Baby it’s cold outside!

Wowwee is it cold today! It was pretty chilly yesterday but letting the dogs out at 7:30am and it’s a brisk 37 degrees, forget needing coffee to wake me up …  I now need it to warm me up!  We’ve been in San Antonio for exactly 1 year so considering it took until that point to get cold again – no complaints from me!

I guess it’s appropriate to start planning “winter comfort food” on my weekly menus – chili, soups, and stews. Perfect timing to incorporate new menu items for our new home. 7 more days!!! Get me in my kitchen!

For now I’ll not so quietly deal with this dumpy kitchen. While making pizzas yesterday I was tripping over myself, having no where to put pans and get an efficient assembly line going. The end result was fantastic, we love pizza but feel like we can never get all the toppings we truly want.  So taking a pointer from Chelsea after having her shrimp scampi pizza, we kept it simple but the 2 mini pizzas were just as delish.

IMG_4407  IMG_4406  IMG_4405

Pizza 1: green & red bell pepper, onion, olives, mushroom
Pizza 2: sweet Italian sausage, green bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, onions
Pizza 3: jalapeno/cheddar sausage, onion, 3 slices of jalapeno (Josh’s decorative touch), mushrooms, onions
Pizza 4: sweet Italian sausage, jalapeno pepper, olives, onions

Easy to make and easy to assemble (even in a small kitchen).  I baked 2 pizzas at a time, so 20 minutes total … I pan cooked the sausages which took another 10; “dress” each pizza and dinner was done in 45 minutes. We had fun decorating each pizza, you can really do anything you want.
IMG_4409Josh going in for that giant slice of jalapeno … it didn’t even phase him.

On Monday I finally got around to “my” meatloaf. It was intended for Friday then Sunday … you see how that went, ha!IMG_4404

I took my cue from Alton Brown, he creates some great dishes plus he’s got a good humor trying to use science to cook using different methods.  While the meatloaf turned out great, it took 2 hours! We were so hungry that we sliced what we wanted and had to microwave it for a few minutes (this was after 45 minutes/325). So frustrating, I don’t understand what happened – I followed his recipe to the T, if anything I actually used less meat.  To finish cooking it we cranked the oven up to 400 for another hour. Sheesh!

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I always make meatloaf different each time – I feel like it can be a pretty boring meal so the spices in Alton’s recipe is what caught my attention.  It had a little heat to it and the cumin smelled amazing while baking had commenced.  Carrots and red bell pepper added some sweetness and the onion cut through perfectly. I didn’t pulse it as the recipe says, I diced everything because we like a “chunky” meatloaf.  As always, top that sucker with ketchup. No, I didn’t make the “sauce” from the recipe. While I like trying new things, I feel it’s a sin to use something other than Ketchup.

2 perfectly planned diabetic friendly meals- yes, the pizzas were okay for Josh. The amount of protein and veggies used balanced out the dough. Plus the meatloaf used turkey and pork, great choices instead of the usual beef.

A while back I told y’all about one of my piano students who was curious about the cheeseburger pie I was eating.  Well it’s her turn to pick a dinner to make and she requested just that!  It was very cute though because she thought I used an actual pie crust so when I informed her it’s a Bisquick recipe and she just started laughing, saying “That makes so much more sense!”.

I love inspiring dishes for people to try; I’ve gotten a few pictures of y’all making meals from my blog.  Keep ’em coming!

Also, commenting on the budget friendly part of all this … $80 for 5 complete meals, for 2 adults (meatloaf & pizza has leftovers so far!) … that’s $8 per person, per day. I think that’s pretty good considering I don’t have a money tree in my backyard.

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