Hmm. If you have wondered where I’ve been…. Heck.. even I’ve wondered at times… I am going to offer up the same ole’ excuse… Life gets in the way. November was a complete blur, and I don’t just mean the crossover of Fall to Winter Season’s, Halloween to Christmas… I mean… a complete roller coaster, warp speed blur. That being said… although at times it was hectic… We do have some exciting (well for us anyways) news to share! Plus, with all that HAS gone on… simple, comfort food, and delicious dinners have become even more of a staple in our household. Cowboy Meatloaf Casserole. Don’t let the words “meatloaf” and “casserole” scare you… this is darn tootin’ good stuff! It’s like a Meatloaf meets Sheppard’s Pie round a Cowboy Campfire. (you still with me?!)…. And if that fails to get your attention… it’s got BACON and Cheese! Ha!!
Prep and cook time is relatively simple and quick, perfect for those cold and dreary nights during the “wet” months here on the West Coast... or even better - after a day out playing in the snow! The addition of BBQ Sauce puts a great kick in the typical meatloaf base, and garlic mashed potatoes with bacon, cheese, and crispy fried onions adds just the perfect “Get-R-Done” flavor boost to this crowd pleasing dish! YUM YUM!
The OTHER introduction I’d like to make… is we have a new addition to our family. (NO-NO!… not what SOME of you are thinking… or hoping for) HAHA…. Let me introduce to you Wylie.
Born on September 6, 2012, and adopted from the Maple Ridge SPCA ; we are absolutely in love with this lil’ bundle of fur. I never thought in a million years that a cat could wiggle...purr...and snuggle its way into my heart… Well Folks… Mr. Wylie has done just that. Even Duke Dog is excited, and after a slow introduction…
It now appears the two of them are Best Friends. Even sharing each other’s water bowls! Wylie appears to be settling in just fine, exploring every nook and cranny in our house… with Duke right on his tail. (Which he doesn’t appear to mind at all… even goes in for a kiss or two quite often!)
SO, with the weather out there a tad bit frightful…. The stress of the Christmas season in full swing... thanks goodness we now have TWO very loving furry members of our house hold to keep us connected with what matters most. Each other. (but… we also need to eat… ) SOOOOOO… let’s get back to the yummy Cowboy Meatloaf Casserole….
Cowboy Meatloaf Casserole
· 2 large baking potatoes
· 1 lb ground meat (lean) – Pork would work too!
· ¾ cup finely chopped onion
· 1/3 cup bread crumbs
· ¼ cup BBQ – (I used the staple in my house - Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce)
· 1 lightly beaten egg
· 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
· ¾ teaspoon salt
· ¼ cup milk
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 2 table spoons minced garlic
· 1 cup crumbled real bacon
· ¼ cup crispy fried onions (you can get them in the canned from the grocery store)
· 1 cup Tex-Mex Shredded Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350F, coat a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray
- In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, BBQ Sauce, egg, chili powder and salt until well mixed
- Gently press into the bottom of the baking dish
- Bake uncovered for 20 – 25 mins, or until cooked through. Dab off any excess fat if need be.
- While Meatloaf is cooking, dice potatoes (skin on) and boil in a small sauce pan until fork tender, and easily mashed.
- Remove from stove top, drain water, and mash potatoes until smooth, adding Milk / Butter / Garlic / bacon / Crispy Onions and half cup of cheese (reserve rest for topping)
- Adjust oven rack to top shelf, and select broil.
- Add Potato Mixture on top of Meatloaf, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and place on top rack of stove to broil top.
- Broil for 3 – 5 min, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Serve Hot, and with addition BBQ if desired! YUM YUM!
ANNNNND… I just had to add one more of the new best friends…. We were snuggled up on couch… Duke resting on my leg, and Wylie cuddled in close, and being the smitten mom that I am… I just had to take a picture of the new friends…