Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Philly Cheesesteak Casserole


Bisquick mix: a premade baking mix that typically contains flour, baking powder, salt, and other ingredients

Milk: for the biscuit layer

Egg: to bind the Bisquick layer

Ground beef: any lean ground beef

Sweet onion: for a mild and slightly sweet flavor

Green bell peppers: a mild pepper often featured in Philly cheesesteaks and steak sandwiches

Brown gravy mix: dry mix to flavor the ground beef

Slices of provolone cheese: Philly cheesesteaks are typically made with American cheese, provolone cheese, or Cheez Whiz


Step 1

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 2

Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Step 3

In a mixing bowl, add the Bisquick, milk, egg, and half of the black pepper.

Step 4

Combine until the batter is smooth.

Step 5

Pour the Bisquick mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Step 6

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 7

Add the onion slices and green bell pepper slices to the skillet with the beef and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease.

Step 8

Stir the brown gravy mix, water, and the remaining black pepper into the ground beef mixture. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the liquid is reduced.

Step 9

Spread the beef mixture over the Bisquick.

Step 10

Top with the cheese slices, spacing evenly and tearing the slices as needed for full coverage.

Step 11

Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the layer of provolone cheese is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the biscuit layer comes out clean.

Broccoli Casserole

Easy Zucchini Fritters Recipe


Zucchini: Shred 3 medium zucchini or 2 large zucchinis.

All-purpose flour: This is what creates the structure for the zucchini fritters.

Large eggs: Whisked eggs are added to the ingredients to help bind the ingredients together. They are just one of the elements that ensure these fritters stay intact.

Sliced green onions: A fresh, slightly pungent, vibrant flavor.

Sea salt & black pepper: Just a bit of seasoning to taste.

Olive oil: There’s no deep-frying, so just a tablespoon or two of healthy olive oil will do. More, if needed, to get a beautiful golden exterior.



  1. Don’t skip this step! First thing’s first. Strain and squeeze your zucchini. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle it with salt, which will naturally extract some of the water through osmosis (thank you science class), and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Squeeze out excess water. Transfer zucchini to a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or paper towel, and use your hands to squeeze out any extra water.
  3. Combine ingredients for the batter. Place the zucchini in a large bowl along with the flour, eggs, and green onions and stir until just combined.
  4. Scoop and flatten. Add the olive oil to a large heavy-bottom or cast-iron skillet and heat a bit of olive oil over medium-low heat. Use a cookie scoop to scoop up about 3 Tablespoons of mixture and drop the batter into the oil and flatten it a bit with a spatula. Repeat with as many patties that can fit in the skillet while still leaving room in between each one.
  5. Cook for 4-6 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden brown. Transfer the cooked zucchini fritters to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper while still warm.
  6. Serve with sour cream and chives, if desired. Dig in!
Broccoli Casserole
French Toast Muffins

French Toast Muffins


1 Loaf of Brioche Bread Cubed

6 Eggs

2 Cups of Milk

1 tbsp of Vanilla Extract

3 tbsp of Light Brown Sugar

1 tsp of Cinnamon

1/2 tsp of Salt

maple syrup (optional)


4 tbsp of Brown Sugar

2 tbsp of Granulated Sugar

2 tbsp of Cold Butter

1/2 tbsp of Cinnamon



1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or grease a muffin pan

2. Cube Brioche bread into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl.

3. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

4. Pour egg mixture over cubed bread. Let soak for 5 minutes

5. Fill muffin tins with the french toast mixture.

6. For the topping combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon. Cut in cold butter.

7. Sprinkle topping over your french toast muffins.

8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the centers are cooked through.

9. Top with maple syrup when served.

Broccoli Casserole
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover A/C?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover A/C?

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to replace an HVAC unit in the United States is $5,000. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder so many homeowners want to ensure they have the proper coverage in place to protect their homes and families after a loss.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover A/C Units?

Most homeowners insurance policies have coverages available that protect your home’s A/C system. In fact, there are two ways your equipment can be protected — dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. Which one you choose depends on the type of equipment you need to repair or replace.

Dwelling Coverage — Dwelling coverage is a small part of your homeowners insurance policy that pays to repair or replace any damage done to the actual structure of your home after a covered loss. This coverage is used when a built-in system (the big, external unit that heats and cools your whole home) unexpectedly breaks.

Personal Property Coverage — Personal property insurance, on the other hand, is used to protect the items in your home. In this case, your personal property coverage would help pay to repair or replace a damaged window A/C unit because it’s not considered part of the structure of your home.

When Does HVAC Insurance Coverage Kick In?

Keep in mind, insurance coverage is meant to protect you from sudden losses, called “covered perils,” not everyday use. While air conditioning insurance coverage can’t help when your A/C system breaks down with age, it can protect you from:

  • Smoke and fire, should a house fire damage your system
  • Severe weather, like lightning storms, hurricanes, snow, hail and more
  • Explosions and falling objects
  • Damage from vehicles like planes or cars
  • Theft and vandalism

Your homeowners insurance coverage may also exclude things like earthquakes, flooding and damage caused by improper care. For these situations, you’ll need to look into other options like flood insurance or a home warranty.

Home Warranties vs. Homeowners Policies

Did you know that, in addition to the warranty offered when you purchase an HVAC system, you can also get a home warranty? Home warranties work like a traditional warranty in that they protect certain items, like appliances, from general wear and tear. But they also work like an insurance policy in that they don’t just protect one thing.

With a home warranty, many major systems and items in your home will be protected, including septic, HVAC, boilers and household appliances. And just like any other warranty or insurance policy, your home warranty will help cover the cost to repair or replace damaged items.

The biggest difference between a home warranty and a homeowners insurance policy is that insurance is required for most homeowners. Lenders will not allow you to take out a mortgage on a home, or continue paying on a mortgage, without proof of insurance. Home warranties, however, are just an added protection you can rely on when your insurance coverage isn’t enough.

Many insurance providers offer home warranties. Please contact Thorp & Trainer to learn about your options.

Filing an Air Conditioner Insurance Claim

After a covered loss, the first thing you’ll want to do is determine if getting insurance involved is the right move. For example, if a hailstorm causes about $200 in damage to your HVAC unit but your deductible is $500, you’re better off paying out of pocket. However, if a lightning storm destroys your system and you need a total replacement, insurance will be your best bet.

Once you’ve decided to file a claim, here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:

  • Information about the system — brand, model, serial numbers, etc.
  • Information about the purchase — purchase price, purchase date, etc.
  • Photos of the damage
  • Details about how the loss occurred
  • Policy numbers and other necessary insurance information

Learn more about homeowners insurance and how it could help you save money on A/C repairs.

Credit: Main Street America Insurance 

Car Theft Prevention Tips

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, over 930,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2021. With reports continuing to rise across the United States, many people are left wondering what they can do to prevent car break ins.

From simple safety tips to devices you can use to boost your car’s security, we have a few car theft prevention tips that can help you avoid disaster.

Safety First

Our first tip may seem obvious, but it’s something that’s easy to forget when we get busy or distracted – safety first. Following these basic safety rules can help keep you out of sticky situations and prevent car break ins:

Lock your doors – whether you’re grabbing some milk or leaving your car overnight, ensuring your doors are always locked is important to protecting your assets. In most cases, thieves are looking for an easy target. When they check your doors and find them locked, they’re far more likely to walk away and find another, more vulnerable, vehicle.

Park in well-lit areas – if possible, pass up the sketchy, dark parking lot in favor of something well-lit and busy. Thieves don’t want to attract attention, so they’re less likely to take a chance on a car that’s parked in a “safe” area.

Be aware of your surroundings – knowing exactly who and what is around you is the best way to protect yourself and your property from people who mean harm. Always keep your eyes up and headphones out when parking or walking.

Ditch the Valuables

Aside from locking your doors, the best thing you can do to prevent car theft is take valuable items OUT of your car when you leave. There’s nothing more enticing to a thief than cash (yes, even change), electronics, boxes or bags left in plain sight.

Even worse than your wallet, research from Everytown shows firearms are stolen from vehicles every 15 minutes in the United States. Why risk it?

Watch Your Keys

While we’re talking about items that are commonly left behind in vehicles – don’t forget about your keys!

It can be tempting to leave your keys behind, especially if you know you’ll be right back, but it’s a risky choice. Even hotwiring a car only takes moments but imagine how quickly your vehicle can be stolen when you hand the thief your key ring.

You should also keep spare keys away from your car or common parking areas. Especially if you have a smart key, as it can pick up the signal and grant anyone nearby access to the car. Next time you’re looking for a spot to keep your spare, skip the garage and try the nightstand instead.

And finally, never leave your car running unattended. Some cars come with features like remote start that make it a little safer to warm up or cool down your car before you leave home but, at the end of the day, an empty, running car is still a prime target for thieves.

Beef Up Security

In most cases, newer car models come with advanced safety features like anti-theft alarms or apps that allow you to geo-fence and track the location of your vehicle. But, if those options aren’t standard with your vehicle, they’re worth investing in to help prevent car theft and give you peace of mind. You should periodically check with your local dealer or your car manufacturer’s website for new releases regarding recalls, software updates, or anti-theft devices that could be made available to you. Here are a few other security services and devices to consider:

Car Alarms

If your vehicle doesn’t come with an alarm, you can have one easily installed at your local mechanic. These devices typically connect to the car’s horn and emit a loud sound when someone tries to gain access to the vehicle, helping deter would-be thieves.

Wheel Locks

Today, you can buy a number of easy-to-install anti-theft devices that don’t affect your car’s wiring. For example, you can buy locks that attach to either the steering wheel or your tires to prevent thieves from being physically able to drive away in your car. At least not without a lot of time, noise and effort.

Tracking Devices & Services

If your vehicle doesn’t come with geo-fencing or tracking services, it can be a great investment to make. This could be anything from a GPS tracking system installed in the vehicle to an Air Tag you hide in the back seat. While tracking technology won’t stop someone from stealing your car, it will help the police find it quickly.

In some cases, you may need to invest in an anti-theft device for car insurance to cover your vehicle. It’s unfortunate, but with such a high risk many insurance carriers require an added level of security that some cars can’t offer.

What to Do If Your Car is Stolen

After your vehicle is stolen, the first step is calling the police. You’ll need to file a police report in order to initiate an investigation or search for your car, and insurance will require it in order to file and close out a claim.

Once you’re finished with the police, reach out to your auto insurance carrier or your Thorp & Trainer account manager to see what coverage you have and begin the claims process. In most cases, if you have comprehensive coverage your insurance will help pay to repair or replace your vehicle after theft.

Additional coverages are available to get help with things like towing or roadside assistance and securing a rental car.

Here’s what you’ll want to have on hand through this process:

  • Your vehicle’s details (year, make model)
  • The VIN and license plate number
  • Proof of ownership and insurance for the vehicle

Not sure what auto insurance coverages you have in place? Call Thorp & Trainer today at 596.0146.

Credit: Main Street America Insurance

May Is Motorycle Safety Awareness Month

May Is Motorycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This annual campaign is held each spring by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promote safe driving and riding practices to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the roadways.

Motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in traffic crashes than passenger vehicle occupants

In 2020, which is the most recent data available, 5,579 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month aims to encourage safe driving alongside motorcyclists on the road.

Safe Driving and Riding Tips

The following are practices motorcyclists should be following to help reduce injuries and accidents on the highway: 

  • Wear clothing that is visible to other motorists.
  • Always have your headlight on when riding.
  • Always wear a helmet on a motorcycle, regardless of whether it is the law.

Steps other motorists can take to help reduce accidents and injuries on the highway during motorcycle season are:

  • Always yield to motorcyclists.
  • Avoid distractions while driving.
  • Look twice before changing lanes to make sure there is no one in your blind spot.

Both motorcyclists and other motorists should follow these practices:

  • Obey all traffic signs and laws.
  • Drive defensively.
  • Do not drive when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Those wanting to ride a motorcycle should take a rider education and training course prior to operating a motorcycle. This can help provide a safer riding experience for everyone on the road. 

      Cooperating with all motorists on the roadways will help reduce the number of accidents this summer.

    Drivers, Are You Missing Out on Homeowners Policy Discounts?

    Drivers, Are You Missing Out on Homeowners Policy Discounts?

    Auto and homeowners policies are meant to go together. (If tater hadn’t met tot, what would we have? Just a tater.) If your auto and home policies aren’t bundled, you might be missing out on duo discounts — and that can mean missing out on premium savings.

    Benefits to bundling auto and home policies

    A multipolicy auto and homeowners package can:

    • Save you money on premiums
    • Streamline the claims process
    • Make for less complicated billing (usually just one statement)
    • Provide potential future discounts as your coverage needs change (such as coverage endorsements for valuable items like jewelry or collections)
    • Create a single point of contact for ongoing protection advice (like how to insure major upgrades to your home and what might qualify for discounts)
    • Keep you in the know on other policy suggestions (We’ve got your policy history at our fingertips.)
    • Provide a relationship that grows as you grow (We’re here to help you protect those life milestones.)

    Consolidating insurance can help provide a better long-term snapshot of your exposure areas, too. When your coverage needs change (like more life insurance or insurance for teen drivers), you’ve got just one call to make for questions and advice on how to protect your next move. Easy.

    Now that you’re aware of the potential for savings and service, give us a ring.

    Pair your auto and home with us

    Reach out and see what kind of discounts are possible when you bundle auto and home under one roof. You might be surprised at the savings while potentially expanding your overall coverage options.

    Looking to expand your home and auto coverage even more?

    Ask us about a personal umbrella policy to increase the policy limits across both your auto and home coverage — it’s usually less expensive than increasing the limits on two separate policies.

    Distracted Driving: Don’t Take the Risk

    Distracted Driving: Don’t Take the Risk

     Did you know that if you’re driving and engaging in a conversation on your mobile device, you are overfour times more likely to be involved in an accident? Let’s take a look at what constitutes distracted driving,what the consequences are and what you can do to curb any bad habits you’ve developed.

    What is distracted driving?

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is “any activitythat diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talkingto people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything thattakes your attention away from the task of safe driving.” Here are some specific examples:

    • Texting or dialing your phone or hand-held wireless device
    • Using your tablet or portable gaming system
    • Engaging with a display screen unrelated to driving (e.g., watching a video)
    • Programming a GPS (if not via voice command)
    • Eating, drinking, smoking, grooming, reaching for things or reading while driving

    Even in places where it’s legal to use a hands-free device while driving, the risk of being involved in anaccident is still greatly increased. Talking on any device can diminish your reaction time, making you a riskto both yourself and others. “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes offthe road for 5 seconds. At 55mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed,” says the NHTSA.

    Distracted driving can be deadly

    According to the NHTSA, distracted driving was responsible for a staggering 3,142 deaths in 2019, the mostrecent year for which statistics are available. Among those killed because of distracted driving weredrivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

    How to prevent distracted driving

    We’ve become accustomed to responding to our phones as soon as they chime, beep, and vibrate, and itcan be easy to find ourselves answering calls or pressing away at buttons while driving. Here are some tipson what you can do to avoid becoming distracted while driving:

    Turn your mobile device off: This is both the easiest and the hardest solution. Powering down your deviceensures that you’ll be distraction-free, but doing this requires some discipline. Try turning your phone offwhen you enter your car, then turning it back on when you get out.

    Hide your device: Even if you have your phone offand it’s beside you, you might be tempted to power it upwhile driving to see if you’ve missed a call or message. If you can’t see your phone, chances are you’ll beless tempted to respond to it. Try putting your device in the trunk of the car before getting in. Youprobably won’t even miss it.

    Set your phone to Do Not Disturb: Most phones now have a Do Not Disturb feature. This feature willprevent calls and texts from coming in unless the caller is on a pre-designated list or the same number ofcalls multiple times in a row. Setting your device to Do Not Disturb while having your Bluetooth activatedwill ensure the only calls that will reach you are important ones.

    Give your phone to a passenger: If you’re expecting an important call or text, give your phone to someoneelse who can respond to any message. They can take care of the call while you take care of the driving.

    Distracted driving is a serious risk both to yourself and to others. It’s not worth taking the chance. If youhave questions about how changing your driving habits can affect your insurance rate, speak to yourinsurance professional.

    Liability Insurance & Your Dog

    Liability Insurance & Your Dog

    Everyone wants to keep the family dog healthy for years to come, which is why many people purchase pet insurance to their insurance program. This type of coverage will help to cover your dog’s medical bills; however many people are unaware that it does not cover any damage or harm your dog might cause.

    Your Security is Our Concern.