Kid Friendly, Mother Approved

Having a picky eater always makes dinner a challenge.  To make tonight’s dinner ‘kid friendly’ I took the traditional meatloaf and turned them into ‘mini meatloaves’ and added some ranch smashed potatoes that anyone would love.  Coupled with a ham & cucumber salad, the dinner turned out to be a success!  Oh, and it’s gluten-free too! 🙂  Win-Win!

Mini Meatloaves Mini Meatloaves @2CookinMamas

Yields: 12 mini meatloaves

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 1/2 large while onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Dash of hot sauce, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Spray muffin tin with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

Place ground beef in large mixing bowl.  Add in grated onion, carrot, & garlic and mix.  Add in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and egg.  Mix with hands until blended well.  Portion mixture into muffin pan evenly.

In small bowl, mix together ketchup, honey, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if desired).  Spoon on top of each mini loaf and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Ranch Smashed Potatoesranch smashed potatoes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk of choice
  • 1/2 packet Hidden Valley GF Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • 2 tbsp. dairy free butter substitute
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Scrub potatoes with vegetable brush and cut into 1″ chunks.  Add potatoes to large pot of salted water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender – approximately 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes and return to hot pot.  Smash potatoes with a potato masher and add in milk , ranch mix, and butter.  Continue mashing until all ingredients are mixed well.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cucumber Ham Salad Cucumber Ham Salad @2CookinMamas

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8 oz diced ham
  • 3/4 Greek vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in medium-sized bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 25 minutes.  Stir well prior to serving.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

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For all my Irish friends

Traditionally an Easter Sunday dinner in Ireland – Corned Beef and Cabbage is today’s national food holiday.  Try pairing this recipe with a Merlot from California, such as San Simeon Merlot Paso Robles 2006 or Robert Hall Merlot 2009, as they are soft and fruity which compliments this meal perfectly.

cornedbeefandcabbageCorned Beef with Cabbage

Epicurious  | February 2008

by Darina Allen – Irish Traditional Cooking

photo by Michelle Garrett and Kevin Dunne

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 lb corned brisket of beef
  • 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 6 to 8 small onions
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • large sprig fresh thyme and some parsley stalks, tied together
  • 1 cabbage
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION:

Put the brisket into a saucepan with the carrots, onions, mustard and the herbs. Cover with cold water, and bring gently to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut in quarters and add to the pot. Cook for a further 1 to 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are soft and tender.

Serve the corned beef in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and cooking liquid. Serve with lots of floury potatoes and freshly made mustard.

Christina signature 3

It’s National Empanada Day!

Empanadas originated in Galicia, Portugal but have become popular throughout Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, The Philippines and North America.  Here in the states, we usually consider empanadas as tapas, but they are often served as main meals stuffed with seafood, pork, or meat & vegetables, and are served hot or cold.  The name, empanada, comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

Here’s a great recipe to try – courtesy of La Tienda & Spain GourmeTour magazine.  Photo courtesy of Simply Recipes.

curry-pork-empanada-bEmpanada

Empanadas are standard fare in most bars and restaurants, served as delicious tapas with a copa de cerveza or as the main meal. This is a wonderful recipe from the north-west of Spain.
Makes 6 servings.

Prep Time: 1 hr.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

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Ingredients:

1 egg, beaten
3/4 lb of pork loin, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp bittersweet smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup piquillo peppers, sliced
3 onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1 lb yeast pastry or bread dough
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs

Preparation:

Put the sliced pork in a dish with paprika, 1 tbsp of the chopped garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the pork very quickly, removing slices as they are browned. In the same oil, saute the chopped peppers, onions and remaining garlic until softened. Add the prepared tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and the sauce is very thick.

Divide the dough in half. On a floured board, roll out to a thickness of 1/4 – 1/2 inch. Line a cake tin with dough. Spread this with half the prepared sauce. Arrange the slices of pork loin on top and add a layer of piquillo pimentos above that. Slice the boiled eggs and layer above other ingredients. Spoon on the remaining sauce.

Roll out the rest of the dough and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together and trim the excess. Make a hole in the center for a steam vent. Put in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake another 15-20 minutes.

The crust should be golden and crispy. Can be served hot or cool.

Enjoy!  Christina signature 3