Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meatloaf Cake

Doesn't this look just like a cake, especially with the potatoes on top that look like icing? This recipe was loosely based on this Rachael Ray recipe. Rachael's recipe is meatloaf that has been baked flat with sliced potatoes over the top and cheese sauce poured over. I really wanted to try this recipe, but didn't have the time allowed for the prep and the baking so I improvised. I made my own turkey meatloaf - used 1 pound of ground turkey, a slice of gf bread, egg replacer, ketchup, a sprinkling of Italian seasoning, salt/pepper, chopped basil and put it in a small rectangle pan and baked it at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. While it was baking, I had just one Yukon gold potato (1 was just right), so I chopped it and boiled it for about 12 minutes. I then made a sauce - I put Earth Balance in a pan and whisked in about 1 tablespoon of arrowroot. I heated 1/2 a cup of chicken stock and 1/2 a cup of almond milk in the microwave and poured it in the pan, whisking while pouring. Back to the potatoes, I drained them and put them back in the hot pot and started mashing, adding a touch of chicken stock (if you boil your potatoes right, they don't need all that milk and butter to mash, just use a little stock, and you have healthier potatoes). After the potatoes were set, I mixed in about a handful of shredded parmigiana cheese and left it on the stove. For the sauce, I added some chopped basil (which I included in the meatloaf) and left it on the stove.

After the meatloaf baked (it shrunk about an inch on all sides) I took it out and I turned the oven temp to broil. I then spread the mashed potatoes over the top and used an off set spatula to cover the meatloaf. I used the spatula to "poke" holes in the meatloaf so as I poured the sauce over, it would seep into the meatloaf. I placed the meatloaf cake under the broiler and broiled for about 3 minutes - I just wanted the potatoes and meatloaf to meld and not turn brown. I had some sauce leftover in the pan and heated it to pour over each "cake" slice.

This came out really good. Probably not as good as Rachael's, as I didn't use her meatloaf recipe, but it wasn't bad at all and I would probably do this again and maybe use ground Italian sausage instead of turkey and make a marinara sauce instead of the sauce I made.

So, next time you're having meatloaf, give my idea a try - you just might like it too.

Happy Baking!!!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this recipe or any of my other posts. Thanks! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My New Sewing Machine Cover

My sewing machine lives in a cold basement. Usually, I don't cover it when not in use and recently when my machine went in to get serviced, I asked about the cold and I was recommended to keep my machine covered when not in use.

I decided to make a lazy patch work cover. Basically, I measured my machine and cut out the dimensions from muslin. To try it for fit, I sewed it together and tried it on and it was a pretty good fit. I ripped out the stitches, ironed on some fusible web and went to town with all my scraps. Each piece was randomly placed, the only thing that I planned was measuring and cutting pieces to fit, like a jig saw puzzle. For the lining, I took some brown fabric, spray glued on some insul-brite and quilted it on.

Finished cover

I even cut a notch out for the cord on the side. 

Detailed shot

I think it came out pretty good and I'm very happy that my sewing machine will not be cold anymore.

How do you think it came out? Do you like my new cover? Please let me know.

Thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to Close a Bag of Frozen Veggies

Frozen veggies are great to have in your freezer, they come in very handy when you need extra veggies in your meal or if you need to make a quick side dish. The veggies are frozen immediately after picking and processing so you know it's pretty fresh. The problem is tho, that I never use the whole bag at one time and there's always about a half a bag left after taking what I need. Instead of storing the remainder of the bag in a container or another plastic bag, I just store it in its original bag. Here's how I do it:

When you cut the bag open, cut about 1/2" below the top and 1/2 way across the bag. You want to have 1/2 of it still attached - I'm holding the tail. 

After taking what you need, gather and hold the top in your hands.

Now, take the tail and wrap it around the gather you just made . . . 

and tuck the tail under the wrap - kinda like tying a balloon.

You should now have a sealed bag that's ready to go back in the freezer for the next time you need it.

The bag closes well, it doesn't seal, but keeps things from going in and coming out. This works great for other bagged foods as well. As long as the bag is soft and pliable, you can do this trick. This will save you from finding a container or plastic bag for storage. 

Happy Tying!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this tip or any of my other posts. Thanks!