Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pork and Potato Meatloaf

Prep Time: 17 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes

Grade: A-

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (January 2012)

This is a simple meatloaf recipe that uses 2c. frozen hashbrown potatos (plain, just shredded potatoes) in place of breadcrumbs. It stretches the meat a bit. I used a mixture of meatloaf mix and a little ground sirloin, because I didn't want to use all pork. I thought it was really good and I enjoyed the potatoes inside the meatloaf.

I served this with roasted carrots and potatoes and reheated Parker House rolls from the freezer.  Overall, a very nice, simple winter meal.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Triple Chocolate Brownies (Lighter)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (January 2012)

The annual "light" issue always includes lighter desserts. I'm not a big fan of those.  I think I'm better off eating less desserts but enjoying them in full. However, the idea of using black beans in brownies has been around for a while now and I've always wanted to try it.

These are really good. They are extremely moist and fudgy which is the way I like my brownies. The recipe only used 1/4 of black beans, so they are definitely hidden. It allows you to only use 1/2 stick of butter for the recipe.

I would definitely make these again. The only issue is using only 1/4 c. of black beans. I can use up the rest of the can, but that is still a tiny bit of a downside in my mind.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

Total Time: < 30 minutes 

Grade: A+ 

Make Again: Yes 

Recipe Source: Cook's Illustrated (Sept 2008)
Recipe Source: Best of ATK 2010

I love this recipe. I made it when the recipe first came out and knew I would make it again. I waited to blog about it until the second time, which didn't happen until this week. It won't be 3 years before I make this again.

This recipe is quite simple and very healthy. It has the feeling of Campbell's tomato soup, but probably tastes different. (It has been so long since I had that.) Basically it is canned whole tomatoes, some bread (which provides the creaminess without the cream) and onions, garlic and oil, plus some chicken broth. Using a blender makes it smooth. That is the only somewhat complicated step - transferring the soup between blender and pan.

I made a half recipe which only gave 3 servings. I had the leftovers tonight. I wished I had made a bigger batch. I think this would freeze well without any dairy in the recipe.

I'll post my simplified version here (full recipe amounts) because the recipe is so simple.


  • 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1medium onion , chopped medium
  • 3 medium garlic cloves , minced
  • pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread , crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and ground black pepper
(They add brandy as a suggested optional ingredient. And chopped chives. I have not tried either.) 

  1. Saute onion, garlic and pepper in 1 T of oil (they suggest 2T)  till softened.
  2. Add tomatoes and crush with potato masher. Add brown sugar and bay leaf and bread. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until bread breaks down. 
  3. Remove bay leaf and transfer half of soup to a blender. They suggest adding more oil now but I didn't and I don't think it needs it. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. 
  4. Pour into bowl. Repeat with second batch. 
  5. Rinse pot and return soup to reheat and add chicken broth. Season to taste. Add optional brandy and chives.
The original recipe can be found at the link if you subscribe. My version uses less oil and none of the extras. I still loved it, but you might prefer it their way.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Tuna Casserole

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes

Grade: B+/A-

Make Again: Maybe

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (October 2011)  

This recipe was from a lightened up comfort foods article. The sauce replaces a lot of the whole milk with broth. I think that adds flavor and is a good idea. It also uses a tiny bit of parm in the topping with panko. I felt like there should be more cheese in the topping. I used less oil for the onions and white sauce, and that was fine, so next time I would add more cheese.

The amount of tuna in this was kind of small. I think I would use more next time. The panko makes a much better topping than regular bread crumbs (although fresh toasted would be great also, if you don't have panko.) I didn't have enough peas, so I threw in some chopped fresh spinach for added green and more veggies. I thought the spinach and peas might clash, but I barely tasted the spinach.

I'm not sure which tuna casserole is my favorite. I think that Cook's Country version probably tastes the best, but it is also pretty high calorie since it is made with heavy cream. It is a quick and easy recipe however, so that goes in it's favor. The other Mediterranean Tuna Casserole from EF is nice and a bit different. I don't make tuna casserole very often, and I'm not sure which one I would do again. Really, any of them are fine, I think.

Monday, January 02, 2012

January/February Everyday Food Favorites

I've only reviewed the first five of these recipes in this blog. Many of the favorites come from the very first issue of Everyday Food which I somehow received free in the mail. It was enough to make me want to subscribe for 4 years.

I cancelled after that because there was quite a bit of repetition, and not as many of the fun unique recipes they had early on. I recently resubscribed to the iPad version, however. It is full of videos and nice interactions, so I am enjoying my subscription again. If you have an iPad, I recommend checking it out.  The first issue from last January is free.

  • Apple Pie Cake - I really need to review this recipe. It is unique and good.
  • Pork and Apple Stew
  • Sweet Potato Wedges - This recipe introduced a new favorite food to me. I had never liked those mushy overly-sweet holiday recipes for sweet potatoes, but made this way, I found out I loved them. I make this often all fall and winter long and have for the past 8 years.
  • Valentines Day Cookies
  • Pot Roast Hash - I only made this once, because I rarely make pot roast, but remembering this recipe makes me want to try it again.
  • Lentil and Brown Rice Pilaf - This takes a while to carmelize the onions, but it makes very plain ingredients yummy.

I haven't tried these yet, but they look interesting so I hope to try them this month: