Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Tastebuds!

Recently one of my coworkers did me a HUGE favor in driving something to my house. She went out of her way and it was pretty late at night. I greatly appreciated it. And all she wanted was some meatloaf. Sweetest thing. It took a few weeks for me 1. get in the mood to eat meatloaf and 2. actually put forth the energy to make it. My mom says I'm lazy. I say I'm pregnant! She doesn't really say it...to my face anyway but I can read it all in her tone when she calls me and asks what I'm doing. If it's after a long day's work, I usually reply "laying down on the couch."

Anywho, so darling Amber got lucky. I didn't make my usual recipe because I didn't really want that. Instead I took to Pinterest and searched for something a little different. What I came across was simply remarkable. Honestly, I always call people to eat meatloaf when I cook it because otherwise it will get chopped and frozen. Not that I'm opposed to that either (making a mental note to freeze a meatloaf for after the baby's arrival).

This was something brand new to me. We all have our traditional recipes that we know our mothers and grandmothers would kill us for changing, but sometimes you just have to mix it up. So I am dubbing this Meatloaf Remix. I found this recipe for a cajun meatloaf and it instantly screamed MAKE ME! So I did. Only thing, I didn't have all of the exact ingredients so I remixed even further. I will post the original recipe below and if I changed something about it, I will put that in red. If I had the original ingredients, I would have used them. And don't judge me on the milk! I really thought I had regular milk! LOL

Cajun Meatloaf 
Adapted from Only From Scratch 

2 T butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons blackened cajun seasoning {mine was purchased at Fresh Market, but I'm sure any brand would do} I used a 14 spice blend (not cajun)
1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce I used Soy Sauce (didn't have any Worchestershire)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup milk I used unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 cup ketchup
1 pound ground beef I used 1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup rolled oats

Glaze Topping:
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce Again, I used Soy Sauce

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place butter in a medium sized skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add onion and pepper and saute until tender.  Add all the seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the milk and ketchup; cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.  Let cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, mix cooked sauce mixture, ground beef, egg and oats.  Stir to combine.  Form into a loaf and place in a greased baking dish.  Bake for one hour.

In a small bowl combine ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce to form a glaze topping.  Spread on top of baked meatloaf.  Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until bubbly.

This was probably the best meatloaf I have ever made! And I know what you're thinking...you can't trust the tastebuds of a pregnant lady. But Amber gave me a golden seal of approval and asked me for the recipe so HA! Make this loaf!! And FYI, no, the almond milk didn't make it sweet! It was super yummy!

This next dish, I don't have in progress pictures but it is pretty simple. I made it for my grandmother for Mother's Day. It is one of her favorite dishes for me to make so it makes me happy to make her happy. I actually got this recipe from one of my friend's mother years ago. The first time I tasted it I loved it and usually everybody I serve it to loves it. These measurements are less than accurate because I didn't plan on blogging this one, but someone asked for the recipe on Instagram (do you follow me?) so I wanted to be sure to share! 

Jacki's Broccoli Casserole

2 cups cooked brown rice (or white, whichever you prefer)
1 bag of frozen chopped broccoli (the regular sized bag)
1 tablespoon of your favorite season-all mix. I use Zoe's blend (I buy it from the restaurant)
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Milk (this time I had 2%)
2 bags of shredded cheese. I used a mix of Monterrey and Colby for the inside and Sharp Cheddar for the top

Preheat the oven to 350

For the broccoli, you can buy the steam bags and throw it in the microwave, or just steam it on your stove. Drain any liquid.

Mix cooked rice, cooked broccoli, seasonings and 1 bag of cheese in a casserole dish.

In a medium saucepan, combine the margarine (or butter) and cream of mushroom. When the butter has melted, fill the cream of mushroom can with milk and add to the saucepan. Be sure not to let it scorch.

After the mixture is bubbly, mix it with the other ingredients in the casserole dish and spread it evenly.

Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes.

Remove the casserole dish from the oven and spread the remaining bag of cheese over the top of the casserole.

Bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Serve hot.

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking. This is always a hit and it is super easy to put together. It also tastes great with diced or shredded chicken added. It's one you can make your own.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes, I would love to know if you like it or not! 

Have a happy day!

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