Monday, March 9, 2015

Cheesy Italian Meatloaf

I have to say... I am not a huge meatloaf fan.  My hubby loves it so I do try to make it every now and then.  I think it is a texture issue with me.  I saw this recipe on Facebook and thought the Italian flavors and cheeses might be the perfect added touch.  Chris loved it.  I enjoyed it too - I especially liked the cheesy crunchy edges!

Cheesy Italian Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage ( I used hot)
1 small onion, finely chopped ( I used minced onion)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (I used Italian Panko bread crumbs)
2 slices white bread, crumbled
1 T. milk
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese, reserve 3/4 cup for topping
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (maybe a little extra to sprinkle on top)
1 cup marinara sauce, plus 1/2 cup or so for topping

In a small skillet, brown the onion in olive oil until tender, remove from heat.  In a large bowl, combine meat, onion, and remaining ingredient,s reserving 3/4 cup of cheese for topping.  Using your hands, combine everything very well.  Pat mixture into baking dish of your choice.  Top with the extra marinara sauce.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 - 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with reserved Mozzarella cheese, a sprinkling of Parmesan and a little dried basil.  Return to the oven and bake for about 10 more minutes.  

*Make sure meat isn't pink when serving.  Cooking times may vary.  I baked mine in a meatloaf pan that drains the fat - I love it.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Smoked Almond Cheese Spread

I love smoked almonds and I think everyone loves cheese.  I tasted a Smoked Almond Cheese spread at an event and decided I would come up with one.  Feel free to tweak it with different cheeses.  I like serving it with crackers but I totally think you could add a little more mayonnaise, spoon the mixture into a baking dish, top with chopped smoked almonds and baked it for a hot appetizer.

Smoked Almond Cheese Spread

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups swiss cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz sharp cheese, grated (I used white aged cheddar but any sharp cheese)
4- 6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 oz can smoked almonds, chopped (divided)

Mix all ingredients with about 3/4 of the smoked almonds.  Mix well.  Spoon into one larger crock or two smaller crocks and sprinkle with chopped almonds.  Serve with favorite crackers or vegetables.

* I don't like to serve this right out of the refrigerator.  The cheeses are too hard and you can taste the flavors.  Allow dish to sit out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving
*We enjoyed one crock at home and I took the other crock to a party

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