Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday Night and on to the Weekend. . .Wahhhoooo~!

Happy Friday!!!!


Yep! I made dessert tonight. . .and not just one, but two! The Caramel Apple-Brandy Malt and Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake for Ashley. Not bad if I say so myself. =D


I have college homework due tonight and the worse the homework the more I am apt to rush into the kitchen and start cooking. It doesn't help that I have taken several of my favorite cookbooks to work today to peruse for ideas. My grocery list for tonight was made before I was even in the work truck, going home. Seattle traffic and commuting, even in the carpool lane, is disastrous. I think we have some of the craziest and crankiest drivers around. That's okay, I know what I want to cook tonight and nothing really gets to me if I have something planned out. It's when I don't plan ahead that I feel frustrated and cooking instantly becomes a chore. It doesn't help that Ashley, my teenage daughter, is extremely particular about what she likes to eat. I don't know how that child can want things that consist of simple, basic country food and be my daughter. . .(chuckle). She is really going to dislike dinner but I am making a dessert just for her and just maybe (sigh) she will actually really like it. Hhhmm, probably wishful thinking but she does surprise me a lot lately. In a good way. I should add that for later. I got home today, looked around and she had swept and mopped the kitchen floor, put dishes away and made my bed. Something I forgot to get done before leaving this morning. On top of that, she didn't even say anything. She usually doesn't though.

I am back on track. Dinner....I decided that I wanted to try a Mexican meatloaf. I have several recipes that I have concocted in the past but they just feel like they are sooo lacking something lately, so I am taking another direction. I think this recipe will open up a whole new world of ideas now. The meatloaf turned out awesome, the flavor was right on *and* no grease from the hamburger. I was amazed! The only down-side is that I forgot to spray my loaf pan with a non-stick cooking spray, such as Pam, and the meatloaf stuck to the pan just a little.

Dinner:

Mexican Meatloaf *with* Salsa and Sour Cream

Red Skinned Potatoes Mashed

Corn with Chopped Red Bell Pepper

Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Sprinkles

Dessert:

Caramel Apple-Brandy Malt (shown above)

Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

The meatloaf takes a little bit of extra time to prep but after I found out what the end result is. . .well, I think this recipe will become a mainstay for me. I start out with cooking green bell pepper, 3 shallots and garlic with a little vegetable oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes.




After the veggies have cooked, I just let them cool and continue with assembling the rest of the meatloaf. I think the most time-consuming part is cutting up 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas finely and this only took about 5 minutes. Overall assembling time was about 15 minutes. Not to bad.






With everything in the bowl except for the one beaten egg, all I have left is to mix everything to gether, mold and set in loaf pan and bake for an hour. Easy.




Mexican Meatloaf

1 Medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 Shallots, minced
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 t. vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef (80 to 85% lean) I like a little fat to the hamburger for flavor
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, finely shopped
3/4 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/2 c. purchased or fresh salsa
1 egg, beaten
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground oregano
1 t. salt
extra salsa
sourcream

**Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bell pepper, shallots and garlic inoil in medium skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Cool.

Gently combine bell pepper mixture and all remaining ingredients except 1/4 c. of the cheese in a large bowl. Place in 8 x 4 inch loaf pan; bake 55 to 60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c. cheese during the last 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Add salsa and a medium dollop of sour cream to the top of the meatloaf after setting on plate.

Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes

2 Pounds Red Skinned Potatoes - leave skins on and just clean and quarter
1/2 c. butter (unsalted)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. whipping cream
1/2 t. granulated garlic
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

**Directions:

After potatoes are cooked to fork tender, drain and place back on stove top for 30 to 45 seconds to toss potatoes, making sure the rest of the water is evaporated. Place potatoes in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients listed.

How you prefer to mash potatoes is open to taste. I prefer whipping them using my Kitchen Aide Mixer. My Mom prefers using a potato masher utensil. Either way, the potatoes turn out wonderful.
Mixed Salad with Pomegranate Sprinkles
4 c. torn romaine lettuce
3/4 c. small cauliflower florets
3/4 c. diced zucchini (1/2-inch)
3/4 c. sliced yellow bell pepper
1/4 c. pecan pieces, toasted**
Pomegranate
**Directions:
Arrange lettuce on salad plates and top with all remaining ingredients. Drizzle with dressing of choice. I choose honey mustard dressing but I have a recipe for Pomegranate-Tarragon Vinaigrette that I plan on trying tomorrow. The flavors would really create a fantastic combination.
**Note**: To toast pecan pieces, place on baking sheet; bake at 375 degrees for 4 to 6 minutes or until pale brown and fragrant. Cool.
Mexican Corn

The mexican corn is sweet corn with bits of chopped red bell pepper added to it and cooked on top of the stove in a medium size sauce pan just till it is hot.
Caramel Apple-Brandy Malt
4 oz. brandy
3 oz. apple cider (not apple juice)
1/4 c. caramel sauce (dulce de leche if available)
2 pints of vanilla ice cream
**Directions:
Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Garnish with whipped cream and toasted, chopped pecans. Serves 4 =D

For some reason I am having trouble with formatting tonight so I will have to add the rest tomorrow. Yeesh.

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