Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cheesy Salsa Mini Meatloaves

Creepy, of Tiptoeing Through the Tulips sent me to Rachel, at A Southern Fairytale, for this easy-yet-wonderful recipe for miniature Mexican meatloaves. They were a big hit at our house tonight. A fun way to serve meatloaf, these are sure to please adults and kids alike. (Kendall even liked hers a lot, in spite of the fact that there were onions in it!)

This recipe is so easy, I'll bet I can record it all here from memory, without even looking at the recipe. (Yeah, yeah, I'll need the pics, but I never said I was Carnack the Great!)

Ingredients:1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion (more, if you like)
12 saltine crackers
1 egg
1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese (divided)
1 cup salsa

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Mix the ground beef and onion...
crackers... (Who knew crackers could look so artistic?!)
and egg...Stir it up well. Then add 1 cup of the cheese and 1/2 cup of the salsa. I like ChiChi's, obviously, but you can be a rebel and use what you like.)
Mix well...
Now, if you know me well, you know that I'd sooner scoop my eyeballs out with a rusty spoon than touch raw hamburger, so I put a sandwich bag on my hand before dividing the mixture into the twelve "cups."
Next, use a teaspoon to make a little "well" in the center of each loaf.
Place on foil-lined baking sheet, but don't use this kind, because I HATE it! (I always forget that it's too wide for my oven until right as I'm trying to shove it in there!)
Rachel recommends just letting it "sit" for a while, to let the flavors meld. You could certainly put it in the fridge for a few hours, or you could leave it on the counter and take care of this...
And this....
And then remember how much you love this stuff and need to add it to your grocery list...(Seriously, I have never given two hoots about the scent of my dishwashing liquid, until I smelled Dawn botanicals Honeysuckle and Rain scent.)

Then, have a brainstorm about a future blog post about "Favorite Things."

Okay, when you're ready, pop them in the oven and bake "20-22" minutes. Rachel's oven only took 18 minutes. Mine took 22. (I used a meat thermometer to make sure they were at least 180 degrees, since I was making them for the first time and didn't want any trips to the ER for ecoli poisoning.)

Then, take them out, top with remaining salsa and cheese, and return to the oven for three minutes.
The recipe makes 12, but I ate three before I remembered to take this photo!
These would be great for individual meals in the freezer (if they last that long!) Everyone loved them!

Visit A Southern Fairytale for many, many other terrific recipes!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Theresa's Beans

I'm certain that my SIL, Theresa, is an excellent cook (my brother looks healthy, and we've shared a few recipes), but I never get to taste many of her other dishes, because this one is always requested at family gatherings. Super easy, and very delicious!

Ingredients:1/2 lb. bacon (there's no getting around this one--so yummy!)
1 lb ground beef (or for you health nuts, I suppose you could use something less fattening)
1/2 to 1 whole onion, chopped
1 cup Ketchup (or Catsup for you Yoopers out there)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp vinegar
3 cans (15-20 oz) baked beans (I just use whatever kinds I have on-hand)

First, cook the bacon and chop it into pieces.Reserve the grease if you have no regard for your health, and saute the onions in that next. Today, I just cooked the ground beef and onions together and left out the bacon grease. (Not because I felt like being "healthier," but simply because I forgot! Besides, beef grease or bacon grease-either way, you're gonna die of heart disease, right?)Add the ketchup, brown sugar, mustand, and vinegar to the drained ground beef and onions. Mix and simmer 15 minutes. I accidentally skipped this step today, and it turned out delicious anyway, but next time, I'll probably follow directions! (And yes, I was spacey today. What else is new?)

Add the beans and bacon. Mix and bake in 350-degree oven 45 minutes (covered) or cook in a crock pot for about 4 hours.I'm sorry I do not have a photo of our delicious meal of chicken, corn-on-the-cob, pistachio salad, Theresa's beans from dinner tonight, but we honestly ate every single bit of them, and I had nothing to take a photo of when it was all said and done and I remembered. That should be proof enough for you that making these beans will make you popular (but you might never be able to bring anything else to a family gathering, so beware!)