I have no idea why I didn’t think of this earlier. Three years ago, I was by the pool with my best friend Aimee and she said she was making her new boyfriend something called Brown Sugar Meatloaf. Though my initial thought was “meatloaf, ewww,” I logged onto Allrecipes.com , found the recipe with hundreds of excellent reviews, and decided to make the same recipe for MY new boyfriend Brett. He loved it. He raved over it. He told me I was amazing. He wanted more, different meals!
From that point on, I was hooked. (to cooking AND him!)
Three years later, I’ve had a few cooking classes (highly recommend Kansas City Culinary,) a few cooking successes and of course, plenty of cooking failures (corn casserole that was soup in the middle, delicious, eh?)
Sometimes I take pictures of what I make…but no one wants to see that on facebook. Sometimes I send out recipes of my favorites…but is a recipe any less worthy just because it’s not my favorite? So, I’ve started this blog to share every new recipe I try and the story behind it. If I get lazy one week and revert to cereal and nachos, I may post past recipes. But, I am hoping that this blog will encourage me to try at least one or two new things each week.
Hang in there with me, and I hope you enjoy it!
In honor of the aforementioned Brown Sugar Meatloaf, here you are. Anytime I ask Brett, “what is your favorite meal that I make?” he will absolutely, without a doubt, say Brown Sugar Meatloaf. How could I even begin to tell a story behind this recipe? I have made it over a dozen times! I generally serve this with baby red potatoes tossed in olive oil and garlic and herbs, and fresh green beans. Also, to be a bit more heart-healthy and calorie-conscious, I generally use all ground turkey or 50/50 with ground beef. It tastes the same, I promise.
Brown Sugar Meatloaf
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. ketchup
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 small onion, diced
1/4 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3/4 C. finely crushed saltine cracker crumbs or panko
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 5×9 inch loaf pan.
2. Press the brown sugar into the bottom of the pan and spread the ketchup over the brown sugar.
3. In a mixing bowl, mix all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place in the pan on top of ketchup.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, ensuring juices run clear and the center is not pink.
And, because I started this blog with the intention of sharing *new* recipes, here are the first and second victims of my recent soup-making kick. I credit AllRecipes for both. The first is Ham & Potato Soup and I’m happy to say that both my Mom and Kellie have already given this one a shot and good feedback! Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, this recipe makes a TON – kinda bad for me since I’m a lone soul right now and this soup didn’t freeze well (watery when reheated.) I used strips of ham that I sliced b/c the store was out of cubed ham. I will make this recipe over and over and over….
Delicious Ham and Potato Soup
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
1/3 C. onion, diced
3/4 C. cubed, cooked ham
3 1/4 C. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
salt and pepper to taste
5 TBS. butter
5 TBS. all purpose flour
2 C. milk
1. Combine potatoes, onion, ham and water in large stockpot. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minues. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
2. In a seperate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour with a whisk, stirring constantly until thick for one minute. Slowly stir in milk so as not to form lumps. Continue stirring until thick, 4-5 minutes.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot and combine well. Cook soup until heated through.
The next one is Chicken Tortilla Soup that I made this Monday night. I did make a classic mistake with this one….accidentally adding all of the broth at once (thus the soup cooled and took much longer to thicken) rather than slowly whisking the broth into the roux. My soup was probably a bit runnier than it should be as a result, but still delicious. This is an example of a great recipe that wasn’t my favorite, but perhaps it will be yours. Don’t forget to add crushed tortilla chips while eating – it’s a must.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
3 C. chicken broth
1 C. milk
8 oz. velveeta cheese, cubed
10 oz. traditional Rotel tomatoes and chiles
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne
salt & pepper to taste
crushed tortilla chips
1. In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour with a whisk and cook, stirring often for 3 minutes.
2. Slowly whisk in chicken broth in small amounts, then whisk in milk.
3. Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta cubes. Stir until melted.
4. Add Rotel, chicken and spices.
5. Heat through. Serve soup with crushed tortilla chips.
That’s enough to tide you over. If you’d like, please leave comments with recommendations or thoughts and of course, tell me if you make any of these!