Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dixie-Style Dining: Ann Landers’s Meatloaf

So… who doesn’t love meatloaf?  It’s one of those meals that has a little bit of a 1950’s/old-school feel to it, but I think it’s because it’s so good.  It’s hearty, and it makes for great leftovers.  I’ve made meatloaf lots of different ways: Southwestern, Barbecue, used Turkey instead of beef… but there’s something to be said about the classic version.

When we went through my grandmother’s recipe box back in March, I loved finding this recipe because my grandmother also saved the newspaper clipping with the original recipe!  It was neat to hold that clipping and think about my grandmother cutting it out of the newspaper and putting it in her recipe box.  I love that she saved the clipping and kept it with her recipe card for so many years.



Instead of typing in the recipe, I thought I’d give you the original.


I only wish I could read Ann’s response to the relationship question!  That sounded interesting!  I wish I knew what happened to the couple in question.  Did they get married?  Are they still married?  Anyway… moving on.

This meatloaf made enough for two+ meals.  And I thought it was just as good the second day as it was the first.  It was really thick and hearty—not crumbly.  It would make PERFECT sandwiches the second day.  And with fall slowing making its way into the south, I think it’s the right time of year for meatloaf.



Of course, you could use ground turkey and this recipe would still be great, but I chose to make it from the original Ann Landers recipe.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Success: Blue Jeans, Crafting, and Handmade Pumpkins

You know, there are a lot of things in life that can be frustrating.  I would say that blue jean shopping can be one of the WORST experiences ever.  I have had weekends where I have gone in every store and tried on every pair of jeans I can find, only to come away empty-handed.  And then one day… when you’re least expecting it… the perfect pair appears.  This is what happened to me this past Friday as I was doing some last-second shopping for something to wear to my sister’s engagement party/oyster roast.  I was at T.J. Maxx, which is always a hit-or-miss shopping spot.  Either I love everything I find or I find absolutely nothing.  This time, I was successful and even came away with a new pair of jeans!  Plus 2 shirts and a pair of black dress pants! 


I know they’re not real noticeable in this picture… but… blue jean success!

On to Saturday’s projects.  About a week ago, I was catching up on blogs and I saw this cute idea on Fashion Meets Food, one of my favorite blogs to read.  As soon as I saw this idea, I knew I had to try it.  Sadie and I put together 5 little pumpkins in about 10 minutes. 




These are so easy!  We used cinnamon sticks for the stems, so they smell really fall-ish!  We didn’t even need glue!  I found the fabric at Hobby Lobby.  They were already cut into 18 by 21 inch rectangles.  We just tucked the edges into the TP tubes and held them in place with the cinnamon sticks.  The ribbon added a nice touch at the top.  We’re going to give 2 of these away, and we’re putting the other 3 here at our house!

And finally… dinner.  We made an old classic… Meatloaf!



I think meatloaf is one of the best cool-weather meals, and it makes great leftovers, too.  The recipe will be posted tomorrow.  It’s my latest Dixie-Style Dining Recipe!  Check back for that. 

Finally, I almost forgot to share that I passed my AFAA exam!  (You may remember a couple of weeks ago when I went to the AFAA workshop to get my Primary Group Fitness Certification.)  I was so glad to find out I passed!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Engagement Party & Oysters

Happy weekend, friends!  We’ve had a dreary past few days here in the south.  It’s been raining on and off since Wednesday, but right now the sun is actually shining!  As I type, Ryan and I are heading home from a quick trip to Columbia. 



This was the first official party celebrating my sister Adrienne and her fiance, Paul!  (You may remember when they got engaged this spring!)  Their wedding is quickly approaching… it is only a few months away!


The happy couple gets “toasted!”


We were so glad that the weather cooperated!  It was a nice night for celebrating… and eating oysters!


The original 5: Mom, Adrienne, Dad, Meredith, and Me


I don’t have that much experience with oysters.  I know lots of people who love them, but usually when Ryan and I go for seafood, we are shrimp and crab (or even lobster) people!  Honestly, I wasn’t even sure exactly how to open them.  All I really knew about oysters is that you are only supposed to eat them during months that end in “r.”  But Paul’s dad, Anthony, was a good tutor and pretty soon I was opening them easily!




I am not sure what was in the oyster sauce, but it was SO delicious!  And I am not scared of ordering oysters anymore.  What a fun night with family and friends!  And congratulations to Adrienne and Paul!  This is going to be such a fun fall celebrating them!  Happy Saturday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making the Most of a Mistake

So… I learned something new this week.  On Monday morning, I went to make a breakfast smoothie.  I’ve read that dark leafy greens are a natural anti-inflammatory.  Sometimes I have issues with my knee, and I have been reading a lot about natural ways to deal with knee pain and swelling.  So I figured that I could make a few Green Monster Smoothies this week.  When I grocery shopped on Sunday, I picked up a bag of (what I THOUGHT was) baby spinach.  Turns out I bought large leaf spinach.  I thought, “That won’t make a difference!”  How wrong I was.  You see, the beauty of the Green Monster Smoothie is that you can’t taste the baby spinach.  It just tastes like bananas and milk.  But I learned that you CAN taste the large leaf spinach in the smoothie!  Yeck!!!  Smoothie had to be poured down the drain.  :(

Since I had a bag of spinach that wouldn’t work in smoothies, I decided to play a little tonight. 


Meet brown rice topped with sautéed spinach and smoky maple bacon tempeh.


This was a super-filling dinner and actually was delicious.  I’ve decided I really like tempeh.  (If you’re new to tempeh, it’s a vegetarian replacement for bacon.)  I think that the sautéed spinach was actually the star of this meal, so that’s what I am sharing tonight!

Sautéed Spinach


  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 cups large leaf spinach (or baby spinach will work, too)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add spinach.  Immediately reduce heat to low.  Toss the spinach with tongs or a spatula, and allow it to wilt in the still-hot pan.  (It only takes about 2 minutes!  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste!)

I hope you all are having a great week!  Tomorrow’s Hump Day!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend Recap

My poor blog has been neglected.  If you’re one of my regular readers, I apologize!  Honestly, I think this is the busiest fall season we’ve ever had in the Confessions house.  Nights at home with nothing to do are a rarity!  I love being busy and on-the-go… but it means that other things suffer… like house chores… and cooking…

Friday night we celebrated my nephew Jack’s second birthday!






Saturday I was up bright and EARLY!  Some Zumba friends and I were scheduled to do a demo at the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk in Uptown Charlotte.  Thousands of walkers had gathered to raise money and walk to help fight heart disease. 




We had a blast leading a fun high-energy merengue song!  Then we played a little. 



It was amazing how many people had gathered for the walk! Slideshow: Charlotte Heart Walk

(Thanks to News 14 Charlotte for the photo)

Afterwards, Confessions Dad and Sadie and I all went to The Little Cafe for breakfast. 


(Can you believe I didn’t take any food pictures???  Only munchkin pictures.)

And we had a little dress rehearsal for Halloween.  (We’re a little early!)


Our little wonder woman.  But her powers only seem to be in the realm of destruction…

So that’s what we’ve been up to… family time, Zumba, and no cooking.  BUT… I’m thinking I’m gonna cook something tomorrow!  I am feeling like it is time for a little experiment!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recent Food Finds and Trends

Don’t you love when you are at the grocery store and you make an amazing discovery?  One such amazing discovery happened to me the other day at Harris Teeter.


100 Calorie packs of OLIVES!  Yumalicious!  Now, I know not everyone is an olive-lover like me.  But I do love them.  There are 2 varieties of the packages: Thyme-Seasoned Kalamata Olives and Garlic-Thyme-Seasoned Green Olives.  Both are delicious and are perfect for work lunch-packing.  Yay for Mario Olives creating these convenient packages!  Olives are a great source of “healthy fat.”  Some people believe that they even help to fight belly fat in women.

Now, on to my new breakfast find.  I have been seeing Caitlin’s breakfasts made with raw oats all summer on her blog, Healthy Tipping Point.  I am just sorry I waited so long to try this. 

Mix: raw oats, yogurt (I like vanilla), fruits of choice, and anything else (like almonds) you want! 


(in this bowl: oats, strawberries, and Weight Watchers Vanilla yogurt)


Just mix and eat!


I never thought I would like raw oats, but it really is so delicious when mixed with yogurt!  It is a lower-fat, lower-calorie alternative to mixing granola into yogurt.  I like to add almonds! 

Finally, if you follow me on Twitter, then you might have seen that I tried tempeh for the first time this week!  I decided to make mini BLTs with mine.  (By the way, did you know they are now making mini round flat breads???  Perfect for a slider-sized sandwich!) 




I never knew tempeh was so easy to prep and it really tastes good.  All salty.  :)  All you do is pan-fry it for a couple of minutes on each side, until it’s cooked through.  It was delish as a BLT, but I think this would be good in/on other recipes.  I have more left, so I will be experimenting with it!

In case you’ve never heard of tempeh, it’s a vegetarian alternative to bacon.  It’s a bit thicker than bacon, though. 

Coming soon… a post on work-related eats.  Thanks to my Facebook and Twitter friends for your favorite work-pantry food staples!  If anyone else would like to add a staple to the list, just comment on this post!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to School Kit

As a Featured Publisher for DailyBuzz Moms  and a member of their Tastemaker Program, I was able to receive a Back-to-School Kit with a few product samples from Clorox, Glad, and Brita.  I was so excited to receive this box!  This little kit was actually make available from a partnership between DailyBuzz Moms and Clorox.


Of course the Clorox Wipes always come in handy.  I really like that they smell nice—just clean.  Not overpowering.  These are great to use when you have been dealing with meat on the kitchen counter—or for wiping off toys when they need it.

I love these Glad Food Storage containers.  They are perfect for packing salads for lunch. 




They have a tiny little cup perfect for dressing that snaps right into the lid.  I am always looking for little containers for the salad dressing and either I can find the cup or the lid… but never both!  Voila!  Now I don’t have to spend time looking for the lids.  I also think these will be perfect for pita bread and hummus or veggies and dip, which are items we frequently pack for family outings.

The item I was most excited about was this Brita water bottle.  It filters the water as you drink! 





Do you ever notice that sometimes water from water fountains tastes funky?  Well, with this bottle, you can make water taste better and filter out impurities!  So excited about this.  You can buy new filters for the water bottle, too.

I love having new products and gadgets to try!  What are your favorite gadgets and convenience items?