Archive for October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! Dead Man Meatloaf

With our small family of three and moving all over the country while hubby served his 20 years in the Navy, we tried hard to start our own holiday traditions. We wanted to add those special memories that we all look back on and remember, warmly, of days gone by. For Halloween we have our traditional dinner of Dead Man Meatloaf with a side of roasted brains.

It’s very easy to make. Use your favorite 3 pound meatloaf recipe (see below for my favorite recipe) and shape into a man. Using veggies for the eyes, mouth and buttons, roast in a 350 degree oven about one hour, until the internal temp reads 160 degrees. You may need to foil the arms and legs if they start to brown to fast. Once done cover lightly with foil for 15 minutes or so to allow the juices to redistribute. Just before serving put a small amount of ketchup on the belly and insert a knife.

To make the roasted brains, cut up one head of cauliflower. In a bowl toss the flowerettes, along with 6 or so cloves of garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread all of it out in one layer on a large baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, checking about half way and tossing the cauliflower so that it roasts evenly.


2 pounds ground beef
1 pound mild turkey sausage
1/2 cup tortilla chip crumbs
1/2 cup salsa (medium)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
salt & pepper (go lightly on the salt as both the tortilla chips and the cheese are salty)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350

Put all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix gently with hands (or dough hook on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until thoroughly mixed. Be careful not to over mix, as this will create too dense of a texture.

On a lightly greased foil lined baking sheet form meatloaf into desired shape. Roast approximately one hour, until internal temp is 160. Leftovers make amazing sandwiches!

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Butternut Squash

I love the desert, but in the summer it is HOT. Not hot but HOT. Frying an egg on the sidewalk hot is downright chilly compared to how hot we get. This presents a problem with cooking, in that it makes the air conditioner work harder than ever. This past summer I experimented with a few new slow cooker ideas and one of my favorites was simply boneless chicken breasts, whole garlic cloves, salt, pepper and a splash (maybe a tablespoon) of balsamic vinegar. On low for 4 hours and bam…chicken is moist, tender and very flavorful.

Now that fall is approaching I decided to shake it up a bit. I started with the boneless breasts as I described above, then added a peeled and cubed butternut squash (in 1 inch cubes). Topped that with fresh sage. On low for 7 hours and voila, dinner is ready.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken with Butternut Squash

I mashed some of the squash for me, hubby preferred his cubed.

Left Turn

I had finally gotten this blog up and running when my life took a bit of a left turn. It seemed that one thing after another was coming at me, without leaving me a chance to catch my breath. We’ve all been there, and I’m sure I’ll be there again. But for the moment my life is back up and running. So soon I will be updating this with lots of stories of our danes, our cats, food, places I get to visit, and life in our high desert.

In the meantime I leave you with a picture of our newest addition, Lucy.