Culinary Experimentation – Italian Meatloaf

 

So the other night it was my turn to cook dinner.    Knowing I had to use some ground turkey so it didn’t go bad, I had to figure out what I was going to make.    Looking through my cupboards I noted I was running a bit high on ‘Italian’ versions of things.   

In the fridge was also a pound of Jimmy Dean Italian sausage that never got used for pasta and was approaching its expiration date as well.

Never tried a meatloaf with sausage.    Got strange looks when I suggested making meat loaf with it.    But I don’t let that stop me.

It came out really good.    Tasted a lot like meatballs.    I followed the recipe on the back of the meat-loaf seasoning pack, substituting what I had.

 

1 pound ground meat (I used turkey…which is more bland than beef, so you may need to season it more if you use beef).

1 pound Jimmy Dean Italian Sausage

(together that constitutes the two pounds of meat it calls for)

2 Eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup spaghetti sauce   (in lieu of the traditional 1/2 cup of ketchup)

1 1/2 cups Italian Style Bread Crumbs    (the recipe actually called for 1/4 cup but I never can get it to hold its shape right with less than this amount though… maybe high altitude or something…adjust as needed)

 

Just mix all that stuff together real good.    Then form it into a loaf, or be like me and press it into a loaf pan.

Top it off with more of the spaghetti sauce  (my leftover will be pizza sauce tonight as I didn’t use the full jar.)

Bake in a 375 degree oven for an hour or so until the meat is fully cooked.

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the top for the last five minutes or so of baking.   Or some mozzarella maybe… I was going to put that on half of it for myself, but didn’t feel like grating any.

 

Serve warm.   I paired mine with some mashed potatoes and green beans.    Nice thing about this one is that between the turkey and sausage, the meatloaf wasn’t swimming in juices when I pulled it out of the loaf pan.    Gabe likes that soggyness, I don’t.  

 

Tasty.    Indeed the left-overs will likely find their way onto the pizza as well.   Just take a slice, crumble it up, and sprinkle it on the pizza.    (I tend to do home-baked pizza more than buy it these days… better ingredients, better pizza, papa shaun.)

Post VD Day

 

Yesternight’s frozen treat experiment?    Chocolate-covered strawberry ice cream.   In honor of Valentine’s day.   Also lactose free.   Tried out the tapioca cream as a substitute to the heavy whipping cream.  I need to try it with plain old vanilla to make sure it comes out as vanilla-flavored and not tapioca-flavored before I can sign off on it.    For chocolate, though, it worked out beautifully.   Great consistency and nice and creamy.    Better than the deserts we’d have gotten with dinner had we opted for them.

Gabe can’t remember the last time he’s been able to eat ice cream like this.  (A full bowl, two nights in a row.)    Makes me happy.    Truth be told the choice to redeem my service-reward for an ice cream maker was more geared at expanding his menu of dessert choices than anything else.  

 

He returned the favor with perhaps the nicest heart-shaped box of chocolates I’ve ever received.    Its got a plush top to it.    Its so nice-looking I hate to ruin it by eating the actual chocolate.   

 

Ha ha.  Outlook just gave me the email informing me that the ice cream maker has been shipped.  (Wonder if I’m getting another one.)    I got it two days after placing the order.    Old news!  

Frozen desserts

 

First experiment with the new ice cream maker was successful… a lactose-free strawberry ice cream!    made with real strawberries even.  

Alas, no pictures, as I am still the owner of a defunct camera.   Gabe’s is too much of a pain for me to be bothered with using.  Hopefully my birthday will yield me a replacement (I’m hoping for one of those new ones that deals with the pet equivalent of red-eye.)

so you’ll just have to use your imaginations.

Next up…  something else that’s lactose free.   The thing is, the ice cream maker was actually a reward I got from work… but I picked it for Gabe.  He’s not been able to enjoy ice cream in some time and I know he misses it.   I miss it, as we don’t buy it anymore since I don’t eat tons of it and we tend to waste a lot of it if we do buy it.

Lactaid makes the milk, so that part is easy enough to get around the lactose.  The cream is something of a challenge.  I’ve found one lactose-free cream, but not sure I can actually find it in any of our stores.   We’ll see.    An alternative I am going to try is a tapioca cream.   Figure I’ll make some of that tonight and see how it goes.

 

Busy weekend as I was working on web projects in addition to frozen treats.    I have my own cloud now.   Aside from my own sites, I’m also hosting Worst Little Podcast.    I’ll actually be on the podcast here next week, so you’ll have to be sure to check it out.    More details on that soonish.