Loaf of the Meat

OR as my husband wanted to name this.. Meatloaf Robbie Will Actually Eat!  HAHA  it took me three or four tries to get him to even try it.  But then he was hooked.   Now he asks for it 4-5 times a month.  I dont let him have it that often but that is how often he asks for it.. LOL  Keep them wanting more! 

I found the origins of this recipe in some magazine about 6-7 years ago.  For many years my meatloaf was kind of a big meatball in loaf shape.   So in true Kim form I took a recipe and kicked out what I didnt like and put in what I did.  It has been a very popular recipe among my friends and I am  happy to say is actually pretty low fat.  This recipe makes atleast a 9 x 13 pan (I tripled it and get four bread loaf pans) and it only works out to 5 points on WW for a pretty large serving.  

My mom always looks at me weird when I make this because it is different than the one I was raised on but the added veggies and odd spices make for a flavorful and healthy addition to my menu.  And Robbie will actually eat it.  Nik and Aaron dont eat it, they devour it!!  Sometimes 2-3 helpings.  My favorite way to serve is with my garlic mashed potatoes which i will be posting in a couple days, and with corn!  SOOOOOOO Yummy!

Ingredients
1 9 x 13 pan makes 9 servings  (the pictures are of a tripled recipe)  WW Points~5

1 1/2 lbs ground meat, I do half and half 93% beef and 93% turkey 
1/2 lb (3-4 links)  sweet sausage, optional but it adds depth 
1 1/2 cup bread tore up into small pieces (6-7 slices)
1 egg
1 medium sized onion
3/4 cup carrot** (these are not exact measurements, I just take some carrots)
3/4 cup broccoli ** (again, just enough broccoli to be about 3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp sage
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg (or the equivalent fresh grated)
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 tbsp hot sauce or brown sugar (depends on if you want it hot or sweet)

** I have also used red and green pepper, celery is good too, hell even pea pods would be good, but carrot is always in it.  I cannot eat much celery and Rob doesnt like peppers.

Cast of Characters

With a food processor (or this handy little food grinder thingie I got) grind up the veggies. 

Put your meat and veggies in a large bowl and break up the bread into little bits.

Lightly beat the eggs and add to the bowl.

Mix the spices up and sprinkle evenly over the stuff in the bowl.

MMMMMMMMMM doesnt that look tasty!

Since I always use fresh nutmeg I always do this at the end so I can judge how much to put in.

Then add 1/2 cup of ketchup.

And mix.
Plop (and yes it does plop) it into the pans you are using.  You can use 9X13, loaf pans, even deep dish large muffin pans.

Bake at 350 total for about 45-60 minutes for loaf and 9×13, about 25-35 for muffins.  They will release alot of fluid from the veggies and the fat and that grosses me out to have my food sitting in that so once or twice I will drain off the yucky stuff into the meat container or a can or something so that I can discard it later.

When done cooking you take the other 1/2 cup of ketchup and the hot sauce/brown sugar (or both for a sweet hot mix), combine and put on top of the hot meatloaf and broil on high for 4-5 minutes until it is done to your likings!!

Here it is served with garlic mashed potatoes (which I will post in a couple days) and some of the leftover broccoli.  I didnt have any corn in the house.   😦

Meatloaf has always been one of my faves and while I do still love my moms, this is more healthy for you and tastes damn yummy.  I make large batches like this because it freezes so well.  Simply wrap in a double layer of aluminum foil. You take out the night before and put in the fridge.  About 45-50 minutes before serving put it in the oven still in the foil and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.  I do eliminate the glaze/broil part for ones I will be freezing and do that the evening I heat it up!   OR you can just cut off pieces and heat up individually in the microwave.  YUM!

Happy Cooking!!

Moroccan Curry Butternut Squash Soup

To say I love winter squash would be an understatment.   I have a couple of other posts in my fairly new blog about it.  I just love it.  It is so sweet and flavorful.  I could eat it all day and in so many ways. 

A word about squash types.  My favorite is buttercup.  But it is only a tiny margin that seperates it from its cousins, buttercup, acorn and hubbard.  So for the purposes of this recipe, it can be any of them.  In this case I am using up the some of the last of the packets that I froze up in this post.  Which was hubbard, butternut and acorn.   So rather than differentiate (and cause squash is shorter to write than buttercup squash) I will be just saying squash throughout the post.. okay?

Well, I have been looking for a recipe for a squash soup.  I have a certain flavor in mind and have tried a couple store bought and both times it fell miles short.  I want something mildly sweet, spiced, and full of squash flavor.  I posted on a cooking blog I frequent and got a couple of possibles.  One will be an amalgamation of 2-3 different ones to try and get the flavor I want.  And then there is this one….. while it isnt what I was looking for, it is heavenly.  

This recipe is from Prevention RDs website.  I followed a link when I posted for the squash soup recipe.  I did do some mild adapting but not much.  She got it originally from Ginas Weight Watchers Recipes (which I bookmarked thank you very much!!).  Again it isnt the one I was looking for but it is going in The Box!!!  I tried it and yum!  I figured I would be eating it alone.   NOPE both Nik and Aaron love it.  So easy, took 20 minutes and so rich and flavorful.  And my fellow WW people…… a 1 cup serving is only 2 points.  I just about died when I saw that! 

Ingredients
2 cups already cooked mashed squash
1/2 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup light coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt

Cast of characters

Start off by chopping your onion

Then the garlic and mincing them together fine.

In a dutch oven or 6-8 quart stock pot, add some Pam cooking spray and saute the onion and garlic of medium heat until translucent.

Measure out the spices.

And add them to the translucent veggies.  This will be kind of odd looking in the pan and very dry seeming but the heat will release the fragrance and flavors of the spices.


Add the chicken broth.
And then the squash.

And then the coconut  milk.   I had a half a can leftover so woooohooooo one less dirty dish!

Let simmer for about 10 minutes and then attack it with the stick wand to puree the onion and garlic.

Plate it up and take the can and the last few drops can make a pretty presentation.. or a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream. 

This soup made the house smell so good.  And it was so warm and inviting on my tongue. I really was surprised by the flavor.  I cannot wait to make this again.   I am going to be making my other sweet squash soup in the next few days but I think this soup will be coming out of  The Box atleast one more time in the next couple weeks.  Curry is good food and so is squash. 

Happy Cooking!!

Slow Roast Brisket with Onion Gravy

I am now about 9 days out from my foot surgery.  I am still a bit sore, sick of studying for my HESI Nursing School Exit Exam, and sick of being cooped up in the house.  The doctor gave me my driving ability back a couple days ago but said I should still be on the crutches.  Okay….. not sure how that makes sense but okay.

We had Aaron take us grocery shopping a couple days ago and I found two nice looking briskets that were about the same thickness and had little fat!  I was happy.  SO I got them home and started looking for a good new recipe.  I had my standard rub I have used in the past that I like but I needed a break from studying and wanted something different.  I found it, in an old Better Homes and Garden recipe I had ripped out over Christmas break.  I do that alot.  Recycle the magazine and just take out the recipes I want to try.  I literally have two paper boxes full of clippings and a huge stack of magazines to go through.  Rob just shakes his head in disgust when I come home from work and have yet another pile of magazines.  LOL

I totally get that from my Mom.  I will go and visit her in Vermont and she will have a stack of magazines for me to go through.  My Dad is not too adventurous when it comes to food but with Moms not so gentle reminder that he will eat what she cooks, he is branching out.  He still will not eat chicken but is definitely not a strict beef/potato or pasta/vegetable man anymore.  I love it. 

Now.. onto brisket.  It is a wonderful meat.  You can totally impart yummy flavor to it.  You can slow cook it and it is always juicy!  Since it is a long fibered meat it is important to slice it against the grain and you will have perfection. 

Ingredients
Total cooking and prep time: 3 1/2 hours  at 325
4-5 lbs of fresh beef brisket (not brined)
2-3 large onions
6 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup liquid smoke ( I had mesquite on hand)
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup steak sauce
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, or simmer 1 cup until it is reduced like I did
S & P

Cast of Characters

Spray your pan.  I used an aluminum since it was what I had upstairs and I didnt want to go to the basement.  Slice the onions and garlic.

Once sliced make a bed in the bottom of the pan.

This is to rest your brisket on.  You want the pan to be a pretty good size fit for the meat or else it wont get enough of the contact with the juice.

Mix together the remaining ingredients.  I used about 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each. 

And pour over the brisket and onions.

Cover tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil and put into the oven for 3 hours.

When the timer goes off, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes.  Take off the foil and with tongs remove from the juice, put on a plate and cover with the aluminum foil.

Remove the onions and garlic from the juices.

Using a stick wand and some of the pan juices puree into a nice thick gravy.  Add more juice to find the correct balance of thickness.  It will not be pretty, but it sure does taste good.

Cut the meat across the grain for the best tenderness.


Plate up with your fave starch and veg and add some of the lovely gravy.  Heaven!

I will admit I was very skeptical about the gravy.  I mean the ingredients were strong flavored and when we snuck a lick of the broth makings before we put it in the oven, well lets just say, I wasnt sure it was going to make it into the blog.  HAHA I was wrong.  This was fantastic!   The gravy was actually sweet and oniony and very flavorful.  The meat had all the flavors coursing through it and it was…  wonderful!  I cannot think of any other way to describe it.  I totally enjoyed it.  I cannot wait until tomorrow for a wonderful sandwich.  And here is the surprising part.  Since I used a very lean cut of brisket and had only 4 ounces with a 1/4 cup of gravy, the WW recipe builder says that this is only 5 points.  Ummmmm  hello happy girl. 

Happy Roasting!!

French Onion Soup

Many of my friends are Nesties.  For those of you who are scracthing your heads asking what a Nestie is, let me enlighten you.  The Nest is an offshoot of The Knot, a webcommunity where many women will go to plan their wedding.  They are tying The Knot…. get it.  It was a great site where I met some of my dearest friends.  The Nest is where you go once you are married, you know building The Nest.   Clever play on words there I know.  There I met Katie, Jodi, Beth, Britni, Jess and a slew of wonderful ladies.  They have brought many things in to my life.  One of those things is this soup.

This was posted last year on a board I frequent by Sue, a fellow NH Nestie.  I had only had french onion soup once before.  I loved it.  It was rich and silky and covered with cheese and crusty bread, seriously what was not to like.  I like this recipe so much i dont even need the cheese or bread on it.  In fact I didnt even have any in the house the last time I made this. 

Ingredients 
adapted from Sue-NH Nestie

3-4 large onions
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
4 cans beef broth or 8 cups homemade (I have made this with beef, chicken and veggie broth, all work)
2 tsp worchestershire sauce

Cast of Characters


First slice your onions, thick or thin, it depends on how big you want them.  I like medium, so that is how i do mine. 
 
Break them up a bit so they cook even.

Cook in the butter until slightly translucent.

Throw in your sugar.

Stir until incorporated and then add flour.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, it will get thick and look kind of gummy, dont worry it will cook out.  You need to let it cook for that long so that the flour cooks fully and will thicken it slightly.

Then add your stock or broth and worchestershire sauce. 

Let simmer for about 30 minutes, give it a taste.  It might need some salt or a bit of pepper per your tastes.  Serve either as is..

Or like this..  which I just made for the boys.. right now.. to be able to take this picture.. the wine is for me.. i am studying.. haha

For the cheesy way above, you can take croutons (easy but can change the flavor of your soup) or a dense bread that you toasted and lay it on the top of your soup.. lay the cheese over it and broil until the cheese is melty and browned.

Either way it is yummy..  though when I make the cheesy one for me.. I prefer swiss but the kids like colby mix.    This is a great thing to take to potlucks and I took it to the oncology department a couple times while Rob was getting chemo.  It was a hit.  It is a great to use crock pot to keep it hot and you can just bring some cheese and croutons for ease.   Thanks Sue for a great recipe.

Happy Cooking!!

Homemade Cheese Its

You remember me talking about how we like to make things from scratch that are easier to buy.  Well Rob came across this recipe in his Ready Made magazine for home made Cheese Its (yes i know they aren’t spelled like that but I have no idea about copyrights on names) and I had to try them.   BUT they were way too high in points for WW so I tweaked.  Are you surprised??  If you are, you havent been reading my blog enough.  Haha.

The original recipe calls for only 5 ingredients.  I added a couple.  First of all I changed the cheese to low fat.  I KNOW, the sacriledge!!  Cheese is the epitome of yumminess and to a dairy farmers daughter anything that uses milk is essential to life.

I love cheese crackers.  I love the taste, the texture, and goodness knows I love me some cheese.  I think that has been the hardest part of WW has been giving up cheese and its products.  You can eat whatever you want on WW but honestly 1 oz of cheese can be 2-4 points.  That is alot of points for such a small amount, so I have been sparing.  This recipe, makes about 15 dozen!!  which when points are added up.. is only 2 points per dozen!!! Yeee Haw

Ingredients
yield: 15 dozen   adapted from Ready Made magazine
1/2 stick butter
6 oz low fat sharp cheddar
2 oz hard italian cheese (pecorino is what we had in the house)
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tbsp cold water

Cast of Characters

In your stand mixer, add the butter.

Grate cheese into the mixer.

Add the salt.

Beat the butter, cheese and salt on medium until incorporated.


Add the flour.

Mix until the consistency of coarse sand.

We decided to add some garlic powder at the last minute.

Slowly add water 1 tsp at a time while on medium speed……

Until it comes together.

Here is where I will tweak the recipe the most in the future.  The recipe calls for putting it in the fridge for an hour.  I will NOT be doing that.  It made it hard to roll out.   I ended up having to knead it a bit to soften it up.  So next time Iwill just cut it in half and roll away. 
So start off with a lightly floured surface.  I love my Pampered Chef roll mat, barely have to use any flour.

Pat half the dough into a disk.

Roll it until it is thin.  The recipe said 1/8 but i dont think that is thin enough.  So I would roll it as thin as possible.

Cut with a fluted roller or even just use a knife if you dont have a rolly thingy.

Take off the not pretty edges to roll out later.  Here is what they will look like.  See how they are not even.. I love that about homemade.

Put on a parchment lined baking sheet and poke the center out with a chopstick.  This will help them from puffing too much.

Bake at 375 for about 15-17 minutes.  These were in for about 14 minutes.

I think they like them…..

Even Rob who hasnt been feeling well enough to eat real food for 5 days, couldnt resist them. 

The results.  Well they were soooo tasty but a bit thick.  They called for rolling 1/8th an inch thick. I will go thinner next time and bake a little less time AND I will definitely use my Pampered Chef stoneware so they dont burn.  But they were so good and actually pretty fun to make.  As you can see by the masculine hand in some of the pictures, Nik made these with me and we totally had a great day baking and chatting.  Rob was in bed, until he smelled them done and had to sample, and Aaron was at Corries house so this was a fun project for Nik and I.  Granted I think I have about 4 dozen left after Rob and Nik finished but it was so worth it. 

Happy Baking!!

Three Meat Jambalaya

This is totally a spicy food house.  I mean we all like it.  The kids drink hot sauce practically.  Okay well not drink it but it is eaten at almost every dinner.  They even put it on their eggs.  Rob and I like it as well but we are not as freaky as they are.  I like some flavor behind the heat.  The boys just like to brag how hot they can handle.  Typical teenage testosterone. 

My favorite way to have some heat is as part of a wonderfully flavorful dish.  I love my homemade salsa and hot pepper jams but if given the choice would much rather have a deeply flavorful stew-like concoction of this jambalaya.  I have a few friends with yummy recipes but I found this one a few years ago and had forgotten about it tucked away in “The Box”.  The Box is something I have talked about before and if I wasnt so comfortable sitting here leaned back in my chair I would go take a picture of said box.  For those of you new to my blog, The Box is where all my tried and true recipes go.  This is where I hold the recipes I want to pass down.  This Jambalaya is in The Box.  But it was buried, and now it is found. 

It started out as so many recipes do.. something else completely, then I tweaked the hell out of it.  The original  had only 1/2 tsp of cayenne!  Are you kidding me?  This makes 10 cups.  That ratio was way wrong.   The original was only one meat and had only onions.  It was bland and pretty much tomatoes.  This is better.

Ingredients
yield: 7 – 1 1/2 cup servings  (WW 7 points)  adapted: from AllRecipes

1 onion
1 red or green pepper
5-6 cloves garlic
1 lb of turkey kielbasa
1 1/2 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 pound of shrimp
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (start with 1 tbsp and work up is my suggestion, we like this level)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp basil
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
14 oz (or 1/2 of a 28 oz can like I had) of diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked orzo

Cast of Characters

Add a spray oil to a pan and chop up your onion.

Chop up your garlic and your red pepper.  Add the red pepper and onion to the pan.

Saute the onion and pepper and when starting to release their fluid add the garlic.  If you add the garlic too soon it will brown too much and taste burnt.  Yuck.

Cut the kielbasa up to the size you want,  I like it small so I quarter each round. 

Toss into the veggies.  The great thing about turkey kielbasa is that it adds VERY little fat so you dont have to strain it.

Cube up your chicken and toss that in.

Add the sugar.

Then the rest of the spices.

Then when the chicken has been cooking for about a minute, pour in the crushed and diced tomatoes and the water.  The chicken will finish cooking in the hot sauce.

Stir to combine and increase heat to meduim high.  Once hot, add the orzo.

Peel and cut the shrimp in half.  I like having more bites of shrimp than seeing them whole.   Set aside until the orzo is cooked.

Keep stirring or else you will end up with a gooey mess on the bottom.

Once the orzo is done, about 10 -15 minutes, add the shrimp.  Cook just until the shrimp are done, 1-2 minutes.

Serve in a nice bowl with a side of bread or just like I have it here.. all by itself. 

Pure heaven in a cup.  I was so happy tonight.  HAHA  Nik and Aaron loved it, gobbled it right up.  Just the right amount of spice so they didnt add any hot sauce.  Granted I might have been upset if they had.   Rob is still chemo-ed out, last one was this week, maybe he will get his tastebuds and belly back soon!  I hope so, he hasnt had this yet.  Remember, I told you The Box had hidden it. 

Happy Cooking!!