Tasty Tuesday #2- Smothered Steak

I’ve said it before- its kind of the motto of my life- but I’m always on the go.  Sometimes -by the time we get home and get dinner started- its well past when we should be eating, and if its TOO late, we end up spending money on yet another meal of take out.  Meals like this week’s featured meal are my go-to meals when I know that we’re likely to be gone for any length of time.

There’s really nothing about this meal that is really difficult, and in the end, it comes out great.  It just takes a few minutes to prep, and by the time you’re ready for dinner, its ready for you.

Smothered Steak
2 lbs cube steak
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can (4 oz) sliced mushrooms
2 med. onions cut into half moon slices
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1 tbsp dried parsley
salt (about a tsp spoon)
pepper (about the same)
a couple tbsp flour for dusting
Combine pepper, parsley, salt, and flour.  Lightly dredge the cube steak in the flour mixture.  It doesn’t need to be caked on- you aren’t doing this to make some sort of crust.  If you put too much on, it will just make it gummy once its cooked.
Add the half moon slices from one of the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place steak in slow cooker on top of the onion.  Place the rest of the onion on top of the cube steak.
Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the steak and onions.
Cover and cook on LOW for 6 or so hours- until it becomes super tender.  If you try to pull a piece off and it doesn’t tear easily, leave it in til its ready.  You can do it on HI in a pinch, but I recommend you try to plan ahead enough so you can always put it on LOW.
We’ve served it with rice when mashed potatoes would take too long, but -let’s face it- mashed tators are AMAZING with anything that has a gravy.

Friday’s Writing Prompt: A Memorable Recipe

Mama’s Losin’ It
Mama’s Losing It: 3.) Share a family favorite childhood recipe.

I remember, when I was younger, one of the meals my mom liked to make for us was Chicken and Dumplings- and she was good at it.

And I remember there was a moment during my childhood that my mom made Chicken and Dumplings EVERY day for about a week.  We- my siblings and I- recounted this memory many years later and my mom denied it, but we remembered.

The thing about the Chicken and Dumplings, though, is out of all the meals I had growing up, that’s the meal that sticks out- and not because we nearly demanded a new dish after repeated servings of it.  Its not flashy; its not exotic; but if you were to ask me to define my childhood in a meal, that would be it:

  • warm
  • satisfying
  • comforting
  • seemingly ordinary, yet profoundly extraordinary
  • simple
  • homey
  • and, at times, repetitive

The amazing thing about the “simple” dishes, though, is the fewer the ingredients, the bigger the chance of screwing it up.  Remembering my tasty childhood memories, I wanted so badly to share this meal with my in-laws once I was married and -let’s just say- while it wasn’t a “crash and burn”, it WAS a lesson learned.

I’m proud to say that the years have been good to my cooking chops, so the recipe that follows is now only in my recipe book purely for the memories.  The real recipe I hold in my heart.

Chicken and Dumplings
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 3-4lb roaster chicken
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 cup milk+2 tbsp cornstarch (for thickening power)

Put chicken in a large pot.  Cover COMPLETELY with water.  Add bay leaves and allow it to come to a boil.  Add a couple of LARGE dashes of salt (remember- the chicken and veggies don’t come packed with their own flavoring, so salt now and then re-taste later to see if it needs more!), pepper (to YOUR taste preference), thyme and rosemary.  Set to med. heat for 45-60 minutes or until the chicken is falling off the bone.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.  Remove any pieces of skin that might be floating in the pot by itself- boiled skin isn’t really tasty.  If you’re particularly “choosy” (such a better word than picky, don’tcha think?), you can strain all the stock to get out any “floaties”.  If you want thicker soup, now is the time to add the milk/cornstarch slurry.  If I were you, I’d add a little at a time.  You won’t see the full thickening power until the soup comes to a boil, so do this part SLOWLY.

Add diced veggies to the pot.  While veggies are cooking, shred the chicken (it should be cool enough to touch without burning yourself).  Once the veggies are tender, add the chicken and remove the bay leaves.  Taste it now, because it becomes MUCHO difficult once the dumplings are crowding the pot.

And NOW- its time to make the dumplings.

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cups milk

Stir until a soft dough forms.  Drop spoonfuls into the boiling stew; reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes; cook covered for 10 minutes.

Now EAT.

Tasty Tuesdays #1: Lemon Crisps

Ok, so its really kind of sad that in my profile description, I talk about how much a love to cook and bake to save my sanity (and when THAT doesn’t work, THAT’S when I write), but YET- I haven’t posted any of my favorite recipes.

I know- I’m in awe, too.

But, never fear, I’m changing that now. I’m combining my love for sanity, cooking, baking, and writing and I’m turning it into

I know- there are a million Blog Hops out there by that name (one of which is found on one of my FAVORITE sites to visit: Voiceboks), but this isn’t a blog hop. I HAVE hops that I do- including my Thankful Thursday hop- but I wanted to write a post JUST about food.

Recipes I love.

Recipes I’m trying for the first time.

Recipes passed down from generation to generation.

You know- food. And who doesn’t LOVE food?

So, for my first ‘Tasty Tuesday’, I wanted to post one of my husband’s favorite cookies I’ve made.

Its really nothing special- its actually one of the easiest things I’ve done.  It was out of shear desperation for a different kind of cookie that I decided to try this one.  But sometimes, the best things in life are the simplest things.

Occasionally I’ll sell batches of cookies to my husband’s co-workers- like when they don’t want to bake during that hectic time of the year, they’ll ask me to do it for them, and I happily oblige.


Because cooking and baking help to keep me sane.

Have you read nothing so far?

Anyways, one of them- or maybe it WAS my husband- had asked if I made any lemon cookies.  I hadn’t, but I had lemon cake mix… and would you looky here?  There was a recipe for Lemon Crisps using the cake mix!  Awesome!

Now, given, I’m not the type to see a recipe and follow it verbatim.  I’ve even *gasp* tweaked a 100 year old recipe for Spanish Rice (I’ll post that recipe later) because, well, I can.  But, for the most part, this recipe is the one I found.  I just wanted to share it.  If you try it and you like it, I’d love your feedback.  If you don’t, well, that’s not gonna happen unless you hate lemon… in which case, you won’t try it anyways unless you’re tryin’ to spite me.

Lemon Crisps
1 pkg. lemon cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
Heat oven to 375*.
In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients; stir until thoroughly moistened.  shape dough into 1 in. balls.
Dip the bottom of a cup in sugar to flatten the balls (I usually have a damp folded paper towel nearby to help the sugar stick to the glass a little better).
Bake for 5-7 minutes- until the edges are a light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on the baking sheet and then move to a cooling rack.

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Drizzle over the cooled cookies.

Enjoy!  And, remember, if you have a recipe you’d like the rest of the blog-o-verse to  know about, email me and I’ll post it here!