This isn’t just another meatloaf recipe! I have made many meatloaf variations throughout the years, but none have ever come close to this super easy, flavorful, moist, and absolutely delicious meatloaf that my daughter Tracy makes. I’ve been staying with my daughter while she is recovering from surgery and wanted to cook meals for her and, as she refers to him, her roommate John🤣. The only change I had to make was adapting it to be gluten-free for Jack so he could enjoy it too. I have to say it was the biggest hit. The glaze was just the right amount of sweet and tangy that made this meatloaf extra special. Enjoy !!😋 😋
In a large bowl, add the ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, beaten eggs, 4 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, garlic powder, dried onion flakes, celery seed, paprika, bouillon granules, and pepper. Using disposable gloves on your hands mix these ingredients together until well combined. Do not under-mix.
Add the meat mixture to a 9×13 inch roasting pan. Pat and form the meat into a loaf shape approximately 3-4 inches high.
In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup ketchup, the brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir well to combine. Pour the glaze on top of the meatloaf and place it on the center rack in the preheated oven.
Bake uncovered for 55 -65 minutes.
Let the meatloaf rest for 8-10 minutes before serving.
1. Homemade Gluten-free onion soup mix. Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. This will yield the equivalent of 2 envelopes of gluten-free dry onion soup mix.
2. If gluten isn’t an issue you may use any Lipton Onion Soup mix in place of the homemade version and regular plain breadcrumbs.
2. For a tasty meal, serve with creamy mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh spinach with garlic and EVOO
I was looking in my freezer to see what I could make for dinner without having to go the market. I found 2 small NY strip steaks that I defrosted for Gary to grill on the barbeque. I had most of the other ingredients for this delicious and healthy dinner. The best part...it's served all in one bowl. You can make this with what you have on hand, including chicken, beef, or lamb for the protein. The yogurt dressing is wonderful and blends all the flavors together. I could eat this dish every night of the week...it's that good. Give it a try.
For the Bowls:
1 lb. NY strip steak (may substitute with flank steak, sirloin steak, chicken breast or lamb)
2 tsp EVOO
salt, pepper, garlic powder (to season steak)
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped to your size liking (about 12 cups)
1 large cucumber, quartered & cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 medium red onion, finely sliced or chopped
1-pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1 cup hummus (I used Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus
& added 1 clove finely minced garlic)
1/2 cup crumbled fetta cheese
lemon wedges (optional)
For the Yogurt Dressing:
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Cabot Greek whole milk yogurt)
1 Tablespoon EVOO
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp fresh mint, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried mint)
For the Dressing:
In a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Place in the fridge until ready to use. This dressing can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
For the Bowls:
Preheat the grill to high heat (approximately 450ºF).
Pat the steak with paper towels until dry. Brush steaks with EVOO then sprinkle with salt, pepper & a little garlic powder.
When the grill is hot enough, place the steak on the grill for 3 minutes then flip and grill an additional 3 minutes for medium-rare or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140ºF. Grill longer for thicker steak. Our steaks were about 1-inch thick before grilling.
Remove steak from the grill and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice thin against the grain.
While the steak is resting, divide the chopped lettuce between 4 bowls. Top with sliced steak, red onions, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
Spoon yogurt dressing on top and garnish with optional lemon wedges.
Notes: In place of slicing the red onion thin, you can cut them into 1-inch pieces & place on skewers with the tomatoes. Grill for about 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until tomatoes start to blister & onions are softened.
Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free
Difficulty: Very Easy
After our holiday baking was over, we had pignoli left over so we came up with this delicious, healthy recipe to kickstart 2020. Our first recipe for the new year is a meatless Mediterranean dish. In spite of our husbands' carnivore appetites, this meatless dish satisfied them both...we were in heaven! This recipe delivers an exciting depth of flavor with a wonderful blending of ingredients. We think you and your family will love it.
3 pounds zucchini and yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise & sliced 1/2 inch thick
Kosher salt & pepper
1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 Tablespoons EVOO
1 pound gluten-free pasta (we used Le Veneziane gluten-Free Farfalle)
12 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Grated Pecorino Romano
After cutting the zucchini and summer squash, sprinkle with approximately 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels & wipe away residual salt. Set aside.
While squash is draining, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, lower flame to simmer until ready to cook pasta.
In a 12-inch non=stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO over high heat. Once it starts to smoke, add half the squash and cook until slightly charred, turning occasionally, approximately 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat if the skillet starts to overheat. Transfer to a large plate then repeat step 3 with the remaining half of squash and another tablespoon of EVOO. Transfer 2nd batch to plate and set aside.
Bring water to full boil and add salt then the pasta. Cook according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of cooked pasta water.
In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of EVOO. Add pignoli and toast lightly, then add red onion, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook approximately 1 minute until fragrant.
Drain pasta (reserve 1 cup of pasta water) then return pasta to the pot. Add the squash, tomatoes, pignoli mixture, vinegar, basil, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Mix well to combine.
Add enough reserved pasta water to keep moist consistency but not soupy. You may not need the whole cup. Lightly drizzle with EVOO and top with grated cheese.
Char the sliced squash
toast pignoli then add red onion, garlic and pepper flakes
Mix everything into the cooked pasta
Place on serving platter
Top with grated cheese & Enjoy
Note: If gluten is not an issue, use your favorite brand of pasta. If your family must have meat, feel free to add whatever they like.
Whenever we go out together for dinner we always order fried calamari if it's on the menu. Unfortunately for Jack, restaurants never make it gluten-free. This leaves him feeling left out and having to settle for soup or salad. We decided to test a gluten-free batch that he would enjoy at home. Turns out they were so good you can't tell the difference. So if any of your loved ones need to eat gluten-free, give this recipe a try. Who needs restaurants when you can serve up a tender batch in no time at all!
1 lb calamari – fresh or frozen & thawed.
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Flour
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying
dipping sauce of your choice (Red Chili Pepper Spread, marinara sauce, chipotle mayo, etc.)
Rinse under cold water and dry the calamari well using paper towels or a clean dishtowel. Slice into 1/2-inch rings.
In a medium bowl, mix the gluten-free flour and seasonings. Combine well.
Toss rings into the flour mixture to coat well.
Fry small batches at a time in hot vegetable oil for 1½ – 2 minutes; don’t exceed 2 minutes or they will be overcooked & rubbery. They should be a pale golden color.
When cooked, remove quickly to paper towels to drain excess oil then repeat for the next batch.
Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or eat them just as they are.
Sliced calamari rings & tentacles
Toss in seasoned gluten-free flour
Rings after flour coating
Frying the tentacles first
Frying the rings
Served warm with Red Chili Pepper Spread or your favorite dipping sauce
It has taken 3 years of experimenting with countless cannoli shell recipes to get the cannoli shells to have the perfect texture, like the New York & Boston bakeries...not too crisp or too hard. We were persistent in trying to make a shell worthy of our cannoli cream. We were disappointed to learn that most of the Italian restaurants along with a lot of bakeries who serve/sell cannoli buy premade shells. It was a daunting journey and we were about to give up and buy the premade but we gave it one more try. Once we got the regular shell recipe to our liking we had to come up with a gluten-free recipe for Jack. We are thrilled to share our gluten-free recipe with you. They are delicious and so worth the effort!
Sift the gluten-free flour, sugar, cinnamon, cacao powder, and salt into a large bowl.
Make a well in the center and add the cold butter. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, wine & vanilla paste. Add to the flour, a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough begins to cling together. It should be lumpy.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny and tiny blisters appear on the surface. The blisters mean that the wine is beginning its fermentation in the dough, which will produce a crisp, light shell. Under kneading will result in large, irregular air pockets in the dough that will puff up and explode when they hit the oil.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In a deep heavy-bottomed 3-4 qt saucepan, add enough oil to come to a depth of 3 inches; heat to 375ºF on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. You will need to adjust the heat from time to time to maintain 375º.
After an hour, remove dough from the refrigerator. Then divide the dough into 4 quarters.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/16 inch thick and cut it into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter.
Use a small pastry brush to lightly wipe some vegetable oil around each cannoli tube to prevent dough from sticking to the tube.
Wrap each cutout of dough around the aluminum cannoli tube and seal the edges with a little water. The edges should overlap. Press down to seal well.
Once the oil reaches 372º-375º, use a chopstick to slide through the cannoli tube and gently place it in the hot oil. Fry 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, just be careful as they cook quickly. If the shells are browning too quickly lower temperature to 370º. Temperatures may vary depending on a gas stove or electric so keep an eye on the candy thermometer as it changes quickly. Use the chopstick to roll the tubes around until golden brown. They will dry a darker color once cooled. Using the chopsticks again, insert into tube and quickly remove to paper towel draped cooking rack to drain excess oil. Don’t worry if the tubes slide off the dough while frying. Just carefully remove the tube with your chopstick.
Use oven mitts or triple folded paper towels to grab the hot tube and gently shake to slide the shell off. Completely cool and store in an airtight container or plastic baggies with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess oil. They will keep several weeks.
To Fill: Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy. Use a large pastry bag with or without a fancy tip. Fill the bag with cannoli cream and squeeze into the shells, filling half of each shell at a time; working from the center out to the ends.
Decorate the ends with chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips, candied orange peel or candied cherries. Shell ends can also be dipped in chocolate before filling.
Notes: Cannolo (plural: cannoli) The word cannoli means ‘pipes’ – pipes of crispy pastry filled with ricotta cream (the most common), pastry cream, chocolate cream, or pistachio cream.
Recipe adapted from Victoria Granof, Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries.
Jasmine rice, with its fragrant characteristic aroma, is a wonderful side dish on its own; however, when we added just a few simple ingredients it exploded with flavor and has become a family favorite. Although Jasmine rice is typically used in Thai cuisine it is equally popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and has become our go-to rice for many side dishes. Although it has a unique fragrance it won't interfere with any cuisine and is delicious.
2 cups Jasmine Rice
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 Tablespoon butter
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 cup EVOO, for sautéeing
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 Red Bell Peppers, seeded and diced
1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Add rice, salt, water or broth, and butter in a deep saucepan.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
When it comes to a boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover the pan tightly and cook without stirring 18-20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Keep covered and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
In a large deep skillet or wok heat EVOO until hot.
Sauté onions and bell peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add fresh or frozen peas and continue to cook 3 minutes.
Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir to combine well on low-medium heat.
Remove from heat and serve.
Notes: The fresher the rice is, the more aroma it will have.
Before Barbara retired from the corporate world she would always ask the President of the company what his wife made the night before for dinner. Hal would come into work the next day and heat up his lunch. You cannot believe the wonderful aromas wafting through the entire office. It made everyone hungry! He told me to ask Lynda, his wife and I did. She was kind enough to send me and the entire office handwritten recipes of her chicken dishes as chicken was the only 'meat' her family would eat. She learned to make chicken many different ways and they were all delicious. Thank you Lynda for sharing them with us, you are the best!😋
4-6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in (you can also use chicken breasts in place of thighs)
2 Tablespoons EVOO
2 Tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup chicken stock
2 tsp all-purpose flour
14-ounces can/jar artichoke hearts, drained and halved
salt & pepper to taste
parsley for garnish
2 sweet onions, cut in half then sliced
2 cans sliced mushrooms
Season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, & basil
In a large skillet heat the EVOO and 1 Tablespoon butter. When melted and hot, add the chicken, skin side up & fry for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Toss the onions in the lemon juice and add to skillet. Gently fry, stirring for 3-4 minutes until just beginning to soften.
Return the chicken to the skillet. Pour in the white wine vinegar and chicken stock, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from skillet, reserving the cooking juices and keep warm. Bring juices to a boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining butter to the skillet and add the flour. Stir well until flour in blended & smooth and juices start to thicken. Lower heat to a simmer.
Adjust seasoning to taste if needed.
Stir in the artichoke hearts and mushrooms then cook about 2-3 minutes
Plate the chicken then pour sauce over each one with some artichoke hearts and mushrooms.
Pan Seared Loin Pork Chops with Sauerkraut & Onions
We found some delicious looking loin pork chops at Costco that were about 1-inch thick and we thought we would bring you this basic recipe that is quick to make & produces the juiciest pork chops that are Mmmm Good!😋
8 thick loin pork chops (bone-in, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick)
2 Tablespoons butter
salt & pepper to taste
1 large sweet onion, chopped
pinch of caraway seeds
Rub a drizzle of EVOO on each side of pork chop, then sprinkle with salt, pepper & garlic powder to your taste.
Preheat large skillet with 2 Tablespoons butter & 1 Tablespoon EVOO. Sauté onions until golden.
Add sauerkraut & caraway seeds then continue to cook until juice is absorbed. Remove from skillet & set aside.
Raise skillet heat to high in order to produce a nice sear on the pork chops. When skillet is hot enough lower heat to medium-high & add pork chops, don’t crowd them and don’t move them until ready to flip over. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Once browned, flip over and continue to cook another 4-5 minutes on medium-high. When pork chops are done, remove from skillet & arrange on a platter. Cover with foil until sauerkraut is done.
Put the sauerkraut & onion mixture back into the hot skillet. Add 1 pat of butter. Heat for 3 minutes & stir regularly until hot. Place sauerkraut & onions in center of platter then place pork chops all around. Garnish with parsley, rosemary or thyme and serve.
Fennel Sausage, Peppers & Onions in Spaghetti Squash Boats
Today was the day to use up the spaghetti squash that was sitting on the counter for 2 weeks. We were remembering the zucchini or eggplant boats we used to make many moons ago & decided this was perfect for the spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is always a big hit with Jack & Gary. We had all the ingredients on hand so it was a no brainer. It's really delicious and satisfying.
2 small spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scooped out
1 lb chopped bulk pork
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 extra-large cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
EVVO to drizzle over squash
1½ tsp dried oregano
1 Tablespoon garlic powder for squash
salt & pepper to taste
2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced into 1/4-1/2 inches pieces (we had 1 orange & 1 yellow on hand)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese for garnish
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
Drizzle some EVOO over each half of squash then rub entire squash interior surface.
Sprinkle each half with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder.
Place each squash half face down on sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes depending, on squash size. Don’t over bake… squash skin should be tender but firm to touch.
While the squash is baking, brown the sausage meat & fennel. Once browned, add the salt & pepper, onions, minced garlic, and sliced peppers. Sauté until soft and golden. Keep warm.
When squash is done, remove from oven and let cool.
Once the squash is cooled take 2 forks to shred the squash, being careful not to cut through the skin. Spoon sausage mixture on top of each half.
Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and return to oven until cheese melts.
Top with grated cheese and serve hot.
Note: We served this dish with sautéd Kale and garlic along with an arugula & baby spinach salad with a homemade lemon/balsamic vinaigrette.
Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread with Smoked Salmon & Chive Butter
Servings: 1 loaf
If you thought a good gluten-free Irish Soda bread was impossible, think again. After several attempts we finally found a combination that works and tastes great, so get ready for St. Patrick's Day. You don't have to miss out on a wonderful Irish tradition because this recipe is full of flavor & texture. Try it with your corned beef and cabbage meal or as an appetizer with salmon & chive butter or jam. You will love this GF Irish Soda Bread. 😋☘️
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the gluten-free flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles pea-sized crumbs.
Stir in the currants & raisins that have been coated with gluten-free flour.
In a measuring cup mix together with a fork, the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest.
Switch to using your hands to mix batter together to form a wet dough that can be shaped into a round loaf. Dough will be very sticky. Place onto parchment lined baking pan & form a loaf, see pictures below.
In a separate bowl combine the 1 Tablespoon of melted butter and 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk. With a pastry brush, brush the loaf with butter/buttermilk mixture.
Use a sharp knife to cut a small X on the top of the loaf.
Bake at 375° for 50 – 55 minutes, or until golden brown and no wet batter is visible in the x slit.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. (Cuts better when cooled)
Assembling the Appetizer
Slice the soda bread into 1/4-inch thin slices
Cut each slice into a 2-inch square or rectangle until you have 16 pieces. Wrap the remaining bread in plastic wrap & store in a cool dry place.
Mix the softened butter and chives together then spread a small amount onto each square.
Top with a small fold of salmon & garnish with a small sprig of fresh dill.
Note: Recipe for salmon and chive butter adapted from Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, The Hearty Boys at Food Network.