Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tinsel Time

It is Saturday morning and I'm recovering from a week of family fun (and a little cold that is zapping my holiday buzz). My mom and I pulled out the Christmas decorations yesterday so she could help me get inspired. I love how she decorated the entry way (will post pictures soon!) and our dining room. We bounced from room to room with bowls of vintage ornaments and Christmas wreaths, making sure everything found its perfect place! Something about the dusting of imitation snow around the baby bottle brush trees and ALL the mercury glass makes me very happy! I can't wait to get started on the tree...

Thank you dear heavenly Father for the precious gift of our baby Jesus. I pray that I will be in constant reminder of the real and perfect gift you have already given me and worry less about the gifts under the tree! May I remember to thank and give praise to you as I decorate our home in honor of celebrating your birth! Amen...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


COMFORT FOOD. Maybe it's the changing of the seasons or the recent changes in my life, but in the past few weeks I have found great joy in cooking comfort food for my family ! Last week I whipped up a batch of homemade beef stew, cornbread muffins, apple pie, sausage risotto, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, meatloaf and macaroni cheese. I am finding it quite therapeutic to cook! Thankfully, I don't feel compelled to over indulge on all these feel-good meals. I enjoyed a taste or two, and then went back to my low carb diet (sooo boring but pretty effective)!

(This is a modified recipe I found in a Southern Living a few years ago.) I really like this jazzed up twist on meatloaf. In fact, it reminds me more of a taco or tamale pie than meatloaf! I paired it with homemade macaroni cheese and a green salad. I also think it would be yummy served with green chile macaroni & cheese or garlic mashed potatoes!
Tex Mex Meatloaf Bold
2 lbs. ground round

2 1/2 cups of crushed tortillas chips

1 (10 oz) can of diced tomatoes w/ green chiles, drained

1 tablespoon of chili powder

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup minced cilantro

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 can of red enchilada sauce (use 1/4 cup in meatloaf & the remaining 1/4 on top of the meatloaf)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

This meatloaf would be delicious served with taco toppings: sour cream, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, sliced olives and guacamole. Instead of making a meatloaf sandwich with the leftovers, wrap a wedge up in a tortilla and top it off with salsa!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together ground round, 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (save rest for to top the meatloaf later), tomatoes, onion, garlic, eggs, and spices. I have picky eaters so I pureed the can of diced tomatoes with the garlic, onion, cilantro & 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. I then added this sauce to the hamburger mixture. Mix with hands until well combined.

Pat mixture into large (prepared w/ baking spray) pie plate. Evenly spread remaining 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce on top of meatloaf. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle remaining tortillas chips over meatloaf, followed with shredded cheese.Align Left Bake 15 more minutes or until center is no longer pink. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. This made so much that I put the remaining mixture in ramekin dishes. These make the cutest little meatloaves (perfect for freezing & quick defrosting!).

I also baked the macaroni & cheese in ramekins!

This is my new favorite dessert that is sooo quick & easy! I use one packet of Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix (follow recipe on back). I roll into small balls (1" diameter) and make a soft impression on the top of the cookie with the bottom of a measuring spoon. I bake for about 8 minutes until lightly brown. I immediately press 3-4 semi-sweet chocolate chips into the top of cookie. Serve with a cold glass of milk and don't forget to be thankful!