Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Amazing Meatloaf

Like every new wife, when husband and i got married i wanted to prove he got a good wife that knew how to do things. Keep the house clean, not screw up the laundry by not turning white things blue, and most importantly cook for him. The thing with cooking for a guy: he wants everything to taste like how his mom makes it!.... I'm not fighting that as much as i was a year ago though, thank goodness. Not that i don't love his mom, or her cooking (i love them!), but "mom's home cooking" is almost impossible to compete with for anyone.
I know how to cook
. I'm not a pro by any means, but i don't back down from a challenge. Of all people, oddly i thank my dad for my cooking skills. I learned basic cooking from my my mom, but when i started high school and my parents divorced my brother and i stayed living with my dad. My dad did all the cooking then.....if that's what you want to call it. We had mass amounts of spaghetti, mac & cheese, tacos and frozen pizza. There were some frozen veggies thrown in there occasionally, but i think the only time i remember having real cooking was when my dad started dating my future step-mom. Then he was making steak and potatoes....for every meal she had with us! But they got engaged, and then married, and my step-mom (already a mom of 5) made the quality of food go up significantly. She's the perfect example of a Suzi Homemaker/Molly Mormon, and i love her for it. A health conscious cook, always makes real homemade food (and as proof of that, she didn't even know how to make ramen noodles because she never made packaged food). But, one day my dad decided that i needed to learn to cook and help out around the house a little more that way, so i was given the chore to cook for everyone at least twice a week. I wasn't allowed to make anything that was a package meal (i.e. no kraft mac & cheese or hamburger helper). It had to be homemade. So i did it, i learned how to cook food, and i thought i had learned pretty well.
But how do you compete with Moms home cooking?? When we got married, I would make things, and i always made the mistake of asking if it was ok...he always told me there was something wrong with it! "Too salty." "It doesn't need the spinach." "My mom does it a different way, you should get recipes from her", too much this not enough that a little dry blah blah blah. i don't want a food critic, i want a husband grateful that someone can cook for him. I had to stop asking how it tasted because i'm too sensitive to take all the nitpicking. It made me crazy. But i kept continuing to try to make new things every week so we could find something i made that he did like....
Then it dawned on me: my MEATLOAF!
Of all things, yes i thought of meatloaf. i make the best meatloaf in the world. i had first learned how to make it when i was living at home on one of my cooking nights. I was out of ideas of what to make, and my step-mom mentioned this Meatloaf that a friend of hers had mentioned to her, so she and i decided to give it a try. It was an instant hit in our home, so why shouldn't i try feeding it to husband?
So, I asked him if he liked meatloaf. "Sure" he said, "its nothing special to me, but i'll eat it". Ok fine, i though, but he's never had MY meatloaf. So i told him about it: Cream cheese and Spinach stuffed Meatloaf.
"Eww" he said "No, i don't like cream cheese or spinach".
I've had little kids tell me the exact same thing, but they tried it and loved it. i was frustrated with him at the time from having such a hard time finding things he would like, so the least he could do would be to try i made it anyway.
And guess what?
He LOVED it.
After that, every time i asked him what he wanted for dinner he would ask for my meatloaf :]] He didn't care if he had already ate it that week or not. He stopped nitpicking my food i made and stopped suggesting i get him moms recipes too. Yes, i will get some from her the next time i see her because i love recipes and i'm sure being a mom of 6 that she has some really great ones, but the pressure was off.
Praise the Meatloaf!

I made my amazing meatloaf the other night, so i figured i would share it with all of our readers :]

You can make this with any recipe you may already have for meatloaf, its just the cream cheese and spinach that are extra really.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe Ingredients
• 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
(i used lean ground turkey cuz i like to avoid red meat & it tastes the same to me)
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 8 oz. (1 pkg) cream cheese
• bag of spinach
9 x 13" glass pan
wax paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients except ketchup, cream cheese, and spinach in a large bowl, and mix well.
pull a large piece of wax paper a few inches longer then the 9x13 baking dish and flatten the meat mixture onto it to about the same size as the baking dish. Having it that size makes it easier to get a good thickness so it doesn't rip when you roll it up or bake it.
melt the cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 sec. so that it is spreadable
spread the cream cheese over the top of the rolled out meat mixture
Place as much or as little of the baby spinach leafs on top of the cream cheese. i used to lay each leaf individually to completely cover the cheese, but then i realized it doesn't really matter. Dumping it on top and distributing it is easier and i'm pretty sure you get more spinach stuffed in there.
Roll it up! Fold one end in and keep pulling it over by the edge of the wax paper as you separating the meat mixer and paper to form a rolled up "log"
Place into middle of the pan, seam side end on the under side so it doesn't unroll while its cooking.i like to throw in baby carrots into the sides of the pan when i bake it
Bake for 1 Hour.
The last 10 or 15 minutes of baking, put ketchup on the top.

Stuffed Meatloaf! Cut it up to the portion sizes you like and serve with anything you like to eat meatloaf with. It's wonderful! It makes great meatloaf sandwiches with the leftovers too. AND Husband now actually likes spinach, so that's another plus.



Jenny said...

Wow Cassie, that looks amazing! I am definitely going to have to try it sometime. John should consider himself a LUCKY man. I rarely ever cook a meal for Doug. When I cook for just myself, which has been a lot lately with Doug gone, I usually make Ramen.

...and I couldn't believe that your step mom didn't know how to make Ramen. That is the foundation of my cooking skills! :P

JAG said...

This looks SO good! We're going to have to try it!!
Would you mind if I posted it on my recipe blog when I'm done? I'll give you the credit, of course!