7 of our favorite beef recipes

When your parents own cattle, it’s inevitable that you eat beef. Actually, a lot of beef. We recently got our 1/4 of a responsibly raised, grass fed, organic, 600 +lb cow and our freezers are stocked full.

Since we’re eating beef at least once a week, I’ve got many, Smith family approved, go to beef recipes. Here’s our favorite 7, one for every night of the week.

Swedish Meatballs


We make our meatloaf in a muffin pan, so we get 12 cute little meatloaf muffins. The recipe I use for meatloaf is called, “mom’s meatloaf” and is on a handwritten card from my mother-in-law. You can find many meatloaf recipes online, or in one of those cookbooks you have in your kitchen. We also top our lil’ muffins with a meatloaf sauce, which includes: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tsp mustard, and 1 T brown sugar.  The sauce is a great oppourtunity for your kids to help out, Carolynn always mixes up our sauce.


Hamburger Stroganoff

Carne Asada Tacos in the Crockpot

This recipe calls for flank steak, but I always substitute cubed steak. Cubed steak is a tougher cut of meat, and can’t be subbed in all recipes, but after rubbing with this delish spice rub and cooking slow and low in the crockpot, it turns out great.

Hamburgers and Homemade Fries

Obviously, this is a go to for most people. Homemade burgers from your grill are a staple of the summer and so, so good. Top with bacon, jalapenos, blue cheese, avocado, a fried egg, chili….well look at that, my mouth is watering.

Greek Pita Pockets

Greek food is one of my favorites, for sure. This recipe comes from a Robin Miller cookbook I got before Pinterest stole our hearts, legitimately, of course. (return to the old days, and buy a copy here. It’s less than $5)

I brown my ground beef adding either pre made greek seasoning, or a combo of dried oregano, basil and a pinch of all spice -a little all spice goes a long way! While the meat cooks, warm your pitas by setting them in a 200 deg oven. Mix up your yogurt sauce by combining 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tsp chopped, fresh dill, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Serve the Greek ground beef inside warm pita with homemade yogurt sauce, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red onions, and feta. So much feta. Our pitas are always stuffed so full we can barely get a bite. But you’ll want to get that bite so bad, you will make it happen.

Sloppy Joes

This is another recipe from Robin Miller’s cookbook. Again, there are sloppy joes recipes enough to sink a ship. You can find one that suits you and yours.

I serve with homemade sweet potato fries, or thinly sliced red potato chips and a fruit salad or sliced apples.


We had a dear friend of ours babysit recently, and we actually “paid” her in meat. We are all such….grown ups. She’s a treasure, and wasn’t expecting any payment, but accepted that meat like a duck on a june bug. As a teenage babysitter I wouldn’t have been thrilled about receiving ground beef and some steaks in lieu of money I could spend at The GAP.


Thanks for reading! Send me an email, or comment if you fix any of these recipes and let me know how you like them!

What I buy from Costco, and what’s for dinner this week

 No one at my house seems to know what day it is today. Brian and I thought it was Thursday, and Landon never knows what day it is. Carolynn of course, knew what day it was. Thankfully she enjoys correcting us, and got us all on track. 😜 It’s Wednesday!

I made a trip to Costco this week, so I’m keeping it thrifty (more than usual) this week on the grocery store. I both dread, and look forward to Costco trips. It’s kind of fun to go through Costco, until you get to the check-out and it’s AT LEAST $200. If you even toss two extra things in your cart, you probably just added $30 to your bill. I try to stay all business in that place. Get what you need. Get out. But first get pizza, and a frozen yogurt from the cafe….because I’m only human.

From Costco, I buy:

  • Yogurt
    • Kirkland brand plain Greek Yogurt. We use this to eat (add honey, fruit, oats..) for breakfast and snacks, but also as a sub for sour cream in sauces.
  • Butter
  • Cheese
    • I almost never buy shredded cheese. I buy a whole block of Colby and shred it, or slice it as needed.
    • I will sometimes buy their mozzarella logs also if we’re planning a pizza night.
  • Tortilla Chips
    • We really don’t eat/buy chips except tortilla chips (see my love affair with salsa mentioned below). Tortilla chips and salsa is a winner with pretty much every one so it’s also a good thing to keep around in case guests pop in. It’s $3.54 for a giant bag of chips you think you could never eat all those chips! But we manage to crush that challenge every time.
  • Dried Fruit, Nuts
    • We switch between dried blueberries, and cherries. These also go on sale in the bulk section at Sprouts, which will end up a better deal. But we like to keep these around all the time, so I keep them stocked. We put these in yogurt, or mix them with nuts  for snacks.IMG_7687.JPG
  • Laundry and Dishwasher soap
    • I’m not picky about it really. I usually use the Arm and Hammer detergent since it goes on sale frequently
  • Bread
    • A friend recommended Dave’s Killer Bread to me recently and it’s delicious. I keep it in the freezer to help it last.


 I’m actually planning on trying to make homemade sandwich bread today! I’ll take some pictures and share more on that next week!

  • Paper Products
    • Paper towels
    • Toilet paper
  • Trash Bags
    • Have you had this? You will find yourself asking the question, “What can I eat salsa on? Can we eat salsa on this?” It’s the BEST salsa on Earth and every stinkin’ time I go, I buy 3 jars. So you go buy it too so they never stop selling it. GO!
  • Chicken Broth
    • I usually stock up on this more in the winter for soups.
  • Salt, Pepper and GarlicIMG_7688.JPG
  • Toothpaste
  • Aspirin and allergy meds
  • Dog food
    • To be honest, I’m not in the know about dog food pricing. I just buy it at Costco because it’s a stupid big bag and I don’t have to buy it again for a long time.

Depending on need, and sale items, I occasionally will also buy eggs, coconut water, fish sticks (they have some really good ones!) veggies, La Croix or Ozarka sparkling water.

I do not purchase meat from Costco. I have not found it to be cheaper than Sprouts-where I’m getting chicken this week for $1.88/pound.

Ok! Here’s this week’s menu. We are planning to have dinner with friends one night, where I’m planning to bring some snacks and a dessert. Angel food cake is $1.99 this week, so I’ll take that and some fruit because YUM. It’s a winner every time.

Wednesday Leftovers!
Thursday Sesame Honey Chicken Wraps (I use butter lettuce leaves)

Rice, veggie

Friday Homemade pizza -pepperoni, margherita

Salad with tomatoes, carrots (.98) and cucumbers (3/$1)

Saturday Grilled Chicken ($1.88/lb)

Grilled Zucchini, grilled corn (6/$1!!)

Maybe some of my homemade bread?!

Sunday Dinner with friends

Bringing salsa, chips, roasted corn and avocado salad (I’ll throw all the corn on the grill Saturday and use the extra for this. Add avocadoes, salt, chili powder, purple onion, tomatoes-eat with chips, or a fork.)

Monday Spaghetti (pasta .98, sauce 2/$4)

I really like to make my own sauce, but will use a jar tonight. We will be coming home from visiting friends, so keeping it simple.

Tuesday Swedish Meatballs



I cannot believe this will be the last week of school! I am so excited for summer, but also kinda sad C will be in FIRST grade! All those well meaning people that say, “it goes by so fast. Enjoy every minute” were not lying. I feel like this year went by in a flash and I can just see my kid’s childhoods zooming by. OKAY nice old lady, I’m there. I believe you now, and time can just stand.still. But, since that’s not possible, I just really have to try to enjoy the moments and treasure their young-ness. I’ve never done that well. It’s impossible to treasure EVERY moment, but this summer my goal is to really just BE present with my kids. Hold me to that ok? Unless they ask me to play school. I don’t have to do that. They’re so bossy! 🙂

Happy cooking, and happy last week of school! Bring on the summer!