Easy Classic Homemade Meatloaf

Meatloaf

1-1/2 pounds ground beef

3/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. red pepper

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cups fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tsp. French Country Dijon Mustard

Topping

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 tsp French Country Dijon Mustard

   In a large bowl, combine the beef, ketchup, water, seasonings, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, and mustard.  Thoroughly mix the ingredients.

   Line a half sheet baking pan with ‘Reynolds Quick Release’ aluminum foil.  Shape the meat mixture into a uniform loaf on the foil-lined baking pan. 

   To make the topping:   In a measuring cup, measure the ketchup, add the mustard and the brown sugar, and stir to combine.   Spread over the top of the meat mixture.

 

  Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until meat is done.

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Print Recipe
Meatloaf
Course Main Dish
Servings
Course Main Dish
Servings
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, ketchup, water, seasonings, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, and mustard. Throughly mix the ingredients.
  2. Line a half sheet baking pan with 'Reynolds Quick Release' aluminum foil. Shape the meat mixture into a uniform loaf on the foil-lined baking pan.
  3. To make the topping: In a measuring cup, measure the ketchup, add the mustard and the brown sugar, and stir to combine. Spread over the top of the meat mixture.
  4. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until meat is done.
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Easy No Bake Mini Desserts

July 30, 2015

    There is just something so enticing about these easy no bake mini desserts!  As I was trying to come up with a dessert for the party last week, I recalled having made a Chips Ahoy and Cool Whip ice box cake when the kids were little.  We made this while we were on vacation at the beach.  It may be a combination of the beach just making everything taste better and the light cool confection being perfect after a hot afternoon at the beach, but we all remember how good it was.  I wondered if that would work in a mini version.

 

   So yesterday, using shot glasses, these delectable little desserts were created.  To say that a dessert could not get much simpler is an understatement.  It requires Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies, milk, and Cool Whip.  I also usually add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the Cool Whip.  It seems to make the Cool Whip taste a little more homemade.

    Usually, this is made in a casserole dish.  The cookies are dipped in milk and placed side by side to cover the bottom of the dish.  Then a layer of Cool Whip is gently smoothed over the top of the cookies.  Another layer of cookies on top of the topping follows and the process is repeated until the dish is full, which is usually three layers of cookies and topping.   Then the dessert needs to be chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

   For the mini desserts, after stirring the vanilla extract into the Cool Whip, the topping was spooned into a cake decorating bag.  I tried one of the fancy tips but decided using the large round tip to pipe the topping made the dessert looked better and less fussy. 

   A small bowl of milk was used to dip a cookie on each side.  Then I set the cookie on a plate and using a one-inch round, metal cookie cutter, I cut out a disc for the dessert.  Using the pieces leftover, I lined the bottom of the shot glass with a layer of cookie pieces and then piped a layer of Cool Whip.  The cutout round was set on top of that layer of Cool Whip and the top layer of topping was piped. A little mint leaf and some shaved chocolate were used to decorate the desserts.

   One eight-ounce tub of Cool Whip will make about twelve to fourteen of these mini desserts.  A three-inch deep cake pan works perfectly to corral the little shot glasses and avoid ruining the garnish on the tops.  I  used a layer of tin foil to cover the cake pan before chilling in the refrigerator.

    The family seemed to like these little taste temptations, but I continued to think about what I could add to make it more of a burst of flavor.  So I googled the dessert and came across a post on The Tasting Table,  They used one-third Kahlua in the milk!

     Oh my gosh!  Bailey’s Irish Cream!  Wouldn’t that be great?  That is what I will be trying next time.  The little mint leaf on top will be a perfect garnish, too!  Cool Whip is on the shopping list again today!

    Do you have any other flavor ideas for this easy no-bake mini dessert?  

 
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DIY Backyard Baby-Q Bash

July 27, 2015

    The DIY backyard baby-q bash to introduce baby Memphis seemed to be enjoyed by everyone.  Guests were greeted by a sign directing them to the backyard.  Unfortunately, the humidity had crept up and it was really hot at first.  I was afraid what was supposed to be a backyard event would end up inside, but soon the back deck and patio were shaded and it was really quite pleasant.

    The kids played the ladder ball game, aka hillbilly golf, in the backyard.  Our eight- year-old grandson beat our oldest son in this game!  We have two pretty competitive, athletic boys who are in their twenties.  Needless to say, Aidan was pretty proud of his win.  I picked this game up at Sam’s for forty-five dollars.  From what everyone was saying, it is well made and better than any they had used in the past.  It seems to be a game that even the little guys can play well.

    The guys and some of the ladies played seriously competitive games of cornhole on the drive. That game seems to be such a draw and it definitely takes a little skill, or at least, practice!

   We did serve the food buffet style inside because of the heat.  Since it had cooled down a little and there was shade, guests, for the most part, ventured outside to eat.  We served Tyler Florence’s pulled pork barbecue.  (It was the first time I had actually made this recipe.  I have admitted before that I often try my recipes out on my guests!)  This recipe is so good, I will be using it again.  We served it with an extra bowl of Tyler’s southern style barbecue sauce and also Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce.

    Dave grilled burgers on the grill after I prepared the burgers using the best burger ever recipe I shared in an earlier post.

    Paula Deen’s recipe for coleslaw is my favorite and that is what I prepared earlier in the day.  It only takes about ten minutes to make it.  We always have a vegetable tray at all of our gatherings.  The kids always ask if I am making a veggie tray.  

    Although I don’t use paper plates often, we had so many guests, we used Chinet plates.  We used patriotic napkins and the forks were contained in Mason jars.  Red Solo cups were offered for the fresh squeezed lemonade.

    The little buckets with the blackboard oval or square on the front were found in the one dollar bins at Target.  Little red bowls, which I have had for years, fit in the top and the ridge around the top of the bowls sit on the bucket perfectly.  The chalk labeled containers let everybody know what was inside.

    The dessert table included china plates.  We have a collection of old mismatched dessert sized plates.  I love them because they are so pretty.  They were picked up at garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets.  If one is broken, it is not a calamity.

   Mini cherry cheesecakes in mini cupcake liners of red, white, and blue and a 25-minute chocolate cake were the selected desserts.  They weren’t completely gone, but there were very few left.

    Tiffany, my youngest daughter, let Aidan and Sophia bring one of those Balloon Bonanza Water Balloon Makers we have been seeing on TV.  Each bundle makes forty water balloons and ties them off in no time.  I was not thrilled with the thought of that at first.  However, Kris, Memphis’ dad, and the kids had such a good time with them, I am glad they got to enjoy it.  As Aidan walked up to the deck after the last balloon, I heard him exclaim,”This is the best party ever!”

     This is the first time that I have planned a couples baby shower.  It will not be the last if I am lucky!  It was really enjoyable.  I think I would make the pulled pork barbecue the day before.  The leftovers were as good, if not better, the day after.  Overall, it was a good day.  I thank the Lord for giving us a beautiful day in the end so that we were really able to enjoy this DIY backyard baby-q bash!

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Backyard Baby-Q Bash

July 22, 2015

    This event is coming up quickly and it is not going to be the typical baby shower.  Since Memphis came early, we decided to have more of an introduction party for her and we wanted to include the guys, too.  Danielle is not fond of the typical shower with the typical games anyway.  We decided to host a backyard barbecue with cornhole and ladder ball games instead.  

    PicMonkey, a photo editing site, is my favorite site for editing photos and creating labels, posters, etc.  The invitation I came up with reminded me of a steamboat poster.  Doesn’t Memphis Belle sound like it should be the name of a steamboat?  I know, it was actually the name of a B-17 bomber.  It still makes me think of a steamboat.

    I have been to showers that asked everyone to share words of wisdom for the parents of the baby.  Danielle liked that idea.  It should be fun to read all the comments later.   Since I designed the invitations on PicMonkey,  I went back and designed a label for the canning jar we are using to collect the notes everyone will write.

   As I was looking for some burlap fabric in my storage room, I found a roll of six-inch burlap ribbon.  I thought that would be perfect for wrapping the canning jar and using it as a background for the ‘Words of Wisdom’ label.  So, that is what I did.  I think it looks rather nice. Target had a little notepad printed with ‘Remember’ across the top and I thought it was perfect for the notes.  A pen was all I needed to complete that project.

    In the middle of working on the jar, the idea of using the burlap ribbon for a pennant came to mind.  I had planned to buy burlap fabric for that, but the ribbon would do just fine.

    I made a template from regular paper.  The triangle is eight and one-half inches long and the width of the ribbon, (six inches) wide.   I included an extra inch at the top to fold over to slip the twine through.   I used the font ‘Rye’ on PicMonkey to make the letters two and a half inches tall and printed each on a separate paper.  Then I laid the burlap triangle over the printed letter. Using a black magic marker, I just traced each of the letters onto a burlap triangle.  At first, I was planning on using a ruler to copy the letters precisely, but it was easier and looked pretty good without using it.

   As you can see in the picture, it was easy to see the letters through the burlap.  After I finished a letter, I folded over the top and placed it on twine, which was draped across the front of my black kitchen island.  Immediately, I noticed the letters looked much more clear with a black background. 

 

   So, it was back to my fabric scraps.  I found a good sized piece of black knit.  It almost looked like felt and I thought it would work nicely, and it did.  In the next day or two, I will be posting more detailed instructions on these two projects.  Look for it under the Entertaining Inspirations tab.

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Backyard Garden

July 20, 2015

    The butterfly bush in the backyard garden is a beacon for these beautiful butterflies.  They are all over the bush and then they fly to the neighbor’s yard, only to fly back in a few seconds.  I am glad we have this beautiful bush.  Yesterday, as I walked around the bush to take these shots, the fragrance from the lavender flowers caught my attention.  Right now, I am convinced we need one closer to the sidewalk!

   We usually have a few swallowtail butterflies but this year we have one, which I have never seen before.  I think it might be a zebra swallowtail butterfly. If you know what it is, please leave a comment below.  He was not one to sit still and I did not get the best shot.  He is so pretty!

   There was another butterfly, which is not as colorful, on the bush, but he looked rather majestic in this shot.  He looks like a variegated fritillary butterfly.

    This little dragonfly was resting on the creeping jenny at the edge of the fish pond.  I have noticed three different types of dragonflies in the backyard.

    Sophia and Aidan insisted I run and grab the camera to take a picture of this little dragonfly. They kept an eye on him as I retrieved the camera and began taking pictures.  Then we looked at the shots together and they decided this was definitely the best one.  They were intrigued by his coloring and his eyes.  

    The red roses are probably my favorite flowers.  How gorgeous is this?  The white blur in the background is white sweet alyssum.  The ‘Don Juan’ red climbing rose with the tiny white sweet alyssum flowers all around the base of it, is quite striking.  

    The nasturtiums are blooming!  I thought the nasturtiums from last year would reseed and I would have them coming up this spring, but that did not happen.  Yes, we had a rough winter.  Maybe that is why.  I don’t know.

 

    I most definitely want these flowers in my garden!  This spring, I bought two different kinds of seeds.  One packet of seeds was the Alaska variety and the other was the Dwarf Jewel Mix.  One of the plants in the dwarf Jewel mix has a red colored flower, which immediately caught my attention.  I love it!

    I am looking forward to using the flowers in salads again this year.  The nasturtium vinaigrette I made last year smelled and tasted so good, I can’t wait to make it again.  If you have never had it, you should really try it.  For the recipe click here ►Nasturtium Vinaigrette.

    The daylilies have been blooming for weeks.  I know the final weeks for daylily blooms are near.  This bi-colored daylily is one of the last to bloom.  It signals the end of the season.  They have all put on a beautiful show this year.  I will miss the gorgeous big blooms, but I do have the pictures.  The pictures of the daylilies, the dragonflies, the butterflies and all the beautiful flowers in my backyard garden keep the memories of another great summer alive.

 

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