Salisbury Steak ~ stuck at home, make it homemade

A Salisbury Steak jpegMy Little Cooking Journey

I’ve never had homemade Salisbury Steak before. I’ve selected it in college and hospital cafeterias, but homemade is a totally different culinary experience. The opposite of gummy cafeteria fare, it’s full of flavor. And, it’s easy to make.

I had a pound of organic ground beef and I had yellow squash. So, Salisbury Steak was a logical choice with the squash as a side. I can’t give you recipes because I almost never use them.

The first thing I did, which I often do, is google “easy Salisbury Steak recipes”, then “Salisbury Steak with Brown Gravy recipes”. Basically you need a pound of ground beef, 1/2 C or so of bread crumbs. I didn’t have bread crumbs so I used the oats on hand which wasn’t enough for breakfast. Was it a 1/2 C? I don’t know. I just mooshed it into the meat with minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, 1 egg, salt, pepper, garlic. I had some made-from-scratch savory golden gravy (chicken stock base), and I threw a couple of tablespoons of that in with the meat for added flavor Then you make them into four oblong shaped patties. Sear them on both sides, and pour the rest of the gravy over them in the pan.  I didn’t let them get charred. In a few Youtube demonstrations, they got charred. Up to you. If you’re not experienced, don’t char them the first time. It takes 35 minutes to cook Salisbury Steak. If you’re a beginner, don’t walk away from the stove. Even if you’re not a beginner, don’t walk away from the stove.

I looked online at five or six recipes and a few Youtube demonstrations. One of them said to add diced red pepper. I had jarred roasted pepper, so I threw what I had left, drained, into the meat mixture and mooshed that baby up. Note: Preparing Salisbury Steak is like making meatloaf, except you use 1/2 C bread crumbs or rolled oats instead of bread. No bread in Salisbury Steak, and it has a higher meat content than meatloaf. You also must use Worcestershire sauce. You can cook the patties in jarred beef gravy. I’d add a little water to the jarred stuff when cooking.

Here’s the secret to making Southern Style Yellow (Summer) Squash. You wash and then cut them into rounds. Spray a pan and saute them for a bit. When they sizzle, add water, salt, pepper, some garlic…and simmer them to within an inch of their life. As the water evaporates, add more. Easy Peasy. You can let one or two of them get charred, for visual interest but don’t let them burn.  I add about a 1/2 C of cooking wine. That’s not traditional Southern, so don’t tell anyone. You can cook them for 35 minutes and they’ll be ready to serve with the Salisbury Steak. As with the meat, don’t walk away from the stove.

If you need a recipe, here’s one for Salisbury Steak I think is really easy to follow. It explains the difference between and hamburger patties and Salisbury Steak patties https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/salisbury-steak.

Not Self-Isolating ~ just the normal writer’s day

cakeI spent the morning cross-promoting for other writers who will in turn cross-promote for me. As often happens, I wanted to get away from my laptop and decided to bake.

I’m not a master baker. I bake very simple things and the Wonder One Bowl Vanilla Cake is one of them. I thought, I’ve got a canister full of flour, and one full of sugar, as well as all the necessary baking ingredients. With people hoarding food, why not bake a breakfast cake to enjoy for the next few days.

While the cake was baking, I started reading Harry Wegley’s RIVEN which I will review as soon as I complete it. Another thing that’s normal for me to do at home I wouldn’t characterize as “self-isolating.”

I’ll spend the afternoon rough-drafting the next chapter of my work in progress, LAST DAYS, a detective novel, not an apocalyptic story. Again, not self-isolating, although I’m home alone. Tonight I’ll watch some TV and probably read some more of Harry novel, which is a lot more apocalyptic than LAST DAYS, would ever be thought to be.

I usually have to bake a cake a few times to be sure of it before I post the recipe. I’m sure of the Wonder One Bowl Vanilla Cake. I made the variation with chopped pecans and swirled in brown sugar. I didn’t ice it for myself, though I would’ve glazed it if I had company coming. They’re not coming. They’re all self-isolating.

Wonder One Bowl Vanilla Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream or light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. spray well with pan spray, an 8″ square or round pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Add egg, 2% milk, sour cream, and oil. Whisk together. Add hot water and whisk well until the batter is smooth. It will be runny but that’s okay.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap the pan gently against the counter to release any air bubbles. Now is when you can add chocolate chips on top, stir in chocolate or caramel syrup, stir in teaspoons of brown sugar and chopped pecans, or anything else that’s not too heavy.
  • Bake cake for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in a few places comes out clean.

You can ice with any frosting you like, drizzle a glaze, or dust with powdered sugar. You can also eat it without icing, especially if you’ve stirred in a lot of goodies.

My Christmas Mug ‘O ~ tea!!!

Christmas Mug TeaHo, ho, ho. You thought I was going to have something thrilling, with kick, spiked even.

I pulled one of my Christmas mugs out today. I have six, purchased in various places: Christmas fairs, while on vacation.

It’s mid-morning and tea was in order. My usual brew is Lipton Organic Tea. It’s warming, inviting, has a lovely aroma and taste. Highly underrated, IMO. Note: I am not a spokesperson, have no relationship to the company at all.

I’m a black tea drinker. I’ll drink Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, Darjeeling. But Lipton is what I keep in my airtight tea caddy and is my go to. It brings up comfy feelings that hearken back to my childhood. If a cold was threatening, my mom made me a cup of Lipton tea with honey and lemon. I still do that if my sinuses are clogging except, that I might add a shot of Bourbon.

Yes, black tea has the health benefits of antioxidants and I am into health. But I pulled out a Christmas mug and brewed a cuppa for myself today because in this wonderful holiday season it brings up a lovely memory of my mom.

Multi-Grain French Toast ~ a breakfast brew-ha-ha, my second attempt

Bkfst Casserole Savory (2)

Healthy Home Cooking, Cooking For One

 

My second try at a Breakfast Casserole or Baked French Toast using multi-grain bread. This one is ‘savory’ (2 beaten eggs, then beat in 2 C 2% milk, 1/4 finely chopped pecans, 1/2 pkg Hormel less fat real bacon bits, Lawry’s season salt to taste and my advice is take it easy, ground pepper, 1 rounded Tbs sugar). Spray baking dish well. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min or till done. I had to moosh the bread down and crush the crusts to get them to absorb the liquid. It rose back up in baking. I could’ve cut off the crusts but that would’ve eliminated seeds which are healthy. ~ Can serve warm with maple syrup or honey, raspberry jam, sprinkled confectioner sugar. Or eat as is. ~ 3 servings.

In my first casserole/French Toast/bread pudding attempt I used multi-gran bread, the egg and milk bath (no seasoned salt) and apples with brown sugar. Didn’t crush the bread and it didn’t look as good coming out of the oven. I called it bread pudding, which it wasn’t. It tasted good.

BTW, there will be a third attempt. This is a work in progress. And a fourth and fifth…gotta get it right someday as I eat my way thought the test trials.

I Intensely Dislike ~ traditional Thanksgiving green bean casserole

grean beans bacon-steak
Green beans with steak wrapped bacon.

Social Media is asking: What Thanksgiving foods do you like best, or dislike?

I like all Thanksgiving foods except the traditional green bean casserole made from frozen or canned French cut green beans, mixed with canned mushroom soup and topped with canned French fried onions, then baked. Sends shivers up my spine thinking about it. Not good chill bumps.

 

greem beans bacon
Green bean wrapped bacon. This has to go in the oven.

I moved to northeastern coastal Florida three years ago and was introduced to traditional Southern green beans and bacon. In someone’s momma’s or grandmomma’s house, it’s often sauteed in a cast iron skillet and they scrape the sides of the skillet to get all that bacon goodness. I love that. I make a lower calorie version all the time with packaged fat reduced real bacon bits. Love it. Green beans seem to go well with bacon.

There are so many great ways to eat green beans.

green beans EVOO garlic

 

When I lived in Brooklyn, NYC, we frequently ate green beans sauteed in extra virgin olive oil with garlic. In Italian neighborhoods, everyone’s momma and grandma made this and they scraped the sides of the frying pan too to get all the flavor.

 

Pre-Easter Cleaning ~ an Olde World tradition

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I’m a traditional kinda gal. Not that I follow a lot of proscribed traditions laid down by others. Although I do have some of those. Mostly, I’ve made up my own traditions. However, deep cleaning a house before Easter is an ancient, Olde World Christian tradition, going back to the 1st century Church. In fact, it goes back before that to the Old Testament and Passover cleaning rites and traditions.

Maybe it’s simply because as the days get longer and brighter, I notice the dust and cat hair in the corners. Oh, yeah…I have five cats. Used to be an animal rescuer in Brooklyn, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, the light of spring revealed dreaded CAT HAIR.

15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; ~ Exodus 12:15 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

When Jewish women remove the leaven from their kitchens they also scrub and clean the kitchen thoroughly that not a single drop remains. Biblically, leaven symbolizes sin. For many Christians, this type of deep cleaning symbolizes the cleansing of the heart, mind, and soul.

In medieval Christian homes made of wood or stone, pre-Easter cleaning meant the doors were thrown open, the rushes that covered the floors were swept out and the walls and floors were scrubbed with lye-soap. Very little cleaning had been done all winter due to cold weather. This winter no-deep-cleaning rule was especially true in northern climates.

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I’ve never adhered to that olden-time winter no-deep-cleaning rule, not even when I lived up north. Then again, every house I knew of had heat and access to all manner of cleaning materials. So, each year, I’d do a thorough cleaning right before Thanksgiving to get ready for that day of thanks and also as preparation for Christmas. I put my Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. There’s no Black Friday for me (I really dislike that term, anyway). So, in my mind, the house must be really clean with Christmas decorations going up.  There is no scripture for that. But, since I’m a contemporary traditionalist I do make up my own traditions. There certainly is no scripture against that.

Proverbs 31: 27 ~ She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness. [New Living Translation, NLT]

Spring cleaning is also a good time to get rid of some useless clutter. The Lord has been after me for a while to rid my house of objects with negative soul ties…that hostess gift I’ve kept out of respect given by a relative who didn’t care for my husband, that Christmas present given by an “old friend” who didn’t understand and frowned on my Christian faith and friends…OUT with those things! I’ve been saved for twenty-four years. So that tells you how long I’ve kept some of these things (pray for me). But “soul ties” is a subject for another blog article I hope I will one day get to write.

I’m not one of those who follows the steps proscribed in a cleaning blog or podcast, and certainly not if it comes from a strange religion or tradition. I use the word “strange” biblically. I don’t make a list of things I have to clean or de-clutter. I know what I have to do, I’ve been cleaning for many years. Got it down to a science by now.

Quoting from Second Fantasions: “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go.”