Let’s start with today is National Lobster Thermador Day. Yeah, fancy stuff. While I love fancy stuff, I’m really beginning to find more joy from simple comfort foods.
Comfort foods are often associated with our past. We all have those fond memories of childhood, of simply time and that feeling of being loved. Often food is a part of that warm feeling. And then there are those dishes that might not have been a big part of our childhood, yet they will carry us back to a memory.
Salisbury Steak wasn’t something we ate as children. I’m not sure why – ground meats and fillers to stretch that meat should have been a stable back then. But we really didn’t eat much in the way of ground beef. Hamburgers, tacos, meat loaf and goulash was about it. Now my mother did make a dish called Picadillo, but not very often. Roasts were big, especially on Sundays. And chicken. We ate a lot of chicken. Yet I do have a soft spot for Salisbury Steak.
When I was a school-age girl, I made friends with a girl whose life was very different from mine. While I had siblings, she was an only child. Being an only child was very rare – I can only think of two only children back then. Her mother worked outside the home. Again, not common. Her parents were alcoholics. As a child, most of the adults in my life had an occasional drink- at New Year’s Eve, perhaps wine on special occasions or a cold beer on a hot summer’s day. Alcohol wasn’t a part of everyday life. For my friend, it was. She often tucked her parents into bed after they drank their suppers, then made her own dinner. She loved to come to our house for supper because we had home-cooked meals. And there were children, loud, giggling children around the dinner table. I like to go to her house because I had never seen TV Dinner or Spaghetti that came in a can. It was amazing. And her house, unlike mine, was quiet. The first time I tasted Salisbury Steak, it was in a frozen foil tin with mashed potatoes and corn.
To me, Salisbury Steaks are reminders of a girl I knew long ago. I miss her.
Skillet Salisbury Steak
1 (10.5 oz) can French Onion Soup
1-1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 cup dry Breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Flour
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Beef Stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Mustard Powder
In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup condensed French onion soup with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper. Shape into 6 oval patties.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Pour off excess fat.
In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup, stock, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over meat in skillet. Cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Serve with gravy spooned over Salisbury Steaks. Great with mashed potatoes and buttery corn for real comfort food goodness.
Are you a fan of peanut butter? Well lucky for you, today is National Peanut Butter Day. Did you know that peanut butter was first made by the Aztecs and Incas around 1000 BC? Yeah, but it wasn’t quite the spreadable goodness we know today. Yeah, it’s come a long way.
After such a simple yet comforting supper, an easy no-bake pie celebrating the wonders of peanut butter seemed fitting. Enjoy!
No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
1 (8 oz) tub Whipped Topping
2 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 bag Mini Peanut Butter Candy Cups
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 pinch Salt
1 Chocolate Cookie Crust
Remove whipped topping from freezer and let thaw over night in the refrigerator. When ready to make the pie, let cream cheese soften at room temperature.
Unwrap candies, cut in some half and the reset quartered. Set aside until ready to use.
Sift powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Warm the peanut butter in the microwave for around 30 seconds to melt enough to be pourable.
Pour the peanut butter into the mixing bowl over the powdered sugar. Add softened cream cheese, vanilla extract and salt. Beat well for 90 seconds until well combined. Beat in the whipped topping until creamy.
Pour the peanut butter mixture into the cookie crust. Smooth top with an off-set spatula.
Squeeze chocolate sauce over the top of the pie in a swirl patter. With a toothpick, create a marbling effect with the sauce. Arrange the peanut butter candies around the edge to create a candy ring edge.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.