Appearances Can Be Deceiving

….and so can names.

Does anyone else think the word “meatloaf” is absolutely atrocious? It makes me cringe when I say it…I think of a big ol’ wad of raw meat, and the word “loaf” is equally as awkward.

However…I do love me some meatloaf. Can we just come up with a better word for this already?


Especially the Southwest Turkey Meatloaf I made last night. It isn’t pretty, and it obviously doesn’t sound too hot, but let me tell ya. It’ll convert you if you are not a ‘loaf lovah. Promise. I used the recipe for Turkey Taco Meatloaf from the Hungry Girl cookbook for inspiration, making some additions and substitutions according to what I had on hand, and what I was in the mood for.

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf
Adapted from Hungry Girl Turkey Taco Meatloaf

Number of Servings: 6

Ingredients:

    1 pound raw lean ground turkey (I use 93/7)

      1/4 cup chopped onions

    2 cloves garlic, chopped

      8 oz. (about half a can) of black beans
      4 oz. canned diced green chiles
      1 tablespoon of lime juice

        1 packet of taco seasoning mix, dry

          1/2 cup salsa + leave aside about 1/4 cup to top the meatloaf

    2 slices of pepper jack cheese
    1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese 
    1 avocado, sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl, combine onions, garlic, black beans, green chiles, lime juice, seasoning mix, and 1/2 cup salsa (leave 1/4 c aside) with turkey. Spread half of the mixture evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan (about 9″x5″) sprayed with nonstick spray.

Layer the two slices of pepper jack cheese on top of the mixture (try to keep slices away from the pan’s edges). Evenly top with the remaining meat mixture.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup salsa over the top of the loaf. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Top loaf with shredded cheese. Return loaf to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. 
Garnish each serving with sliced avocado.

So easy, and so good, even if it is not the most beautiful. Another winning dish, even according to my super-picky little sister.

Adventures in Cookie-Baking, Part II

And good news on the cookie front!
Randomly throughout my day at work and during my workout last night, I had cookies on the brain.
(Anyone else constantly think of food while at the gym? Or like…all day long?)
What can I do to redeem myself? How in the world do I reverse the epic baking fail Wednesday? After perusing Allie’s cookie books for inspiration, we had a plan.

After putting dinner in the oven to cook last night, I got to work. No more Smart Balance, no more whole-wheat flour…we were going balls to the wall and working with real butter and all-purpose white flour. One taste of the batter (which was a totally different consistency than the failed cookies’…no longer runny, but more breadcrumby and able to mold into a ball) and we had a good feeling about this guy.

After chilling the batter during dinner, I had to do a little trial & error baking to see how they would turn out, since we plan on actually baking the cookies tonight. Because I am the most impatient person alive. I dropped a few of Allie’s new Aztec Chocolate Cookies on some parchment paper, and molded my S’more Cookie dough into little squares.

Day #2 of eagerly sitting Indian-style in front of the oven to see how they turn out. I am a freak.

Aaaand….SUCCESS!

Tasted one of each about 2 seconds out-of-the-oven. Again, most impatient person alive. After dancing around the kitchen for a good five minutes, and twisting my parents’ arms to be additional taste-testers, I called it a night…gearing up for  a Friday Bake-fest at the Bock household, and I am also trying a new gnocchi recipe tonight, so I had to get some good rest in!

Look out for the recipes to come, along with (finally!) a giveaway. Can’t wait to share these with you guys. Just in time for Christmas cookie baking!!! My very first cookie recipe….oh man, can’t even tell you how happy that makes me!

Sharing the Christmas Spirit

It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Shopping, baking, parties, all of it. So when I saw this on Julie’s PBF Facebook page today, I really wanted to share it with you.

She received an email from a nursing student in West Virginia about Max, an 8-year-old boy battling leukemia who will not be able to make it home to celebrate Christmas this year.

His single Christmas wish? He would like to receive 1,000,000 Christmas cards in the mail! Love it!

If you would like to partake in helping to make Max’s Christmas wish come true, you can send a card to the following address:

Max c/o Hailey Remish
417 Jones Street
Belle Vernon, PA
15012


Alternate address to send directly to the hospital:
Ruby Memorial Hospital
Attn: WVU Children’s Hospital/Max
1 Medical Center Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506-8110


Sometimes it takes something like this to put in perspective what Christmas is really all about. Spread the word if you can. Thank you!



Happy Fridayyyyyy, friends!

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