Double Cheese Meatloaf

We’ve had a little back and forth with the weather this fall.  It’s been 50 degrees one week and 80 degrees another week.  But, in one of the chilly weeks, I found myself craving a little meatloaf.  It’s been 4 or 5 years since I last made this meatloaf recipe and I was happy to put it back on the menu.

It integrates two kinds of cheese — mozzarella and Parmesan.  It also incorporates two kinds of meat — I almost always use ground beef and ground turkey when making this recipe, although for a split second I thought about using elk or bison instead.

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Crusher Cookies


Last summer I was in Minnesota for the weekend and visited one of my favorite stores in the Twin Cities — Patina.  While I was there, I came across this awesome puzzle, which excited me the most because my hometown was a featured location, along with the Jolly Green Giant:

But, I also came across a cookbook called Twin Cities Chef’s Table.  I keep paging through the cookbook, looking for the perfect recipe to make.  When I came across the recipe for Crusher Cookies, from Sun Street Breads, I was intrigued by a recipe that would feature sugar cones as a key ingredient.  How could I not make them?

So, after a week of excitement on-campus, I was ready to spend part of a Sunday morning baking.  And, I was delighted by these cookies.  I wasn’t expecting something this delightful to enter my mouth.  Obviously, I need to make a trip to Sun Street Breads when I’m in Minneapolis next.


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Zucchini Raisin Bars

We’ve had a busy start to the year.  I’ve mentioned how I have brought some treats into work this fall to thank others for their work and recognize the ways in which their efforts are improving the campus experience for our students.  One particular department was treated poorly by a student with whom I was working, and so I decided snacks would be in order.  And, I knew some of the folks in the department are particularly health-conscious, so what makes that better than making a sweet treat with vegetables and fruit in it?  I decided to go with this recipe for zucchini raisin bars that I had written down on a recipe card, but never had made.

The recipe provides both a frosting option and a powdered sugar dusting option.  I went with the powdered sugar option for ease of time.


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Red Pepper Jelly

One day this summer, my parents were lamenting that they couldn’t find red pepper jelly at their local grocery store.  Also being from a small town like mine, our grocery stores are pretty similar.  I was disappointed for them, and so when it was time to harvest peppers, I thought I should find a recipe for red pepper jelly to bring to them.  Canning for a New Generation had the perfect recipe, and it made a few half-pint jars, so I put it together and brought it to them last month when I saw them.

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Raisin-Oatmeal Brickle Cookies

When I made cookies to take into some folks last week, I also saw this recipe my cousin Katie had put into our family cookbook.  At our start of the year kickoff meeting at work, we were celebrating ten years of a meeting where our campus staff get together and share the “news you need to know.”  To celebrate, I volunteered to make some “sweet treats” for door prizes and one of the departments had said oatmeal raisin cookies might be what they wanted for their prize.  This recipe that had a little twist — golden raisins and bits of heath bit-o-brickle — added a little bit of fun to the traditional oatmeal raisin cookie.

Generally, when I’m making cookies, I don’t spend much time worrying about putting parchment paper down before baking.  However, with the bit-o-brickle in here, it added another level of sticky to the cookies and I found the parchment paper to be a necessity.

These cookies get pretty sweet.  That added toffee adds another dimension of sugar to the already-sweet cookies.  I also thought they spread better when I rolled the cookies into balls instead of really dropping them onto the pan to bake.


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Cinnamon Jumbos

Earlier this month I wanted to bring some treats to some of the staff at work who are working really hard, but who are not always noticed as putting in long hours and helping our students succeed inside and outside of the classroom in all the ways they are contributing.  So, I decided to bring some cookies into the office to share with them.  When I was looking through our family cookbook, I was intrigued by this recipe for Cinnamon Jumbos.  The cinnamon flavor is very subtle in the cookies — I’m curious how to strengthen it in the future.

For those who like kringla, but don’t want to go to the work of rolling them out, I found this recipe to taste very similar to the taste of traditional scandinavian kringla that we eat at the holiday season.

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Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

For the dinner for first years I mentioned earlier, I made honey lime chicken enchiladas, squash enchiladas, and these pineapple black bean enchiladas.  The recipe was a winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off several years ago and it was especially fun to make it for some students because I made for some students in my first job outside of grad school 11 years ago.  It’s been so great to watch those students succeed and take on new challenges — as I was cooking, I kept thinking about those students and where they are now.

The folks who were at dinner this week had a similar reaction to most people I’ve served them to in the past: “I didn’t expect this to be good, but it is…”  This is another vegetarian recipe, which I also appreciate as a way to cook these easily and have most folks be able to eat them without issue — enhanced if you use corn tortillas, although I’m unsure how to swap out the cheese for something that isn’t using dairy to help bind things together.


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