Friday, June 17, 2011

More meat loaf? Of course!

Boarding House Meatloaf
Jack Daniels' The Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook Copyright 1988

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup uncooked regular oats
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Meat Loaf Sauce
3/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons onions (chopped)
2 tablespoons green peppers (chopped)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients for meatloaf. Place into greased 9x3 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Pour off juice and bake about 10 minutes longer. Place on platter and cover with sauce.

For sauce simmer all ingredients over low heat until onion and pepper are tender.

I'm back on my meat loaf kick. I never get sick of it. I wasn't really looking for something really different this time. What I wanted was something a bit different but yet I didn't want to buy any extra ingredients. And, as I knew I was out of bread crumbs and had a surplus of oatmeal, I wanted one that used oatmeal as the filler.

This recipe met those criteria and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit even though I was almost expecting to be disappointed. It seemed too simple, too plain but it hit the spot. One thing I would change is that the 'sauce' would be much better used as a baked-on glaze (I've found the recipe printed that way online). Ketchup and brown sugar cooked together is just a bit too thick and sweet to be used as a sauce - it should stick to being a glaze. Also, next time I would add a little spice like nutmeg, cloves and/or dry mustard to give the glaze a little kick.

It was a bit crumbly in texture but I didn't mind that but be forewarned if you are looking for a meat loaf that behaves well when sliced. This might not be it.

I'll have to add this one to my meat loaf recipe round up.

This is a nice cookbook. It's not just recipes - there are lots of stories and information about the region of Tennessee where Jack Daniel's is produced. There are pictures of people and places. although no pictures of the recipes. It had a lot of great recipes, many that actually use Jack Daniel's but others are just recipes from that area.

I paid $2.97 in Goodwill for this book many months ago. Back then, that was a stretch for me, now I would be lucky to find a cookbook in Goodwill for $2.97. They have started pricing them ridiculously high. Perhaps the increase in cookbook sales since I started shopping there is what compelled them to increase the cookbook prices but I have become much pickier about what I buy there and I notice the cookbooks tend to pile up now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Using It Up: Bananas

Banana Snack Cake
Taste of Home Simple and Delicious Cookbook Copyright 2010

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1 small)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar

In a bowl, combine flour and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the brown sugar, water, banana, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Transfer to a greased 8-in. square baking dish.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar. I skipped this. Cut into squares. Yield: 9 servings.

I made this because it was fast. I made this because it was easy. I made this because it used up some of my frozen banana stash that is growing all of the time. I made this because my coworkers are happier when I bake and I really didn't have the time or motivation to look for a more interesting recipe.

I certainly didn't make this because I thought it would be anything special but this was quite good. Simple, yes, but very moist and delicious with nice banana flavor. As a bonus, this is egg and dairy free, perfect for anyone with egg and/or dairy allergies or your vegan friends or family. 

Snack cakes always remind me of when my mom bought snack cake mixes that came with their own pans.  Maybe they were called Snackin' Cakes?  How did they get the pans in the boxes?  Were they folded?  Ah, that is one problem of growing up in the age of packaged mixes - many of mom's best recipes were eventually discontinued LOL.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Cranberry Meat Loaf

Cranberry Meatloaf
Wal*Mart Family Cookbook Copyright 2008

1 can (16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 lb. lean ground beef I used ground chicken
1 ½ cups soft bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
½ medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup egg product I used 1 egg
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp each parsley flakes and thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In small bowl stir together cranberry sauce and brown sugar. Set aside.

In large bowl combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, bell pepper, milk, egg product, salt, parsley, thyme and oregano. In large shallow baking pan, shape meat mixture into a 8x4x2-inch loaf. I baked mine in a loaf pan.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Spread ¼ cup of reserved cranberry sauce mixture on top of loaf. Bake 20 to 30 minutes more.

In small saucepan heat remaining cranberry sauce mixture over low heat until heated through. Serve with meatloaf.

This recipe caught my eye when I acquired this cookbook (from Goodwill) but I didn't think it would appeal to anyone else in the house. That's really not an issue anymore since when I make a meatloaf it's generally just for myself these days. My older son used to like it but doesn't now - hopefully it will have a rebirth soon, like pickles. He used to love pickles then he wouldn't eat them at all and now I have to ration them since he would eat too many if I didn't stop him.

So I decided to make this but I couldn't help but think that ground chicken would be a great fit for this (or ground turkey but I prefer ground chicken to ground turkey). I decided to make the substitution and I'm so glad that I did. Of course you know I am biased when it comes to ground chicken. I always seem to love whatever I make with it.

This was another great meatloaf and another great use of ground chicken.  I'm going to add this to my ground chicken recipe round up and my meatloaf recipe round up.