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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Swiss Steak

I am an avid watcher of Cooks Country.  Just love all the great recipes they have.  Some I would make others, well ya know not all things appeal to all of us.  With that said maybe twice I've had Swiss Steak and both times thought to myself....EWWWW this is just terrible.  I am not particular fond of meat that is cooked to death, I don't like meat loaf or pot roast so when I made this my   thoughts were,  Gee sure hope it's better than what I remember.  According to Bridgette on cooks country the norm for Swiss Steak is to use Round Steak, which she said when it's cook long and slow can have the texture of Liver ....a Triple EWWWWW.  She said the meat does not have enough fat running through it and you should use a Blade Roast.  Well never heard of that but when I watched the show again ( I dvr them and save them) they showed the cut of meat came from the shoulder so that was a big help.  It's from the chuck family.
So here's the recipe and my thoughts of this dish are posted at the end.
You need a large Dutch Oven with lid. 5.5 or 6 quart
3 - 4 1/2 lb. blade roast (from the shoulder) cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch steaks
1  - 14 oz can  of diced tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 whole onion sliced
1 TBL vegetable oil
2 TBL tomato paste
1 TBL AP flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
 salt and pepper

In a large dutch oven heat the oil.   Cut the roast in steaks and pat dry.  Salt and pepper each side.  When oil is ready sear the meat only doing about 4 pieces at a time. *that way you won't stew it and will get a good sear*.  Set aside.  Then add onions and saute until clear and slightly browned.  Add the garlic, tomato paste and flour and continue to stir (about a minute or 2).  Add the tomatoes, stir, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the meat and any juice from the plate.  Place in a 300 degree oven and cook on middle rack for about 2 hours.  I cooked mine 2 hours and 15 minutes.  When done remove the meat and place on a platter and cover and let rest 10 minutes.  To the sauce add 2 TBL sun dried tomatoes chopped and a good hand full of fresh chopped parsley.
When ready to serve spoon some sauce over the meat.  Enjoy!

For my comments:  I thought this was a very tasty dish and will make it again.  I was not sure what to have with it so since it had a tomato base sauce I had pasta and corn.  The meat was very tender and had lots of flavor.  It was of course cooked similar to pot roast but I will say I did enjoy it very much.  Maybe my taste buds are changing again.  They say that happens.  I think this would be a great comfort food in the winter.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you try this.  Have a great day and Remember to Find the Time to do All the Things You Love.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Flaky Biscuits

On another quest for a good flaky biscuit of course I searched the web.  Ever wonder how we all survived without this dang world of Technology???
In the search bar I put "good flaky biscuit"......of course I got tons of hits but this one site caught my eye so I adapted my recipe from her site.  The one small thing I changed was I used some Cake Flour and different type of milk mixture.  I had been reading that is you have flour with too much gluten you can get tough biscuits and for sure I wanted some nice fluffy ones to go with the Swiss Steak I had made.  That recipe will be next.
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 TBL baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (frozen)
1/2 - 1 cup cold milk (I used 1/4 cup half and half and 1/2 cup water)

Combine all dry ingredients, mix.  Now here's her special trick which she said she saw on Foodnetwork.  Wow what an ingenious idea.  Quickly grate the butter on a cheese grater and then cut into the dough.  I use my clean hands to do all the work.  You can use two knives or a pastry cutter.  Add 1/2 cup of the milk and mix dough, slowly add more milk and  mix but try not to over mix the dough.  Add just enough milk to get the dough to come together, it will be soft.  On a floured surface roll out the dough in a rectangle.  Then fold it over it self (kind of like folding towels)
Do this about 3 or 4 times *again don't overwork* .  On the last roll leave the dough about 1 inch thick.  I rolled my last one into a circle.  Cut with biscuit cutter.  The size you use will determine how many biscuits you get.  She said 8-10 I got 14.  Place dough on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown.  Enjoy.

This is truly a great recipe and will be my recipe I always use when I want biscuits.  Can't wait to make them again.
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the Time to do all the things YOU love.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flowers in My Yard

Thought I'd share some of the pretty flowers in my back yard.  They get more and more beautiful each year.  I just love being able to be home and putter around the house and yard.  Life is good.  Hope you enjoy the photo's.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week and Remember to Always find the time to Do ALL the things you Love.
 This is the Mother's Day present I received from my wonderful children.  I love it, thank you Danny, Monica, Laura Jean, Alan and JR. 

More flowers
And last my herb barrel.

I have some real pretty roses, clematis and day lily's that I'll share soon.
Again thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

English Muffin Bread

I just ordered a subscription to Cook's County Magazine and this recipe is from that issue April/May 2012.  I love English Muffins and there is nothing better than Thomas's English Muffins.  I love a good hamburger on them with the works, except for onions, don't like raw onions of any sort.  I have to have my usual, ketchup, mayo, cheese, lettuce, tomato, some bread and butter pickles or kosher dill.

5 cups of bread flour (has to be bread flour for all the nooks and crannies)
1 TBL sugar
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups warm milk (must be 120 degree)


Grease 2,  8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans and dust with cornmeal.  Combine flour, yeast, salt, sugar and baking soda, mix well in large bowl.  Stir in the milk and stir until combined and dough pulls from the side of the bowl.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and put in warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until double in size.
Stir dough and divide between loaf pans, pushing into corners with greased rubber spatula.  *pans should be about 2/3 full.*  Cover pans with greased plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm place until dough reaches the edge of pans.  Should take about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position racks in middle of oven.  Remove plastic when ready and back until bread is well browned and registers 200 degrees, this should take about 30 minutes.  Rotate and switch pans half way through .  Turn bread out onto wire rack and cool completely...about an hour.  Slice, toast and slather on the butter and if you like other things that too then totally enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the Time to Do all the THings YOU LOVE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tangelo Cake

I had a bunch of Tangelo's and wanted to make something with them before they went bad. Only so many days you can eat them. So surfing I went and I found this recipe. I made just a few changes, they are noted in red. Hope you give this a try it's well worth the little effort it takes to make it.
Adapted from here
Tangelo Cake
2 medium tangelos 420 grams (oranges will do in a pinch)
125 grams butter chopped
1 1/2 cups of sugar (330 grams)
2 eggs
1 cup of self raising flour
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of dessicated coconut

Tangelo Syrup

1 cup of sugar 220 grams
rind of one tangelo sliced thinly
2/3 of a cup of tangelo juice (about 3 tangelos)
1/3 of a cup of water

Put the tangelos in a medium saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil, drain - repeat. Do this a total of three times and cool the tangelos. I like to do this the night before I want to cook the cake it makes it a lot quicker the following day just to put the ingredients together. This helps to take any bitterness out of the tangelo rind, and since you are going to use the whole tangelo this is important.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and line a 22 cm/8 inch cake tin. I sometimes use a larger cake pan than this - just adjust cooking time to suit.

Halve your cooked tangelos and remove any seeds. Toss the whole tangelos into the food processor and blend to a pulp, including the skins - do not peel.

Beat the butter, sugar and eggs together in a small bowl with an electric beater until light and fluffy, add to the tangelo pulp and mix together gently.
Stir in the sifted flours and the coconut gently and pour into the prepared cake pan.

Bake for roughly 45 minutes. Test with a skewer, which should come out clean. Stand the cake for 5 minutes - this is important the cake is quite fragile at this stage. While the cake is standing make the syrup.

Turn with the top side up on to a wire rack placed over a tray with sides. Pour the hot tangelo syrup over the hot cake. It will soak into the cake quite quickly. Collect any syrup that has collected in the tray and place in a small jug for pouring over the cake when you serve it. Serve the cake slightly warm.
Tangelo Syrup:

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir slowly while warming to dissolve the sugar before the syrup reaches a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes without stirring. Pour the hot syrup over the hot cake.
This is a truly delicious cake, and one that you will want to add to your regular recipes. It can also be made with oranges, mandarins or grapefruit.
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things YOU love.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Italian Bread

I adapted this recipe from a site I found the other day here and boy am I glad I did. This bread is wonderful. It's the kind that you want to eat the whole loaf.
I served this with the new Chicken Parmesan recipe I saw on "Best Thing I ever Ate" It was something Emeril had in NYC. I'll post that soon.

2 Pkgs rapid rise or instant yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water 115-125
2 TBL sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/4 - 4 3/4 cups flour *I used 2 cups bread flour 2 1/2 cups ap flour*
2 TBL vegetable oil
In the large bowl of mixer, place yeast, sugar, salt and two cups of flour. (I used 1 cup AP flour 1 cup bread flour) Mix to blend and add the 130 degree F water and oil. Mix on medium speed with regular beater for 3 minutes. Insert dough hook and beat for another 6:30 minutes, adding flour as needed to keep dough from being sticky.
Place dough on a floured board, cover with a cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch down dough and form into two long narrow loaves. Place loaves on a greased pan or parchment lined, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Before placing loaves in oven, brush tops with egg whites and sprinkle sesame seeds on top . Cut three to five slashes in the top with a serrated knife. Place loaves in oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Hope you take the time to try this bread you won't be sorry. Also thanks for taking time to stop by. Remember to find the time to do ALL the things YOU love.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mexican Chicken Casserole

This is an easy recipe and freezes well. I adapted it from here. I'm not sure why I didn't get a picture of it cut and on the plate. Maybe I was just anxious to dig in. :)
6 cups of cook chicken meat shredded
24 oz Mexican Cheese blend (divided in half)
2 bunches green onions chopped (divide in half)
2 10 3/4 oz cream of chicken soup
3 cups sour cream
1 4oz can of chopped green chillies
1 cup pitted black olives finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
12 10 inch flour tortillas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine half the cheese, half the green onions, cream of chicken soup, chilies, sour cream, and olive. Set aside 2 cups of this mixture for the topping. Add the chicken to the remainder for filling and mix well.
Put 2 heaping tablespoons on each tortilla and roll up tightly. Arrange seam-side down in a single layer in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Spread reserved topping, sprinkle over second half of cheese and green onions. Refrigerate overnight or freeze.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until hot, golden, and bubbling. Serve.
Thanks for stopping by. Remember to Find the Time to Do all the Things You love.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maple Walnut Cake

I came across this site one day and while looking around her blog I found this yummy cake. For my Wednesday get together with my friends I made this for dessert. We had Asian BBQ Ribs , tomato macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli. The tomato mac n cheese was something I saw on Cooks Country TV. They say it's an old time famous European Recipe. Will let you know on that. I've never had it but my friend Patsy said her mom used to make it all the time. Guess you can still learn new things now and then.



2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat one, deep-dish 8-inch cake pan (or two, regular 8 cake pans) with cooking spray, dust with flour, and tap out any excess. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a mixer set on high speed, beat the butter and sugar for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Add 1 cup maple syrup and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the water and ending with the dry ingredients. Gently stir in 1 cup of the walnuts.
Pour the batter in the pan (or divide the batter between two pans) and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. **If you use the deep dish pan you will have to adjust your cooking time. My cake took about 45-55 minutes**  (I also found that making the cake in one pan and cutting the cake is much more moist...I've made this cake twice)  Cool in the cake pan(s) on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan(s) and invert onto the wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the softened cream cheese and unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl using the paddle attachment. Add in the 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and continue mixing. Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides. If the frosting is too runny, add more confectioner's sugar. If it is too hard, add a bit more pure maple syrup.
Using a spatula, spread frosting on the top and the side of the cake until smooth. (If making two cake layers, spread frosting in between the two layers and on the top and sides- more frosting may be needed). Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts on top and enjoy.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. Have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the time to do ALL the things YOU love.
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