a happier post.

by Joanna

Y’all sure are nice, you know that? Your sweet comments throughout the day, plus a relaxing day which included wearing a vintage apron over a vintage dress, cooking one of John’s favorite meals, eating a chocolate (or two) from the box of chocolates that John bought on discount two days after Valentines (because our thought is, why celebrate Valentines Day when the days afterward are so much cheaper?!), unpacking a few more boxes, and watching His Girl Friday, has helped to lift my spirits!

That photo up there is from the one-room school house at Old Cowtown Museum, where our wedding was. Just to clarify: the wedding was in another building at the museum, not in the schoolhouse! I took this picture on one of our many trips to the museum in which we tried to figure out wedding-related things, and what fun those trips were! I love the museum, and now I have one more very good reason for it to be on my list of favorite places!

So how about a recipe? Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from tonight’s meal, but trust me – we think it’s a keeper! John loves meatloaf, and I wanted to make a really great one for him tonight, though I’ve never made a meatloaf before in my life. Also I wanted to not have to go to the store (not just because of my announcement from earlier in the week, but also because I had made a loose menu and shopping trip for the week and meatloaf was not in the plans at the time) – just use things I had in my freezer. I pulled my favorite cookbook down from its shelf and found a recipe for meatballs, which also has instructions  for adapting it for a meatloaf. I made my own changes, of course (that whole thing about not having on hand quite everything exactly as the recipe called for), and we sure did love it!

Meatloaf

adapted from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Meatballs and Tomato Sauce in Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys

Ingredients:

1/3 cup milk

2 slices good quality bread, crusts removed (I used whole wheat)

1 pound ground pork (all I had was a few pounds of pork loin in the freezer. Chopped it down and ran it through the Kitchen Aid grinder attachment, and was good to go)

1 pound ground beef

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup grated mozzarella or Parmesan cheese (I used a combination), reserving some for topping

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

bread crumbs

olive oil

4-5 fresh tomatoes, skinned, pulsed with juices in a blender

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Ketchup, to taste

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat the milk. Soak the bread in the milk, turning the slices over to absorb it. Set aside the saucepan. Cool and mince the bread. Place it in a large bowl. Add the meats, garlic, onion, eggs, cheese, parsley, pepper and salt. Mix together until completely combined. In a large baking dish, form the mixture into a free-form loaf about 2-3 inches deep. Coat in bread brumbs, drizzle with olive oil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss your pulsed tomatoes and Italian seasoning into the same saucepan you used for the milk/bread. Simmer on medium for about 30 minutes. The tomatoes will cook down as some of the juices evaporate. Add 1/4-1/2 cup ketchup to the tomatoes and mix in well. When 10 minutes remain on the meatloaf cook time, spread the tomato mixture on top, sprinkle with leftover cheese, and finish cooking.

There! It was easy peasy, so if you like meatloaf I sure hope you’ll try this one and let me know what you think!

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