Let’s talk about meatloaf.

Really. I am not a fan of meatloaf. When my mom made it, I would never eat it. I’d push it away and say it was sooooo gross.

But for some strange reason, I have been craving meatloaf on-and-off for three years. No, I’m not pregnant. It’s been bizarre. I’ll be sitting somewhere and think “Oh man, a meatloaf would be amazing right now.”

So tonight, I finally did it. I made meatloaf. And.

It.   was.    amazing.

Like I’m typing as fast as I can because I need to go get another piece.

Pioneer Woman’s Rhee Drummond meatloaf recipe is really nice and easy for home cooks like me. I divided everything in two, except the hot sauce and pepper. Her recipe makes 8 servings: M and I would eat all 8, so it was safer to make 4 servings. Which we will still eat.

I made a couple changes:
First, my ground beef came in a 3 lb package, so I approximated 1/3 of the package.
Second, I meant to add a dash of pepper, but I unscrewed the pepper top and there was WAY more than I thought. So I used 3 x as much (not freshly) ground pepper.  
Third, I don’t have parsley and hate buying herbs for only a teensy amount. So I used marjoram. It’s what I had handy, and it was green, and I like it. Totally = Parsley.
Fourth, I meant to add a dash of hot sauce. I added a giant sploosh. Physics?
Fifth, I added worcestershire sauce. I love this stuff. I know other recipes use it in their sauce, so why not?

 

We also did probably 15 or so minutes of broiling at the end of Rhee’s cooking recommendations. We were trying to get the bacon to be as cooked, or even crispy, as we could. I used a thick-cut bacon, M’s favorite, and between the 60 minutes of cooking and 15 mins of broiling, it came out perfectly melted, but not crispy.

So, overall…..freakishly delicious. Who’da thunk meatloaf would be so amazing? 

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Movie Sunday

Today has been a glorious day. The sun is shining, the air is cool, there’s a faint sniff of Autumn in the breeze…

Today was recovery day. M and my SIL and I all went to FoodE: FoodE is a fantastic, locavore slow food restaurant nestled snug in between two buildings downtown. We went for brunch at around 11, 11:30 and they were just opening. We sat outside beneath a canopy of colorful umbrellas that filtered the light and created a cozy, European cafe atmosphere. The three of us indulged…

M ordered the pork chop breakfast: a perfectly sized pork chop perched upon a delicious mess of cheese grits, dappled with an herbed oil. He barely managed to avoid licking the plate. SIL ordered a bacon and spinach omelette, served with breakfast potatoes. She ate every last bite, and really enjoyed the locally grown spinach. I, on the other hand, was a shameless glutton. I ordered the fried chicken buttermilk biscuit. Oh my dear tastebuds, how I have spoilt thee. This was a perfect biscuit – buttery, crumbly but still soft and firm, and the taste was an aazing splash of sour, sweet, dough, and butter. The chicken was lightly fried in a sweet and spicy coating, juicy and soft. This was also served with potatoes, which were largely forgettable. I could dream about the biscuit and chicken for a few nights and wake up drooling. So good. I also ordered a mimosa, which came with prosecco, fresh OJ, and was served in a mason jar rimmed with sugar. Delicious and incredibly fresh-tasting.

Tonight, M and I have been on a movie bender. We started with Invincible: for some reason, I was craving football and the American spirit. Mission accomplished. Is it ridiculous that I get teary-eyed when Papale makes his first touchdown in his home stadium, pointing at his friends?

We followed up with Ronin, which neither of us recall having ever seen before. Starring Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno, this late 90s movie is a well-directed story revolving around a group of for-hire men and a job that just doesn’t seem to go right. I adore Bob Deniro, and ‘s favorite movie is The Professional, starring Jean Reno. This was a great choice for us, and we both were riveted.

Now we are just starting off with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.. so far, intriguing, bu I am waiting for the plot to be explained a twee bit more!

Click-free, or at least click-less

Today’s Washington Post featured a nice editorial by Peter Mandel . Mr. Mandel makes the valid point that, as an increasingly mobile-technology-oriented world, we have lost our innate sense of wonder to an impulse to snap.

As any frequent traveler has probably noticed, trips, sightseeing tours, and scenery are now often bespeckled with the reflection of smartphones and tablets held up by tourists intent on capturing everything they “see”. But if you are focused on getting the right picture, how can you focus on, well, being unfocused? Part of the joy of traveling and exploring is being free and lost in the moment, viewing sights with an in-the-moment awe and appreciation.

When we travel, I try to stay in the moment and appreciate when we are seeing or doing. I do, of course, take photos – but I take them with my camera. Using a camera (not a fancy one, just a run of the mill digital) means picture-taking is more of a conscious effort, an intentional interruption of the moment, with the idea of preserving a memory.

I do, however, confess to one of Mandel’s sins: I take pictures of food and/or drinks occasionally. I’m going to excuse that behavior, though, with the idea that …”it’s for the bloooogggggg”.

The perks of being a grown-up…

I am 27 years old. I am also a wife, a homeowner, a pet owner x 4, a graduate degree holder, a full-time employee, a dodgeball player, a softball player, extensive traveler, and sporadic gym-goer.

I thus have a messy home. At least, that’s what I blame it on. I’m just a super busy person, so of course I don’t have time to vacuum and mop and Windex and clean my grout with a toothbrush.

So we are trying something new. Inspired by a friend, I have posted our chore list on the fridge. Most of the chores fall to me, but M has been delegated some, and he has chosen some. Each day, we have 1-2 tasks to accomplish: Windex the windows, sweep, laundry, bleach the bathrooms, etc. So far, we’ve already failed: we were out of town most of Sunday, I was sick Monday and am still in recovery mode this Tuesday.

However, M was randomly hit by the cleaning bug and decided to play catch-up. Together, we have windexed the main windows, swept, vacuumed, and done some laundry. I feel both accomplished and exhausted.

Why doesn’t adulthood come with a free robot maid?

Am I that old?

I miss being young.

I’m 27, though. So I feel like I am both cliche, overdramatic, and other adjectives.

But really, though. I miss being young.

When we could choose whether or not to do our “jobs” for the day – go to class? Skip class and lay outside in the square on our first fall-like day of the summer.

When we could stay up late and sleep in with little-to-no consequence: Throw in a movie marathon at 9 pm? YES!

When we were restricted to the clothes we could fit in our closet and the food we could fit in our minifridge: frozen pizza? No room. Skirts and pants that don’t fit? No room. Outta here!

When we didn’t have pets: I adore, love, and cherish my dogs and cats. But yes, they do cause some obstacles in planning, roadtrips, impromptu day trips, etc. I feel so, so, so guilty if I leave them home for more than 5 hours without a break.

Feeling like the future was still wide open and far away: I would have done college SO differently. Gone to all my classes. Gotten better grades. Avoided the sketchy girls I “found” my freshman year. Not gained a freshman 40.

Instead, though, I am sitting here on my self-purchased laptop, on my self-purchased bed, in a home I own. Drinking one-too-many glasses of boxed wine, my dogs sleeping on the floor behind me, and fighting that mental battle of “I should go to bed, I have work tomorrow” and “I don’t waaaaannnnaaaaaa”.
So I shall watch some reality TV. Browse the world wide of web. And just feel nostalgic, not about the things I did do in college, but the things I wish I had done.