Good Evening!
I am so excited to share this meal with all of y’all! I had so much fun cooking it along with my siblings, Ike 4, Amanda 11 and Lydia 13 in the kitchen that houses so many sweet memories of my teen years. The counters and stove where I cooked for hungry cowboys; got wild ideas for new recipes and cried and laughed at ideas that worked, and then those that flopped. Stayed up late on summer nights cleaning up the kitchen at 11 p.m. because we’d all been at the arena until after dark and all of us were starving and needing something good to eat. Yes if this kitchen could talk the stories it could tell.

This meal will be a crowd pleaser, especially a ‘guy pleaser’ I promise. When I asked what anyone wanted for lunch, brother Griffin asked for chicken fried steak, so I decided he needed a lil’ spoilin’! Since this beefonabudget, well I’m DROPPING the chicken and just calling it “Easy Fried Steak”. Chicken really does not need to be in my vocabulary! Another twist, besides changing the name, is not serving it with mashed potatoes. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE eats that combo, and well frankly I’m ready for something different. So quick trip to the family pantry, and beta carotene comin’ up!

I grew up very southern; it is evident by my southern voice, and the foods I love to cook like, sweet potatoes, hominy, green beans, gravy and many more down home southern comfort foods. This is one of the many ways that Anna-Lisa and I differ; she grew up in a Swiss-Italian heritage, with many dishes that I have never heard of, and some of the things that I cook and crave to eat, she has not heard of. Both of our heritages are very important to Anna-Lisa and I. Because I feel where you come from, the traditions you grew up define and mold you and how you go about life. Food plays a major role in how we carry out  our family heritages in my family, and I would  love to know what foods keep you and your family connected to your heritage. Comments make my day and I would love to hear about them!

So enjoy the piece of heaven that I got to enjoy today with the people I love most!


Easy Fried Steak | Never Fail Gravy | Sweet Potato Chips | Southern Green Beans | Apricot Bars

EasyFried Steak

1 pound Tenderized Round Steak
2 Eggs
1 T. Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 small casserole pans
Hot Griddle

Okay, this is easy I promise, because if it was not, I’d not cook it! No measuring in this, you do enough bread the meat. In one casserole add milk and eggs, whisk together. In another bowl add flour and the Montreal Steak Seasoning, and stir together. (This gives it a neat taste that I really think you will like. If you do not have it on hand you can simply add salt and pepper or omit it all together.)

 Take your steak, dip completely in the milk and egg mixture, and transfer to the flour and Montreal, cover completely. I like to cook this on a griddle because it is easier and does not take as much time. Heat your griddle to medium –high, pour 1-2 tablespoons of oil onto the hot griddle.

Place your meat on the griddle and turn after a 2-4 min and cook for the same amount of time. Because the meat is thin it does not take a long time to cook. When you take steak of, lay on a plate lined with paper towels, salt to taste.

Never Fail Gravy

I swear by this ratio. I promise you will not mess this up, if you follow my directions you will make great gravy, you can do it, have Faith!
2 T. Flour
2 T. Butter or Oil
1 cup Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
(this recipe can be doubled or tripled to make the amount you need)
In a large skillet, melt butter or oil, add flour. With a whisk completely whisk together to make a rue. Cook for a couple of min until it gets bubbly and has browned slightly.

Pour in you milk and stir until the thickened to your liking. I promise it works everytime!


Sweet Potatoes Chips

These are so easy and are yummy goodness! 
3 large sweet potatoes, cut thin ¼ inch if you can
Mrs. Dash

Be careful when you slice these, you need a sharp knife on a cutting board. Just don’t cut your fingers! Slice as thin as you can get them and arrange on a cookie sheet, brush with a generous amount of oil and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash.

Cook at 450 degrees for 30 min, or until crispy, some will get crispier than others, but just don’t let them burn. These would make great appetizers, and fun to eat. Something different, but still has the sweet, sweet potato taste. 

I truly doubt that you’re kitchen help is this cute!!! 😉

Southern Green Beans

2 cans French Style Green Beans, drained
¼ cup minced Onions
1 T. dried minced Garlic
3 T. Butter
½ cup water, vegetable broth|
1 T. Brown Sugar  
Salt and Pepper
In a iron skillet preferably, but any skillet will do. (I just like how an iron skillet cooks food.) Caramelize the onions in butter until they are transparent, add the garlic and the brown sugar and stir well. (This seals the deal, making even picky boys love there green beans!)Pour in your broth and green beans and salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer on low for 8-10 min and serve hot.


Apricot Squares
Your in luck, these were invented by the Brown girls this morning – History in the making, people!!! 🙂

2 cups flour
2 sticks butter melted
½ powdered sugar
21 oz. can apricot pie filling
2 eggs
½ cup sugar

Heat the oven to 350


Mix thoroughly flour, butter and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Press evenly in bottom and about     5/8 inch up sides of an ungreased square pan, 10X10 pan. (If dough is sticky flour fingers, or simply spread with a spatula into pan.) Cook for 20 minutes.

Beat remaining ingredients in a medium bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 min until the fruit is firm, and does not jiggle when you shake the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and let stand until cool and cut into about 1 ½  inch squares.

Total Cost
Sweet Potatoes = $1.33
Green Beans =  $2.30
Onions = $o.39
Butter = $1.50
Eggs = $0.28
Apricot Preserves = $3.18
Milk = $1.55
Steak = $3.54
Serving for 3 = $4.75/plate