Baby, it's cold outside. I am a super wuss in the cold weather... I enjoy bundling up and cuddling for a few days then start to crave the warmth of Summer, being able to run play outside with the sun beaming on my skin. I must admit I do like to dress for winter, with layers and scarves so I will embrace the cold and grin and bear it. Since it gets dark earlier I also feel like I must go to sleep earlier, like a bear in hibernation, I too will enjoy a little more sleep.
In the winter we crave comfort food, a nice hot meal on the dinner table. My mom's meatloaf is one of my favorite dishes from childhood. When I make it I usually double the recipe to make 2 loaves to have 1 to throw in the freezer (wrapped in saran wrap & foil) for another night. I have also started making them into cupcake size which is definitely more enjoyable for my girls... because who doesn't love a good cupcake? You can also freeze the cupcake size (after you cook them) then pop out how many you need, reheat them and have a warm lunch or easy dinner. My mom makes a large meatloaf with roasted potatoes, allowing the potatoes and meatloaf to cook together in the same pyrex dish, drenched in tomato soup. I've altered it and made a large loaf with sweet potatoes instead (because it's not a secret that's my favorite ingredient) and I like to serve up the extra fiber and beneficial nutrients to my family.
Since we are making cupcakes, we need "frosting" so today we will use a Whipped Cauliflower. This is a great side dish to serve alongside your favorite meal. I purchase riced cauliflower from the market, it's in the produce section of Trader Joe's to make weeknight meal prep even easier. Feel free to add additional veggies and make it your own.
My mom's Meatloaf:
1.5 lb ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs, Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
5 TB ketchup, divided
Salt & pepper
*optional- can tomato soup
1. Sauté onions and bell pepper and set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl add ground beef and 3 TB of ketchup. Add remaining ingredients combining with your hands to make sure it's all mixed.
3. Prepare 12 small meat loafs and place in cupcake tin. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Or make 1 large meatloaf and place in glass dish, pour tomato soup on top and layer in roughly chopped potatoes (or sweet potatoes) around the perimeter. Bake at 375 for 45minutes (up to 1hour).
Young Chefs Academy Whipped Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 TB sour cream
1. Combine florets, chicken stock and garlic cloves in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe lid or plate, and microwave on high until the cauliflower is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stop and stir about halfway through the cooking process to help the cauliflower cook evenly.
2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower and garlic cloves to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the parmesan, salt and pepper to the cauliflower and blend on high until the mixture is velvety and smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Fold in the sour cream or crème fraiche and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Yield: about 4-6 servings
Now that December is here we have been enjoying getting ready for Christmas. Our tree is up, we took our family photos this week, and our Elf, Penelope made her grand entrance into our home. This time of year is very busy with activities and events but I am trying to slow down and enjoy each moment. It is sometimes difficult to be present when there are so many obligations & events but my intention for this month is to give my family the present of my presence.