The comfort burger: a Meatloaf Burger

Meatloaf Burger on a whole wheat bun with some Monterrey Jack cheese and lettuce

Sometimes, you just want a burger. Last week, I was craving burgers so much that I almost caved and went to McDonald’s. *shudders* No. No. I’ve sworn off of that place, honest! I think in the last year, I’ve been there only once. Maybe twice. I’m trying to divorce myself from certain places that I know are just  bad news for me.

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Comfort Food, Jazzed Up – Maple Bacon Meatloaf

A plate holds two slices of maple bacon meatloaf, two halves of a baked potato with butter, salt & pepper, and a pile of peas with a nob of butter on top.There was a bunch of ground beef in my fridge that needed to be cooked up or tossed into the freezer. It’s been kind of cold as of late, so comfort food was kind of  priority number one a week ago or so. I found out a few years ago that hubby loves meatloaf. It was something he never got as a child — his mother just never made it. I don’t know if she didn’t like it or maybe his dad didn’t like it, but hubby had just never experienced it. It was practically a staple food  in our home, when I was growing up.

So the first time I made it was an experiment. When he took his first bite, I held my breath because I really feel that meatloaf is one of those “love or hate” dishes. He loved it. So ever since then, I’ve been trying to find new and exciting ways to jazz up this comfort dish. This time around, I originally wanted to do something with beef and teriyaki, but realized I had no teriyaki sauce (I usually have a jar of it around). I had no eggs (they had just expired), so I was thinking that I could get moisture and binding from something sticky. I started hunting around for something else sweet and stumbled across the bottle of maple syrup. Here’s what I did with it…

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Mid-week meatloaf triplets

Three finished meatloaves on a wooden cutting boardHubby came home with a lot of ground beef this week. I think he was trying to tell me that he was really missing red meat, as we generally do a lot with chicken. But after making my pot roasts a few weekends ago for him and my mom, I think he’s got the “red meat bug” — which is absolutely fine because variety is the spice of life!

But what to do with it? One package went into a pasta sauce over fettucini noodles at the start of the week. Nothing fancy, but it was filling and it was a homemade sauce that wasn’t super-loaded with preservatives and such. These three? If I didn’t do something with them soon, they were heading for the freezer and would end up in another sauce, likely. I didn’t want burgers. But hey, wait… what about meatloaf?  It’s easy to make. I had all the ingredients on-hand. And really, we don’t have meatloaf often.  So as you can see, I made not one, but three! Here’s what I did… Continue reading

Bacon-wrapped stuffed turkey breasts w/twice-cooked garlic mashed potatoes

A white plate painted with green ivy holds two slices of bacon-wrapped stuffed turkey breasts, peas, additional stuffing, Yorkshire Puddings and twice-cooked garlic mashed potatoesI have a tiny little kitchen. It’s an apartment or galley kitchen. It’s larger than some I’ve seen, but there really is only (just barely) room for me to move back and forth in. Whenever poor hubby comes to get a drink while I’m in there, he hears an apprehensive, almost warning voice emanate from me, asking, “What… do… you… need?” I don’t like other people coming into  the kitchen while I’m there. After accidentally bumping into the oven too many times to count due to having another human being in the kitchen with me, perhaps my hesitation can be a little understandable.

Despite this, I wanted to make us a special dinner for  Christmas Eve. I didn’t want to get a turkey for just the two of us, so I snagged a couple of turkey breasts from the grocery store a couple of days ago. Sure, I could have just baked them off, but I wanted something fancy.

Inspired by a couple of Food Network Christmas shows (namely the ones with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey in them), I decided I wanted to stuff and roll these turkey breasts. Continue reading