After such an ambitious initial blog posting, I took a month hiatus from my plan and from posting. How's that for consistency? However, I'm back with slightly more attainable ambitions.
While I made myself these big promises about food budgets and lofty cooking goals for the year, at the end of the day, I'm just like you--struggling to get something on the table tasting half way decent before I gnaw my foot off from hunger.
Tonight is one of the nights that I look my kitchen in the eye and say, "Why did we get ourselves into this complicated, delicate relationship?" I just felt uninspired. After the work day's done, how many of us come home full of enthusiasm to get something exciting going on the stove? So I rooted around a bit in my pantry, desperate to avoid a sodium-laden takeout night. First I found one lone potato that must have weighed close to a pound, so I got that baking in the oven.
Next, I looked in the fridge for a protein and found a 1 lb. package of ground beef that I paid an astonishing $4.99 for. ??!! I think it's fair to say that I didn't even look at prices last time I went to Trader Joe's. Won't be doing that again. So I mixed the ground beef with an egg, grated onion, grated carrot, grated zucchini, marjoram, garlic, salt, pepper, wooster sauce, and some ketchup. Then I made a meatloaf out of it and put chunks of extra sharp cheddar in the middle of the loaf. On top: a drizzle of ketchup and a criss cross drizzle of mustard.
Then a little homemade thousand island to go on each piece as a sauce: mayo, ketchup, sweet pickle relish. Absolutely the best meatloaf we've had in a long time! I've read about cheesburger meatloaf as an idea but never thought it sounded good until I was desperate with my pound of ground beef. Boy, was I missing out for a long time.
We ate it with a side of coleslaw because a bag of shredded cabbage was giving me the same look the kitchen seemed to give me earlier. It was the "use me" look. Just a little chopped banana, mayo, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice--so simple and good. I love it with Miracle Whip too. In the early winter, I substitute pomegranate seeds for the bananas, in the spring I use pineapple or mandarin oranges (canned), and in the summer, I like this salad with crisp red grapes.Very versatile, and the preshredded cabbage is one of my favorite grocery store finds. It makes it so much easier to use this healthy vegetable.
After all this to do and the sharing of the one potato between two hungry people, I am ready to admit that I'm glad we stayed in. It's wet outside, and there's something cozy about meat and potatoes in the oven. Hope you enjoyed a nice meal with your family tonight too!