When I hear the words “back to school”, I immediately think back to my childhood, and remember both the excitement and dread that filled me. I was always excited to go back and see friends that I hadn’t seen over the summer, and I enjoyed school (usually), but it also meant early mornings and homework. Here’s a photo of me on my first day of school, getting off the school bus for the first time. That was a long time ago!
One of my favorite things about school, though, was coming home. My mom always had homemade cookies as an after school snack for me and my brothers and sister. They weren’t made fresh every day; she usually made 10 dozen or more cookies at once, so they lasted awhile (hopefully!). To this day, whenever I smell fresh baked cookies, it makes me think of home.
So today, I’d like to share some back to school treats with you, along with a quick and easy dinner. With six children, quick and easy dinners were the norm for my mom. We had tacos, sloppy joes, spaghetti and more as our typical weeknight dinners. Sloppy Joes were one of my favorites growing up. My mom usually added a can of pork and beans to it, in order to stretch it a little further, and give it a little extra flavor. Give this Family Pleasing Sloppy Joes recipe a try if you’re looking for a good one. You can even do it in the slow cooker if you know you’ll be pressed for time later in the day!
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-1/4 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 8 sandwich buns, split
- In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is
- no longer pink; drain. Stir in the ketchup, water, brown sugar,
- vinegar, salt, mustard, chili powder and allspice. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until heated
- Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture onto each bun. Yield: 8 servings.
And what about the treats, right? One of my favorite cookie recipes of all time is Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. They have dry pudding mix in them, and I like to change things up every once in awhile by doing chocolate or butterscotch pudding.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add
- eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
- pudding mix and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually
- add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and
- walnuts (dough will be stiff).
- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking
- sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 9-1/2 dozen.