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Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 2

The question I am most often asked is “How do you do it?”

People marvel at the fact that I am a working mother of three and I cook most nights of the week.

Well people, here is my secret…I SUCK at most things easy in the kitchen. I’m not exaggerating. While I can whip up a creamy corn chowder from scratch, or a melt in your mouth meatloaf, I am incapable of making a simple pot of coffee. In fact, I have been asked at work not to touch the coffee maker, and my awesome teammate, Mike, pre-loads the coffee maker for me if he knows he is not going to be at work the next day. It’s pathetic, and I am so very thankful for my Keurig at home. I burn garlic bread EVERY TIME I put it under the broiler, and no, you can’t just scrape the burnt parts off. Frozen waffles can prove to be a challenge when I am distracted. (You can read Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 1 here) And finally, tonight’s moment of greatness, I ruined a frozen chicken pot pie. Apparently microwaving a basic frozen entrée is outside of my skill set.

Now, I sincerely hope my doctor is not reading this right now, because frozen chicken pot pie is numero uno on the list of worst foods to never put into your body, and I’m supposed to be eating super healthy, low fat meals, but I had one of those days where the first chance I got to eat my breakfast was on the way home from work this afternoon, compounded with dance carpool, homework, and a paper due for a grad class, frozen pot pie was the only thing I thought I could manage.

I felt guilt as I ripped open the box, read the instructions, and carefully placed it into the microwave, ensuring that the potpie was centered under the little gray crispy plastic film. I should have listened to the little voice inside my head telling me to abort the mission and make a better choice. Well, I shoved that inner voice out of the way and opened the microwave, only to be faced with the reality that I suck at making frozen dinners.

The last minute of cooking sounded like a tornado. Then, when I opened the door, what I found was nothing short of disgusting. It had collapsed in the center, oozed over the sides, sprayed the back wall, and laminated the inside of the cardboard box.

When I extracted the potpie, only half of the crust was baked; the other half was still raw! Then the guts had exploded and run down the sides, burning in the process. It was just plain awful. Who would eat this?

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So, I will settle for a banana and some oatmeal. It’s relatively safe, and it will feed me for the week. I plan to officially retire from frozen entrees and go back to the real cooking which results in dinners that are actually edible.

Until next time, feel free to share with me, your cooking disasters and kitchen downfalls ❤

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Misery Meatloaf

Misery Meatloaf

A new fangled twist
On an old beef tradition
Will cause you to crave
This modern rendition

Once upon a time, I was a meatloaf hater! I didn’t want to make it, eat it, or even look at it.
But, about 15 years ago my sister changed me. She shared a recipe for “Misery Meatloaf” and insisted that I try it. Well, I did, and I instantly changed in to a meatloaf lover…but only my own creation.


Well, unfortunately, I lost the pathetic scrap of paper that this recipe was hastily jotted on, and I was forced to try to recreate my favorite meal from a sketchy memory. Apparently, I forgot a few details along the way and so it was never as good as the original.
Then, when we moved into a new house, the recipe reappeared, and I made “Misery Meatloaf” correctly, thus renewing my love for this bar-b-que wonder. But, sadly, it then disappeared once again.
Time marched on, and 2 babies later, we moved again. Miracle of all miracles, the recipe fluttered out of a cookbook as I was unpacking my new kitchen! (I have a tendency to put important things in “safe places”, never to find them again)
But…before I could make it again, the recipe disappeared AGAIN! (Seriously, I’m not kidding) I called my sister, desperately seeking the recipe and vowing to keep it safe from this point forward. (Kitchen Tip: tape your most favorite recipes inside of your spice cabinet)

Unfortunately, my sister did not remember the recipe and insisted that she had never heard of it. I tried Googling the ingredients and name with no luck. I simply gave up.

Then…during my most recent kitchen renovation, I came home from the grocery store to find the most coveted slip of paper on the counter! My wonderful husband, and a very helpful neighbor, found it under the refrigerator while they were ripping my old floor out. WOOOO WHOOOO!!!

So, in an effort to stop the crazy meatloaf roller coaster, I am posting the recipe, so that it may live in digital eternity, and I can retire the crinkled, faded slip of a recipe that likes to play hide & seek.

Misery Meatloaf

***I am not sure how this meal got its name, but I surely know that its constant disappearing act made me pretty miserable!

Ingredients:
3lbs. ground beef or chicken
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. Seasoned bread crumbs
4Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan cheese
2Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. Finely chopped Spanish onion
2tsp. Minced Garlic

Preparation:

The Meatloaf

  • Combine all ingredients, mixing well. (I use my stand mixer on low)
  • Form into an oval loaf with a uniform thickness, and place in a roasting pan or casserole dish
  • Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes
  • Slice across the top of the meatloaf and baste with the sauce.
  • Return the meatloaf to the oven and cook for 20 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

The Sauce

1C. Ketchup
3Tbsp. Brown sugar
2Tbsp. Worcester sauce
2Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
2Tsp. Minced garlic
3Tbsp. Shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Combine the ingredients below in a saucepan and simmer until well combined.

** you can double the sauce recipe and reserve some for dipping.

The photo above shows Misery Meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts with kale.