I finagled this image from another cooking site—Thank You Maam!
Love Makes Every Dish Better
It is a sure and certain sign that a person loves you when they put every bit of effort they have into making you something to eat.
I love to cook, especially for people I’m close to, and I consider cooking an expression of my love for them, so I try to make every dish “special.”
The Lord has blessed me with a good sense for how to combine the right ingredients in the right amounts to create some fantastic new recipes for meals, entres and desserts. But I don’t intend to simply show and share my love with those in my extended reach. I want to bless everyone, so just in case someone finds my recipes to be a blessing, I will be posting them on this page progressively, one at a time.
If you’ve never tried my Meatloaf, and only a couple hundred people have, then you are missing out on a fiesta for the taste buds. Trust me, I’m far from a self-aggrandizing type, but when it comes to some of my dishes I’m not afraid of overstating how good they are. It often takes some arm twisting to get people to try one or two of them, but once they do they always come back for more.
Meatloaf has a rich and lasting history: using fillers to stretch the volume of meat traces back to the 4th century AD. The Roman Apicus wrote a cookbook which contained a recipe combining chopped meat, bread and wine. His collection of Roman recipes can still be purchased today.
I’ve seen over fifty variations of meatloaf. Anyone can tweak this longtime favorite to suit their own palate. I have one standard Beef Meatloaf recipe from which I’ve created six variations so far, and here, I’d like to share my favorite of those with you. It just so happens that this one is fairly straight forward and does not require as many ingredients as some of my more exotic flavored beef loafs—simplistic, and yet it remains my favorite.
2 lb’s Ground Beef
1 Sweet Red Pepper
2 Med Eggs
1 med to large sized onion
One loaf: BROWNBERRY, HEALTHNUT BREAD.
One and a Half to Two sleeves of Soda Crackers.
1 Tsp. Garlic (minced) or three to four garlic cloves minced.
Sea Salt: ½ tsp.
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You will need Souse Chef Gloves, just like a surgeon uses. I like a tight fit so the gloves won’t get in the way. You could also wear tight jeans as you do this. It won’t affect the recipe but you might look good, unless you have that hyena-hiney thing going on and then I wouldn’t.
Preheat oven to 303.62 degrees. Just kidding, 300 is fine.
Get to picking that bread, tearing off 1 inch pieces. You can use a knife to cut the bread, which is much faster and easier. Using a knife, however, compacts the bread squares on all four sides. I don’t like to smash the bread until it is mingling with the meat, allowing the meat to blend into the bread as… well, we’ll get to that.
For the Crackers I use a bread bag, my hands and a rolling pin. Lots of people doubt the benefit of using soda crackers. But once they realize the enhanced flavor gained by using them, they are forever believers.
Put your gloves on.
Take 5-6 cracker squares at a time and crush them with your hands into a large bowl and then pour into the bag. Do not tie or seal the bag—you need to allow the air to get out. It might take some practice to not roll the cracker crumbs out of the end of the bag, but you’ll get the hang of it.
TIP: Spread the crumbs evenly in the bag on the counter and concentrate on a 2 inch row at a time, working your pin back and forth one quarter of a revolution, pressing down.
Use your rolling pin to finish fully crushing the crackers, then pour them into your bread bowl. Blend bread and crumbs together.
Add your raw ground beef. Then, picking up handfuls of the bread & cracker mix, smush it, squeeze it and squash it into the beef. And you thought it was fun to play with Play-dough—this is better, because the teacher is not going to tell you to stop eating it. (I still love that smell.) Keep blending until it is thoroughly mixed.
Change your gloves, discarding the old ones.
Chop: Pepper, Onion & Garlic, and toss it around the meatloaf.
Beat Eggs and pour over the top of the meatloaf.
Add Sea Salt
The squishing gets really fun now. Same as before, only now you have chunks of vegetables and slimy egg that you want to blend through the mix and there’s just no better way to do it than using your hands. Don’t play with your food, kids. But it’s okay for adults to do it. ☺
Your loaf is now ready to go into your cooking vessels. I use two rectangular (loaf shaped) clear, glass baking dishes. No need to grease the dishes.
To use my highly technical word one more time, “smush” your mix into the dish and pack it down including around the edges.
Put it in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and coat the top of each loaf with ketchup to make a nice glaze across the head of the loaf.
Place it back in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, checking it towards the end, just in case…
When it is done cooking, the loaves will be slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan, and the ketchup will be a bit caramelized (it contains sugar). Some sneaky cooks will stir a little brown sugar into the ketchup to make it caramelize better (Shhh—It’s a secret).
Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. ENJOY!
For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. Psalm 107:9
Farm & Beach Salad
This is one of our favorites that I came up with ten years ago. Done correctly, this recipe offers a party of vibrant flavors and textures in your mouth, while being exceedingly nutritious.
Spiraled whole grain or veggie pasta—10 ounces dry
One Pound Imitation Crab Legs (It’s just flavored cod & sometimes they use whitefish)
Sweet Red Bell Pepper
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Miracle Whip… or your brand of Mayo.
Boil your pasta just beyond an al dente texture (cooked but not mushy), and drain into a colander. Let pasta set in the colander for a few minutes, shaking/tapping out the water a few times.
Chop red pepper—half to 3/4 cup
Chop celery—½ cup
Selectively cut sprigs of raw broccoli—1½ cups.
In an extra large mixing bowl, blend your veggies together with the pasta. I use my hands, wearing vinyl gloves like the ones your doctor uses.
Add 8 ounces (or more to taste) of Shredded Cheddar cheese. Blend it in. To save time you can purchase your cheese pre-shredded.
Examine the crab legs and note how they are simply rolls of pressed fish. Cut rolls into… between ½ to 1 inch pieces. Blend in with other ingredients.
Now you’ll need a mixing spoon. I like to use a wooden spoon for this. Add your Mayonnaise (I prefer Miracle Whip) Amount?— enough to thoroughly coat all ingredients, and then a dab more. But you can just go by taste.
Cover & Chill in refrigerator for one hour.
Serve with wholesome crackers or on a bed of lettuce.
Now you have a very healthy & delicious meal that’s bursting with flavors and has a whole spectrum of textures: smooth, crunchy, crisp, creamy, soft, etc.
Don’t forget to thank the Lord for His provision of all we need.
Close your eyes and imagine you are on a tropical island beach. The water is a clear blue, with waves softly lapping onto the shore. Brightly colored birds are singing in the distant trees behind you, and the sun is blazing down from a clear blue sky. Having trouble putting yourself there? Maybe this will help.
Tropical Delight (Fruit Salad)
You decide how many servings you need, then simply use the SAME AMOUNTS of each of the following, draining well when needed. One cup of each ingredient will render about 5 servings…they will want a lot!
Mandarin orange segments
½ inch cubes of Crisp Apple
Grape Halves (use your favorite kind—mine are the black ones)
Black Cherries, Pitted & Halved
Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (It’s important to have a crunch & add protein.)
Add Cool whip or Sweet Whipped Cream, to taste.
Really? This one doesn’t take much instruction. Just mix it all together… in a big mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or tight fitting lid, and then chill for 1 hour in the fridge. Again, I use my hands covered with surgical gloves to get a good blend BEFORE adding the Whipped Cream. When I add the W.C. I like to use a big wooden spoon.
You can test your tastes with this recipe by altering, adding or deleting ingredients until you get the fruit salad that is right for you & your loved ones.
For a bit more exotic flavor you can also include Chopped Dates, but this is not necessary, and will change the overall flavor, making it a bit too sweet for my taste. Besides, I have a great dessert recipe using dates, which I plan to offer in the future.
PLEASE DO NOT USE BANANAS in the mix, they will dominate the taste, and it will NOT keep well until the next day, darkening the mixture.
Now that we’re all fruity, please check back to this page every so often to find my latest creations. I will try to take some pictures of the actual dishes in the future.
Have a Blessed Day, Filled with Joy, Laughter & Good Food!