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Recreate Your Favorite Food Memories

Karin Schaefer | November 15, 2018

Food can trigger memories in your mind and take you back to a place in time (wait, this sounds like a song). As we all struggle with how to make family time more meaningful, the dinner table is a great place to start. Consider a few of these great beef dishes to be part of family traditions for years to come. 

There seems to be no family gathering, party or celebration without a crockpot of sloppy joes. That first bite of a soft bun with decadent beef will bring me back to childhood and of course, make me grab a napkin. But why not make this a staple weekday evening meal? This recipe offers up Sloppy Joes, five different ways (traditional, southwest, Asian, Hawaiian and Moroccan). Making each Sloppy Joe recipe fun an new, each time. Get the kids involved and ask them what variation they want.

Mongolian Beef Sloppy Joes

There seems to be no family gathering, party or celebration without a crockpot of sloppy joes. That first bite of a soft bun with decadent beef will bring me back to childhood and of course, make me grab a napkin. But why not make this a staple weekday evening meal? This recipe offers up Sloppy Joes, five different ways (traditional, southwest, Asian, Hawaiian and Moroccan). Making each Sloppy Joe recipe fun an new, each time. Get the kids involved and ask them what variation they want. Today we have Moroccan Sloppy Joes. The flavors are unexpected and unfamiliar but they work so well together!

Classic American Beef Goulash

I went to a small elementary school that did not offer hot lunch. It wasn’t until middle school that we experienced the cafeteria. Most of my classmates dreaded the day the school served ‘goulash’. I just couldn’t understand why they didn’t like this amazing dish. But, we can improve upon it. Instead of using elbow macaroni, class it up with ‘cavatappi’ noodles. They hold their shape better and the ridges absorb more of the sauce. The best part of all, this is a one-pot meal, making for easy breezy clean up. One bite of this comfort food takes me right back to the middle school, braces and all. 

pizza

Growing up, my family had a tradition of celebrating each Friday night with homemade pizza and TGIF on KSTP. Does anyone else remember Steve Urkel? This is a tradition that I have carried on with my husband and kiddos. Homemade pizza doesn’t have to be complicated, and it can be a great way to incorporate veggies into the dish. This recipe combines traditional marinara sauce with steamed veggies to make a nutritious sauce. Then, we top this with a ground beef oregano blend, cherry tomatoes and cheese. 

A tip I will share is that homemade dough is SO EASY and makes all the difference in homemade pizza. Here is my fool-proof recipe:  

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  •  1 cup warm water 105-110 degrees F 
  • 1 TBS sugar 
  • 1 TBS active dry yeast 
  • 1 TBS olive oil 
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour* 
  • 1 tsp salt 

A stand mixer with a dough hook works best, but you can also just use your hands. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let that rest for 5-10 minutes. You will see it start to bubble. This is the yeast growing (a good sign). Then add the oil, salt and flour. Depending on the weather temperature and humidity, it may require a bit more flour. Let this rest and proof for about 15 minutes. Then roll out on a pan (pizza stone works great), add toppings and bake at 450 degrees (super hot) for 15-20 minutes. 

All of these recipes utilize ground beef which is the most affordable, versatile and convenient cut of beef. Another quick tip is brown the ground beef all at once for a week’s worth of meals. This can be huge time saver. 

Now go out and make some wonderful family food memories…with beef, of course. 

See all of the recipes in action on Karin's Twin Cities Live appearance here!