Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let loaves rule...

When you live in a house with children there are a few things you need to adjust to. 1) There will always be crumbs on the floor. I swear I can vacuum up the whole living room and as soon as I'm wrapping the cord back up, more crumbs have already appeared. 2) You will have to relinquish three quarters of your Tivo space to kiddy shows. Not only that but you will find that you know the words to all of the songs. 3)You don't put on anything that requires dry cleaning unless absolutely necessary. Pre-kids I would to go through a few wardrobe changes a day because I had different events to attend. Now it's because somebody gave me a big hug with tomato sauce all over their hands and face. I know, it's cute and worth every load of laundry.

What I wasn't willing to do was eat pizza or chicken nuggets every night. I also wanted my kids to be open to different types of food so I've tried to have a lot of diversity in my cooking. The house rule is that they have to take at least one bite before declaring they don't like something. Every now and then I will try a new gimmick to make things fun though. Tonight I made meatloaf but divided it into mini loaves. It's an alternative way of serving it and I was hoping the kids would feel special getting their individual loaves. I threw the potatoes into the oven on the rack below the loaves when there was a half an hour left of cooking time. I told my son they were "oven fries". I guess all he heard was "fries" and ate them up. The brussel sprouts from Trader Joe's were pre-trimmed and cleaned. You can microwave them right in the bag. They were perfectly tender in four minutes. These were a much harder sell.

Mini Meatloaves

2 1/2 lbs ground meat  (I used 1 1/2 lbs of turkey, 1 lb of 15% fat beef but you could use whatever ground meat you like e.g. pork, turkey, beef, veal; just make sure it's not too low in fat or they will be dry)
2 small onions (brown or yellow)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
2 jumbo eggs (large are fine)
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
Olive oil
Salt & pepper


1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want them translucent but not brown Add the brown sugar, mix it in well and cook for one minute more. Set them aside in a bowl to cool. In large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth, thyme,  2 tsp salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and tomato paste.
Now add the ground meat, onions, parsley and bread crumbs to the bowl and mix with your hands until just combined (a good way to tell is the parsley will be evenly dispersed).
Split the meatloaf mix into six equal portions and shape each portion into a mini loaf. Place the loaves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Mix your glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread some glaze over each loaf. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

10 baby yellow potatoes; washed, dried, quartered
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (dried is fine)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add your potatoes and toss until evenly coated.
Spread them out onto a baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until just starting to brown.

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