All throughout childhood, I hated sloppy joes, and I mean hated.

Ever the good eater, I have always vowed that I will continue to try foods that I haven't eaten or possibly even despised. I learned early on that my taste buds are capable of dramatic change. I used to hate mustard, but now I practically drown burgers and hot dogs in it. I love chocolate, but as an adolescent I couldn't stand the stuff for several months at a time. Never fear, though, I love chocolate again!

A couple of years ago, I discovered the most scrumptious recipe for sloppy joes that I have ever tasted. Since then, sloppy joes have become a staple of our household menu. Below you will find my recipe, and a couple of pictures. Definitely not the most photogenic food, but oh so gooood.

  • Pound ground beef
  • Half large sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, large and small chunks 
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Minced marinated garlic
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch black fresh ground pepper
  1. Brown ground beef with chopped onion and minced garlic. 
  2. Add oil, vinegar and tomatoes, bring to a boil
  3. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper; return to a boil
  4. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until sauce has reduced
  5. Taste test: if you want sweeter joes, add more brown sugar; if you want tangier, add more vinegar. 
I prefer my joes sweet with an upswing of tang.

A caveat about my cooking: I make everything by taste. None of my recipes are ever the same, so taste testing is essential if you choose to follow my recipes. I lay the foundation with basic ingredients and instructions, and then it is up to you to tailor the recipe toward your liking.

Because this is a blog about our life as a couple entering military life, I thought I would share a photograph with you of Jeff's preferred eating method: flipping joes upside down.

Intrigued, I inquired about why he eats this way, and he explained that they fall apart less often since the top bun tends to be thicker. Seeing some merit to the culinary argument, I gave it a try. I was an instant convert. I tend to be a messy eater when it comes to anything with a bun; burgers and hot dogs disintegrate in my hands. If you are anything like me, I highly recommend trying your joe upside down.