Baking · Dinner

Snow Days

Back on January 8th we bad a blizzardy weekend. I was snowed in, it was cold, windy and we had a lot of snow. But all in all it was not too much to complain about because we had been having a mild winter and not too much snow to speak of. I was hoping this would be the one big snow storm of the season…

Up until last week, the weather pattern had been pretty quiet. Not much snow to speak of, it had been pretty easy going and I was kind of enjoying the winter. (For the record I don’t mind winter – I do mind stressing out about how to get to and from work in snow storms.)

Last week the weather pattern made a noticeable change. Tuesday we had an ice and snowstorm. Wednesday we all began to realize that we had yet another storm on the not too distant horizon. I was getting nervous about how I was going to get to work during a snowstorm Thursday morning. But as I pulled into my driveway Wednesday night, I had a text message from my boss saying that the storm had been upgraded to a Blizzard and that my office would be closed for the day on Thursday. I was so thankful.

On the first snow storm I had ingredients to make one go to healthy meals – Turkey Meatloaf. As a kid I think I hated meatloaf. But then again as a kid, I hated most meat – I would have been thrilled with eating pasta every day for dinner! (Thankfully my parents had enough sense to make me eat other things – like meatloaf!)

Now as an adult I really appreciate meatloaf for what it is. This recipe is a quick and healthy “go to” for me that includes both greens and a lean protein from the turkey. It is so easy to put together and I love that everything basically goes into one big mixing bowl:

It’s even kind of fun mixing all of the ingredients together with your hands (use damp hands for an easier time getting the ingredients together). There was a lot of bubbling as the meatloaf cooked – and I was sort of left wondering what on earth was happening in the oven. But the end result was delicious and simple. I just loved it:

I paired the meatloaf with slices of cucumber and tomato and a piece of French bread and was thrilled to have the same exact thing the next night.

For the Snow Day on Thursday (and the blizzard) I was definitely snowed in and had not been as prepared – as I said the snow-cast got a lot worse rather quickly during the day on Wednesday. I did not have a plan for dinner on Thursday – but I had a plan for something almost as important – chocolate chip cookies!

I spent part of Thursday shooting with my new camera (Canon 80D which I am officially in love with!) as I made chocolate chip cookies:

These cookies were a huge hit with my husband (Sous Chef or SC) on Thursday and with my colleagues on Friday when I brought the rest to work. I am so thankful that so many people enjoyed them. I tried one on Thursday almost right out of the oven (nothing beats a warm chocolate chip cookie during a blizzard!) and one on Friday.

I loved the addition of a tiny bit of flake salt on top of the cookies – the sweet and salty combination is definitely one of my favorites.

Ironically I spent a couple of hours with cookies and photography on Thursday along with other things around the house. I spent an hour on the treadmill and did laundry as well. But when it came to dinner time I realized we didn’t have much to choose from. I had learned earlier that it was National Pizza Day (who knew there was such a thing?) and we happened to have some of our favorite local pizza frozen – so that was a quick and easy dinner. We threw together a salad with the remaining veggies we had on hand so I felt like we were not eating too badly.

The last week or two have been super snowy and we have had almost two feet of snow in less than a week! It seems like we get one storm a day or two after the last. I’m really hoping that the weather pattern changes back to the quiet one we had been having for most of our winter….

Turkey Meatloaf with Spinach and Shallots

Ingredients:

1 lb of lean ground turkey

2 shallots, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

4 cups of spinach, chopped*

1 T Worcestershire sauce

⅓ C panko bread crumbs

1 egg

1 ½ T Dijon mustard

¼ C parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ C ketchup

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Put all ingredients (except for ketchup) into a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients by hand.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread one teaspoon of olive oil onto foil. Transfer mixture to the lined baking sheet and form mixture into a loaf form (approximately ten inches long, two inches high). Spread ketchup on top of loaf.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. When you remove your meatloaf, you can use a meat thermometer to test that the thickest area of the meatloaf is at 165 degrees.

I like serving this meatloaf with steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, etc.

*When preparing your spinach – measure the spinach before chopping – once I measured it after chopping and had about double what I needed for the meatloaf!

 

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One thought on “Snow Days

  1. Snow days are always a good time to make cookies! The warmth of the oven and the lovely smell of the baking cookies makes the inside a cozy place to be. Glad you didn’t have to fight the weather!

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