Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: Cherry torte the perfect finisher

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— Time! I've often said that it's something I don't have enough of. So when it comes to meals, I often have to resort to making something super fast.

Recently, some brands of prepared (canned) gravies have been on sale at the grocery store, and I've stocked up. While I usually make my own gravy, the prepared kinds can be used to make some quick recipes.

For example, this past weekend I put a small tip roast (though other kinds of roast could be used) in the crock pot with a little water and let it cook all day. I find the meat to be more tender if it isn't salted before cooking, but about an hour before serving, I took the roast out of the pot and poured off some of the liquid.

I added a little (maybe a teaspoon) of beef bouillon granules, some black pepper, and a small can of beef gravy. After stirring up the mixture, I put the roast beef back in the crock pot with the gravy mix. I broke up the meat and made sure that it was covered with the gravy.

I let the meat simmer while I peeled potatoes and then let them cook.

Dinner was the meat/gravy mixture served over hot mashed potatoes. It was a pretty tasty and quick meal. We also had tossed salad and a vegetable.

Chicken and pork could be substituted for the beef, mixed with their own gravies.

And, as I may have written before, gravy can be added to cubed meat and vegetables that have cooked all day. It makes a delicious stew.

A good dessert for any meal is cherry torte. To make it, you'll need these ingredients: 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels, 1 cube soft margarine or butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 small package softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup whipped topping and 1 can cherry pie filling.

Crush the pretzels by putting them between layers of wax paper and running a rolling pin over the top. Mix the crushed pretzels with the margarine or butter and the sugar. Pat it into the bottom of a 10-inch square pan.

Then mix the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and whipped topping. (This works best if you stir the cream cheese first, until it is smooth.) Spread over the pretzel crust. Top with cherry pie filling and refrigerate. Serve with a little bit of whipped topping.

Do any of you have a good recipe for making chili? I don't really follow a recipe when making mine, and it's never the same twice. It's hard to get the chili so that it isn't too spicy for me and yet spicy enough for my husband. If you have a favorite chili recipe, please send it to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626 or call me at 824-8809.

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