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Monday, October 27, 2014

Tavern Sloppy Joes

There are mythical things in Iowa/South Dakota called taverns,  and everyone has an idea about how these are made. I always thought my grandma made the best, so this recipe is a bit of an homage to her.

I don't know why I was craving these lately,  but they sounded good to me. So, the traditional taverns are pretty plain meat, simple spices and not very saucy. You add mustard,  onions and pickles on the bun. My grandma's version had most of these flavors incorporated into the tavern. I updated the recipe for my tastes,  so my husband calls these "Sloppy Lisa's"...maybe they are "Tavern Vi's" after Grandma....

Tavern Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Brown hamburger in a large skillet. Add onions and green pepper,  and saute until tender. Stir in tomato soup, and remaining ingredients.  Simmer over low heat until thick, serve on buns with cheese and pickles.The version you see here are sliders served with shredded cheddar and pickled onions.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

French Pear Martini

We went out to dinner and a show awhile back, and Ray ordered a "French" pear martini before dinner. Apparently it was also a magic martini, because it vanished before I could even sip have my drink. He quickly ordered a second one and told me I had to reverse engineer a recipe for us to enjoy at home. 

After tasting it, and looking at the ingredients on the menu, it wasn't that difficult, but they are  magic, for sure ! They will magically disappear into your belly, but beware...they are very potent !

French Pear Martini

2 ounces pear flavored vodka
1/2 ounce elderflower liquer
1 ounces pear syrup (just use the juice from canned pears)
Splash of lemon soda, if desired
Fresh pear, thinly sliced for garnish

Place vodka, elderflower liquer and pear syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass. Top with chilled lemon soda if you want some bubbles. Garnish with fresh pear slice.