Monday, January 26, 2009

Smeatloaf-Beatloaf- Yummy ITALIAN BUFFALO MEATLOAF


I really hated my Mom's meatloaf...she was otherwise a great cook, but THAT meatloaf...ewww
So guess who didn't eat meatloaf for like two decades? - Right.
Then I came across Michael Chiarello's Italian Meatloaf recipe...and it gave me hope!
Of course I had to tweak it - using buffalo ground meat, more garlic, etc. My family loves it (kids too!) and now, I'll even eat the leftovers - it's delicious. Did you know that early Southern meatloaf recipes actually called for buffalo rather than cow meat? Please don't be afraid of buffalo meat - it's leaner and actually tastes better...slip it in there, then tell em'!!

Italian Buffalo Meatloaf serves 4-6
2 TBL. extra-virgin olive oil (plus a bit extra to brush the pan)
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced
1 small sweet onion, small diced
2 tsp. (about 4-6 cloves) chopped garlic
2 lbs. ground buffalo meat
2 eggs
3/4 cup Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 TBL. Worcestershire sauce
1 TBL. balsamic vinegar
1 TBL. Italian Seasoning
2 TBL. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Ragu (here we go again!) Robusto! Sauted Onion & Garlic spaghetti sauce

Heat 2 TBL. of olive oil in a pan - saute the onions and red pepper until just soft. Throw in the garlic at the end - so it won't burn. Let everything cool, set aside.
Get a big bowl, and beat the eggs well. Then add everything else - except the spaghetti sauce - and combine well. Add the cooled sauted veggies also, and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9 X 13 baking dish with olive oil.
Divide the meat mixture in half. Take one half and shape by hand into a loaf. Make it pretty flat, like about an inch? Place in baking dish, and spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce evenly. Form the other half into a loaf (flat again), place on top of loaf in the pan. Use the remaining sauce, and spread evenly.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 min. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35-45 mins. Everyone's ovens and/or attitudes may differ - so when the center of your meatloaf reaches 160 degrees (meat therm.), take her out to rest! And remember, if the loaf is too thick, it can double your cook time.
You might notice the oils around the meatloaf look very dark - almost burnt. Don't worry, your meatloaf will be just fine!
Serve up with some skin-on mashed potatoes, green beans...enjoy!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bad For You EASY PEACH COBBLER


Well...this week I joined this new blog, Operation Skinny Bitch - they have a Wednesday roll call. I think many dieters would agree that Sunday is the last day to scarf what you love before starting a new diet ~
Today, I chose my homemade Peach Cobbler. Super fattening - super sloppy - super rich...and damn good with a great cup of coffee! :) And yes, this is a Southern recipe - obtained while I lived in Doraville, GA. - back in my single days of big hair and lined lips.
I also used this culinary opportunity to school my boys on the art of cooking (reading the recipe, dry and wet ingredient measuring, etc...). It's never too young to start, and I'll be damned if those boys leave this house without knowing how to fix their future wives breakfast! LOL! Enough already...here we go....

Easy Peach Cobbler serves 8-10
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 cups fresh or canned peaches (2 29 oz. lite peaches, drained)
1 cup flour
1 TBL. baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 TBL. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in 13x9 baking dish by placing in the oven while it preheats.
In a bowl combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and ½ tsp. salt. Add milk and vanilla extract by stirring until all the dry ingredients are moistened and the batter is smooth.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour batter over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR!
In a sauce pan, bring peaches, 1 cup sugar, ½ tsp. salt and lemon juice to a boil. Gently boil for 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, pour over batter. Again, DO NOT STIR!
Sprinkle cinnamon evenly over the top.
Bake at 375degrees for 40-45 mins. or until golden. (**higher elevations (3400 ft. +) might need to bake for an extra 8-10 mins.**)

Make sure it sits on the counter for at least 30 mins. to an hour before eating - longer the better, it must set up. Trust me....
Don't forget the CoolWhip or freshly whipped cream! Oh yeah!!
**don't be afraid to reduce the sugar in the peaches if using canned fruit!** it won't hurt my feelings! HA

Friday, January 02, 2009

It's Official..I'm a hooker

A crochet hooker, that is ~ (gotcha!)
A dear friend from my past taught me the art of basic crochet...and I've been hooked ever since.
During dry friendship seasons, periods of personal challenge, whatever..it makes for a great companion. My little part-time hobby, my little secret.
Over the years, I've managed to keep my interest in crochet alive - a project here and there - just enough to keep my fingers from rusting!
It seems that overnight, my overly protected, sheltered baby boys became Mr. Cool #1 and Mr. Cool #2 this past month. And what did #1 ask for last week? A skull cap...skater beanie, dude.
"Mom, I really want one of those cool hats that look like yarn? You know, the ones that I've seen the big kids wear?"
Oh-my-Gawd - little did he know he was barking up the right tree.......

Two hours after he went to bed - Mom made it happen, and his beanie was finished! You should of heard him squeal in the morning....for a brief glimmering moment, he couldn't believe how RAD I was. :)
Make your own - it's easy. Below I pasted the article/pattern that I used:

Boys Beanie / Skull Cap
This striped beanie hat is based off of the free crochet pattern that was originally published in Stitch N Bitch Crochet - The Happy Hooker, March 2006. (p.s. -I made a couple of changes near the end)
I like it because it's the answer to one of those tricky questions that crafters often face: What can I make for the men (or boys) in my life?
While this pattern is suitable in size for men and women, from teen to adult, it is particularly popular for young men in their late teens or early twenties (one of the hardest age groups to make things for, imho!) You can use up your scrap yarn for this pattern, or pick up some yarn in your son's team colors. If the hat will be worn for hunting or fishing trips, don't forget to add bright orange stripes for safety.
Materials: - #1 Red Heart Super Saver yarn (MC) / #2 Red Heart Super Saver contrast color (CC).
Finished measurements: length = 8”, circumference = approx 20” unstretched. one size fits most ages teen to adult. Repeat round 9 for a longer hat, skip round 9 for a shorter skull cap.
Gauge: using 5.5mm (US size I) hook, after round 4 your swatch should measure 5” in diameter. Adjust hook size to obtain correct gauge.
Stitches: sl st - slip stitch, sc - single crochet, dc - double crochet, sc tbl - single crochet through the back loop only, dc tbl - double crochet through the back loop only.
Pattern notes: this hat design is made crocheting in rounds, each round will begin with a number of chains which will count as the first stitch, and is ended by joining the last stitch with the top of the beginning chain creating concentric circles. “st” denotes the stitch of the previous round.
Begin - with MC ch 3, join with a slip st to first chain to form a ring.
Round 1 - ch 3, 9 dc into ring, join with sl st to top of ch 3. 10 sts. (I actually did a Magic Loop on this).
Round 2 - ch 2, dc into same st, 2 dc in each st around, join with sl st to top of ch 2. 20 sts.
Round 3 - ch 2, dc into same st, dc in next st, *(2 dc in next st, dc in next st), repeat from * 8 more times, join with sl st to top of ch 2. 30 sts.
Round 4 – sl st into back loop of same stitch, ch 2, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *(dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st), repeat from * 8 more times, join with sl st to top of ch 2. 40 sts.
Round 5 - ch 2, dc into same st, dc in next 3 sts, *(2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts), repeat from * 8 more times, join with sl st to top of ch 2. 50 sts.
Round 6 - sl st into back loop of same stitch, ch 2, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *(dc in next 9 sts, 2 dc in next st), repeat from * 3 more times, dc in last 7 sts, join with sl st to top of ch 2. 55 sts.
Rounds 7, 8, 9 - sl st into back loop of same stitch, ch 2, dc in each st around, join with sl st to top of ch 2. hold MC to back of work.
Round 10 - join CC, ch 1, sc in each st around, join with sl st to beg ch.
Round 11 - with MC, ch 2, dc tbl in each st around, join with sl st to top of ch 2.
Round 12 - with CC, ch 1, sc in each st around, join with sl st to beg ch.
Round 13 - with CC, ch 2, dc tbl in each st around, join with sl st to top of ch 2. Tie off CC color.
Round 14 - with MC, ch 1, sc in each st around, join with sl st to beg ch.
Round 15 - with MC ch 1, sc tbl in each st around, join with sl st to beg ch.
Round 16 - ch 1, sc in each st around, join with sl st to top of ch. Tie off MC and weave in yarn ends with a tapestry needle.


Just to give you an idea - the above pattern fit my 9 year old wonderfully. Have fun and keep your babies (no matter how old they are!) and loved ones warm!!

..::Sandy::..

What a year!!

I'm still alive!  I realize I've been MIA...this is what happens when real life forces to be reckoned with. ;)  Hang tight friends, ...