Monday, January 26, 2009

Meatloaf So Delicious We Forgot the Picture

Yes, dinner last night was absolutely scrumptios... after baking in the oven for 45 minutes, the kitchen smelled heavenly... and we were starving. So I'll share with you the recipe and you'll have to make it for yourself to see how good it looks & tastes!

"This is the best meatloaf I've ever eaten... even better than the Cheesecake Factory's meatloaf, and theirs was very good." - Chris D.

Lil' Cheddar Meat Loaves
(adopted from
1 Egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion (but I used 1 Tbsp. of dried onion flakes - much less acidic = no heartburn later!) :)
1/2 tsp. salt
1.5 lbs ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1.5 tsp. prepared mustard

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk egg & milk... (yes, manually whisking, not using the mixer burns more calories and is better for you!) Stir in cheese, oats, onion (or onion flakes) and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. I knead beef in by hand. It's the best mixer you've got AND it's great for relieving stress!

Now the recipe calls for you to make 8 mini loaves (individual serving sized) but I prefer 1 full sized loaf. So I greased a regular size bread loaf pan. And formed the beef mixture in the pan.

In a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar & mustard. Spoon over top of the meatloaf.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Best served with brown & serve rolls and mashed potatoes! Trust me, by the time the meatloaf is ready, your sense of smell is going to drive you crazy... and you too won't have the patience to snap a picture!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's New?

Happy Sunday Morning to all! I haven't blogged in a while, but not to worry, I have been eating!

When the temps drop to -10 with wind chills around -35 here in WI, we get to pretend we're Eskimos! We make all sorts of heart, rib sticking, delicious meals that warm you up from the inside. We've had a big crock pot of Chili... which is always better the 2nd day. We've had baked spaghetti - good every time! Lots of hearty soups & sandwiches.

So the foods been good, the opportunities are abundant and that means we've been busy! But busy is good and we're enjoying our days working very hard and moving forward!

Hope you're days are delectable and prosperous!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eat Your Veggies!!!

Isn't that what your mom told you growing up... you have to eat your veggies?! And no matter how much you kicked and screamed or didn't like broccoli, if it was on your plate you had to eat it!

Well living in the frigid Wisconsin climate in the winter makes getting good veggies very difficult... well, impossible actually. Everything is imported so it's picked while it's still green - translate - it isn't ripe, and doesn't have the full spectrum of nutrients.

Not to mention, by the time it hits the produce department at your local market, it's been truck hopping for a few weeks! So where's the "good stuff" there?

When we went out with friends last weekend, we had a pre-party gathering at one of the couple's homes. The app that stole the show was this incredible Winter Salsa! It was so fresh and delicious, we couldn't get enough. Honestly, it's one of the best salsa's I've ever had. And at this time of the year, to have such a fresh tasting dish was rejuvinating! I had to have the recipe!

So here it is... Winter Salsa~
2 small cans (15 oz. each) Petite Diced Tomatoes Mexican Style
1 large can (28 oz) Petite Diced Tomatoes (regular, no seasoning)
2-3 jalepenos
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1-2 limes juiced (really just to taste, so do 1 at a time)
Salt (to your taste preference)
1 tsp. Ground Cumin (may add more if you prefer)
2 medium onions (or 1 lg. onion) chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro chopped (use more or less depending on your taste)

Mix all together and serve with your favorite tortilla chips! It tastes so fresh, you'll think it came straight from your garden... no kidding!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Warming yourself from the inside out!

As we're bracing ourselves for the frigid, arctic air we're needing to find ways to stay warm. Temps are dropping to -10 air temp (wind chill is even colder) so we need to use all our energies to stay warm. Take a look at what we already have for snow and know that this is just the beginning... there's another 5"+ on the way!

Again, I find my new veggie peeler and turn to a comforting bowl of oatmeal. My favorite is apple cinnamon. And it's one of the more healthy comfort foods ... A whole apple, cinnamon, and oats (great fiber), it's hearty and delicious!

I hope you have delicious, warm days ahead. Whatever warms you up from the inside... make it and enjoy! Home cooked, comforting and delicious!

Recommended Kitchen Must Have!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Comfort Food... that's A-peeling...

Yes, pun intended. As we brace ourselves here in SE Wisconsin for yet another snow storm, I seem to find myself reaching toward comfort food. I had heard on the Today show about a month ago that in tough times, two of the the foods people find most comforting are Spaghetti & Ice Cream.

Gee... I'm not surprised, I'm really just a statistic! I have ice cream every single week (often multiple times) and I LOVE spaghetti... it's quick & easy to make... and yes, comforting.

But lately I have a new comfort.

For Christmas, my brother Greg gave me the most incredible vegetable peeler. Now most people won't get excited over a veggie peeler, but this is the creme-de-la-creme of peelers. It's a strong peeler with a great, sharp blade. (Apparently he didn't care for my cheap rendition of a veggie peeler meets 10 lbs. of potatoes last time I hosted a family dinner) :)

Now though, this peeler is smooth like butter. It leaves me trying to come up with any excuse to peel something... mashed potato recipes, apple crisp, apple cinnamon oatmeal, shepherds pie (I get to peel potatoes & carrots there!!!).

So as silly as it sounds, new kitchen gadgets to get us all excited! Here's to you finding the right comfort food!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year's Resolutions... What are they?

Okay, I know it's that time of the year where people set their New Year's resolutions and make their goals for 2009. And while I believe setting goals is hugely important... the typical New Year's resolution never makes it out of January. Many people say "That's it, I'm going to lose weight in 2009." I think that's a great concept, but I've found in goal setting that it's more believable to the brain to be specific. *And sometimes we need to 'trick' our own brain until we develop healthy habits.

So how about ... "I'm going to lose 10 pounds in January"... that's 2.5 lbs per week which is totally do-able for most people. But think about the impact over12 months... and everybody is in a uniquely different situation. 10 lbs/mo x 12 months... now that's a dramatic result. For 99% of people that's much more weight than would be healthy to lose. But even between now and June - 6 months = 60 lbs... then maintaining is much easier, because you've developed healthy routines.

Part of my healthy routine... because I LOVEEEEEEEE dessert - is having chocolate for breakfast. I know, I know... you're laughing right now. But my mom knows already ... so you can't tattle on me. LOL

In all seriousness, I do know how important breakfast is in brain function, mood regulation and overall appetite throughout the day. However bacon and eggs isn't in my morning routine according to my clock. So what I do have for breakfast is a terrific, CHOCOLATE breakfast shake. It's got great antioxidants, proteins, all your amino acids and it satisfies the insatiable sweet tooth in my. So while I love food... my belief is that anything is okay in moderation and why not have chocolate for breakfast?

Okay... so here's the fine print and my disclaimer ... I'm not a life coach and I'm not some spiritual guidance counselor, but in the spirit of this blog, I didn't want you to think that I'm all eats & treats without any mindfulness of everybody trying to lose weight right now.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who wouldn't want Dessert First???

As a true foodie, I have one motto... "Dessert First."

Some people just laugh, not realizing how serious I am. And it's not just about the sweet tooth in me. See, most people get so full on cocktails, appetizers and the main course, that they rarely leave room for dessert.

But, what I've found is if you eat dessert first and get full, then you box up your main entree and it makes a terrific lunch the next day!

So, live on the edge... have a little fun... explore your inner foodie... Enjoy Dessert First!

So here's a picture of our New Year's Day Dinner... it was supposed to be New Year's Eve... but I didn't get the roast out to thaw early enough.

What I want to dedicate this post to is the delectable Triple Layer Brownie Dessert you see on our plates. It was so easy to make, and even as I eat the left overs 4 days later, it's still as good as day 1.

Triple Layer Brownie Dessert
Layer 1. Make box of brownie mix according to the package and let cool completely.
Layer 2. 2 pkg. cream cheese (an 8 oz. and a 3 oz.), 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 cups Cool Whip.
Soften cream cheese. Slowly blend all ingredients until smooth.
Spread over brownie mix.
Layer 3. One 3.0 oz Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix, 2 cups cold milk
(don't use rice milk, pudding won't set)
Mix Pudding mix and milk until pudding just starts to set.
Pour over top of cream cheese layer and refridgerate for at least 1 hour.

**Can be served with a dollop of Whip Cream or a few crushed walnuts on top.