Monday, July 1, 2019

Friday Friend Recipe #226 - Italian Meatloaf

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.

What is the Friday Friend cookbook? I had about 50 of my closest friends and family (from all over the county) on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends . At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 19 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions, exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts, had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday. (plus so much more....)

AND, we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
I was looking at the cookbook the other night and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog."
The Handyman--who knows me better than I know myself (this happened to be a question on the Friday Friend forum once---does your spouse/partner know you better than you know yourself?)--said,  "you'll never, EVER do that."

WELL---maybe I'll show him!  Maybe I will.

Which brings me to this... recipe #226
Melissa's Italian Meatloaf

I have a favorite meatloaf recipe so I am always hesitant to try a new one, but tried this I did and it was really good!
I don't know what possessed me to make meatball muffins but they turned out great and then I was able to freeze a few for supper at a later date--which is always a good thing for the Handyman and I.

I will definitely be making this meatloaf recipe again.

I've been missing in action for a while now--almost 3 months.
This cookbook won't cook itself, so I better get busy again.

Let me introduce you to my niece Melissa!
At recipe #226, she is making her first appearance in the cookbook.
(sorry I waited so long as those were really good meatloafs)

Melissa seen below at her high school graduation party, June 2001, with 3 of her uncles--the Handyman and 2 of his brothers.
Notice the sun shining and what a nice day it seems to be?

My sister-in-law, LeAnne had Melissa's graduation party during the afternoon before the evening graduation. There was a pool and people were swimming and bbq'ing and opening gifts, having a really nice time.
No worries, designated drivers were aplenty, because at 6pm, we had to go to the outdoor graduation ceremony...where for some reason the clouds came rolling in and it began to pour---POUR!

It was a large graduating class--perhaps 500 and our niece was the very first to receive her diploma, because her last name is Aardal.  It's nice to come first!
Unless, of course, your family starts to bail out of the rest of the ceremony, one by one.
Which is exactly what happened. 
It was raining so hard, that first Gramma and Grampa left, then the uncles and their wives, then the aunts and their husbands.
So I guess it was 2 by 2 they left.
Much to the Handyman's dismay, I would not let him leave.  We stayed to the very end--otherwise his sister would have been all alone in the stands.
I wanted to be able to hug our niece and tell her congratulations--and to be there for his sister LeAnne.

Pictures don't do this justice because it was just pouring buckets, but by this time the ceremony had started and they carried on.

Some of us didn't have umbrellas, so we did what we could.
Aunt Cherrie and Aunt Eva tried to stay, but in the end, they couldn't handle it.

 LeAnne had pretty hair earlier in the day.

The Handyman had rain running off his hair!  And no shame in wrapping a pink blanket around his shoulders.  
It was cold as well as wet!

LeAnne was happy we stayed with her. I am the best sister-in-law!

 LeAnne was thinking  DAMN I'm glad this is over!

 The only aunt and uncle who stayed!  Woo hoo for us!

It was a great graduation ceremony!  The best I've ever been too, because, let's face it--they are kinda boring.  But this one we'll neve forget.  One could only laugh the entire time, so that's what we did.

 High School (as well as college) mascots pose a problem in this day and age and I don't quite know how I feel about it, but seeing as this community was totally built around the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb (circa 1940ish), they have always been proud of their logo/mascot/theme (whatever you call it).
Before 1980, the Bombers had a mushroom cloud on all their banners, flags, school correspondence, etc.
After 1980, they hosted a WWII B-29 or some fighter jet which wasn't  quite so offensive.
But, because it is a nostalgia thing--be it good or bad---and the Handyman and his siblings grew up in the era of the 1950's, 60's and 70's and their father was a nuclear chemist--  they still proudly have and wear their shirts with the mushroom cloud.

for what it's worth---it is ranked #4 on Buzzfeed for the high school mascots that will make you say: WAIT! WHAT?
right up there with: 
  1. The Sugarbeeters (Chinook High School, Chinook, Montana)
  2. The Appleknockers (Cobden High School, Cobden, Illinois)
  3. The Awesome Blossoms (Blooming Prairie High School, Blooming Prairie, Minnesota)
  4. The Bombers (Richland High School, Richland, Washington)

And this is recipe number 226!
Only 141 left to go!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Friday Friend Recipe #225 - Potato Latkes

Come with me as I continue to countdown my Friday Friend Cookbook!
What is it, you may ask?
In a nutshell...
About 19 years ago, 50 of my closest friends and family, who had been on an e-mail forum with me, sent in recipes in different categories and we compiled a cookbook.
I decided to count those down!
Because  one night I was looking thru the cookbook and I said, "I should make every recipe in here for my blog"
The Handyman--who thinks he knows me better than I know myself, said,  "you'll never EVER do that."
Well,  maybe I will!  Maybe I'll show him!

Which brings me to recipe #225
my Potato Latkes 

Latkes makes this sound so special, when in reality they are just potato pancakes.
I don't even think I had 'recipe' for them until I had to turn something in to Barb for the cookbook, so here it is:

Potato Latkes

1 small onion
3-4 large peeled potatoes
1 egg-beaten
1 t salt
1 t pepper
6-8 T flour
oil for frying

Preheat oven to 350.  Grate onion and potatoes. Blot excess liquid.  Stir in rest of ingredients and enough flour to bind.  Drop batter into hot oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven while cooking the rest of them.

I like to have these for breakfast with a dippy fried egg on top.

Sometimes tho, I make them with leftover mashed potatoes and fry them up in butter and they are great--because what's  not to like about a potato and butter?

Mostly we eat them for breakfast with leftover potatoes, but when I need a fix, I'll do the raw potato version.
Rye toast with butter is the best kind of toast to dip into a runny/drippy egg.
Don't argue with me all you 'yolk' haters---I don't want to hear it.

A few recipes ago... I was talking about cowboys.... and how I see them every single day of my life.  And yet, none of my every day friends are cowboys/cowgirls...we just live in the midst of them.

Here is part of my cowboy life... or rather my life, which includes seeing cowboys or cattlemen every day.
All these photos are from about 3 years ago--but I always help with the Livestock auction, so it could have been just last year?

And to keep it all in the theme---cowboys would never call it a Latke, BUT I am sure---100% positive that nary a cowboy would ever turn their noses up at anything made with potatoes. 

Cattle Auction

Every summer towards the end of July the Convention Center hosts a video cattle auction, where cattlemen, ranchers and cowboys come from all over the country... my friend  Shelly said it is like QVC for cattle.   And she works there at the convention center, so she knows.  It's EXACTLY like that.

I was a bit disappointed because they were not having a raffle for  "sperm" this year.  Or if they did, I missed it.   It's high quality sperm.
I don't mean the cowboys....I mean the  bulls.   (I'm feeling like a rebel--a bit naughty talking about  sperm. It's not your everyday blog conversation, is it?)

You didn't think they let these cattle do 'it' naturally, did you?  Pfffttt!!!   No such thing.  (well, I guess if there is a will there is a way, but...)  if you want really high quality stock, artificial insemination is the way you go.

But enough of that  (I had really wanted to take a picture of the sperm raffle tho, since I didn't get it last year)  this weekend, we are trending out of cattle auctions into   Fifties Fever!  A car show and fun filled 50's style weekend around town.

I found this semen directory---not as good as a sign saying 'semen raffle' tho. 
Just order what you need from this catalog!

For now tho... a few pics of  hats.   I don't know if this happens anywhere else, but  cowboys here wear different hats and I want to know why.  I should have just asked someone last night....but the mystery and intrigue is more fun than knowing I guess.

(I'm just kidding about mystery and intrigue---maybe it's just a style thing)
I found this in  cowboy hat etiquette:
"Do not interfere with anyone else's cowboy hat. A hat is a prized, personal possession, and should be treated with respect."

I don't know if you can see this very well, but it's a regular style of cowboy hat. He was showing the kids how to use a lasso.

Let me see if I took a better picture of a regular cowboy hat.... a bunch of them!
Starting to wait in line for supper.

And then you see the 'flat top'  kind of cowboy hats.  I've heard this described as a "buckaroo" hat.  They use that word, Buckaroo, a lot around here.  In fact, the Buckaroo Hall of  Fame is in the building my office is.
I don't really understand the difference between a buckaroo and a cowboy, but THEY DO, and that's the important thing.  I guess.
I think this might have been the first cowboy hat, and the creases in cowboy hats came later.

Pay no attention to our friend Nate in the fuzzy visor hat in the background.  That's not his real hair--he doesn't have much. 

Then, once in a while, you'll see a cowboy in a tall hat like this one.  I guess that's a  Ten Gallon Hat.  It's still interesting to me to see who wears what.

How to make a cowboy hat!
I took this picture from another rodeo event, but it seemed to fit in good here!
I did ask this guy about the different hats and he said it really doesn't mean different cowboy gangs etc. (I've seen the show Yellowstone with Kevin Costner--cowboy gangs are a thang! LOL
 It's just a preference thing. 

They grilled 1200 steaks in the alley.

And made lots and lots of salads, beans, bars.

It was our job to let the crowd in. All 1200 of them, 
according to when and how many steaks were coming off the grill.
The cooks told us to let 20 people in every 5 minutes.
We synchronized out watches.
(Okay, I took pictures, but I made sure all the door keepers, the Handyman included, synchronized their watches)  

(notice that none of our door keepers are wearing  any cowboy hats nor cowgirl bling--we are boring---and not really cowboys)

And then, we just had fun.

People ate and later danced.

This band was from Louisiana--Waylon Thibodeaux
Fun Cajun Music! 

Shelly got locked outside with all the cowboys!

Jolina had to fight her way in!

It was very fun.
At the end of the evening...
we were very tired.

(notice men with cowboy hats on the stage?  Next time I'll talk about cowboys and tight fittin' jeans 😃!!)

and that my friends is recipe #225 with a cowboy story!
Only 142 left to go.
Woo Hoo!
or I should Yee Haw!

Friday Friend Recipe #226 - Italian Meatloaf

Making my way thru my  Friday Friend Cookbook , one recipe at a time. ...