Monday, May 3, 2010

Kitchen Adventures

I was feeling ambitous yesterday and decided to try a couple of recipes from one of my favorite bloggers The Pioneer Woman.

Cajun Meatloaf and Perfect Potatoes au Gratin

I noted that the meatloaf called for 3 whole pounds of meat - and immediately cut that down to 2 lbs (1 beef, 1 pork). I used 2 small bell peppers and 1 onion too.

I carefully made a list of the ingredients needed, and set off for the grocery store. Gathered my ingredients for these dishes (plus the regular shopping for the week), and headed home.

I got a kinda late start on these because I was being lazy, and because - well, I didn't read the recipes to know that one took an hour to cook, and the other, 40 minutes. Fortunately they both cook @ the same temp, so they could share the oven...

I pulled out my ingredients, and started chopping up the veg for the meatloaf. Side note - I have one of these handy dandy little Progressive Choppers, and for recipes that call for a lot of veg, it's invaluable! Amazon sells it for $25 - worth the price! Hint: just be sure your veg are in fairly small pieces, 3x3 at most and it works like a charm.

Onion (check), bell peppers (check), garlic (check), celery - errm, where's the celery? HEY HON, DID YOU GRAB THE CELERY AT THE GROCERY STORE? (him - NO). ok, nix the celery. I threw in some ground coriander instead.

The other item I thought I had at home, but didn't was the nutmeg. So we left that out too. (improvise, it's what I do!).

Even after cutting down the recipe to 2lbs of meat instead of 3, this thing was HUGE. And PW's recipe said to make it about 1.5" high, and in doing that, it covered most of my baking pan. Oh, and it's not pretty. There. I said it. Meatloaf ain't purty.

Even with my modifications - this meatloaf was SOOOO GOOD. OMG good. Smack yo momma good. So good, that I'm excited about leftovers (yes, yes - mark this day in your calendar). And we put a good chunk of the leftovers in the freezer too.

Onto the potatoes..I decided to make this recipe as is, mostly cuz I failed to read where it says "Makes 8 servings". I chopped up the potatoes..and quickly realized I'd need my 13x9 baking pan to fit it all. And that this wasn't the best pan to use either (I really needed a deeper/bigger casserole pan). But it worked. and these were just as good as the meatloaf!!!

I'd make both of these recipes again, in smaller quantities.

What have you cooked lately? Meals? Cakes? Pizza?

What is your go-to guide for recipes? A website? A recipe book? Your mom (can I have her # please)?

Happy Eating!

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