These balloons are on display at our local Fred Meyers, and I think it sums up our “Crocktober” pretty well. Dan’s daughter and her boyfriend have been crock-potting like crazy lately causing Dan to keep suggesting that I bring out our crock pot and make some yummy dishes too.

So I looked at a few recipes I had saved, bought some cheap meat, and started slow cookin’! 😉

We’ve made beef and broccoli, BBQ pulled beef sandwiches, salsa chicken, pot roast, and sloppy joes. I haven’t taken any pics, but all of the dishes were so yummy! I love BBQ anything, but my favorite might have been the sloppy joes so far (the BBQ pulled beef was a very close 2nd). And Dan seemed to like them too, he said that they were the best sloppy joes he’s had! This is a little spicy, so if you don’t like that much heat then cut back on the cayenne pepper and Siracha. 🙂

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

2 slices whole wheat bread
1/4 cup milk
1 lb ground hot Italian sausage*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (24 oz) can pasta sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Siracha
Choice of bread, buns, hoagies or rolls.

* We only had 1lb of sausage, but the original recipe called for 2lbs of ground beef. The ingredient ratios is what we used and it turned out super yummy, but feel free to use more meat and a different type if you’d like.

1. Mash together the bread and milk in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mix in the sausage until all ingredients are combined. This trick keeps the sausage moist as it cooks in the slow cooker. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet heat up the olive oil to medium high heat and cook the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the sausage mixture into the pan. As it cooks break up into small pieces. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.

4. Transfer sausage mixture to the slow cooker and stir in pasta sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and Siracha.

5. Cover and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until sausage is tender. Your cooking time may vary! Serve on your choice of bread!