Archive for December, 2010

Somethin’ Soup

We certainly are part of a wonderful industry.  It is not in every sector of life that strangers can become friends but because of our common backgrounds and lifestyles we can make friends everywhere we go.  For example I recently flew back from being home for Christmas and on my flight I discovered that one of our flight attendants is a dairy farmer.  Her and her husband farm near Dublin, Texas.  After visiting with her I discovered she has a hard time finding things to cook for her picky eater and after she found out about what Amy and I do she was quick to ask my advice.  I happened to have a few of my favorite recipes in my purse so I shared them with her.  Including this soup recipe that has yet to be on the site.  The nice thing about this soup and what made it great for Casey to use is that she can put the vegetables her picky eater likes and leave out those that he doesn’t. This would make a great New Year’s Eve soup and most of the ingredients you can find in your pantry!

Somethin’ Soup
1 lb beef (ground, sliced, stew meat, whatever you have on hand)
1 can mixed veggies (or whatever you would like)
1 can RoTel
1 can tomato juice
1 box egg noodles
1 packet (or equivalent) ranch seasoning
Dash of creole seasoning, Salt & Pepper

Brown the beef.  Drain off the excess fat.  In your crock pot combine the beef and all the other ingredients.  Add 1 C of water.  Cook on high for 20 minutes.  Add the noodles and continue to cook on high until the noodles are soft but not mushy.  (There is nothing worse than mushy noodles… beside chicken of course!)


Somethin’ Soup

1 lb beef (ground, sliced, stew meat, whatever you have on hand)- $4.50
1 can mixed veggies (or whatever you would like)- $0.80
1 can RoTel- $0.86
1 can tomato juice- $1.00
1 box egg noodles- $2.00
1 packet (or equivalent) ranch seasoning, dash of creole seasoning, Salt & Pepper – $2.00
Total Cost- $11.16 (Serves 4)
Cost Per Bowl- $2.79

Happy New Year from our families to yours!  WE hope that your 2011 will be full of abundance, grace and delicious meals!


Until We Meet Again,



Momma Brown’s New Year Beef Dip

Wow! I cannot believe 2010 is drawing to a close.  My Christmas home with my family has been very eventful, but nonetheless blessed! I trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas ~ full of love and laughter! Below is a picture of my family. Wanted to show all of my followers who my major food critiques are!

With everyone preparing to ring in the new year, I  wanted to share my mom’s famous beef dip! In the words of her: “I’ve never met a man who didn’t love this! I’ve never returned home with any leftovers!” With the cook saying that, I felt this was beefonabudget worthy! 🙂

It is quick and easy to make, and can be easily done in the crock pot to take to parties, or kept warm on a hot plate. Don’t be afraid to double or triple – just be ready to hear rave reviews!

1 lb. ground beef
3/4 c. onion chopped
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. jar tomato sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. parmesan cheese, grated

Brown meat, onions, garlic and pepper in skillet.  Add rest of ingredients except cheeses and simmer on low for atleast 10 min. Add cheeses, and warm through – until cheeses are melted and combined well. Keep warm.

Serve with Frito’s  optimum taste bud explosion! Enjoy and tell me what you think!
Computer problems have been plaguing all month. My computer has a virus so am having to borrow my brothers computer to get online. And Myles’ computer doesn’t like me very much, so I’m trying very hard to not get frustrated!!!  This is why I am posting a day late – please forgive me! If I didn’t need computers so much in life I truly think I’d use the ones around this joint for target practice!!!

Hope you got a laugh out of my current predicament – and I wish all of y’all a new year computer problem FREE!

Take care and enjoy the last week of the year!


beef = $2.85
veggies =$1.19
tomato sauces = $0.80
 seasonings = $0.95
cream cheese = $2.12
parmesan = $0.45
Total =8.36/4 = $2.09

Simply Sweet Steaks

I am home for Christmas!!!  During my flight, I finished the book that I started a few weeks ago called “The Dirty Life” by Kristin Kimball.  If you haven’t read the book and you wish to have a better understanding of the emotions connected to the locavore movement I suggest you read the book.  Once I was home I went to the local grocery store to get some stuff to make this meal.  You will notice that the costs are much higher than what I normally post.  The ingredients while not much different than normal, were purchased locally at a small family owned grocery store in our town. (The closest Wal Mart is not very close and doesn’t sell groceries anyway so we shop mostly at Treat’s our local store.) Our store (Treat’s General Store) was founded in 1852.  At that time the store carried everything from milk and eggs to gun powder & dynamite to supply the Gold miners of the time.  The store has never changed families or locations, but it did receive a new building in the late 80’s after the original store blew up from a natural gas accident.  They no longer carry explosives!  When you shop locally not only do you get the benefit of knowing the produce man, the checkers and most of the shoppers too, but I have grown up with the children of the store owner, they have supported my every endeavour and I recall as a little girl playing the back of the store and eating cold hot dogs from the meat case.  In addition to relationships with loving people and our community, the community as a whole benefits as well.  According to All Business, when you spend $100 with a local merchandiser $68 return to the community.  When you shop with a large marketer like Wal Mart only $16 returns to the community.  Now, am I saying that Wal Mart is the reason our local economies suffer, not necessarily.  Nor am I denying that I shop at Wal Mart because I do often.  Do I think that the locavore movement is here to stay, or that we should only buy local… I’m not convinced.  When presented with a choice I prefer to support local agriculture, economy, and merchandisers, but to feed the world we will continue to need the sustainable and efficient production of modern conventional agriculture.  Wherever you chose to purchase groceries this is a great meal, head to the kitchen and get to cooking!


From the Cold Box
1.5 lbs Minute Steak (Tenderized Round Steak)
4 strips of bacon
1 stick of butter
1 lb of fresh green beans
Handful of mushrooms
Fom The Pantry
1/2 C Chopped Pecans
5 Gold Russet Potatoes
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Pinch of Sugar

Prep the vegetables first.  Snap off the ends of green beans… I used to do this when I was a small girl in Pappas garden (I love to eat fresh green beans).  You can also slice your mushrooms and chunk up the potatoes. (Yes chunk up is a technical term..HA) 

In your largest iron skillet, cook the bacon slow to ensure you get lots of pork fat drippings (I LOVE PORK FAT) Once the bacon is finished take it out of the skillet and crumble it up. 

Now season your minute steaks with salt, pepper and a touch of garlic powder.  Cook them hot and fast in the bacon grease.  You can add a little bit of butter if you need it. 

This is also the time to start the potatoes.  In a large skillet or pot whichever you prefer, add water to the chunked up potatoes just enough to keep them at a low boil. 

After the steaks are done remove them from the grease and dump in your green beans with the rest of the stick of butter.  Also add the bacon crumbles and chopped pecans.  Turn down the heat and let your green beans slow simmer until just before they begin to soften.  I like them a little firm yet.  Remove the green beans.  If there are a few bacon bits and pecan pieces in the pan that’s ok. 

Now in the same skillet brown the mushroom slices.  Mushrooms absorb water so you want to brown them in a fairly dry skillet, they will actually brown slower in water.  Once the mushrooms are browned we are gonna add a little bit of water to loosen everything from the skillet.  The water will bring all the flavors together, the beef, bacon, green bean the nuttiness of the pecans, all of it will transfer to our gravy.  Sprinkle a little flour and whisk with a fork.  Add flour until the gravy is to your favorite consistency.  To put on steaks I like gravy a little thinner than I like it on biscuits.  If you get to thick add some more water, you can always thin back out.  Thickening without clumps is the hard part.  Once your gravy is where you want it.  Turn off the heat.  Mix in salt, pepper a little more garlic if you need it.  Because this skillet has been through so many temperatures and near burning so many times during cooking everything, the gravy can have a semi bitter/burnt taste.  To combat this problem I add just a small pinch of sugar.  This just really brings everything together wonderfully. 

Serve the steaks (medium rare) topped with the mushroom gravy.  Put your green beans and boiled potatoes on the side.  A very hearty, filling and out of the ordinary winter dinner.  Enjoy!


1.5 lbs Minute Steak (Tenderized Round Steak) – $6.25
4 strips of bacon- $0.75
1 stick of butter- $0.60
1 lb of fresh green beans- $1.34
Handful of mushrooms- $1.56
1/4 C Chopped Pecans- $0.30
5 Gold Russet Potatoes- $1.70
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Pinch of Sugar- $0.30
Total Costs- $12.80 (Serves 4)
Cost Per Plate- $3.20


I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed cooking the meal!  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Until We Meet Again,

~ Anna-Lisa

Sagebrush Meatballs

There is something about pasta that is just utterly delicious, especially when combined with beef.  Recently I was asked to create a recipe with including corn.  I thought about all of the ways that corn could be used and all the ways we use it most often.  I realized that there is one completely underused and underestimated corn product… corn flakes.  More than just a cereal they can be used in feed lot rations, deserts, potato casseroles, and most recently I discovered they are wonderful in meat balls.  I thought why not grind them up and use them as bread crumbs in meat balls, they are the same consistency as bread crumbs right?  Well I tried it out and with a ranchy twist let me tell you they are the best meatballs I have ever fixed.  Give this non traditional use of corn a try and enjoy some delicious pasta too!

Sagebrush Meatballs

From the Ice Box:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 C Parmesan Cheese
3 Broccoli Crowns
From the Pantry:
2 C corn flakes
Equivalent of 1 Packet Ranch Seasoning
Spray Oil
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Sauce

Pour the corn flakes into a zip lock bag. Crush the corn flakes until they are as fine as bread crumbs.  An easy way to tell if they are fine enough is to pour them into a colander, if they can fit through those wholes keep crushing.

Combine the ground beef, milk, eggs, cheese, corn flake crumbs & ranch seasoning in a bowl.  Kneed until the mixture is blended.

Spray you baking stone with spray oil.  Roll the ground beef mixture into 1 inch balls.  Place on the cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for 30 minutes.

During this time boil the pasta water, and combine the chopped onion, garlic, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Let simmer the entire time the meatballs are baking.

Once the pasta  water is boiling add a T olive oil.  This will keep the pasta from sticking together.  Next, break your favorite pasta into the boiling water.  Let me tell you a little secret about boiling pasta… it doesn’t take as long as you think and there is nothing worse than over cooked pasta. Boil just until it is tender then drain it.

I also served this with broccoli so I steamed the broccoli during this time as well.  If you have a broccoli steamer use that!  Other wise place the broccoli in a microwave safe bowl, add an inch of water, cover with saran wrap and put in the microwave for 6 minutes.

Once the meatballs are done, put them in a bowl and pour the tomato sauce over them.

Let them sit for a few minutes and serve over pasta.

This meal is delicious, unique and a great way to use beef and corn together to make a wonderful meal.  I hope you enjoy!

Sagebrush Meatballs Cost
1 lb ground beef – $4.30
1/2 cup milk- $0.40
2 eggs- $0.30
1 C Parmesan Cheese- $0.30
2 C corn flakes – $0.40
Equivalent of 1 Packet Ranch Seasoning- $.100
Pasta- $1.00
1 Can Diced Tomatoes- $0.76
1 Can Tomato Sauce- $0.65
Broccoli- $1.20
Total Cost- $10.31 (Serves 5)
Cost Per Plate- $2.06

Have a blessed weekend!

Until We Meet Again,


Southern Style Salisbury Steak

It is 12 days till Christmas! I made it to finals week at Oklahoma State, and I survived dead week too! 🙂  Last week was fun because the Christian organization I am president of, Cowboys for Christ, presented the Gift of Christmas Live Nativity on south library lawn on Thursday and Friday. This was the second year that I co-chaired the event with Anna-Lisa.

We enjoyed spending our last Christmas together here working hard to share the joy of the season with our campus and community. This year was special with Euyore the donkey, Pistol and Pete the oxen, sheep from OSU Sheep Unit and horses and wisemen from the OSU Rodeo Team.

It was a special to work along with friends who not only talk the talk of Christianity, but who actually show it by how they spend their time. Multiple hours went into the production of this event – and as a group we have been meeting since September planning every detail of this years’ Live Nativity.

This weekend was full of Christmas shopping and catching my breath from my whirlwind week. Today I was craving something fun, different and easy for lunch. I also wanted to have something nutritious with veggies. Because I have not been eating as healthy as I should these last few weeks on the go.


So this is what I created in my little apartment kitchen. It will be great for pre-Christmas food because it can easily be made in a Crockpot or done early and served for guests.

For Southern Style Salisbury Steak you’ll need:

2 lbs. tip sirloin steak
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
½ cup cilantro chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 can beef broth
1 T. starch, corn or potato (I am allergic to corn, so I use potato starch works exactly the same.)
¼ cup of water

For this recipe I used tip sirloin, and wrapped the meat in plastic wrap and used a mallet, so the meat would be tender and not have to cook as long. Slice very thin and brown in iron skillet. Add onions and cook until they caramelize in a small amount of oil and beef. Put in stew pot.

In iron skillet, chop bell peppers and cook until nearly tender – add chopped cilantro. Cook until bell peppers are tender and add to meat. Add seasonings and beef broth. In ¼ cup of water, add starch and stir until dissolved, add to meat mixture. (This is important so that your gravy is not chunky.) Simmer on medium heat for 20-30 min. or in a crock pot for 2-3 hours.

Serve over rice.

Maple Syrup Carrots
This is my favorite way to eat carrots! Hope y’all like it too!

½ bag of sliced carrots
2 cups of water
½ tsp. salt
1 T. butter
2 T. maple syrup

In small sauce pan, boil carrots until tender in salted water, and drain. Add butter and maple syrup. Allow to sit for a few minutes with lid on pan. Stir and serve hot.

Boiled Cabbage
I really like boiled red cabbage – but I don’t really like how it looks. It is not the prettiest color, but the flavor is great!

½ head of red cabbage, large chopped
2 cups water
½ tsp. salt
1 T. butter

Boil until tender, drain and add salt and butter. Serve hot.

I hope that this last days before Christmas are some of the best days of the whole year for you and your family!

God Bless you!


tip sirloin = 2 lbs/$4.50 lb = $9.00
onion = $0.70
bell pepper = $1.12
cilantro = $0.72
seasonings = $1.00
beef broth = $0.89
carrots = $1.15
cabbage = $1.98
butter = $0.89
maple syrup = $0.10
Total = $17.55/5 = $3.51/serving

Black Eyed Vaquero

This past weekend Ryan and I went on a weekend trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We enjoyed the short time we spent there but visits we had on the way home were the best part.  After spending a day in Santa Fe we headed south to visit a friend of ours from college in Estancia, New Mexico.  Arriving just in time to watch the sunset over cattle roamed pastures, after a stop at the turquoise wholesaler in Albaquerque that is.  Shane and his family have a cattle ranch in Estancia and his Momo also owns the local restaurant.  We had a delicious supper there and her green chili sauce inspired this post!  The next morning another friend of our met us on the interstate for dinner before we made the drive back to Texas.  The good people that we are blessed to have in our lives never ceases to amaze me.  Not many people take you into their homes, feed you supper and then send you with gifts.  Shane’s mother sent us home with a few bags of fire roasted green chilis that I used in this recipe.  Quick, simple and surely southwest, Black Eyed Vaquero is a crowd pleaser to say the least.

Black Eyed Vaquero
1 lb Round Steaks
Black Eye Peas
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion chopped
2 tortillas
Green Chili Sauce (find recipe at Anna-Lisa Smile)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Oil & Vinegar

In a large pot pour 2 cans of drained black eyed peas, salt them and cover them with water.  Cook them on low heat for about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the drained diced tomatoes and the chopped onion.  Mix in a few tablespoons of vinegar and season with salt to taste.

Now prepare the steaks.  Eye of round steaks are generally not the most tender steaks in the meat case.  You can often buy them tenderized which basically means that they have been smashed and had several holes poked in them.  I did not have the option to buy mine tenderized so I am gonna teach you to do that at home.

Lay your steaks on a cutting board.

Place a sheet of wax paper over them and take out your aggression with the heaviest skillet you own.

Next remove the wax paper and poke them all over with a fork.

Season the steaks with garlic salt and a little pepper.

At this time you can cut the tortillas into sixths place them on your baking stone, spray them with oil, sprinkle with salt and place under the broiler until they get crispy.

Cook the steaks on the stove in your black iron skillet.  Pour a dash of oil in the pan and heat the pan to hot.

Place the steaks in the oil, sear both sides and cook to your desired degree of doneness.  Dabble a little bit of the green chili sauce on the steaks, put a little bit of the tomato/ onion relish on the drained black eyed pease and serve with toasted tortillas.  Simple, Easy, Delicious.

Black Eyed Vaquero
1 1/2 lb Round Steaks – $6.30
Black Eye Peas- $1.80
1 can diced tomatoes- $0.75
1 onion chopped- $0.76
2 tortillas- $0.40
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Oil & Vinegar- $0.50
Total Cost- $10.51 (Serves 5)
Cost Per Plate- $2.10

Have a blessed weekend!  I am wraping up my last few days as an Oklahoma State student!


Until We Meet Again,



Rapido Burritos

It is ‘dead week’ at Oklahoma State. It is intended to be the week of studying for finals. A time to focus totally on school, however, I am finding out it is more “Try to cram everything in this week, and see who dies from overwork!”

Anna-Lisa is laughing, asking if I am dramatic much – and guess I am. I am excited that I have reached the end of my last-ever fall semester. It is a kind of surreal feeling. I am glad it finally here – and just praying my mind stays intact. 🙂

While at home I made Rapido Burritos and y’all they were pretty legit!

So – grab a skillet, call your hungry boys in from the cold and serve up some green chili and roast goodness!

6 cups of arm roast, cooked and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3 sm. cans green chili’s diced
1 onion chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic, dried

Chop roast into small pieces. Sauté onions in a small amount of oil until they caramelized in a large skillet. Add  all other ingredients and warm through. Serve with warm tortillas, cheese, pico-de-galo and guacamole.

So excited how close it is to Christmas! Enjoy this wonderful season of Joy!!


roast = $4.00
tomatoes = $0.56
green chili’s = $2.91
onion = $0.71
seasonings = $0.55
tortillas = $2.10
cheese = $1.00
Total = $11.88/8 = $1.40 a serving