Growing up in Eastern Montana, I knew Orange Stuff as a dreamy jell-o/Cool Whip/cottage cheese concoction that I asked Mom to make for my birthday each June. My husband Beau is originally from Alabama, though, and he grew up eating an entirely different kind of Orange Stuff: a creamy, tomato-y stroganoff dotted with bits of tender steak and mushrooms and served over angel hair pasta.
Because Orange Stuff is still one of Beau’s favorite dishes from his mom’s kitchen, and because I love it too, I make it for our family on special occasions like Valentine’s Day. It’s delicious with garlic bread (which is pretty much a staple in our house), and when pasta’s involved you can never go wrong serving a side salad complete with all the yummy ingredients Olive Garden puts in theirs (you can buy bottles of Olive Garden salad dressing at grocery stores). Here’s what our Valentine’s Day meal looked like:
And here’s my mother-in-law Lynn Blake’s recipe for…
- Heat 4 T. butter and 4 T. oil in a large pot. Cut sirloin or round steak into thin strips or small-bite-size pieces. (Sirloin is best quality, of course, but is in high demand at our house, so I am always looking for suitable ways to substitute round steak. Round steak works here if the pieces are small enough and the meat simmers in the sauce until very tender.) Quickly brown all the steak in the butter and oil, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go; remove browned meat from pot.
- Sauté a chopped onion and a spoonful of minced garlic in the drippings. Add sliced fresh mushrooms OR a can of sliced mushrooms with juice.
- To the vegetables add 2 family-size cans of condensed tomato soup, plus 1 can of water. Return meat to the pot. Season sauce with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper if necessary. Simmer over low heat, the longer the better.
- Just prior to eating, prepare angel hair pasta. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in 1-1/2 c. room-temperature sour cream. Serve the sauce over the pasta.
Mid-February is a special time at our house because Beau and I actually met on February 15 — way back in 2002! Beau is awesome at remembering dates and actually wishes me a happy 15th almost every month.
This year, on Valentine’s Day, we took the whole family out for an evening at the nearest indoor pool. On February 15th, I resolved we needed to replenish all the calories we’d burned at the swimming pool by recreating and inevitably consuming this masterpiece, whose glossy image had cried out to me from social media:
Ding Dong Cake. It didn’t disappoint. (Watch I Am Baker’s video on how to make it here.)
(Disclaimer: I shared a few slices of the cake above with select neighbors and family members. Just felt like I should say that.)
(I had the last piece of cake for breakfast this morning with coffee. Phew. Glad it’s gone.)
Happy Sunday everyone : )
© Tam Blake