Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Country Style Cube Steak with Peppers and Onions

You probably already know this if you have been reading this blog, but if this is the first time reading it I have to share my extreme passion for saving money. Grocery shopping is one area that I tend to save the most money.

Along with using coupons, I will scout out the best bargain on meats as well. The supermarket that I shop has a particular time of day that they begin marking down meats and produce. I try to plan my supermarket trips around that time.

This past week I was able to get 4 large cube steak filets for $4. Growing up my mom used to flour cube steak filets and cook them in a frying pan with a dab of butter. The recipe below uses that same technique, but with a few added ingredients for more flavor. Enjoy!

Country Style Cube Steak with Peppers and Onions


4 Cube steaks
2 Tbsp flour
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Onion, julienne
1 Pepper, julienne (I used some green and red)

For the Sauce:

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
3/4 Cup beef broth
1/2 Cup water
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tsp Dijon mustard (I used honey Dijon) - optional

Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in skillet over medium heat.

In a ziploc bag combine the flour, salt and pepper. Close bag and shake to combine. Add steaks and shake to coat.

Add steaks to pan and brown on each side. Remove steaks from pan and cover with foil. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the skillet and add vegetables, cook until tender.

Remove vegetables and place under foil with steaks.

Add 1 Tbsp of butter to skillet and whisk 1 Tbsp of flour into the butter. Slowly add beef broth and continue to whisk. Continue whisking as you add Worcestershire, mustard, and water. Once you no longer see lumps add steak and vegetables back to the skillet and simmer for about 7-10 minutes.

Remove steak and top with sauce and vegetables...yummy!

I served this with spinach rice bake and green beans. My husband had two servings and said it was fantastic!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

My oldest son has such an amazing nurturing spirit. As you can see in the picture to the left he created a table, comfy chair, and a bowl full of Lego soup for his Disney panda bear. I love his attention to detail!

Here is our dinner menu plan for the week. I was unable to make the Spaghetti with Chickpea Meatballs last week because I wasn't feeling up to it after my grandpa's funeral and both my husband and my youngest came down with strep throat. I hope to get to it this week.

Have an amazing week!

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Country Style Cube Steak with Onions & Peppers, Spinach Rice Bake and Green Beans

Tuesday- Tomato Shells Soup with Spinach and Salad

Wednesday - Frito Chili Pie and Avocado Lime Black Bean Salad

Thursday - Broccoli Fettuccine Alfredo and Fruit Salad

Friday - Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Peas and Rolls

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Spaghetti with Chickpea Meatballs (recipe coming)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Creamy Refried Bean Soup

Of course when I decide to put soup on our dinner menu for the week the temperature reaches 84°. I know most of you don't eat soup when it is that hot outside, but this soup was perfect for some of our family that were sick this week.

My husband surprised me by stating that he really loved the soup.

I adapted the original for this recipe based on our favorite refried bean recipe.

Creamy Refried Bean Soup


16oz Refried bean mixture (prepared)
1 Can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2-1 Cup vegetable broth
1/2 Cup unsweetened coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat bean mixture and add tomatoes, vegetable broth, and coconut milk. Let soup simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream or avocado spread. We also added jalapenos because we like our food on the spicy side.

I served this delicious soup with baked tortilla chips.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

There is nothing I enjoy more than a great bargain. This week our local supermarket had BOGO on almost all their meats. I really stocked up on pork, beef and chicken.

Although I was able to find a lot of meats for a great price I am still sticking with my vegetarian nights for the week as well.

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Grilled Filet Mignon, Roasted Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday - PB & J Sandwiches and anything else I can find. My grandpa passed away yesterday and I will be at the funeral home with family.

Wednesday - Creamy Refried Bean Soup with Baked Tortilla Chips and Gucamole

Thursday - Herb & Garlic Marinated Chicken, Asparagus and Baked Beans

Friday - Eggs with Spinach, Bacon, Biscuits and Fruit Salad

Saturday - Eating Out

Sunday - Leftovers

Friday, March 16, 2012

Crispy Oven Fried Vegetables

Our local supermarket had zucchini and yellow squash on sale for dirt cheap this week so I picked up a few. Traditionally I saute these with olive oil and onions, but I wanted to try something different. I came across a recipe in one of my many little Pampered Chef cookbooks called Crispy Oven Fried Vegetables. I decided to give it a try since the suggested vegetables were zucchini and squash.

It was not a huge success, but definitely a different way to cook these vegetables than I normally do. I have to also say that it may have lacked some flavor because I used panko breadcrumbs instead of Italian bread crumbs (why can't I follow the recipe as it is written). Give it a try and see what you think.

These are great dipped in a cucumber dip, ranch or even sweet chili pepper sauce(my favorite).

Crispy Oven Fried Vegetables


2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
1/2 Cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 Egg white
1 Tbsp skim milk or alternative
10 Drops hot pepper sauce
3 Cups of vegetables - yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potato, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms.....

Preheat the oven to 425°

Combine parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl whisk egg white, milk and hot pepper.

Dip each vegetable in egg mixture than coat with breadcrumb mixture. Place in a single layer on a baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Spritz each vegetable with olive oil and cook for about 12-14 minutes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spinach Cheese Balls

We had a fun at our house this week with appetizer night for dinner. The kids thought it was cool and there was something for everybody.

One of the appetizer I prepared was Spinach Cheese Balls. This is a take on the traditional Sausage Cheese Balls, without the meat.

Recipe was slightly adapted from the original Betty Crocker recipe.

Spinach Cheese Balls


2 Cups fresh spinach, chopped (cooked until wilted) - it looks like a lot, but once it cooks down it really is not that much
1 Cup Heart Smart Bisquick

1 Cup mozzarella cheese

1 Cup cheddar cheese

1 Egg

1 Tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 Tsp garlic salt

1 Tsp fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Shape into 1-2 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. May be served with pasta sauce or pizza sauce.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Today was really hard trying to adjust to the Daylight Savings time change. It seemed like we lost more than an hour because Sunday flew by. However, I did find time to put together a new dinner menu plan for this week.

I hope each of you have an amazing week...spring is just around the corner!

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Apricot Dijon Pork Chops, Broiled Asparagus, and Buttered Corn (I had this meal scheduled last week, but was unable to cook it because we were at the hospital with my Grandpa)

Tuesday - Egg Drop Soup with Wontons and Edamame

Wednesday - Pressure Cooker Chicken with Rotisserie Gravy, Twice Baked Potato Casserole and Green Beans

Thursday - Appetizer Night - Spinach Cheese Balls, Crispy Oven Fried Vegetables, Deviled Eggs, and Peaches

Friday - Crock Pot Lasagna, Side Salad and Rolls

Saturday - Salmon, Fried Okra, Corn and Leftover Rolls from Friday night

Sunday - Homemade Pizza and Fresh Veggies

Friday, March 9, 2012

Frito Chili Pie

If you have not watched the Pioneer Woman on Food Network you must take some time to do so. This woman makes everything look graceful and easy. As I was watching her the other day I soon discovered why she is able to come up with such amazing meals, her children are not around. They are always outside helping on the farm.

I decided to try her recipe for Frito Chili Pie after seeing some other food blogs that recommended it and I was able to score a couple bags of Fritos for an outstanding price. I did adapt it to our family's tastes and it got a thumbs up from everyone.

Frito Chili Pie


1 lb 93% Lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 Small carrot, shredded
1/2 Green pepper, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
8 oz Tomato sauce
1/2 Rotel can
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp oregano
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder (I did 3/4 Tbsp because my 3 year old does not like anything spicy)
1 Can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 Cup water
Fritos or corn chips
Cheddar cheese or Colby/Monterey Jack, grated
Sour Cream

Brown ground beef in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and green pepper and continue to cook until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt , oregano, cumin and chili powder. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20-30 mins.

Add pinto beans and water and cook for an additional 20 mins.

Serve over corn chips, topped with cheddar and sour cream.

Kiwi Breakfast Cake

Before posting this delicious recipe for Kiwi Breakfast Cake I would like to share something with you. A few years ago I began a nighttime bible study at my church. I met a wonderful Christian lady in that study that has become an amazing friend. She is such an encourager and I am extremely grateful that God has put us together. I would like to dedicate this post to her. Melanie, thanks for allowing God to speak through you.

Melanie, I still have not made that Texas Sheet Cake you recommended, but I did make this delicious Kiwi Breakfast Cake that I hope everyone enjoys.

This recipe can be found in Rachel Ray's EveryDay magazine (the only change I made was to reduce the sugar).

Kiwi Breakfast Cake


2 Kiwis
1 Cup milk at room temperature
2 1/4 Cups flour
1 Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp cinnamon
3/4 Tsp salt
1 Stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 Cup sugar
3 Eggs

Preheat oven 350°

Slice the ends off the kiwis and press pulp from the ends through a small colander or fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of milk. This will allow the milk to curdle. Set it aside for about 10 mins.

Peel kiwis and slice very thin.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a mixer combine the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 mins. Beat in each egg, one at a time at a low speed.

Pour milk into egg mixture followed by dry mix until completely combined.

Pour batter into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet that has been buttered or sprayed with cooking spray. Completely cover the top of the batter with kiwi slices without overlapping.

Bake for about 40 mins or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bacon Roasted Turnips, Parsnips, and Carrots

As I stated in my dinner menu planning post I picked a few new recipes from the Rachel Ray magazine EveryDay to try this week.

I really went out of my comfort zone because I had Bok Choy for the first time and after making this recipe below I had Parsnips for the first time. I love trying new things...how exciting!

Bacon Roasted Turnips, Parsnips and Carrots

*adapted from EveryDay with Rachel Ray


4 Bacon slices
1 Large parsnip, chopped
1 Large carrot, chopped
1 Medium Turnip, chopped
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet. Drain on paper towels or paper bag.

Pour off fat from skillet except about 2 Tbsp. Add vegetables to the skillet and toss to coat.

Spread vegetables on baking sheet and cook until tender, about 20-30 mins (depending on how you cut the vegetables).

Toss vegetables with crumbled bacon, parsley, vinegar and salt and pepper.

This is a delicious side dish to serve with almost any meat or fish.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

I have to apologize that I have not been writing more lately. I have felt a little discouraged. When I first began this blog my intentions were to help myself as well as others with their family meal planning. In the cyber world it is hard to determine if you are in fact helping others since there is no face to face contact. If you are inspired by reading this blog I would love to hear about it.

Here is our dinner menu for the week:

Monday - Mexican Pinto Bean Casserole with Grilled Pineapple Corn Salsa

Tuesday - Eggs, Bacon, Whole Wheat Toast and a Peanut Butter Jelly Milkshake

Wednesday - Healthier Broccoli Fettuccine and Fresh Bread

Thursday - Frito Chili Pie with a Side Salad

Friday - Apricot Dijon Pork Chops with Edamame and Corn

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Kids Choice

Have a great week!