Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mini Cheddar Meatloaves

Well, y'all, I did it! Earlier this week I posted about using what was in my pantry to save some money at the grocery store. I stayed under my goal of $60!

And believe me, it wasn't easy. I had hubby and one child with me. I tend to spend more when I'm not alone because the extra people add extra items to the cart! But I managed to stick to my list and keep the grocery bill down. Yay!

This is one of the family's favorite recipes and I usually have the ingredients already on hand. We like meatloaf and I make it often. The only thing about fixing it that I don't like is the amount of time it takes to cook. A full size meatloaf is going to take about an hour in the oven to be thoroughly cooked. Who has time for that?

These miniature meatloaves are the answer to the long cooking time. Because they're smaller, they cook up in about 25 minutes - less than half the cooking time of a full size loaf!

If you have a family favorite meatloaf recipe, it's easy to convert into mini loaves. Once you've mixed up your ingredients, divide it into four portions per each pound of meat. So a recipe that calls for one pound of ground meat will make four mini loaves. If your recipe uses 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat, then you'll get six mini meatloaves. Two pound of meat? Make eight mini loaves. Easy!

Here's what you'll need for these yummy cheddar filled mini meatloaves:

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup steak sauce or barbecue sauce, plus more for basting
1/4 cup panko crumbs
2 TBSP dried minced onion
1 teas sea salt
1/2 teas pepper
2 oz cheddar cheese, cut into little cubes (I take an 8 oz block of cheddar cheese, then cut off 1/4 of it to get 2 oz)

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the steak sauce, panko crumbs and seasonings. Crumble the ground beef over this mixture, then dump in the cheese cubes. Using your hands, mix together.

Shape the mixture into 4 separate loaves and place on a foil-lined pan. I try to shove any visible cheese cubes deeper into the meat so they don't melt off onto the pan, but they will leak at some point. Like this.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink in the center. About halfway through baking, brush the loaves with a little more steak sauce or barbecue sauce.
Look at that gooey, stringy cheese!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Menu Plan September 15-21

This week I'm challenging myself to use some food items I already have in my pantry and freezer. My goal is to spend only $60 or less at the grocery store. I also need to clean out my chest freezer to make room for some more meat that is coming at the end of the month. Think I can do it? I'm sure gonna try!

So here's what I've got planned:

Stovetop goulash, steamed broccoli

Homemade chicken nuggets, oven fries

Steak and potato burritos

Pretzel dogs, tater tots

Homemade pizza

Seafood chowder, homemade crusty bread

Crockpot chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Menu Plan September 8-14

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day! Not having school on Monday threw me off all week long. I was a day behind, it seemed. Now I'm caught up, though.

I hope.

Here's what I've got on the menu for this week:

Pizza for the family, ladies' night out at church for me

Chicken parmesan casserole over linguine

Steak bites, baked potatoes

Salmon burgers, oven roasted zucchini

Chicken, rice and veggie skillet

Seafood chowder, crusty bread in a cast iron pot

Beef tips over rice

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Coffee Cake

My first pumpkin and fall-related post of the year! Oh yeah, let's hear it for fall!

I've made this cake several times for the family over the years. In the past, I've used half all-purpose flour and half white wheat flour. Recently I began using all white wheat flour. And no one noticed a difference.

The cake is sweet, but not too sweet. And so moist! Hubby like to have his with a cup of coffee, but I prefer milk. Nothing beats cake and milk together, in my humble opinion.

So here's what you'll need:

2 cups white wheat flour (you can sub out half the wheat for all purpose)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1 teas pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBSP vanilla
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

For the topping:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teas cinnamon

For the glaze (if desired, the cake is fine without it):

3/4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 TBSP milk

In a mixing bowl or the bowl of an stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in the melted butter, milk, sour cream, vanilla and pumpkin. Beat on low for a minute, then beat on high for another minute. Batter will be thick. Spread the batter evenly in a lightly greased 9x13 pan

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle over the cake butter. Using a butter knife, swirl the cinnamon mixture into the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes.

Stir together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Menu Plan September 1-7

Labor Day is recognized by a lot of people as the unofficial end of summer. I remember as a child that we never started school before Labor Day. Even though autumn doesn't officially begin for another 3 weeks, I am starting to get in the fall mood. I love, love, love nearly everything about this season. Really, the only thing I can think of that I dislike is the fact that it gets dark earlier. Boo!

So here's what I've got planned for the week:

Grilled steak, grilled veggies

Pretzel dogs, potato wedges

Chicken fettucine alfredo, garlic bread

Cajun beef and rice

Out to eat

Homemade pizza

Chicken meatball soup
For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Zucchini Casserole

A year ago I could barely get my family to eat zucchini. They all turned their noses up at it, even my husband. Now we eat zucchini at least once a week, especially when it's in season. My mom sent me this yummy recipe and we love it!

This casserole takes zucchini to a new, tasty level. Combined with ground beef or sausage (or a mixture of both) and potatoes, it's hearty and satisfying. The ground beef version seems to be more filling, while the sausage version is a bit more flavorful. Using a little of both is definitely a winning combination!

 And we never have leftovers. It gets gobbled up in the blink of an eye.

Here's what you need:

1 lb ground beef or sausage, cooked and drained (or 1/2 lb of each)
1 large zucchini, shredded ( I use my cheese grater)
3 potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and grated
1 small onion, diced
2 teas seasoned salt
1/2 teas garlic powder
1/4 teas black pepper
1 cup shredded cheese (I use white or yellow cheddar)
1-2 tomatoes, sliced

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the tomatoes. Spread into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. Top with the tomato slices. You can see I only used one tomato and only covered half the casserole. My kids don't care for the tomatoes. I think the tomatoes give the casserole a great flavor.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until slightly crisp around the edges. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu Plan August 25-31

Well, it's the last week of August! How in the world did THAT happen?

We've had normal August temps around here, meaning 95+ degrees plus humidity that will knock you down. Needless to say, I'm getting a little anxious for fall. Like so anxious, I made pumpkin cookies this weekend!

One thing I'm really looking forward to is making soup! I love all kinds of soup, and fall is the perfect season to try some new ones.  I'll keep you posted on new ones we try.

Now, on to this week's menu plan:

Zucchini casserole (recipe to come), homemade wheat bread

BBQ cheddar mini meatloaves, potato wedges

Broiled parmesan tilapia, broccoli

Oven roasted sausage and potatoes, green beans

Savory roast beef sandwiches, chips

Grilled chicken and steak, oven roasted zucchini

Chicken and wild rice soup with bacon

For more meal planning inspiration, visit Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.