Thursday, May 28, 2015

Slow cooker cube steak

Okay!  Hi, everybody!  Happy Thursday, the weekend is close!  I was heading to bed last night, and totally forgot that I didn't have a post set up for today...oops!  
So, I had this one on the back burner, for just such an occasion.  I grew up eating cube steak, but it was never a favorite dish of mine, since it usually is tough.  
A few years ago, I tossed some cube steak in the slow cooker, and I have never looked back.  This method of cooking cube steak always gives you cube steak that is so tender, you don't even need a knife to cut it with.  
Interested?  Let's get started!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
1 package of cube steak
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup*
1 tsp salt
1/4 C water
1/2 Tbs dried oregano (optional) 

*Okay, okay, I know.  I always talk about trying to do things from scratch, however, at the end of the day, I am Southern, so my kitchen isn't complete without a can or two of Cream of Mushroom soup in it.  It is so easy to make your own soup, however, my husband basically guzzles this down, even though he doesn't like mushrooms.  Go figure.  
That being said, homemade is always better, so if you have some homemade cream of mushroom soup laying around, use it!
To get started, put the soup in the crock of your slow cooker, and stir in the water and salt.  You don't need much salt here, and sometimes I've put in 1 tsp of dried thyme or 1 tsp of dried parsley, it's up to you!
You don't want to add a lot of liquid to the soup mix, because as the meat cooks, it is going to release a lot of natural juices, and being that the slow cooker is closed, no liquid is going to evaporate out.  So, if you add a lot of liquid to the soup to begin with, it is going to result in a runny gravy.  Which will still be tasty, but not what you're looking for.

You want this to be still pretty thick, but just thinned out enough so that you can stir it around.  This is the consistency that you want out of this:

If you choose to add in any dried herbs, mix them in at this point, and lay in your cube steak.  

You can see here that there is some overlap, and that's okay.  As it cooks, the meat will shrink a little bit, and you can open the lid quickly, to stir the cube steak around a little bit, so that the gravy can cover all of the meat.  But, to start off with, it is totally fine to have some overlay of the cube steak.

At this point, pop the lid on, and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-7 hours.  I like to take a fork, and move the cube steak around a bit every couple of hours, just to be sure that the meat is cooking evenly.

I like to serve this with some rice and lemon garlic green beans; my husband smothers his rice with the gravy!  This is a meal that comes together quickly, and, believe me, gets eaten even quicker!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tie Dye Birthday Cupcakes

Hello again, everyone!  It's Tuesday again, and as some of you know, my daughter's 4th birthday was this past Sunday, and her birthday celebration at school is tomorrow, so, I made up some surprise tie dye cupcakes that I think the kids are going to love!
These cupcakes are made using a white cake mix, because I just didn't feel like making a batter from scratch, and cake mixes come together so quickly!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pasta with Vodka Cream sauce

Hello again, everyone!  Happy Thursday!  I probably have mentioned how I don't often drink alcohol, but I cook with it frequently.  I find that it really adds a ton of flavor to the food, and that's always welcome!
Since I don't drink often, our liquor cabinet is so sparse, its nonexistent.  We sometimes have a bottle of vodka in the freezer, but we haven't had any in awhile.  On our vacation, my husband picked up a mini bottle of vodka, because he knows I like to make pasta with vodka cream sauce.  He's a keeper!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cucumber feta cheese bites

Hello, everyone!  Happy Tuesday!  We're back from our amazing vacation to Alaska, and I'm trying, slowly, to get back into the swing of things.  
So I figured I'd start back with a really lovely little snack/side dish, that, as a bonus, doesn't require any heat (with the summer approaching/already here, anything that I don't need to turn on the stove with is appreciated).  
It has a cucumber, so I'm calling it healthy, even though it is almost 50/50% cucumber/feta cheese!  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

Hello, everyone!  Happy Thursday!  I'm still on vacation, but the other night, I had a real craving for some mac and cheese.  I've been known to grab a box off of the shelf in the pantry, but, honestly, I'm not a huge fan of the boxed stuff.
I like being able to pronounce the ingredients in my food, call me crazy.  But that's a discussion for another day, and sometimes, all you have time for is the boxed stuff, and that's okay, too!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Creamy Fudge popsicles

Hi, everyone!  Today may be Tuesday, however, as you're reading this, I'm on vacation!  My husband and I are off on an amazing adventure in Alaska, somewhere that has been on my bucket list to visit for as long as I can remember!
The other day, my daughter wanted to help me do some work in the kitchen, and I figured with summer coming up, we could make some creamy fudge-y popsicles like I used to love when I was her age.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Hello, everyone!  It's cookie of the month time!  I can't believe that it is already May.  Honestly, where does time go??  I'm even more surprised how quickly it has gone by, considering we're going on vacation next week!  My husband and I booked this trip months and months and months ago (seriously, like, August of last year...), and it is FINALLY here!
However, we're not here to talk about that today!  Today, we're talking about the cookie of the month!  A couple of months ago, we made some mint and chocolate macarons, which made me think about making some coconut macaroons!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Pulled pork tamales

Hello, everyone!  Welcome back!  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Tamales are far and away one of my favorite Mexican treats to make, although they are a little time consuming, which is why this is the one day per year I make these up!
This year, I cooked the pork a couple of days ahead of time, shredded it up and stuck in the fridge, so that when it came time to make these, they came together fairly quickly (for making tamales).  I've made these with ground beef, shredded chicken and now with shredded pork!  I think that this may be my new favorite...