Meatloaf with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Hurry, quick–the baby’s asleep and I have homework due by midnight! I promise I cook with things other than ground beef, but I just made my best meatloaf yet so I had to share before this got added to the collection of “things I meant to blog”……

Life is busier than ever so this morning I pulled out a frozen meatloaf and shoved it in the fridge, to hopefully thaw in time for dinner. Remember last post’s burgers? Well, since I had six pounds of ground beef I made four pounds of that stuff and smooshed half of it into a brick and threw it in the freezer. Was still pretty frozen by the time I was ready to make dinner, so I tossed it into the microwave and hit the 1lb. auto-defrost button, then plopped it from the freezer bag into a pan, and slid it into the oven that wasn’t even fully preheated to 400ºF.

But here’s what made the meal: HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR THE MEATLOAF.
WP_20150702_002 1
Continue reading


Relay Foods and Mushroom Bacon Risotto

08 Mushroom Bacon Risotto
(But first, where I got the ingredients I didn’t already have!)

The last few weeks have been a blur–and I thought snow days and teething toddlers were hectic! In a previous post I shared my experience with Hello Fresh. Now, I absolutely love the concept of this service and the local sourcing, but since hubby’s been on leave from work for two months due to surgery, it’s a bit pricey for us right now. Especially because I would either need to buy four plates per meal or add proteins and sides to extend two plates for three people and a toddler.

Years ago, I went to a health fair and saw a booth for Relay Foods. Relay Foods is kind of like farmer’s market meets Giant’s Pea Pod grocery delivery. I thought it was cool and all, but never decided to take the plunge and try them out until about three weeks ago. Why now? I signed up for and was eventually invited to try their Meal Planning Beta. In one word: AWESOME! This is similar to Wegman’s website where you can search recipes and add ingredients to your shopping list–but way better!! I can go to the website and search through recipes via a number of different categories. Once I find a recipe I like, I can set my serving size (usually 4 people) and add it to my meal plan. I then have the option to pick and choose not only which ingredients I want to add to my cart, but which brand/version I would like with options including items that are organic, non-organic, local/artisan-crafted, and regular old grocery store generics. The site adds the appropriate quantity needed for the recipe, and you can always adjust in your cart if you’d like. I should note that many of their recipes also include vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free options. Their meal planning page boasts weekly meal planning in under 15 minutes, and I am here to tell you it is absolutely possible, and absolutely amazing. Continue reading


After a week including 8″ of snow and the kiddos’ snow days that came with it, busy work deadlines during said snow days, and a teething toddler getting 8 teeth at once who will…not…sleep…I had used all our fresh foods for meals and forgot to pull anything from the freezer to thaw. Whoops. Let’s be real though–it happens a lot! So what to do for dinner? I was half tempted to order pizza . . .

I opened up the freezer thinking we’d be stuck with chicken nuggets, when I saw my meatballs from Ground Beef Night, yay! I figured since the “frozen blobs” were smaller than one ginormous brick I’d be able to cook them faster, and it worked. Continue reading

Night of the Ground Beef

Night of the Ground Beef

The Present clan went to BJs today to spend our rebate before it expired. We caught a pretty good deal on ground beef–but the sell by date was tomorrow and I try not to push my luck with meats so I needed to cook/freeze it right away. Six pounds of ground beef. Continue reading