Archive for January, 2011

Mama’s Minestrone

Winter weather, you gotta love it. Here in Stillwater we are suppose to get as much as 10 inches of snow tonight. I’m glad I have great friends to be with on my first snow day of the year! 🙂 With weather like this, soup is a need!  My mom made this soup the last week I was home, and all 12 of us around the kitchen table loved it! I thought y’all would too! 🙂

Mom’s Minestrone

1 Tb. olive oil
1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 c. beef broth
1/2 pkg. beef sausage, cut in half and sliced thin
1 can Northern beans, drained
2 cans Italian style tomatoes, undrained
2 c. coarsely shredded cabbage
2 lg. carrots, shredded
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 pkg. spaghetti, cut in 1/8’s
1 zucchini, halved in length and sliced

In a large saucepan saute onions in oil until tender. Add rest of ingredients except spaghetti and zucchini.

Allow the soup to simmer until for 10-15 minutes. Add spaghetti and allow to cook until tender. About 10 minutes before serving add zucchini. Serve hot with cornbread, sliced cheese and apples for an fun meal that will keep you warm through this winter storm. 🙂

Stay warm!!


onion = $0.89
beef broth= $1.65
beef sausage = $2.18
Northern beans = $0.55
Italian style tomatoes = $1.77
cabbage = $0.65
carrots = $0.45
spaghetti = $1.00
zucchini $2.23\
Total = $10.48/4 = $2.62


Beef Mac & Cheese

Good afternoon! I realize I am a day late writing this post, but I hope that it’s a dollar short too!  I have spent the past week in Chicago for the Top Producer Seminar.  It was a great experience and I met a ton of extremely wonderful farmers and farm wives.  Then yesterday I was able to come to Arkansas to spend the weekend with Ryan on the ranch.  I am so thankful to have these few days to relax, drain my brain and rest up.  This is a casserole dish that he had fixed for me when I arrived.  It is delicious… a little spicy, extremely beefy and just the comfort food that I was craving.  So get into that kitchen and get ready to relax with this wonderful macaroni dish.

From The Pantry
1 box elbow macaroni
2 cans RoTel Tomatoes
Garlic Salt, Ranch Seasoning
From the Ice Box
1 lb ground beef
2 Jalapeno
1 green bell pepper
1 onion
1 small block of cheese (apprx 2 1/2 cups)

Chop the onion and jalapeno to your liking.  Start a pot of boiling water.  (I always add a dash of salt to my pasta water, not because it makes the water boil faster but because I think the flavor is better.) In a large skillet combine the ground beef, all the vegetables and the seasonings.  Cook until the beef is browned through.  While the beef is browning, boil the box of elbow noodles.  Once the ground beef is browned through drain off the excess fat.  Also drain your noodles at this time.  Combine the noodles, meat and veggies and pour into a 13 X 9 pan. Top with cheese (a little extra cheese never hurt) and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until all the cheese has melted. Serve this delicious dish alone or with a side salad.

Beef Mac & Cheese Costs
1 box elbow macaroni – $1.00
2 cans RoTel Tomatoes – $1.60
Garlic Salt, Ranch Seasoning- $1.00
1 lb ground beef – $3.00
2 Jalapenos- $0.28
1 green bell pepper- $0.88
1 onion- $0.63
1 small block of cheese (apprx 2 1/2 cups)- $2.23
Total Cost- $10.62 (Serves 6)
Cost Per Plate- $1.77

I hope you enjoy this beefy comfort food!

~ Anna-Lisa

BeefonaBudget @ Oklahoma Beef Cook-off!

Good Morning Everyone! 🙂

This last weekend I had the privilege to give two presentations for It was my first-time to cook in front of an audience. I decided y’all would enjoy seeing the recipes I  demoed. It was held during the Oklahoma Lawn and Garden Show, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Beef Cook-off.

Tammi Didlot and Ddee Haynes were awesome hostess’ along with the rest of the Oklahoma CattleWomen! I couldn’t have done it without  their amazing help! 🙂

Recipe 1. Sisters Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Recipe 2. Beef and Cheese Biscuits

Recipe 3. Amy’s Fried Rice

Recipe 4. Amy’s Steak Finger’s
1 lb. Tenderized Round Steak, sliced thin
1 c. ranch dressing
2 c. crushed corn flakes

In large zip-lock add ranch dressing and thin cut steak. Zip up bag, and shake until meat is fully coated. Take out each piece and place in another large zip-lock with crushed corn flakes. Coat well – and place on greased baking sheet. Cook at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes until meat reaches 160 degrees. Serve with ranch dressing.

I hope I get more opportunities to demo recipes in the future – I think I could get where I’d really like it. I loved the opportunity to inform my audience of new and budget friendly ways to eat beef.

Beef-it-up this week!


Cowboy Joe’s

Happy MLK day! Having this long weekend has been a blast! My mom and sisters came on Friday, I went to the George Strait, Reba and Lee Ann Womack concert on Saturday and am meeting friends later tonight to watch the new movie Country Strong! Not bad for the first official weekend back to school. 🙂 What did y’all do? Any fun happenings?

Today I am sharing a recipe that I have been making a very long time. It is a family favorite and the best recipe I’ve ever had for sloppy Joe’s. I don’t like that name, and since I made it for cowboys during break I decided to rename it. 🙂

Cowboy Joe’s
4 lbs. ground beef
1 lg. onion chopped
3/4 c. celery chopped
1 c. ketchup
1 c. water
2 T. Amino Acids or Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
1 T. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
hamburger buns
grated cheese

Cook beef, drain. Add onions and celery, saute until nearly tender. Add rest of ingredients and allow to simmer for as long as possible. The long, the better flavor. I like to let it simmer on low for 15-30 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns with cheese. We eat these open topped, and they guys always want Frito’s or tortilla chips with them.

Cilantro Zucchini
4 lg. zucchini’s chopped
1/4 c. onions, minced
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In 1/4 c. of water boil zucchini until nearly tender, drain. In a large skillet caramelize onions in butter. Add cilantro and let the cilantro cook down. Add rest of ingredients including zucchini and allow time for flavors to mix. Serve hot!

Hope you have a blessed week! Hope it is full of sunshine and smiles!


4 lbs. beef = $2.69/lb = $10.76
onion = $0.89
celery = $0.78
ketchup = $0.63
seasonings = $0.52
hamburger buns = $1.98
Total = $15.56/9 = $1.73 a serving


Deer Huntin’ Chili

I am so very thankful for my break, and my good dose of everyday reality! Now that I am back to complete my last semester of college, I am even more thankful for it! I loved every minute of being home – seeing my family, being in the country and hearing all the stories.


Upon the first few days of being home, deer hunting, blind making and ‘buck talk’ occupied much of my 3 brothers life. They love to hunt. However, they only shoot the trophy bucks. If they’re not big enough to mount, they’ll wait until next year. This year one whitetail and one mule deer were the only ones that made the cut and currently at the taxidermist. Myles is waiting for next year. 🙂

Here is Griffin 19, with his muley from the ranch in Channing, Texas.

When they guys are doing ranch work, and hunting – we need food that can stay warm on the stove. Because we never know when they will actually make their apperance back at the house. This is something I made for that very purpose. It is super, super quick and stays warm in an iron skillet so supererbly! I hope you like it too. 🙂

For a lil’ change in pace – I took a picture of my fast scratches on my pad of the ingredients you’ll need.

 2 lb. ground beef, cooked & drained
2 sm. cans tomato sauce
1 can mixed great northern/pinto beans, drained
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 sm. onion chopped
1 T. dried cilantro
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tps. paprika
1 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients, and simmer on low until ready to eat. 
Serve with tortillas, cornbread, cheese and sliced apples for a
easy meal that stays ready as long as you need. 🙂


So the next time you need a quick hamburger meal – try Deer Huntin’ Chili! And if you are in the hunt for Torgi puppies check out this link!

Take care, stay warm and enjoy the Snow!!!


beef = $2.69/lb = $5.38
beans = $2.18
onion = $0.64
seasonings = $2.09
Total = $10.29/5 =$2.02 

Twisted Beef Stew

I am so sorry that you are getting this post so late in the evening.  I am not sure that I have told you, but I have been hired by Farm Journal Media and recently moved to Mexico, MO. Although tonight I write you from Atlanta, GA.  Farm Journal is the official sponsor of the AgConnect Expo, a farm machinery & agriculture trade show.  So yes it has been a whirlwind first day of work Monday, Atlanta for business Thursday.  It’s been a blast thus far, but there is so much more to come.  Anyhow this is a stew recipe that I fixed on New Year’s Day.  It was delcious. 

Let’s talk stew. Did the stew your mother make have a soupy liquid, a thicker liquid or a gravy like liquid? Come to think of it I have no idea what my mother’s stew is like, but I promise you it’s not like this.  I just don’t think of stew with this kind of sauce so you can imagine my confusion when I was corrected and Ryan asked me to adjust the stew for a thicker sauce.  It was in the most gracious and thankful tone of course! Anyway, I improvised and turns out you can thicken it up after it cooks a bit.  This recipe is just a good old standard, but I included a new little twist with the cajun seasoning! Enjoy!

Twisted Beef Stew
1 chuck roast or equialent stew meat (Whichever is cheaper)
1 onion
5 Carrots
5 Celery Stalks
5 Potatoes
1/2 Stick of butter
Salt, Pepper, Cajun Seasoning, Flour

If roast is on sale it can often be even cheaper that stew meat.  In that case buy the roast and slice it into bit size pieces against the grain of course!

Next Chunk up an onion.  Mix the onion in with the beef. 

 Put the meat in onions in the crock pot on high with the butter.  Fill with water until right below the top of the meat. Peal the carrots and chunk them up as well. 


Clean the celery stalks and chop up the whole thing, even those little leaves, they have flavor too! 

 Add the vegetables after the meat has been on about an hour. Add salt, pepper and cajun seasoning to taste.  Let this mixture cook for 2 hours.  Leave the skins on your potatoes, no need to waste time, and chunk them up as well.  Add to the stew and continue cooking for 1 hour.  Using a large ladle, pour some broth into a mixing bowl.  Whisk in flour until the mixture is thick and add back to the stew.  Continue this process until the stew is as thick as you would like it to be. Serve with warm bread.

Twisted Beef Stew
1 chuck roast or equialent stew meat- $5.50
1 onion- $0.67
5 Carrots- $1.10
5 Celery Stalks- $0.75
5 Potatoes- $1.20
1/2 Stick of butter- $0.30
Salt, Pepper, Cajun Seasoning, Flour- $0.60
Total Cost (Serves 6) – $10.12
Cost Per Plate – $1.68


I hope you enjoy this little taste of comfort!

~ Anna-Lisa

Sister’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Happy New Year!

I got to ring in the New Year with great family and friends in the large metropolis of Throckmorton. 🙂 Small town Texas is the place to be on New Year’s! I was excited to have the opportunity to take my Mom’s Beef Dip that I posted last week – and y’all! It was a hit! 🙂

January – seems to me always a very busy month. The ranch is preparing for heifers to calve, new year business decisions are being discussed, wheat-pasture cattle need checked, ice needs breaking, school is in full force and no one is wanting to spend a lot of time cooking. You want warm, easy beef recipes so you can get on with life. 🙂 So I’ve decided to share some of my favorite quick ground beef recipes for the next four Monday’s.

Every recipe has been tested on my family – and any day help or hired hands. I promise your family will like it – if they do!

During my last week of school last semester my sisters, Lydia 14, and Amanda 12, called telling me about this new sweet and sour meatball recipe they made for lunch and how awesome it was. They took pictures because they felt it was worth sharing. Once I got home, they made if for me and I have to admit. It is pretty tasty!

You’ll Need:
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. milk
2 T. onion, finally chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg

Mix ingredients; shape into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until brown. About 20 minutes. Remove and drain excess liquid.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 T. cornstarch
1 can pineapple chunks
1/3 c. vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1 sm. bell pepper, coarsely chopped

Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in skillet. Stir in pineapple, vinegar and soy sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Add meatballs, cover and simmer stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in green pepper. Cover and simmer until crisp tender, 5 minutes.

I’m proud of my sisters and they great lil’ beef cooks they are becoming!

I’m soaking up my last week of freedom!
Talk to you next week,

ground beef = $2.69
bread crumbs = $0.35
milk = $0.06
seasonings = $1.71
egg = $0.09
pineapple = $2.06
bell pepper = $1.85
Total = $8.81/4 = $2.20 a serving