Guten tag!  Tonight was a celebration of Germany!  We had sauerbraten made using a recipe which a close friend recommended and peach kuchen.  I had originally intended to make a hot potato salad as well, but figured that might be too much food!  We may have Germany part 2 later.

The Verdict:  Everyone seemed to like the meat.  One of my girls liked the vegetables and the friend of one Bug who was eating with us said she liked them (she ate all that we served her).  The vegetables were sweeter than the girls are used to.  The gravy was also sweet.  While I am not a fan of the gravy, the rest of the meal was delicious.  The peach kuchen was a little dry, but absolutely a delight for me (since I am not supposed to eat peaches or pecans - two of my favorite things - for medical reasons).  No worries, though.  I won't get sick because I ate them or anything.  My system may just go wacky for a day or so.  But it was TOTALLY worth it!

Sauerbraten (original recipe from Better Homes & Gardens)

You will need:

3-3.5 lb boneless chuck pot roast
10 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 small onions, sliced
1/2 cup raisins (I used one of the large snack size boxes)
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBSP brown sugar (or if your daughters used the last of the brown sugar having breakfast,  1 1/2 TBSP sugar & 1/2 TBSP Molasses) 
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour

Begin by trimming the fat from your meat.  Place the carrots, celery, onions and raisins in the bottom of a large crockpot.  Add the meat on top.  

In a large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the top of the meat, coating as much as possible. 

Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 hrs or on high heat for 5-6 hrs. 

Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter, and pour the juices into a glass measuring cup.

Measure about 3 cups and pour into a medium saucepan.  Over medium heat, slowly stir in the flour until the liquid thickens into gravy.  Serve meat with gravy.

Dairy-Free Peach Kuchen (original recipe from Betty Crocker)

You need:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance spread, melted
1 bag (16 oz) frozen peaches, thawed and drained
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
2/3 cup of vanilla soy yogurt (about 2 6oz containers)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and 2 TBSP of sugar.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in the melted Earth Balance spread and mix until the dry ingredients are crumbly.  Press the mixture evenly across the bottom and slightly up the sides of an 8x8 pan.  Gently sprinkle the peaches across the top. 

In a small bowl, mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over the peaches and bake for 15 minutes.

While the kuchen is baking, beat eggs, yogurt and vanilla with a wire whisk until it is smooth and well mixed.  Once the 15 minutes of baking time are done, pour the egg/yogurt mixture over the top of the partially baked kuchen. Sprinkle the pecans over the egg/yogurt mixture, and bake for 40-50 minutes.  It is done when a knife inserted into the center comes out cleanly.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes and serve while still warm.

To see how we celebrated Germany in 2008, click here.
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