Rapid Mac!

IMG_20150907_174723918Audrey’s been eating a lot of macaroni & cheese lately. And in her world of instant-gratification, 15 minutes is just too long to wait for water to boil and those little macaroni noodles to cook. I saw this little “Rapid Mac Cooker” at the store a few weeks ago but no way was I going to fall for this gimmick…until today. I bought it and what do you know, 4 minutes later we had macaroni & cheese! Same concept as cooking Easy Mac but with a whole box instead of a single-serving. So of course, the water boiled over…just like the little Easy Mac container did…so make sure you put a plate underneath so your microwave doesn’t turn into a starchy-water mess! Audrey gives it a two-thumbs-up!

While Daddy’s Away…

I bought¬†“The Cookbook for Kids” by William Sonoma at the book fair at Audrey’s school a few months ago. Regrettably, I haven’t cooked anything in it…until last night. Mike’s away for a training/conference for the week so I told Audrey to pick a few recipes. The idea is that she¬†would cook with me. Not this time. She DID eat everything, though! First up: Sloppy Joe’s. Of course I forgot to take a picture of them, but you all know what they look like, right? Plus, they’re on the cover of the book in the picture right here! When I told Audrey I never took a picture she suggested using an x-ray machine to snap an image of the food in her tummy. A good idea, but not very practical!

What You Need:
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 T. golden brown sugar
2 T dried minced onion (we left this out)
1 t. paprika
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 T. tomato paste (left this out too)
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 t. red wine vinegar (again, this was not included)
Salt & black pepper
Hamburger buns, 4 split

1. First cook the filling: Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. If you are using turkey, add the oil to the skillet to keep it from sticking. Add the meat and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces, until evenly cookied, 8-10 minutes. (Ask an adult to help you pour off the fat if the mixture seems too greasy.) Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the brown sugar, onion, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring, until blended, about 2 minutes.

2. Then add flavor: Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Stir until well mixed. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Finally serve the joes: Place a bun bottom, cut side up, on each of 4 plates. Spoon an equal amount of the meat mixture over the buns, then place the bun tops on top. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.