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Swiss Steak

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New Year’s Resolution: start blogging again. Life has been pretty crazy with a new job (that is now 2 years in), new house, and new baby but hopefully I can get back to the blog… fingers crossed, y’all!

So, first recipe back? How about Swiss Steak? This is a regular meal around our house. It’s easy to throw together on a week night and allows me to sneak lots of veggies into the family meal without people noticing. I’ve tried it baked and in the crock pot but stove top is really the best way to make Swiss Steak.

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Swiss Steak

4 cube steaks aka minute steaks

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano 

Heat olive oil in pot (I like my Dutch oven but use what you have). Season meat and sear for 3 minutes a side. Remove steaks from pan. Brown garlic and onions in pan, cook until transparent (about 3 minutes). Add green peppers and celery and cook about 2 minutes. Add meat, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes.

 

 

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

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I’ve been doing research for quite awhile now and I have decided to take the leap. Gluten-free and Dairy-free. We’ll see how this goes. A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests that strict diets help people with MS. And while I love bread and chocolate the idea of being able to keep up with my family sounds even better. Go ahead and ask yourself why I decided to do this right before the Holidays. I honestly do not have an answer to that. It would probably take more self analysis than I am willing to subject myself to in order to find an answer.

I may be cutting out gluten and dairy but that does not prevent me from eating well! My first foray into the dessert realm was crustless pumpkin pie. Right in time for Thanksgiving! I don’t think you need to be on any sort of diet to consider this delicious. The best of the pie is the filling in my opinion.  Oh, you don’t like the way it looks in the picture? Do yourself a delicious favor and drown it in whipped cream.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, & 1/8 tsp. ground cloves)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flour (Almost any will work, but not coconut flour)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp  cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 F, and grease a 10-inch round pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine first 6 ingredients, and stir very well. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients with the cornstarch, and whisk. Pour wet into dry, stir to combine, then pour into the pan and bake 35 minutes. (It’ll still be gooey after baking, but that’s ok.) Allow to cool completely before transferring uncovered to the fridge to “set” for at least 6 hours before trying to slice.

Black & White Cheesecake Squares

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I don’t think that it is any great secret that I am a bit of a chocolate addict. Also, I spend a lot of my time perusing Pinterest. There is a little something I have noticed about Pinterest: the theory seems to be circulating the Internet that EVERYTHING is better with cream cheese. Frankly, I don’t disagree. That is why when I came across this little gem from Martha Stewart I was in the kitchen trying it out in no time.

Just a couple of little things. Chill these before you eat them. Much like a cheesecake these are better cold. I took a little nibble while they were only room temperature and I was none too impressed. A few hours in the fridge and they were delicious. Also, a whole cup of dough to crumble is a lot. I just nibbled on it while I was crumbling. What?! Waste not, want not.

 Black and White Cheesecake Squares

  •             2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •             3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  •             1 teaspoon baking soda
  •             1/2 teaspoon salt
  •             10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  •             2 cups granulated sugar
  •             3 large eggs
  •             2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •             8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  •             1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray foil.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.

Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.

Mix cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Cupcakes

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It’s my birthday! Let’s not go into details about years, grey hairs, or anything else. Suffice it to say, my husband and I are the same age for a few months. Every year I spend copious amounts of time perusing recipes and deciding what cake to make myself this year. Yes, I make my own cake. No, I don’t consider that narcissistic at all.

My cake (or this year, cakes) is always chocolate and this year is no different. In fact, these little cakes are especially deep and dark in the chocolate department. If you haven’t noticed, I really prefer glazes on cupcakes. I have a couple of reasons for that: a) the flavor is better and more intense (icing is for pansies) and b) it is sooooo much easier and it looks nice (I’m lazy). Note: This recipe makes a lot of cupcakes, share them with friends or break out large cupcake tins.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (I used espresso- don’t judge it is MY cake)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins (I got 36 cupcakes from this recipe).

Put the butter, coffee, water, and cocoa in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat the sour cream with the egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk the hot cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the sour cream mixture just to combine; don’t overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin tins, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes completely in the tin on a rack. Remove from liners and return cakes to a rack.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 ounces  chocolate, finely chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup to a boil (or just microwave 1 minute), then pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Spread 1 tablespoon warm glaze evenly over each cake, or dip cupcakes tops into glaze.