I've been remiss in contacting the gas company to have them come and light my pilot light, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do it myself, so I've staying warm the old fashioned ways: lots of cooking, lots of eating, lots of staying in bed with many blankets!
I found organic, sort-of-locally-grown (well, El Centro) beets at the Whole Foods around the corner, and decided that an all day beet-roast-a-thon, at 400 degrees, would help keep my apartment, or at least my kitchen, toasty. I'd no idea what I was going to serve them with (beets alone would have been fine with me) but st. was feeling a bit out of balance after our vegan meal at Real Food Daily. She was craving some meat.
Now, I don't have a lot of experience cooking meat (or even with cooking for that matter), so I didn't have a handy meat recipe. One of us, I think it was st., suggested turkey meatloaf, and our mission was on. To get this turkey meatloaf going we consulted two cookbooks - Jane Brody's Good Food Book
and The Gourmet Cookbook
, one mom (hers), and even the Lipton Soup recipe website (http://www.recipesecrets.com). We made a quick trip to the store, combining what we thought was the best from all four sources, and two hours later had the most amazing turkey meatloaf...I am telling you, it was crack.
I will share with you what we found to be its keys to success:
Mushrooms. We couldn't find the cremini shrooms one recipe called for, so we substituted organic baby bellas. We ground them up in my new food processor (oh, don't even get me started, more in a future post on my kitchen upgrade!!!), and sauteed them in olive oil and garlic before adding them to the turkey. This changed the meatloaf consistency from "just ground turkey" to "divine"...
Keep the fat, please! Instead of buying 99% fat free ground turkey, we purchased regular ground turkey, which is just a combination of dark and white meat. The fat in the darker meat helps to keep the meatloaf moist and binds it together.
Spices. I rounded up what I had that seemed appropriate: orgeano, basil, salt, pepper and, yes, a packet of Lipton's Onion Soup mix. Begrudgingly, I added the several tablespoons of ketchup as well.
This was a blast to make, st. and I were running around my kitchen with big smiles on our faces making this, and I recall even smiling as I cleaned the stovetop afterward. YUM.
Wish I had more to say about the beets, but what is there to say? Cold weather calls for root vegetables, and these were so delicious. I roasted them for an hour and a half in 400 degrees, and adding nothing to them - no spices, nada. Their natural flavor was lovely, and a bit nutty as well.