Monday, December 17, 2007

Easy zuccini

I love zuccini (or however you spell that little green squash) but never really had it growing up so I didn't know how to cook it. Recently I ordered some at a local restaurant. It was breaded and fried and then sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with marinara sauce. I decided that I really wanted to try this at home but that I wanted to make a healthier version. I saw somewhere that some people dip chicken breasts in Italian dressing and then dip in breadcrumbs to add flavor and save some fat and calories from dipping in egg. That is what I wanted to do, until I realized that we didn't have any Italian dressing. The thought of dipping them in egg was VERY unappetizing so I improvised and used water. Here's my "recipe:"

1 zuccini, thinly sliced into coin shapes
1/4 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I used the stuff from the can)
a few tablespoons water
Olive oil cooking spray
Marinara sauce (I actually used some pizza sauce that I made that same day and I will post that recipe in a couple of days)
a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip zuccini slices into water and then into bread crumbs and then place on a baking sheet. Spray well with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 6 minutes or until browned. Flip over. Spray other side with the olive oil spray and then bake for 6 more minutes. Remove to plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and serve with marinara sauce.

This is really good and I can't wait to have it again. I think I will make this anytime I am making a red sauce with pasta and then just serve it with that sauce.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Steak potatoes

1/4 pound ground sirloin
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Worshire (sp?) Sauce

2 potatoes
2 slices cheddar cheese

Cook ground sirloin over medium high heat in a non-stick pan until nearly browned. Add salt, pepper and Worshire Sauce. Finish browing. Drain well to drain off fat and excess sauce. Put in a baggie and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub two baking potatoes, then poke holes in them with a fork and bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes (1 hour, 15 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle without burning yourself. Slice open potatoes and put half of sirloin mixture in each potato and top with a slice of cheese. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until sirloin mixture is heated up and cheese is melted.

Last night I made cheeseburger individual pizzas so I doubled the sirloin recipe to use on those. I call these steak potatoes since I use ground sirloin.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Michael Cooks Country Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Last night I was exhausted and so did not feel like cooking but I wanted Country Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Greenbeans in the WORST sort of way. So I asked my DH if he minded cooking last night if I gave him a recipe. He said he would!

I made this recipe about a year ago. I was at Publix doing some grocery shopping and they were handing out samples. It was so good that I made this for dinner that night. I somehow lost the recipe and forgot about it until recently. I was going to Publix for lunch and decided to swing by the Apron's counter and see if they had the recipe. They always have two recipes on the counter and then some on a spinner. Well the recipe I was looking for just happened to be sitting out on the rack!

I think that my DH did a better job of making this than I did. We didn't have pre-made refrigerator mashed potatoes so he made homemade and we just had regular green beans, not the pre-snipped kind. Also we did not have bacon bits, only bacon so he zapped some in the microwave. All in all that added about 15 minutes on to the 30 minute estimation that they give to make these recipes.

Here is the recipe copied straight from the Publix site:

Country-Fried Steak, Peppered Mashed Potatoes, Southern Green Beans
Meal Time - 30 minutes / Serves 4
Cooking Sequence
Prepare potatoes through step 1 and beans through step 1 - 5 minutes
Prepare steaks and begin to cook - 10 minutes
Complete beans - 10 minutes
Complete steaks and potatoes; serve - 5 minutes

Country-Fried Steak


1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs, beaten)
2/3 cup plain bread crumbs
4 cubed steaks (about 1 1/2 lb)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 packet sausage gravy mix (about 2 1/2 oz)
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup water


1. Combine flour and seasoned salt in medium bowl. Place egg substitute in second bowl and bread crumbs in third bowl. Preheat large sauté pan on medium 1–2 minutes.

2. Dredge each steak in flour mixture, coating evenly. Dip into eggs; remove and let excess drip off. Dredge in bread crumbs (wash hands). Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add steaks (wash hands); cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.

3. Stir in gravy mix and gradually add milk and water, stirring continually, until gravy is smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook 2–3 minutes, stirring often, to heat thoroughly. Serve gravy over steaks.

Peppered Mashed Potatoes


1 (24-ounce) package refrigerated mashed potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl; cover.
2. Microwave on HIGH 4 minutes, stirring once, or until hot. Stir and serve.

Southern Green Beans


1 (12-ounce) bag snipped green beans
2 cups water
1 tablespoon cooked bacon pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


1. Place beans and water in medium saucepan on high and bring to boil. Boil 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans begin to soften.

2. Drain; stir in remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until desired tenderness. Serve.

Shopping List


1 (24-ounce) package refrigerated mashed potatoes
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs)
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter

Dry Grocery

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons + 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 packet sausage gravy mix (about 2 1/2 oz)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup plain bread crumbs
3 tablespoons canola oil


1 tablespoon cooked, crumbled bacon
4 cube steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds)


1 (12-ounce) bag snipped green beans

Utensils & Cookware
large sauté pan
medium saucepan with lid
microwave-safe bowl with lid
mixing bowls, colander
tongs, cooking spoons
measuring utensils

Shortcuts & Tips
To reduce fat content, try the steak recipe with chicken cutlets instead.

I would like to thank my husband for making such a great meal and Publix for providing such great recipes!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Twice Baked Bacon, Ranch and Cheddar Potatoes

My husband is a meat and potato kind of guy. Sometimes I like to treat him to a meal just for him with things that I know he will love. A local grocery store had T-bones on sale for $4.99 a pound this week so a picked a couple up and we had them last night. Since we are having summer weather here I went ahead and had DH grill them outside. With a kiss on the cheek and a request to not under-cook my steak he marched outside to begin his manly task. Meanwhile I whipped these up to serve with them. These take a while to prepare so we probably won't be having them during the week and they are calorie overload so they are definately for a rare treat. DH LOVED them so I know that I'll be making them again.

2 small baking potatoes
4 strips of bacon cooked to crispy and crumbled
4 oz of sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 Teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub potatoes and dry. Poke holes in the skin with a fork so that the potato doesn't explode.

2. Bake for one hour.

3. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle the potatoes without burning yourself.4. Combine bacon, cheese and ranch dressing in a bowl. Cut potatoes in half length-wise and scoop out the white part. Combine with cheese mixture. Put the potato and cheese mixture back into the potato skins and mound up smoothing the tops with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.5. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the potato mixture is warmed up.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Suzabelle takes over Mommy's blog

Hi bloggers!

This is Suzabelle. You may have heard my Mommy talk about me before. She usually calls me "the crazy Chihuahua." First of all, mom, I am 1/2 pug too. Secondly, just because I run around the house chasing my sisters 18/7 (I have to sleep sometimes!), destroy anything I can find when you leave the house, and give you militant kisses, I still don't understand why that makes me crazy, that just makes me a Chihuahua!

Oh, Mommy says I have ADD and I got distracted... anyways back to the reason I am taking over Mommy's blog today. I have to tell you about my new FAVORITE THING EVER!!! (other than Mommy of course) Mom brought home a pint of Haagen Das Frozen Yogurt yesterday (Vanilla and Raspberry Swirl) and she gave me and that new puppy (Isabelle) a bite when she was done. I have never tasted anything better in my life! That is way better than jelly beans (which I steal from dad) and Ms. Kitty's food (which I steal from Ms. Kitty- I don't understand why I have to share with Izzy but Ms. Kitty doesn't have to share with me). When I saw Mommy get up to put the rest in the freezer my little heart ached and so I cried. I wanted Mommy to give me the rest but she says I have to stay "healthy" so we can be together forever. So Mommy got me a Breath Buster bone (what are you trying to tell me Mom) but that didn't make my little aching heart feel any better. :-(

Mommy says that if I am good today and do not shred all of the toilet paper in the house or eat any shoes that I can have some after dinner. I guess there is at least that.

All of you should run to the store RIGHT THIS MINUTE and pick some up. Have a bite for me, and if you could sneak me a pint or two behind Mommy's back I am sure that she would never find out. :)