Hey ya’ll! I hope ya’ll had as amazing a weekend as me! I spent a lot of time with my family and my dogs and cooking! The weekend wound down with a fabulous Sunday dinner! It’s been 3 years today since I got my sweet little Yorkie, Whiskey! It’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday, but he doesn’t love Whiskey so we’ll just say we were celebrating Whiskey’s homecoming! 😉

Whiskey

On the left is my sweet boy, the day we picked him up, only a few minutes after we left the breeder. He still didn’t have a name, but I thought he looked like a Jack Daniels bottle; black and white, with amber colored feet. I ended up calling him Whiskey instead of Jack because a lot of whiskey bottles are black label with white writing and amber below the label! On the right is my baby, a few weeks ago, sitting in his bed. He’s brought so much joy to my life… I think I’ll be making him some homemade doggy biscuits this week, to celebrate his three years with me. 🙂

So, on the menu tonight is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, butterbeans, and creamed corn. I know some of you are thinking “Yuck! Meatloaf? You feed him that for his birthday?!? But, in my household it’s something we look forward too! As much as we love Summer fresh veggies, we’re meat eaters! For me, a meal isn’t complete without a meat of some kind! My mom could eat nothing but veggies at every meal and not miss it. Not me though… I have to have some kind of protein! Sooooo… since meatloaf is 98.959876876% meat… we love it! And of course, what’s meatloaf without mashed potatoes? Ya just can’t get much more comfort than Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes, makes me feel like June Cleaver!

This really is a great meatloaf though! It’s very moist, whereas a lot of meatloaf is really dry and I think that that is what makes the difference! Sometimes I break it up into little mini-loaves; it takes less time to cook and they’re single servings, but tonight I had a lot of people to cook for, so I did TWO big loaves! And there isn’t much left! In fact, my brother came up to me after supper and said, “Calah, that was the best meatloaf ever!” Which is a huge compliment from anyone; but, especially from my brother because he usually has to pick on me about something! Even if everything is perfect, he’s usually got something to say about something! So tonight, I knocked him senseless with my meatloaf! If you want to make someone speechless with a meal, this is what you need:

Make ya’ speechless Meatloaf:

2-3 lbs Ground Round or Ground Chuck hamburger meat,

1 egg,

1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers,

1 medium Green Bell Pepper,

1 medium onion,

3 cloves garlic,

1 8 oz can crushed tomatoes,

3 tbsp. Worcestershire,

2 tsp. garlic salt,

2 tsp. McCormick cowboy seasoning,

2 tsp. ground black pepper,

1 can Beef broth

IS THAT ALL?!? Haha, I know, you’re like, “Gah, is she ever going to stop listing ingredients? Geez!” But, hey, it’s delicious, you’ll get over it! Now you’ll notice in my pictures that it looks like I used much more than this… I did but that’s because I was making two loaves! So I doubled this recipe, and you can add more or less of anything you want!

SOOO! Now that you’ve got all those ingredients together, put the meat into a bowl. Chop the bell peppers, onions, and garlic. It doesn’t matter how big or how small… it’s up to you, whatever you like! Add the peppers, onions, garlic, egg, tomatoes, Worcestershire, bread crumbs, and seasonings together. I use my hands! I wash them really good and just dig in! It’s so much easier than trying to use a spoon! If you don’t want to touch the meat though (my mom HATES touching raw meat) buy some latex gloves… or steal some next time you’re at the doctor’s office. 😉 You didn’t know I was going to turn you into a thief with this blog did you? See… I’m full of surprises! Now, turn all the meat over onto a pan… I use a broiler pan but you can use a cookie sheet or a casserole dish. I don’t recommend using a meatloaf pan. Here’s why, when I turn the meat over onto the broiler pan, I form it into a loaf and pour the beef broth over the meat, allowing the broth to fall into the bottom of the pan. I then top it with a sauce that I’m about to give you the recipe for; but, allowing the broth to fall into the bottom of the pan means that when it’s in the oven, the meat is being engulfed in that beef broth. The broth will dry up a bit but it’ll also mix with the fat off of the meat and combine giving it a little extra flavor!

Meatloaf unmix meatloaf mixed

Now for the tomato sauce. I’m going to give you two different sauces. The first one is a family favorite! It’s tomato-ey (not sure if that’s a word, but I like it) and sweet. The second one is amazing and tangy and spicy but it’s mustard based and best of all it’s LOW CARB!!

Tomato Sauce:

2 cups ketchup,

1 8 oz tomato paste,

1 tbsp. Worcestershire,

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp garlic powder,

1 tsp ground mustard.

Put it all in a bowl and mix it up really well. Make sure any lumps of brown sugar are crushed up. Now take the spoon you used to mix the sauce and spoon about half the sauce onto the meatloaf. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour! Or you can do what my crazy self did today and put it in the oven for 30 minutes before you actually turn the oven on! But that won’t make it look like this!

meatloaf sauce meatloaf cooked

If you want to make this a low carb recipe, it’s super duper easy! First, when mixing the meatloaf, instead of using bread crumbs or Ritz crackers, use PORK RINDS! Yes, I know, I’m a genius! 🙂 You won’t know the difference! Second, I use Red Gold brand crushed tomatoes, you can use whatever brand you want but on the carb diet, you take away from the carbs for the dietary fiber and protein. This means there are only 2 carbs per 1/4 cup for the crushed tomatoes. You can use a 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise… this will add to the flavor and keep your moisture content up! Third, the sauce!

Dijon Sauce:

2 cups Dijon mustard,

2 tsp. Worcestershire,

1 tbsp. Splenda brown sugar.

Mix it all together, put pour it over the meatloaf AFTER baking!

Now, in my family, mashed potatoes are a special thing. I like to experiment with potatoes. It’s so easy to make them unique and different. There are a million different ways to make potatoes! I don’t know if ya’ll have ever seen the movie Forrest Gump; but, there is a part where Bubba is talking about all the ways to make shrimp. You could say the same about potatoes! Fried, baked, scalloped, sautéed, boiled, au gratin, mashed, roasted, and much much more! I still experiment from time to time but I found one recipe that my family absolutely loves. Every time someone mentions mashed potatoes, they say, “Hey, Calah, can you make YOUR mashed potatoes?” I never thought they would be this popular! Now, people beg me to make them! So, I don’t experiment with mashed potato recipes quite as often anymore! This is what you’ll need!

1 bag (about 10) fingerling potatoes,

1 small bag (about 10) small red or baby new potatoes,

2 cloves garlic, chopped,

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese,

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream,

4 oz parmesan cheese,

1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix,

2 tsp. garlic salt,

2 tsp. black pepper,

1 stick butter.

I know it seems like a lot of potatoes but fingerlings aren’t very big… you can also use just red potatoes in this but I think the fingerlings cut some of the sweetness. Also, at Kroger, the fingerling potatoes come in a net bag mixed with a couple of purple fingerling potatoes that not only give it a little extra flavor but they also give them a beautiful color! I don’t like to peel all the potatoes; I only peel half of them. It’s time consuming and boring and irritating, and tedious; besides, my mama always told me that the potato skin makes your skin, hair, and nails pretty! 🙂

Whatever you decide to do, however you decide to peel the potatoes, make sure you wash them really good. Then place them in a boiler, cover them with water, add the chopped garlic, and turn them on high heat. Allow the potatoes to boil until they are fork tender. Drain the water off the potatoes, while they’re still hot, add all of the ingredients. I use a heavy duty metal spoon to roughly mix it and then turn on an electric to finish them off. Now, my family doesn’t like their potatoes 100% smooth… we still like some chunks of potato so I just get the ingredients well incorporated, stir one more time for good measure, and serve ’em up!

mashed potatoes

I know a lot of people also have a negative outlook on creamed corn. My mom makes this though and it’s always a big hit! We use frozen corn; but, I want to learn to make it with fresh corn. I love fresh corn. 🙂 But for now, we use Pictsweet frozen golden sweet corn. It’s really easy, fast, and simple. It’s one of those side dishes that you can just pour in a bowl, stick it in the microwave, and forget about it until it’s time to serve it!

Creamed Corn:

2 pkg. frozen sweet corn,

1/4 cup milk,

1/4 cup sugar,

1/2 stick butter,

1 tsp. salt,

1 tsp. ground black pepper.

Pour it all in a microwave safe bowl and put it in the microwave for 15 minutes. That’s it! Take it out, stir it well, make sure all the corn has thawed and it’s hot enough, and serve it to your adoring crowd!

creamed corn uncooked   cream corn cooked

Now for the butterbeans! My papaw’s favorite vegetable of all time! We used fresh but you can use frozen! Please don’t use canned! It just seems wrong to use canned butterbeans! This is really simple too! You can mix it all together and let it simmer on the stove, stirring occasionally, while you finish the rest of the meal! Or if you’re like my mom and my papaw… mix up a pan of cornbread, mix up the butterbeans, cut up some onion, and go about your business for about 45 minutes till it’s all done!

Papaw’s Butterbeans:

4 cups butterbeans,

2 tbsp. bacon grease,

2 tbsp. salt,

1 tbsp. garlic,

1 tbsp. black pepper,

Wash the beans really well, place in a pot, cover the beans with water. Add the bacon grease, salt, garlic, and black pepper; put it on medium heat and allow them to boil for about 45 minutes or until soft. You will need to stir occasionally and add more water if needed. It will be obvious if you need more water 🙂 There should always be enough water to almost cover the butterbeans. That’s it! Easy, peasy!

butterbeans

My family has a tradition of buying cucumbers and onions, cutting them up, covering them with a little vinegar and water, sprinkling salt over it and gobbling them up like they’re going out of STYLE! So that’s my last little recipe for you! Buy a few cucumbers, peel them, slice them, and place them in a small bowl. Peel an onion, cut it into rings, and add them to the same bowl. Fill half the bowl with water, the other half with vinegar, sprinkle in a little salt and black pepper. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes, pick one slice of the cucumber up, sprinkle a little salt on it, and enjoy! You can also add tomatoes to this too!

thespread

It all came together really well and my brother in law seemed to like it! Whiskey is not impressed as he only got a couple of butterbeans and then I made him eat dog food! Of all things for a puppy to eat on the day we adopted him! You can see he’s totally concerned about it huh?

whiskey sleep

Ya’ll have a good night! Hope ya’ll enjoy this meal as much as we have!