Friday, January 02, 2015

A Tree Burning in Don's Honor + Meatloaf & Creamy Mashed Potato Recipes

A few nights ago, we had a special family evening. We took down our Christmas tree and Don's Christmas tree so that we could burn them in a ceremonial manner. We invited the neighbors over. Various people wore Don's winter hats and gloves. We cheered, ohhed and ahhed. We toasted him with Jameson's using the fine cut crystal glasses and told stories. It was really very fun.

Ellie made dinner that night. She opted to recreate one of the favorite meals that Grandma Eleanor used to serve us when we would have Sunday dinner at their house. Ellie served meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas. The kids sat in their usual places for dinner. They made the mashed potato and pea volcanos like they did when they were little. It was all very fitting and memorable. Plus, Ellie's food was very tasty!

Here are the recipes she used:

Pioneer Woman's Meatloaf
via: Pioneer Woman

1 cup Whole Milk
6 slices White Bread
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
3/4 teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/3 cup Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
4 whole Eggs, Beaten
10 slices Thin/regular Bacon
1-1/2 cup Ketchup
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Tabasco To Taste
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.
Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.
With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
Lay bacon slices over the top, tucking them underneath the meatloaf.
Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.
Serve with mashed potatoes. Yummy!


Creamy Mashed Potatoes
via: Pioneer Woman

5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
3/4 cups Butter
1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper
Preparation Instructions
Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

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