Thursday, November 15, 2012

Manly Meatloaf Recipe from BreeAnna

My husband loves meatloaf, and not just any meatloaf--his mother’s meatloaf. Thus begins the time-old story of a poor wife trying to outdo her mother-in-law. (Not really, but it was a good hook right?)

When my husband and I were dating it didn’t take me long to learn his favorite dish. This guy could finish a 13 x 9 pan of meatloaf by himself! I knew this was something I would have to learn how to make well because I would be making it all the time. So I gave his mother’s recipe a try. It was, for lack of a better word, inedible. And I’m not talking the left-it-in-the-oven-too-long-and-it-burned inedible. I’m talking the flavors not mixing properly, someone using salt instead of sugar, kind of inedible. I’m still not sure why her recipe didn’t turn out right, but I decided I needed to create my own.

I started asking around, “How do you make your meatloaf?” I got a few suggestions but none that I was really happy with, so I decided to start back with a very basic meatloaf (bread crumbs and meat) and added seasonings I thought would make it better. Not often do I get lucky with just throwing stuff in a bowl, but this time it was a hit!

With winter hitting hard and snow on the ground, I thought some warm comfort food might be just the ticket, so if you can’t decide what to make for dinner tonight, you can give this a try.

  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion (fresh would work too but dried is easier)
  • 1/2 loaf of bread broken into small pieces (I just use my blender, or my daughter if she’s not napping. Hehehe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 packages Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Mushroom Soup Mix (there are 2 in each box)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste (since you’re not actually going to taste it before it’s cooked – yuck!- I would say 1 tsp. is a good place to start)
  • milk
  • ketchup (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Break bread into large bowl. Add onion, soup mix, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour in just enough milk so that it covers no more than half of the bread and other ingredients.
  4. Add eggs and meat, and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Everything should cling together in a ball without being soupy (add more bread) or too dry where it won’t cling to itself (add more milk).
  5. Put the messy concoction into a greased 13 x 9 pan.
  6. I add ketchup to the top of mine because I like it caramelized and cooked on the meatloaf. We only put it on half, though, because my husband doesn’t share my ketchup enthusiasm. Either way works.
  7. Cook for 1 hour and enjoy!
String with Style

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Featured Seller: Kristin from Treehouse Illustrator

 This week's featured seller is Kristin from Treehouse Illustrator.

Although I went to art school, a lot of what I do for my shop is self taught. I've always been an artist, so the years of practice certainly help. Many times, I'll think of an idea or product, and I'll have to figure out how to make it. Wood burning was something I had never tried until after I opened the Treehouse Illustrator shop.

I had been reading an article about how to make money with your artwork and it led me to Etsy. Soon after, I signed up and listed a few of my illustrations. I read a lot of the "Quit Your Day Job" blog posts on Etsy, along with a lot of other articles for sellers. It wasn't until I started making my wooden spoons that I got any sales, though, and I was thrilled when my shop did well for the Christmas season. Now, I keep trying to come up with new ways to expand my shop -- new products, variations, etc. I'm blessed that my sales have increased, and I hope my shop continues to grow.

Even though I don't have many LDS-themed goods in my shop, the gospel has everything to do with my work. I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mommy and supplement our income with my art. I've prayed long and hard and have received blessings for guidance. I believe it's only because I ask what Heavenly Father wants me to do and I obey whatever answer I get -- no matter how scary it is. I trust that He'll help me to be able to stay home with my children. Plus, I dress my son, Liam, in my tie onesies for church.

Check out Treehouse Illustrator for more fun wood-burned designs!