Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Family Valentine's Day Dinner

Hi everyone!  How is your day so far?  It is kind of dreary here….clouds, rain, some snow, etc.  And super cold.  It’s one of those days where I can’t get warm no matter what.  But I think you are probably sick of hearing me whine.  We have had a relatively dry winter, so I really shouldn’t complain so much. But that is kind of how I roll…. I complain a lot;)  and then I wonder where my kids get it.  But I digress…..

Today I am going to show you a super cute idea for a family Valentine’s Day dinner.  If you are anything like my family, there is no way that you will get out for a hot, sexy, romantic date with your significant other.  (Hot? Sexy?...I am such a nerd).  You will be stuck at home, with the kids, all jacked up on chocolate and chalky candy hearts.  Why not celebrate as a family?  I have a great recipe for heart shaped meatloaf and what I like to call “Hugs and Kisses Veggies”.  This meatloaf is so good that you will want to make it all the time…and not just heart shaped.  It is stuffed with mushrooms, onions and cheese….it kind of reminds me of a mushroom burger.  I also serve the meatloaf on pink mashed potatoes, so the cute factor is even higher.  So let’s start this.

For my meatloaf (meatloaves?), I like to use a combo of ground beef and ground pork.  I use a pound of each.

Let your meats sit out for a bit before you make this.  There is nothing worse than sticking your hand in cold meat;) 

As for the rest of the ingredients…..I use cream of mushroom soup (condensed), bread crumbs, sliced mushrooms, smoked gouda cheese, chopped onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, an egg, and salt & pepper.  Meatloaf requires a bazillion ingredients, but I bet you already have a lot of them.  Unless you are my sister….then your fridge contains chocolate pudding and tequila.

I used smoked Gouda because I happen to have gotten it as a gift a few days ago.  Best gift ever too, BTW.  I heart cheese, especially smoked cheeses which you are probably figuring out from the last few weeks.  You can use regular Gouda or any smoked cheese you want.  Smoked mozzarella would rock.

I started by sweating the onions, mushrooms and garlic a bit first.  I threw them in a sauté pan with a bit of olive oil.  I just wanted to soften them up slightly.  I also salted and peppered this mix.

I like to mix everything but the meat first.  Ground meats can get tough if they are overworked.  I understand.  I am also an ass when overworked.

In the bowl above is the egg, breadcrumbs, soup, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, and sautéed veggies.  I mixed it thoroughly.

Then, I throw that mix on top of the ground meats and go for it.  There is no choice here….you have to mix this with your hands.  Wash them first.  And after.  Duh.

I baked my meatloaves in my heart shaped muffin pans.  Really fill these guys up full.  They will shrink when they bake, so you really need to fill ‘em up to maintain shape.

I topped mine with BBQ sauce because I, obviously, always have BBQ sauce on hand.  You can use your favorite BBQ sauce or ketchup.

Also, you can get these muffin pans at virtually any grocery store this time of year……

These guys baked for about 20 minutes.  I let them cool while I made the veggies and potatoes.

For the veggies….

Are you wondering why I call them “Hugs and Kisses Veggies?”  I used green beans as “X” and red onion rings as my “O”.  Get it?  XXXOOO?? 

Besides being super cute, they are also yummy.  They are cooked with a bit of balsamic vinegar which disguises the fact that they are actually vegetables.  You all know my feelings on most veggies;)

I used a bag of green beans (12 ounce), red onion, butter, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper.  Don’t ask me where the salt is….it somehow didn’t make the picture.

I sliced the red onion into rings.  I set aside the ones that were too little….I will use those for something else.

I cooked the beans first in about an inch of boiling water.  I put the lid on and let them steam for about 2 minutes.  Then, I ran the beans under cold water to stop the cooking.

In that same pan, with its water dumped out, I sautéed the onions in olive oil and butter.  I also added the garlic after about 2 minutes. 

Once the onions were softened, I added the beans back in.  I added the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  I cooked this until the vinegar reduced and became syrupy….about 2 more minutes.

Stand back when you pour the vinegar in.  There is nothing worse than a vinegar facial.  You will think you got tear gassed.

Too plate this all up…..I put my pink potatoes onto the plate, using a heart shaped cookie cutter as my mold.  Use whatever mashed potato recipe you want, just add a few drops of pink food coloring when they are mashed and done.

I set a meatloaf on top, and then I traced around the potato heart with ketchup.  That is optional.  I just happen to like ketchup with my meatloaf….like a 4 year old.

How cute is that plate???  And even better….it tastes great too!  I think that this is a great meal to serve on Valentine’s Day.  I promise your kids will love it.  What is better than pink potatoes?

I will have a couple of cute dessert ideas for Valentine’s Day coming on Thursday…..See ya then!!

Valentine’s Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef-80/20

1 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup sliced mushrooms, chopped to the same size as diced onion

1 cup onion, diced

1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

10 ¾ ounce can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

¾ cup breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


BBQ sauce-optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Put ground beef and ground pork in a large bowl.  Set aside to come to room temperature.

In a sauté pan, sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until softened.  This will take about 4 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to veggies.

In a separate mixing bowl, mix together cooked veggies, soup, Worcestershire sauce, egg, cheese, and breadcrumbs thoroughly.  Add this mixture to ground meats and mix well, with hands.  Do not over mix.

Fill each cavity of a heart shaped muffin pan with meatloaf mixture.  Top each with BBQ sauce, about 1 teaspoon.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Hugs and Kisses Veggies

12 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and ready

1 red onion, sliced into rings (discard rings that are too small)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Bring about 1 inch of water to boil in a large sauté pan.  Add green beans and cover.  Steam for about 2 minutes.  Remove beans and rinse under cold water.  Drain.

In same sauté pan, melt butter and add olive oil.  Add onion rings and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Add green beans back in.  Add balsamic vinegar and cook until vinegar is reduced, about 2 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

1 comment:

  1. Too cute! Looks great! And I am not the sister with Tequila and pudding in her fridge! Mine is chock-full of goodies!