Monday, March 2, 2015

Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy


        Hamburger Steaks:
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
        Brown Gravy:
  • 2 tbsp pan drippings
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 cup beef stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Combine the hamburger steak ingredients together with hands until seasoning is evenly mixed, but keep in mind to not over work the meat
  2. Shape meat into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch thick
  3. Heat large pan over medium-high heat
  4. Once hot, cook beef patties on each side for about 4-5 minutes for a nice sear; set aside on plate
  5. Reduce heat to medium
  6. Pour out drippings in a cup, place 2 tbsp of drippings back into pan and discard remaining (if not enough grease is available, use bacon grease or butter to make up for what are you missing)
  7. Whisk flour into the pan until combined; continuing whisking 3-4 minutes or until roux is medium brown in color
  8. Add in beef stock and continue whisking 2-3 minutes or until gravy starts to thicken slightly; add salt and pepper
  9. Add beef to gravy and reduce heat to med-low for 10-15 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked and gravy is thickened
  10. Serve over mashed potatoes

My Thoughts:
Wow!  I thought this recipe was fantastic, even with its simplicity.  This is just an all around great home comfort food dinner.  Easy, cheap, and filling...sounds like dinner to me!


North Dakota Dinner


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • seasoning salt, to taste
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 (15 oz) can creamed corn
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Brown beef with seasoning salt; drain
  3. In a greased 3 quart casserole dish, evenly layer half the meat, followed by half the potatoes; repeat layers
  4. In a medium bowl, combine corn and milk
  5. Pour mixture over casserole
  6. Scatter chunks of butter over top
  7. Cover, and bake for 1 1/2 hours

My Thoughts:
This is a meal that has been served within my family for well, a long time.  Not sure where the original recipe came from, but pretty sure Grandma brought it into the family.  This really is a fantastic recipe and a great way to use up leftover potatoes.


Source:  I suppose North Dakota? lol

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops


  • 4 (1/2 inch thick) pork chops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, combine Parmesan, bread crumbs, pepper, and garlic powder
  3. Rub pork with olive oil and dredge into mixture; press coating onto chops  so they are well covered
  4. Line pan with foil and spray with cooking spray or grease foil
  5. Place pork chops on pan and bake for 40-45 minutes


My Thoughts:
This is a tasty and easy way to prepare pork chops for a hectic weekday dinner.  It is a simple coating for delicate pallets and keeps the pork nice and moist.


Source:  Just A Pinch

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Italian Dressing Mix


  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dry basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley
  • 1 tbsp salt

  1. Combine all ingredients together (blend together is spice grinder if desired)
  2. Use 2 tbsp of mix to equal one packet of store bought Italian seasoning mix
  3. To prepare dressing, mix together: 2 tbsp seasoning, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2/3 cup olive oil

My Thoughts:
I have no used this as actual dressing, but so far, it works great for a substitute for the store bought version


Creamy Orzo with Chicken


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken beast (more if desired), cut into cubes
  • seasoning salt, to taste
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb orzo pasta
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 or 2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley

  1. Prepare orzo as directed on package.  When pasta is ready, save 1 cup of water from cooked noodles; set aside
  2. While orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat\
  3. Once hot, cook chicken with seasoning salt until mostly done
  4. Stir in mushrooms and thyme, cooking about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated
  5. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant
  6. Add cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted and everything is coated
  7. Stir in reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer; add salt and pepper
  8. Add orzo, Parmesan, tomatoes, lemon juice, and parsley; stir until thick and creamy

My Thoughts:
I made this dish a couple times, mainly because the original has aspects to it that didn't work for my family.  This is a filling and flavorful pasta dish that keeps the family happy.  You can easily add or alter vegetables, which makes this a great meal for any family.


Source: adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole


  • 1 (6 oz) package long grain and wild rice mix (or mix your own)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup -or- homemade version
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dry basil
  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare rice mix according to package directions
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat and saute onion and celery until tender
  4. Stir in soup, sour cream, broth, and basil; along with cooked rice and chicken
  5. Transfer mixture to a 2 quart baking dish and sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until heated through

My Thoughts:
This recipe is a pretty standard rice casserole and great for using up leftover chicken or turkey from Thanksgiving.  It is very thick and creamy, definitely comfort food.


Source:  Midwest Living

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup


  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dry parsley
  • dash of paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup flour

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together broth and seasonings along with 1/2 cup of milk; bring to a boil
  2. Meanwhile, stir remaining 1 cup of milk and flour together in a separate bowl until well mixed
  3. Add a little bit (roughly 1/4 cup) of hot broth to the milk/flour mixture just to warm it and give a stir
  4. Slowly pour flour mixture into boiling broth, stirring constantly
  5. Whisk briskly while mixture thickens and boils
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool
*For storing:  Refrigerate in an air tight container or freeze in a seal-able freezer bag
**yields about two cans worth of (10.75 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup


My Thoughts:
I have a handful of recipes that i grew up with that i will not make because they contain cream of soups; and to be honest, their ingredients scare the crap outta me.  So I am RELIEVED to find and alternative to 'cream of chemical' soups!  Now, lets be reasonable....this does NOT taste like the traditional Campbell's can that we are all use to...but it is a fantastic alternative!  No complaints from this lady!  Since it makes two cans worth, I freeze half the batch  (just thaw before using) and it works great.  This is really quick, easy, and I can read all the ingredients lol.


Source: A Southern Mom