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Scrumptious Smothered Steaks

With the temperature staying in the triple digits and going as high as 110 on some days, we’ve pretty much been trying to finish our outside chores by 10am and then stay inside for the rest of the day. About the only time I go out is to move the water sprinklers. Living in the middle of a hay field as we do, I feel the need to keep a green belt around the house ‘just in case’ there should be a fire. If you’ve never seen how fast a fire can move through a dry field, it is frightening.    If you want a ladybug thermometer like the one pictured – they’re available from Amazon – search “lady bug thermometer” in the “Amazon’ box to the right.

While moving one of the sprinklers yesterday – saw this huge spider in the maple tree out front. Couldn’t find anything in the spider book that looked like this one – and from looking at it, I would have to guess he must be a couple of inches from top to bottom of legs (maybe more but I’ve got no plans to get close enough to measure). Really creepy looking. I don’t like spiders but think I’ll leave him where he is just to see how much bigger he’ll get.

Our appetites seem to wain when it gets hot – so we’ve been eating cooler meals. Lot’s of salads . . . all kinds. One of my favorites is a regular green salad where you toss in a chopped boiled egg and some bite-sized bits of cold leftover fried chicken tenders . . . top that with some homemade honey mustard sauce and you’re good to go.

Most of the store bought dressings have a ‘artificial’ taste so I make my own honey-mustard dipping sauce and dressing. It’s very easy to make and any leftovers keep covered very well in the fridge.

Honey-Mustard Sauce/Dressing

This recipe makes about 3/4 cup, but you can double or triple it if you need more. And, it’s easy to adjust the flavor.  If you like your dressing a little more sweet or tart – just increase either the amount of honey (sweet)  or mustard (tart)  you add in. (Haven’t found a way yet to make this one sugar-free.)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise (use low-fat if you watching calories)
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Mix ingredients together until uniform in color. Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate for later.

Smothered Steaks

Have you noticed that when you buy one of the Omaha steak ‘packages’ – yes, you get delicious steaks – but you also get a lot of other stuff you may not particularly want, i.e, franks, potatoes, beef patties. The franks make good hot dogs and I’ve found a way to make the potatoes better, but my problem is with the beef patties. They are not like traditional hamburger meat from the store. It almost seems to me like they take the trimmings from the steaks, process it somehow and then form it into ‘patties’.

We’ve tried grilling some for hamburgers and they just didn’t taste right… let me clarify that, they tasted OK – it was the texture… definitely not what we think a hamburger patty should be. So I tried another fix yesterday and they turned out great. Didn’t have a problem with the texture and the serving size was perfect.

What got me to thinking about fixing them like this was that when Mom and I used to go shopping downtown when I was a child, we’d eat lunch out.   My all time favorite meal was smothered steak, mashed potatoes and cole slaw. Today is Mom’s birthday, so I thought I’d try and recapture a favorite childhood memory with some remembered food. While it wasn’t exactly the same – it was close enough and we enjoyed it immensely.

If you’d like to try this with any Omaha hamburger patties you might have, or if you’d like to try it with your own homemade hamburger patties, here is the recipe:

  • 4 Hamburger steaks
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Package brown gravy mix
  • 1/2 Medium-sized onion sliced into rings (or chopped)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 Cups water
  • 1 Can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Salt-pepper to taste

1.  Place the oil and hamburger steaks into the skillet and cook over medium heat turning frequently (do not let the meat burn; reduce the heat some if necessary).

2.  About half way through the cooking process add in the the sliced onions, continue to cook, turning  the meat along with the onions.  (The onions will  brown along with the meat. )

3.  Continue to cook until the meat is done.

4.  In a separate bowl, mix together the brown gravy mix, soup and water with a whisk – no lumps allowed (start by using only 1 cup of water).

5.  Pour this mixture over the cooked steaks, add the tablespoon of butter, cover and let simmer over low heat for about another 3-5 minutes. Give the steaks a stir about half-way through.

Note:  If you find the gravy too thick add a little more of the water until you have the consistency you want.

6.  Remove from heat and let steaks rest for about 3 minutes.

7.  Serve with mashed potatoes (my favorite), rice or noodles.

You’ve heard me say how certain things can trigger a fond memory –  and I think food is one of the best triggers. If you’ve got a favorite restaurant food you’ve eaten and  you’d like to be able to eat it at home, get your copy of secret restaurant recipes  . . .  you’ll also get  7 bonus cookbooks  with more great recipes.

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