Friday, October 10, 2008

Finding Time for Family

Swiss steak in Crockpot

Over the past several years family dinners have been harder and harder to come by. Trying to find a time when no one is working,going to school, playing sports or any other of the many activities one or more of us participate is darn near impossible. This became even harder as of August when my oldest moved out and also started attending college (whohoo).

I attempt to have at least one dinner a week with everyone but often we fall short and sometimes its 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. I usually manage to have dinner with my daughter a couple of times a week though that does not mean I actually cook both of those dinners. There are other times when I do cook but we don't get to eat together. I feel a lot of pressure right now to spend more time together knowing that next year she will be off at college and I will be limited to a few times a month (hopefully that often).

The pressure does not end at finding the time to have dinner but also includes finding something that EVERYONE likes.( I still am not convinced my children were not switched at birth! What? You say they look JUST like me?) For Ryan, nothing "green" this includes herbs and spices in any identifiable amount along with vegetables. Kristen, well she is not as picky as Ryan but nothing the least bit spicy (and her definition of spicy is MUCH less spicy than mine). I am not sure about Laura (Ryan's girlfriend) yet. So far she has been too polite to tell me she does not like something. Her answer when I ask her what she likes is always, "Potatoes are always good!"

Ryan is usually pretty good with any meat. Kristen (along with Laura) loves mashed potatoes. Of course I like most anything and some tomatoey gravy over potatoes is sounding really yummy. I think some good ole Swiss steak is in order.

I have been in the "comfort food" mode which for the most part is pretty safe in the "Will they eat it?" category. The only thing is ...most of it does not photograph well. It's not meant to look pretty it is meant to be satisfying, tasty meal. I have several recipes that I have made lately that I have been dragging my feet about posting for that reason. This recipe is one of them. It may not be pretty but your stomach is not going to care!

I found this recipe on Recipezaar. I made some minor modifications to it to include using cube steak. You can use round steak and pound it out if you like. This can be made either on the stove, in the oven or in the crockpot. I went with the crockpot method.

Swiss Steak


1 1/2 lbs cube steak

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 teaspoons garlic powder

1tablespoon vegetable oil

1 28oz crushed tomatoes

1 small onion thinly sliced

1/2 cup diced celery

2 cups baby carrots

2 Tablespoons worchestshire sauce

1/2 cup red wind

1/4 cup water

Combine flour, salt, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder. Dredge meat in flour mixture

Heat oil in large skillet and brown meat on both sides.Remove meat from skillet and place in crockpot. Whisk remaining flour into pan drippings.Stir in remaining ingredients and cook on med heat until it begins to thicken. Pour over meat in crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Serve over mashed potatoes (rice or noodles if you prefer).


See, I told you it wasn't pretty.

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