Meatloaf (food)

I’m making a meatloaf for dinner, in the crock pot. I haven’t made many “meatloaf” dishes in the past few years, used to make them more in the past. I think I’ve done one in the crock pot before, but not more than that, usually prefering the oven … but today I am trying it in the crock pot again.

IF it turns out well, perhaps I’ll take a photo and post it.

Now then, I do like a good meatloaf, the way I like it. I like a simple “barbecue sauce” on top, made with ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar. Inside I use different herbs, fresh finely diced onion, and breadcrumbs (often fresh breadcrumbs), some ketchup, an egg, and whatever else I think of adding at the time.

Today I had 1 pound of natural ground chuck, and I had vacuum-sealed bison cubes in the freezer, so I defrosted the bison in the sink real fast, and put it through my Kitchen Aid Stand meat grinder attachment, then mixed the two meats together and added the rest of the stuff in. It’s bigger than a 2-lb meatloaf, and if it holds together well the leftovers will make nice sandwhiches, which reminds me, I need to get a loaf of bread going in the bread machine. 🙂

Older Meal made once again

Frank let me get a new crock pot last week. I had three, and something went wrong with each one, and the last time I used one was some months ago already.

Costco had a certain one in stock, a decent price, but it was fluffy-boo-coo to me. I didn’t want it. It was all white, the base and the crock itself. It came with a Little Dipper, was 6qts in size, nice. But the top of it rose up above the top of the base quite a bit, with an embossed floral foo-foo design. 🙁

We went to Target later to look at the Breadmachine I liked, and got that, and I said, “Look at this Frank,” and he did. It was a 5 1/2 Qt. White crock pot with a Little Dipper, but it was just a regular crock pot otherwise, no foo-foo-ness. It was white, totally different for me who always had black and stainless steel/black varieties. It was also much less money than the foo-foo Costco version. So we got it. 🙂

I meant to use it earlier, but didn’t until today. I was happy to use it, I made a meal we used to love in the crock pot. I made it on top-of-the-stove a few times, but hadn’t made it since, I’m not sure when.

It’s “Smothered Chicken” a recipe I got from Vickilynn Haycrafts e-list a long time ago.

VICKILYNN’S FAMOUS SMOTHERED CHICKEN BREASTS
(c) Copyright 2001 Vickilynn Haycraft

Serves 6

1) Place in crockpot and cook on HIGH for about 3 hours:

3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 TB soy sauce (lower sodium)
1/4 cup dried chives
4-8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup water

2) At the end of 3 hours, prepare sauce and pour over chicken in
crockpot:

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 heaping tablespoons whole wheat flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk – rice , soy or dairy (I use whole goat milk)
1 TB soy sauce
2 heaping tablespoons meatless chicken broth powder without MSG
salt and pepper to taste

To make sauce:
In a saucepan, melt butter mixed with oil. Add minced garlic and
saute briefly. Whisk in flour and cook until smooth and browned.
Add milk and cook over medium-high heat, whisking continuously
until thick and bubbly. Add broth powder, salt and pepper if
desired, and soy sauce. Let cook until thickened, and pour over
chicken in crockpot.

Cook chicken and sauce on HIGH for 1 hour, then check the
chicken for doneness. If not cooked through, continue to simmer
on LOW until done. Taste sauce and correct seasonings before
serving.

TIP:You can use a meat thermometer to be certain that boneless
white meat chicken breasts are cooked to an internal temperature
of 170 degrees.

The sauce is not super-thick, but rich, creamy and saucy. You
can thicken further if desired.

Serve sauce over mashed potatoes, rice and veggies and serve
lots of fresh whole grain bread to sop it up! Yummy!
Enjoy!

Here it is, how I make it:

VICKILYNN’S FAMOUS SMOTHERED CHICKEN BREASTS
(c) Copyright 2001 Vickilynn Haycraft

NO MUSHROOMS variation by Marysue

Serves 6

1) Place in crockpot and cook on HIGH for about 3 hours:

3-4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 cloves garlic, minced(or more)
3 TB Organic Tamari Wheat-Free Soy Sauce
1 large sweet onion, maui or vidalia, chopped

2/3 cup water

2) At the end of 3 hours, prepare sauce and pour over chicken in
crockpot:

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 heaping tablespoons flour (can substitute Arrow Root Powder mixed with water for the butter/oil/flour mixture, not sure the amount, I just do it without measuring. )
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk (whole dairy, I use raw)
1 TB Organic Tamari Wheat-Free Soy Sauce
1 1/2 TB Chicken Base (gooey paste)

To make sauce:
In a saucepan, melt butter mixed with oil. Add minced garlic and
saute briefly. Whisk in flour and cook until smooth and browned.
Add milk and cook over medium-high heat, whisking continuously
until thick and bubbly. Add broth powder, salt and pepper if
desired, and soy sauce. Let cook until thickened, and pour over
chicken in crockpot.

Cook chicken and sauce on HIGH for 1 hour, then check the
chicken for doneness. If not cooked through, continue to simmer
on LOW until done. Taste sauce and correct seasonings before
serving.

—————————

I made Basatmi rice to go with it tonight, and green beans. Everyone had plenty and it’s so very richly filling.

It’s a treat, not something to make very often, it’s so very flavorful and so easy to make, but easy to overdo it if you don’t watch it, and then get really sick of it as a meal. 🙂

The crock pot was a different sort of experience for me tonight. There was brown residue from the meal cooking high up the sides. It was very noticeable since the crock is so white. I was able to fairly easily wash that off, and find that it’s inspiring to do so only because it’s a white crock, I was compelled to clean it, not let it soak overnight. 🙂 So it’s already put away. I’m very proud of myself, in a good way only, of course. Patting myself on the back. 🙂

Hot dog days and meals

Yesterday was so hot. It got to 90 degrees in the house. I had seen weather info earlier that forecast 89 for a high in Atlanta. I don’t know why it got so hot in the house though, it wasn’t THAT hot outside. I guess it’s partially my ankle injury, I didn’t go around checking fans direction of air pull, windows to open or close, blinds to go up or down, open or close slats, etc.

Usually I try to get things all flipped back and forth depending on sun position, so back of the house is pushing out in morning, but pulling in the evening. Front of the house pulls in morning and pushes in afternoon. Pulls means takes air into house. Push means takes air out of the house.

It’s not a precise method though, sometimes it’s better to close off the front of the house all day instead. I think that might be what went wrong yesterday. It did get cloudy/stormy during the afternoon, but it never rained.

Anyway, it just does get very hot some days, inside is hard to control with the fans we have. It’s not always so bad, just parts of the day. Some days are worse on a whole, but not every day, mostly not even two days in a row, just afternoons.

So yesterday was that hotty one and I didn’t get a clear mind to cook dinner until after 8pm, it was really closer to 9 when I got going. This is something that is not new for me. Last year the very hot days were like that. It’s just that for me my mind turns to mush and I can’t function if it’s that hot, and the evening cools down after dark eventually and my mind comes back online. People don’t like it. But that’s where understanding comes in and helping me is better than fussing at me for it. 🙂

I came up with a version of somethings I make, that was different enough to be it’s own thing.

I used German Sweet Sausage, which is a natural non-cured product we got at Harry’s (Whole Foods Market) in the cooler where prepackaged things from other companies are kept.

I sliced that into angled rounds, and then each of those into halves.

I used:

several small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced.
1/2 a large Vidalia onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large Red Bell Pepper cut into 1/4-inch wide, long strips, then cut in half lenth-wise

I stir fried that until the potatoes were nearly done.

Then I added:

1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen)
two handfuls of long, thin green beans (fresh)
Soy Sauce, a few dashes
A couple dashes of Tabasco Sauce
Sea Salt to taste
Extra water as needed to make the sauce less thick, to aide cooking.
Added the German Sweet Sausage then too.

When the beans were done, still a bit crispy, the meal was ready, I put freshly grated fresh queso cheese ontop.

It was very good. I didn’t used to do much with veggy stir fry’s a few years ago even, but last year started doing some things and this year just chuck things into the pan when the time calls for such.

I have some other renditions that are more Japanese Stir Fry sorts of meals. I use rice or japanese noodles, chicken, or beef, and sugar snap peas, water chesnuts, more soy sauce, and onions, red bell peppers, etc.

These things I made up. It’s a reinvention of the wheel, yes, I didn’t create them as unique things, I know that they aren’t anything new precisely, just that I did what is natural to me to put them together without a recipe. Any recipe would have things in it I would leave out or change or add different things in, so it is that mine are unique in a way anyhow, but I am not claiming some great new recipes here. 🙂

I’m just glad to share what I’ve done more of and I am proud of it since I’m such a picky person about veggies. I started this all the other year when I started making a crock pot “pepper steak” recipe. I did it to get good Vit C peppers instead of the green peppers, so I used Red Bell Peppers and liked them as soft as the crock pot made them. I forced myself to make it on the stove and make them less soft last year, and that got me into actually liking the crisp crunch of peppers more and more and leading me into better stir fry additions.

I used to make “fried rice” which was heavy work for me. I didn’t have lots and lots of veggies in it. It is something I don’t make anymore, I just dislike how much rice I have to stir in and it wears my arm out and makes the meal icky for me. Too much of a chore.

So for me this different way of cooking allows me to have an easy way to make something that is so much better, and it can have rice or noodles or no carbs at all. Lots of veggies nicely crisp done.

I don’t use a regular Soy Sauce either. I now use Tamari, which is a wheat free soy sauce. It tastes so much better, IMO. Soy is something I only use if it’s in small quantities, as soy sauce is, and is fermented, brewed or something, as soy sauce is.

Basically this all is just an introduction to a different kind of oriental cooking that I have liked, and I’ll probably get going into researching some other japanese recipes for real one of these days. 🙂

Now I’m hungry for something crispy japanesey good. Hmph. It’s still morning.

Valentine’s Dinner

It’s Valentine’s Day night. It’s dark out and getting foggy. I was going to make an alfredo sauce to go with chicken breasts but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to really do. So I ended up just grating a bunch of parmesean and putting butter and cream in a pan, heating that and putting in the cheese, heating it, then thinking it too thin grating more cheese, then more … then just putting the chicken, once browned in Olive Oil in a frying pan, putting that into a big low and wide casserole dish, and pouring the sauce over it and putting it into the oven. I have no idea how this will turn out.

I have “heart” pasta to make to go with the sauce. Hopefully it’ll be fine. The pasta we got at Cost Plus World Market. It’s pink and white. Some hearts white, some hearts pink. I saw it in January and for 1.99 it was well worth it. So it’s the night to use it and I am deflated about using it. Not sure how the sauce is going to be. 🙁

I sprinkled some granulated garlic over the chicken breasts while they browned in the pan. So there will be a garlicy taste in the sauce.

I wanted to make bread last week. I had the sponge going, really not a sponge, but my “Pseudo Sourdough Culture”. I’ve kept it out on the counter since creating because it’s just not that warm in the kitchen and I have no room in the fridge, and I’ll have culture ready whenever I want it, a bit faster than the fridge would serve it up to me, that is.

So I didn’t get bread made on Friday. I had the culture all ready to be used. I didn’t make bread on Saturday, culture going even better. I kept the culture going these days, adding more flour to it, but just not getting it made into dough. So Sunday, I kept it going again. Didn’t make bread, it was Sunday, couldn’t do it that day.

So today, Monday. I wanted to make the bread dough. Just never got around to it. It’s been cloudy the last few days, so it’s tougher for me to get things done the longer it’s not sunny. Today I took a nap in the early afternoon too, so that put the bread on the backburner again.

I wish not though. I surely wish I had fresh bread to go with dinner tonight.

🙁

I used to make a parmesean noodle side dish, it was always really good. The sauce I made tonight was supposed to resemble that noodle sauce, but I don’t have the recipe book anymore. It got ruined through some freak child accident/violent treatment of something. :rolleyes:

So I put too much cream in the sauce pan, I am sure of that. I put a ton of parmesean in, but not nearly enough to go with the cream 😉 If the sauce gets thicker in the oven with the chicken … good. It should, but I hope it’ll be a nice texture when I take it out to serve it.

I have a ton of cookbooks. I have one huge Chicken cookbook –dedicated to chicken recipes, glossy pages, tons of photos– not one interesting “cream sauce” type of chicken recipe in that book. :veryshocked:

Not one recipe for a real alfredo sauce in my any of my books either. It’s not that I couldn’t find one online, I just didn’t like the ones I saw … I had one in my head from before and what I put together is just a weirdo thing, out of proportion, I could’nt control myself, just dumping the cream I had in jars into the pan. 🙂 Well it’s an experimental creation and we’ll see how well it turns out. Frank says my “experiments” are always good.

So it’s in the oven, I just put foil over the top, it was browning on top, the cream sauce, that is. It’s ending up that we’ll be eating later than I had wanted to. That’s just the way it goes sometimes (a lot more often than not, actually 😉 )

So this is a family dinner, not a sweethearts dinner. We have nothing smooshy going on this year. Just the smooshy heart pasta, that’ll be it. 😉

Turkey Scramble

      Turkey (Left-Overs) Scramble
  • Cubed Cooked Turkey, or chopped
  • Butter
  • Gravy
  • In large frypan melt butter and toss in the stuffing and move it around here and there until it’s hot, or how hot you like it: crispy or not, if you like it more crispy use more butter, or use less butter if you want, or no butter if you dare.

    Add the turkey to it and stir to mix well, heating the turkey, add some gravy to the mix, and when it’s all hot and mingled, serve and enjoy! With cranberry sauce on the side, of course 🙂

    That’s the basics. You make it how you want. It’s a great alternative to all the “turkey recipes” out there, it’s easy to make, mixes all the good parts of the meal together, and is something to look forward to for the day after Thanksgiving every year.

    More Turkey Ideas

    Another thing to do with the Turkey then is to grind it in a food grinder, or chop it up fine by hand, or in a food processor. Mix that with finely chopped onion, garlic, sourcream, salt and some grated cheese like cheddar, or monterey jack [or another mexican cheese] make it a sandwich spread … or take it up a notch and make that an enchilada filling: [Put more cheese in the filling –if you want– for this version of the leftovers] make or buy small corn tortillas and make an enchilda sauce from a recipe, made up in your head, or from what you have in the cubord and fridge, or buy it. Heat it up, dip the tortillas in it as you fill each one like: dip tortilla, fill, roll, put in dish side-by-side. Pour extra sauce overtop. Bake in hot oven. Take out, put more cheese on top, put back in oven until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy! Bien! :laugh:

    Turkey Aftermath

    Dinner is over, left-overs put away, some of the dishes washed, some not. 🙂

    It was a hard afternoon. I didn’t get the turkey in the oven until later than I wanted. It took until after 5pm for it to be done. Then it had to sit, of course, while the stuffing was taken out and put in a covered bowl, and the turkey had to sit to retain juices … and that’s also when the other stuff had to go into the oven since I had very little space for anything earlier.

    So I really don’t know when we started to have dinner. It must have been after 6pm. I’m bushed though. And we still need to have Birthday Girls birthday tonight. 🙂

    We have pumpkin pies in the fridge, but won’t have it tonight, tonight it’s cheesecake for B-day. I’m not ready for it, I want to enjoy the cake! I’m too full from Thanksgiving Dinner still. At any rate, we’ll have the pumpkin pie for breakfast tomorrow.

    I’ve got the bones of the birdy in a stock pot with water, and by tomorrow some time we’ll have some extra turkey broth.

    The cats got the neck and such earlier. I simmered them for the broth to go with the gravy, then picked the meat off for the cats. Earier I gave them the raw liver, but Scarlet took that away for herself. Piggy that she was.

    Dog got plate left-overs and boy did he enjoy them. Piggy himself.

    We have lots of turkey left. It was a 19 pound young turk. Bell and Evans, the best we could do with this year. We had some of one breast and part of one leg. That leaves most of the bird for:

    Turkey Scramble
    and what-not-else.

    Turkey Scramble will be tomorrow. That’s another post. :laugh:

    Whole Grain Egg Strata

    Egg Strata

    Ingredients:
    1/3 loaf of whole mixed grain bread, cubed
    7 eggs
    ½ cup milk or cream
    2 cups grated sharp cheese
    1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped or sliced and sautéed ingredients to include: Vidalia onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, chopped green chili pepper, or other as you may desire.

    Spray an 9 by 13 baking dish with baking spray. Place in a layer of cubed whole mixed grain bread. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese, then cover with sautéed vegetables. Beat together 7 eggs and ½ cup milk or cream and carefully pour on top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Let soak for 30 minutes or overnight. Bake in a 375 degree F. oven for about 45 minutes until the dish is just firm and the top is golden brown. Cut in 8-10 portions to serve hot with a garnish, such as a sprig of parsley and/or sliced fresh fruit.

    Serves 6-8

    *This is a quiche-like dish that can be used for many occasions with varied ingredients to your taste. It can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator for an event the next day.

    I made the above yesterday, for Sunday breakfast. Found online here: http://www.lanierbb.com/recipes/data/bk771.html

    I searched on Yahoo for Egg Strata, and that was the first link. It looked nice, since it called for whole grain bread … most recipes for Strata in books use “white bread with crusts cut off”.

    I used Vidalia Onion and Red Bell Pepper, chopped finely.

    And for the cheese: Emmentaler ( Switzerland import), shredded.

    It turned out looking like this:

    Whole Grain Egg Strata
    Whole Grain Egg Strata

    It’s cut into 8-pieces in the photo.

    It was a very nice dish, the adults liked it, and Russell liked it, the two younger “didn’t want to eat the red things”, but ended up eating it as they had no other recourse 😉

    The edges were really tasty, so if you make this, save that side of each piece for last bites. Also, I don’t spray pans with cooking spray, I use Olive Oil, pour a little in and use a paper towel piece to spread it around, or my fingers. This might have something to do with how good the edges were.

    This is a nice breakfast or brunch or something for another kind of meal I suppose. It seems it will be good re-warmed, as Quiche is usually.