Evil Rob’s Overly Complicated Sloppy Joes

(My dad’s sloppy joes involved a mustard-based sauce. Evil Rob took it upon himself to tinker with the recipe and this is the result—in his words.)

1 lb Ground Beefs
1 Red Bell Pepper – diced
1/2 Yellow Onion – diced

Red Wine Vinegar
2 TBS Tomato Paste
“The Yellow Stuff”
Wosterosterostershirer Sauce

1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup Chicken Stock

Garlic Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Mustard

Cooking Oil
Hamburger Buns (Potato if you got ’em)


In a bowl mix the ground mustard with about 1 tsp of the Vinegar and 1 tsp of the Wour…stuff sauce—and let it sit until we get back to it.

So you take your beefs and put them in a medium-high skillet with a tiny droozle of cooking oil.

Break up the beefs and start browning—this should look crumbly.

Stir in the BBQ Sauce for some sweetness—and some Garlic Salt for some “season”

Cook until fully browned—then toss in your diced veggies (and a splash more oil if your beefs is lean) and start em cooking down—turn down the heat to medium if it seems to be frying rather than cooking down gently.

Take the ground mustard sauce and the tomato paste and also mix that in as well.

Once the veggies look like they’re softening, start adding the Yellow Stuff in small doses while stirring it in—once you get a yellowish tinge… time to stop with that.

Throw in the stock, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes—then turn down to lowish heat.

OK—now to add the finishing flavors—hit it with the ketchup (and a little more of the yellow stuff if you so wish) until it starts just “hanging together” as you stir it. A lot of this will depend on how lean the beefs was.

Give it a splash of the vinegar and the Woooooster Sauce as well as the cinnamon, some black pepper and a bit more garlic salt. Cover and cook for just a few minutes more while you toast the buns.

This can either be served open-face, but should also have enough “hang together” to give a satisfying sandwich experience.

For variations with a little more ooomph, add a diced and seeded Jalepeno along with the other Veg, or swap out about half the Yellow Stuff with Dijon… or just throw in some red pepper flake. Maybe add 1/4 diced mini dill pickles along with the ketchup. Maybe a kitchen sink would work well as a garnish.

Broiled Salmon Steaks

You will need:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
4 salmon steaks (1 per person; scale this recipe as needed.)

1/2 medium roasted red bell pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/8 tsp salt (or a few turns from a sea salt grinder)

In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and mustard. Brush over salmon steaks; cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. (Or marinade in a ziploc bag.) Broil salmon in pan lined with foil, turning once, until flaky, about 5 or 6 minutes. Serve immediately and watch for bones.

For the sauce, blend the roasted red pepper until smooth; add the yogurt, sour cream, tarragon, and salt and blend until just combined. Serve over salmon or in the cleaned lemon peel (cut a sliver of peel off the bottom to make it flat.)

Orzo Salad

You will need:

1 & 1/2 boxes orzo
1 & 1/2 bunches green onions, chopped
3/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill
7 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, or 2 lbs imitation crab

1 & 1/2 English hot house cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4 in pieces (regular cucumbers can be substituted)
2 baskets cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 hot house cucumber, sliced into rounds
Fresh dill sprigs

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Add green onions, feta cheese, chopped dill, lemon juice and oil; mix well. Cook shrimp in large pot of boiling salted water until pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to cool; drain well. Mix into salad. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Mix cucumber pieces and 3/4 of cherry tomatoes into salad. Transfer to clean large bowl. Arrange cucumber slices and remaining chery tomato halves around edge of bowl. Garnish salad with dill slices and serve.

Sunshine Breakfast Cookies

You will need:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup room-temperature butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp light molasses (dark if that’s all you have)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (instant oatmeal doesn’t work)
1 cup (or more) chopped dried fruit— apricots, cranberries (soak in a few tablespoons of water or juice first), raisins, or whatever

Preheat oven to 350º; grease baking pans or line with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon; mix. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy; add egg, molasses, and vanilla, mix until fluffiness returns. Add flour mixture until combined. Fold in dried fruit.

Drop dough on sheets; allow room to spread. Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes five dozen tiny cookies or a couple dozen robust-sized ones. The larger sizes tend to fall apart as you eat them, so proceed with caution.

Make it gluten free! All you have to do is substitute oat flour for the all-purpose flour—and you can even make your own oat flour by grinding up oats in a food processor. (If you have instant oatmeal, this is a great way to use it up. You should not be eating instant oatmeal. It’s like paste.)