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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Salisbury Steak and Carrot Cake....

  I know I'm feeling better when I want to get into my kitchen and cook.  Last week the "bug" bit me and I had to have some home baked wheat bread.  I love the smell of the house when it's baking and Cierra and I can't resist eating the heel while it's warm and putting butter and honey on it.  Mmmmm..... This week's bread rose so beautifully and was especially good.  Three loaves are already gone!  (I did share some of it.)
   Then we were going to have company Thursday and I was trying to decide what to fix.  I hadn't made Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy in a while and we had eaten chicken the first two nights of the week, so everyone was in the mood for something different.  I got this recipe from a Campbells Soup recipe book my mom gave me years ago and we love it.  I double it and have tripled it.  It always turns out wonderful.  When company is coming I make it ahead of time and put it in the crock pot on low and it finishes cooking while I can work on something else!
  So here is the recipe:

Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy
1 can (10 1/2) oz. condensed onion soup  *(I buy the dry onion soup and make it up for this because it's cheaper and makes plenty if you need to double the recipe.)
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or ground venison, which is what I used this week)
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 T. flour
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

  Read the recipe carefully you don't use all the ingredients at once!  In bowl, combine 1/3 cup soup with beef, crumbs, egg, salt, pepper.  Shape into 6 oval patties.  In skillet, brown patties; pour off fat.  Gradually blend remaining soup into flour until smooth.  Add to skillet with remaining ingredients; stir to loosen browned bits.  Cover; cook over low heat 20 min. or until done.  Stir now and then.

  I meant to take a picture of both of these but forgot!  Maybe next time.  It is delicious!

  Our church had a dinner this Sunday and for my dessert I made Carrot Cake.  I usually make it on Easter Sunday but we're going to be gone this year so I decided to make it for the dinner.  My mom gave me this recipe and it is the best I've tasted.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/4 cups salad oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 cup grated raw carrots
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  Bake at 300 degrees for one hour.  (That's all my mom had on the card.  I like to make this into layers and found out the hard way to use three round pans if you do that!  Adjust the time to what kind of cake you are making.  I will not take as long in the layers as a 9x13 pan.)

8 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 stick butter
1 box powdered sugar (4 cups)

  I use 5-6 cups of powdered sugar and mix the above and then add a tiny little bit of milk at a time until it is spreading consistency.  If you use this much powdered sugar you will have plenty for a 3 layer cake.  If it's a 9x13 you probably could get by with 4 cups of the sugar.
  I always associate this cake with the spring for some reason and especially with Easter Sunday.  I also make a torte with a crunchy layer on the bottom, then a cream cheese layer, then a pudding layer and then cool whip on top.  I make butterscotch in the fall, chocolate in the winter, pistachio at Christmas (with maraschino cherries decorating the top), and lemon in the spring and summer.  I think it's wonderful  how we come to associate certain foods we eat with seasons. 
  That's all the recipes for now.  We got cake mixes at our local UGO for 50 cents each and I don't like cake mix cakes, so I've been playing with recipes that doctor them up.  I made a torte with one that was very, very good--I'll post that recipe later.
  I hope everyone is enjoying the beauty of the spring like we are.  Dogwoods, redbuds, birds singing, and life popping up everywhere on trees and in our yards.   Our Designer knows how to make us rejoice in the spring season with all His color and life.  Enjoy!

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