Archive for November, 2010

Hopping John

Well y’all, I more than survived – I soaked up every second of Thanksgiving break! It was awesome to spend so much fun family time. Good, good food, so many laughs and multiple multiple card games. ūüôā

Last week, I made a family favorite – Hopping John

This is super quick and easy one dish meal that the my guys like better than soup or stew.

You’ll need:

2 lbs. beef sausage, cooked and drained
2 – 12 oz frozen black-eyed peas, cooked and drained
2 c. quick cooking rice
1 med. onion, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
2 T. parsley, dried
1 T. cilantro, dried
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cans broth, beef or chicken

In a large stew pot, add sausage, onions and celery. Cook until onions are nearly carmolized, add all other ingredients and allow to cook on medium low heat until rice is cooked. Stir occasionally, to keep from sticking. If more liqued is needed add water 1/2 cup at a time.

Serve with cornbread and homemade chow-chow for a warm autumn dish.

Have a fun week!


beef sausage = $3.19
black-eyed peas = $4.11
onion = $0.70
celery = $0.35
seasonings = $1.00
broth = $1.66
rice = $0.45
Total = $11.44/6=$1.90


Cast Iron Holiday Roast

Well today is black Friday! Not real sure where the name came from, but it sure makes me laugh.¬† Especially when I think about the gray haired ladies that I know who get so excited about Black Friday sales that they would leave black eyes and bruises with all who stand in the way! Although, I’m not sure that’s where the name comes from.¬† This is the last Friday of the month and so this will be the last scheduled roast post!¬† You are probably ready for some additional variety in our lives, but I hope that I have given you some roast ideas that will help you throughout the winter.¬† I understand how frustrating it can be at times to dream up something new to do with a roast.¬† Today’s roast recipe I came up with yesterday.¬† See, 91% of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving and let’s just say, we were among the 9%.¬† We decided to have roast among other more traditional dishes like homemade ravioli and sweet potato casserole.¬† I wanted to do something a little different with this roast but didn’t want it to be too fancy, sometimes simple is best.¬† This is what I knew, I didn’t have a whole lot of time, I didn’t want it to be stringy, I wanted it to be tender, It needed to be delicious.¬† In this post I will share with you how I achieved that!¬† This Cast Iron Holiday Roast is easy, delicious, tender and not typical!


Cast Iron Holiday Roast
1 4 lb sirloin tip roast
Salt, pepper, BBQ rub

In a large skillet, heat a bit of oil.¬† Sear the roast on all sides.¬† Next season the roast with your favorite BBQ rub.¬† I used one made in Texas but use your favorite. (I’m all about using what you have on hand) Make sure that you season it well and rub it in.¬† That’s why they call it a rub.¬† Trust me, a little love for your roast and your roast will love ya back!¬† Next season with salt and pepper! You gotta use a bit of salt, it will help tenderize.

Not more than 3 tablespoons, but more than 1.¬† Do what you think, you’re the expert!¬† Place the roast in a medium size cast iron skillet, slice about 4 tablespoons of butter, nearly half a stick! Place around the roast.¬† Add warm water about 1/4 the way up the roast.¬† Cover with foil and place in a slow oven.¬† Apprx 325 degrees will do.¬† Cook this low for about 1 hour, then bump it up to 350 for the rest of the cooking time about 2 hours.¬† Keep a close eye on it, make sure that the water doesn’t all evaporate.¬† (This will cause the roast to burn) also be sure that the steam ins’t escaping.¬† The steam will help the roast to cook through. After the roast is done to to your degree of doneness remove it from the oven and let it rest.¬† This will allow the juices to settle.¬† Slice thin against the grain and serve!

Cast Iron Holiday Roast
1 4 lb sirloin tip roast – $13.69
Butter, Oil, Salt, pepper, BBQ rub- $1.00
Total Cost- $14.69 (Serves 6)
Cost per plate- $2.44

My favorite thing about holidays is making recipes from the loved ones in your life.¬† Ya know your grandmother’s pumpkin pie, your mamma’s pumpkin bread or your great-grandmother’s ravioli.¬† When you make those dishes memories come alive.¬† This year I had the chance to learn to make a few new dishes that I had never made before!¬† You will be glad to know that my first pecan pie was delicious.¬† I also had the chance to make sweet potato casserole for the first time.¬† I used the recipe of a very special lady who I will never get to meet.¬† Using her recipe was very special and let me tell ya it’s got to be a flawless one cause I didn’t manage to mess it up too bad!¬† I’m gonna share it with you too!


Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole

1 18 oz can drained sweet potatoes
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C milk
1 egg
1 T melted butter
1 t vanilla
Oil spray
1 T flour
1 T butter
1 C pecans

Combine potatoes, 3/4 C brown sugar, milk, egg, melted margarine, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Put in a oil sprayed baking dish.  Combine flour, 1/4 C brown sugar; cut in 1 T butter until crumbly.  Add 1 C pecans.  Sprinkle over potatoes.  Bake at 350 for 35 min.


“The memory of the righteous is blessed.” Proverbs 10:7


Enjoy! Hope you have a great week!

~ Anna-Lisa



Today is the National Day of giving #Foodthanks.  Here at we are two girls with so much to be thankful for! We have great families, grew up in a great heritage and lifestyle and are proud to be part of agriculture.  We are so thankful for the many families across the country who help to produce the food that we get to cook with and create recipes with.  Without these farm and ranch families we would not be able to bring our creative, fun and budget friendly beef recipes to your kitchens.  Today as we are each cooking up a storm recreating the recipes of our mothers, grand mothers, great grandmothers and loved friends, to serve at Thanksgiving meals with loved ones; we would like to express our thanks to the men and women who make cooking and enjoying our favorite meals possible.  Thank a farmer or rancher today!  We could not have Thanksgiving without their day in and day out hard work and diligence.


For more information about National #Foodthanks day check out ! Show your appreciation for farmers and ranchers on your Facebook & Twitter pages today! Or better yet, when you see your local food producer at the grocery store, take a moment to thank them!


Have a blessed Thanksgiving,


The Girls


“Taste and see that the Lord is good, how blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8

Thanksgiving Week Breakfast


It is the wonderfully fun¬†week of Thanksgiving! I am home early from school, spending¬† some much-needed¬†time with my family and rejoicing in all the amazing blessings in my life! I do serve a pretty¬†awesome heavenly father! He has blessed me, more than I truly deserve. I have been¬†looking at¬†our calendar of events for¬†the week, and decided,¬†I should¬†treat¬†my family¬†to a ¬†yummy breakfast¬†and¬†jump-start¬†the¬†Thanksgiving festivities! ūüôā

So, grab your cozy slippers, some fun music and a thankful heart for all the blessings in your life, and make¬†this¬†delicious and easy breakfast. ūüôā

Cheesey Green Chili Casserole
2 lb. beef sausage, cooked, drained
10 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 sm. can green chili’s, diced
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk until foamy. Add seasonings and cheese, mix well. Stir in beef sausage and pour into a greased 9X14” casserole pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Okay – the below recipe is so very delicious, and I think your family will love it! I made it with Oat Bran, because I am allergic to corn, and didn’t make it with the usual Corn Grits. However, if you can eat grits, and you’d rather try the traditional Southern Fried Grits and Maple Syrup, go right ahead!¬† I wish I could eat corn – but, I’m not focusing on the things I can’t, but instead on the things I can do!!!

Southern Fried Oat’s and Maple Syrup
Night Before:
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups oat bran or quick cooking grits
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. butter

Boil on high for 4-5 min. or until thick. Add butter, and spread evenly in a greased¬†9×11 casserole pan. Put in the refrigerator overnight. (this makes it easy to cut into triangles and dip in batter and fry for a few minutes on each side.

Next Morning:

1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oil

Whisk eggs and milk in small bowl. Cut oat bran/or grits in small triangles. Dip in egg mixture, followed by flour. Fry in a small amount of oil, for 5-7 min, turning over, halfway through cooking.

Drain on paper towels, and keep warm in the oven until ready to eat.

Serve with warm maple syrup.

Momma Brown’s Famous Apple Cider

2 cups apple juice
1 cup cranberry juice (mom uses the 100%)
1 heaping T. brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 tsp. whole allspice
1/4 cup orange juice
slices of oranges, thin

In a large soup pan, add all ingredients and allow to simmer for atleast¬†20 min. (A great thing to use, is a metal tea bag to put the cloves and allspice in, so it don’t have to keep those out of the mugs, but it stays in the cider)

The secret really is though – adding all the ingredients, putting in the refrigerator overnight and warming in the morning. The flavors have more time to mix¬†– and the taste is ‘outta this world’! I have been drinking this Winter Favorite for so many years. When I got home Saturday night, it was one of the first things I asked for. Nothing says Holiday Season – than drinking Mom’s warm cider by the fire and laughing with my family!!!

Have a great Thanksgiving!


dozen eggs Р$2.09
beef sausage – $3.19
green chili’s – $0.89
milk – $0.75
oat bran/grits – $2.00
seasonings – $0.55
Total Cost: $9.47/7 = $1.35

Stay Sane Through The Holidays

I am so thankful that the holidays are around the corner! Next week is Thanksgiving, my favorite of all holidays. Not only does Thanksgiving mean family, friends and great food, it is a time for us to reflect on how blessed we are and to remember those who no longer sit at our tables.¬† Thanksgiving is a blessed time of year, but it can be stressful too!¬† We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle, the pie crusts and gravy, sometimes we are so stressed we don’t take the time to enjoy this great holiday and all that it brings.¬† I love to feed people, my home is always open for friends and family and there is ALWAYS extra room at the dinner table, especially during this season.¬† Today I am going to share a few tips to stay sane during the holidays as well as a quick roast recipe cause ya know you have to eat the rest of the week too!

Proper planning prior to the holidays can help alleviate any stress you might run into.  Here are a few simple tips I learned from Karen Myers, MS, RD/LD, a consultant to the Oklahoma Beef Council, in a seminar today!

  • Schedule your day with flexibility and purpose. ¬† Know what you need to get done, make a list, check things off but don’t be rigid.¬† Leave room for life to happen, because it will happen!
  • Cook things you are good at.¬† The holidays are not the time to try new recipes, that will only add stress! Cook what you love to cook and what your family loves to eat! If something doesn‚Äôt turn out, it‚Äôs ok you don‚Äôt have to tell anyone!¬† ‚ÄúIf your chocolate cake falls just rename it, it becomes a chocolate torte, no one will know!‚ÄĚ
  • Spread food tables throughout your living area.¬† Guests will gravitate to the food, if all the food is served in the kitchen, they will be in the kitchen too and the last thing you need is 30 people watching you whisk gravy!
  • Serve the same menu over and over.¬† If you are having several holiday parties, serve the same menu, or a variation of it.¬† The guests will never know, and it will save your sanity because you will be able to purchase in bulk, also saving you money.

Stress doesn’t only happen in our lives during the holidays if we are hosting a party.  Stress happens just because of life.  Here are some of Karen’s tips on how to manage stress so that you can enjoy the holidays, after all, they are HOLIDAYS!

  • Identify your stressors and make a plan of how you will deal with them.
  • Avoid negative people.¬† Sometimes you can‚Äôt avoid them, cause let‚Äôs face it, they may be in your family, but you can limit the time you spend with them.¬† Spending time with negative people will put you in a negative mood as well!
  • Develop a positive attitude.
  • Keep in mind the big picture and don‚Äôt sweat the small stuff.¬† I like to think of this one as focusing on the fact that all of your loved ones are spending time together, so what if your pie crust isn‚Äôt very flaky.
  • Let go of perfection.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Start the day with breakfast.
  • Ensure adequate protein intake. Don‚Äôt skip the beef!

A lot of us worry about eating healthy during the holiday.  Karen shared two tips to keep your diet healthy during the holidays.

  • Avoid Processed Foods¬† ‚ÄúIf it didn‚Äôt have a mamma or didn‚Äôt grow in the ground, don‚Äôt eat it!‚ÄĚ
  • Use the 3 bite rule.¬† Studies show that after 3 bites, you don‚Äôt enjoy food to its entirety, so why eat anymore.¬† Take 3 bites and move on to the next delicious thing guilt free!

I really enjoyed learning some of these tips and  I hope you enjoyed it too!  While you are busy preparing all the fixing for your Thanksgiving meal, don’t forget you have to eat the rest of the week too! I threw together this roast this week and it would be the perfect meal to eat on all week during the Thanksgiving prep! I named this roast the Ronald Reagan Roast cause I think he would of liked it!

Ronald Reagan Roast
1 2lb Chuck Roast
1 Onion
2 Bell Peppers
1 Can RoTel
1 Can Black Eyed Peas
1 Clove Garlic
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper

Brown all the sides of your roast.  Place it in the crock pot.  Chunk up an onion and place it in the crock pot.  Add one can of RoTel, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper and the clove of garlic.  Add water until it is halfway up the side of the roast.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Slice the bell peppers and add them and the black eyed peas to the crock pot.  Cook on high for another 30 minutes.  Serve! I served this with salted toasted tortillas! Just quarter a tortilla, spray with Pam or any other spray oil, salt and stick under the broiler until they are golden brown! I also included a great new recipe for Jalapeno spread.  Use the jalapenos you have in the fridge that are nearly too ripe, chop them up real fine.  Mix with salt and a little lemon or lime juice and use to garnish anything! Great on soups and stews like this one! Delicious!

Ronald Reagan Roast Costs
1 2lb Chuck Roast – $8.50
1 Onion- $0.70
2 Bell Peppers- $1.20
1 Can RoTel- $0.78
1 Can Black Eyed Peas- $0.68
1 Clove Garlic- $0.20
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper- $0.20
Total Costs – $12.26 (Serves 5)
Cost Per Plate – $2.45

Have a blessed Thanksgiving All!

Happy Trails,


Sunday Steak and Beef Trivia!

Good Afternoon,

It is currently raining at the campus of Oklahoma State University, and I am at my home away from home, (aka computer lab) where I am working away on my Agriculture Policy class 12 page term paper. I am doing research currently on what the beef packing industry was like before government regulations. So, I am in the late 19th century when refrigeration and railroad transportation was in the beginning stages.

For an ag nerd like me, I find it fascinating. It is rather sobering to think how far back our current beef industry goes.

Fun fact – did you know that ‚ÄúPer capita consumption of beef rose from an average of 77.8 pounds per person¬†during the 1870s to 87.2 pounds per person¬†during the 1880s.‚ÄĚ all due to the ability to easily transport in refrigerated train cars beef from the Midwest to the larger cities in the east? (For those mathematically challenged without a calculator like me – that is data from 140 years ago!) Fascinating, pure and simple!

I think its pretty exciting that we are able to eat the tastiest¬†protein¬†in the meat case 140 years later on a budget. I can prove this by my Sunday lunch¬† yesterday!¬† So get out the iron skillet, steak¬†out of the freezer and enjoy the protein that’s been fueling America for the last 3 centuries!! ūüôā

As a college student living on a budget, with a desire to eat well, I buy¬†many boxes of Stampede Grillers, boneless rib-eyes and New York strips. At $8.46 for a box of 6 tender steaks, I feel like I’m buying wisely! If you’ve been following Beef on a Budget since its conception, you’ll remember on February 23rd¬†Anna and I ¬†posted about this great buy. But I think its about time I mentioned it again. ūüėČ

Sunday Steak for Less:

3 РStampede Grilling Rib-eyes, thawed
Freddie Paul’s steak seasoning, to taste
iron skillet

Heat iron skillet to medium heat, add a small amount of oil or butter and cook steak to your desired doneness.

*Rare ‚Äď cook 2 min. on each side.
Medium Rare ‚Äď cook 4 min. on each side
Medium ‚Äď cook 5 to 6 min. on each side
Medium well ‚Äď cook 7-8 min. on each side

Spicy Green Beans
2 cans french cut green beans, drained
1 clove garlic, large minced
1 roasted jalapeno pepper
2 T. butter
Saute garlic and jalapeno peppers in butter until garlic is tender, add green beans and allow to simmer until warm.

 Yummy Spaghetti Squash:
1 spaghetti squash
salt and pepper

With sharp knife, slice a large slit in the squash. Cook in microwave until tender. This takes about 10-12 minutes depending on the size. It will be tender and easy to fork out the squash. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Sweet Potatoe Fry’s
Arrange a thin layer of fries on a cookie sheet and bake them for 30 min or until they are crispy.

So, hope you enjoyed your beef trivia of the day! Maybe I should start doing more of that. What do y’all think?

Have a great week everyone,


3 Steak = $4.23/$1.41 a piece
1 Bag of Frozen Sweet Potato French Fries¬† ‚Äď $3.84
Spaghetti Squash ‚Äď $2.00
2 cans Green Beans = 1.33
Seasonings = $0.75
Total: $12.40/$4.13 a plate!

Quick Roast & Sweet Potatoes

Good afternoon y’all! I can’t believe that it is Friday once again… the week flew by, but I am thankful that I get to write you again.¬† This week I got one of the best birthday presents ever! I got a crock pot!¬† I know most girls wouldn’t consider a crock pot all that exiting, but because I love to cook, and I have been wanting a one very badly I was ecstatic.¬† I even read the user manual.. I know nerdy! The first night I had my crock pot I made an awesome soup which you will get to learn to make later in the winter.¬† The third night I had my crock pot I made this awesome roast you are learning to make right now.¬† It’s quick (as far as roasts go) it’s different, not your normal roast, and its delicious.¬† Plug in your crock pot and get to cooking!

Quick Roast & Sweet Potatoes
1 chuck roast
2 large sweet potatoes
2 zucchini
1 onion
salt, pepper, beef bouillon, oil

In a large cast iron, heat oil and sear all sides of the roast.  Place the roast in your crock pot.  Chunk up the sweet potatoes, onion and zucchini; place them in the pot.  Next chunk up a clove of garlic and place in the pot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Next warm up a cup of water and mix in 2 T of beef bouillon. Add this to the pot and enough water to nearly cover the roast.  Turn on high for 4 hours.  Serve with your favorite biscuit, roll or whole wheat bread.  This is a great way to warm up after a chilly day.

Quick Roast & Sweet Potatoes
1 chuck roast- $8.50
2 large sweet potatoes – $1.40
2 zucchini – $1.30
1 onion- $0.67
salt, pepper, beef bouillon, oil- $0.75
Total Cost (serves 5) – $12.62
Cost per Plate – $2.52

I hope that you enjoyed this little taste of home! Have a great weekend and stay warm everyone!

Happy Trails,

~ Anna-Lisa