Seriously….”meatloaf”? Who came up with that word? I struggled with this post, it’s so yummy and so easy and the perfect little family dinner, and yet….what a horrible name. In what world does a loaf of meat sound appetizing? Really nothing associated with the word “loaf” makes my mouth water unless it’s bread. And then we’re golden….give me bread….and some butter….lots of butter…..and I’m one happy girl. But a loaf of meat? No thank you. I thought I would get creative, I would come up with a new, more appetizing, name for this little treat. I thought of meatloaf cupcake? Gross. Hamburger tarts? hmm…..no way. Hamburger cups? Even worse. I even Googled “other words for meatloaf”. It turned up nada, zilch, nothing. I’m quite the Googler these days….the other day I Googled “how to be a stay at home mom”, but more on that later. All this to say, I stuck with meatloaf. It’s not a pretty word, but we all know what it is, which is more than I can say for any of the other options I came up with.
This recipe could not be more simple. And if you have been reading for long, you know that I’m all about recipes that involve dumping everything in a bowl and moving on with your life. I love these little guys baked in muffin tins because they bake in half the time of normal meatloaf and they save so easy. Just unwrap, microwave, and eat. I think I’m supposed to be venturing into new, more complicated dishes now that I’m not working….but it’s just not in my nature!
About the muffin tins. I have done this several different ways. No liners. Foil liners. Paper liners. Paper liners win out people. Foil liners just hold the grease of the cooked hamburger in a little pool (insert gagging sound here). Paper liners absorb it a little, making for a much nicer presentation and a tart/cupcake/meatloaf that is much easier to handle and get out of the pan.
As all good recipes involving meat go, add some ketchup on top. The original recipe has you mix the ketchup and mustard and brown sugar in a bowl and then spread over the top. But seriously….who has another clean bowl? Who has the time? Just squirt some ketchup right out of the bottle….
Same with the brown sugar, and I just skipped mustard altogether.
Then bake. I bake these at 375 for about 25 minutes, just until they are browned through the middle. Easy peasy. And because I had the privilege of having my first Tennessee friends over last night for a little play date, I whipped up some mashed potatoes and piped them on top with my pastry bag and sprinkled with some more cheese. My kiddo loves these little guys, it’s the only version of hamburger she will eat.
Oh! How is the stay at home mom thing going? Awesome. Anna’s really excited about it.
In all seriousness, we have had a fantastic move. There are few better ways to know how blessed you are than to pack up and leave all the people you love. Our friends and family in Illinois have been there for us every step of the way and we have been blessed already to meet some really nice people here. If I’m not careful, it’s easy to read Pinterest and all the Mommy blogs and feel completely inadequate as a mother. Crafts and stories and activities are not top of mind for me. But give me a presentation to put together for a meeting or ask me to write an award application….and I’m good! So I’m transitioning and constantly reminded about the experiment that is parenting. Today…we are off to a play date….in mud at the park….I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the morning!
Recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp minced onion or onion powder
- 3/4 cup milk
- Brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 375
- Combine everything in a bowl and mix with a fork until well combined
- Distribute among 12 muffin cups lined with cupcake papers and top with ketchup and brown sugar
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the meatloaves are browned through
If you want to fancy it up, whip up some mashed potatoes and pipe on top using a pastry bag. I used four large potatoes. Chopped them up and cooked them in boiling water until they would mash with a fork, approx 10-15 minutes. Drain and whip with a mixer. Add some chicken broth, butter, and shredded cheese to taste.