Tag Archives: beef

Spicy Chipotle Steaks

P1050111Here’s a great Do-It-Yourself spice rub that is perfect for steaks with a little kick!

Chipotle is a fairly popular flavor these days, often seen in Mexican dishes. Many recipes with Chipotle will call for you to use a little can of chipotle peppers that are packed in a sauce. Though I do like the unique smoky flavor these peppers contribute, I almost always find it to be too overpowering in dishes for my taste, perhaps because the flavors are so concentrated in the canned peppers.

Then I decided to try Ground Chipotle Pepper- found in your spices at the grocery store. Basically, it’s the same product in different form. It’s just dried chipotle peppers, ground up! I have enjoyed this much more- still achieving the smoky flavor, but now not so overpowering.

So, this steak rub lends a hint of that great smoky chipotle to your beef with a nice spicy kick, too!

I think some my kids thought the steaks were a little bit too spicy. (though they did eat them, I will note!) But Tim and I loved the flavor and the spiciness level, too!

Here’s what you need:


Continue reading


Roasted Tomato Sauce and Meatballs on Spaghetti


How does Spaghetti with an absolutely homemade sauce (not even canned tomatoes!), made-from-scratch tender meatballs, on top of spaghetti with Parmesan cheese sound for dinner? Yum!

And if the taste wasn’t reason enough to prepare this dish, the aroma that will fill your house while the veggies are roasting in the oven is just intoxicating. Open your windows and soon the whole neighborhood will be over to see what’s cooking!

Here’s the overview:

Forget the store-bought stuff. (Who wants high fructose corn syrup in their sauce anyway?) This sauce is made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, and peppers- this would be a GREAT way to use summer produce from the garden! It is so simple and does not require a lot of time cooking on the stovetop in order to get good, deep flavors. By roasting the tomatoes and other veggies, the flavors become concentrated and deep in a short amount of time.- and the oven does all the work.

Continue reading

Favorite Mexican Lasagna


Soooo good!

We love Mexican-style dishes in our home, and this casserole includes all those great components that make Mexican food so delicious- gooey cheese, creamy sour cream, flavorful beef, and spicy salsa!

You could serve this with black beans or corn, avocado, or tortilla chips.

It’s a excellent week-night dinner that never disappoints!

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 9 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup oil for frying the tortillas
  • 1 16oz. jar of salsa (I like “Herdez” brand because it uses mostly natural ingredients)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups (8oz block) mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded

Brown the beef along with the onion and garlic. Drain.


Return the beef to the pan and add the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and water. Simmer for 10 minutes.

While the beef is simmering, you can work on the tortillas.


Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add a tortilla and allow to cook on each side for about 30 seconds….just until it gets slightly puffy and golden- not brown and crisp) Repeat until you have done this to all 8. You can lay them on a plate with a paper towel as you move along.

Time to Assemble:

Use 9×13 baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup salsa onto the bottom and spread out so that it covers the entire bottom.

Next, tear 3 of the tortillas into pieces and arrange on top of the salsa. (I tear each one into three pieces, usually. We’re not looking for tiny shreds here)

Pour on another 1/2 cup of salsa. Spread over the tortillas.

Tear 3 more tortillas into pieces. Arrange on top.

Now, add all the ground beef. Smooth it over the tortillas.

Drop the sour cream by large spoonfuls all over the top of the beef. Then, spread it out.

Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese (1 cup)

Tear the last 3 tortillas into pieces and arrange on top of the cheese.

Pour on the remaining salsa and spread it out to cover as much as possible.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes- until is it a little bubbly and the cheese is melted


Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then use a knife to cut it, and a large spatula to remove it from the dish.


Cube Steak and Gravy

P1020309My husband and I raise a few cattle, and recently had a steer butchered. So, we now have a freezer full of beef, which is wonderful! I love eating clean beef that we raised!

So, I am looking for new beef recipes to add to my repertoire. Cube Steak is a cut I wanted to work on. I have only worked with cube steaks a few times, and have never loved the outcome- It’s a cut that tends to be tough and chewy. So, my mom suggested trying Cube Steaks baked in gravy- which is how she likes to make them.

Many tips from mom later, a wonderful dinner was created. The steaks were tender and bathed in a beautiful, bubbly, brown gravy. I was pleased, and Tim (my hubby) loved it! Will make this one again.

  • 4-6 cube steaks
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  •  Oil
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • water
  • onion (optional)

Pour a little oil (1- 2 Tbs) and 2 Tbs. butter into a frying pan. and heat on medium-high heat.

While the oil/butter is heating up, add some flour to a separate pan or bowl. Sprinkle in 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Dredge the cube steaks in the flour, one at a time, and place in the frying pan.


Brown on both sides on medium-high heat.

(you are not cooking these through. You are ONLY cooking until they are a little browned on both sides.)

Continue until you have browned all the steaks. (add a small amount more of oil/butter if needed)

Add these to a large baking dish.

Sprinkle with a very small amount of cayenne pepper, if you like a little spiciness. If not- just leave it out.


If desired, you can slice up some onions and lay them over the steaks. This will add more flavor. But, if you don’t care for onions- this step is completely optional, as well.

Now, back to your frying pan. We are going to use the leftover meat drippings in the pan to make a gravy. There probably won’t be an abundance of meat drippings left over, but it will be enough to make a tasty gravy.

Start with a 1/2 cup of cold water. Add 2 large spoonfuls of flour and mix well with a fork. Add this to the pan that has the meat drippings. Stir with a wire whisk immediately. This should create a thick ‘paste’. Add another 2 cups of water. Now just whisk and whisk until the gravy begins to smooth out and thicken a little.


Once slightly thickened, add another 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Allow to bubble and thicken again. Keep whisking frequently so the gravy does not burn.

Just a note: The gravy will not look very brown at this point, and it will not be as thick as a finished gravy- but that’s what it will turn into as it bakes!

Pour the gravy over the cubed steaks.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for at least 1 hour at 375. (I suggest baking for 1 1/2 hours)

For the last 10 minutes of cooking, uncover. This will help the gravy to thicken and darken to a beautiful, bubbly brown gravy.


Remove from oven and serve! The cube steaks should be fully cooked and tender.

This is delicious alongside mashed potatoes  or brown rice. They hold the gravy really well!!


Taco Meat with DIY Seasoning


Tacos are a favorite weeknight meal in our home. It’s a meal that everyone is happy about- even my 2- year-old. In my early years of cooking, I always bought a package of taco seasoning to season the meat for tacos. But for years now I just make my own. In fact, I think this was one of the first items I quit buying and replaced with homemade. I don’t remember the last time I bought a packet.

It’s so easy and fast. It’s healthier.(Many packaged seasonings contain MSG and other chemicals and preservatives. See ingredients here.) And it is less expensive than buying a packaged seasoning mix every time. Try it out!

*The amounts of the spices could be less or more depending on your family’s tastes. But this is a good place to start.

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 c. water (if you prefer the meat to be “saucier”, increase to 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin


Brown the ground beef. Drain. Return to the pan and add the water and seasonings. Stir.


Allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes-Most of the water will be absorbed.

Serve with your other taco toppings.


%d bloggers like this: