Wednesday, February 20, 2008


For me, delicious meatloaf was an oxymoron. When I was a kid, I always complained when my mom made meatloaf, but as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate this home-cooked meal staple. I've seen Ina Garten make this turkey meatloaf a few times on her show, and have had it marked to make for a while. Tonight was the night, and I wasn't even planning on blogging is just meatloaf. But this meatloaf was anything but ordinary, it was SO good! I made a few changes (like cutting it in half, who eats 5 POUNDS of meat???) but it's pretty much the same.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoons tomato paste
2 pounds ground turkey (Ina uses breast only, I used the cheap stuff)
1 cups Italian dry bread crumbs
2 extra-large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 tbsp. chicken broth
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Mix the remaining ingredients and spread evenly on top. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (Ina says a pan of hot water in the oven will keep the meatloaf from cracking, but that didn't work for me!).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

I absolutely LOVE BBQ. As long as there is sweet sauce and tender meat, I'm a fan. I do like to make my own now, and it's so easy in the crockpot. I saw many posts on The Nest's What's Cooking board for Root Beer Pulled Pork. I had pork, I had root beer, so I figured I would try it out. To me, I don't know if the root beer added anything special to the tasted pretty similar to the ones I had made before using water or chicken stock. So whatever you use as your liquid base to cook the meat probably doesn't matter much, as long as you have good pork and good sauce.

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

Pork Roast (I used a Boston Butt, I think)
1 can root beer
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. worcheshire sauce

Put pork in crockpot and add root beer (my roast was big so I also added some water to cover it). Cook on low for 7 hours. Drain liquid, reserving 1/4 cup. Shred pork and put back in pot. Add BBQ sauce, brown sugar, worcheshire sauce and as much liquid as desired. Stir and cook on low for another 1 hour. Serve on toasted buns.

Veggie Mac and Cheese

This was inspired by my friend Sam Radigan. Chad and I went to dinner one night at her and Kevin's house, and she made mac and cheese that was similar to something she had at a place called Hopkins in Tallahassee. When I asked her about it recently she couldn't remember exactly how she made it but knew she used a sauce mix and broccoli slaw. So here is my recreation of her masterpiece. It was delicious when she made it for us, and delicious last night!

Veggie Mac and Cheese

1 lb. box medium shell pasta
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced
1/2 bag broccoli slaw
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
16 oz. half and half
1 cup milk
1 envelope Knorr Parma Rosa sauce mix (in spaghetti sauce aisle)
1 cup grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Italian 6-cheese blend
black pepper

Put on a pot of water to boil for the noodles. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat then whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk, half and half and envelope of sauce mix. Heat until just boiling, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer until thick. Add cheeses a little at a time and stir until melted. Season with fresh black pepper.

Once water boils, add noodles. During the last two minutes of cooking, add zucchini and broccoli slaw. Drain and add noodles and veggies to cooked sauce and mix well.