So I've never really considered myself much of a cook. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy making food for my family...cooking delicious meals, baking yummy sweets - but I've never been one to create something on my own. Having a large family, we tend to find comfort in foods that we know we love and that people will be excited about - rather than working to convince our children how good the next meal is going to be. Over time, I've been making a Word document/cookbook to hold all of our tried and true recipes..Note that not all of the recipes are mine...they are versions of ones that I find online or old family recipes...but I thought I'd share some here with you.
One of our family FAVORITES are the combination of Sloppy Joe and Macaroni and Cheese. Sometimes the kids eat the Sloppy Joe mix on a bun and other times they just mix a scoop right into the Mac and Cheese.
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
**All of these are "to taste" - if you like more green pepper, add it. If you don't like mustard, remove it...SO EASY.
Macaroni and Cheese
1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
1 stick of butter
½ cup flour
2 cup milk (we've used goat milk in this and it's amazing)
2 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, good quality (or if you like other cheese, go for it)
In a separate bowl, beat two eggs together
Small squirt of mustard
Sprinkle with Italian style breadcrumbs
(**For cheese, you can switch the 4 C. cheddar to 2 C. cheddar, 2 C gruyere (shredded), and ¼ C. Parmesan Reggiano)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
In a large saucepan melt butter.
Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Turn off flame.
Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce. Add two eggs and small squirt of mustard – continue to stir until mixed well.
Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
(You can also freeze this recipe in zip-lock bags for later use - once you have mixed the macaroni along with the cheese sauce allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer - I generally pull it out the night before and allow macaroni and cheese to reach room temperature; I then add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.)
SO SO SO delicious and very easy and feeds a crowd. We actually triple or quadruple the Sloppy Joe recipe. Try it out!
**Our children will actually request this for their birthday dinners.
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