New To Me “Cooking” Challenge, Wks 1-4

Week 1- MeatLoaf
I know… boooooooring. But I really wanted to start out with something that is (almost) impossible to ruin. And this one was! Basically, I browsed until I had some idea of what I wanted to do. Then I kinda mixed a few recipes together and “went with it”. I should also mention… when I made this I only had a 9×4 loaf pan, so I increased the baking temp and baked for a full hour. If you have a 9×5 pan bake it at 350 degrees F instead of 360 degrees.
I use the leanest ground beef I can find at the grocery store, but it was still a little greasy. Awesome suggestion (from a friend) lay a few slices of bread on the bottom of the pan before you put the meat in, and it will soak up some of the grease! I’m def going to try it that way next time!
Week 2- Slow Cooker Meatballs
Confession: I actually made these for the first time last year. But the Chicken Pot Pie I made needed another try. So I remade these. I like them for a few reasons: 1. The freeze/ thaw well, 2. I can use them in Subs or on Pasta, 3. They taste pretty yummy! This was another recipe I compiled from a few different combinations on All Recipes. I used dried seasonings because I don’t want to buy and chop fresh ones. Another awesome thing about these is you can make them BIGGER if you want! Just remember you might have to cook them longer! I actually weighed each little meatball to make sure they came out the same size (1 oz). That sounds pretty neurotic, huh? That’s how I roll. Haha, get it… meatballs… balls… roll… Not funny?
Week 3- Sweet Potato Fries
Hubs LOOOOVES Sweet Potatoes. I don’t. They’re OK… but I don’t particularly enjoy them. If I went to a restaurant, I wouldn’t order sweet potatoes. Maybe it’s because where I came from we call them YAMS, and the only time we had them in my house is when they had marshmallows on top. They always looked so ugly, so I discreetly passed them over.
That being said… I liked these fries. Hubs gave them 2 thumbs up, and has already asked me to make them again! AND they’re relatively healthy! I mean, seriously, there’s only 156 calories in 4 ounces! That’s about 2x as many fries for half the calories compared the the frozen bagged french fires we normally buy. BAM! I cooked mine for almost 40 minutes because I like my fries SUPER crispy. The length of time you should cook them will depend on the thickness as well. Duh?! This recipe AND the Buttery Beer Quick Bread came from The Novice Chef! Check out her blog!
Week 4- Buttery Beer Quick Bread
One word. GLOOORIOUS! Fabulous! Delish! Ooops, that’s three words. But, for real, this bread was really good. And quick. Could that be why it’s named Quick Bread? It’s a super easy to make because it doesn’t have to rise or anything. I used regular Yeungling, but I’m thinking about trying it with some of the other beer I have In the fridge. Like ShockTop, or PurpleHaze, or StrawberryBlonde… The only “problem” is that it’s a little too buttery, but the texture is great. I’ll probably only use half or 3/4 a stick of butter next time. It was slightly difficult to cut.  Or maybe that was my fault. I’m sort of a sloppy cutter. If you have left-overs, just heat each slice up for a few seconds in the microwave before you eat it!  No matter what, I suggest you go make this calorie & carb filled delish. Right. Now.
Happy Cooking.
-Hey Waitress!!
PS. Sorry about the picture quality. I take them with my phone… And I didn’t take any of the meatloaf because I think all meat loaf looks alike. 😉
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