Recipe: Meatloaf

This delicious meal fills the bellies and is kind of comfort food around here. We love meatloaf dinner – and the subsequent meatloaf sandwiches for lunch.

Because my meatloaf has grown over the years to accommodate the size of my family, I now cook it in a cupcake pan. Each little spot is a serving of meatloaf, and they can be sliced the next day to make sandwich medallions. This works well, and saves me time, as loafing it together was taking nearly 3 hours to cook.

3lb. Ground Beef
2lb. Jimmy Dean Country Mild Sausage
1 box/2 packages Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3-4 eggs (We raise our own chickens/eggs, so if they are small, I go for 4, if they are large, I only use 3.)

I like to set my meat out about 30 minutes before I mix it all up because my hands really get to hurting from how cold it is straight from the fridge. I don’t let it sit out longer than 30 minutes for safety reasons.

Get all of your bowls, utensils, cupcake pan (or meatloaf pan), ready to go. This process is easiest if you aren’t running to the sink to wash your hands at every turn in the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs together briskly, add in onion soup packets, and whisk until mixed thoroughly.

In a large mixing bowl, with clean or gloved hands (remove all jewelry), break apart the ground beef. Next, break apart the sausage over the ground beef. Begin mixing it all together with your hands, making sure to blend it very well.

I’m silly, but I like to make a big hole in the middle of my meat mix, to pour the egg/soup mix into. Then, with my hands, I mix the eggs/soup mix thoroughly with the meat. Sometimes I have to give my hands a rest or warm them under the faucet. (My hands are very cold sensitive.)

Now, I take this mix and I start filling cupcake holes. I fill them level or even slightly mounded. I use a 24 count cupcake pan, and this recipe fills all 24 nicely.

Then I pop it in the oven. I start checking them at 30 min with a meat thermometer. Once they reach 165 degrees, I know they are ready to eat!

I hope this makes dinner simple for you and that your family enjoys the rich flavor of our favorite meatloaf.

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Recipe: Tostadas

The more recipes I add to this blog, the more you’ll come to realize, we like Tex-Mex food. I won’t claim that this is authentic Mexican food because I’ve never been to Mexico. But a lot of it can be found in Oklahoma kitchens and restaurants alike.

If you want to read about tostadas and unmet expectations, hop over to my original blog and read this post.

Most of my cooking omits fresh onion. Sometimes I can squeeze in a little onion powder without much notice, but my hubby does not like onions otherwise.

Also, most of my cooking is suitable for large families as we feed 7 mouths at the dinner table most nights.

White Corn Tortillas or Tostada Shells (I like to fry ours up fresh.)
1/3c Avocado Oil
2 1/2 lb. ground beef
1tsp. Cumin
1/2tsp. Himalayan Salt
1/4tsp. Black Pepper
1/2tsp. Paprika
1/8tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/2tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2tsp. Onion Powder
2-3 Fresh Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1c fresh shredded lettuce (We use leaf or romaine for added nutrients.)
2c shredded cheese (We’ve been on a cheddar kick, but lots of cheeses work for this recipe.)
1 can Refried Beans
18 Fresh eggs
Sour Cream
Salsa

I start with prepping veggies and measuring my spices into a small dish or cup. I get everything chopped and covered, ready for when the tostadas are done.

Brown the ground beef thoroughly. Drain off the excess grease. Add the spices. Sometimes I add 1/4c water to the meat and spices to mix everything thoroughly, then let it simmer together on low heat while I prep the tostada shells and fry the eggs.

Start heating the refried beans on low-med heat.

If I’ve bought tortillas to fry, I get my avocado oil heated in a small skillet, then I add 1 corn tortilla at a time, and let them fry on each side for 1 min – 1 min 30 sec. I remove the first one and make sure it gets crispy. Sometimes I have to adjust the heat, change burners, or increase the time in the oil. (I stick the already crunchy tostada shells in the oven to warm them, per the directions on the box.)

Once I’m happy with how the tortillas are crisping, I make 2 tostada shells for each person I’m feeding. (That’s too many for the little kids, which leaves extra for the adults and big kids.)

As the last of the shells come off the stove, I start frying eggs in a little bit of butter. This is where extra hands come in helpful, and usually, my husband jumps right in for this part. He grabs a shell and layers it with beans, meat, cheese, then sticks the plate over my way to receive one over-medium egg on top.

The kids then pick lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and/or salsa for their toppings, and hubby and I work down the line until everyone has tostadas.

This is a simple, delicious meal. I will warn you, the runny eggs can be a little messy so be sure to equip everyone with a napkin and remind them to eat over their plates.

I hope you enjoy this recipe – it’s a favorite at our house!

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Big Dreams or Mediocre Interests?

All of these cloth diapering, bread-bakering, laundry soap makering, and other natural living endeavors of mine are making me think more about what we are eating. I’m reading more labels, with a better awareness of what I’m reading.

I found a shocker in my cabinets. One of the things I least suspected for being full of “bad” stuff, is chock full of the stuff I don’t want to feed my family. This culprit is in the spice cabinet. Many of the seasonings and spices I have include bad ingredients. MSG is the one that comes to mind, and I should grab a couple bottles and remind myself what else was there.

I try to select seasonings that don’t already have salt in them – I like to add my own salt, even though I don’t use anything too fancy. Yet, I had never considered that MSG would be in the seasonings I use at home. I thought it was all herbs and spices and pepper, you know, good stuff. Good for you stuff. Flavor, rich, dried herbs and spices. No big deal.

WRONG! And now, I’m wondering if there is anything safe anymore? Other than growing it ourselves. I fell asleep thinking about having some land last night, a garden, goats, chickens, and Baby Daddy’s bulls. And horses. And I wish we could make it happen tomorrow.

I think God is teaching me during this time. I think He is helping me fully develop my dreams. And helping me sort out dreams from things that “would be cool”. I think He is calling me to figure out what is really important to me, versus what is just interesting to me. And I am realizing that I must take these things to Him in prayer.

Right now, I have three big things that I am praying about…starting our own business, getting moved out to the country, and what to do with my book.

Have you sorted your big dreams from your mediocre interests? Are you praying about how to make them happen?