Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chicken Fried Steak is my CRACK!

So, let's take a walk back in time, shall we?  Let's go back to say....1991.  I was in college and working two jobs, one of which was waitressing.  Those of you who know me IRL are dying laughing right now.  Let's just say that I am a bit of a klutz.  It's part of my charm.  There were some broken dishes that year.  Nuff said.  Anyway, I was a waitress.  A very good friend of mine, Steve, was a chef cook in the restaurant where I worked.  After months of begging and pleading for him to cook the same chicken fried steak dinner for me several times a week month, he taught me to make it myself.  Yes, he was sick of cooking for me, but boy am I glad he was willing to teach me.  To this day, it was one of my favorite things to eat.  It's addictive people!  I've got the backside to prove it. 

I USED to go to Cracker Barrell or Dixie Cafe to get my CFS fix, but every single restaurant around here that used to serve homemade CFS, has switched to frozen CFS, like the kind the school cafeteria served in 4th grade.  Let me tell you, it's just NOT the same as homemade!

So, you ready to learn how to make AWESOME Chicken Fried Steak????  Get out your aprons people.  We're gonna get messy.



Cube Steak
Seasoned Salt (I use McCormick)
All Purpose Flour
3 - 4 eggs
Oil (I use canola)

Start with your cube steak.  It's been tenderized.  Sometimes if you talk real sweet to your butcher, they will run it through the tenderizer a few extra times. 

Obviously, I did NOT talk to sweet to my butcher.  I just bought it out of the meat cooler thingee at Wal-Mart. 

Sprinkle your meat with Seasoned Salt and Pepper - the more of each, the more spicy it will be.  Set aside. 

Pour oil into a large frying pan and turn on Medium High Heat.  The oil should be about 1/2" to 3/4" deep.

In a shallow dish or bowl (I use a pie plate), put about 3 cups of flour in a shallow dish.  Add about 1 tsp of Seasoned Salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and mix well (go ahead and use your hands - CFS is not fancy food).  In another shallow dish or bowl, beat your eggs and milk.  You ready to get your hands dirty? 

You will know your oil is ready when you drop a drop of water into the oil and it sizzles.  Do it carefully though because it will pop you.  Also, I recommend wearing an apron or an old shirt.  I have RUINED shirts by getting oil popped on them and washing without noticing the stain. 

Okay.  Now that your oil is ready, dredge your already seasoned meat into the flour to "set" the seasoning (so it doesn't wash off in the egg mixture). 

Now dip in the egg mixture. 

And back into the flour mixture again.

Then back into the egg and into the flour again.  Yes, I am a double dipper. 

Now, drop it into your oil.

Told you we were gonna get messy. 

Cook your steak until golden brown (5-7 minutes) and then carefully flip with a fork.

When both sides are golden brown remove to a wire rack to cool.

OH MY GRACIOUS!  I am sorry but that is just pretty!  Now, make some mashed potatoes and a veggie and you are good to go.  BUT, you really need gravy too, right?  I CANNOT eat chicken fried steak without gravy, can you?  Fortunately, I also have the secret for the best gravy I've ever tasted.  Wanna know my secret? 

That's right people.  I love me some Pioneer Gravy.  MMMM!  Now, don't get me wrong.  I can make gravy for roast or sausage gravy, but my cream gravy never turns out as good as Pioneer.  It rocks!

It just doesn't get any prettier than that, does it?  YUM!   My mouth is watering just looking at that picture.  Gracious!  Sure do wish I had some leftovers. 

Now, for those who did not follow my apron advice and you got grease on your shirt, be sure to scrub with some Dawn and water before you wash it.  It works for me. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of School

Monday was our first day of school.  We were all very excited about our new year.  What an adventure it will be, we thought as we drifted off into dreamland.  L must have been VERY excited.  I am quite sure he wanted to make sure everyone was ready on time so he decided to wake us all up at 3:30 Monday morning.  Wasn't that nice and considerate of him?  I thought so.  I especially loved it when he went back to sleep at 5:00 and I had to get in the shower and get ready while he got another hour of sleep.  GRRRRRRR! 

Anyway, we got ready and had a healthy breakfast of honeybuns and boxed muffins - did I mention that I'm a working woman now and the cooking a big breakfast the first day of school is OVAH!  I hate to sound like a bad mother, but I would hate to go to school smelling like bacon all day, not to mention that my butt is big enough without bacon. 

So, one of our longtime traditions in the FFB household, is the First Day of School Pics.  The kids are always so excited to get their pictures taken.  They can't wait to get dressed, get their hair done and hold the scrapbook paper chalkboard look-a-like signs I make.  Really!  It's the highlight of their first day.  Want proof?

Look at that sweet smiling face.  Sweet Little E.  She couldn't wait to wear her new dress.  The shoes don't exatly (ahem) match.  I am aware and I apologize profusely.  She refused to change. 

Even my little sleep deprived L said "cheese" for me.

Can you see the excitement in C's eyes?  Okay, so maybe that isn't excitement, but more of a smile in front of my gritted teeth while thinking, "Hurry up and snap the durn picture, Mom!"

Well, what can I say about J?  He didn't even bother to fake his excitement.  Oh well!

I, of course, had to make something cute for my teachers.  Nothing like a little bribery gift with no strings attached on the first day, right?  I mean, these teachers are taking these little stinkers off my hands for 8 hours a day shaping their sweet little minds, right?  They deserve a little treat.  They deserve more than a little treat, but I'm a poor girl so I worked with what I could.

Cute, right?  Sorry about the awful picture.  It's caramel sauce on the bottom and an apple and my little tag.  Our theme at school this year is "All American Readers" so I went with the red, white and blue theme.  No, I didn't think of it all by myself.  Y'all know I totally copied.  It actually came from Kelli at Random Thoughts of a Supermom.  Thanks Kelli!!!!  My teacher's loved it!!!

So, all in all the kids had a great first day of school.  The ride home.....not so much.  L had a total autistic meltdown.  SO. NOT. GOOD!!!  I think it had something to do with waking up at 3:30 a.m. but that's just me.  Today, however, was wonderful at school and on the way home.  WOO HOO!

Later bloggy peeps.  Gotta go bathe the stinky P.E. kids and get them to bed.  Hope to catch up with y'all soon.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last Weekend of Summer!

What's up bloggy peeps?  It's been awhile, huh?  I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted.  Time flies when you're having fun.  Actually, time flies when you're crazy busy.  That's what the quote SHOULD say.  So, what have I been up to? 

This is the girls canoeing at the lake.  We were there last weekend to celebrate my mom's birthday.

Don't kill me mom.  My sister made her cake.  It was Butter Pecan and it was fantastic!

The cousins sure did have a good time together. 

The other reason I've been so busy is because I got a job.  After ten years of being a stay at home mom, I have returned to the work force.  I substituted at our elementary school last year and now I've been hired to work part-time in the office.  It's been a little crazy.  Last time I worked, I only had two kids.  There has been a lot of sandwich eating at my house the last few weeks.  And clean clothes have been the exception rather than the rule.  But, I think I'm finally in the swing of things and regular meals and clean clothes are the norm again.  The first day of school is next week and I'm ready to get this party started!  Woo hoo!  It's gonna be an adventure.

So, since I got a job for the first time in forever, I had to get new clothes.  You see, I couldn't wear gym shorts and a tank top to work.  My sweet mom took me shopping and got me some cute stuff.  Thanks mom!!!  The bad thing is that I had to buy a bigger size than I used to.  My gym wardrobe (not that I've actually BEEN to the gym) that I've worn all summer had elastic or drawstring waist.  I didn't even realize that I'd gained a few pounds, on top of the 20 I already need to lose.  UGH!  So, I decided I would break down and buy this:

Body by Vi shake mix.  There are TONS of shake recipes on Pinterest.  I'll start it for real on Monday.  Maybe between the shakes and Livestrong, I can lose some of this fat by fall wardrobe time.  I'll let ya know how it's going. 

I'm looking forward to catching up on all of your blogs.  Have a fabulous wonderful weekend!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bibs, Burpies and Buntings

As I mentioned a few days ago, I had a really busy week last week.  I haven't been sewing much lately, but when a good friend of mine, who just happens to be one of my very favorite clients, needed a few things for her new bundle of joy, I was more than happy to oblige.  We discussed fabric options, she picked her favorites and I got to work.  This is what we came up with.

Most of the bib and burpies and onesie sets I do have initials of some sort on them.  This particular client puts initials on everything, which I love, but with two sets with initials, we were looking for something different for the third set.  We thought about doing a flower or some other cute applique, but then I remembered the bunting.  I have been meaning to make E a bunting shirt since April and I just haven't gotten around to it (I would win the gold medal for procrastination).  I need to get on that very, very soon.  Just three weeks until school starts, ya know?

This is the final product.  Wanna closer look?

Isn't that sweet?  It reminds me of a summer party and drinking strawberry lemonade and watching kids run around the maypole. 

I know, I know, the maypole has nothing to do with a birthday party, but that's what I think of anyway. 

Today I am partying here:

Wow Me Wednesday @ Gingersnap Crafts
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts