Salsa Cube Steaks

This is a super easy dish.  Quick to prepare and quicker to disappear from the table. The other nice thing is it’s a use for cube steak that doesn’t involve breading, frying or soaking it in a creamy soupy mix.  It is suggested to be served over rice, but I simply served it on the plate and used buttered white bread to sop up the extra sauce.  Delicious!  I think next time, I’ll serve it with steamed corn tortillas.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 pound beef cube steak (4 steaks)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar salsa


1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.  Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with Pam and place steaks inside. Season with cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
3.    Arrange the onion over the meat and pour salsa over all. Cover with foil.
4.    Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 40 minutes.


Speedy Dinner Rolls

What happens when you discover that you are having two more people at dinner than you planned for?  Well first you make a big salad and hope people eat it.  Next, you add a bread course.  But if all you have is a loaf of white bread, what are you going to do?  Oh yeah, and it’s only 90 minutes before they arrive.  Well, you search the internet for a quick dinner roll recipe and trust that you can pull it off.  The boys declared it a success!  Their girlfriends were at least nice enough to agree to my face.


  •     1 package quick-acting active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) ( 7 grams)
  •     1 1/3 cup milk (105º to 115ºF degrees)
  •     3 to 3 1/2 cups flour or whole wheat flour
  •     3 tablespoons oil
  •     1 tablespoon sugar
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 tablespoon melted butter
  •     coarse salt

1.    Dissolve yeast in warm milk in large bowl.
2.    Stir in 1 cup flour. Beat with mxer until smooth.
3.    Stir in enough remaining flour, oil, sugar and salt.  Mix on low electric speed until soft dough forms.
4.    Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
5.    Heat oven 400ºF degrees.  Prep a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. (Two muffin pans for 12)
6.    Punch down dough in center and fold over a few times.
7.    Pinch off 1 inch balls of dough and quickly roll in palm of hands.
8.    Put 3 balls to one muffin cup; brush with melted butter; sprinkle with coarse salt.
9.    Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is light golden brown.  Immediately remove from pan.

Gazpacho with Crab Meat and Avocado

This recipe is my attempt to recreate the best gazpacho I ever had.  It was served at Louie’s 106, a fine restaurant in downtown Austin that is unfortunately no longer with us.  No trip to Louie’s would be start without ordering this tasty gazpacho.  I’ve had other, but nothing like theirs.  This is my homage to Louie’s 106!  A final note, a real chef decided that canned tomatoes are OK for gazpacho – it beats the hell out of seeding and peeling fresh ones!


  • 2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped, or one 28-ounce can (include the juices)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 or 3 slices bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
  • 1 /4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Avocado and lump crab meat for garnish


  1. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, bread, oil, vinegar, garlic and jalapeno with 3/4 cup water in a blender.
  2. Squeeze in lemon; process until smooth.  If the gazpacho seems too thick, thin with additional water.Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Serve immediately (or refrigerate and serve within a couple of hours), garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped avocado and crab meat!

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Glazed Carrots

This recipe was taken with very few changes from  I had just picked up fresh from the farm carrots with our CSA subscription and thought this would be a great way to get them on our plates.  As it turned out, the boys reacted hugely in favorof the herb covered pork chops.  Sure they liked the carrots, but the pork chops carried the day!


  •         4 pork chops, 1/2-inch thick, center cut
  •         2 teaspoon salt
  •         2 teaspoon paprika
  •         2 teaspoon onion powder
  •         2 teaspoon oregano
  •         2 teaspoon thyme
  •         1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  •         1 teaspoon cayenne
  •         2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •         4 carrots
  •         1 teaspoon thyme
  •         olive oil
  •         1 teaspoon salt
  •         1 teaspoon black pepper
  •         1/2 cup orange juice


  1.  Dredge the pork chops in the spices (except oil). Let them sit for about 30 minutes to absorb the flavor of the spices. While they rest prepare your carrots as described in step 4.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Heat oven safe frying pan over medium high heat with the oil. Place the chops into the heated pan and sear until golden brown (about 5 minutes each side). Remove from heat
  4. Cut carrots into thin slices and toss them in a bowl with the thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the carrots to the saute pan with the pork chops.
  6. Place the saute pan into the oven for about 10 minutes or until chops are cooked thru.
  7. Remove the chops from the pan onto serving plates.
  8. Leaving the carrots in the pan, deglaze the pan with the orange juice.
  9. Place carrots atop the chops and drizzle with glaze.

Beef Stroganoff

Have you ever tried to find a recipe online for Beef Stroganoff?  What an adventure!  No two recipes are the same, and I am not just talking about the amount of ingredients, but what ingredients to even use!  So, with that in mind, here is what I settled on, combining several recipes, and arriving at a passable meal.  There were no leftovers to be sure.  Also, I used beef tips instead of cutting steak into strips.  I like the more substantial feel of the beef tips.  The recipe went well, but one of the kids had turned my burner to the simmer setting, which I did not discover until well into cooking.  As a result, I don’t think the sauce thickened as well as it should.  I’ll try it again sometime with proper settings on the stove!  You will want to make sure you have some egg noodles to serve with this!

Prep Time: 70 minutes with marinade

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves 5-6


  • Soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef tips
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbs butter, divided
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef consomme
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mushroom pieces (1/2 a can of mushrooms in water)


1.    Marinate beef tips in soy sauce for at least one hour
2.    Heat skillet over medium heat.  Melt 2 tbs butter and cook with flour for 1 minute
3.    Whisk in consomme thicken for 1 minute
4.    Stir in mustard and sour cream and thicken 2-3 minutes.
5.    Add mushrooms for last minute of cooking.
6.    Remove from heat and set aside
7.    Heat a second skillet on high.  Add 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs butter
8.    Add meat and onion and cook over high heat until brown on both sides (4-5 minutes)
9.    Drain excess liquid if needed, then reduce heat to medium, add sauce from first skillet and heat through.

Serve this over egg noodles!

Garlic Shrimp and Scallops

The boys are at best neutral towards seafood, and usually anti-seafood.  Thus, when I decided to make this recipe, and in fact double it, I expected quite a few leftover for the next few days.  With a sleek calorie count of 133 calories per serving, I figured this was just the thing for lunch this week.  Unfortunately, not a single shrimp or scallop survived the dinner.  Every single bit of it was eaten by four people in one sitting  . . . with the recipe doubled!  I served this over couscous with broccoli, but I think it might be better over pasta!  When you double it, and you will want to double it, extend the cooking time on the shrimp and scallops quite a bit.  I think it was closer to 5 minutes of saute time, although I did turn the heat down a bit too much.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, slivered (or 2 tbsp minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled,deveined
  • 1/2 lb bay scallop
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed into recipe
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and saute until it begins to brown.
  3. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add the pepper flakes to the skillet and increase the heat to medium high.
  5. Add the garlic, shrimp, scallops, and paprika.
  6. Saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the chicken broth and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Remove the shrimp and scallops with a slotted spoon, place on a platter; set aside and keep warm.
  9. Add the lime juice, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste to the pan and just heat through.
  10. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and scallops and serve immediately.