I love picking people’s brains when it comes to things they make in the kitchen, or little tips and tricks they’ve picked up along the way. When I was out for dinner on Saturday night, the topic turned to food and everyone shared little things they did that were a stray from the norm (at least to me, anyway). Joy uses chicken broth when boiling pasta, instead of water. I’ve swapped out the water for chicken broth when I make rice, and it makes a huge difference, but had never thought to do the same when making pasta. (As an aside, after a trip to Costco this weekend, I learned that they made their mashed potatoes with chicken broth, instead of water or milk too, and for instant potatoes, they were delicious). Joy also uses Progresso tomato soup when making sausage and peppers, instead of tomato sauce. Another swap I hadn’t thought of. Beth poaches her meatballs, instead of pan-frying or baking them. Who knew? And Lisa, well, she doesn’t like to cook or bake and only has five spices in her kitchen (salt and pepper amongst the five), so she’s more of our consumer.
At the time of our food discussion, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner Sunday night, and Beth suggested meatloaf. I haven’t made it in ages because although I love meatloaf (and especially meatloaf sandwiches the next day), the kids aren’t big fans. I usually reserve meatloaf for when we have company over, so Sunday night was perfect. I also promised a neighbor dinner (in return for them generously blowing all the leaves on our steps, not once, but twice), so I could kill many birds with just one bake (doubling the recipe got me three meatloaves; two for dinner, one for the neighbors). Beth mentioned that her husband loves the Lipton Onion Soup version of meatloaf. I usually don’t use a recipe when making meatloaf, but figured I’d give it a whirl.
When I brought the meatloaf to the table, everyone handed me their plates, one by one, to load up on meatloaf, fresh fruit and Garlic Spinach Balls. When it comes to sitting down at the dinner table, Madeline is a bit of a challenge. She is still for a very small window and then she is in and out of her seat, no matter how much begging, pleading or cajoling I do. And if she doesn’t like what’s for dinner, it’s even harder. Fruit is always a good sell and gets her to stay put for a bit. She looked at the meatloaf and started to tell me that she didn’t want any of it. I convinced her to at least try it. Just a few minutes later, I checked back in on her, and she had polished off the whole slice. This is monumental for her, trust me. And Nick? Same deal. Ate his entire piece. He who does not like meatloaf. Out of the two meatloaves that hit the table for dinner, there was half of one left. Five out of six kids had seconds. Gotta love those stats.
I don’t know what made this recipe so much more likable for the kids than the others I’ve made, but it definitely is one of the more moist versions we’ve had. I followed the recipe for the most part, although I swapped out the bread crumbs for oatmeal (as Beth suggested), so the end result was something that was pretty darn healthy and loaded with fiber to boot.
This one’s a keeper. Meatloaf haters be darned.
Need more meatloaf recipes?
This one from Martha Stewart back in February was mighty tasty.
Then there was this one from my chef crush, Tom Colicchio.
And lastly, Sunny Anderson gets in on the action with her turkey version.
As soon as Nick walked in the door after school today, he went looking for hot chocolate. The weather has seriously turned overnight, and with it came hail, crazy wind, spots of snow and cold. Darn you, Mother Nature.
I’ve always liked leftover meatloaf sandwiches better than the first day’s version of meatloaf. Whole wheat bread, toasted, thin slice of Cheddar, horseradish, delish.