Who Doesn’t Like Meatloaf?


I always hear people make fun of meatloaf, but it was always one of my kids’ favorite meals.  I like to imagine it’s because I make AWESOME meatloaf, but I think it’s really because meatloaf is in fact just a big hamburger.  Well, anyway, I finally got around to making mine to share on my blog.  Mostly because an old and dear friend asked the other day for that recipe of mine for meatloaf with the cheese in it.

I hope this was the one she meant, because I did so many different versions.  And it has evolved a bit through the years.  But this one is good.  And if you make it and don’t like it just like this, never fear, you can easily tailor  it to suit yourself.  It’s one of THOSE sorts of recipes.

I also tried something else I’ve never made before, golden beets.  I added a link for the recipe I used (not my own) because they turned out really good.  Even my husband, NOT a beet lover, liked them.  I think the golden beets are a little less overwhelmingly “earthy” than the red beets.  By that I mean they don’t taste as much like dirt.  Yes, I said it.  I think beets taste like dirt.  I don’t hate that myself, but I can see why some people don’t like them.  The golden beets have a lighter taste.

Anyway, if you want to try my meatloaf recipe, which has oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs, so has no wheat, and isn’t cooked in a loaf pan so has a nice crispy outside AND has cheese, well, here you go:  Awesome Meatloaf.

And it’s Handmade Monday, which I’ve missed two weeks in a row, so, I’m going that way now, myself.  Please head over too, and check out what they’re doing, they always do such wonderful things, crafts and some recipes and everything!  Thanks for stopping by.  🙂

Comfort Food

I suppose comfort food is the stuff you love best and that makes you feel at home.  For me, it’s Mexican food of almost any sort.  Because it’s hard to find here, I have reverted back to cooking my own again.  Most of my recipes are not exactly haute cuisine and maybe not even totally authentic, but I liked them, and apparently so did my kids.  One of my sons called and requested my enchilada casserole recipe the other day.

When I first had the idea for this blog it was to have a place to share my old recipes with my sons and their wives so that they could always eat those things they grew up with.  So, my son’s call was a little like comfort food to me.

Here is my recipe for Enchilada Casserole.  It is something I made all of the time, not always the same, because I never really used a recipe.  If you are out of the right kind of cheese you can substitute within reason (cheddar will actually work, altho I don’t like it quite as well).  It froze well and the leftovers (if they existed) were never turned down for a lunch or dinner even the next day.

BTW this is not wheat free.  I have not tried to find a wheat free enchilada sauce.  You can make your own too, which is not all that difficult, but one of the wonderful things about this recipe is you can put it together in a short time and have dinner on the table quickly.



Add a Little Spice to Your Life

One of the things I miss the most about New Mexico is the food.  And so we have to cook it ourselves because most of what passes for Mexican food out here is… well, something else, but it’s not really Mexican food.  I’ll leave it there.

One of the best things about Mexican food is green chiles and several years ago a friend of mine sent me several packages of frozen Hatch green chiles.  These are famous and with good reason.  They aren’t the only good thing about Mexican food but they are one of the better ones.  If you can get your hands on some (and you can) you should try some of the real stuff.  I have a stash in my freezer.  At any rate, when I used up the ones she sent me I had to start ordering my own, so I found a source and discovered that it works perfectly.  They come frozen and ready to stick in your freezer and use whenever the chile bug hits you.

This recipe is simple although the corn takes a little preparation.  But it’s OH so worth it.  I will warn you, it’s SPICY.  Ok, what I mean is, it’s HOT.  I personally think spicy food is good for you.  It clears your sinuses or something.  Well, maybe not, but I still like it.

So, go indulge your inner chile monster and check out Roasted Corn & Green Chile Chicken.  Then be sure and check out Handmade Monday because believe it or not, it’s that time again!  Thanks for stopping by.



Some Things Seem So Easy

Do you ever think of things that seem so easy, but when you try them they thwart you at every turn?  Yeah, me too. I had seen this recipe for making marshmallow peeps awhile back and wanted to try them –I think I was going to try Halloween ghosts but never got around to it. So, later I thought, “Oh, Valentine hearts, that will be cute and easy!” Oh, I’m so misguided sometimes!

Maybe if you’re a pastry chef.

I’ll just cut to the chase.  I made it work but if you’re going to follow my directions you don’t need the pastry bag and tip.  Unless you just want to try it that way.  Or you’re a pastry chef.

Anyway, it’s Handmade Monday again!  Yay, now THERE is something that works right every time.  🙂  So, after you check out my Heartmallows go check out what everyone’s doing for Handmade Monday! See you there. 🙂


Still Playing Catch-up

I thought I would have something ready for today, but I’m still trying to get things back together after having the kitchen cabinets refaced and the holidays over with, so I thought, since most of the Handmade Monday crowd didn’t see what I posted over Christmas anyway, I would give those a little repeat.

The marshmallows were a big hit, so if you missed that, you can find the recipe and directions at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Very easy, and better than store bought.  Almost everyone who got them said, “I had no idea you could make marshmallows!”

Also, the peppermint trays were fun and easy.  They were all over Pinterest.  You can find my blog on them at Candy Trays.  At least save the idea for next year!

I’m so glad we are getting back to normal.  I should have my kitchen back in order in the next few days, and then can get back to organizing my craft room.  I will take some photos of both and share them, as I think there are some good ideas there also. I’ve really enjoyed finding ideas on Pinterest, if you’re not using that resource, you really should be.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask, I’d be glad to bend your ear (and give you an invite)!

And after you’ve finished here, head over to Handmade Monday.  Finally, it’s back up and running.  I know I’ve missed everyone! Holidays are wonderful, but it’s always nice to get back into the groove of normal life. 🙂

Christmas 2011

Christmas dinner, 2011.

The main event was a Prime Rib Roast using Pioneer Woman’s recipe and it was outstanding.  In addition we had Easy Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Creamed Corn (my husband’s recipe), Sauteed Mushroom Medley, Cucumbers W/Balsamic Vinegar and a nice red wine.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and the rest of 2011 is full of magic and whatever it is that makes you happy.  Here’s wishing only the best for 2012.  🙂  Oh, and yes,  Pauli got some of the roast.  And she pronounced it perfect!

Candy Trays

I ran across these cute candy trays on Pinterest and was infatuated with them, as was everyone else, apparently. I thought they would be perfect to give with my marshmallows to my neighbors and maybe bring the goodies I was making for my husband’s office party. So I gave it a try.

Mine didn’t turn out quite as perfect and beautiful as the ones on the original blog. The edges were not really nice and straight, I think maybe my oven temp is not even. Something I now want to check. Then again, I still liked them a lot and had fun with them.

A bigger problem is that they WERE sticky! I suspect it’s a function of living in South Florida where it’s very humid and particularly humid right now (70%). Heck, everything is sticky. I happened to be making marshmallows at the time so I had cornstarch out and had an idea. Why not try dusting them with cornstarch like I do marshmallows? So, I put some on both sides and rubbed it all over and let it sit. Then I wiped it off after awhile. I did this several times and it seemed to work. They don’t end up as pretty and glossy, but it does seem to take the stickiness off, at least for long enough to use them.

I’m not posting instructions here, you can check out the instructions at this blog Tutto Bella. Really easy and quick, and fun (except unwrapping the peppermints). Oh, and I had a harder time finding the green ones.  My green ones were a different brand than the red ones and I noticed they melted at a somewhat faster rate. I checked and the ingredients were different, so if I make these again I will try to find some that are the same brand with the same ingredients. Maybe my results will be a little more consistent. But, still, I was happy and they were fun. You could have kids place the peppermints and then have an adult do the oven part. And if you live in a less humid place maybe you won’t have to mess with cornstarch at all!

Impress Your Friends With –Marshmallows!

Seriously, I never thought about actually making homemade marshmallows until someone gave us some handmade ones for Christmas a few years ago.  They were peppermint flavored and they came from a boutique shop and they were awesome!  From that moment on I thought, “If they don’t only come in a bag from the grocery store, and they can be flavored, and they can taste this much better than the ones I grew up eating, why can’t I make them?!”  So, I finally got serious about finding a recipe that seemed simple enough and getting brave enough to try it.

And guess what?  They’re EASY.  Yes, you heard me right.  EASY.  There are a number of recipes out there on the web, so I picked one from someone who usually makes things that work for me and went from there.  I wanted to add flavors, but I started out with the original basic recipe and didn’t change anything the first time, so that if anything went wrong later I would know that the change was the problem (yes, I am a former science teacher).

However, not to worry.  No problems, easy and impressive.  Messy, but really, nothing really worth doing isn’t messy.  You still have time to make some for a last minute gift that will please virtually anyone, or to serve at your own Christmas or New Years party, or just to make to indulge yourself.  My husband gives them a big thumbs up.  I’ve made at least 4 batches so far.  OK, enough chit chat.  The recipe is at Peppermint and Cinnamon Marshmallows.  Check it out!


Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 by sundero
Thanksgiving 2011, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, if you are where you celebrate it, and if not, I hope you remembered to be thankful anyway.
I often don’t remember to be grateful for the large things, much less the small ones. Someone mentioned that being born in the time and place I was is like winning the lottery, and he was right. So, in addition to being thankful on this one day, I need to try to remember it every day.
May you always be blessed and may you always remember to be grateful. God Bless.


Vintage by sundero
Vintage, a photo by sundero on Flickr.

I am starting to think about Thanksgiving Dinner. I know, most people have long since planned out what they’re cooking, but because it’s just the two of us, I really haven’t given it much thought. I’m not making a turkey, that’s too much food for 2 people and I don’t want all that leftover stuff.
So, time to start ruminating… Any suggestions?