Monday, August 30, 2010

Meals on Monday - Awesome Meatloaf Recipe

"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... in my case, my stomach won!

If you would like to join us in celebrating homemade family meals, join my good friend and Meals on Monday organizer, Stacy Petersen in the link-up!  Click here to see her great recipe for Pulled Beef French Dip and share the link to your post!  We'd love to see what you share!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Fresh Summer Bruschetta

One of my favorite things to order when we go out to eat is Bruschetta.  We always end up saying what a wonderful, healthy meal it would be if we made it at home with our own veggies.

So I found this recipe for Bruschetta and tried it.  I have to say, it was DELICIOUS!  And using our own 'maters & basil was the added bonus of healthiness... no pesticides or added "stuff."

So here's my modification of the recipe - hope you enjoy!

Dawn's Bruschetta
    * 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
    * 2 cloves garlic, minced
    * 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    * 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    * 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    * 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
    * 1/4 cup olive oil


1 Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes. (If the tomatoes are too hot, you can protect your finger tips by rubbing them with an ice cube between tomatoes.) Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. Why use plum tomatoes instead of regular tomatoes? The skins are much thicker and there are fewer seeds and less juice.

2 Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

3 While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4 Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

5 Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

Makes 24 small slices.  (It was delicious served with cottage cheese on the side.)

With a great tomato crop, there's so many delicious recipes and we've been eating so fresh.  Too bad that doesn't last in WI.  This is a Meals on Monday post to coincide with Stacy Petersen's wonderful Meals on Monday event.  If you'd like more information about Meals on Mondays, check out Stacy's Blog!

Bon Apetite!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jalapeno Poppers... but better! :)

I have a super secret source for this recipe.  I cannot reveal my source, but 2 generations of passing it along, leads back to an authentic Mexican recipe.  So if you have a bunch of jalapeno's and are jonsin' for something delicious... and yet slightly sinful... you've got to try this!

Jalapeno Poppers or Jalapeno Bacon Dip

The poppers are super easy….take tops off, slit and take out seeds.  Fry bacon and crunch up in cream cheese, stuff peppers and wrap w/partially cooked bacon….bake till pepper is soft… 350, 45ish min.  I think I fried 1lb of bacon, mixed w/2 pkgs cream cheese, and used another lb of bacon (cut strips in half) for 35 peppers.  

The guy who showed me this doesn’t bother with all this fuss anymore….he puts it all in a food processor and bakes it like I do my famous artichoke dip…much less fuss….but I thought we’d eat it the authentic way the first time.  Enjoy!!!  

That's the recipe... If I made them personally, I too would make into a dip and serve with Triscuits.  The salty crisp of a cracker would be delicious with all these flavors combined.  It's also much easier preparation leaving time for socializing with friends and family!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Antioxidant Brownies - SUPER Delicious!!

Good Morning Foodie Friends!  Today's post for Meals on Mondays - hosted by my good friend Stacy Petersen, is actually better than a meal in my book.  It's a dessert... but if you cut it into small triangles, and put them on the plate just right it could be an appetizer... maybe... okay, maybe only in my dreams.  BUT, I'm going to share with you anyhow! :)

On Saturday I stopped over to visit with my Mom and she made a whole pan of BROWNIES!!!!  I know, shame on her.  She knows I'm a sugar addict teetering on the brink... none-the-less, there they sat.  All warm and chocolatey and calling my name.  But these weren't any brownies.  There was one special ingredient that gave me permission to call them healthy... ha, ha, ha!  Anything to grab another one!  She had added BLUEBERRIES to her brownies!  And they were supremely delicious.  I would never have thought of it, but then she reminded me of those delicious little chocolate covered bing cherries and chocolate covered blueberries that Harry & David's sell... and all was well in the world.

Seriously, these were so moist and delicious and loaded with antioxidants because that's what blueberries bring to the table and viola!

Blueberry Brownies
1 Box of Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker or Pillsbury Brownie Mix
      (I know, I cheat.... shhhhh, nobody else needs to know)
Eggs according to the package
1 1/2 cups fresh (NOT FROZEN) blueberries
    (Frozen are too juicy and your brownies will not bake through)
Oil - only use 1/2 of the amount called for on the box.

Mix Brownie mix, Eggs and Oil until blended.  Fold in blueberries and pour into a greased 9x13 cake pan.  Bake according to package directions and eat fresh out of the oven... and again in 20 minutes because I know you won't be able to have just one! :)

Enjoy! ;)