Sam’s Kitchen – Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe

Here’s a first world problem… my parents went to Hawaii which means K and I have to fend for ourselves for meals. We had some sweet rolls in the kitchen and I had the bright idea to make sloppy joes. I’ve never had one before, but they always looked really delicious in the movies. Here’s a super simple recipe that literally took me 15 minutes to make.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon A1 sauce
salt and pepper to taste


In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef and onions. Drain excess liquids.

Sloppy Joe Brown Meat

Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, A1 sauce, ketchup and brown sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Sloppy Joe Add Sauces

Toast the buns and serve. Enjoy!


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Sam’s Kitchen – Quinoa with Cauliflower and Lemon Zest

Quinoa Cooked

I’ve lost so much weight since my trip to Europe (crazy, I know), I’ve been desperate to keep it off. So, I discovered quinoa, and boy, I’ve been missing out! The grain has the texture of barley, but it’s packed with protein. It’s a great replacement for rice and it’s good for you! Here’s a very simple recipe I use for my lunch. The dish is light, refreshing and filling!

Quinoa Olive OilIngredients

1/2lb quinoa
1/2 head of cauliflower broken into bite size pieces
2 lemons (zest and juice)
3tbsp good extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of cumin
Salt and pepper to taste


Quinoa Rice Cooker

When I first bought the quinoa from Whole Foods, I did a lot of research on how to cook it. The easiest way I found was to simply use a rice cooker! First wash the quinoa thoroughly and let it soak for 15 minutes. When this is done, place the grain into the rice cooker with a little less than 1 part water. The less water you use, the more bite it has.

Quinoa Cauliflower

Blanch the cauliflower so that it’s still crunchy but the raw taste is cooked out. I cooked these for 3 minutes. Immediately shock in cold water to end the cooking process.

Quinoa Zest Lemon

When the quinoa is done, place into a mixing bowl and drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice. Add lemon zest, cumin, salt, pepper and mix thoroughly. At the last minute, toss in the cauliflower and serve cold. Enjoy!

Quinoa with Cauliflower and Lemon Zest

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Sam’s Kitchen – Toasted Oatmeal

K found this recipe from for Toasted Oatmeal a while back and we’ve been wanting to try it. “Toasted oatmeal” just sounds good doesn’t it? I was really surprised at how this turned out. The flavors were unexpected. It tasted just like Japanese brown rice tea.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup Irish, Scottish, or any steel-cut oatmeal, or 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Pinch coarse salt
Infused Honey
Stewed Fruit


Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Toasted Oatmeal Butter

Add oatmeal, and toast, tossing and turning oats, until oatmeal is browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Toasted Oatmeal Browned

Add 4 cups water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until most of the water has evaporated and the oatmeal is tender, about 30 minutes for the Irish oatmeal and 10 minutes for the old-fashioned rolled oats.

Toasted Oatmeal Add Water

Serve hot with the toppings of your choice.

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Sam’s Kitchen – Beignets

Sams Kitchen Beignets

K and I cooked up a New Orleans style dinner one weekend and had to finish it off with some homemade beignets. I used this recipe from Tyler Florence that yielded a ton of beignets. more than we could eat!


3/4 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus a pinch
Pinch kosher salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 cup powdered sugar for dusting


Begin by activating the yeast. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook (or large mixing bowl) attachment add the warm water, yeast and pinch of sugar. Stir and set aside until the yeast has dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Sams Kitchen Beignet Dough

To the bowl add the 1/4 cup of sugar, salt, egg, and the evaporated milk. With the mixer on low, add half the flour and mix until just combined. Add the shortening, and then gradually add the remaining flour until the dough forms into a mass. Turn off the mixer and transfer to floured surface. Add more flour, if needed, until you have an even, medium-textured (it should be pretty firm) dough. Add the dough to a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for at least 3 to 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Sams Kitchen Beignets Rolled Dough

Sams Kitchen Beignets Cut Squares

Once rested, gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a little more flour on top so you can work with the dough. Gently shape the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle so it can be cut into squares. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut into squares, (you should yield 12 large squares, depending on how thick you rolled the dough).

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Sams Kitchen Beignets Fryer

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat, (you want to make sure there is plenty of room as the beignets will puff up when cooked) to 350 degrees F. Fry the beignets in batches, about 3 minutes per batch. Turn them in the oil while they fry to brown evenly on both sides. Remove from the oil a paper towel lined sheet pan and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining dough. To serve, transfer beignets to a serving platter and dust generously with powdered sugar. I did this the Disneyland way and dumped the beignets and powdered sugar into a paper bag and shook it up.

Sams Kitchen Beignets Power Sugar

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Sam’s Kitchen – Lemon Shaker Pie

Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie Slice

I’ve made the BEST pie I’ve ever made last weekend. I once saw a Lemon Shaker Pie in the window at a Mission Pie in SF and I knew I had to eat (or make) that pie one day. Just my luck, my parents received a Tartine cookbook for Christmas with a recipe for a Lemon Shaker Pie!

Warning: Give yourself 2 days to bake because you will need to chill your dough overnight.


Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie Recipefilling
2 medium lemons (I used Meyer lemons)
2 c. sugar (14 oz.)
flaky tart dough
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt

egg wash
1 large egg yolk
1 TBS. cream

sugar for dusting top of crust


Slice lemons paper thin with a sharp knife. I used a mandolin since I don’t trust myself with very sharp knives. It helps to chill the lemons before you cut because the cold temperature keeps the lemons firm. Remove the seeds and place the slices in a glass bowl. Do not use a metal bowl because it will react with the lemons.

Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie Raw Filling

Add sugar and stir gently, then cover and macerate for 3 hours or overnight. When using Meyer lemons, you can skip the macerating because their skins are already thin and tender.

In the meantime, prepare the tart dough in a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie Crust and Filling

When the lemons are done macerating, mix the eggs and salt until blended. Add the mixture to the lemons and pour into the pan. Brush egg wash around the rim of the bottom layer of dough.

Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie Fill Pie

Place the second round on top, trim, and seal.  Crimp to your hearts desire. Brush top with the egg wash, then dust with sugar. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, then cut vents before baking. This process is to help keep the pockets of butter in the dough cold. The plan is to have the butter melt only in the oven to achieve maximum flakiness.

Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie Raw

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until you have a nicely-browned crust. Let the pie completely cool so the filling sets. Serve at room temp or heat in the microwave for a few seconds.

Sams Kitchen Lemon Shaker Pie

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