Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

First, let me preface this by saying that I adapted this recipe from a Paula Dean recipe that had seen on a show of hers and knew my husband would love. I saw that a meatloaf "blend" was on sale in the grocery store so I grabbed some and remembered this recipe. That being said, anyone who knows anything about Paula Dean, knows that her food can't exactly be called healthy. So fair warning, this is not for the timid of heart or stomach. But my husband deserved a great meal and this is what I gave him. It will be greens for the rest of the week, to make up for it! :-)

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
(adapted from
Paula Dean)

1 pound ground beef (I used a mixture of ground beef and pork because it was packaged together on sale.)
1 teaspoon House seasoning**
1 teaspoon steak seasoning salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2-3 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
2-3 slices of white bread

For the glaze:

2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except the white bread and the ingredients for the glaze.

Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place on top of foil-lined baking sheet or loaf pan, with the bread slices underneath. These will help absorb extra grease and should be discarded after the meatloaf is finished cooking. (This is how my set-up looked.)

Cook meatloaf until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 155 degrees. For me, this was about an hour.

During this time, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a separate dish.

Spread the glaze onto the meatloaf after about 50 minutes of cooking.

You will notice that my recipe strays quite a bit from Paula's. My "sauce" is more of a glaze and instead of adding sour cream for moisture and as a binder, I used one egg. Most of the other substitutions came about based on what I had in my pantry (bread crumbs instead of cracker crumbs, etc). Also, I used precooked bacon and all I had to do was zap it in the microwave and crumble it. Super easy. This meal was very hearty and, of course, rich. I paired it with a baked potato and salad and the result was goodness! And, for your information, yes, I did gratuitously put my Gators tumbler in the pic just for the opportunity to shout out my team! Go Gators!!

**House seasoning is very easy to make. Make your own by mixing 1 part garlic powder and 1 part black pepper with 4 parts salt.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

And so it begins. . .

To begin with the introductions, there's Layne. She's always enjoyed finding and trying new recipes. And, honestly, her knack for finding great recipes is amazing. Her food is often tasty but she also has her hits and misses. Over the last six months or so she has become addicted to lurking on food blogs. The idea to start her own food blog did not come too much later but alas, she knew that she would never be motivated enough to do it on her own.

And then there's Kristen. She's an amazing cook. Not only are her creations very yummy, but she also manages to make them look beautiful. She has the artistic streak in her that Layne lacks. Layne can make it taste great but Kristen can do that and make it look amazing. She throws and caters amazing parties. People come for the food. So Layne proceeded to tell Kristen about the wonderful world of food-blogging and convince her (as a fellow foodie) to join her in starting a blog of their own.


Both of us have our own quirks that make us unique and yet we are also very similar. It is probably why we make such good friends, huh? Both of us share a love of food--whether it's cooking, eating out, or hosting a get-together. And we both describe ourselves as unabashed foodies. We have other things in common too. We are very smart (well, we are), independent, organized, motivated, and we are both are self-professed "Type A Personalities" (again, unabashedly).

And funnily enough we share one more, very important trait--an all-consuming hatred of raw tomatoes. Not all tomatoes... marinara is good, ketchup is great, even sun-dried tomatoes can be tasty. But raw, gooey tomatoes on a salad? No way! BLT? B and L are fine but hold the "T," please! Salsa? Great! Pico de gallo? Yuck! In short, you will
find no raw tomatoes here. Stewed tomatoes tend to be out, too. Wherever we go, it's always, "hold the tomatoes." So it seemed like an appropriate motto and title for our blog. Tomatoes (if included in the original recipe) may be mentioned but they will always be optional.

Finally, we don't exactly know where this blog will take us. The goal and focus are still undetermined. Recipes will be shared and reviewed, for sure. There will probably be restaurant reviews and maybe even cookbook reviews. Maybe there will even be some party planning. Most topics will likely center around food, but some real-life may be thrown in for good measure as well. For now, we will
leave you with an infamous recipe (in both Layne's and Kristen's household). This recipe is for a cookie that is so delicious, it is addictive (hence the name) and wonderfully simple. Enjoy!

Crack Cookies
1 Box of chocolate cake mix**
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups Cool Whip

powdered sugar (for rolling)

Mix all ingredients together well on medium speed. Warning: batter will be very stiff and sticky (almost taffy-like). Drop batter, by the teaspoon, into powdered sugar and roll into a small ball. Place, 2" apart, on un-greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until just barely set.

**(any flavor can be used, but chocolate is amazing)

These cookies are amazing. Think brownie batter, in cookie form. Try them, you'll love 'em!

~Layne and Kristen~