Friday, January 15, 2010

You may wonder why I have started a blog....

There are many other things I should be doing, and many others that I need to do, but somehow I was just drawn to do a blog. I don’t know if anyone will ever read it I don’t know how long I’ll do it. I have not told anyone that I am doing it, and I don’t know much about it, but here it is.
As ridiculous as it sounds I was inspired by the movie Julie and Julia. Please, do not think I am going to do a marathon cook-off or anything, but I never realized how accessible blogging was or how many cooking resources there are within the thousands of foodie blogs I have searched - at least as compared to the standard recipe sites. (However, at some point I will make Lobster Thermador!)

I made recipe books in the form of scrapbooks for my family this year for Christmas and they were really appreciated, and I had fun doing it! As I was writing out my recipes, and taking food pictures, I realized that it was another way for me to be creative, and hey - the stuff just looks and tastes good!

I think this will allow me to become more inspired to do some great things in the kitchen and share with more than just my husband and 2 teenage boys who really do love to eat. I get a real sense of satisfaction when there is silence at the dinner table, and all I hear is the clanking of utensils, and chewing. Is that strange? I don’t know.
It happened the other night with meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. The poor dogs didn’t even get any leftovers except for some gravy remnants left on the plate. My 14 year old took a huge dollop of potatoes, a big ladle of corn, cut up a thick slice of the meatloaf, put that on top, and added about ¾ cup of gravy on top. He ate it all, and then did it two more times. Wow. That makes me happy.

So, here it is:

Riekee’s Meatloaf & Gravy
2 Lbs Ground beef
1 Package onion soup mix
1 egg
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¾ cup tomato sauce
2 packets instant beef broth
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chopped parsley (or dried)
½ cup breadcrumbs or enough to hold everything together

I mix all the wet ingredients with a whisk, and then add to that the dry ingredients except for the breadcrumbs. I then incorporate the meat without working it too much. I used to really mix it a lot, but after all the hours of food network I have watched, I have found this not to be the correct way, and I definitely had had better results – “less is more”.

Then I put in just enough breadcrumbs to hold it together, shape it into a loaf & bake it at 350 for 1 hour.

2 tbls finely chopped onion
3 tbls butter
3 tbls flour
1 can beef stock
2 tsp “Better than Bullion” beef base
Freshly cracked black pepper

The juices that the meatloaf puts off is almost all fat & not worth putting into the gravy. I guess you could put the beef broth into a gravy separator, and then add the meatloaf juices if you must, but I don’t feel that this gravy is lacking anything.

Sautee the onion in the butter until soft, but not browned. Add the flour and cook about 10 minutes. Slowly add the beef broth and beef base, and whisk until blended completely.

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