Meatloaf Dinner

I’d never made a shaped meatloaf before, so I was a little curious about how it would work out but I figured I’d just have to trust Ina. It came out nicely. I only made a half recipe, though, because I couldn’t imagine how four people could eat five pounds of meat. The meat was moist an tender with enough flavor. I didn’t have thyme, so I used rosemary instead. My family really liked it. Dad used extra ketchup. My husband tried it with steak sauce and wasn’t a huge fan because the sauce overpowered the taste of the meatloaf.

Here’s another one where I made a half recipe. I also couldn’t find pine nuts, so those got left out. I also didn’t cook the spinach until it was crispy because I wasn’t sure I’d like that. This also got good reviews from the family. I had no idea that spinach went well with raisins. Never would have guessed that.

These were pretty tasty. I don’t have a mixer, so we mashed them by hand. This meant that the garlic wasn’t as well incorporated as I would have liked. They also weren’t as garlicky as I would have liked, but I like a lot of garlic in my garlic mashed. I liked that there wasn’t any dairy in them, because I think that can make potatoes feel more heavy.

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

I’m loving cooking Ina Garten recipes lately. When I don’t make a mistake, they are delicious. That said, I didn’t follow this recipe too closely. I left out the lemon and the red pepper flakes by mistake and doubled the shrimp. I could only find a two pound bag of shrimp, so that’s what I used. It came out really good. My parents are in town visiting and they enjoyed it, as did my husband. I wish I had more of the sauce, since the noodles were a little underdressed, but the flavor was good. Next time, I’ll use all the ingredients and it will probably be even betterr.

Adult Pigs in a Blanket

Adult pigs in a blanket

Yields 16 pigs in a blanket


  • Cooking spray
  • 8 pop can croissants, halved
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 8 hot dogs, halved


  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature indicated by the pop can croissants.
  2. Spray a baking sheet down with cooking spray and lay out the croissant halves.
  3. Brush a little mustard on each one, then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  4. Place a hot dog in the middle of each croissant and roll the croissant around the hot dog.
  5. Bake according to the directions for the croissant and serve.

After the week I’ve had, I really needed to make something tasty. These came out really good. My husband doesn’t like mustard, and he still loved these. I didn’t half anything, instead leaving them longer and, I think, more adult looking. I used all-beef hot dogs, and I think that’s definitely the way to go. Also, I learned that these are fabulous when served with mac and cheese.


Shabbat: Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

I really wanted a win on this one. My last two dishes turned out poorly so I really just wanted to eat something good. Unfortunately, when I was caramelizing the onions I burned some of them and I didn’t realize it until I tasted the soup for seasoning. Since I had already dumped in the tomatoes, there was no going back. I continued cooking as if nothing was wrong and hoped that it would taste ok in the end. I forgot to put in the cream, as well. My husband and I agreed that all grilled cheese sandwiches from now on will be made in the George Foreman grill and will have mozerella cheese. The croutons were so tasty. The soup, however, tasted good right up until that burned taste hit your tongue. I will probably try making this again, and pay closer attention to the onions next time.

Meat Free Monday: Quinoa with Black Beans

This was pretty terrible. I put in one medium onion and the resulting dish was more onions than quinoa. I didn’t notice that it was 2 cups onion to 1 cup quinoa until I put everything in the pan and saw the proportions. Second dish in a row that ended up down the garbage disposal. Bummer.

Shabbat: Asparagus Soup

I like asparagus. My husband doesn’t mind it, either, so I thought I’d make a nice seasonal meal. I used vegetable broth so as not to mix milk and meat. This came out kind of flavorless. You’d get a good bite with the goat cheese, but for the most part it was difficult to taste what you were eating. I was hoping this would be great, but we ended up pouring the leftovers down the garbage disposal after we agreed that we probably wouldn’t be finishing the pot off.

Falafel Crusted Chicken with Hummus Slaw, Redux

The first time I made this, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to replicate it. I made it again today, and I think I actually improved it. Last time, the slaw was fairly lightly dressed. My husband and I both liked the dressing, so I made more of it and really let it coat the broccoli slaw. I also added more sriracha because I wanted to use the heat to emphasize the garlic notes in the hummus. My husband commented on the heat and said it was at a good level for him, which made me happy. I think I’ll make it this way from now on.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

I was supposed to do Meat Free Monday today. I had a dish all picked out, ingredients ready. But as I was getting the quinoa out of my cabinet, I knocked over a jar of Kalamata olives that were meant for this dish. I didn’t want to waste the olives, so I made this dish today instead. We will observe Meat Free Monday on Tuesday or Thursday this week. Probably both, actually, because neither dish I have chosen for this week has meat.

This dish came out well.  I couldn’t find orzo, so I substituted mezze penne. It might have been better with the smaller pasta, but I still liked it. My husband really liked the dressing. But he’s kind of a picky eater and I couldn’t get him to eat the tomatoes or artichokes today. Still, he declared this good, even if it was more my kind of food than his. We both really like Mediterranean food, so I thought I might be able to squeak this one by. Perhaps I’ll have better luck next time.

Shabbat: Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage

I also used broccoli, even though the original recipe called for broccoli rabe. I couldn’t find any at the commissary, so I took what I could get. I also couldn’t find two kinds of non-pork sausage, so I just used one pound of vegetable protein sausage. I put in more broccoli than what was called for and made less pasta. I couldn’t find the right shape, so I just used penne. The final product was good. Probably not fancy enough for a Shabbat dinner with guests, but good enough for just the two of us. We have a lot of leftovers, so one dinner fed us almost all weekend. Kind of nice.

Meat Free Monday: Hasselback Potatoes

I modified this recipe, because I couldn’t find the cheeses he specified in my small town. I used Parmesan and a smoked Swiss-cheddar blend. I thought it was Swiss until I got it home and realized it was a processed cheese food and not proper cheese. It tasted fine and melted well, but I don’t think I’ll get it again. Next time, I’ll get real Swiss. I had planned to use sharp cheddar as the third cheese, but I left it out when I found out I already had cheddar represented. I also couldn’t find parsley today, so it got left out. The final product was a hearty Meat Free Monday main course that my husband and I both enjoyed. I served it with roasted asparagus and broccoli and we both left the table feeling satisfied. My husband has asked that I never bake plain potatoes again, because he thinks that even without the cheese, the Hasselback style scoring gives the potato a nice crunchy texture.