Because of that Evil Stacey, I’ve been craving comfort foods like meatloaf, or chicken and dumplings. Sadly, I won’t even get to have turkey on Thanksgiving, unless my neighbor’s daughters cook some for him and I get to share. Woe. But then, the good part is that I don’t have to cook a Thanksgiving turkey.
But since I find myself home alone again for the weekend, I figured I could at least make a meatloaf. Then I can slice the leftovers it and put some in the freezer for an occasional meatloaf sandwich. My mother usually made the old Ann Landers meatloaf recipe (with the bacon, of course), so that’s what I grew up with. I’ve tried recipes with different types of seasoning, like Southwestern style, but I always gravitate back towards a pretty plain, basic recipe. But I did want to try something new. After looking at a bunch of recipes, I found one I thought looked good.
Shown here, cleverly posed to disguise the end I gobbled down before I got control of myself. Of course, I served it with mashed potatoes and gravy. Who wouldn’t? And it was delicious. I’ll make this one again some time. ETA: While it was pretty good the first night, I thought the leftovers were pretty bland – the seasonings really faded. So I’d either add more/different seasonings to this recipe, or just try a different recipe next time.
Recipe: The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Made (That’s the recipe name, not a commentary)
Modifications: None, other than having to bake it longer to get to the correct internal temperature.
Notes: Next time I’d cut back on the pepper. If you like pepper, it’s probably not too peppery, but I could do with a bit less. And instead of mixing ketchup with the second half of the tomato sauce for the topping, I’d probably skip the ketchup and use the rest of the can of tomato paste. Partly because I’m not really a ketchup fan, and partly because I never end up doing anything with leftover tomato paste other than storing it carefully in the refrigerator until it turns moldy. Plus, I think I’d like the more intense flavor of the paste.
And as if that wasn’t enough, I also made these:
Gingerbread mini-muffins. Nice and spicy, with a deep, rich flavor. According to the recipe, they’re better the next day.
I suggest paying attention to the part where it tells you to fill the cups 3/4 full. Do not be tempted to fill them completely. You will not get nice, pretty muffin tops. You will get flat, spread-out muffin tops that grow together on the top of the muffin pan. Don’t bother asking me how I know. It doesn’t say in the recipe, but my yield was 2 dozen 4 dozen mini-muffins.
On the other hand, if you aren’t into an intense gingerbread flavor and would prefer something milder, this other recipe for gingerbread mini-muffins might fit the bill. I made them a couple of weeks ago. For this recipe, I did find it worked better to fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. Go figure.