THE Meatloaf Everyone Loves


This meatloaf could not be any easier to make & best of all – Seriously! Everyone LOVES it! Even those picky eaters that think they don’t like meatloaf, well I have proven to them that meatloaf is delish!!! If you already love meatloaf, try this one! It’s is so easy to throw together and with just a few ingredients you will have one of the best meatloaves you’ve ever had.

I love meatloaf, but I think that a meatloaf sandwich the next day may be one of my favorites! Especially with the ketchup glaze on this meatloaf. Throw some cheese on there. Eat it cold or even better, grilled!

So we like this sweet, tangy ketchup glaze on our meatloaf, BUT this meatloaf would be equally delish without any glaze and served with brown gravy.

This is the easiest, most delish meatloaf you & your family will love! Simple ingredients & Simple to make!
Preheat oven to 375

Ingredients for the meatloaf:
2 lbs 85% fat ground beef
1 box chicken flavored stove top stuffing mix (use reduced sodium)
1 envelope of dried onion soup mix
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten

Instructions:
In a Large bowl mix the stuffing mix, dried onion mix & water
Let sit for 5-10 minutes, to soften everything up
Add the beaten eggs and mix well

The Meatloaf Everyone Loves
Add the ground beef to the bowl
*When adding the ground beef, carefully tear it apart into chunks first – then mix thoroughly. I like put gloves on and use my hands to really get in there!

When mixed through, transfer to a 9×13 baking dish or sheet pan and shape into a loaf approx 8″ x 12″ – I flatten it out a little, so there is more surface area for the yummy sauce.

Make indents along the top with your fingers. I like doing this so some of the sauce seeps into the loaf
The Meatloaf Everyone Loves

To make the sauce/glaze:

In a small bowl add:
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce

Mix well until smooth, make sure there are no brown sugar lumps.

It should be a little sweet, a little tangy. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Sweet & Tangy Sauce to Top The Meatloaf Everyone Loves
Evenly spread HALF of the sauce over the top of the loaf and let it drip down the sides.

Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven & spread the remaining sauce over the meatloaf.

Return to oven. Bake for another 30-40 minutes.

Time may vary depending on how thick your loaf is. I go ahead and cut it in half and check for doneness. If there is still some pink in there continue baking, checking every 5 minutes until baked through.
The Meatloaf Everyone Loves

Let it set for about 10 minutes before slicing into it. Cover with a foil tent if not serving right away.

Serve with your family’s favorite sides, like mac & cheese, baked or mashed potatoes. Rice pilaf. Broccoli or corn. Side salad. Those are some of our favorites!

Enjoy!!!

Homemade & Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew


Homemade & Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew

Beef stew is definitely a favorite around our house! It is just homey and comforting and one of those dishes that everyone had growing up, so it just make you feel good! You have to start it nice and early, so the kitchen is just warm and smells heavenly all day.

I think that this stew is even better the next day. I mean it’s delicious right away, but it thickens up as it sits over night in the fridge. The flavors just meld that much longer. It is just downright comfort food at it’s best!!! Especially when you have fresh hot bread baking away, just in time to serve with it.

Here is what you need & the steps it takes to get a wonderful pot of beef stew!

Ingredients:
2 lbs stew beef ( the kind that is pre-cut into cubes )
1 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
4 stalks of celery, sliced on the bias
2 cups (a couple of handfuls) of baby carrots, cut in half – also on the bias
8 oz pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb baby red potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups low sodium beef broth
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme, crush with fingers
3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crush with fingers
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 cup all purpose flour
sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper – needed in a few steps
olive oil, as needed – about 6 Tbsp

Feel free to omit and use any veggies that YOUR family likes!
I’ve added corn to it. I’ve made it with fresh green beans, too. Make it your own!
The measurements on the veggies is very forgiving, too. If you want more, add more! If you want less and make it more of a beef stew, that’s fine, too! It’s so easy to adjust it to the way you want it.

Doesn’t this make your mouth water!? Oh man, it’s so delicious!!!
Homemade & Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew

  • First step, browning the beef:
    *Cut the cubes of stew beef into similar bite sized pieces. You want the same size pieces so they cook evenly. I like to use scissors.
    *Put flour in a dish that has a lip, like a pie pan or casserole dish. Season flour with 1 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper.
    *Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour mixture, one good handful at a time.
    *Using a large dutch oven/pot ( with a lid ) Heat about a tbsp of oil over medium high heat.
    *Shake off any excess flour from the beef and add to the heated oil.
    *Let the meat brown evenly, but you don’t need to cook it through – just slightly browning in this step. It will only takes a few minutes. Don’t crowd the beef. It usually takes me about 4 batches.
    *As each batch of beef is down browning, remove from pot and place in a heat safe dish that will be large enough to hold all of the meat when done.
    *Check your oil level, between batches. You may need to add more if the pot is drying out. Make sure that you’re not burning the flour that is sticking to the bottom of the pot. It will stick, but that is okay. Lower the heat if you need to.
    *When the last batch of beef has browned, remove from heat and set aside.

  • Next step, cooking the veggies:
    *Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom of the same pot that you used for the meat and heat up the oil over medium heat.
    *Add onion, carrots & celery and a good sprinkle of salt & pepper.
    *Sweat the veggies, stirring every few minutes to be sure they don’t stick or start to burn, this takes about 10 to 15 minutes until onions are softened. The carrots & celery should still have some crunch.
    *Add the mushrooms & minced garlic and continue to sweat veggies, another 6-8 minutes.
    -The mushrooms will release some liquid, so it keeps the garlic from cooking too fast, but it will start to stick to the bottom so be sure to continue stirring, scraping the bottom of the pot.

    Last step, making the stew:
    *Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes and give a good stir and simmer for a few minutes.
    *Add the 4 cups of beef broth and give it a good stir, scraping the bottom really well.
    *Add worcestershire, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, garlic powder & onion powder. Give the pot a really good stir.
    *Add the cubed potatoes and the browned stew beef, including any juices that is left in the dish with the beef.
    *Lower the heat so the stew is slightly simmering & cover the pot partially with lid. Don’t cover it completely.

  • It’s going to simmer for a few hours at this point. You’ll need to stir it every so often to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and to be sure it’s not boiling over. It will thicken up and the beef will be nice and tender when it is done. After a couple of hours, try a piece of the beef. If it still has a chewy texture, let it simmer a little longer. It will get to a point where it is soft & easy to chew. It could take up to 3 hours before it’s ready.
  • At this time, too. Season with salt & pepper to your liking. I like to wait until it’s almost done. This way you know that the herbs have all cooked into the broth, the veggies & the  meat have done their jobs, releasing liquids and absorbing flavors.
  • When it’s done, remove the bay leaves. It will be piping hot, so I like to serve up a few bowls and let them sit for a few minutes before we dig in. Serve with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese over the top, if you’d like. You can also add fresh chopped parsley over the top.

Homemade Beef Stew

  • You must have fresh bread with the stew so you can sop up any broth left in the bowl 🙂
  • DIG IN & ENJOY

LAZY LASAGNA {AKA: SOUR CREAM NOODLE BAKE}


Lazy LasagnaOh, yes… Lasagna. It has to be my favorite food of all time. I love it. I don’t always love making it.

Although, since discovering no-bake lasagna noodles, I have to say it’s not as tedious as it once was. If you have been afraid to try the no-bake noodles, don’t be! This version does not have lasagna noodles of any sort. I’m using wide egg noodles!

This, however is a quick alternative to the classic lasagna. You can easily adjust the ingredients and make it your own. Fancy it up or dumb it down. Even the most finicky kids will chow this down. Use your (or their) favorite ingredients!

This is the basic recipe that I use. It was adapted from a Sour Cream Noodle Bake recipe that I discovered courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. I tried it her way first. It was too plain for me. I had to doctor it up quite a bit to get it to my liking. So I hope that you will try this version and make it your own, too!

If you already make your own pasta sauce, use that if you want! You’ll need about 4 cups to make this. I make a really good sauce, this is just an easier recipe

I have made it with Italian sausage and sauteed mushrooms, too. It’s SO GOOD!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles ( I like the EXTRA WIDE )
  • 16 oz cottage cheese ( with chives is REALLY GOOD! )
  • 1 cup sour cream, add more if desired
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Handful of parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grab a 9×13 casserole dish
  • In a large skillet, brown the ground chuck with the onion and garlic. Salt & pepper to season
  • Drain the fat, then add the tomato sauce, paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Adjust red pepper flakes to your heat preference.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If you feel it is too rich, just add 1/2 to 1 cup of water and it will mellow it out, but let it cook down a little bit, too!
  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente**
  • Drain and set aside
    **To save time and and extra step, You can also make this without cooking the noodles first, they cook during the baking process! Just be sure to cover the casserole with aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes**
  • In a large bowl combine the cottage cheese and sour cream. Add plenty of fresh cracked black pepper
  • Add the egg noodles to the cottage cheese & sour cream mixture. Mix really well to make sure all of the noodles are covered in the mixture. It’s actually easier to do this with uncooked noodles. You know how noodles can stick together after they have cooked. It doesn’t do it as much when they are dry! Whodathunk!? But, it does make sense, huh!?
    egg noddles - lazy lasagna
  • Place a light layer of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish
    sauce layer
  • Top with half of the egg noodle mixture
    noodles
  • Layer half of the meat sauce evenly over the noodles
    layering lasagna
  • Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the meat sauce
    cheese layer - lasagna
  • Repeat, to make another layer. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top of the shredded cheddar cheese
    cheese - lasagna
  • Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until cheese has browned slightly and it’s bubbling around the sides. Just remember to cover with foil if you’re starting with uncooked egg noodles. After 20 minutes or so, remove the foil and let it bake a little longer ( like 10-15 minutes ) so the cheese has a chance to brown a little and the sides get a little crispy
    baked lasagna
  • Let it rest for at least 10 minutes
  • Serve with crusty bread and salad
  • ENJOY!!!
    lasagna11

Shredded Stew Beef – An Oldie But A Goodie!!!


sb111
This is a dinner that my mom used to make for us growing up. It is still one of my favorite dishes and I now make it for my family. It’s really easy to put together, it just takes a little time, about 3 1/2 hrs. It will be worth the wait, trust me!

This is all you need for ingredients:

2 lbs of stew beef. The kind that is cut into cubes. You want to look for marbleizing in the meat. This is the fat that renders down and makes this melt in your mouth! I have also used sirloin strips/tips in this. So get whatever is on sale or whatever looks best!stewbeef011 1 large onion. I used vidalia, but yellow is fine, too.

1 – 2 large cloves of garlic,

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Butter

Beef stock, just in case you want to add more broth to it when it’s done

Rice pilaf or Egg noodles, prepared

Optional: Portobello Mushrooms

Steps: Place the stew beef in a 4 qt pot. Salt & Pepper liberally stewbeef6011 Slice onions into fairly thick slices, they do cook down stewbeef3011 Place on top of the stew beef stewbeef7011 Slice garlic cloves in half and then into thin slivers stewbeef8011 Place on top of onions stewbeef9011 **UPDATE** Before adding the water, do this: Turn the temp up on your burner and add some veggie oil to coat the bottom of your pot. Get the oil nice & hot. Throw in the beef, onion, garlic, salt & pepper liberally. Let the meat brown a little bit. The onions & garlic will soften. The beef will start to release it’s juices. Stir occasionally, but you want to try to get some searing on the beef. It takes about 8 – 10 minutes. Now you can do this: Add just enough water to cover everything stewbeef1011 Put on the stove over medium – high heat with the lid partially on This helps to get the process going a little quicker, but be close by to make sure it doesn’t bubble over stewbeef1201 As soon as it foams up a little and starts to bubble, lower the heat and bring it to a slow simmer. At this point I move the lid on a little bit tighter, but not all the way on. You want to cook out the water, but not too fast. If that does happen either add more water or beef broth and continue to simmer. stewbeef1301 Check on it occasionally to make sure it’s not bubbling too hard or cooking down too fast. The entire cook time is anywhere between 3-3 1/2 hrs When the liquid starts to cook down, after about 2 1/2 – 3  hrs into the cooking time, take a potato masher to it and see if the beef breaks down easily. Don’t go crazy shredding it yet, you just want to see how it’s coming along. If it seems like there is a lot of liquid, open up the lid a bit more so it can cook off. If it seems too dry, add a little bit of beef stock and bring it back up to a simmer. sb141 Taste and season with more salt & pepper if needed, maybe even a little garlic salt. I am pretty liberal with the s&p in the beginning and I almost always have to add more! When it’s done, it will look like this… a melt in your mouth, shredded consistency.

For a little more lusciousness… feel free to add a few dabs of butter to melt into the beef.  sb122 If I’m serving it with egg noodles, I like to leave a little more liquid with the beef. You can certainly make a gravy out of the liquid by making a slurry (A thin paste of water and starch (flour, cornstarch or arrowroot), which is added to hot preparations (such as soups, stews and sauces) as a thickener. After the slurry has been added, the mixture is typically stirred and cooked for a few minutes in order to thicken and lose any raw taste)

I like mushrooms, a lot… So I make them to go on top of the dish. We have some kids that don’t like mushrooms so I always keep them separate but you could certainly mix them right in with the beef before serving. I cook them in a little bit of butter and olive oil and some herb seasoning that I have. I wait to salt them until after they start to brown. The salt will bring out the liquid in the mushrooms. If you salt too early it takes longer for them to brown. I typically pepper them at the same time, it’s just natural for me to s&p together sb151     sb131 and here it is… a beautiful bowl of shredded beef and mushrooms over buttered egg noodles. Yummm!!! Another favorite way to serve the beef is over a bowl or plate of rice pilaf. Corn is delish with this, too! sb111 You could go totally nontraditional and use the shredded beef in tacos or enchiladas or in a sandwich, with au jus of course! If I have left overs, I usually do something crazy like that! 😉 Enjoy!