Monday, October 9, 2017

Pizza Meatloaf

I have not blogged for some time but wanted to share a recipe I just made since it is Monday meatloaf day.  I found the idea on the internet while I was looking for another recipe and thought I’d like to try making a meatloaf with pizza ingredients.  I don’t use a recipe when making a meatloaf.  I usually toss it together with whatever I have or whoever I’m cooking for.  In that, I tossed it together and the measurements are a rough guess and an afterthought.  There are no rules here.  You can toss in anything you put on your pizza and make it your own. 

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. lean hamburger
Fresh mozzarella cheese 
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 large egg
½ cup Italian bread crumbs (I used gluten free)
1 can pizza sauce

Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

Using your hands, mix the sausage and hamburger together well.  Add the egg, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and mix well again.  Add your seasonings and mix well.  You can use your mixer but I like using my hands when making meatloaf.

Take a large meatloaf pan and put ½ the mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Slice your mozzarella cheese into ½ inch slices and place down the middle of the meat from one end to the other.  Take your remaining meat mixture and place on top of the cheese covering it completely. 

Place in your oven and bake for 1 hour.  Take out and cover with the pizza sauce and put back in the oven for another ½ hour.  Take out and let cool a few minutes.  I drained off the grease at this point and sliced and served.  It tasted like pizza without a crust.  Serve with a nice crusty garlic bread.

Variations:  Now you can get creative and on top of the mozzarella cheese place whatever toppings you like on your pizza like mushrooms, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, bacon, peppers, caramelized onions, etc.  Or you can just keep it simple like I did. If I had pepperoni, I would have used it. 

Like it hot?  Use hot Italian sausage or add more pepper flakes or a little hot sauce.

I used onion powder and garlic powder but you may cut up an onion or chop garlic and go fresh ingredients if you like.  I kept it simple.

Go ahead and play with your food and make it your own.  Have a great fall day and may God bless you and yours.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fruit Enchilladas

Apple Enchilladas

Need a quick dessert?  Here is a great one I like because I always have the ingredients since I can apples from my apply tree every fall and I also always have tortillas in my frig.

10 or 12 -  8 inch  inch tortillas
1 jar or can of apple pie filling (I use my apple pie in a jar that I can)
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs. cinnamon
Jar of caramel sauce (I used Hershey's store bought)

Pre-heat your oven to 350°.

Melt a stick of butter and put in dish large enough to dip your rolled tortillas in.

Mix a cup of sugar and a good amount of cinnamon in a dish large enough to roll your tortilla in.  I love cinnamon so put in several table spoons.

Fill your tortillas with your sliced apples and roll them up tight.  Roll your tortilla in the melted butter and then in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Lay them down with the end of the tortilla face down in a sprayed 9 X 13 inch baking pan.

Bake for 20 minutes.

You can serve them warm or cold, but I prefer them hot with caramel sauce drizzled on the top.  You can also put a dollop of whipped cream on top.

For my apple pie in a jar recipe, you can do a search up in the top left hand corner and find it.

I've served them several times to company and they were a real hit considering there was little fuss.

Tried them with peaches and they are equally a good.

I was gifted some peaches so made peach pie in a jar just by substituting peaches instead of apples.

Peach Enchillada
I can see this made with blueberries or even a mix of berries.  Play with your food and create something wonderful.

Hope your day is fuss free.  The sun is shining here and the weather is going to be great so I expect my day to be stress and fuss free.  Funny the difference the sun can make.  May God bless you and yours on this gorgeous Monday.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentine Tortilla Chips

I have book club tomorrow and we are having Mexican food so thought I'd play with Valentine Mexican dessert.  Here is what I came up with.  I'm making my chocolate covered strawberries and serving sweet tortilla chips on the side for a Valentine finger dessert.  I've posted my stuffed strawberries before so you can do a search using the search tool up in the left hand corner by just typing stuffed strawberries.  Today I'm showing you how to make a very simple dessert that anyone can make in minutes.

Take small flour tortillas and using a kitchen scissors and quarter them.  It is easy to turn the quarter piece into a heart by just making 3 simple cuts.  Round the two corners and one more cut to cut down into the top making it a heart.

Make a bowl of just powdered sugar and a bowl with sugar and cinnamon to your taste.  I like lots of cinnamon.  Set aside.

Put vegetable oil in a large fry pan and heat on medium.  Once the oil is hot, drop your hearts into the hot oil. Do not over crowd and do not walk away.  It does not take long to brown.  Flip after you see browning starting.  

Take out of the oil when both sides are golden brown and drain on  paper towel.  While still hot, dip your warm chips into the sugar of your choice.  I like to make both but you can just stay with one if you like.  Because it does not take long to make you can serve these while they are still hot.  Serve them with chocolate syrup to dip in or as a cookie with ice cream.  They are great just to eat alone.

Variation - Not a dessert person then use corn tortillas and make corn chips and serve with your favorite salsa.  

You can also take a large tortilla and cut larger hearts.  For Valentines Day try make quesadillas or tostadas piled high with your favorite toppings.  

Try making a taco salad using your heart chips.  

Hope I gave your some new ways to celebrate Valentines Day via the tortilla.

Have a great day and may God bless you and yours.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spaetzel Dumpling Casserrole

Today is one of those days calling for comfort food and I'm going to my German roots to be comforted on this Groundhog Day with sleet and grey skies outside.

We Germans love our noodles and pastas.  I had a foreign exchange student back in 2007 who made us a noodle casserole that we fell in love with.  I'm playing with his recipe and making it a spaetzel casserole and using bacon.  He used ham.

To make the little spaetzel dumplings you need a tool to make the tiny things.  I use an old metal colander but you can use an actual tool designed for it or get creative.  You can also use an old potato ricer and push the dough through and then cut off with a knife.

I'm too cheap to buy a new tool so am very happy with my method of pushing the dough through the metal colander with a spatula.  It has always worked fine.

To make the spaetzel:

4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine the eggs, milk, salt, flour. The batter should not be too thick.  It has to go through the holes in the colander.

Bring a big deep pot of salted water to a boil.  Put your colander over the boiling water.

Once your batter is mixed well pour half the dough in the colander and using a spatula push it through the holes allowing the the mixture to drop into the boiling water into tiny dumplings.  Push it all though and then add the 2nd half of the mixture and push it through.

Take the colander away and let the little dumplings boil, stirring them.  When they are all floating on the top, they are done.

Pour them into a pan and let cool.  Melt your 4 tablespoons of butter and pour over the dumplings to keep them separated.  Add you nutmeg and pepper to taste.

Pre-heat oven to 350°.

In a bowl add together:

2 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (You may mix mozzarella cheese, Monterey and/or cheddar)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs 
12 strips of pre-cooked bacon cut into 1 inch pieces (or you can used cubes ham)
Lightly salt and pepper

Mix all of the above together.  Pour over the buttered spaetzel.  Top with a little more cheese if you like.  

Bake for 30 minutes.  

Serve hot out of oven with a salad or veggie.


You don't want to make the spaetzel, just substitute noodles of your choice.  That is what Johannes did.

You can also just make the spaetzel and serve it as a side dish with German sausage and sauerkraut. You can use the spaetzel like potatoes.  Make pork chops or a pork loin and make milk gravy and pour over the side of spaetzel.

Make a double batch and once you have boiled them, freeze and use on another occasion.  You can pull out of the freezer and just put in a frying pan with a little butter and sprinkle it with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg and serve it as a side with meal.  

Hope you enjoy it.  This recipe has bacon so it has to be good :).

Have a warm and cozy evening and may God bless you and yours.  


Friday, December 25, 2015

Orange and Berry Fruit Compote

I'm getting ready to go to our Christmas brunch and had fresh blueberries and raspberries but not enough to make something big so I decided to make a compote out of them with a can of Mandarin oranges to extend it a bit (One of my mom's tricks and skills she taught me.  She could extend everything to feed 8 kids.  This is my first year without her so this in honor of you mom).  Turned out pretty tasty.  I'll share because I think it is good enough to make again and share with others.

Try putting it over ham, pancakes, blintzes or crapes.  You can serve it warm or cold.  Try it hot on the top of ice cream.

¼ cup sugar (you may use less if you like)
1 can of Mandarin oranges with juice (I had a small can but you could use a large one also)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼  tsp. cinnamon 
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 Tbp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt (you can leave out but it increases the sweet taste)
Set half the juice of the canned Mandarin oranges aside.  In a pan pour in the balance of the can of oranges, blueberries, raspberries, sugar, pinch of salt, sugar and vanilla.  Cook until the berries begin to pop.

Make a slurry with the cornstarch and the ½ can of orange juice you set aside.  While the fruit is boiling add the slurry.  Pour slowly into hot mixture, stirring constantly until the compote is thickened to your satisfaction.  I did not use all of the slurry. Take off the heat and serve warm or you can put it in the refrigerator and serve it cold.  

Variation - Try making it with cranberries instead of oranges for a more holiday taste.

Wishing you and yours a very warm, safe, wonderful Christmas.  May God bless you and yours.   

Friday, August 28, 2015

Homemade Sage Sausage

Ground pork is on sale this week at Fareways.  Ten pounds is $1.49 a pound.  I cut it up and make several sausages from it and keep some just as ground pork for meatballs, etc. Making sage sausage this morning.  This is my own recipe that I have played with until I like it.  I encourage you to play with it to your liking.

Homemade Sage Sausage

2 pounds ground pork (you may substitute ground turkey)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoons thyme
¼ teaspoon rosemary
2 tablespoon light brown sugar 
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to mix all ingredients but you can use your hands.  Mix all of your seasoning together first.  Add ½ of the mixture to the sausage and mix.  Once well mixed add the balance of the mixture and mix until it is well mixed. 

Form one small patty and fry about 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Sample the patty to see if you are happy with the seasoning.  If you would like it a little sweeter you can add a little more brown sugar (or maple syrup).   I love sage.  It is so good for you that I’m not too careful measuring it.  I go heavy on it.  You can also add more pepper flakes if you like it hotter.  Create your own recipe by writing it down as you adjust it to your taste.

It is not just for breakfast.  I use it for sausage sage dressing.

I store mine in small baggies.  Before using it, you should let it sit for a day to let the seasonings be absorbed.   It keeps in the refrigerator for a week.  I freeze the rest.

Making your own sausage can save your a great deal of money.  The link sausage I buy for special occasions runs close to $2.50 a pound. Try making fresh Mexican or Italian sausage following the same method and tweak it to your liking.  You can find recipes with a Google search.  

Think we are having brupper (our term for breakfast/supper) here tonight.  Making creamed sausage on biscuits and muskmelon.  

Hope you have a wonderful day.  May God bless you and yours.   

Friday, August 21, 2015

Homemade Mexican Chorizo

It has been awhile since I've posted any recipe but thought this one was worth saving and passing on. For some reason I can't buy Chorizo sausage in Maquoketa any more so have to make my own.  My family loves it mixed with eggs for breakfast or what we call brupper (breakfast at supper).  We serve it with cheese mixed in the eggs and with warm tortillas to make our own breakfast burrito or just tear the tortilla apart and pick up the egg and chorizo mixture with the tortilla.  It is simple and filling.

Homemade Mexican Chorizo

2 lb. ground pork
2 tsp. cumin
½   tsp. ground cloves
½  tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 tbsp. paprika mixed
1 tbsp. chili powder (you may wish to add more)
3 tbsp. apple cider

Mix spices until well combined.

In your Kitchen Aid using your paddle break up the ground pork.  Pour in the vinegar and half the spices, Spread them evenly on the pork, and start working it into the ground pork. Adding more of the spice mixture until it has all been used up. Keep working the meat until all the spices have been well combined into the meat.

Fry up a small patty of chorizo to taste.  Adjust by adding more spices to suit your taste.

It is best to let the chorizo sit overnight before cooking with it. This will allow all of the flavors to come together and make for a better tasting chorizo.

You can freeze the chorizo until you are ready to use it. Since this chorizo does not have casings you can form or shape sausages or patties and keep their form by wrapping them in plastic kitchen wrap. Another way to store the chorizo in the freezer is by portioning out amounts and storing it inside plastic bags. This way you defrost what you need or want without having to use the whole large batch.

Variations:  Like it hot?  Add some red pepper flakes.  You may also add black pepper to the mixture if you like.   Like more color?  Add more paprika and/or chili powder.  

It is also great in tacos and any other Mexican meat recipe you might have.  

I like to look for sales on ground pork.  Often I can find it in 10 pound packages for $1.99 a pound and I make my own sausage, both Italian and Chorizo.  Save a lot doing so. 

With weather changing and wanting to fix warm meals again, think I'll be making chorizo and eggs for my grandsons tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.  God bless you and yours.