Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Mama Cooked Meal

Tonight all my little chickies and the rooster were home :)

The Head of My Household needed some down time, so he opted out of band practice
(He plays in an old man's band...have I never told you??)
My firstborn's soccer practice was cancelled.
My middle child actually got out of marching band practice ON TIME for a change!
The youngest was with me...no Show Choir meetings, no Band Parent meetings, no errands to run...etc.

Once I realized around 4 p.m. that we were all going to be home together by 6 p.m. I started scrambling around thinking about supper. 
I love to cook...but it's difficult when you're running in and out during the process, not to mention when you go to all the trouble to prepare a meal and half of your family is out and about most days...myself included.

I announced that I would be cooking and asked my kids what they wanted for supper.
My friend from work, Missie, had mentioned that she was making meatloaf, so I said, "How about meatloaf?"

My firstborn's eyes lit up, and she responded, "You mean the little round meatloafs...with the barbeque sauce?'

"Yep, those are the ones."

"With butterbeans?"

"Uh-huh; those too."

And mashed potatoes, Mama...don't forget mashed potatoes!"

"Heavens to Betsy...you CANNOT have meatloaf without mashed potatoes!"

For about 5 seconds, I was proud.
Then, I started feeling guilty.
My poor children were starving for a Mama cooked meal!!!!

You better believe I gave it to them!!!!!!!

I'm an old fashioned meatloaf kindof girl.
I very seldom order meatloaf if we are in a restaurant for one very simple reason...

They put too much extra stuff in there!

I have not always been a successful cooker of meatloaf.
I do really well as far as mixing all the stuff with the meat (the traditional stuff, of course)
I can mold the loaf with the best Southern cooks around.
What I have never been able to do is cook the meatloaf completely.


The outside is absolutely delicious.
But, the inside is like dogfood.
That's actually a quote from the Head of My Household.

Please don't get the wrong idea...the Head of My Household teases me about my kitchen experiments.
I laughed with him about my dogfood meatloaf...
Because he was actually right...it did look like dogfood.

It didn't hurt my feelings when he said my meatloaf looked like dogfood...
I just told him to head his sassy butt right on down to McDonalds ;)

I'm a lover of the Food Network, and I happened to see Rachael Ray make meatloaf muffins on one of her shows.
What a novel idea!!
I figured it might just be the answer to my undercooked, dogfood looking meatloaf problem.

No offense to Rachael Ray, but her recipe had too much extra "stuff" in it.
So, I began looking through my cookbooks and finally found a winner.

I am Southern, and I know I'm biased.
But, Trisha knows that meatloaf is NOT supposed to have all that "stuff" in it.
(Trisha knows quite a bit more about what goes on in the kitchen too...this is an absolutely awsome cookbook!)

Trisha's recipe for meatloaf is very simple: ground chuck, a chopped onion, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup and an egg.

No extra veggies, no wild spices.
C'mon, people, it's meatloaf!
No need to reinvent the wheel.
Don't fix what's not broken.
Yada, yada, yada.

The best way to mix the basic ingredients of meatloaf is with your hands.


Then, I made little balls out of that mixed meatloaf...and put them in muffin tins...some small and some regular sized.

These are just 2 of the 4 pans that I made. 
I leave some without topping, some with barbeque sauce and some with an incredible sauce called "Country Bobs."

I bake them at 350 until they are done and then immediately scoop them out of the muffin holes when I remove the pan from the oven.
(If you don't take the meat out immediately, it will sit and cool in its own grease...and that would really look (and probably taste) like dog food :)

I tried to take a picture of the finished product before my family swooped in...
But...I had to wait until the first wave died.
This picture doesn't do these little meatloaf muffins justice...they are delicious.

Even to the man who once compared my meatloaf to dogfood :):)


  1. Awwww, good for you that you made a "mama meal". Don't feel guilty that it doesn't happen as often as you would like. Life is busy when your kids are the ages that yours are at. Hectic is the name of the game, but as long as you connect when you can, it's all good. Your meatcakes look awesome. (they remind me of cupcakes, so hence the meatcakes) :)

  2. Yum. I love meatloaf. You're right, you MUST have mashed potatoes.
    I too, have struggled with meatloaf over the last years. I finally found a recipe in Paula Deen's cookbook that I love. She doesn't put a lot of extra in either. She does call for tomatoes, but I use Ro-tel because I'm from Texas and I love all things spicey.
    She calls for a BBQ sauce on top of hers, but it's made from ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. I never thought to just buy it already made!!!
    Good for you mom. Enjoy those family dinners. They certainly do seem few and far between, don't they?

  3. Oh, my -- I'm a vegetarian so I won't be able to make these for myself...but my drooling husband peering over my shoulder at the recipe make like these! Guess I'll be making these this weekend!! :)

  4. Oh, how I love meatloaf and mashed taters! I don't use extra stuff either, but I do like to saute my onions first for a few minutes before mixing them in with the meat.

    I also love hearing "supper." Growing up it was always called supper at our house, then I married a Yankee and somehow over the years it became known as dinner. :)