Hearty Meatloaf

meatloaf2 (2)When someone says “meatloaf” it conjures up all sorts of thoughts and memories. Some good, some bad! But my mom’s meatloaf was literally the BEST! She got it from our favorite local cookbook author Deanna House. Well, I figured not everyone can get out for a Valentine’s Date, so here’s an option to bring the LOVE to the table! Super easy! And it can be done with any meatloaf recipe. But I think you’ll love my mom’s and this will become your new favorite!

HEARTY MEAT LOAF
1-2 pounds ground beef
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 envelope onion soup mix
TOPPING
3 TBS brown sugar
3 TBS ketchup
1/2 tsp mustard

Mix first 4 ingredients together well. Press into pan in the shape of a heart.

In the original recipe, Deanna says to press into 9″ round microwave-safe dish (like a pie plate) and to cover with wax paper. Microwave on high 8-10 minutes, drain juices. Spoon topping over meatloaf and microwave again 3-5 minutes until cooked in center.

What I do, is bake in the oven at 350 about 45 minutes until set in center. Mix up the topping and spread it on the meatloaf and bake until fully cooked in the center.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’ve had chicken tortilla soup many times at restaurants, and I just assumed it was WAY too hard to make at home. And then I found a few recipes that I combined to make this delicious and super simple warm-you-from-the-inside-out recipe! And you don’t have to make the tortilla strips yourself, but I think you’ll find them way better than the store bought ones!

Ingredients
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (48 oz) box chicken broth
2 cups shredded chicken
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans with chili sauce
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

Just put it in the crockpot all day on low or simmer on the stove-top after work! Simple.

And you can make these while it’s heating!

Ingredients
8 small corn tortillas
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Lawry’s

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Cut corn tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. A pizza cutter works GREAT!
  • Toss with  oil to coat. Sprinkle with seasoning. Toss to coat tortilla strips evenly.
  • Transfer to baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes.
  • Toss and return to the oven.
  • Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes or until desired crispness is reached.
  • Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Cheeseburger Soup

cheeseburgersoupWant to feel warm from the inside out? This is it! And it’s something even picky eaters will love! I combined a couple recipes to come up with this one. It’s delicious!

If you want it to taste like a cheeseburger even more, serve it in a bread bowl!

  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 2 cups diced hashbrowns
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced (I sauteed with the ground beef)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • tsp dried basil
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 TBS chopped mild green chiles (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken broth (put 2 in first, then add last cup if it’s too thick) 
  • 2 cans condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  1. Add the cooked beef (with onion) potatoes, salt, pepper, basil, garlic, chiles and chicken broth. (DON’T add cheese yet.)
  2. Cover and cook and LOW for 7 hours.
  3. Cut the cream cheese into cubes. Stir with the soup into the slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook for one more hour on low.
  5. Stir until the cheeses are blended into the soup.
  6. Top with shredded cheddar as serving

 

Serve and enjoy!

Pizza Fondue

This can even be a main course entrée or just an appetizer. Teens as well as adults really go for this recipe. YUMMY!

 

½ cup chopped onion (I used onion powder)
½ pound lean ground beef
2 (10 and 1/2-ounce) cans pizza sauce with cheese
1 tbl cornstarch
2 tsp oregano
½ tsp basil
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cubes of French bread

 

  1. Place onion and ground beef in skillet. Cook until beef is browned and onion cooked. Drain.
  2. Return beef mixture to skillet.  Add the pizza sauce, cornstarch, oregano, basil and garlic powder.  Stir and heat until mixture reaches a boil and thickens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese.  Add 1/3 of the combined cheeses at time and stir after each addition until melted.
  4. For serving, put mixture in electric fondue pot or chafing dish and spear French bread cubes with toothpick or fondue fork.

 

  1. pizzafondue

Nacho Bake

169_nacho-bake_200I saw an idea on Pinterest for a way to have Nachos in one big casserole and I thought I’d give it my own twist and try it out on my family. WOW! It was delicious. You can make your own, too. And get this! It can feed your family for about $10!

1 (12 oz) bag tortilla chips
½ cup melted butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese
1 jar (16 oz) picante sauce

(optional)
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
chopped jalapenos
green chilies
chopped tomatoes

Heat oven to 375 degrees

  • Put tortilla chips in a blender and pulse into fine crumbs
  • Melt butter and mix in chip crumbs
  • Press into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
  • Cook taco meat per seasoning packet directions.
  • Add picante sauce.
  • Mix the two cheeses together.
  • Stir ½ into the meat mixture.
  • (this is where you would stir in any other nacho favorites like olives or jalapenos or whatever)
  • Scrape entire mixture into the prepared crust.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melty and golden

 

Pumpkin Whip Dip

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My nephew’s wife brought this to our girls’ weekend and it was a BIG hit. I actually made a “skinny” version and I think it’s just as good. It literally takes 5 minutes to make, so add it to your fall gatherings now!
1 cup Pumpkin puree
1 tsp Pumpkin spice
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Cloves
1 (3½ oz) box Vanilla instant pudding, sugar-free fat free
8 oz Cool whip free

Low fat honey graham crackers to dip
Mix pumpkin with spices.
Stir in dry pudding mix.
Fold in whip cream.
Chill and serve with graham crackers

Crock-Pot Deep Dish Pizza

crockpotpizza2WHAT?! I never even thought to try to make pizza in a crock-pot, have you? But it’s CROCK-Tober and we tried it! In the studio this morning!! Tommy gave it two spatulas up!

Ingredients

1 can (11 oz) refrigerated thin pizza crust
1/3 cup pizza sauce
¼ lb sausage, cooked, crumbled
½ cup sliced pepperoni
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Spray 3½ – to 4-quart oval slow cooker with cooking spray.
Preheat crock-pot on high for 15 minutes.
Unroll pizza dough; fold in half lengthwise.
Place pizza dough in slow cooker; press in bottom and 1 inch up sides.
Let it cook uncovered 30-45 minutes.
Turn crock-pot temp to low.
Spread pizza sauce evenly over pizza dough.
Top with half each of the sausage, pepperoni and cheese.
Repeat with remaining sausage, pepperoni and cheese.
Cover; cook on Low 1 ½  to 2 hours or until crust edges are deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from slow cooker to cutting board. Cut and serve.
Extra tips:
Any of your favorite toppings could be used. Also, a 3 ½ – to 4-quart round slow cooker can be used instead of the oval. Fold pizza dough in half crosswise instead; press in bottom and 2 inches up sides.