Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'd like to thank Flummery, Sloppy Joe, and the Academy.

This morning I slept in a bit, which was heavenly. I've been so darn tired lately. Mike's band had a show on Friday night, which meant that I didn't get home until after midnight, which meant that I then waited up until 2 a.m. for him to get home with our traditional wee-hours-of-the-morning, post-gig fried zucchini sticks.

I don't remember how that tradition got started, but it's endured for many years now.

So this morning I had the treat of opening my eyes only when they were ready, of my dog crawling up beside me and nuzzling my face. I love that, the soft, warm whoosh of air from his wet nose, the tickle of his whiskers. I love it when he gently sniffs my eyelids to see if I'm really sleeping, and the way he pats my face with his paw to wake me up.

The world would be so much better if people were more like dogs.

I'd planned to go to the gym this morning for a step class, to be followed by a tai chi/yoga/pilates class, but I had the time wrong. The class is half over by now, so whoops! I guess I'll just have to stay home and drink coffee and make strawberry-rhubarb flummery for tonight's dessert. The magazine touted it as a traditional Irish dessert. Dinner will be Italian, but it's okay to mix cuisines, don't you think?

I haven't posted a recipe in a while, so I thought I'd share one of my favorites. It's very quick and easy to make, plus it's a good way to use up some of the bell peppers that are popping out faster than I can pick them.

Spicy Sloppy Joes
(serves 6)


  • 2 T. canola oil

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 large green pepper (I use more)

  • 1 1/2 lb soy crumbles (like these)

  • 3 T. chili powder

  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced (I use less. I prefer mild spice.)

  • 1 1/4 cup pale or brown ale, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup low-sodium bottled chili sauce
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions

  • Hamburger buns (I like those potato rolls... nice and soft)

  • Herb salad greens
  • sliced avocado

Warm oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add garlic and green pepper and sauté, stirring frequently, about 1-2 minutes.

Stir in soy crumbles and chili powder. Cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add jalapeños, ale, chili sauce, and soy sauce; mix well. You might want to drink that other bottle of ale that you saved as back-up... no sense in letting it go to waste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, about 15 minutes (until thickened).

Remove from heat. Mix in scallions and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm on top of open buns. Top with herb salad greens and avocado slices.

Sometimes I like to throw in other ingredients. When I made it last night I added some fresh corn kernels and some ground flax seed to the sauce.

Now, pay attention: the herb salad greens and avocado are crucial finishes. Personally, I wouldn't want the sloppy joes at all if I couldn't have those toppings. The herb salad greens give it such a delicious, fresh flavor. Sometimes I add extra cilantro to mine, because I could probably eat a bucketful of cilantro without much prodding. The way the creamy avocado mixes with it the warm, spicy sauce... oh.

Thanks a lot. Now I'm going to be eating sloppy joes for breakfast.

But before I dig in, I just wanted to say thanks to a few people who have been kind enough to present me with prestigious blogging awards. Thank you, really. I'm glad that someone besides me gets some enjoyment from this silly little hobby of mine.

Thanks, Janet!

Thanks, Uncle P!

And for the Not Another Button (NAB) Award, thanks to Emma.

Oh my god, my mom is going to be so proud.

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Blogger His suzy said...

I'm not typically a zucchini person, but I do love fried zucchini sticks. With ranch. Mmmmm...

3:20 PM  
Blogger Laoch of Chicago said...

Very cool recipe

3:50 PM  
Blogger nejyerf said...

how about the flummery recipe?

and look, it's got two words that are fun to say/spell...flummery and rhubarb.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Elsa said...

I love sleeping in, too! And when I had my dogs (2), it was great when they would "greet" me in bed in the morning...unless it was 4 in the morning and they needed to go out!

Good luck with the dessert and congrats on the awards!

6:30 PM  
Blogger bdogg_mcgee said...

You know, I'm not a sloppy joe fan, but I just might have to try that recipe. Sounds divine, especially with the jalapenos!

Speaking of recipes, I just bought some kale at the grocery store today. Any suggestions on how to prepare it? I have hot Italian turkey sausage and cannelini beans to pair with it. Does it cook like spinach?

Is flummery like a syllabub?

8:43 PM  
Blogger Life in a tiki hut said...

its funny how people are with their sloppy joes, I dont like them without chopped broccoli.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Iamthebookworm said...

Your recipes look so good. I wish I cooked.

10:56 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

You deserve every award you have won! Now, is it OK if I substitute ground turkey for the Soy Crumbles? The recipe sounds wonderful!!!!

12:21 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Suzy- ranch dip is a must.

laoch- I hope you try it and like it.

nejyerf- I'll post the flummery recipe. We had it last night and I give it thumbs up!

bdogg- I was never a sloppy joe fan, either, but I love these. The kale takes longer to cook than spinach because it's denser. Maybe you could just chop it (discard the thick stems at the bottom). and sauté it with some minced garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Can I come over?

tiki hut- now there's a variation I haven't tried. I'll try to remember for next time. Do you use the broccoli in the sauce or as a topping?

bookworm- you could do it! Really easy, I promise. And it only takes one pan.

Serious- sure, you can use turkey. Sometimes I use less of the soy crumble and supplement with lentils.

8:06 AM  
Blogger bdogg_mcgee said...

Liz - I'll set a place for you, Mike, & Alex! :)

12:35 PM  
Blogger Life in a tiki hut said...

on the side, kinda. Like its not mixed in or put on top but at times i put the joes and the broccoli on the same fork. if that makes any sense

5:54 PM  
Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

mmmm, yummy. zucchini. I am so hungry right now. Good Sloppy Joes are important and well worth kudos.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

And suddenly I adore you more. What with the soy crumbles and all. Veggie friendly sloppy joes. You're my idol.

2:50 PM  

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