Wednesday, October 28, 2015

BBQ Round Steak

Sometimes I just want something different when it comes to red now and then I will BBQ some quality Round Steak.  If you cook it low and slow it will be fall-apart tender.  Try it!

BBQ Round Steak

1 large round steak
1 cup catsup
3 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. real butter

I use a cast iron skillet to make this dish because I can stick it right in the oven.  Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place 2 Tbsp. real butter in an oven-proof pan.  Stick the pan in the oven to melt the butter. 

Meanwhile mix the BBQ sauce in a bowl:  1 cup catsup, 3 Tbsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. white vinegar and seasonings.  Whisk to combine.  Remove the pan with the melted butter from the oven and place the round steak in the pan.   Turn it over once to make sure you get some butter on both sides.  Pour the BBQ sauce over the round steak.

Place pan back in the oven and cook at 300 degrees for at least 1 1/2 hours.  Meat should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hamburger Steak with Brown Gravy

Have ground beef and don't know what to fix?  I'm often the same way.  I am always looking for different recipes.  Same-ole-same-ole gets old after a while.  Kick it up with this easy

Hamburger Steak and Brown Gravy

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup bread or cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1 large egg

Mix above well and form into large patties.  Place in a deep skillet on medium heat.  Add 1/2 whole onion, sliced thinly, 1 can beef broth and 1 can of water.

Simmer, turning patties once until broth starts to cook down and thicken.  About 15 to 18 minutes.  Remove patties to a serving plate and leave broth on the stove.   Beat 2 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch into 1/4 cup of water and pour into the broth.  Stir immediately to form a gravy.  Place patties back into the broth and remove from heat. 

Serve with mashed potatoes.

Yummy!  Enjoy...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Shortcut Swedish Meatballs

I love these Swedish Meatballs.  They are simple to make and taste fabulous!  If you aren't into making meatballs from scratch, you can buy the bagged/frozen ones to use, but be warned, they aren't as good as homemade ones.  The sauce is thick and rich and anything over pasta has to be good, right? 

Swedish Meatballs


1 lb. lean ground beef
6 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 egg
2 Tbsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. catsup

Mix ingredients well and form into balls.  Place on cookie sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until done.  Remove and drain on a paper towel.

Meanwhile, while meatballs are cooking, sauté 1/4 cup diced onion in a large stock pot with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Once onions are translucent, add the following ingredients:


1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 tsp. vinegar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings

Cook for 15 minutes or so over medium heat until starts to thicken down and then add in the meatballs.  Gently toss the meatballs to coat completely with the sauce.


In separate sauce pan, boil 1/2 pkg. of wide egg noodles in 2 quarts of water and 1 Tbsp. salt
Cook for about 12 to 14 minutes or until noodles are done.  Remove and drain.  Add noodles back into the pan (with heat off), and add in 2 Tbsp. real butter and 4 Tbsp. milk.  Toss until creamy.

Place noodles on your plate and ladle the meatball mixture on top (or you can mix it all up in the pan, your choice).

Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Breakfast

A friend of mine recently told me about using Spaghetti Squash to make a breakfast.  I had never had Spaghetti Squash.  I'd had Zucchini and yellow Squash, but never this type.  So, she sent me a recipe, and of course I mixed it up to make it my own...but it turned out really good!  Give it a's pretty healthy!

Spaghetti Squash Breakfast

1 spaghetti squash
     Scoop out insides, remove seeds and separate into strips, wash and spread out a paper towel to dry

4 slices of turkey bacon
     Chop turkey bacon into small pieces and saute' in a skillet until crispy.  Add:

2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. diced onions
Readd the spaghetti squash

Saute' all above ingredients until chicken broth cooks down and then add 2 eggs, beaten with 3 Tbsp. milk.  Stir until combined and remove from heat.  Top with 1 cup fresh grated mozzarella cheese.  Put lid on pan for about 1 minute to let cheese melt.


Note:  Don't add salt to this recipe.  It is very salty because of the chicken broth.  If you add salt, it will be way too salty!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tips on Tuesday

Good morning everyone....we are going to share some Tips on Tuesday today!  What I'm going to share today is just some little things I do around the kitchen to make my life easier.  I hope they help you in some way:

1.  Making Gravy:  Making gravy doesn't have to be hard.  Most people say their gravy turns
     out lumpy or too thick, etc.  Let's talk about making gravy for a roast....but this can work
     for any broth you have.  I think Cornstarch is one of the best products ever invented!  Let's
     say you have just made a roast and it has a beautiful broth on it.  You have some mashed
     potatoes to go along with that succulent piece of meat.  How about some gravy?  Uh no, it's
     too hard!  Well, I'm here to tell you that NO IT ISN'T.... even you can make fabulous gravy.
        step 1:  Remove the roast from the pan and set it aside to rest.  Turn the burner down to
                     medium/low so the broth remains hot.
        step 2:  In a small cup with about 1/4 cup of water in it, beat in 2 heaping tablespoons full
                     of  cornstarch. 
        step 3:  With whisk in hand, pour the cornstarch/water mixture into the broth and
                     immediately whisk, whisk, whisk.  You will find that the broth quickly thickens
                     into a beautiful gravy.  If you find it isn't thickening like you wanted (maybe you
                     have a LOT of broth)...just redo the process, slowly adding a little bit of
                     cornstarch/water at a time until it is thickened.
        step 4:  Add the roast back into the gravy and then serve

2.  Stop buying pre-bagged cheese....  Start by buying block cheese and invest in a good s
     shredder.  Shred your own cheese.  It tastes better and has less additives.

3.  Stop using margarine....margarine is mostly chemicals.  Start buying Real Butter.  You can
     buy it at Wal-mart or any grocery store.  It is more expensive, but is much healthier for you. 
     Buy the unsalted butter for recipes.

4.  Organize your kitchen by buying large jars with lids.  When I bring home boxes of pasta,
     baking mix, rice, etc., I immediately open them and put them into these large jars.  I have
     them all labeled with a label-maker and on shelves in my kitchen.  They look more attractive
     than boxes and bags and stay fresh longer.  I bought mine at the dollar store

5.  Invest in a roll of Parchment Paper.  Use it for dropping those No-Bake cookies on or for
     lining a cookie sheet when you are roasting vegetables.  Using Parchment Paper makes
     clean-up so much easier.

6.  Watch cooking shows like Food Network, etc. You will get tons of tips and ideas and new
     recipes.  There is no harm in learning from others.  If you want to be a better cook, watch  
     better cooks work.

7.  Go meat shopping on the 1st day of each month.  Most grocery stores run meat specials on
     the first day of each month.  Watch the store ads and buy those meats that are on sale. 
     Freeze them to use throughout the month.  You will save a ton of money instead of going to
     the store every time you need meat.

8.  Invest in a small chest freezer.  Most refrigerators simply don't have enough space to buy
     sale items and store them.  A small chest freezer will start at only around $159.00 or so.  A
     good investment for the cook!

9.  Don't cut meat on a wooden cutting board.  Used a hard plastic type.  Chicken especially! 
     Wooden cutting boards are great for vegetables, etc., but don't ever cut meat on them.  They
     should never be used for raw meat.  They can hold too many of the germs left over from
     cutting meat and it is really hard to ever get them clean enough.  Instead use the plastic type
     that you can scour.

10.  And finally, before you store leftovers in your refrigerator, make sure they are completely
     cooled.  Don't put away hot foods into a container. It can cause condensation and even mold
     quicker.  Cool the food completely and then put it away.

Hope I learned ya sumpin' ....thanks for reading


Monday, October 19, 2015

Taco Salad

I love this Taco Salad.  It can feed the makes a huge amount and will probably feed 6 to 8 people (depending on their portion size of course).  It has meat and salad and the sweetness of Catalina Dressing.  You'll love it!

Taco Salad

1 small head of lettuce
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups Catalina Dressing (more or less)
2 green onions, diced
1 can Kidney beans, drained
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
Crumbled up Doritos or Tostito Chips

Brown ground beef in a skillet.  During last few minutes, add taco seasoning packet and then drain well. 

Meanwhile, chop 1 head of lettuce into small bite-sized pieces and put into a very large bowl.  Dice and add 2 green onions.  Add kidney beans, hamburger and hamburger.  Toss well to mix.  Pour 1 1/2 cups Catalina Dressing over top of salad and toss to mix. 

Crumble about 3 cups of Doritos or Tostito Chips and add to salad.  Toss one more time and serve.  Top with Sour Cream.

This is a semi-cold salad, but it is very filling.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Granny Smith Apple Pancake Rings

Here is a different twist on breakfast!  The Granny Smith Apples give this a little tartness to go along with the sweet pancake batter and syrup.  My grandbabies loved these when I made them.
Granny Smith Apple Pancake Rings
1 Granny Smith Apple, core and slice apple very thinly into rings
For Pancake Batter:
     1 1/2 cups flour
     2 Tbsp. sugar
     2 tsp. baking powder
     1/2 tsp. baking soda
     1/2 tsp. salt
     1 1/4 cups of milk (more or less)
     2 eggs
     2 Tbsp. real butter
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Stir well to combine.  Beat eggs in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients.  Add the butter and then the milk by adding first 1 cup and then additional milk until it is the desired consistency.  You want it a little thick because you are going to dip the apple rings in it.
Dip an apple ring into the batter, coating both sides evenly.  Fry in a skillet with real butter or oil.  Butter just gives it a better flavor and you don't have to butter your pancakes before you add syrup.
Flip once first side is lightly browned.  Should be about 3 minutes on each side (estimating).
Remove from heat and serve with your favorite syrup.
The key to these is getting the apple rings very very thin.....They are fabulous!
If you don't like tart apples, any apple will do.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicken Pockets

This little Chicken Pockets are so easy to make and so very good.  All you need is a chicken breast or two and some refrigerator Crescent Rolls.  You have a quick meal that the kids will love...why wouldn't they, they are so cute?

Chicken Pockets

1 - 2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, cut into tiny cubes
1 pkg. refrigerator Crescent Rolls
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. basil
1/2 can cream of chicken (can be doubled, but rest of ingredients need to be doubled too)
1/4 cup water
1/2 stalk celery, diced
1 green onion, diced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cut chicken breasts into small cubes.  In skillet, over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, chicken, ground pepper, salt, basil, celery and green onion.  Sauté until chicken is done, but not crispy.  Add 1/2 can cream of chicken and 1/4 cup water.  Cook down until the sauce gets thickened.  It will need to be pretty thick to stay in the crescent rolls.

While chicken is cooking, lay out Crescent Rolls on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Press them out a little with your fingers so that they are larger.  You can buy the extra-large Crescent Rolls, which work best for this. 

Once chicken mixture is done and thickened, spoon a tablespoon-full onto the wide end of each Crescent Roll and then top with some mozzarella cheese.  Starting with the wide corners, fold them up and over the chicken, then pull the tip over and tuck under the other side, forming a pocket.  Pinch the corners together as best you can.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes or until Crescent Rolls are browned on top. 

Serve and Enjoy!  You can also take chicken salad and place them in Crescent Rolls, add cheese and bake.  Just as good!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chicken Fried Rice is such an easy and quick dish to make on one of those "in late from work" nights....  You can whip up a batch in less than 30 minutes.

Chicken Fried Rice

1 can Chicken Broth
1 cup of water
2 chicken breasts, skinless and cut into small pieces
2 green onions, diced
3 baby carrots, sliced very thinly
1/2 stalk celery - finely diced
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups instant white rice (Minute Rice)
2 eggs beaten with 2 tbsp. milk and scrambled in a separate skillet (optional)

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet and add green onions, baby carrots, celery, ginger paste and soy sauce.  Saute' for 5 to 6 minutes and add chicken pieces.  Saute' until chicken is cooked through.  Add 1 can of chicken broth and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and add rice.  Rice will cook quickly, so stir constantly.  Cook until rice is tender and cooked through.  About 5 to 6 minutes.  Add more water if it cooks down and rice isn't done yet.

You can pre-scramble 2 eggs with 2 Tbsp. milk and stir into the mixture right before serving.  This is optional.

Serve and Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Chicken Flatbread Pizza

I often make flatbreads because they are something simple that I can throw together when I get home from work.  Chicken is one of my favorite things to use on flatbread because it isn't greasy like ground beef and your flatbread can be garnished many different ways.

Chicken Flatbread Pizza

1 chicken breast, skinless, cut into small slices cooked in 2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. of  minced garlic
1 tsp. melted butter
2 diced green onions
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
1 can petite diced tomatoes (drained well)
1 large flatbread (can be purchased at the grocery or made homemade)

Chop chicken breast into small, thin slices and sauté in a skillet with olive oil.  Cook until chicken is done (about 12 to 15 minutes), remove and drain on a paper towel.

Lay out flatbread on a baking sheet (I use a stone).  Melt 2 Tbsp. minced garlic with 1 tsp. melted butter and brush over the top of the flatbread.  Using the petite tomatoes, drain well and sprinkle over the top of the garlic/butter until entire flatbread is covered with tomatoes.  Next add the chicken, green onions and finally the Mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle top with the Basil and Italian Seasonings.

Bake at 375 degrees until cheese gets bubbly and starts to lightly brown on top. 

Cut and serve!  Mostly, Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Crockpot Ground Beef Minestrone Soup

Fall is upon us.  What a great time to try out some new soup recipes.  I whipped this up the other night and got rave reviews on it from both my husband and my step-son.  It is hearty and so tasty.  Give it a try!

Crockpot Ground Beef Minestrone Soup

1 lb. ground chuck - cooked and drained
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 white onion, diced
1/2 small carrot (or 6 baby carrots), sliced in long thin pieces
2 cloves minced garlic
1 stalk celery, diced
1 can whole potatoes - drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
1  28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1  15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can beef broth
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. Oregano
1/4 cup spaghetti noodles that have been broken into small pieces

Cook ground chuck and drain well.  Add to crockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the spaghetti.  You will add it last.

Cook spaghetti noodles in boiling, salted water for about 10 minutes.  Drain and add these to the crockpot.  

Turn crockpot on high and cook for about 3 to 4 hours.  You can cook this all day if you want to put it on low and cook it 6 to 8 hours.

Note:  If you want, you can use 2 medium potatoes instead of canned potatoes, but you will need to dice them in cubes and boil them for about 10 minutes before adding them to the crockpot.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Honey Bacon Bread

Sometimes you just want something sweet in the morning.  Cinnamon rolls are fantastic, but take quite a while to make from scratch.  And of course, we want our bacon, right?  Well, try this yummy recipe for a quick and sweet breakfast that adds the bacon we crave!

Honey Bacon Bread

1 lb. bacon
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and spray it generously with cooking spray.  Unroll the package of crescent rolls into one long rectangle.  Carefully press the edges of the triangles together and continue to press it outward until it is as thin as possible.  Make sure all of the edges stay together.  Pick the dough with a toothpick all over.  Set aside.

Chop the bacon with a knife and then cook it until it is just a little less than crispy.  It will finish cooking in the oven.  Drain on a paper towel. 

Drizzle the with the 1/2 honey and then sprinkle 1/2 of the brown sugar evenly over the top.  Add the bacon pieces and then drizzle again with the honey and top with the rest of the brown sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature and then cut into chunks or squares to serve.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Crockpot London Broil Roast

There is nothing like coming home at the end of a long day to smell dinner in the crockpot.  Normally, if I have time, I cook my roast on the stovetop, but when I know I am going to have a long day, often, I will throw a roast in the crockpot and let it cook all day.   Add some potatoes and carrots and you have an entire meal ready when you walk in the door.

Crockpot London Broil Roast

1 large London Broil (1 1/2 to 3 lbs.)
1/2 stick real butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1/4 medium onion, sliced thinly
6 medium potatoes cut in quarters (peeled or unpeeled, your choice)
1 small bag of baby carrots
1 stalk of celery, sliced in small pieces

Set crockpot on Low. Place roast in bottom of crockpot and add butter, pepper and soy sauce.  Cover with just enough water to come to the top of the roast.  Cut potatoes into quarters and place in the crockpot around the sides of the roast.  Dump bag of baby carrots and the sliced celery.  Place the lid on the crockpot.  I have one of those types that the lid locks down.   They are really good because they lock in the steam.  Allow to cook for 6 to 8 hours.  The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.  I recommend 8 hours.

Don't leave out the butter.  The butter is the key to any roast.  It will keep it moist and it will literally fall apart. 

When buying a roast, watch the amount of fat on the roast.  You need a good amount of fat to add flavor, but you don't want one that has too much fat. 

Sometimes a roast can tend to be gristly so try to get a good cut.  My favorite is this London Broil.

In case you are wondering, you don't need salt with this recipe because of the soy sauce.  It is salty enough.  It is also a natural meat tenderizer.  So, with meat, switch to soy sauce instead of Worcestershire for a more tender result.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pan Fried Broccoli

Honestly, I am not a big Broccoli eater, but when I fixed this, my husband said it was fabulous.  Most people steam broccoli, but if you chop it up and pan fry it, there is a whole different flavor.

Pan Fried Broccoli

1  12 oz. bag of frozen Chopped Broccoli - thawed
2 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. Badia Complete Seasoning

Melt butter in a hot skillet.  Once butter has melted, add thawed broccoli to pan and season with ground pepper and Badia Complete Seasoning.  Badia can be purchased as almost any grocery store.  If you can't find it in your area, you can just add 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. Italian Seasonings and the ground pepper.

Cover with a lid and cook about 15 minutes.  Open lid every 3 to 4 minutes and stir the broccoli to be sure it is not sticking.  Slivered almonds (about 2 Tbsp.) can be added if you like.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Macaroni & Cheese From Scratch

Readers, I will be on vacation next week, so won't be posting regularly.  However, I may try to post some reviews from some of the fabulous places I eat.  Stay tuned!

I promise you, if you once make Macaroni & Cheese from scratch, you will never buy the box stuff again.  My grandbabies absolutely love it made from scratch.  And it is so easy, why wouldn't you?  Try this recipe, I guarantee you that you will be sold!

Macaroni & Cheese

2 cups of macaroni
1 Tbsp. real butter
2" thick block of Velveeta cheese
1/4 cup evaporated milk (more or less)
1 Tbsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. sea salt + 1 tsp. salt

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a pan.  Add 1 tsp. salt and the macaroni.  Boil until macaroni is fork tender (but not mushy).  Drain and put macaroni back into the pan. 

Turn heat down to low and add 1/4 cup evaporated milk (more or less, depending on how creamy you want it), 1 Tbsp. real butter, 1 Tbsp. ground pepper and 1 Tbsp. sea salt.  Cut 2" block of Velveeta cheese into chunks and drop into pan. 

Cook, while stirring constantly, until all cheese has melted.  Add more milk if necessary until the dish is creamy.

Serve.... Enjoy!