Wednesday, September 5, 2012


 Paradise by the Oven Light…

I remember every little thing
As if it only happened yesterday.
Deciding what to eat
I wanted to make it out of sight
And I never had a man
Looking as hungry as he did
And trying to keep my cool
I ask “What do you want to eat tonight?”….

Ain’t no doubt about it
We were doubly blessed
Cause we had bacon, we had beef
I needn’t be distressed…

If you don’t know who Meat Loaf is, then you are waaaay younger than I; and you have no idea what all this non-sense is.  If you do know Meat Loaf, then forgive me for taking liberties with the song (it’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, don't ya know!).

So here we go…Bacon Meatloaf and the fixin’s.


Sweat the onions, the bacon and the garlic over medium heat.
When the onions are translucent and the bacon is cooked but not crisp, then add the thyme and all spice.  Remove from the heat.


I put the ground beef and fresh bread crumbs (just tear up some sandwich bread) in a large bowl, and drizzle the milk over the bread crumbs.

Normally recipes call for soaking the bread crumbs, but using this method, saves me from washing one more bowl.


Now I add the remaining ingredients except the last 2 tablespoons of ketchup to the bowl.




Mix gently to incorporate all the ingredients, with out over working the meat.


I cook a small patty to check the meat for seasoning.  It was perfectly seasoned for my taste.  You can do a test patty for yourself; or just trust that you and I like the same seasoning and skip this step.  Either way, I will not be offended.

 I made individual meatloaves, so I put the ketchup on before cooking the meatloaf at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

If you are making one big loaf, then do not put the ketchup on until the meatloaf has baked for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, spread 2 tablespoons of ketchup over the meatloaf, and return it to the oven for another 30 to 45 minutes.


Here’s what you need for Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes… I forgot the potatoes in this picture.  I guess I figured that the potatoes are implied in the title, and that's good enough for me.


This is my favorite masher because of the holes. Some of the skins get stuck in the holes and I just discard that skin, leaving the perfect amount of skins in the potatoes.  I also use it when mashing beans for refried beans.

Here’s what you need for the Almond Green Beans. 
I cheated because I had seasoned almonds in my fridge, they’re already toasted too.  If you don’t have them you can use sliced or slivered almonds, but give them a toast.  

I like to prep extra meatloaves and freeze them.
Here’s what you do… 

Do not cook the meatloaf, nor put the ketchup over the top.  Line the loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to line the pan and pull up and wrap the loaf. 

Put the uncooked meat into either individual loaf pans, or a large loaf pan.


Pull the plastic up and over the meatloaf, and put into the freezer for about an hour.

After about an hour the loaf should be frozen enough to hold its shape.  Pull the loaf from the freezer and you will probably need to let it sit for about 10 minutes to thaw just enough to pop out of the loaf pan.


Wrap the meatloaves/loaf tight, and put it into a freezer bag, then back into the freezer.

Now when you are ready to cook the meatloaves/loaf; remove from the plastic wrap and put it into the same loaf pan that you used to mold the loaf in the first place. 
Defrost in the refrigerator over night.  Cook the meatloaves as described above.

Now I tell you; after a meal like this when I ask…

Do you love me?
Will you love me forever?
Do you need me?
Will you never leave me?...

He replies…

Though I was hungry girl you fed me right
I saw paradise by the oven light!

I just know he loves me,
He’ll love me forever,
And he needs me,
No he’ll never leave me!

I do hope you will return to my blog after all this silliness.  I can't guarantee it won't happen the next time I post a meatloaf recipe. 

Serves 4

Bacon Meatloaf

1          cup       Onions, small dice.  About ½ a medium onion
4          slices    Bacon, chopped fine
2          cloves   Garlic, minced
1          tsp        Dried thyme
¼         tsp        Ground allspice
1 ½      lbs        Extra Lean ground beef
1 ½      cups     Fresh bread crumbs,
3          Tbsp    Milk
2                      Eggs
2          Tbsp    Ketchup
1 ½      tsp        Mustard
2          Tbsp    Barbecue sauce
½         tsp        Salt
½         tsp        Pepper
2          Tbsp    Ketchup to glaze the top of the meatloaf

  1. Pre heat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, sweat the onions, the bacon and the garlic.
  3. When the onions are translucent and the bacon is cooked, but not crispy; add the dried thyme and all spice and remove from the heat.
  4. In a large bowl combine the ground beef and the remaining ingredients, (except the last 2 Tbsp of Ketchup) along with the cooked onions and bacon.  Mix gently until the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Put the mixture evenly into a loaf pan, do not pack it down.
  6. Put into the oven for 30 minutes, then spread 2 tablespoons of ketchup over the top, and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes.
  • If using individual loaf pans, then spread the ketchup on the top of the meatloaves before putting the loaves into the oven.  Cook the individual loaves for 35 to 45minutes.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

2          lbs        Waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or red skin potatoes.
1          Tbsp.     Butter
½         cups     Milk
¼         cup       Cream
¼         cup       Sour cream
1          pinch    Fresh ground nutmeg
                        Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Cut the potatoes into about 1 ½ inch pieces.  There is no need to peel thin skinned potatoes.
  2. Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water, to about 1 inch over the potatoes.
  3. Put the potatoes over high heat, until they come to a boil, then add salt to the water and turn the heat down to medium high.  Cook until fork tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Heat the milk and cream together.
  5. Drain the potatoes really well, and return the potatoes to the pot.
  6. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes, discard any skin that sticks to the masher.  Do not over work the potatoes.
  7. Return the potatoes to the medium low heat, stir in the butter, sour cream, pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Add about 2/3 of the milk and cream, how much milk you need depends on the water content of the potatoes.  If you need more moisture, then add the remaining milk and cream.
  8. Remove from the heat and serve. 

Green Beans with Almonds

1          lb         Green beans stem ends removed
1 ½      Tbsp    Butter
¼         cup       Seasoned sliced almonds
                        Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring a medium sauce pan (3 qts) of water to a boil.
  2. Salt the water and add the beans to the water.  Cook the beans 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the water from the beans. 
  4. Return the beans to the pot with the 2 tablespoons of water, the butter, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium high for about 1 minute or so, just so some of the water evaporates and the butter becomes like a sauce.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the seasoned sliced almonds.

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