SLOPPY JOE’S + ADULTHOOD + ROCKING THE VOTE

When I was little I went through a Manwich phase. My mom avoided buying pre-packaged food products, but somehow the PR people at Manwich convinced me that it was the best meal you could have. So, for a few birthdays, I requested Manwich. Not just sloppy joe’s, but specifically Manwich sloppy joe’s. Now that I am older I find this really funny and can’t say I have eaten Manwich more than four times in my life and not in the last ten years. I did however have a sloppy joe at a work potluck last week and ever since I have been on a mission to find a homemade version that puts Manwich to shame. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman, I found my version. The green pepper adds some crunch, there is just a little sweetness with the light brown sugar and I used turkey to make it a little healthier. I tweaked her recipe a bit and I also halved it for one pound of meat since I live alone (no offense, Winnie). I also never use ketchup and once served someone really old ketchup when I lived in STL. Embarrassing moment and now I try to have it on hand for those guests that have to have ketchup with any kind of potato. I am a fan of Bru Burger’s homemade ketchup – I can down obscene amounts of it.

I have had a lot of ‘excitement’ the past two weeks and I have thought quite a bit about how to put it into (appropriate) words. So, here it goes: ADULTHOOD. I would like to think I have been pretty independent since high school, college, and immediately after college. While I have amazing parents that are way too nice to me, I have always taken responsibility for my actions, behavior, life choices, and functioning like an adult on a daily basis. However, this past year has really made me reflect on the kind of people that I want in my life and who I want to be. I am even more secure with who I am and I had to learn some painful lessons from other people.

I am a big believer in God putting you in situations that he knows you can handle and my goodness, God has a great sense of humor and trusts that I will make it to the other side. More to come on this subject, but in the meantime, I am proactively making yet another change in my life and can’t wait for what is to come. Until then, fifteen days until Paris and celebrating my last year in my 20’s! Prepare yourself for a full re-cap of macaroons, wine, bread, and all the carbs sometime in December.

“Hello, my name is Libby and I am an American in Paris. I was told that my Converse and ballet flats would not cut it.” #pumpedupkicks

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To make my week even more exciting, I purchased my first ever large appliance. No hand me downs here! I did my homework and knew I wanted the steam feature. I don’t like to iron and while I do have a steamer, I would much rather just throw my pants in the dryer for a few extra minutes. The Lowe’s man was not having it – he was not a Samsung fan and highly encouraged me to get the Whirlpool non-steam option. Well, sassy Libby was in the house and I was determined to get the red, shiny, steam automatic, glorious Samsung washer and dryer stackable set. In a timely fashion too. I don’t want to be the smelly kid for too long.

I am easily excited, which makes life a whole lot better and I cannot wait to do laundry. Remember that the little things can add up to be the big things. The adorable older man in a wheelchair at my polling place that helped me put my ballot in the machine and asked how my day was = a little thing. The Bru Burger staff that remembers my name and makes me feel welcome = a little thing. Happy Tuesday texts from a friend because it is Tuesday = a little thing. I have countless examples of little things, but all of them combined are what keeps me going when others try to get you down. “If someone treats you like shit, just remember that there is something wrong with them, not you.” Excuse the language, but it is necessary. Treating someone poorly is a reflection of how that person feels about themselves. It has nothing to do with you.

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One of my favorite holidays just passed: Election Day. The nerd in me loves it and I encourage everyone to vote no matter how insignificant you think the races are in a given year. Every vote really does matter and you have no right to complain if you do not vote! I wore my vintage Ralph Lauren flag sweater, did my two mile (round trip) hike to IPS, and got my sticker. Mission accomplished!

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SLOPPY JOE’S

Recipe via the Pioneer Woman (and tweaked by Libby)

  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  • eyeball some Sriracha if you are feeling sassy
  • rolls, buns or toast

Cook the meat in a large pan with some olive oil. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Toast your bread and top with the sloppy joe mixture.

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