Friday, February 27, 2015

Mini Meatloaf Wrapped in Bacon

I got this recipe from Bossy Italian Wife. Check it out for a step-by-step tutorial of the recipe.


1 pound ground meat (I used venison) 
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup breadcrumbs2 heaping tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon basil
2 dashes cayenne pepper
Palmful of salt
pepper, as desired
8 pieces of bacon
ketchup or barbecue sauce (for topping) 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a mixing bowl combine the ground meat, onion, eggs, garlic, breadcrumbs, worcestershire, milk, basil, cayenne, salt and pepper. Using your hands, (and the using your hands part is important, but remember to take your rings off!) mix everything together until evenly combined. 

Divide the meat mixture into four even portions. Using your hands, pat the smaller meat portions into individual meat loaves. 

Wrap each loaf with two pieces of the bacon. Place the loaves on a baking pan. 

Top each loaf with either ketchup or barbecue sauce. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. At the end of the hour, put a bit more ketchup (or barbecue) or each loaf and put the oven on Lo Broil. Continue cooking another 7-10 minutes to crisp up the bacon. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Newest Favorite Book-Turned-Movie

ALEXANDER and the TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY is my recent favorite book-turned-movie. Anyone who has ever had a day when nothing seems to go right (and isn't that all of us?) will identify. There is a wonderful lesson in this fun, hilarious movie. Even after what seems like the worst day ever, Alexander's family does not throw in the towel. They pull together and end the day by throwing the greatest birthday Alexander could imagine. I love what the film conveys about attitude and sticking together as a family!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


If you don't know what Minecraft is, you need to get with the program. Minecraft is so cool, it's almost past its prime already. The reason I know about is that my youngest grandson is OBSESSED with it.

He had a birthday this month, and he wanted a Minecraft cake. #1 Daughter, who always makes his theme-of-choice cake, was swamped at work and tried to get one made at the grocery, since they do themed cakes.

They couldn't do a Minecraft one, though, because they didn't have the licensing permission.

Fortunately, Minecraft is all about squares, so #1 Daughter made one herself with the help of a square cake pan and some chocolate bars. That red thing in the middle of Steve's head is a Lego-brick-shaped candle. Sorry Steve.

Grandson was happy, and the cake was delicious.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, February 20, 2015

What If The Power Goes Out?

That has been my concern for the past few days. We discovered that our gas fireplace--our only source of heat if the electricity goes out--wasn't working. We had it fixed today, so I can rest assured that should the power go out, we won't freeze.

But what about food? We could eat the food in the refrigerator, but what about the freezer? Would it all spoil? (I can answer that with a resounding no, at this point. The temperature is so low we could simply put our frozen food in a covered tub on the porch and it would be fine.)

In my quest for answers, I found a couple of blog posts worth passing along:

Disaster Cooking

Emergency Cooking - 10 Ways to Have a Hot Meal When the Power Goes Out

What to Eat When the Power Goes Out

What to Eat During A Power Outage

Some of the information is repetitive, but there's something in each one that I didn't see in one of the other articles. I hope your power doesn't go out (ours either!) but that, if it does, these articles help you plan out your meals.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Calli, Do Not Read This Blog!

My daughter Calli is not allowed to read today's blog post. Not because it is about anything salacious or inappropriate for her age. It is about one of her birthday gifts. When she told me she wanted the new James Patterson book, I began thinking her reading preferences had advanced too quickly. Then, she showed me the newest in Patterson's series for the younger set. Looks like something I might have to read when she's through!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday

We had Fat Tuesday early around here. Every year, the Presbyterian Church has a Mardi Gras feast with a free will offering to benefit Harrison County Community Services.

Here's what we et:

Red beans and rice, chicken jambalaya, salad and bread.

And, of course, dessert. I didn't have any King Cake. The notion of biting into a little plastic baby doll was just too icky.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Seduced by Truffles

Yesterday, I was seduced. It was a slow, calculated seduction. Victoria's Secret is, of course, a purely seductive store. The retail locations are beautiful, flirty and utterly feminine. Pictures of models flaunting perfect bust-waist-hip ratios evoke images of lazy, dreamy days spent lounging and snuggling and doing other stuff. I went into Victoria's Secret because I had a card to get a free pair of drawers (aka panties). When a sales associate greeted me, I was informed that a $75.00 purchase entitled me to a box of chocolate truffles. It was not the lingerie, frills or promises of romance that seduced me to shop. Honestly, it was the truffles! When I told the hubby of my plans to use my free unmentionables card (because I bore him with every detail of my day) he encouraged me to actually purchase something for myself. Immediately after hearing "free truffles" I decided to honor my mate's request. Because I am spending Valentine's Day in a family style (at home with kids, family steak dinner, family movie) I skipped the super-sexy stuff; opting for cute, practical, Valentine-motif boxer/pajamas. That brought me just under my $75.00 total. In a couple of weeks, I am taking my daughter to an indoor pool party. The realization of putting a swimsuit on my winter-pale body prompted me to buy some spray bronzer. Those Victoria's Secret models do always have a nice, golden glow. They use the store's bronzer; don't they? Now, I can look forward to an snugly evening, looking tan and cute in my new sleepwear; and eating a beautiful box of pink champagne truffles! Which, by-the-way, are an expensive brand of truffles carried in high-end department stores. Sounds like a perfect, indulgent evening to me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Stir Fried Seitan

That's SEItan, not SAtan, you know. Seitan, also known as "wheat meat" is my favorite meat substitute. You can buy it in the store, or you can make your own.

I used some I had made myself in this dish.

This is a stir fry of seitan, onion, red, green, and yellow peppers, and mushrooms with a sauce of vegetable broth and cornstarch over Jasmine rice.

NOT for those with gluten intolerance!!!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, February 6, 2015

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Don't these look yummy? I found the recipe on Pinterest and then followed the link to Make the Best of Everything.

You can find Kristen's post and instructions for making homemade tortilla chips at her blog. When I ran across these, I was thinking about how I needed to cut back on the pretzel chips and tortilla chips I'd been eating. These seemed like a good alternative.

The recipe at the site called for olive oil, salt, and tortillas. I used low-carb tortillas, canola oil, salt, garlic powder, and Parmesan (because I've been loving the garlic Parmesan pretzel chips).

Just got them out of the oven, and they are yummy! Hot, but yummy. Give these a try and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Great Balls of Foil! It's Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken.

In the past, I have not been much on roasting my own chicken. To me, the meat always seemed dry and flavorless. That has all changed! Making a roasted chicken in the slow cooker produces a moist, flavorful, beautiful bird! Beast part...the leftovers! I can make chicken dishes for days and still have some for the freezer. The secret is to set the chicken atop some balls of foil laid on the bottom of your slow cooker. Providing a slight elevation, this allows the chicken to brown, rather than braise in liquid. The rest is Chicken Roasting 101: Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place veggies on bottom of slow cooker alongside those balls of foil. I use a sliced lemon, onion, carrots and celery. Rub chicken with a spice mixture. Pre-made rubs are good; or make your own with coarse salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, rosemary and garlic. Put the rinsed and spice rubbed chicken in your slow cooker. Turn it on; and let your slow cooker and balls of foil work their magic! About 3 or 4 hours into cooking, I put a couple of pats of butter on chicken. The butter makes the skin all brown and shiny. If you want super-crisp skin, leave the chicken in the crock of your slow cooker; and place (uncovered) in 400 degree oven for a few minutes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Speedy Cheesy Treats

Just in time for the SuperBowl! ...What? ...The SuperBowl was day before yesterday?

Never mind, then.

Oh, okay. Here's how:

Speedy Cheesy Treats

  • 1 can buttery-biscuits (or any kind you like)
  • cheese
Squish each biscuit as squished as you can squish it. Put a line of cheese down the middle of each biscuit. Fold the biscuit over and press the edges together. Bake according to directions.

And they were very, very good, too.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes