Garlic Sriracha Meatloaf

Garlic Sriracha Meatloaf

Poor meatloaf. Somewhere along the line meatloaf got a really bad wrap. When I started getting away from processed foods, I was slightly sad to see the loss of one of my frozen lunch favorites… Meatloaf. You know what I am talking about. The mystery “meat” patty with the fake grill marks. Oh yeah baby. That is some serious class. Learning to make it myself has provided me the opportunity to try new things and I happen to think that my meatloaf is divine and can even be classy if you know how to dress it up. Like with a monocle or something… I love monocles.

Meatloaf

1.25 lb pkg. Ground Turkey

3 slices of bread

1 egg

1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 Tbsp. Salt (or to taste)

1/2 Tbsp. Pepper (ot to taste)

1 Tbsp. Sriracha

1/2 C. Milk

Garlic Sriracha Glaze

1 cup ketchup (bonus points if it is homemade!)

2 garlic cloves minced fine

Sriracha to taste (we are not super big on spicy so I do about 1/2 tbsp.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except slices of bread. To add bread, dice into 1/2 inch squares or be like me and just pull it into peices by hand. Take off any jewelry and mix until just combined and let rest for 5 minutes. After resting, put the meat onto a tin foil lined baking sheet (trust me on the tin foil for easy clean up purposes). Mold the loaf. For quick cooking and easy portioning I mold mine into a rectangle shape about 12 inches by 4 inches. Put on a thin layer of Garlic Sriracha Glaze and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Take the meatloaf out and top with the remaining glaze and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before devouring. We have ours with creamy mashed potatoes and baby broccoli… I’m hungry again!

Try this out with your family and let me know what you think of this recipe or the changes you make to it. Recipes are just a guideline anyway!

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Better than Bisquick

I love pancakes. When I was pregnant with my second I had an obsession with them for a time. Gotta love pregnancy cravings! I have always used Bisquick for pancakes. I am not sure why… Maybe because it had “quick” right in the title and when I had a pancake craving I had to have them immediately. I was happy in my Bisquick bubble and thought that the pancakes made from such a batter were pretty wonderful. In light of this, imagine my horror when they were among the list of “trusted” American brands containing all of those super tasty and wonderful toxins, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms from the beloved Monsanto company.

For more info on Monsanto and how they are trying to kill you read HERE

I thought to myself, “I need to make my own pancakes”. So I googled and googled and tried a few recipes that I didn’t like and then I played around with the ingredients and HOLY MOLY… I had been missing out all this time. Nevermind the cancer causing ingredients in Bisquick! The batter makes dry, tasteless pancakes that do not hold up well to storage if you like to make extra and freeze for later quick breakfast mornings.

 

This recipe has been our go to Sunday morning treat for the past 3 weeks and I don’t see that tradition stopping any time soon. These pancakes are moist, fluffy and totally filling. Try them out and tell me what you think!

 

Crunchy Curious Cinnamon Pancakes

2 cups flour (use your favorite white or wheat)

1 tablespoon white sugar (or sucanat)

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 eggs beaten

2 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (melted coconut oil works well but make sure to add it last and stir well)

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, vanilla extract, egg and oil. Mix until smooth. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/3 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot. Makes approx. 10 pancakes.

pancakes 1

Best Banana Muffins

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Learning how to make things myself instead of out of a box or baked in a store has been a challenge.  Sometimes it just seems easier to go the store bought route, but is it really worth it?  Learning about how much ridiculous crap is in packaged foods has really changed the way I look at the time it takes to make things myself.

One thing that I love is fresh baked banana bread.  Is there anything more delicious?  Warm and comforting with a bit of butter on top… I just made myself hungry.  When I started trying to make my food from scratch this was one thing that I made and was so pleased with.  I used a recipe from an old cook book that I had that I no longer have apparently but it doesn’t matter because I changed it up to suit my tastes anyway.  I like making this in muffin cups for portion control and handy toddler eating, but it can be baked in a loaf pan as well.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 to 1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/2 cups mashed bananas (preferrably overripe)

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 12 cup muffin pan with baking liners or lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Stir eggs and mashed bananas into butter and sugar mixture until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into cups or loaf pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes for cups or 60 to 65 minutes for the loaf pan, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.  I find it hard to wait that long…

These are so moist because of the amount of bananas and I don’t feel bad using a small amount of sugar instead of a sugar substitute but, feel free to play around with your own and make them to your liking.  Recipes are really just an outline anyway.

Enjoy and tell me how yours turned out or how you changed them!

 

 

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting… Mama Mouse style

Carrot muff

I am not a photographer. Just to prove that, I can give you the Mens Warehouse Guarantee that the pictures posted on this blog will be taken with my cell phone. So, those cupcakes probably would look 200 times better if I was a photographer, but I’m not. They still look damn tasty though.

My friend Mikaela has a nifty blog over at Mama Mouse Says. She makes the most beautiful food and its all good for you! I have already told her that she has single handedly renewed my fire for cooking. The fire was quelled by having two kids under 2 but after reading some of her recipes and drooling over her pictures, I can say that the passion for having fun with food has returned. Thanks Mikaela!!

She made this delicious looking Carrot and Beet Layer Cake with Goat Cheese frosting. One look at that cake and I was hungry for something sweet. Honestly though… I hate Beets. There was a traumatic experience during my childhood involving beets, but I have decided that the poor beet should not have to suffer my hatred because of something that happened when I was 9 so I will eventually try them. I wanted to try one of her recipes though so I thought I would pick and choose what would be at my Crunchy Comfort Level. I chose the Carrot Cake 🙂 I decided to make cupcakes out of them though for easy portion control and toddler handling and made her cream cheese frosting because I chickened out on the goat cheese. Baby steps right?

Mama Mouse’s Recipe:

  • 5 shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 c yogurt
  • 2.5 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c oil of choice, she used melted coconut but any veggie oil works
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  • oil and flour your baking pan (I used a muffin tin lined with baking cups. It made 15 cupcakes)
  • preheat oven to 350
  • In a food processor or by hand whisk together yogurt, eggs, honey, oil
  • In a bowl mix flour, baking soda and powder ,salt and cinnamon
  • add shredded veggie to flour and toss until coated
  • fold in wet ingredients
  • bake at 350 for 20 minutes until fork comes out clean from the middle (cupcakes only took 16-18 minutes)

Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 c Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c honey

I halved this recipe for the cupcakes.

Whip together cream cheese, honey and yogurt until light and fluffy

These turned out SO GOOD!! To confess, I have never made a “healthy” baking recipe. I try to avoid baking as much as possible and just enjoy the “real” thing once in awhile but these were so moist and tender that it made me rethink that idea. The frosting was insane and it tempted little toddler fingers. Here is a play by play of my son and the cupcakes…

carrot muff 2 carrot muff 3 carrot muff 4

The first is my favorite because all you see is his finger tip… sneaky boy. LOL

Try them out for yourself or be braver than me and try the beets!

On the Ranch…

I love ranch dressing… It is so tasty and pretty much my toddler’s favorite thing to use vegetables as a spoon for.  When I found out that I could have the flavor of Ranch in a packet that I could put into soups, stews, chilis and just about anything else, I felt like I had found the Holy Grail of seasonings!  What could possibly be bad about such a thing?!

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MSG, that’s what.  This pic was taken directly from their site and when I saw it I was sad.  MSG is a flavor enhancer that can also cause nausea, faintness, heart palpitations and a slew of other ridiculous things.  All that for a little salt, huh?  No thanks.  But if I say good-bye to my packet of goodness, where am I going to get my ranch fix?  How am I going to add zest to my succulent turkey meatloaf and depth to my taco chili?  Crunchiness to the rescue!!  I will make it myself.  One of the great things about crunchiness is that it empowers you to learn about what is in your food and to take the time and effort to make as much of your food from scratch as you can.

I combed the far ends of the intranets (I know that I spelled it wrong, but sometimes I just like to say it like that so play along, won’t you?) and found a few exciting and promising recipes but none that fit exactly what I was looking for.  I ended up trying this recipe, but tweaked it a smidge to my liking and amazingly enough I liked it even better than my packet o’ goodness.  Then, to top it all off, there was the added bonus of it being SO MUCH CHEAPER to make it myself.  Isn’t that wonderful?  Better tasting, better on the wallet and even better for you?  Doesn’t get much better than that. (How much better could all that better have been if I had used better words to describe stuff? haha)

So here it is and hopefully you can try it for yourself.  I used it to make my Better Than Yo Mama’s Garlic Ranch Meatloaf on Monday and even added it to my breading for baked pork chops on Wednesday.  I am excited to see what else that I can think of to use it in!

1/2 cup dry buttermilk (find it by the powdered, evaporated milk products)

1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed

1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed (heehee I said Dill Weed)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

I went to the glorious Winco for my shopping trip to make this because they have an amazing bulk foods section that includes spices.  If I can’t find a spice in the Hispanic foods section in the awesome little packets I head over there and they almost always have it.

Here is what it looked like:

Ranch Mix 2

I was able to fit it right back into my dry buttermilk container after using a mixing bowl to combine.  One container of dry buttermilk made 4-5 of the recipe above so I just made it all and now I will have some whenever a dish needs to be more Ranch-tastic.  Enjoy!