese
3 Cups Bisquick
Water, as needed

Preheat oven to 350F

Thoroughly combine ingredients...this is going to take some serious elbow grease because you are forcing the sausage and cheese and Bisquick together and I think they are secretly enemies.  Be forewarned.  As water as needed.  Roll into 1.5 inches balls of dough and put on cookie sheet.  Cook for 25 minutes.

These little bites are ADDICTIVE!  Oh my goodness!  I could eat them all day, in fact, that is just what I did the day I made them, breakfast, snack and lunch!  The next time I make these babies I'm going to use less Bisquick and more cheese.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Buffalo Chicken!

A girlfriend of mine told me about this super simple recipe that ROCKS!!!!  I am all about chicken wings, but I hate all the oil from the fried wings.  This recipe cuts out all the fat, but keeps all the taste AND you can make it in a crock pot!

Buffalo Chicken:
1lb chicken breasts/legs or thighs
1 bottle Franks Buffalo Sauce - The SECRET ingredient!
1 package ranch dressing seasoning

Throw everything into a crockpot on high for 3-4 hours.  Chop and serve!

You can do a TON of different things with the chicken once it has been cooked.  Normally I make buffalo chicken sandwiches with coleslaw and ranch dressing on top.  But today I made buffalo chicken tacos!!!  OH MY!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Best Part Of This Sandwich Was The Mayo!

I decided to check out a local Art and Farmer's Market yesterday and was a little disappointed with the prices.  Watermelon $7?  Really?  I know it is expensive for farmers and this HAS been an exceptionally bad year, but HOLY MOLY!!!  So I walked away with a fresh baked French bread and some basil.  I was racking my brain as I was driving home about what I could do with French bread and basil.  We had just had Italian food the night before so pasta wasn't really an option, so I decided to make pannini's!  

It's funny how an idea can sound so wonderful and grand in your head, but the execution ends up being something else all-together.  I imagined poaching the chicken with Italian seasoning, cutting up the succulent, juicy chicken, topping it with mozzarella and slathering the french bread with a pesto mayonnaise.  It actually turned out GREAT, except for the chicken...which was a pretty big part of the Chicken pannini.  :)

I poached the chicken with water and Italian seasoning and nothing else.  That was my big mistake.  The chicken was juicy, but totally tasteless.  I should have seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper before I cooked it and used chicken stock rather than water.

The BEST part of this concoction was the PESTO MAYO.  I will DEFINITELY keep some of this in my refrigerator at all times!  It turned out a lot like Green Goddess Dressing/Dip.  I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I slathered a slice of bread with this mayo and at it straight!

1 cup Mayo - I always use the low fat just means I can eat more of it. :)
1 clove Garlic
1/4 cup Basil
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and combine.

I didn't think about this until I was uploading this photo, but I bet those veggie straws would be yummy dipped in the Pesto Mayo. :) 

Friday, July 13, 2012

More Greek Food!

After I made the yummy Baba Ghanoush and Pita Bread, I started getting a hankering for Falafel.  Falafel is a work of art in my opinion.  In fact, I recently had it at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant here in Colorado Springs and was left disappointed and wanting.  Isn't the food at restaurants supposed to be better than what you could make at home?  Apparently not, because this recipe completely TRUMPED my experience at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant.

Sean's Falafel 
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

1 (6 ounce) container plain yogurt
1/2 cucumber - peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • Directions
  1. In a large bowl mash chickpeas until thick and pasty; don't use a blender, as the consistency will be too thin. In a blender, process onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.
  2. In a small bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice and baking powder. Stir into chickpea mixture along with olive oil. Slowly add bread crumbs until mixture is not sticky but will hold together; add more or less bread crumbs, as needed. Form 8 balls and then flatten into patties.
  3. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties in hot oil until brown on both sides.
  4. In a small bowl combine yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, pepper and mayonnaise. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

If you're expecting a blog with AMAZING photo's with perfect lighting, you've come to the wrong place.  Sometimes I will actually have sweet photo's from taken with my Canon Rebel XTI, but most recently a LOT of my photos are  being taken with my iPhone.  Sometimes a girl has to focus on hanging with her girly rather than spending time getting the best photo shot for a blog. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Is it really possible that I haven't posted since JANUARY?!!!  What a SLACKER!!!!!  What have I been doing with my time you ask?  The usual, cooking and forgetting to take pictures of the yummy food I have made, playing on pinterest, raising my daughter, riding 100 miles on my bike for cancer research, getting ready to move cross country.  I've been busy. :)

I decided to get my blog back going because I am tired of making SWEET recipes and then forgetting where I got the recipe or what things I did to mess it up and make it better.  So BrokenYolks is back in business!!! If you read my blog, AWESOME, if you don't...then I have a GREAT means of tracking my cooking exploits.

Have you ever eaten at Garbanzo's?  That place is the Mediterranean/Greek equivalent to Cafe Rio, healthy, fresh ingredients.  Unfortunately, the closest Garbanzo to me is on the other side of town and I have a hard time justifying the expense of gas to get yummy Greek food...ESPECIALLY when I can make it myself at home!!!  I found a KILLER recipe for Baba Ghanoush and Pita Bread from KING ARTHUR FLOUR!!!  Can you believe it?  A flour company has a great recipe for Baba Ghanoush?!

Pita Bread:
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver (I totally didn't use this)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Directions:
  • 1) Combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough.
  • 2) Knead the dough, by hand (10 minutes) or by mixer (5 minutes) or by bread machine (set on the dough cycle) till it's smooth.
  • 3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. If you've used a bread machine, simply let the machine complete its cycle.
  • 4) Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 pieces.
  • 5) Roll two to four of the pieces into 6" circles (the number of pieces depends on how many rolled-out pieces at a time can fit on your baking sheet).
  • 6) Place the circles on a lightly greased baking sheet and allow them to rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 500°F. (Keep the unrolled pieces of dough covered. Roll out the next batch while the first batch bakes.)
  • 7) Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack in your oven, and bake the pitas for 5 minutes; they should puff up. (If they haven't puffed up, wait a minute or so longer. If they still haven't puffed, your oven isn't hot enough; raise the heat for the next batch.)
  • 8) Transfer the baking sheet to your oven's middle-to-top rack and bake for an additional 2 minutes, or until the pitas have browned.
  • 9) Remove the pitas from the oven, wrap them in a clean dishtowel (this keeps them soft), and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • 10) Store cooled pitas in an airtight container or plastic bag.
Baba Ghanoush:
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tahini paste1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash the eggplant and char the outside. You can do this on a grill, or directly over the flame on a gas stove. Turn the eggplant so each section of its skin gets blackened and crusty.
  • 2. After the skin is charred, transfer the eggplant to a pie plate and bake it for 20 minutes, until it's quite soft. Remove from the oven and cool.
  • 3. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small baking dish with the olive oil. Roast the cloves for 10 minutes in the oven with the eggplant until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool; peel the cloves and save the olive oil.
  • 4. Peel the eggplant and put the flesh in the bowl of a food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, roasted garlic, and the oil in which the garlic roasted.
  • 5. Puree the mixture until smooth; taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice or tahini as desired. Serve at room tmperature with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil on top.