Yesterday we had 10 friends and their kids over for a euchre tournament. My husband and I enjoy playing cards, and we have a lot of friends who do too. Sometimes we just play with one or two couples. But yesterday, there were 12 of us playing. We had three tables set up, with two couples at each table. After we all finished a round, one couple from each table moved to the another. That way each of the couple-teams got to play at least one game with all of the other couples. It was loads of fun.
Including kids, we had 22 people over. The whole time all the parents were playing cards, the kids were all upstairs, playing video games, ping pong, board games, etc. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.
Before the euchre tournament officially began, we all had dinner together. It needed to be something simple to prepare for a crowd. I made sloppy joes in the crock pot. My guests brought salads and chips and dips. It couldn’t have been easier than that.
Now when it comes to sloppy joes, my hubby is quite particular. He doesn’t like sloppy joes that are too ketchupy, too vinegary, too sweet, or too sloppy for that matter. Several years ago, I found a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens’ All-Time Favorite Crockery Recipes cookbook, and tweaked that a bit. He really likes that recipe…and our guests said they did too. I like it because it’s another do-ahead entrée that I can put together in the morning, and my food prep’s done. Here’s the recipe:
Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
3 ½ pounds lean ground beef
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
3 tsp. crushed garlic
¼ cups ketchup
3 T. dark brown sugar
¼ cup prepared mustard
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 T. (heaping) chili powder
16 to 24 hamburger buns, toasted
Brown ground beef, onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic together in large skillet. Drain grease, and then spoon into a large crockery cooker. Add brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder. Cook on low, for 6 to 8 hours. Spoon into toasted or steamed hamburger buns. Makes 16 to 24 sloppy joes (depending on the size hamburger bun you are using).