Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Surprise: Low Sodium Sloppy Joes!

Greetings Pinstrosipeeps!

Hope you're well this fine Sunday afternoon. Today, I've got a a recipe and a Pin Spin for you. Rob (my darling boyfriend) has to keep to a strict low sodium diet due to a couple of health issues. As something of a foodie, this was devastating for him initially; he was completely convinced that he would have to suffer through boring salads everyday for the rest of his life. 

Confession time: I have been somewhat disappointed with the low sodium recipe options available on Pinterest. Often, I found that recipes that were tagged as "low sodium" were either 1. Not "low sodium" enough, or 2. Not low sodium at all. After finding so many "fake out" recipes, I kind of gave up on Pinterest for the low sodium stuff, especially since we have found a number of cool websites on the interwebs; our favorites being Low Sodium Cooking and Sodium Girl. I highly recommend either of this websites if you're looking for some new low sodium recipes. Seriously, yum!

Since Rob's formerly beloved Manwich is no longer on the table (seriously, there was more sodium in one can of that stuff than Rob can eat in an entire day), we had to figure out what kind of sloppy joes he could eat. Secretly, Rob was convinced that low sodium sloppy joes would be a total flop, but he played nice while I researched a recipe. 

I settled on Low Sodium Cooking's Sloppy Joe Recipe. I whipped it up before Rob got home one evening (surprise surprise) and after tasting them, boy had Rob's tune changed. 

I gotta tell you, we were both pretty impressed with how it came out. Even considering that the original recipe is cooked in a crock pot, and we just did it on the stove. 

We've made some adjustments to the recipe in the few times that we've made it since, and now, I think it's about PERFECT. Seriously, Rob sings SNL's Sloppy Joe tune every time I make them. Now, I will tell you, these sloppy joes are on the saucy side. If you don't like a lot of excess sauce, you may want to cut back on the ketchup a smidge.

I shan't make you wait any longer-- let's get crackin' with this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of ground turkey -- the Jennie-O ones are about a pound and a quarter
  • 1/3 of white onion, chopped (or, you can add more you your liking, I kind of eyeball it every time I make this recipe)
  • 1 - 14 oz bottle of no salt ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Low Sodium Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon classic yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

All of the wet ingredients

The dry ingredients

See? I only used a bit of onion. Based on your taste, I'm sure plenty more could be added.

Instructions:
1. Put ground turkey in pan and cook until it is no longer pink.

2. Chop onion (I use a Ninja food processor) and add it to the turkey while it cooks. 

Turkey and onion

3. While the turkey/onion is cooking, mix up your ingredients.

Ingredients in a bowl

Got a little mix action going on here

4. When the turkey is fully cooked, drain the excess oil, then return it to the stove

5. Turn the burner down to Low and add the sauce to the turkey and onion.

Here we go!

6. Mix the turkey into the sauce completely and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes until your hungry significant other starts eating it out of the pan.

If our computers had smell-o-vision, y'all would be lovin' this right now.
I always cover the pan, just in case. Also, I like to think it keeps Rob from picking at it (it doesn't).

8. Serve and enjoy. I find that this makes about 4 to 5 servings, depending on how much sloppy joe you put on your sandwich.

Seriously, hope you guys find this to be totally tasty. I bet no one would know they were low sodium if you didn't tell them. Shhhhh... it will be our little secret. 

But wait, there's more! Have you all seen this pin?

http://picturetherecipe.com/index.php/tips-and-tricks/storing-ground-meat/

Well, I attempted it for the sloppy joes. I would recommend until they've cooked down completely (I'm impatient and didn't wait), because the sauce is more likely to stay where you put it. It was a bit of a fight, at first, because the sauce just wanted to do what it wanted. But, I made it work:




Ultimately, I had to place a chopstick in the freezer with the bag to keep the main seam. See here:


But, otherwise, this worked great! I had to bend the bag a little bit to break the pieces off, but the bag didn't tear, so everything seemed a-okay.


Rob even took one for lunch!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! If you have any low sodium recipes, definitely let me know!
Much love, from my kitchen to yours,
Rachel

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Show and Tell Saturday:A Tuck and Cover Video

I saw  few great pins a while back for Tuck and Cover hairstyles and was excited to try them out. I had a little trouble getting them to work just right at first (not as good with hair as Emilee is) but I found my own variation that works for me. It is a combination of these two styles:

http://www.missysue.com/2013/01/tuck-and-cover/

http://www.missysue.com/2014/04/braid-7-tuck-and-cover-french-braid/

Want to see what I did? You'll have to watch the video. Oh boy...my favorite...me on video. Oh well. We all have to sacrifice for the greater good every now and then, right?


This is truly my go to style right now. It is so easy and classy. I've always been envious of the girls that can make a ponytail look classy. It just makes me look dumpy, and gives me horrendous headaches. This style is fast, keeps my hair off my neck, looks classy, and no headaches!

Another bonus, as mentioned in the video is how my hair turns out after it's been in the tuck and cover style for a little while. Here is what it looks like right out of the band after being up for about 3 hours (the left photo is what it looks like straight out of the band, and the right photo is what it looks like after I've broken up the ringlets a little with my fingers):


If I were to use larger chunks of hair than I did this time around I'd get more of the beach waves look. Fun, huh?! I am in love with this style. Give it a try!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Pinstrosity Party Magnetism

Parties seem to be Pinstrosity magnets. We try to make our parties awesome, so we turn to Pinterest for new ideas to try out. Most of us don't want to take the time and energy to test something out before the party, so we cross our fingers that the Pinterest Gods will smile upon our offering. Sometimes that works, and other times the Pinterest Gods smite us. Emma sent in two Pinstrosities from their 4th of July festivities. Two Pinstrosities in one party, that's rough. 

Original Pin #1
http://www.sheckys.com/2012/06/28/fab-festive-fourth-of-july-party-planning-tips3/

"Originally I found one using the Sobe Pina Colada drink, and my family was not really excited about that. I looked at Pinterest to find an alternative. This [the pin above] was the one that sounded most appealing. I did replace Diet 7up with diet sprite, but I figured that was okay since it was just a lemon lime soda switch. So after pouring the gatorade in, I was so excited that it was *actually* working! Then I poured the sprite in and stood back to admire my work. It looked beautiful, so I ran to grab my phone. When I came back it looked like this…"

Pinstrosity #1

"I was very disappointed…Until I tasted it. It was oddly delicious! So despite the fact that I was the only one who saw it in the colors that it was intended, It was enjoyed by everyone. So kind of Pinstrosity? But then I attempted one more thing."

This one ends up being a bit of a Flashback Friday to our Layered Drink Doozy post. Different "recipe" but the same idea. Check out that link for tips in the post as well as awesome tips in the comments from readers. 

Original Pin #2
http://www.theshoppingmom.com/4th-of-july-bunt-cake-a-sparkling-fun-red-white-and-blue-snack/comment-page-1/#comment-45875

"A July fourth bundt cake! This looked SO easy that I figured I might as well try it. Well my white cake looked yellow and thus all my other colors looked blah."

Pisntrosity #2

"I don’t really know what went wrong with this one. A messed up cake mix? Ah well. Another one that tasted good. At least I got the rest of July fourth and store-bought cupcakes to make things look good!"

I'm not sure how the middle turned out, but as for the icing it looks like the red and white got warmed up, but the blue didn't get as warm and pourable. To get the striped drizzle look seen in the original pin the icing needs to be pretty warm and liquidy. Next, I would use a spoon to drizzle it onto the cake, rather than pouring from the bowl or jar. This would help give a smaller stream of icing and give more of the look of the original cake. You also definitely need the back and fourth motion across the cake if you want multi-colored stripes. 

At least they both tasted fantastic. That is the point of food, right?! Right.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bundt Mess

For breakfast this morning I had peanut butter straight out of the jar with a spoon. I love peanut butter. I know I've mentioned that a few times on the blog already. I'm not a huge chocolate person, but pair it with Peanut Butter and I'm in heaven. Put it in a yummy cake and that's even better!

The Original Pin
http://pixelatedcrumb.com/2011/09/13/chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-pound-cake-with-peanut-butter-glaze/

Oh that looks fantastic. Good thing my birthday's coming up!

Paula saw this on Pinterest and gave it a whirl. "It looked simple and tasty...my only prerequisites for a recipe. The recipe states to spray the pan generously. I think I added even more spray than I needed, but is still stuck. :( Maybe it's just me and Bundt pans, but my cakes never come out right when I use them.  I followed the directions precisely,  but there were a few problems. First of all the batter could not be poured. It was so thick I had to scoop it in. Also, it was not cooked in the time it stated. We took it out after 1 hour and 40 minutes." 

The Pinstrosity
"The good news is that it was delicious! The texture was nice, minus the breakage with a slightly sweet taste. The glaze was perfect. Just peanut buttery enough!"

But can this cake be made without it crumbling?

Before I try any recipe from online I look for comments. There are often some good pieces of advice and fun cooking tidbits in the comments. Looking through the comments for this recipe, many people raved about how delicious and easy the recipe was, but there were a good handful of people who had an experience similar to Paulas.







The reviews are mixed, but it seems like many are able to get this to work. From the comments and notes by the author it seems like you need to do a few key things to get this, or any homemade cake really, to work.


  • Use the right ingredients and measure properly. 
    • If it calls for butter, use butter (non-salted) NOT margarine. 
    • Make sure your scoops are level and your liquids are right. Even an extra 1/2 cap full of flavorings can make a difference in recipes. 
  • Spray the pan very well. 
    • Kristen, the author, suggests using a cooking spray that contains flour. 
  • Check your oven temperature. 
    • You can get handy oven thermometers for decently cheap to make sure your 350 is really 350.
  • Test the cake for doneness before removing from the oven. 
    • Knife, toothpick, skewer, whatever works.
    • Kristen said, "Check on the cake at 1 hour to make sure it's not browning too quickly on top. If it is, just place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the pan."
  • Remove carefully.   
    • Let it cool for 20 minutes before trying to remove the cake from the pan. 
And, if you need more help with using bundt pans, removing a bundt cake from the pan, or how to decorate a bundt cake, check out this link


Monday, July 21, 2014

Mix it Up Monday: Better Than This?

Hello, hello! I hope you all are having a better day these people did. Hang in there today! 

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