June 9, 2020

Chicken-Fried Steak and Gravy

INGREDIENTS: 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 or 5 (4-ounce) cube steaks 38 Saltine crackers (1 sleeve), crushed 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons salt, divided 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper 4-3/4 cups milk, divided 2 large eggs 2 to 3 cups peanut oil Fresh chopped parsley (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Salt (lightly) and pepper steaks on both sides. Combine cracker crumbs, 1 cup flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper. Whisk together 3/4 cup milk and eggs. Dredge steaks in cracker crumb mixture; dip in milk mixture, and dredge in cracker mixture again. Heat oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet; heat to 360°. (Do not use a nonstick skillet.) Fry steaks 10 minutes. Turn and fry 4 to 5 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack on a jellyroll pan. Keep steaks warm in a 225° oven. Drain hot oil, reserving cooked bits and 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 4 cups milk. Pour mixture into reserved drippings in skillet; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Serve gravy with steaks. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Read More

June 4, 2020

Looking to Buy a Home? Here's Why You Need to Check Its Property Tax History

Like it or not, property taxes are a part of homeownership -- and in some parts of the country, an expensive part, too. Your property tax bill is calculated by taking the assessed value of your home and multiplying it by the tax rate your town or city imposes. For example, if your local tax rate is 2%, and your home is assessed at a value of $300,000, it means you're looking at an annual property tax bill of $6,000.

If you're looking to purchase a new place of your own, one of the most important pieces of information you'll need is that home's annual property tax bill, as that will help you determine whether you can afford to buy it. But it's not just that home's current property tax bill you should look at; it also pays to see what its property tax history looks like.

Read More