Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meatloaf to the Stars

One of the best leftovers for making sandwiches is meatloaf. The flavors only get better the next day! My favorite meatloaf recipe is from 72 Market Street. It is not your average meatloaf. Sausage and beef, tender fresh vegetables, and loads of seasonings make it a moist and flavorful dish. Once a celebrity owned restaurant in Venice, CA, 72 Market Street closed its doors in 2000. The meatloaf lives on!

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, minced
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1-2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 pounds lean ground beef chuck
12 ounces sausage meat (not Italian sausage)
3/4 cup fine fresh bread crumbs, toasted

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, and add the onion, scallions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook until the moisture from the vegetables has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool; then refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, and eggs in a mixing bowl, and beat well. Add the ketchup and half-and-half. Blend thoroughly. Add the ground beef, sausage, and bread crumbs to the egg mixture. Then add the chilled vegetables and mix thoroughly with your hands, kneading for 5 minutes. With damp hands to keep the mixture from sticking, gently press into one large or two small loaf pans. Put loaf pans in one large baking pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the loaf pans. Place the loaf pans in their water bath into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the loaf pans from the water bath, and let the meat loaf rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

What's In The Box?

Filling a lunch box with healthy, hearty and wholesome foods is a task that requires persistent energy, creative solutions, and careful planning. Or does it?
Packing a lunch to take to the office is quite easy. It’s simple to make a quick sandwich, salad or wrap with what’s on hand. Adding a piece of fruit or yogurt to a container of a favorite leftover meal is a thrifty habit. Including a special sweet gives the meal a little sparkle and becomes something to look forward to while working.
However, when one is packing a school lunch, things can get complicated. A successful lunch is one that gets eaten. Many a school lunches are thrown away each day, and the time and love spent packing them goes to waste. Involving the child in the process of making the lunch helps to ensure it’s edibility. Don’t complicate things by packing new foods or too many items into your children’s lunch box. For most kids, the golden rule is “Keep It Simple” - a sandwich, a fruit or vegetable, a healthy snack item and water or milk (no juice, no soda!). That’s it, nothing more.
Make a sandwich your child enjoys. Don’t make it too fancy. Giving your child a few basic choices each day will help simplify things. Turkey or Ham? PB&THKJ or Tuna? Egg Salad or Avocado, Sprouts and Tomato?
Pack a fruit or vegetable you know will be eaten and that travels well. Bananas, citrus and apples are fine whole. Berries, stone fruits, and grapes do well when portioned into reusable containers. Vegetables may be more appealing if packed with a favorite dipping sauce or sprinkled with a bit of seasoned rice vinegar.
Including a third item balances out the meal. A container of yogurt, a cheese stick, some crackers, a few almonds or walnuts, a piece of beef jerky, a hard boiled egg, fruit leather, a handful of savory Farmer’s Market kettle corn, or a rice cake are all fun choices.
Save the sweets for after school. Not including the tempting dessert makes healthy eating the only choice. Saving the sweet reward for the afterschool homework hour, creates a wholesome habit the whole family can enjoy!