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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cherry Dump Cake Recipe

    If you are not sure what a dump cake is, it's just as the name implies.  It is a cake where you just dump a few ingredients together and bake and you get an awesome dessert out of it.  

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     It really is the queen of easy dessert recipes.  It's pretty much foolproof. As long as you can open up a few packages and pour them into a cake pan, then you're golden!  

      The cake turns out so pretty due to the bright red of the cherries and it is such a super moist and delicious cake.  My secret added ingredient that makes my Cherry Dump Cake so much better than others out there is almond extract.  Almond flavoring and cherries pair together perfectly.

Cherry Dump Cake

2 (21 oz.) cans of Cherry pie filling
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 tsp. almond extract

     
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    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9"x13" cake pan with cooking spray. 

    Pour your pie fillings into a bowl and stir in the almond extract.  Stir well.  Pour the cherry pie fillings into your cake pan.

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      Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the top.

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    Slowly pour the melted butter over the top.  It won't cover all of the dry mix and that is okay.  Just do your best.

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     Bake for 25-27 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

     
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     If you should still have dry patches of cake mix over your cake after baking, simply dip up some of the cherry filling over the dry patch and bake for a few more minutes.  

   Makes 12 servings with 28 grams of carbs per serving.

   Here is another dump cake recipe that is really good:  Crockpot Apple Dump Cake


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Monday, September 16, 2019

Potato Soup Mix In A Jar Recipe

    I love easy and not much is easier than mixing up some mix-in-a-jar recipes.  Not only do they make wonderful gifts but they are also nice to have on hand for a quick and easy meal or midnight snack!

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     Once mixed up, this potato soup has a smooth consistency that is not too thin nor too thick.  Some recipes for potato soup in a jar comes out looking and tasting like mashed potatoes but not this one.  This one tastes like it should:  a flavorful, aromatic, and delicious bowl of soup!   This recipe is family tested and they all approved of it.  I'm sure your family and friends will like it too.

     It makes a warm and delicious meal in the cooler months.  It only takes some boiling water and the mix for a quick bite.  Besides that, if you decorate the lid a bit, it would make a wonderful gift during the holidays.  I have given this to friends, neighbors, teachers, etc and they all are super appreciative.  

Potato Soup Mix in a Jar Recipe

1 3/4 c. instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 c. instant nonfat dry milk powder (not granules)
2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. turmeric

 
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    Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir well to mix everything up thoroughly.  Pour the mixture into a clean one quart jar and seal.

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     Attach the following instructions:  To serve, place 1/2 cup of the potato soup mix in a bowl.  Stir in 1 cup of boiling water and stir gently until smooth.  Eat and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.  28 g. of carbs per serving with 12 g. of protein.  


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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix

     I love making my own spice blends such as taco seasoning or baking mix (like Bisquick) because it's nice to have them on hand whenever I need it.  Sure you can go out and buy your own mix but mixes at the stores contain a bunch of additives and fillers.  Making your own mixes will give you a lot more flavor without a bunch of junk that is not needed that you can't even pronounce.

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     This awesome homemade chili seasonng mix comes in super handy for making things like Homemade Chili, No-Bean Chili, and even Beefy Chili Noodles.  This seasoning mix is perfectly  balanced and has so much vibrant flavor.  The mix is also so easy to make that even your kids could make it.

     Most of the store bought mixes of chili have about 5 tablespoons of mix inside of them but many of that bulk is in fillers and anti-caking ingredients so when you make your own, you won't have to use as much.  I have found that you can use half as much and still provide more flavor easily.  I generally use 2-3 tablespoons of my homemade mix per pound of meat or vegetables.

Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix

 1/2 c. chili powder
3 T. onion powder or minced onion
2 T. paprika
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. oregano
1 T. cumin
1 T. thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper

     
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      Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and stir well.  Once mixed up, pour into a small "jelly" canning jar.  

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     This recipe is super flexible.  If you like your chili spicier, add in more crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne.  If you like it milder, just don't put in any red pepper flakes or cayenne.

     As I mentioned before, use 2-3 tablespoons of this mix in any recipe that calls for an envelope of chili seasoning.  Or use about 2 tablespoons per pound of meat or vegetables.

    This mix can be stored in the sealed canning jar for up to a year but I use it so oftten that it barely lasts me a few months.

     Chili Seasoning also goes well in any Tex-Mex recipe you have to kick up the flavor.  Or try it in your next omelet!



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Friday, September 13, 2019

Awesome Apple Recipes

    Thank goodness September has arrived and hopefully the cooler weather will be on its way to us here in SE Oklahoma soon.  The temps are in the low 90's still and the heat index is real close to 100.  I'm sitting indoors dreaming of the cooler weather and made me think of all the yummy apple recipes I have and decided today was a good day to share them all with you.  Come celebrate fall with me and we can dream of cooler weather and delicious food together!

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     Homemade Glazed Cinnamon Apple Fritters

     These apple fritters are warm, sweet and have just the perfect amount of cinnamon.

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Glazed Cinnamon Apple Fritters

     Country Apple Bread

     Whenever I make Country Apple Bread, I always have to make two loaves because Ron and the boys love it so much.

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Country Apple Bread

     Super Easy Apple Pie

     I love recipes that are super simple and no recipe can be as simple to make as this one.  Using just 2 ingredients, you can have a delicous apple pie.

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Super Easy Apple Pie

  Incredible Apple Pie Enchiladas

  These incredible apple pie enchiladas give you all the cinnamony goodness of a hot apple pie but instead it is stuffed into a tortilla drizzled with a lovely caramel sauce.

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Incredible Apple Pie Enchiladas

  Baked Apple Delight

   This is an easy dessert that doesn't turn out looking very pretty but it is big on taste.  The flaky layers of crescent dough along with the sweetness of apples makes for a great combination.

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Baked Apple Delight

 Canning Apple Pie Filling

     Last, but certainly not least, canning apple pie filling.  A great way to use up extra apples!

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Canning Apple Pie Filling

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Ways to Use Up Extra Eggs

     If you are like me, during the summer time, I have a refrigerator full of eggs with our chickens laying way more than we can eat!  We eat eggs for breakfast every morning and I use a bunch in recipes but it can be hard to figure out what to do with the excess.  In this blog post I am going to show you the ways I like to use up my extra eggs! 

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     One of the things I do is freeze eggs for times when the chickens are not laying as much, like in the winter time or when they are molting.   Freezing a bunch of eggs is the first thing I do every spring. This makes sure I have plenty of eggs later on.  I freeze individual eggs and "scrambled eggs".  This ensures I have a decent supply in the freezer to last me all year.  Since I started doing this, I have not had to buy any eggs, even around the holidays.  It's really great knowing that I have a "stash" to fall back on.  

    I have even been known to freeze hard boiled yolks so if I want to add in some hard boiled eggs to tuna salad or chicken salad, I have them to throw in there too.  You just have to let them thaw first.  I have tried freezing whole hard boiled eggs and that was NOT successful.  The whites are not good this way and taste yucky but the yolks can be frozen and remain yummy so that is why I just freeze the yolks now.  
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Tuna Salad Sandwich


      Eggs are a great source of vitamins and minerals, not only for humans but for animals too so that is why we feed scrambled eggs and hard boiled eggs to our dogs and to our chickens.  Our dogs really love them and their coats are softer and their skin is not as dry and itchy when they eat eggs fresh from our farm!

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Our beloved dog Whitney.

     
     And it may seem silly to feed the eggs to the chickens but they are really good for them and they seem to lay more and have less issues when we feed the cooked eggs to them.  We often add in some fresh herbs when we scramble the eggs and that just really boost the chickens' health even more.  Remember, a happy chicken is a laying chicken. 

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One of our lovely chickens.



   A very obvious way to use up some extra eggs is to sell them but I just prefer to skip this one personally because where we live, it just isn't feasible because you can only sell them for next to nothing so it isn't worth it to us.  I do love to give them to family and friends.  My mother-in-law loves it when we bring her farm fresh eggs.  She knows how much better they taste then the ones you can buy at the store.

     Like I mentioned earlier, I do use eggs in a lot of recipes.  Some of the recipes I use extra eggs n include:  mini frattatas, our easy breakfast sandwich, and our french toast casserole.   What are some ways you like to use up your extra eggs?  

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French Toast Casserole

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

The Best Way to Freeze Eggs for Long Term Storage

     Have you ever wondered how to freeze eggs for long term storage?  Here's the method I've found that works absolutely the best for freezing eggs!

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     Currently we have about 25 chickens so we always have plenty of eggs for most of the year.  Generally we have more than we can eat (egg salad, pound cake, eggs for breakfast, or use up so we just have a surplus of eggs.  Yes, I could sell the eggs but living near my tiny community has so many people who already have their own chickens, there just ins't a real market for them here.  I give some to family members and friends and then I just freeze the rest so I will have eggs for use in the winter when our chickens are not really laying as many. 

      Here is how I freeze eggs on the homestead:

     I freeze eggs individually, for the most part, so I can take out however many I need at the moment.  I purchased a sinilicone muffin mold to freeze my eggs in but before I had it, I just used a regular metal muffin tin.  Both ways work but the metal muffin tin does take a bit of work to get the eggs out.

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    All you have to do is break one egg into each space of the muffin tin/mold.  Place the muffin tin on a sheet pan and place them in the freezer.  After about 3-4 hours, remove the muffin/tin and "pop" the frozen eggs out.  If using a metal tin, just turn the the tin upside down and bounce/bang the tin against a hard surface or run some warm water over the back and then they should release pretty easily.  If that thaws the eggs a bit, it is okay.  They will refreeze soon enough.

    
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    Take the eggs and place them in a freezer safe bag until you are ready to use.  I often will vacuum seal the eggs in bags to keep them even better.  For our family, I generally freeze 6-8 eggs per bag.   Once they are sealed, stack them flat in your freezer.  I just stack one upon the other so they are all together and doing it this way, they do not take up a lot of freezer space.

     Another way I freeze eggs is to take a dozen (or half dozen if you prefer) and whip them real well in a bowl, as if you were going to make scrambled eggs, and pour them into a quart sized, freezer safe container and freeze them that way.

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     I also put some in baggies if I don't have enough containers.
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     Eggs freeze nicely; thaw nicely and cook up beautifully.  If you use them for scrambled eggs or for baking, they cook up just as good as a fresh egg.  For me, the only way I can tell the difference is if I cook up the eggs over easy and if you want over easy eggs, I do suggest you use frezh eggs.  Using frozen eggs for eggs over easy will give you a different texture to the yolk part of the egg that I just do not care for.  It's edible but just off putting to me.

      Other than eggs over easy, the quality remains the same for frozen eggs.  Frozen eggs can be frozen for up to a year or two.  I had frozen eggs from last summer in my freezer and I scrambled them up this morning and I could tell no difference in the fresh ones I had yesterday to the frozen ones I had today.  

     To use frozen eggs, just remove however many you need and place in a bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours.  If you are trying to use the "scrambled" eggs, just let them thaw in the refrigerator in the container/baggie you froze them in until they are thawed enough to use.

     Three tablespoons of the mixed up eggs are equal to one fresh egg.  


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Thursday, September 5, 2019

No Bake Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie

     It's finally September and fall is just a few weeks away so it is now officially time that I start to go crazy with my pumpkin recipes!    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything pumpkin!

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     My favorite pumpkin dessert ever is the classic pumpkin pie.   In a very close second would have to be my pumpkin supreme pie.   This pie I made today is great to have on occasion because it is so quick to prepare and easy enough that practically anyone could make it.

          Since this is a no bake pie, the texture is different than a cooked pumpkin pie. It's more like a cream pie and it is quite sweet.  The texture is very light and fluffy and tastes good. 

No Bake Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie

1 c. pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
9 oz. graham cracker crust
8 oz. whipped topping 
7 oz. jar marshmallow creme/fluff or 10 oz. bag of mashmallows
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves

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     Directions if using marshmallow creme or fluff:

     In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin, spices and marshmallow fluff/creme.  Fold in the whipped topping and stir until it is mixed well.  

    Spread the mixture onto the pie crust.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 6 hours or until set.  I have found it best to leave at least overnight.  

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    Directions if using large marshmallows:

      In a large pot, over medium heat, combine the marshmallows and pumpkin.  Stir often.  Once the marshmallows are completely melted, remove from heat and scrape the contents into a large bowl.

      Stir in the spices and the whipped topping.  Spoon into the crust, refrigerate, covered for the same time as listed for the other way.




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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Delicious Foil Pack Barbecue Chicken and Vegetables

    I LOVE foil packet meals.  They are easy to make and turn out wonderfully with little-to-no cleanup.  This one turns out just as wonderful.  It is a perfect combination of sweet and savory and the chicken comes out so juicy and tender.  It will quickly become on of your family's favorite meals.

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Delicious Foil Pack Barbecue Chicken and Vegetables

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
16 asparagus spears, with the ends cut off
16 baby carrots
1 zucchini, cut into thin slices
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

     Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Take 4 pieces of foil (about 18" x 12" and place one piece of chicken onto each piece of foil.

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    Rub olive oil on both sides of each piece of chicken and salt and pepper each one.

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     Now brush each piece with barbecue sauce.  Now place the vegetables around the chicken.

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     Seal up the foil by bringing up two sides of foil over the chicken so edges meet.  Seal the edges by making a tight 1/2" fold and then fold again.  Fold other sides the same way. You want a bit of space for heat to be able to circulate but you don't want anything to spill out.

     Place the packets onto a cookie sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the juices run clear from the chicken.  The thickest part of the chicken needs to be tested for doneness and should be at least 165 degrees.  

      If you prefer to grill the chicken, place the packets on a hot grill and cook 10-12 minutes.  Turn the packets over and cook on the other side for 5-10 more minutes.  

     Serve and enjoy.  I like to brush the chicken with a bit more barbecue sauce right before serving.  

    One serving has 22 carbs.  

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

How to Freeze Tomatoes

      I was talking to a friend and I was telling her that I was in the process of freezing some tomatoes and she was shocked to hear that they can be frozen.  Yes, you can freeze tomatoes!

    Can you imagine having ripe tomato flavors even in the winter time???  You can if you freeze tomatoes fresh from your garden.

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Fresh tomatoes from the garden!


      Freezing tomatoes is the easiest way to preserve tomatoes and gives you that fresh-from-the-garden flavor all year long.

      I used to can all of my tomatoes but canning not only takes a lot more time and it heats up the kitchen and the last thing I want in the summer is more heat in my kitchen!  Freezing is a lot faster and takes no special equipment.


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      There is a downside to freezing tomatoes:  once frozen, the skins are not good for eating because the texture changes.  BUT there is no need to peel tomatoes before freezing them.  Once they are frozen, the skins just slip off.  I take the skins and dehydrate them and make them into tomato powder so nothing is wasted.  

     Using tomatoes after they are frozen won't work for a tossed salad but they do go beautifully into a soup, sauce, a stew, chili or some yummy salsa!    Again, the texture of frozen tomatoes changes but the fresh and delicious taste does not.  The taste is 100% there!!!

      Another thing I like about freezing tomatoes is that you can freeze as little or as many as you want at a time.  If you just have 3 tomatoes, then freeze just 3 tomatoes.  If you have 50 tomatoes, freeze 50.  It doesn't matter.  You don't have to wait until you have "enough", just freeze them as you harvest them.  

    To freeze tomatoes, cut off the ends and place your tomatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

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A few tomatoes ready to go into the freezer


  Place them into the freezer on the tray for about an hour.  Remove the tomatoes from the tray and place into a freezer safe baggie.    Seal and try to get as much air out as possible and place back into the freezer.  That is all there is to it.  As you harvest more tomatoes, just continue through this process until your baggie is full and then start a new bag.  Currently we have 6 gallons of tomatoes in the freezer. 

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A few frozen tomatoes...


    Tomatoes can be frozen whole as I did today or you can slice them, dice them, or even crush them before freezing.  It is purely a preference and how much time I have on my hands.  

     Frozen tomatoes will retain flavor for up to 12-18 months in your freezer.

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Monday, September 2, 2019

Garlic Steak & Yummy Potatoes in a Foil Pack, Delicious

    Steak and potatoes are just 2 foods that go good together.  Just like biscuits and gravy, chips & salsa, and coffee and doughnuts!  Yum!   This recipe for garlic steak and potatoes in a foil pack just melts in your mouth!  It makes a flavorful and hearty meal that doesn't get much easier to make.  The steak turns out so tender and juicy and can be made in the oven or on the grill.  So yummy that your whole family will love it.  It truly is one amazing meal that you do not want to miss out on!





Garlic Steak & Yummy Potatoes 

2-2 1/2 lb.s steak (sirloin, rib-eye, flank or stew meat), cut into 2" chunks
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
1 c. melted butter
2 sliced carrots or 1 can carrots
1 onion, skin removed and cut/separated into large pieces
1-2 T. olive oil
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. parsley flakes
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

      Before we begin, let me say that I have made this with top sirloin, ribeye, flank and stew meat and I think the sirloin is the best choice for these.  Don't get me wrong, all of them turned out great but the sirloin just has more flavor and is more tender.

      Now, cut up your potatoes and place them in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain and remove from heat and set aside.  I partially cook the potatoes so that when you put everything together, every thing cooks evenly. If you don't partially cook the potatoes just a bit then your steak might be overdone.  When you do it this way, your cook and potatoes turn out perfectly.

      In a large bowl, combine the steak, potatoes, carrots, olive oil, salt & pepper.

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      Stir well to combine.  Take 4 large (18"x12") pieces of foil and lay them out on a table.  Divide up your steak mixture and divide it up between the 4 pieces of foil and place the mixture into the center of each one.  

     In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, parsley, rosemary and thyme.  Stir well and pour some of it over each steak mixture.  

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Place a large piece of onion on top.  

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     Now double fold over the sides and top of the foil.  

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     Place the foil packets onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Once the time has elapsed, you can carefully open up the foil packs and broil them for 2-3 minutes.  This will give the steak a nice char.  Tonight, I did not broil them and they still tasted wonderful.   Right before eating this, I often sprinkle some Parmesan and parsley flakes on top.    Yum!

    Be sure to "dip" your meat and veggies into the garlic butter on the bottom of the foil pack with each bite.  

     If you prefer to grill these, place the packets on the grill on high heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until the steak is browned and the potatoes are tender. 

     You can freeze these after cooking for up to 2 months. Just remove from the freezer, remove the foil, place the frozen meat mixture into a microwavable safe bowl, and heat it up.  It will taste just as good as the day you cooked it.





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I shared this recipe with the following blogs and link parties:
Raising Homemakers 
Christian Homemaking 
Blogger's Pit Stop
Blog Oklahoma
Blog Oklahoma
easy recipes