Damn a stomach bug!

January 27, 2015

That’s about how it works. You get plans made for the weekend that include cooking meatloaf and mashed potatoes for the kids, because you have been in the notion for meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and the stomach bug lays you low and cancels out your hot Saturday night date with your 2 1/2 year old grandson as well as your meat loaf dinner.

That bites.

My online friend Shelby (aka Melissa) had posted about meatloaf on a food forum we both follow. When I saw it, I fixated on meat loaf. I don’t like a lot of meat loaf, but I like mine. And I don’t want it all that often, but when I do, I WANT it.

And the kids like it. And they like mashed potatoes and purple hulled peas, and I’d seen a recipe for a beer cheese bread (more on that shortly) that I really wanted to try, and that sounded like a fair to middlin’ Sunday dinner. And I had ice cream, so I’d even make a chocolate cobbler to go with it.

Hah.

Got up Saturday morning, hungry. Fixed a bowl of rice, because that sounded good. Two hours later, it didn’t sound so good. Two hours after that, I texted Child C and cancelled my Saturday night date. And then I felt sorry for myself for the next 36 hours.

By Monday, there were indications I would live. I got up, did some work, took a shower (THAT helped!) made it to a couple of appointments, and figured I’d have that meatloaf, a day late. So I betook myself home, made up a meatloaf, put some peas on to cook, and decided to bake up a loaf of beer cheese bread.

I would  show you a photo of this bread, but for the fact that my computer has decided, for some cause, that it does not wish to recognize the SD card from my camera. Sorry ’bout that.

Y’all. This beer cheese bread? Do this. This is marvelous stuff. And it’s easy. And, in point of fact, it would be an absolutely marvelous addition to your Super Bowl munchies. Without further ado:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dill (or chives, or green onions — I’d probably use more of either of those)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar, or whatever cheese strikes your fancy
  • 3 tbsp sugar OR 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 12-oz bottle of beer
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Stir all the dry ingredients together. Toss the grated cheese (I used a combo of cheddar and manchego, and I may POSSIBLY have gotten more than 1 1/2 cups in there….) Add the beer (I used Yuengling lager) and stir. It’ll be thick, and should be; more like a soft dough than a batter. I thought mine was TOO thick, and added about 1/4 cup of water.

Transfer to a greased 8 x 4 loaf pan and smooth out the top. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes.

I was seriously looking forward to that with meat loaf. And then the Gods of the Stomach Bug said “Nuh-uh!”

And I didn’t eat dinner. And was not happy about it. Nor was I happy about the glass of wine I poured to comfort myself, which I could not drink. I was just not happy, in general.

So this morning, for breakfast, I had two, count ’em, two, slices of that gorgeous bread (I’m tellin’ you; make this!), one with fig jam and the other with bacon jam. The bacon jam was a little intense with all the cheese. The fig was, well, perfect.

And I had another slice with lunch, with a warmed-up piece of meat loaf and a baked sweet potato.  And it was worth waiting for.

I did a real basic meat loaf, the one non-meat-loaf-lovers will even be happy with. I don’t like chunks of vegetation in my meat loaf, which eliminates the ubiquitous bell peppers, which I don’t like in any circumstance, and the onions that just NEVER get done enough. Here’s my very basic meat loaf, for three, or four if they’re not real hungry:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Put all but the ketchup in a bowl; squish it all up together with your hands (there is no other effective way to do it). Pat it out into an 8 x 8 baking dish. You could do it in a loaf pan, but I like a big ratio of crust to inside, so I prefer the baking dish. Squirt the ketchup on top, and spread it out with the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 40 minutes, at 375 (see how nicely that works with the bread?) until the ketchup topping starts to sear in spots.

Good generic meatloaf. And everyone ought to have a good, generic meatloaf recipe. This one, I will admit, is much aided by the use of grass-fed, farm-raised beef, but that’s all I eat, so I’m spoiled. Get the best you can find.

When you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em want a good old-fashioned dinner, this is a great choice.

 

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