Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meatloaf

I have an affinity for meatloaf.  Not the rock singer, although I do like his music.  Meatloaf, to me, is the penultimate of down home comfort food.  A nice thick slice of meatloaf and a dollop of garlic mash potato and various greens is my idea of the perfect dinner.   This is what Wikipedia says about meatloaf:  The meatloaf has European origins; meatloaf of minced meat was mentioned in the famous Roman cookery collection Apicius as early as the 5th century.[2] Meatloaf is a traditional German and Belgian dish, and it is a cousin to the Dutch meatball. American meatloaf[3] has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial times.[3] However, meatloaf in the contemporary American sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 19th century. 

My mother used to make meatloaf.  I remember it as being too mushy with green pepper, onions, eggs, white soft bread crumbs and cheap minced beef.  I don't remember it being very flavorful, however I am sure she added salt and ground pepper.  It was mushy in that it never set and would fall apart when you sliced it.  It was tolerable, and certainly better than the other meals she prepared like stuffed overcooked cabbage, stuffed green peppers, or mushy butternut squash.  Shortly after I married my DH, I had to try and make my own meatloaf.  I tried many recipes for meatloaf, but I wanted to make it my own.  So, after many years of practice, I have to say this is my best meatloaf and I'd like to share it with you here.   Bon Appetit  :o)

Sandy's Meatloaf
1 lb. minced (ground) lean beef or ground turkey breast
1 lb. minced (ground) pork
1/4 cup minced dried white onion
2 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP. Tomato paste
1 egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs or crushed unflavored croutons
2 cloves crushed garlic or 1 tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning (no salt added)
1/3 - 1/2 cup ketsup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
In a mixing bowl, combine all but the ketsup.  Mix together until just combined.  Don't over mix as this will cause the meat to become tough.   Place in a glass loaf pan.  Evenly spread ketsup over the top of the loaf.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 55-65 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil for about 10 minutes.  Carefully slice the meat just over 1/4" thick.  Cover leftovers tightly with foil and refrigerate for no longer than 4 days.   Slice cold meatloaf thinly and place between bread slices for lunch the next day. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On Hold

Yes, I've put everything on hold while we are getting ourselves geared up for moving house.   We've crammed every room with boxes and have started the process.  The house we are moving to is very nice and maybe a tiny bit smaller, but just the fact that it is a detatched house is enough for me.  Privacy and quiet is what we've always wanted and had until the new neighbors moved in 2 months ago.   So, we're leaving the semi-detatched and will no longer share walls with anyone!  Hoorah!  
I'm looking way back here and posting pictures of finished quilts that I promised to show.  I love this quilt.  It was so easy and fun.  Taken from the book "Tile Revival", you can find it at Amazon.com. 
I find this one so adorable.  It's a charming adaptation from the book "Pink Lemonade and Other Delights".   I loved working with all the pinks and yellows in this cheerful quilt.
Did I show a close-up of this tumbling block before?  Can't remember, so here it is.  The machine quilting on this was extremely easy!  I used a roll of paper quilting designs called "Quilting Made Easy".  I purchased the rose patterned roll from Keepsake Quilting.   No marking is involved, all you do is measure the width of your top, cut the pattern and peel the tape from the top and bottom and stick it to the middle of your quilt sandwich.  This was a continuous line design, so no stopping or matching lines, just start off in the center as you normally would.  Sew to the end of the width, tie off and come back to the center and work out to the other side.   Keep adding rows until you've completed the quilt sandwich.  The mug mats I did also used one of the roses on the paper pattern sheet.   Paper piecing is easy as well.  No marking involved, and you can use pieces or strips from your scrap bag.  It may be a little messy with paper to tear off, but it is precise.   There are a number of websites with free paper patterns available.   Enough of a break, it's back to packing boxes for me.  Have a great day :o)



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mug Mats

At the Superior Thread website, you can sign up for their Superior University that will teach you how you can use one different thread each month and make a small project.  I've signed up and have made the first project.  The thread is Razzle Dazzle 8wt metallic used for bobbin work.  The project was to make 4 mug mats. 
 
I found using this thread in the bobbin very easy.  The top thread is Bottom Line 60wt polyester.  After sewing around the sandwich and leaving an opening for turning right side out, I chose a free motion paper pattern flower and attached it to the underside so the Razzle Dazzle showed on the top.
I am quite pleased with the results.     
The next project is thread painting with Rainbows threads.


Again, no expectations or apprehension, just go for it and I have to say, I am pleased with these results.   The look of these threads are quite impressive.   I am convinced that these threads are a better choice for embroidery and quilting.  They have a sheen and vibrancy to them and they are very easy to sew with.   Next time we will be making a pincushion using King Tut egyptian cotton threads.    Check out the Superior Threads website and see the projects everyone has made in the program.  Click on University and show and tell.   So far, I've learned more about these threads and would use them again and again.