Vegetarian “Meatloaf” and Corn Fritter Casserole
January 31, 2009, 1:21 am
Filed under: Main Dishes | Tags: , ,

My father-in-law is staying with us for the weekend, and our usual M.O. is to go out for dinner for every single meal.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve cooked for him before, but not frequently.  This time, though, I was bound and determined to make a yummy meal that my non-meat eating husband would love and that my pretty mainstream with his eating habits father-in-law wouldn’t think was crazy.

I did it!!  Rave reviews all around! 

Now, I’m not sure where I originally got these recipes, as they were jammed into my recipe box that hasn’t been opened probably since we moved into our current home 2 years ago, so there is credit due…I’m just not sure where.  Ooops.

Vegetarian Meatloaf

1 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped carrots

1 medium onion, diced finely

3 garlic cloves, finely diced or put through a garlic press

1 T olive oil

3/4 c. ketchup

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used Italian style)

2 large eggs

1 12-oz pkg meatless ground burger (Boca)

1 12-oz pkg Morningstar sausage crumbles

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine first 4 ingredients in food processor and process until finely chopped. (I don’t have a food pro, so I did it by hand…either way is fine). 

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add onion mixture.  Saute until tender.

In separate large bowl, combine eggs with ketchup and breadcrumbs.  Add in burger and sausage crumbles.   Mix well.  Add onion mixture.  Mix well.

Press all into 9×5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray.  Spread remaining 1/4 c. ketchup over the top.  Bake 35 minutes, then let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  (this isn’t entirely necessary, it just helps the pieces stay together better)

Yields 8 slices

Alongside the “meatloaf” I served this Corn Fritter Casserole.  Holy goodness…but then, I heart corn in a big way.

Corn Fritter Casserole

3 T butter, softened

3 large egg whites

1 8oz block of low fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

1/2 c. finely chopped red bell pepper

1 can whole kernel corn, drained (or use equivalent in frozen corn, thawed)

1 can cream-style corn

1 pkg corn muffin mix (Jiffy)

black pepper to taste

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk or fork until smooth.  Stir in onion, bell pepper, and both cans of corn.  Mix well.  Add muffin mix, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  (maybe 1 tsp or so?).  Stir until well combined.  Pour into 11×7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out  clean.  Yields 9 2/3 c. servings.


I served it all with an additional side of steamed haricot verts, and it made a fabulously delicious, well-rounded meal if I do say so myself.  That corn fritter casserole is rich and to-die.  The meatloaf was much better than I thought it would be, and my husband dug in for seconds of both.  My father-in-law raved over the corn casserole, and commented that he really enjoyed the meatloaf.  Cooper ate the green beans.  Hey…ya can’t win ’em all, right?


January 30, 2009, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

I don’t bake very much, but find cookies kind of fun (and easy) to make.  I don’t bake those very often because Cooper is obsessed with my Mom’s cookies (aka: Grammy cookies!), so we usually have plenty around.

Today I thought I’d bake a few homemade cookies for Papa’s arrival from Wisconsin, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to further my search for the perfect cookie recipe.  I’ve been manipulating oatmeal cookies for over a year now trying to find one that I not only like, but loooove.

My attempt today got me much, much closer to cookie perfection…with a few calls home to mom for advice.  But hey…an expert is an expert, right?

So, here’s today’s attempt:


Kristin’s Cookies – Attempt # 26 (?)

1 3/4 sticks butter  1 stick softened to room temp, 3/4 stick melted in microwave

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups Quaker Oats quick-cooking

1/2 cup Ghiradelli white chocolate chips

1 cup Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips (60 % cacao)

Preheat to 350.  Beat butter and sugars until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.  In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar/egg mixture.  Mix well.  Stir in oats and chocolate.  Mix well.  Drop by rounded tablespoon on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake until they begin to lightly brown on top.  I cool them on a sheet of tinfoil on the counter so there’s easy clean-up.   Makes slightly more than 3 dozen cookies.


My first batch is lined up along the top side of this picture.  Perhaps you can tell that they are flatter than the others.  I had gone light on the flour, and after a quick call to my Mom, adjusted the recipe.  The remainder turned out perfectly shaped….thanks Mom.

January 19, 2009, 4:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

it’s a New Year and I realized my poor food blog has sat here, unattended for far too long.  Last I wrote, I was doing the vegan thing and trying hard to redo some of my favorite recipes (like my mom’s potato salad) in vegan form.  I gotta say, it wasn’t too difficult..but….

There’s always a “but”, right?

To begin at the beginning….D.Jones and I had an opportunity to go out on a short date night last night courtesy of my parents.  (Thank you!)  We decided that rather than going to one of the new hot spot restaurants, or going to a play, or doing the dinner and a movie thing, that we’d try to get some exercise.  We thought:  bowling!  (don’t ask me why)  Anyway, we dropped Cooper off at my parents and headed to a close bowling alley.  Turns out, they didn’t have bowling open to the public because they were booked with private parties.  Who knew that people rented bowling alleys for private parties!?   Well, I should be clear that my parent’s area of town is not like most others…  Bowling alleys aren’t the smokey place of yore, where beer swilling blue collar workers (a la the old Roseanne show) go for a good, cheap time.  No, this one includes a fabulous restaurant and the cleanest, most lovely bowling alley you could ever imagine.  So, apparently the upper middle class suburbanites of the area rent the place…who knew?

We ended up playing some trivia (where I kicked Doug’s butt…and being Cliffy Claven himself, he was not happy), but then I totally got schooled in darts.

We then retired to the restaurant for some fantastic fish tacos, cocktails and chit chat.

This is the point in the evening where I told D.Jones I’ve had a revelation.  A self-realization of sorts.  The conversation consisted of my telling D.Jones that I have started to realize who I am as a person.  Well, I said “started”, kay?  Keep that in mind.  Anyway, I was trying to explain to him that I try lots of things because I love the idea of them, but it really isn’t me, and therefore, my follow-through is lacking.  For instance, I love the idea of being the vegan, cute hippie-chick who only shops at the local co-op, who takes the time to make all of her meals from scratch, shops only with her own canvas, environmentally conscious bags, and has a hard time keeping her weight at an appropriate level because she eats so many fruits and veggies that she ends up under the daily calorie requirements for her height.

Yeah.  Um.  Not so much.  I love the idea of it, but it’s not me.  However, this is the reason that I try the vegan cleanses, and annually, or more frequently, attempt to live a vegan lifestyle…shopping at our co-op, trying to love vegenaise instead of miracle whip, and marching around in my Birks.  It never lasts long.  The reason is that it’s not me.

I also love the idea of having a bunch of kids running around the house, and me, in my calm, collected, happy-go-lucky manner, not worrying about the fact that there are toys strewn about and kids throwing tantrums in every corner.  I love the idea of smiling through it all and thinking “I am doing the best job on earth by raising all these fabulous small people” and then planning the next activity for them all to make lovely art projects for D.Jones upon his arrival home from work.  Yeah.   I love the idea…not so much the execution.   I love having one adorable boy to play nicely with, read books with, and then pick everything up with…     A bunch of them running around?  Hmm….

I love the idea of being so exited about my workouts that I, like my friend Laura, become a competitor in women’s body building competitions.  That my body is so toned that I have a minimal body fat %, and I love living on chicken breasts and egg whites.  Unfortunately, the reality is that I love a good workout…for like an hour…and then I’m bored, and tired, and sweaty, and all I can think about is taking a shower and slathering myself with very expensive Aveda lotion.  It’s the idea of it I love..not the work that it would involve…or the dedication.

I love the idea of being a frugal, coupon-clipping, pretty-with-no-makeup housewife, but the reality is that I love having my nails done, and spending a literal boat load of money on a good trip to an Aveda salon, some ridiculously expensive hair product, and $30 aromatherapy candles.  So sue me…it’s true.

My examples could go on and on, but I’m guessing you get the point.  So, what I’m getting at is that I’m trying to come to terms with who I am and not the dream of who I “should” be or the idea of who I could be.    In turn, I have decided that 2009 will mark a point where I flaunt K.Jones in all her glory.  Expensive ass candles, manicures,  nachos, expensive champagne on a Friday night for no reason at all, and everything else that is who I am.  I am going to try to do some things that are good for me, too, though…because that goes along with loving who you are, right?

 Not so much in a vegan cleanse kinda way, but more like I am going to try to eat healthy and regain some of my self-esteem that has dwindled in recent years due to weight gain, too much late night vino, and a husband who loves good beer (and makes me try them all).  I am going to try to cook more, eat out less, enjoy all the foods I love, workout, still enjoy my vino, but more in moderation, and update my food blog more regularly.  I am going to eat meat when I want to, enjoy veggies when I should, and drink more water than Diet Coke.  (hey, baby steps, right!?)

I am going to post some food-related stuff as I go.  It will include healthy recipes I try out (some from my new Biggest Loser cookbook that I just bought with my Christmas gift card from my father in law), good ways to get kids like Cooper to try some more exotic foods than applesauce and chicken nuggets, and just about anything in between.  In essence…whatever occurs to me to share with you, I’ll put here…for your reading (and maybe cooking) enjoyment.

Hopefully, when the “real” Kristin comes to light, no one runs in fear…  We’ll see.  Either way, it should be fun!

Cheers to a new year, a new go at this blog thing, and a new appreciation of all food…meat, non-meat, healthy, not as healthy…it’s all good.