I have the fondest memories that are associated with smell of cooking foods. I love the smell of coffee and bacon in the mornings. The smell of fresh baked breads and cakes out of the oven. Steaks, hams and turkeys basting are all smells of my childhood. They bring back such strange and wondrous feelings of absolute complacency with the world. It's a grand thing to have these associations or so I believe. Another one that I have is the smell of meatloaf cooking. There was something securely unique about the cooking of ketchup that makes me feel warm all over. Yes, I said ketchup. We always put ketchup on top of our meatloaf to cook it and so will you once you taste it, if you have not already. My thirteen year old already has the associated smells of bacon on a Sunday morning and coming home to the smell of meatloaf cooking. He too says it reminds him of "good things". Nice to know some memories can be passed on.
Meatloaf has to be one of the easiest and quickest meals to make. This is one of those items that you do not have to use fresh ingredients except for the hamburger meat. The spices can be the dried variety such as the garlic, onion and anything else you want. I use gluten free bread crumbs and oats.
1 lb ground beef (I use the 80% due to the fat content, if you use any higher add more tomato sauce to the meat) If you want to make a larger loaf, make two or they can become too dry.
2 TBSP minced onion, heaping or 1 1/2 TBSP dried onion
1/2 cup oats (I zip them through my coffee grinder to make it finer)
2 Heaping TBSP Bread Crumbs
3 Cloves garlic minced or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder or other
3/4 c Tomato sauce
(Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, bake for approx. 45 minutes but will depend on fat content. Start checking at 30 minutes)
Dump it all together except the Ketchup and just under a 1/4 cup of the Tomato Sauce. Mix by hand.
Throw into a loaf pan and form into a loaf shape.
Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top along with enough Ketchup to cover the top. You are done.
This is a great easy meal. I usually make rice with mine but go ahead and make mashed potatoes with yours. I also will make my vegitables at the same time. I like parsnips. I will take a few parsnips, peeled and chunked up, get some Mexican Green Onions (4-5), 2 cloves of garlic sliced, and several pats of unsalted butter. Throw together in a covered container along with salt and pepper and bake at the same time. So so so good.
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Remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,