Steak Fingers

It is fine to eat these with your fingers, one thing I almost always serve at ever meal is cantaloupe, to me it just says ‘summer time’~

Steak Fingers  are a good summer time meal. They are easy to fix, easy to eat and everyone likes them. Today I served them with gravy, fried okra salad, mashed potatoes, hot biscuits, cantaloupe and red, yellow and orange peppers and radishes. I made a chocolate cake last night so that with ice cream and coffee was dessert. I have the recipes for the cake, the fried okra salad and biscuits in earlier blogs~

Steak Fingers
1 1/2 lbs tenderized round steak, cut it in 3/4 inch strips
1 c flour, seasoned with salt, garlic powder and pepper
Roll the strips in flour and lay on a sheet of wax paper
let sit a little while until meat absorbs the flower, then roll
it again in more flour.
Heat canola oil in skillet,(about 1 inch deep) set on Med.
When hot, add the steak fingers and turn after a few minutes
It doesn’t take long to cook them, don’t overcook, you want them
just crunchy on the outside and soft and tender inside.
To make cream gravy, pour off all but about 3 T of the oil
add 3 T flour, cook for a minute, then add 1 1/2 c milk. Cook
until thickened, salt and pepper to taste.  

Homemade Corn Tortillas

there is no end to the things that can go into a taco, scrambled eggs,cheese,lettuce,alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, cottage cheese or sour cream~

This recipe for homemade corn tortillas is fast and easy. You mix the batter, pour it in a small 8″ skillet, much like making a crepe or pancake, and cook it in a minute. Repeat until you have used all the batter, It should make 12 nice size corn tortillas. You cook the tortilla twice, once to make it and then the second time is to soft fry it in oil to cook it and make it a little crisp around the edges, it gives it a wonderful flavor. You can roll up whatever you like inside, here I have grated cheese, cottage cheese, shredded lettuce, scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Everyone can build their own. Since the batter has an egg in it, don’t heat it in the microwave or it will taste “fishy”. ( I sent this recipe to Elizabeth since she likes Mexican Food and there are no tortillas in Africa, and no masa flour to make them. They do have corn meal so she will be able to make enchiladas and tacos now).

Homemade Corn Tortillas
1 1/2 c water
1 c flour
1/2 c yellow corn meal
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
Beat all of this in a blender until it is completely mixed.
Heat small 8″ skillet that has been sprayed with a little Pam
Pour 1/4 c batter (measure, no more than this) in heated skillet and tilt pan to cover whole bottom of pan with the batter, it needs to be thin.
Cook about 15 or 20 seconds on each side, take out and do another one
until all the batter is used. Stack the tortillas as you cook them.
Now, add about 1/2″ corn oil to skillet and one by one, cook
the tortillas (med heat) 30 seconds on each side. Lay each one’
on several thickness of paper towels, patting tops to get the
grease off. Stack and keep warm.
 You will have the platter of scrambled eggs, lettuce and stuffing
done ahead of time so you are ready to eat when you finish the
tortillas. My favorite is a little bit of scrambled eggs, lots of lettuce
and some cottage cheese. Sour cream is good, alfalfa sprouts are good,
but I always want the scrambled egg too. One scrambled egg is enough for about three tacos.

Breakfast Tacos

Today is Friday so you have time to go to the grocery store for avocado, sour cream dressing, tortillas and cilantro and be ready to fix everyone a nice weekend breakfast. They will love you for it!

fry a few extra tortillas to finish up on, you’re going to love this! Break off chunks and eat with your fingers, that’s how it is done ~

These crisp breakfast tacos are a real treat. I always keep small packages of pinto beans cooked and in the freezer. I also freeze packages of corn tortillas and when I need them, I can just slip a knife between them and pop out however many I want. This is a good supper time meal too. Forget the fork, break them apart and eat them with your fingers, a little messy  but just don’t look~

Breakfast Taco
Hard fry corn tortillas, (two per serving) 
1 c cooked pinto beans, mashed and seasoned with garlic powder & salt
2 scrambled eggs (add slice of American Cheese while cooking)
1 large avocado mashed and seasoned with garlic powder & salt
shredded cheddar cheese
1 c  shredded lettuce
1 chopped tomato
sour cream dressing
Fry the tortillas in half an inch of oil until crisp (not browned), drain well
Spread the mashed beans on tortilla, lay another tortilla on top
put 2 T scrambled eggs on next, sprinkle on some shredded cheese , then
lettuce and tomatoes,scoop some avocado on and then top it all off with a spoon
of sour cream dressing.  A sprig of cilantro for a grand finish~

Hot Chicken Salad

This is Pat Pfluger’s recipe, it is a great meal for company, they will remember it~I know I did!

Hot Chicken Salad is a main course meal, all you need to add is a fresh vegetable salad  or fruit salad and hot rolls for a fantastic company dinner. It is one of Pat Pfluger’s great recipes, and she has many. It can be put together the day before and then topped with the cheese and potato chips just before heating. Talking about potato chips, one bag is almost $5. The world has gone crazy. I can buy a whole chicken for less than that. Or I can buy a pound of fat hamburger meat for $7. Recently I saw cows tongues  in the market for a whopping $32 each, that is the trash meat that the butcher used to give away for nothing. I like the old days best~

Hot Chicken Salad
2 c. cubed chicken cooked
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1 can water chestnuts
1 small jar pimentos
1/2 c. real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1/2 c. slivered almonds
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Mix together in casserole.
Then top with:
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 
2 c. potato chips (or more)
Heat in 350 degree oven uncovered for 20 minutes or until bubbling hot
(you can make this ahead of time~then when ready to heat,
add the cheese and potato chips) This recipe can be doubled
or tripled.

Sunday Dinner After Church

There are about 12 cups of hominy in one of these gallon cans. I had to 4 times the recipe to use all of it.

There are about 12 cups of hominy in one of these gallon cans. I had to 4 times the recipe to use all of it.

As I posted in an earlier blog about having ‘survival food’ stored in my closet, I have decided I needed to start using it. I was having my Sunday after church dinner and we enjoyed  the feature of the day, hominy casserole using a gallon can of the hominy. I served it with thin cut pork chops, fried tender and crisp~

The huge hominy casserole enough for a crowd. What was left over, I cut into individual servings and froze to enjoy later.  In my family, everyone goes home with a meal for super too.

The huge hominy casserole is  enough for a crowd. What was left over I cut into individual servings and froze to enjoy later. In my family, everyone goes home with a meal for super.

Black eyed peas seasoned with bacon, this is the favorite of all vegetables when they are fresh.  Canned~ well not so good, pretty awful.

Black eyed peas seasoned with bacon, this is the favorite of all vegetables when they are fresh. (canned~ well not so good,  pretty awful,  REALLY  awful!)

I buy turnip greens and mustard greens when I can find them and freeze them.  Grandmother McWhorter always had some leftovesr on her stove, I loved them and I loved her.

I buy turnip greens and mustard greens when I can find them and freeze them. Grandmother McWhorter always had some leftovers on her stove, I loved them and I loved her.

There was a big bowl of the black eyed peas I worked on all last week, fresh turnip greens (Wall Mart), mashed potatoes with cream gravy, Austin’s tasty tomatoes and English cucumbers from his garden, radishes from Debbie’s garden. Top it all off with buttered corn bread. Someone else passed on the dessert but Debbie and I enjoyed  Haagen-Dazs Gelato Vanilla Caramel Pizzelle ( fancy name for Eskimo Pie).

It takes about three minutes to stir up a pan of corn bread,  bake it 20 minutes and it is ready for some butter and raves!

It takes about three minutes to stir up a pan of corn bread, bake it 20 minutes and it is ready for some butter and raves.

Hominy Casserole    ( this is the recipe for regular family size)

1 medium onion chopped, cook in 2 Tbs, canola oil until tender

1/2  tsp garlic powder

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (save half to sprinkle on top later)

1/4 cup milk

1 can (4 ounces) can green chilies

1  2 ounce jar pimentos

1/4 tsp cumin

3 cans (15 ounces each) hominy drained

In large bowl, combine half of the cheese and all the other ingredients. Pour into greased 2-qt baking dish, bake uncovered at 350* for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate to bake later.



Black Eyed Peas

It would be hard to find another thing as good as fresh black eyed peas. Most times it is just hard to find them anywhere. I had some lined up with Farmer Shay but after planting 8 acres of them in five different fields, the deer found them and he didn’t make a crop. I mentioned on Face Book that I was looking for some to buy and a  good friend knew of a source, that same evening there were two big sacks hand delivered to my front door by her son Austin. He said he would take me to the pea patch the next morning when it was cool and we could pick more. So I ended up with about three bushels.

you lay the wet pea on the tray and push it through the hole,  it catches in the roller and separates the pea from the shuck

This is a pea sheller  you lay the wet pea on the tray and push it through the hole, it catches in the roller and separates the pea from the shuck. A hand mixer  connects to the metal rod and that makes the rollers turn.

Now comes the fun part, shelling them.They need to be taken care of within day or so, the sooner the better. I put a damp towel over the baskets while I worked on others. I have had this pea sheller for maybe 50 years and it does a good job. A hand mixer is attached to the side with the metal thing and it turns two black rubber rollers inside, much like a washing machine wringer. The peas drop in the container while the shuck goes out the back onto a towel. I like to sit and shell them by hand too, it is pleasant work. (It is not noisy either).

a pile of shelled peas and a pile ready to be shelled.

A pile of shelled peas and a pile ready to be shelled. I like snaps with my peas, those are the small tender ones that are too little to shell.

When I have enough shelled to blanch, I wash those and put them in boiling water, bring it to a boil again and let them roll around in there for about 3 minutes, then cool off quickly in cold water.

Blanching peas in boiling water for three minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to cool

Blanching peas in boiling water for three minutes, drain and rinse in cold water to cool them off. Blanching stops the peas from maturing any further.

Drain and they are ready for the quart freezer bags.

Here are meal size packages of peas, ready for the freezer.

Here are meal size packages of peas ready for the freezer.

I season my peas with about three slices of bacon and boil until they are tender~ maybe 20 minutes, check on them and don’t cook them to death. This along with corn bread, a pork chop, and a glass of buttermilk, you have a feast. It makes your kitchen smell good too~

Chicken and Dumplings

this has lots of flavor and the dumplings, (my favorite part), are just as good as the chicken,  It goes great with biscuits and a salad, and buttermilk~

This is a real old timey dish. Years ago, families tended to be  big and food had to go a long way. With this meal, you could cook a chicken and add more dumplings and gravy to fit the crowd. The meat was left on the bone, that way, it took longer to eat and  you could see if someone else got your favorite piece. My daddy had something he always said when we had company, “eat plenty of  gravy, it’s just s good as the meat”.

You start with a large pot, and a whole whole chicken (fryer).  Cut into serving-size pieces (you will have two legs, two thighs, two breasts, a pulley bone, back, neck and ribs). Put it in the pot, cover with water and 1 tsp salt, 1 med onion and one one rib of celery. Cook  for an hour and a half. When done, put the chicken pieces in separate bowl, discard onion and celery , and thicken the broth. ( put 3 tablespoons of flour in a cup, add 1/2 cup of water and stir to get the lumps out. Then add several spoons of the hot broth to cup and stir to mix. Put this back in the pot and cook until it starts to thicken, stirring the whole time). Add more salt to taste if necessary. While it is cooking you mix up the dumplings.

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c shortening
3/4 c milk
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening until mixture
until mixture is size of small peas. Add milk and mix well. (dough will
be  firm) Turn out on lightly floured wax paper, knead lightly, roll
out to 1/8 inch thickness, cut into strips. Now drop the dumplings in
the simmering broth, one at a time, put the lid on and simmer for
20 minutes ~ med. low heat. Watch or it will boil over!
Put the chicken back in the pot and for a few more minutes to re-heat.
You can sprinkle with ground black pepper and a few parsley flakes.
I like to serve this meal with hot biscuits and a salad. The whole meal cost
about the same as one  barbeque sandwich and a drink, and feeds 6 or more.
It is a lot more fun too, you end up with everyone happy and little stack
of bare bones.

Pita Bread Sandwiches

you can pick this up and eat it without juice running down your arm, the bread holds together to the very last bite. The stuffing is crunchy and wonderful, don’t over cook it.

This is something you might like~ a lot! It is homemade pita bread (or pocket bread) that is stuffed with meat, seasoned with curry and mixed with crunchy vegetables, raisins, and chopped apples. The bread is tough and chewy, it holds the stuffing down to the last bite and doesn’t get soft and weepy. It is something you can eat on the run or serve to your company around the dinning table. It is delicious. Curry is one of my favorite seasonings, it has a woody taste and is different from any other spice. We always made these sandwiches down on the river in the summer time. Everyone liked them and they were good warm or cold. They were just good.

Most of the circles will puff up like this, I usually cook two at at a time so they won’t be crowded. It only takes 6 minutes on each load. Cut them in half with scissors when cool~

Make the bread first, and while it is rising, you can start on the stuffing, it only takes a short time from start to finish. The dough needs to rest for a little while so it will relax and you will be able to roll the circles without  resistance, otherwise you will roll and it will fight with you.

this one is ready to stuff, I like them with two or three tablespoons of filling and then flatten them slightly. Don’t forget a spoon of sour cream to top it off.

I have always been amazed that flour, liquid and a rising agent can be combined to make every kind of bread you can imagine and all of them are different. Here goes~


Pocket Bread
1 pkg. yeast
½ warm water
1 tsp sugar
~ let this sit for 5 minutes

1 c. warm water
3 c flour
1 ¼ tsp salt

Now beat and mix all together and let
rise for 2 hours. Divide into 6 balls
and roll into 7 in. circles on floured board.
Spray 2 cookie sheets with Pam,
lay three circles on each pan and
Let rise for 10 minutes while you preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for about 6 minutes, until they start to turn golden,watch that they don’t burn. Cool on wire racks and  then cut in halves, I use kitchen scissors.


Brown together:
1 lb. very lean ground meat
1 onion, chopped

Add & cook 4 or 5 minutes:
1 chopped apple
1/3 c white raisins
½ c celery chopped med. fine
2 carrots chopped med. fine
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder and 2 T white wine

Stuff pockets with filling and add a dollop
of sour cream dressing.

Pasta Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

wonderful comfort food. The stoneware is handmade in Buffalo Gap, Texas, don’t you love those names like Vinigarone, Brushy Top, Grit, Muelshoe, Sugar Land, Sweetwter~and it goes on and on~

My friend Ann Barker sent me this recipe for some real comfort food. (Her mother got it from Gene Kerr years ago). It is one of those dishes you make in 15 minutes and eat on all day, you have to keep going back for another taste. Onions and tomatoes are two of my favorites.

 Italian Macaroni Salad
8 oz package medium shell macaroni
6 slices crisp bacon, broken in pieces
1 med. chopped onion
1 can drained cubed tomatoes
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
salt to taste
Cook macaroni as instructed on pkg.
Toss the other ingredients together in bowl and
then add to cooked macaroni. 

Pickled Beets

tasty, colorful, they add some zing, good for every day, every meal

This is a simple recipe for pickled beets. It is easy and fast and adds something special to any meal. They will keep well in the refrigerator for a week, if you can stay out of them~I  can’t think of any dinner meal that they wouldn’t make more special.

Pickled Beets

2 cans whole or cut beets (drain but save
1/2 c. of the juice)
3/4 c. vinegar
3/4 c sugar

Put beets, vinegar, saved
beet juice and sugar in saucepan,
bring to a full boil. Let cool and store
in refrigerator until ready to use.

Chinese Chicken Shun-Goi

This is a recipe you should try.  It is absolutely my favorite Chinese dish of all of the wonderful ones out there. It has a little sour-sweet flavor, crunchy cashew nuts, dredged and fried chicken pieces, and all the vegetables are still crisp . Served on steamed rice, it will be one you will remember ~and the chopsticks are not just for decorations, that is what I use and never drop a bite in my lap!

chop sticks add a lot of fun to this meal, offer them to everyone, and also a fork for those who are in a big hurry to eat~.

This is a wonderful Chinese dinner, perfect for company, everyone will love it. Any left overs can be put on  plates for the freezer to be enjoyed later.  It is colorful and simply delicious. My favorite Chinese Food.
Grocery list:
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
2 bell peppers
water chestnuts
large can pineapple chunks
3 Roma tomatoes
cashew nuts
6 cups chicken broth
Soy Sauce
Chicken Shun-Goi

Sauce   ( you can make this ahead of time)

1/2 c soy sauce
4 heaping T. corn starch
2 c chicken broth ( I make my own any time I am boiling chicken, then freeze it)
1/2 c vinegar
3 T sugar
Pineapple juice from drained chunks
Stir (constantly) together and cook until thickened, it is slightly thinner than gravy

Fried chicken breast chunks  (this can be done an hour or so before dinner, like before church)

Cut breasts into small cubes (the size of pineapple chunks)
1 egg & 1/2 c. water  Mix together in med size bowl)
2 c flour seasoned with salt and pepper and put in large mixing bowl
Dip chicken cubes in egg mixture, then into  flour and coat completely, only do about 1/4th at a time so they will be well covered.
Heat 2 c. corn oil hot in wok or skillet, drop in chicken and stir while it fries until done, it only takes a few minutes . Put on paper towels and get all the grease off. Then do the rest of the chicken the same way until it is all cooked.

2 c rice
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c chicken broth
Put it all in a large pant, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and cook 25 minutes or until tender. (you can do this before church too)

Cut up vegetables, even the day before is fine
Stir fry in hot wok or big skillet with 1/4 c. corn oil:
2 bell peppers (big chunks)
1 onion, quartered and separated
4 stalks celery cut into 1/2 in. chunks
(Only cook for a few minutes!  you want them crunchy)

Add drained pineapple chunks,
can of water chestnuts drained
Roma tomatoes, (quartered)
cashew nuts
fried chicken chunks

toss together with vegetables and sauce on heat for
about 30 seconds more.
Serve the Shun-Goi on rice in each individual plate, this recipe is generous for 6 people~

This is such an easy recipe, it sounds complicated but once you make it, you will see
it is fast and simple. When I cut up the vegetables, I put each in a plastic bag and don’t
mix them until I cook them.
It is one, two, three, four:
1. fry the chicken chunks
2. make the rice
3. stir fry the vegetables~ and 4. make the sauce

Texas Pecan Pralines

This is a recipe you will want to make often, these pralines will melt in your mouth. (there is another recipe for the creamy, chewy kind that I will post later) The secret to making wonderful pralines is to toast the pecans first. I always toast pecans that are going into any candy recipe. This was my Grandmother Montgomery’s favorite candy to cook~

                        PECAN   PRALINES
1-Cup Sugar
½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Light Karo
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 to 4 Cups toasted pecans
(toast pecans in  microwave for about 2 or 2 1/2 minutes
two cups at a time. Stir every 30 seconds so they
don’t overcook.) Generiously butter a cookie sheet.
Combine the sugars, water, Karo, salt, and vinegar. Stir to mix well.  Wipe
down the sides of the pan with moist paper towel to prevent sugar crystals
from forming.  Cook to 234 degrees on candy thermometer.
Remove from stove, add butter and nuts and beat until the mixture starts
to thicken and loose its shine. Quickly drop from spoon to the buttered cookie sheet, using
a second spoon to scrape it off. If it should get too thick and sugary, just add a
few drops of water and beat. Cool, and wrap in wax paper, store for any length of time.
As with any candy, don’t double recipe and cook in a very heavy pan.
Makes about 20 pralines.