Friday, February 12, 2016

BEST Meatloaf, EVER!

If you don't already make your meatloaf with oatmeal, you should.  Its really good.  It gives a great texture to the meat!  Perfect!  This recipe will blow your socks off.  You have to do the sauce, that is what makes it.  Creamy and delicious and packed with flavor.

I know everyone makes claims about the "best" this and that.  But, honestly, this is really the best I have ever eaten.
I had extra sauce so I served it on the side.

Makes two 5 x 8 loaves, one for eating and one for freezing.  Certainly have it if you only want one.

3 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced peppers that have already been sauteed
4 eggs
1/2 cups soy sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons garlic powder
sprinkle black pepper
2 cups rolled oats (plus)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
3  tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven 350. Mix all meatloaf ingredients together.  You want it to be able to form a shape- not too loose.  If you need to add more oatmeal, do so.  Place in loaf pan or mini tins. Mix all topping ingredients together and brush on top. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 160F.  One loaf pan is about 75-85 mins. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My daughter LOVES Panera.  She absolutely loves their broccoli cheddar soup. I had to make this soup. The only thing I would change next time is to omit the cayenne.  I liked it but it was a little too hot for her.

While your making this soup listen to this blues song by Martin Harley.  He was featured on the Blue Plate Special, WDVX, in Knoxville, TN.  I loved it.

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Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Use a good cheddar for maximum flavor.

⅓ cup butter
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
⅓ cup flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
3 ½ cups chicken broth
¼ cup white wine
8 cups chopped broccoli
4 medium carrots, grated
3 cups cheddar cheese (I used Cabot's Sharp)
¼ tsp. cayenne powder (it will be a little spicy- next time I would reduce it by half or omit)
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Saute the onions in the butter until lightly golden.  Add the flour and  cook until the flour is golden. This is what gives the soup more flavor so don't be hasty.  Add in garlic, salt and pepper as it browns. After it is golden, add the broth, white wine. broccoli, carrots, nutmeg and cayenne powder. Once it is tender add in milk and cream.  Make sure it is heated through then add in cheese, heat until melted. Serve.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Passionfruit Curd

I love passion-fruit.  It doesn't grow around here.  I usually buy the puree from the frozen section, Goya sells it.  It works great.  This here passion-fruit puree was painstakingly and lovingly picked by my brother and brought from TN to NY.  How lucky am I?

I used half the juice when he arrived that summer and the other half I froze.  I just made the curd after finding it in my freezer.  Was in perfect condition saved there int he little Mason jar!

I realized I had not ever blogged about passion-fruit curd so I had to share it with you.

Passion-fruit Curd

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup passion-fruit puree
12 tablespoons of butter, cut into 6 pats (6 ounces)

In a double boiler*  combine yolks, sugar and juice.  Whisk together and then switch to a wooden spoon.  Keep stirring until it coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until completely melted.  Refrigerate.  Once it is set, it is ready for slathering on toast and  biscuits and whatever your little heart desires.

*If you dont have one then place a metal bowl or a glass bowl over a saucepan.  You just dont want the bottom of the bowl to touch the water.  So choose with that in mind.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Crock Pot Pot Roast

So many years since I made this certain type of pot roast that requires cans and packets of prepackaged stuff.  I wanted that pot roast.  I haven't made it since, seriously, November 2001.  Yup, you heard me.  The reason why I remember it so vividly is because I made it for my husband before he was my husband.  It was the first meal I ever made him.  Straight for the stomach I went.  Of course, you know the old adage, " a way to a mans heart is through his stomach".  Honestly, on our second date I had given him pumpkin muffins.   Really, I was not trying to hook the guy, I merely thought he is a bachelor, let me give him something homemade.

Fast forward to the other day,  I totally had a hankering for this.  I decided to make it again.  True confessions I bought a can of mushroom soup.  Yes, of course, I could have made it myself but I wasn't in the mood. The rest I did myself.

I will tell you exactly what I did, this way when I want to remake this I will know how to do it.

I served it with some freshly baked loaves of bread.  Great for dunking into the juice!

Crock Pot - Pot Roast

3-4 pound pot roast
large can of condensed mushroom soup
4 cups beef broth*
1/2 cup dried minced onions
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 large potatoes, diced
5-7 large carrots, diced ( I like a LOT of carrots in mine)

In crock pot combine mushroom soup, minced onions, garlic and beef broth.  Mix well.  Place roast in crock pot.  Turn on high for 2 hours then add in carrots and potatoes.  If you are not going to be home for a normal work day put the roast on a lower setting and add everything in.  I like to add my carrots and potatoes later as they become less mushy.

*If you dont have beef broth, beer makes an excellent replacement.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cheesy Mashed Potato Waffles

These are the most amazing waffles I have ever eaten. I have made them three times before but sadly was unable to take a decent picture.  They were consumed so fast and so completely.  But alas, these were made early enough to take a picture.

Cheesy Mashed Potato Waffles

4 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
2 cups Swiss Cheese or cheddar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Fluff up mashed potatoes with a fork to loosen it all up if it has been in your refrigerator.  If you freshly cooked it, then no worries.  Once you have fluffed a little, add in the eggs. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt and pepper.  Combine with mashed potato mix.  Finally add in cheese.

Scoop by 1/3 cup heaps onto waffle iron.

Note:  I found five minutes in the waffle iron was the perfect amount of time for a slightly browned waffle. All the more tastier when it is a little browned.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Yellow Lentil Squash Soup

Have you ever heard of alternate day fasting?  Well, you know I was doing the 5:2 Program.  Which worked really well for me, I lost 24 pounds.  It was totally doable for me.  But then I hit a plateau.  A three month plateau.  Then the Holidays were here.  I had to cook meals for company, entertaining, stuff like that made the 5:2 very challenging for me.  I decided to give it up in December.  I gained 15 pounds back.  Ugh!  Not surprising.

Considering the oh, so many diets I have tried before, this si the thing that worked best for me so I am doing it again.  This time I am not doing the 5:2, I am doing Alternate Day Fasting.  If you know about the 5:2, Dr. Mosley did some research on the whole fasting thing.  Not real hard core research but rather asking around kind of research.  He came up with the idea of five days of eating and two days of fasting as a way that he could lose weight,.  Dr. Varady, who he interviewed, has been scientifically researching the Alternate Day Fasting idea.  You can read more about it in this interesting article by Healthista.

Dr. Varady has written a book about Alternate Day Fasting called The Every Other Day Diet.  She hosts a Facebook website as well.  Dr. Varady has been doing some serious research with alternate day fasting in Chicago.  She has studied many obese adults and followed the alternate day fasting routine.

Anyway, long story short I am switching to the Alternate Day Fasting routine.  My husband has been doing it since the summer.  He has lost about 35 pounds.  It works.  The nice thing about it is that you can pretty much east what you want to every other day.

On his fasting days my husband prefers to eat beans.  Which is great because I love beans.  Here is a fabulous lentil soup recipe.

Yellow Lentil Squash Soup

1 tablespoon oil or ghee (clarified butter)
2 cups yellow lentils or red lentils
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ginger
6 curry leaves
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 onion
1 can lite coconut milk
6 cups water
4 cups chopped squash, I used kabocha here but you could use butternut, acorn, etc
1/2 jalapeno chopped tiny, seeds and rib removed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper, chopped

Saute onions and bell pepper in oil. Add ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds and curry leaves.  Cook one minute.  Add in the remainder of ingredients.  Cook with gentle simmer until lentils are tender and falling apart. With the back of my wooden smooth I smashed most of the pieces of squash.  I like it because the squash melting into the soup gives it a more creamier texture.

Speaking of creamier texture.  A dollop of yogurt would be great in this soup.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chocolate Italian Love Cake

Why do they call this Italian Love Cake.  Here's my take.  Italian because it has ricotta in it.  The ricotta layer which is on the bottom is cannoli filling like.  The love part, well, lets just say you will love this cake!  Creamy and delicious.

Continued after the jump.

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