Friday, October 30, 2009

Glazed Mini Meatloaves

This is really yummy recipe. I’ll be honest I’m actually a big fan of meatloaf, as long as it’s got some great flavor - and this recipe does!. I love the addition of the Worcestershire sauce and parsley. It gives the meatloaf a wonderful flavor! I wish I would have had the Dijon mustard because it would have really added some awesome kick! The glaze was also fabulous. Just the perfect touch of sweetness and the vinegar adds just a bit of tang, which I think is fabulous. To date, this is my favorite meatloaf recipe!

Glazed Mini Meatloaves
adapted from The Best 30-Minute Recipe

Makes 4-5 mini meatloaves.

17-20 saltine crackers, crushed fine (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I used a combination of lean ground chuck and lean ground pork)
2 teaspoons oil (I used canola oil)

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Stir cracker crumbs, milk, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, egg, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Add ground meat and combine until uniform. Shape mixture into oval loaves (I doubled the recipe and got 10 mini loaves, so when I make the recipe without doubling it, I plan to shape into at least 5 loaves - they were definitely big enough to be perfectly filling!).

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling. Add meatloaves (without letting them touch sides) and brown well on one side, 3-5 minutes. Carefully flip loaves over and tidy up edges using a spatula (I didn't need to do this - my meatloaves managed to hold their shape really well). Brown on this side for another 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix glaze ingredients together until smooth. Transfer mini meatloaves to a foil-lined baking pan and spoon the glaze over the top of each meatloaf.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (or do like I do and cut one of the little babies open and if it looks done - pull 'em out of the oven!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nutri-Grain Bars

Dan and I are pretty big fans of Nutri-Grain Bars. We don’t buy them very often, though because we’re cheap and figure we can live without them. And we’re probably right.
We have friends that don’t like Nutri-Grain Bars. They bought a whole box at Sam’s Club {or some other bulk foods store place, I don’t remember} and they decided after they bought the huge box that they didn’t like them. So they gave them to us. We were happy.
Now, all those bars are gone. Told ya we liked ‘em!
But you know what’s even better than Nutri-Grain bars? Homemade Nutri-Grain Bars! I was a little nervous to try this out not being sure what it would taste like. They are so yummy! They make a great snack and are really pretty quick.
The only problems with this recipe:
1 – They’re really messy to eat. We decided that next time we make them we’ll store them in the fridge to hopefully help them set up more. I will also probably put more crust on the bottom
2 – These are super super sweet. I’m the kind of person that likes sweet things to an extent – if it’s too sweet, I probably won’t eat it. For that dilemma, I’ll probably add a few more oats or take some of the cake mix out and possibly use less jam {which may also help with problem #1}
3 – They make a whole 9x13 pan full! This was a little too much for us, especially because they are so sweet! However, you could probably refrigerate them and make sure they are set up and then wrap some individual bars into waxed paper, put into freezer baggies and freeze for a yummy treat any day of the week.
Even with these problems, the recipe is still so delicious! And heck, I think I solved the problems anyway so we’ll be making them again for sure.

Nutri-Grain Bars
1 pkg yellow cake mix
¾ cup butter
2-1/2 cups quick oats
12 oz preserves or jam
1 Tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter; combine cake mix and oats in large bowl. Stir in melted butter until mixture is crumbly.
Measure half the mixture into greased 9x13 pan. Press firmly into bottom of pan. Combine preserves and water; spoon over crumb mixture and spread evenly. Cover with remaining crumb mixture. Pat firmly to make even. Make at 375 for 20 minutes. Top should be a light brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I love granola. More specifically, I love my mom’s granola. There is none like it. Sorry if you think your mom’s is better. I promise you won’t be disappointed with this simple and delicious recipe! It’s also nice because you can always add ingredients that fit your liking.

12 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 – 2 cups wheat germ
1 – 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1-1/2 cups coconut
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
1 cup oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
½ cup water

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.

Mix wet ingredients and pour over dry; mix well.

Spread on a cookie sheet; bake at 250 for 1-1/2 hours. Turn mixture after half of the time, then ever 15 minutes until oats are golden brown. Let cool and store in air tight container.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Huevos Rancheros

Now, please bear with me. There is a lot I need to explain about this recipe. First of all, I didn’t use the chili in adobo sauce. I’m not a spicy foods kind of person – EVER – and so I always opt for milder versions of everything I cook. Also, I used turkey bacon and egg substitute {trying to cut cholesterol}. My honest opinion: it would taste better with the real thing, especially the eggs. One thing I’ve learned about egg substitute is that it’s great for baking but not so good by itself {Dan would beg to differ but it’s just too different for me}. Also, the food in my pictures might look a little weird {okay, you can say gross if you want} but I promise it really isn’t as bad as it looks. I like things to be mixed together so I don’t have to worry about layering {especially with a small tostada shell}. Here’s my suggestion if that’s what you want to do as well: cook the beans and the eggs in separate pans. Yes, it means more dishes have to be washed, but I promise you will thank me. If you don’t, you end up with black icky looking eggs and a very unique flavor that I don’t recommend. Just trust me. Thank you.

Huevos rancheros

4 tostada shells (or corn tortillas baked at about 400-degrees until hardened)
1 can black beans
1 chili in adobo sauce, crushed (makes the beans spicier--if you want it mild leave this out)
bacon, cooked
cheddar cheese, shredded
tomatoes, diced
4 eggs, cooked sunny side up (I like it to be runny so you can dip the shell into it)
optional: green chilies, olives, avocado, sauteed onions and peppers

Cook the black beans and chili in adobo sauce (optional) together in a small pot. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out and drain the beans. Layer the beans, bacon, cheese, tomato, eggs and salsa on the tostada shell and serve! You can also add the cheese on at the end at bake in the oven until the cheese is nice and melted. Add green chilies, olives, avocado, and/or onions and peppers to taste.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ 10/19/09

Check out Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie to find other great menu ideas!


This is a new feature on Cucina di Harwood. I've been posting my menus on my family blog and then decided that the cooking blog might be the most appropriate place for them. Enjoy!

Monday: Tuna Casserole {I'm going to try and make up my own recipe - we'll see what happens!}

Tuesday: Mexican Chicken Skillet

Wednesday: Hot Hoagies with chips and homemade salsa

Thursday: Leftover Smorgasbord

Friday: Date Night :)

Saturday: Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Sunday: Dinner in the Swiss Alps {recipe from Jessica Smith}

Other goodies I plan to make this week:
French Bread {a must for the Hot Hoagies}
Loaf Bread

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Strawberry Lemonade

This was an easy to make and super refreshing treat, especially when you can get the strawberries on season! Dan and I both really liked it. And you could easily substitute the strawberries for any berry of your choice if you should so desire.

Strawberry Lemonade
(makes 1 quart)

1 container sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water {I liked it better with more water – I would use about 1 and ½ cups}
3/4 cup lemon juice {we did squeeze our own lemons for the juice but any lemon juice works just fine.}
2 cups ice cubes (can use less)

In a blender process all ingredients until smooth. Drink immediately.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Strawberry Squares

Want a quick dessert? Want something everyone is bound to love? Make these! Seriously, they were so super yummy – I made up a pan of them for a family get together and even with just the few of us there they were the first thing finished! You won’t be disappointed. Warning: they are really, really sweet!

Strawberry Squares

1 strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1½ TBSP milk
1/3 cup oil
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the cake mix, eggs and oil together until stiff. Spread the dough evenly into a 9x13 pan. Bake the squares for 14-16 minutes. Mix the milk and powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the squares. Serve warm or at room temp. {I added fresh strawberries to mine and it added a just perfect touch to something super sweet.}

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dream Sickle Salad

I made this salad for a Women’s Choir social {when I was still in college, of course}. We were having contests in the category of salads, main dishes and desserts. Believe it or not, I helped plan that. We all had a wonderful time trying stuff everyone else had brought and then we all voted on our favorites. Of course, I don’t think any of us knew who brought what - it was supposed to be entirely unbiased judging. But anyway, I won in the salad category! And I got a nice big Symphony bar – which Dan kindly ate for me. ;) I promise, this salad is super quick and very yummy {though I’ll admit that I like more mandarin oranges than the recipe calls for} and everyone will love it!

Dream Sickle Salad

Kelli Tracy

Small pkg. orange Jell-O
Small pkg. vanilla pudding, cook
Small pkg. tapioca pudding, cook
1 Can madarin oranges {or more if you're like me!}, drained
2 oz crushed pineapple, drained
8oz container cool whip

Cook the vanilla and tapioca puding and the Jell-o all togetherin 2-1/2 cups cold water; bring to a boil.

Cool. Add mandarin oranges, pineapple, and cool whip. Serve cold.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Country Pie

This is a very easy meal and one that just about anyone would love {I know some moms that might appreciate that!}. I did think ours was a bit too dry, so I would use more sauce/less rice the next time I made it. Also, this is easily made with long- or short-grain rice instead of minute if you wanted. I would just make up the rice to my liking beforehand and then mix everything together, sprinkle on the cheese and cook it just until the cheese is melted and it’s warm inside. Voila! Still a quick and yummy dinner!

{please do not judge the tastiness of the meal based on the poor picture ... it really is a lot better than this picture makes it look!}

Country Pie
Prep: 10 minutes – Total: 1 hour

1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 jar spaghetti sauce, divided
1-1/2 cups minute white rice, uncooked
6 oz. graded cheese
Preheat oven to 350oF. Combine meat and ½ cup spaghetti sauce; spread evenly into greased deep 9” pie plate. Mix remaining sauce with rice; spoon over meat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking, uncovered, 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Carefully drain off any fat and cut into 6 wedges to serve.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

This is a very yummy dinner. We really loved it. I didn’t have any coriander so I didn’t use it; I used flour tortillas because that’s what I had and I just used cheddar cheese; and I mixed everything together, including the sour cream, because I’m not a big fan of plain sour cream taste.

I made mine in a round cake pan because the two of us don’t need much.

Really, though, it is super yummy! I think this would also taste really good made like enchiladas instead of a casserole {and it might help prevent the tortillas from going soggy – I’m pretty sure that’s why you use corn tortillas but we just always buy flour}.

Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

2 cups diced chicken breast meat
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce – MILD
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 (8 oz) container low fat sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Sauté chicken with cumin and coriander until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, black beans, and green chili peppers.
Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream.
Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas.
Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Number of Servings: 8 - Preparation Time: 25 minutes


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