I am Bob’s Stuffed Meat Loaf

This stuffed beefy meat loaf concoction comes from Taste of Home Cooking for 2, but all I can think about when I read the words meat loaf and stuffed is this guy.

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Meat Loaf as Bob from Fight Club

Why specifically do I think of Meat Loaf as Bob and not Eddie from Rocky Horror? There’s even that time he played a mobster in A Hole in One with Michelle Williams.  Why does that not come readily to mind?

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Meat Loaf’s a good fella. 

I don’t know dear readers. I just know that my mind works in mysterious ways.

What you’ll need.

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted.
  • 1 cup of stuffing
  • 2/3 a pound of lean ground beef

The first step in making this stuffed meat loaf is to combine 1/4 of the barbecue sauce with the water and butter in a small bowl. When that mixture has been mixed well, add the stuffing.

Next, shove the mixture aside to form your meat patties. You will make four patties out of the 2/3 a pound of beef. Try to make them as even as possible because you are basically going to make a sandwich with the stuffing mixture as the inside. Do this by dividing the stuffing mixture into half and scooping each half on one patty. Then, place a plain patty on top of the one with stuffing and seal the edges so that the stuffing remains intact.

In case you got confused, there should only be two servings or two stuffed patties. If you’re still confused, don’t fret.  I have pictures.

The next step will be to bake the patties in the oven by placing them on a baking pan, naturally. Before you put them in the oven, do pour the remaining barbecue sauce on top. Once that’s done, bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Uncooked patties for demonstrative purposes.

These turned out real well! I love it when a recipe is not only delicious, but easy to make.

The taste is what you’d expect. It’s meatloaf as a burger. I ate mine without a bun or extra toppings, but I could see some trendy burger food truck making this into a thing.

Feel free to save $12 and do it yourself, though. That’s my recommendation anyway.

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Bob’s Meat Loaf

Sandra Lee’s Semi Pad Thai

This recipe from Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Meals is actually called Spicy Peanut Noodles, but it’s basically a variation on Pad Thai.

As usual, Sandra’s recipes are a breeze to make. I failed miserably at trying to make a custard pudding recently and writing about this recipe renews my self-confidence in the world of cooking.

My custard still tasted ok, but it would have been delicious if the consistency was right.

Sandra, thankfully, gives you little room to fail. She gently holds your hand through every recipe in this book. I haven’t failed a recipe of hers yet.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed though. You never know.

What you’ll need

  • 8 ounces of soba noodles
  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Thai seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
  • 1 scallion, sliced diagonally

The first step is to boil the soba noodles. This isn’t hard. Just boil some water and cook the noodles for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water when it’s ready, cool the noodles, and set aside.

The next step is to prepare your peanut butter sauce by whisking the peanut butter with the chicken broth, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, Thai seasoning, and the red pepper flakes.

When everything is whisked together, just pour on top of the noodles, sprinkle some peanuts and scallions and you’re good to go!

This was so much easier to make than my custard pudding dish, let me tell you! I feel slightly redeemed. Don’t feel sorry for me though. I’m not down for the count. I’m gonna get right back up and knock that pudding senseless.

When I do, you’ll all hear about it.

For now though, look at this deliciousness.

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Peanut Butter and Noodles

 

Somen Noodles and Sugar Snap Peas

Sandra Lee does it again with her so not meh noodles. This chicken teriyaki goodness with a side of snap peas is getting  a favorite recipe mark for sure. A previous owner agrees with me. I know this because they wrote good on the recipe.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Meals is a cookbook sent from heaven, wrapped neatly with a bow and hand delivered for those of you who struggle in the culinary arts.

In other words, she makes recipes that are idiot-proof as well as scrumptious.

This is mostly due to the fact that she finds shortcuts. I’m ok with this, because in this day in age people are either too busy and let’s get real with ourselves, lazy, to make food completely from scratch.

I’m pleased to have another successful recipe, but I’m also sad. I have no more puns or rambling stories to add and that does make me sad. So, let’s get to it then.

For the Chicken Noodles

  • 6 ounces of somen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders, but into bite sized pieces
  • 6 ounces of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of carrot slices
  • 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup of reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of bottled crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of bottled minced ginger

The first step in making the noodles is to prepare for the ceremony known as The Boiling of the Noodles. Tradition states that you place the noodles in water that has been blessed with salt for three minutes. Drain the noodles afterwards and then set aside

While this ceremony is taking place, you may heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and stir for about 7 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked, add the spinach, carrots, sauce, chicken broth, garlic, and ginger. Stir this mixture until well combined and then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the noodles right before you are ready to serve. When you do, toss and cook until the they are hot.

For the Sugar Snap Peas with Red Pepper

  • 14 ounces of sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup of roasted red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds

Get a microwave safe bowl, unless you want to add melted chemicals to your meal. I’m not going to judge. It’s your body, your choice.

Anyway, get a bowl and add all the ingredients except the sesame seeds. Mix them all up and then heat for 6-7 minutes. Stir halfway through to ensure the mixing has been properly done. If you are a classy classical person like myself and don’t own a microwave I suggest you heat your oven to 350 and cook for 10-15 minutes.

When this mixture has been properly heated you may add the sesame seeds. I added black ones because they were left over from a previous recipe.

They taste the same to me, so I believe it doesn’t matter what color you get.

As I said before, this meal was a success. It was easy to make and satisfying.

I love you Sandra Lee. Why are you so perfect? You’re probably a real blonde too.

Nevermind, I hate you.

Just kidding. I hate myself.

Just kidding. I’m trying to be funny and this is the only way I know how.

….now I’ve confused myself.

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Somen noodles of goodness

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Snap peas!

 

 

Salmon Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

My next recipe was sent to me, via my mother years ago. She found it in a magazine. I can’t recall which one she got it from, but she thought it looked healthy and tasty. She wasn’t wrong.

This simple salad is filling and yet lite. It’s a healthy slab of salmon that doesn’t require a heavy dressing to be tasty.The tomatoes compliment the salmon and add a light juicy flavor. It’s the perfect salad to ween yourself off of heavy dressings like ranch and blue cheese, because it teaches you how tasty a salad can be without all the fatty bells and whistles. Trust me, I loved ranch dressing in my youth, but now I crave balsamic dressings with oregano because they compliment as opposed to overwhelming the taste of a salad.

So to make this healthy protein salad, you’ll need 16 cherry tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, plus a 1/4 cup for later, 4 6 oz. salmon fillets with skin, 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil, and 4 oz. of mixed baby green lettuce.

The first step is to pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Once it’s heated you will place the tomatoes inside to roast, but before you do so, drizzle two teaspoons of oil on top. They will roast for about 8 minutes.

While they are roasting, you will cut a couple of diagonal lines into each salmon fillet and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. This technique is called scoring and is done to open up the meat so it absorbs ingredients more deeply. Once you are done scoring, place the salmon on a saute pan with the salmon skin facing down. Set the heat to medium-low and then finally to high. I admittedly do not understand this, since there are no instructions as to how long you are supposed to keep it on medium-low, but I’m assuming it’s so the salmon can be a bit slow cooked. Anyway, you will cook the skin side for 2-3 minutes and then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes. The goal is for the salmon to have a slight pink color in the middle.

Once that’s done, you might as well make your dressing. To do so, you will slowly whisk and pour, the grapeseed oil and 1/4 cup of olive oil into a bowl with the lime juice already inside. Season with salt and pepper to your liking as well.

The final step is to put everything together! So, get your lettuce out, place a salmon fillet on top with some tomatoes, and drizzle with oil.

The final result, as I said at the top of this entry, is quite good! I feel it’s versatile as well. Meaning, that you could just keep the recipe for the tomatoes and salmon, add rice, and just sprinkle a bit of lime juice for flavor.

That’s the beauty of salmon, though. It’s simple to cook and doesn’t require a lot of dressing up. It’s a low maintenance kind of gal.

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Flaky, crispy, tasty, and healthy!

Tortilla Española

This recipe comes from Portlandia, which is proving to be a marvelous little cookbook. Portlandia is the only cookbook I own based on a show, but I did cook from a Sopranos cookbook with a past boyfriend of mine. We were both big fans of the show and only a quarter Italian. We hoped that somehow we could become more Italian American if we received consultation from a Sopranos cookbook. We ended up cooking several recipes from it and all were quite good. We did not become more Italian, however. He’s married with a kid and lives in Minnesota now. I dare say he became less Italian over the years.

Oh my god……I WON! Take that! Who cares if I’m single and unable to fully support myself!? I’m more Italian now!

Who need responsibility, kids, and cold climates anyway?

If by some strange miracle that ex reads this, I’m being my usual goofy self, so please don’t take offense. I’m happy that you are happy. Also, being that you are a writer, please don’t be too cruel about my lack of writing skills.

Let us move on.

As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m just a white girl from a small town in Indiana. I’m getting more Italian and gentrified in general, but I had never heard of Tortilla Española. I looked it up before writing this entry and discovered that it’s the Spanish version of an omelette. I say it’s more like a quiche than an omelette, though.

Also,according to my research, tortilla’s origin meaning is small cake. I found that quite interesting and it made me feel better about when I first moved to California. I used to call tortillas, tortilla shells. My California friends would look at me funny  every time and say, “It’s just a tortilla, you don’t need to add an extra word in there.”

If I had known what I know now, I could have quipped back. “It is not a small cake! Ok?! It’s a shell, a tortilla shell!”

Anyway, the authentic version of this dish consists of potatoes and frying oil, but our Portlandia version is mostly scallions and chorizo. This is fine with me, though. I love chorizo. It is a meat I was missing out on until I moved here. 20 some years without the knowledge of chorizo is a sad thing to admit.

So to make this, you’ll need 12 large eggs, 1 5 ounce bag of flavored chips, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 large scallions, and 3 ounces of chorizo.

Guess what the first step is?! Pre-heat the broiler! Don’t you love it when the first step is so simple?

The next step is monkey easy as well. All you do is beat all of your eggs, lightly crush your chips, and soak for ten minutes. By the way, feel free to pick whatever flavor you want. I went with jalapeno myself. Lay’s has a biscuits and gravy flavor at the moment if you want to live dangerously. Maybe that’s what they are good for, because they certainly aren’t tasty on their own.

While the chips soak, get a large skillet out and pre-heat with your oil. Once heated up, add the scallions and chorizo. I should mention that I always buy the “crumbled” version of chorizo, but if you decide to get a link, you will want to finely chop it before cooking. I recommend getting the version I buy. I mean it’s already finely chopped and it’s delicious. Why make things harder for yourself?

You will cook the chorizo and scallions for about three minutes over high heat too. Basically you are just waiting for all the fat to sizzle out in this step. Once it’s sizzled away, add your egg mix to the skillet and mix away. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about three minutes again. This time, you are wanting the egg to settle on the side of the pan.

Once it has settled, you place the skillet in the oven and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the tortilla is lightly browned.

After that, you should have a lovely small cake of egg and chorizo! Mine turned out really well! I was extremely pleased with this recipe. It was simple, effortless, and delicious! I will certainly make this again and highly recommend it.

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Spanish egg cake

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It’s not the most classy food picture, but trust me it’s good.

Sausage and Mushroom Pasta

This recipe is from Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade Meals. I used to make this pasta back in college all the time. It was one of my favorites. As far as my tastes go, I can’t go wrong with linguine, sausage, and mushrooms.

This cookbook is perfect for beginner cooks too. They should re-name it, Cooking for Dummies. I’ve managed to not screw up any recipe from here yet. We all know I’m a bit of a cooking dummy, so that’s saying something.

What you’ll need to make this, is one box of linguine, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 links of spicy Italian sausage, 2 garlic cloves, 2 sliced portobello mushrooms, 1 10 ounce can of diced Italian tomatoes,  and one 7 ounce container of pesto with basil.

The first step, as with most pasta dishes, is to boil a large pot of water to cook your pasta with.

This is an easy step and admittedly my pasta has been sticking to my pot lately. This wasn’t a problem for me in the past, so I was irritated by this new problem of mine. I mentioned this to my mother and asked if I should put oil or butter next time, but she said that wasn’t necessary. She thinks I’m not putting enough water in my pot. That is a possibility I’m wanting to test out for next time.

Anyway, while your pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the sausage and garlic. Cook this and stir for 5 minutes, eventually breaking up the sausage as it cooks along. I was having a hard time breaking up my sausage and I recommend purchasing and using cooking scissors to make this step easier.

After the sausage is cooked, add the mushrooms for another 5 minutes of cooking. Then add your drained tomatoes and the pesto. Bring that to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

That’s all there is to it! You don’t even have to add any additional spices. It’s so easy and not too expensive either.

It’s surprising how well tomatoes pair with pesto too. It’s not something I would normally put together, but it adds a slightly juicy texture to the sauce and compliments the mushrooms and sausage as well.

So go ahead and try this one out! It’s scrumptious and delicious, but not malicious.

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Huevos Rancheros or Rancher’s Eggs, for the Gringos

I was excited about this Huevos Rancheros recipe in Cook This, Not That. Even though it’s fairly simple to make, this gringa has never attempted to make it before. That’s not a huge shocker though. I love eating breakfast, but I don’t like making it. Why? I don’t why, I just don’t.

Ok fine, it’s because I’m terrible at making omelettes. I realize this is not an omelette, but it’s related. I either get impatient and don’t wait long enough or I wait too long. Plus, I’m not a morning person. I’d rather drink coffee and have people give me breakfast then make it for myself. Walt Jr, would hate me if I was his mother. I mean what would he do in Breaking Bad if I was his mother?

Anyway, this recipe is a healthy alternative, but it doesn’t require a whole lot of tweaking. Not frying your eggs and tortillas is the basic major change. I’m a gringa that grew up in the mid-west, but something tells me it’s not an authentic recipe either. Like I said though, I’m just a white girl, what do I know about these things?

What you’ll need to make this is, 1 16oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, 1/2 of a chopped onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper, 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1 16oz can of black beans, pinch of ground cumin, 8 eggs, and 8 corn tortillas.

I should note that this serves 4, but you can still prepare most of it as it’s written. The eggs and tortillas can be adjusted accordingly.

Your first step is going to be making the salsa. To do so, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle, cilantro, and half of the lime juice in a food processor. I should note that I just had some lime juice in a bottle. I think I added two tablespoons, but I admittedly don’t remember exactly. It’s not something that’s too difficult to eye though. Anyway, you will blend those ingredients until it’s slightly chunky.

The next step is to prepare the beans. The beans don’t require much, you just need to mix them with cumin and the remaining lime juice. Again, you can eye this if you don’t have a fresh lime. Once that’s mixed, feel free to season with salt and pepper and then mash lightly with a fork.

You are now ready to assemble your eggs!

Coat your skillet with some Pam and break open however many eggs you want. Cook the eggs over easy style.

Meanwhile, on another skillet, heat up your tortillas. Generally a minute on each side will do the trick.

Once that’s done, you add it all together for heavenly egg glory. To do so, spread the beans on the tortillas first, then the eggs, and finally the salsa.

If you’re feeling frisky, you can also garnish with cilantro. I do recommend this.

I also recommend stocking up on as much cilantro as possible when you visit El Pollo Loco if you are cheap like me. I mean, why not? You can have some tasty chicken the day before and then the next day use your free cilantro for whatever you need it for.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you enjoy this recipe, because I did.

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Rancher’s Eggs!