Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Double Duty Dinner

Double dinner? No, I didn't eat dinner twice, I cooked dinner twice!! Once for us, and once for the local Young Life leaders. Why you ask? hmmm...well, it wasn't supposed to be that way, but Sunday's plans for meatloaf got pushed to Monday, and I already had plans for my Balsamic chicken salad for the Young Life leaders, so heck, I could pull off double duty, right??? Here's how it went:

First, I cooked the chicken that had been marinating in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and minced garlic. I would not recommend doing this in a nonstick pan, as the balsamic vinegar leaves quite the cooked-on mess!
Then I remembered that I wanted to make homemade french bread (so delicious!), and I got that started. While it was being kneaded in the mixer with the bread hook (yes, this is legal!),
I thought a list might be good...
I mixed up the gluten free brownies ( one of the Young Life leaders is gluten-free, which is why I had to make two different dinners...meatloaf with bread crumbs would not have worked!) and put them in the oven...
I picked the lettuce and got it soaking. If you grow your own lettuce, you understand!
The finished product!
Balsamic Chicken Salad
A bed of greens
Sliced Apples
Mandarin Oranges
Red Onion
Goganzola Cheese
Cooked Chicken (marinated, of course)
Sliced Almonds
Dressing: 1 part balsamic vinegar, 3 parts extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper
Not only is this salad gorgeous to look at, it's like music in your mouth! So delicious!!

On to the meatloaf!
While the bread loaves were rising and the children were busy being 2 year olds, I diced up the veggies for the meatloaf.
After they went down for a nap, I sauteed the veggies and let them cool. Meanwhile, my sister Tori stopped by with a Starbucks Ice Tea Lemonade (bless her) and helped out by washing up the lettuce. I worked on the meatload....Assembled and almost ready!
Now, doesn't that look good??
Meal is complete with garlic mashed red potatoes and sauteed green beans with butter, bacon, and garlic.
What were the children doing you ask? "Helping", of course!
Italian Meatloaf
(This is my recipe that I adapted from a couple I looked at.)
2 lbs. ground beef
1 red pepper, 1 sweet onion, 2 carrots diced
1 cup spaghetti sauce (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
2 eggs
A few slices of bacon
Sautee the veggies until soft, let cool; mix beef, herbs and seasoning, 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce, and parmesan cheese with the cooled veggies; add eggs and bread crumbs, mix just until blended together. Form into a loaf pan, spread remaining spaghetti sauce on top, then cover with bacon slices. Bake at 375 for approx. 1 1/2 hrs. (internal temp. of 160). Let rest for at least 5 minutes to allow for slicing and serving.

The beautiful thing about meatloaf is that after the eggs and breadcrumbs, you can pretty much make it any flavor you want. Next time I'll try a mexican flavored meatloaf and use corn bread crumbs instead :-)

This day in the kitchen was krazy for sure, but the delicious food at the end of they day was worth it. We even dimmed the lights and burned a candle during dinner. Very relaxing...well, as relaxing as it gets with four children! Tim, the little girls and I really enjoyed the meatloaf...Megan and Andrew ended up with yogurt! Hey, it makes a great substitute!
Until next time...go ahead and get Krazy!!

1 comment:

Allyson said...

Wow, two dinners? Aren't you thoughtful! Your salad looks beautiful!