Friday, April 8, 2011

Mini Meatloaves from Make-Ahead Meals For Busy Moms

If you're not familiar with Jane Doiron's cookbook..
I'm here to testify it's a real winner!

She's very humble and rarely says anything about her cookbook on her blog
(like I do about mine!) so I want to tell you what a great asset it is for your kitchen.

Jane shares simple instructions for preparing meals ahead, both hours or a day ahead, or to freeze for later.

(It's what I love to do when I go to my daughter's, as I recently did and was able to spoil that new grandson and make sweet memories with his sisters too.)

This cookbook went with me again! this time.

The last time I did some freezer cooking for Deb and family, I made this recipe and it was so delicious, we didn't even have to discuss if I'd make it again!

A 'wondermous' repeat!!

Her kitchen smelled so yummy while these were baking.

(This recipe really hits the spot for this meatloaf lover too!)

I have become good email buds with Jane and she is such a day-brightener in my life.

She was one of my first foodie blog friends, and it seems we became fast friends online.

We have a number of things in common...and now we are BOTH cookbook authors!

She's a very busy wife, mom, teacher, family gal...and the fact we email each other occassionally is such a 'kick' for me!

What a sweet blessing she is to me!

I was just tickled to have Deb take a picture of my hand in the picture - as I never get to do that myself! =)

Now I've heard of gals who put everything into a ziploc bag and 'moosh' it all up from the outside.  Sounds like a good idea, though I've never tried it.  I like digging in with my hands!

MMMM - I can smell them now just looking at the picture! *-*

Following Jane's list of ingredients, I made up about 4 dozen meatballs...lined a cookie sheet with foil...sprayed it, then baked them in a 350 oven for about 12 - 15 minutes.  After they cooled, I then bagged them into ziploc freezer bags and put them in the freezer for Deb to make stroganoff or soup with them later.

With the remaining mixture, I made the mini meatloaves in muffin cups and put them in the freezer for Deb.

First I sprayed the muffin tins; filled the cups; put them in the freezer for about 2 hours, then removed them with a knife and set them on a cookie sheet to freeze harder - for several hours.  (This way they won't stick to each other and you can remove the number you want for your meal).

What delicious cuties they are!!

Jane's comment at the top of this recipe page reads "Mini loaves are convenient to freeze.  They take less time to thaw out in the refrigerator".

(From The Better Baker via Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms)

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Italian-style or garlic & herb bread crumbs
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 c. ketchup
1 large egg

Optional Sauce:
1/4 c. ketchup
2 Tb. light brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard

~A Day Ahead~

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, ketchup, and egg.  Press the mixture evenly into four 3" X 5" X 2" mini loaf foil pans.  Cover and refrigerate.

~Cooking Directions~

Remove the meatloaves from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat oven to 350. Bake uncovered, for 45 minutes.  Combine the sauce ingredients and brush on top of the loaves if desired.  Bake for 10 more minutes.

(If using muffin size, they will cook faster than that).

~Freezer Directions~

Wrap the uncooked meatleaves (without the sauce on top) in plastic wrap and place in labeled freezer bags.  Freeze up to 3 months.

Thaw the meatloaves in the refrigerator 24 hours before heating.  Bake as directed.

You can check out Jane's cookbook for sale at Amazon right here.  They have a cool feature - you can even look inside her book - check it out!

Some other tasty make-ahead recipes I've made from her book are...

Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Pumpkin Pie
Oatmeal Cookies
Zucchini Apple Bread
Pumpkin Bread
Mini Pecan Pie Muffins

All of it is YUM-OOOOOOOOO!!

Print Friendly and PDF