Not Your Mother’s Meat Loaf

I feel like I’ve fallen into a rut lately. Even though I’ve greatly expanded the list of dishes I can cook, I sometimes end up in a cycle where I make my favorites over and over again until I’m sick of them. So when I was trying to think of something to make tonight, nothing sounded good. I decided to look through some of my saved recipes, hoping for inspiration. And then I saw it, a recipe I haven’t made in forever. How could I forget about cheesy mini meat loaves? And when I got out of class to discover that it had started raining in addition to being grey and cold, meatloaf sounded especially appealing.

I know meat loaf has kind of gotten a bad reputation…or is that something I just imagined? Don’t kids on TV shows always moan and groan when their mother tells them they’re having meat loaf for dinner? LOL. At any rate, my mom rarely ever made meat loaf when I was growing up, so it’s not something that inspires dread in me. And this particular meat loaf is really good, I promise.

I first had this dish at a friend’s house when she invited me over for dinner. I really liked it and my friend told me I could find the recipe online, so I googled it. I’ve never blogged about this recipe before and when I started writing this post  I realized that I had deleted the link to the original recipe online after I wrote it down. I found the recipe again, but I was surprised by the number of differences between the recipe and what I have written down. I’m not sure if these are changes I made or if its not the same recipe, but they’re close enough that it doesn’t really matter. Here’s the “original” recipe, and here’s my version:

Mini Cheesy Meat loaves

Ingredients:

1 egg
1 pound lean ground beef*
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup onion, chopped (increase or decrease this amount according to your tastes)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard
Garlic and onion powder, a dash each

* My friend’s fiancee gets horrible migraines when he eats red meat, so they’ve tried this recipe with ground turkey and she said it wasn’t nearly as good
…Just a side note because I know that I personally substitute ground turkey for ground beef 90% of the time

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. In a large bowl, beat milk and eggs together. Add ground beef, onions, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well (Don’t wait until this step to take the ground beef out of the fridge or you will get major hand cramps from the cold!)

3. In a separate bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and spices in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

4. Form meat into mini loaves and place in an oven safe dish (makes about 8). Spoon sauce generously over the loaves and bake for 45 minutes.

That’s it! Just serve and enjoy.

-Vanessa

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