Errands, Rain and Meat Loaf

Today was one of those gray, rainy days outside. After waiting in line for 45 minutes at one of my business errands, then getting wet as I dashed for my car, I decided this would be a perfect day for some comfort food. I had a new meat loaf recipe I wanted to try. Several weeks ago I saw it posted on my friend Beth's Facebook page, and I saved it. Then I stashed it somewhere, as I often do with recipes. The only problem with that is finding the recipe again when I want to use it. I went through a number of recipes, and finally came up with the right one. I'm glad I did because this meat loaf is easy to make and is soooo delicious. The original recipe came from Beth's mother, Archie, who is well into her 90's now. I have learned to pay attention when a 90-year-old wants to share a recipe. This is a recipe I won't lose again.

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Meat Loaf

1/2 cup catsup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 pound ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon minced parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray. In a small saucepan, mix catsup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and nutmeg. Heat until mixture begins to bubble, then remove from heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, egg, and bread crumbs. Add salt, pepper, onion, and parsley. Stir in 1/2 of the cooled sauce; mix well. Shape into a loaf and place in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes. Spread remaining 1/2 of sauce over top of meatloaf. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.



Pumpkin Muffins

Although the daytime temperatures are still summertime hot, you might want to grab a jacket for early morning or night time. The season is changing and that brings changes in what we cook and bake. One of the fall tastes most people enjoy is pumpkin. There are so many different ways to use pumpkin, and muffins are just one example. My sister baked these muffins for me recently. They smell wonderful and taste even better.

Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup toasted walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a standard 12-cavity muffin pan with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Combine flour mixture with pumpkin mixture. Add walnuts, if using. Spoon batter in prepared muffin pan. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


My Favorite Dough Whisk

I have a new favorite kitchen tool. It's called "the original dough whisk". This is one gadget that belongs in every kitchen. I don't know how I ever got along without it. I received mine as a birthday gift from my sister back in the spring of this year. I've been using it almost 4 months now, and I couldn't keep quiet about it any longer.

This whisk isn't made like any of my other whisks. This whisk is a long 13.5 inches and is sturdily made with a wooden handle. It's great for stirring bread dough or any kind of batter. Previously, I almost always used my big heavy mixer to make bread, but with this whisk, it's not necessary to get the big mixer out. It amazes me every time I use it. To clean it, you simply put it under the water faucet and everything rinses off.

I just bought another one of these to give as a gift. I can't think of anything better to give to someone who likes to cook. Whether you bake bread on a regular basis or make an occasional box of packaged brownie mix, this is the whisk to use. If you're a person who doesn't like a lot of kitchen gadgets and prefer to only buy the basics, I think you'll find this is one of those basics. I love kitchen gadgets, but this whisk could replace any number of my other whisks and spoons. I now reach for this one any time I need to stir a batter.

This post has been written because the original dough whisk is a product I love to use. It works very well, and I wanted to share it with my friends. All opinions are my own. I am not affiliated with the makers of this whisk, nor have I received any compensation.


Easy Cherry Coffee Cake

Way back in the '60's my mother would make a dessert something like this cherry coffee cake. Hers wasn't exactly like this, and if I remember correctly she called it a magic cobbler. I'd love to have that recipe she used. I'm pretty sure she made hers with self-rising flour and milk, but beyond that I don't know. I do remember that the batter rose to the top and made a crust. This recipe makes a cake-like layer at the bottom. The recipes are different, but enough alike that I was reminded of helping mother cook when I was a little girl. Mother didn't leave behind enough of her recipes in written form. If anyone has that old magic cobbler recipe send it my way, please.

This cherry coffee cake is perfect to carry to a potluck. It also goes well with an afternoon coffee or tea. Adding whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream would turn it into a fancy dessert.

Print Recipe

Easy Cherry Coffee Cake

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add melted butter and stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture to be used as topping, set aside. Add eggs and milk to the remaining crumb mixture. Spread batter in the prepared baking dish. Spread cherry pie filling over the batter, but do not mix. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over the top. Bake for 45 minutes.