Posted in Favorites, Food, Recipes

Tammy’s French Dip Recipe

French Dip


Boneless Chuck Roast
Boneless Chuck Roast
One chuck roast. Lean is preferred, trim if overly marbled with fat.

HEB Beef Broth 32 oz.
32 oz Beef Broth
32 oz sounds like a lot of liquid for slow cooking but remember that this is the base for the au jus dipping sauce. It is so good there never seems to be enough.

Pioneer Brand French Dip Au Jus Mix
Pioneer Brand French Dip Au Jus Mix
2 packages – this is key, do NOT substitute with other brands.

HEB 5 for $1 Bakery Bolillos
HEB 5 for $1 Bakery Bolillos
Or other suitable hoagie/sub or ciabatta rolls.


Pour the beef broth and au jus mix into the crock pot. Mix well (I use a silicone whisk).  Add beef chuck roast.  Slow cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Tear cooked roast apart with fork.  Load up a bakery roll with slow cooked beef and other toppings as desired. I like mayo, but some folks like cheese and/or carmelized onions and peppers.

Serve au jus on the side for dipping.

Posted in Favorites, Food, Recipes

Tammy’s Plain Chili

This is a plain basic chili recipe that works when you don’t have fresh veggies on hand but want to do a quick pot of chili. You can add canned beans if you’d like. It will serve 3 – 4 and can be easily doubled for leftovers or lunches.



1 lb. ground beef, cooked
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
3 TBSP chili powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin


Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Chili with cheese

Posted in Favorites, Food, Recipes

Tammy’s Homemade St. Louis Style Pizza

For my last night in Missouri I made homemade St. Louis Style Pizza. I can’t do this on the gulf coast since there is no provel cheese down there. The instructions below will make two 12″ pizzas.

Tammy's St. Louis Style Pizza

for the dough:
3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

for the toppings:
pizza sauce
provel cheese
(If you are using meat toppings you will need to precook them)


Set the oven to 500°F or as hot as it will go and let it heat for at least a half an hour before making the pizza. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the lower-middle part of the oven now.

Combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast. The mixture should look like thin miso soup. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you’ve formed a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface along with any loose flour still in the bowl. Knead until all the flour is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. I admit to kneading the dough right in the mixing bowl, but I am a bit like The Anal Retentive Chef (as portrayed by Phil Hartman on SNL) and clean like a scrubby dutch as I go. If it is not necessary to dirty up another surface or dish I don’t do it. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it’s sticking to your hands like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth.

Pizza Dough Balls

Divide the dough into two equal size balls. I cover the dough and let it rise for at least an hour but this is not necessary. You can also refrigerate the 2nd dough ball for up to three days or freeze it if you want to just make one pizza.

Lay out a piece of parchment paper that is roughly 13″ long and using a rolling pin roll the dough out until you have about a 12″ pie. The dough will stick to the parchment paper, which makes it easier to roll out.

Mix some grated provel into your pizza sauce, enough cheese so that basically you just have sauce coated cheese. Spread the sauce/cheese mixture over your pizza crust. Add toppings of your choice. Meat toppings need to be precooked. I make cheese pizza so I added more cheese. BE VERY CAREFUL when you are using provel cheese. A little bit goes a long way and you will have more cheese than think. Too much will cause a cheesesplosion in the oven which will cause a very smoky kitchen.

Ready to go into the oven

Using a pizza peel or a cookie sheet, slide the pizza (still on the parchment paper) onto the pizza stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone, bake it on a baking sheet.

Bake for about 8 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese looks toasty. Do NOT overcook the provel cheese. It has a very low melting point and burns easily.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes (so cheese won’t run) before slicing and serving.

Tammy's Homemade St. Louis Style Pizza

Look at that crust! Yummy!

crust detail

Note: You can use this quick and dirty crust recipe if you do not keep wheat flour in your pantry. I actually go that route most of the time because it is so easy. This is a thin crust recipe so there is no rise. Just mix up the ingredients into a dough and roll it out as thin as you possible can.

2 cups and 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. dark corn syrup
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp. water

Posted in Favorites, Food, Recipes

Tammy’s Tomato Soup

This tomato soup recipe is vegetarian.

Tammy's Tomato Soup


2 – 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes (you may substitute fresh tomatoes)
32 oz. of vegetable broth
2 green onions, diced
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 Tbsp basil
1/4 tsp ground thyme
sea salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)


In a large stock pot sauté yellow onions, celery and garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil to soften. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, green onions and bring to a boil. Add basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 25 minutes.

Purée soup using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one you can, with extreme caution, purée the soup in a blender.

Serves 4

This soup works well if you let it cool and freeze for later consumption. Pairs well with a hearty sourdough 3 cheese panini. You can substitute chicken broth for the veggie broth but then it will no longer be a vegan soup.

Posted in Food, Recipes

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. grated zucchini (peel, cut in half lengthwise and spoon out seeds before grating)
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 325°.  Beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Add zucchini. Add dry ingredients (and nuts if desired). Grease and flour two loaf pans (8 ½” x 4 ½”). Divide batter equally between the two loaf pans. Bake 1 hour or until golden brown.

Posted in Favorites, Home, Recipes

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I have gotten picky about my Ranch since trying Martzetti’s Simply Dressed® Ranch Salad Dressing. The problem is that I can’t always find the Simply Dressed in the ranch flavor. So when that happens I make my own ranch dressing. This basic recipe tastes perfect.

3/4 c mayonaise
3/4 c sour cream
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 scallions, roughly chopped
Small handful of parsley
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Check consistency and blend in additional buttermilk if desired. Less buttermilk for dipping sauces, more for dressing.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftovers will keep for 2 – 3 weeks.

I use a squeeze bottle for use on salads and small storage containers for use as dipping sauce.

Posted in Favorites, Food, Recipes

Beef Tenderloin Filet

Beef is best!  At about $25.00 a pound, tenderloin is the best of the best. Like most people I typically forego the filet for a ribeye or other less expensive cut of meat. Those steaks are good but in no way are they “better” or “comparable” to tenderloin. Be for real people!

While grilling a filet is popular way to prepare it, I prefer mine pan seared and oven roasted. That’s how they do it in your favorite steakhouse. Since all they do is cook for carnivores I’m sure they know a thing or two.

First things first. Take that meat out of your refrigerator and let it warm up. 30 to 40 minutes at least. You don’t want to cook it cold. Preheat your oven to 500º Fahrenheit with your oven safe skillet (seasoned cast iron is best) and baking pan or sheet inside the oven.

Note: I do not have a cast iron pan. I use stainless sauté pans with stainless handles. I am able to put the pan directly in the oven from the stove top.

Always buy your meat from a good meat market. Do NOT buy it at the Wal-Mart Supercenter. Seriously!

When seasoning your filet, less is more. That’s the difference between a tenderloin and a ribeye. You don’t want to mask the “meat” flavor of your filet. It’s that good. I just brush a little oil on the filet and season with sea salt, ground pepper and little bit of garlic powder. I press the spices into the oil brushed surface of the meat.  Flip and repeat.

Once your oven has preheated take out your skillet and place on a hot burner. Immediately place steak(s) in skillet and sear undisturbed (meaning don’t touch the meat or lift it or push it around) for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip steak with a set of tongs and toss in several tablespoons of butter. Sear undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes. You can lift and tilt skillet and baste with butter. This is OK and is not disturbing the meat.

If your skillet is a little too hot lift from burner and turn the down heat. It’s not rocket science people!

Using tongs remove filet from skillet and set in preheated baking pan in oven. I roasted mine for 6 minutes and it came out rare. You know your oven. If it runs hot better take it out at 4 minutes. If it’s like mine and you want it medium rare let it roast UNDISTURBED for 8 minutes or so.  You get the idea. You can roast it with a meat thermometer in it if you are nervous and don’t feel you can trust your oven 😛

Temps for beef tenderloin doneness:

120° to 125°F
(Center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion).

Medium Rare
130° to 135°F
(Center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion).

140° to 145°F
(Center is light pink, outer portion is brown).

If you want it med well or well done you shouldn’t be eating meat that costs $25.00 a pound! Go buy some cube steaks and dress them with ketchup!

After you have roasted your filet the proper length of time remove from oven and tent with aluminum foil. The meat will continue to cook. Let rest for about 4 minutes.

Behold my beautiful birthday filet!

Bon Appetit!